Media Studies

The Yankee's Guide to the Houston Super Bowl, Part II

Judging the timely takes on Houston from the Weather Channel to Vogue.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen February 2, 2017

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A view of Discovery Green, every Yankee's favorite new-to-Houston development.

This city can be tricky to navigate, all spread out and with some of the best attractions hidden on back streets, or in strip malls, or served out of a truck behind a tire shop. Luckily several national media outlets have stepped up to offer their own lists of must-sees and -dos. How do they rate from a Houstonian’s perspective? Let’s find out.

Article: With or Without Super Bowl LI, Houston Is a Winner
Publication: Chicago Tribune
Trill Rating: 4/5 Astrodomes

This article is a nice example of the soft bigotry of low expectations, with a lot of oohing and ahhing over the METROrail, the parks, the immigrants, the food, the philanthropy that funds the arts, the fact that we don't all ride mechanical bulls, etc. Though it packs in a lot of good details, knowledge and recommendations, this is basically Houston 101, for beginners only. Loses points for use of "Texas-sized" as descriptor (this is allowed for Texans only).

Article: Beyond the Super Bowl: Where to Eat Global and Shop Local in Houston
Publication: Vogue
Trill Rating: 5/5 Astrodomes

Congratulations to Vogue, of all places, to compile the most startlingly diverse and exceptional list of Houston restaurant recommendations—we knew Anna Wintour liked Tiny Boxwoods but throwing Café TH in there as well is quite impressive. Additional points for describing exactly why the Menil Collection is great, rather than just mentioning the Rothko Chapel, and for pretending that the chandeliers at The Dunlavy aren't gauche, they're just something out of Beauty and the Beast. For those looking for retail therapy, this is the only guide that gives it more than an afterthought, and they managed to find both the big-name designer outposts and some of our favorite high-end local shops. Congrats, Vogue. You nailed it. 

Article: A Changing Houston Puts Its Best Face Forward As Super Bowl Nears
Publication: Wall Street Journal
Trill Rating: 3/5 Astrodomes

I actually love WSJ's decision to mix up the classic "but Houston is ugly," take by pointing out that civic leaders are trying to make it less ugly. Aside from the way the reporters refer to Houston when they mostly mean downtown Houston (not the same thing, y'all), it's a pretty interesting look at what the city is doing to spruce up for visitors and how much said improvements cost.

Article: Houston's Downtown Revamped in Time for Super Bowl
Publication: The Weather Channel
Trill Rating: 4/5 Astrodomes

This is an incredibly professional, well-sourced article about the problems with the lack of tourist interests or infrastructure downtown at the last Super Bowl and all the ways the city and private stakeholders have worked to change that this time around, with both temporary and permanent upgrades. It loses points solely for failing to mention the weather, like, at all. 

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