Judging by this blog piece by Nancy Sarnoff on Chron.com Houston is currently being added to more lists than Rick Perry's "oops" moment. Whether it's for being "cool" or having "jobs" or "affordable houses" or for "touristy things" (What?) Houston is moving and shaking as a job center and regional city on the come. Even though Houston is hot, sprawled-out, lacking in public transportation, needing good sidewalks for walking around in that oppressive heat, dominated by its suburbs and fat people we're being inundated with folks from other locales looking for a nice, cheap place to live where they can be employed and not have to subsist on a diet of twigs and soot.
At least, one imagines, listening to the hip, trendy eyeglass wearing new urbanists, the obvious answer to this run of good fortune is change everything that's working right now! And I concur, change needs to be made fast before we're overrun with more people who might, possibly, be from Mississippi.
Well, OK, we can't change our relatively mild Winters overnight but if you drive your car a little more you'll soon have warm Winters and Summers set to "blast furnace" if you believe The Warmists. Those affordable homes? Not sustainable! Say the Urbanists. Much better to build expensive homes that the rabble can't afford inside the Loop. Besides, as we all know, it's far better to segregate people based on race and class inside the Loop than it is to have them co-mingling in the Suburbs. Hell, EVERYTHING is better when viewed through a new urbanist prism.
Besides, we really don't want to be on these lists anyway. Houston's not in a green belt so feeding everyone will involve increasingly large carbon footprints. Our cool, new restaurants will be filled to the brim with slightly pudgy food bloggers taking pictures of dinner. You have to assume that, at least, half of the people coming to a "cool" city are going to be of a salad persuasion, which is going to lead to a protest outside of Vic & Anthony's over Houston's lack of vegetarian establishments. If Mayor Parker's history is any indication her first course of action will be to conduct a City funded study, I'm guessing she'll tab one of those slightly obese food bloggers to lead the charge. Of course, having no income (as food bloggers typically don't) the ultimate proposal will be to establish a fund of $800 Million to encourage vegan dining options. We'll be told, obviously, that Houstonians won't pay for it because it will be funded by a 275% restaurant tax thus ensuring that none of us can ever eat at a restaurant inside the city limits.
Houston Restaurant Week(s) will have to be relocated somewhere. Fortunately Pete Brown has offered up his Summer home in the South of France so that shouldn't be too much trouble. Houston chef's will be happy because they get a trip to the South of France, and the River Oaks people will be ecstatic because they no longer have to sit next to slightly pudgy food bloggers taking pictures of their foie gras and asking if they can have their menu because the camera lens knocked gravy all over the bloggers menu and they just have to have something to photograph at home. You know, "for the blog". The Chronicle will be ecstatic because they can outsource the picture taking (hey, they already outsourced some of their local news reporting) and soon will be able to claim 1 Trillion unique page-views to Chron.com. They will announce this in a press release that buries the fact their circulation has slipped to their entire staff +15.
Our new, and suddenly crowded bike lanes and walking paths (since, if you dine out, you can't afford a car) are going to lead to a requirement that EZTags be surgically implanted into our foreheads, thus allowing the City to utilize congestion tolls to prevent overuse of a public resource. Miraculously, no elected officials will get EZTag implant surgery, as their car allowances remain intact, and are financed through bike lane and walking path congestion fees. Speaking of cars, you can park yours downtown, provided you earn the GDP of Uruguay. If not however you donate your car to all of the new charities set up to encourage dining in restaurants by the poor and middle class.
After this we can get onto the serious issue of Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve rationing. With all of these new Houstonians, you get a thimble.(non-transferable) Of course, then you'll need to pay the city a beer-thimble fee to have it properly registered and licensed, and before you get your beer poured into your thimble there will be an inspection fee to ensure you don't catch e-coli and have your inner organs melt. Spec's downtown will be taking reservations, and it will take a week to get in, at which time the bottle of wine you wanted will be sold-out and there will be an 8 month wait for the new vintage to come in.
This is all terrible. We need to find out who David Crossley supports for Mayor and get them elected quickly to put a stop to this. Better yet, we can make him Mayor and all of this talk of Houston's population growth will cease overnight.