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D Magazine’s Lame-Duck Editor to Debate the Merits of Dallas vs. Houston on Public Radio

What passes for a celebrity cover in Houston, apparently.  Anyone have any idea who this guy is? And what's that strange symbol on his T-shirt?
What passes for a celebrity cover in Houston, apparently. Anyone have any idea who this guy is? And what’s that strange symbol on his T-shirt?

Houstonia Magazine‘s August issue is devoted to 273 supposed reasons that Houston is better than Dallas. The content doesn’t seem to be on their website yet, but I’m guessing all 273 are variations on the benefits of constant high humidity as a skin moisturizer. I’ve been told that Gulf Coast dwellers have dozens of words for “damp,” “slimy,” and “soggy,” much as the Inuit people of the Arctic region have for “snow.”

Our own Tim Rogers will be on Houston public radio station KUHF today at noon to debate the merits of Big D vs. H-Town against Scott Vogel, the editorial director of Houstonia. (UPDATE: Listen to it here.) This morning, our superior North Texas public radio station, KERA, takes its own stab at listing the factors why Dallas rules while Houston drools:

For snark’s sake, we asked North Texans to submit their own analogies that compare Houston to Dallas. We gave them a jumping off place (Houston is to Dallas as Jan Brady is to Marsha) and let them take it from there. Here are some of our favorites: Nicole LeBlanc says “Houston/Dallas = no zoning/zoning.” Perhaps somewhat critically, Sarah Duckers responds, “Houston: Howdy. Dallas: Where’d you go to school?” KERA commentator Rawlins Gilliland had a couple of gems: “Dallas/Houston = Marilyn Monroe/Anna Nicole Smith” or “Paris France/Paris Hilton.” The Facebook thread’s still open, so don’t be shy!

16 comments on “D Magazine’s Lame-Duck Editor to Debate the Merits of Dallas vs. Houston on Public Radio

  1. I listened to it and what I thought was so odd about the Houstonia’s visit to Dallas is how intimidated they were by the city. Too perfect, too slick, too dressy, stuff that is getting glowing coverage constantly, even the NYTseems to be a bit infatuated by us.

    It seemed like they were basing them being better than us on them being scared of us which strikes me as an odd position. And what is this Houston culinary scene that they are talking about that somehow dwarfs Dallas, hasn’t Dallas been known nationally for it’s love of eating out for quite a long time and been able to draw top chef talent and national respect?

  2. These city vs. city arguments strike me as domains of the 20th century and the city magazine genre. IOW, relics.

    Let’s call it a draw and agree that Dallas and Houston are the Lite Beer of American cities. Great taste! Less filling!

  3. One interesting statistic, if it’s available, would be to know the net migration between cities. Based solely on anecdotal information, I believe that more people are leaving Houston to come to Dallas than the other way around.

  4. Tim noted during his appearance on KUHF that when there’s a new hot spot in Dallas, people are more likely to say, “Wow, this feels like Austin.” How true. Nobody ever says, “Wow, this reminds me of Houston.” If a Dallas person said that, it would not be a compliment.

    He suggested the Dallas/Austin tie may be a matter of geography. More specifically it’s Interstate 35. This is an umbilical cord, connective tissue linking Dallas and Austin. Houston/Austin has no such line of sight, no straight-shot overland passageway. Some give this notion short shrift, but it matters. Houston evolved as a port city in a corner of the state one has to purposely go to, while all roads lead to and from Dallas.

    Final thought. Tim appeared on KUHF the very day that the legendary George Mitchell died….oil man, real estate developer, one of Houston’s wealthiest businessmen. I’m reminded that Amon Carter, Jr., publisher of the Star-Telegram and keeper of the old Dallas-Fort Worth rivalry, had a heart attack and died while driving on Stemmons Freeway in 1982. Let this be a lesson: don’t mess with Big D.

  5. Somehow I doubt, however, that people are relocating from one to the other for quality of life issues. That migration seems to be from either city to Colorado, at least in the summer…

  6. I know this is a fun game. But it’s also way, way old. Both cities are really so much better than they were even 10 years ago. It’s time to enjoy the Houston-ness of Houston and the Dallas-ness of Dallas, and to celebrate what’s great (and getting better) about both towns. Plus, it’s about time to start kicking Austin in the nads. Notwithstanding the media hype, It’s been in decline as an actual place to live since about 1995 (or whenever “SoCo” as a thing, replaced South Congress as a place).

  7. @T B, as someone who has had one foot in Big D and one in Austin for the past four decades, I can assure you that SoCo is still a place, not a thing. Had dinner at Perla’s recently, then walked across the street to catch Dale Watson at the Continental Club. South Congress is alive and well, by any name.

  8. are you a NAFTA trucker? Highway 290 gets one from Houston to Austin in about an hour less than one can get to Austin from Dallas on 35.