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The Modern American Boomtown (Houston)
Wall Street Journal ^ | 05/18/2013 | Annise Parker

Posted on 05/18/2013 10:01:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Houston

'Redneck white city down in Texas."

That's how Houston Mayor Annise Parker sums up the caricature of her town, and she wants everyone to know it's bunkum. Houston is "a really cool city," she says. "Open and entrepreneurial and welcoming." It's also booming.

The mayor herself is a walking testament to the cosmopolitan contrarian reality of modern Houston. Annise Parker is a Democrat in a deep-red state, the first openly gay mayor of a major American city. She's a social liberal who's also a former oil-industry executive with a pro-business attitude running what may be the nation's least-regulated metropolis.

Houston's recent track record is startling. For the calendar year ending in February, it saw the fastest pace of job growth (4.5%) among the country's 20 largest metropolitan areas. (With a population of 2.1 million, it's the fourth-largest U.S. city.) In 2011, the last year such data are available, Houston had the fastest-growing large metropolitan economy, at 3.7%.

Add to that a cost of living that is 7.8% below the U.S. average—New York is 53.4% above the average—and you can see the attraction for waves of new arrivals. Housing costs run a third less than the average in the 29 largest metro areas. Adjusting for these lower costs, Houston has the highest per-capita income of any city in the nation.

The mayor, who is 56, and I are discussing the city's makeover at one of its hottest new restaurants. Underbelly, Ms. Parker's choice for lunch, is in the Montrose neighborhood where she lives. "This was a huge lesbian bar," she says, before the neighborhood turned "trendy" and places like Underbelly moved in. As diners fill the capacious restaurant, Ms. Parker notes that Houstonians eat out more often than anyone else in America.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: boomtown; houston

1 posted on 05/18/2013 10:01:53 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
"This was a huge lesbian bar," she says

Appropriate for her.

She's a "lebesian" with a wide load.

2 posted on 05/18/2013 10:08:27 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes folks even in ‘deep red Tx’ an inner city elects a lesbian Dem for mayor. I dislike big cities more and more —and Houston is not all that great anyway IMO. Too many 3rd world imports now who default automatically to the corrupt Dems. (sigh)...


3 posted on 05/18/2013 10:20:33 AM PDT by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: tflabo
Rumor has it there are even some natural born citizens there.
4 posted on 05/18/2013 10:23:28 AM PDT by animal172
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To: SeekAndFind

She may be a wide load that swings left, but she did get rid of our Red Light Cameras, so she’s fine in my book.


5 posted on 05/18/2013 10:30:20 AM PDT by BobL (To us it's a game, to them it's personal - therefore they win.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I lived in Houston for eight long years and the happiest day of my life was seeing Houston in my rear view mirror for the last time. The heat, humidity, traffic and crime rate was horrendous. And I left before the Katrina thugs made it worse.


6 posted on 05/18/2013 10:45:50 AM PDT by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well, statements like this usually mean the end is near for the boom. About this time in about 1982 similar declarations were made. Things declined from there. Four years later people were pitching the keys in the flower beds and leaving.

Some of us were there and some of us remember it because we lived it. One day a guy was looking for the checkbook to buy an airplane and then he was bankrupt.

To be sure, there are people here making tons of money. Life is good.

OPEC may not be as strong now as it was in ‘86 but Saudi still has 3,000,000,000 barrels of oil a day behind the valve... not producing and in reserve. They just announced 600 TCF of gas resources in their own shale and unconventional plays. Just a little bit floods the market where the futures traders are concerned. Just a little bit crashes the price. The Saudis say they like the price where it is though and the last time they crashed the market it didn’t work out really well so maybe the boom is sustainable to stability of some sort.


7 posted on 05/18/2013 10:47:42 AM PDT by Sequoyah101
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To: SeekAndFind

Houston, ugh! Hated every minute I was there! The people have hearts of gold and are phenomenal. There was only three days a year I could handle the HUMIDITY!


8 posted on 05/18/2013 11:47:54 AM PDT by PROTESTBYPROXY (Invictus Maneo !!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Houston seems to appreciate, more than most cities, two of my most cherished values.

Leave me alone and let me keep what is mine.


9 posted on 05/18/2013 1:21:11 PM PDT by FreedomNotSafety
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