Monday, March 24, 2008

Back from Away

Last night, Mrsdrmagoo and I finally made it back from Houston. I say "finally" not because the travel was tough - our flight was on time, and the drive home from O'Hare to Champaign was uneventful. I say it because downtown Houston is the most boring large city in the entire universe. Chicago is the third largest city in the country, and Houston fourth, which is bizarre because nobody's there. I've never crossed against the light so many times during the week in a business district in my life - there's just nobody there. Not only is the area around the convention center (which also houses the baseball and basketball stadia) dead in terms of people, there's nowhere to go to eat or drink. Every other city I've traveled to for conferences, especially in areas with this many large venues has, y'know, restaurants and bars and stuff where people can go, but not Houston. And if you do walk the 10+ blocks to the nearest handful of restaurants, your choices are fast food or $25 entrees. C'mon, folks. The worst is trying to find breakfast - it's either the hotel, where you're paying $8 for a bagel (once you figure in tip, etc), or Starbucks (which isn't really breakfast, at least not 7 days in a row). And all of that conveys an epic level of busy compared to Houston on a Sunday, a day which could best be described by Buzz Aldrin's comment about the moon, "Magnificent desolation."

The last day or so, we shared the convention center with the Foursquare Church, a group founded by Aimee Semple McPherson and which is so very excited about the imminent second coming. If they spend a lot of time in Houston, I can see why.

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