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The New Houston: It’s not what you think September 22, 2009

Posted by tracybarnett in Houston, Texas.
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Houston is a double-hitter in my book this week. I just finished a piece for Continental Magazine about my new hometown, and Spirit, the inflight magazine of Southwest Airlines, just featured my story “Meet Houston,” the intro to an excellent package of stories about the city by a fine lineup of Houston journalists (including, incidentally, a couple of my former colleagues at the Chronicle”.

Downtown_Skyline_and_Buffalo_Bayou_-_1AThe New Houston: Its not what you think

It was the perfect New Houston moment: A Pavarotti-like voice pulsed over the green lawns and the sparkling lake of Discovery Green. A sumptuously dressed cast beamed Macbeth from an inflatable screen, towering over a thousand people of all ages, colors and sizes. Some lounged in lawn chairs or on blankets spread on the green grass; some watched from the patios of nearby restaurants. Some munched hamburgers; others drank beer.

This was the Grand Opera’s first Citycast, performed at Wortham Center and broadcast live on public radio and at public places including Discovery Green, the new showpiece of art, culture and green technology that Houston wrested from a jumble of parking lots in 2008.

This was not the Houston of the cattle drives or the oil tycoons or the petrochemical industry, which is what most people think about when they think of this city, if they think of it at all. Which is a shame, because they are missing out on one of the country’s truly great international metropolises.

To read the rest of the story, click Meet Houston.

To read the rest of the package – “Live” and “Play” by Natalie Bogan; “Work and “Learn,” by Bill Hensel Jr.; and “Eat” by Dai Huynh, click Southwest_Spirit_September_2009. Warning: it’s a large file and will take some time to download.

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