Friday, May 11, 2007

Re: Re: Houston and Dallas

Actually, I did mention zoning (only in passing) and I guess I wasn't articulate enough in trying to make my case about excluding the suburbs. Let me try again...

While it is true that in both cases they (the burbs) are part of the whole, at least to me, there is a palatable difference. And I can trace it back to the almost the first day I moved here back in 2000. I went out to eat that first night at a Chili's in Irving. I ordered my food and an adult beverage. The waiter told me that I had to buy a private club membership or something along those lines, but the amount of the membership would be refunded on my final bill. What?????

That was my first taste of the incorporated city concept that is Dallas. Yes, Houston has that in Bellaire and West U, but if my memory serves, other than than the street signs being a different color, nothing else is really different. Here, many things are different. Smoking vs, non-smoking. Liquor stores. Liquor laws. It just has a different "feel" to it. And for the most part, you can't tell visually when you are leaving Dallas proper and entering one of these burbs. It's all clean and nice and maintained. Yes, Dallas has some not as well maintained parts, but you almost have to seek them out. You have to find them. In Houston, it is easy to tell the difference visually between Kingwood and Houston, Sugar Land and Houston, Clear Lake and Houston. The farther out you go from the city, the cleaner it gets (that is a generalization and is dependent, of course, on the direction - River Oaks as an example). But that is the only difference. Liquor laws are the same. Zoning laws (if you can call them that) are the same. The sense I got in Houston when I was growing up, and now, is that it is just one big PLACE, made up by neighborhoods - not a metro area made up of incorporated cities.

Not to always bring up liquor, but in Houston, you don't even have to think about where to buy beer or wine or whatever. Wherever you are, it's there. In Dallas, you have to think about it. I can buy beer and wine all around me - to buy harder stuff, the closest place is about 10-15 miles away. And as big of an adjustment that was to me, for C, it was/is even a bigger one. In Milwaukee (and all of Wisconsin, I believe), they sell all types of liquor in grocery stores. You can also go to a bar/tavern and buy go! Freaked me out the first time we did that.

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