That’ll Show ’Em What a Magnet for Tourists Houston Really Is

Upset at New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s oh-so-cruel insinuation that Houston isn’t much of a tourist town, local talk-show host Michael Berry has responded with an ad on this billboard, carefully situated at the scenic crotch between the Southwest Freeway feeder road and the Westpark Tollway near Chimney Rock, surrounded by a number of fine automotive repair establishments. It’s been 13 days since your outrageous insult, Senator. Apologize now or it’s just going to get worse. Sure hope it doesn’t have to come to that, but don’t think we won’t resort to putting a bunch of those inflatable gorillas on top of the Downtown Aquarium to get our point across — if we have to. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox

27 Comment

  • “scenic crotch.” awesome.

  • Please, there are definitely things to do in this town but nothing worth getting on a plane for.

  • Doesn’t change the fact that Schumer is a scumbag…and urine is still the predominant smell on “the sidewalks of New York”.

  • And NYC doesn’t have any sorry looking crotches? They need cars repaired.

  • I’m sorry we won’t be blessed with a shuttle. I was really looking forward to dining at the Rainforest Cafe in the payload bay.

  • New York’s crotches are super-hip, though.

    Maybe instead of getting pissed at Schumer, who’s a bigmouth who works hard for his state, you should wonder why Texas keeps electing jokers to the Senate.

  • If Space Center Houston had actually done anything more impressive than putting in a really big ballpit then maybe we would have stood more of a chance. There are some really entertaining and inspiring science and engineering themed museums in this country, Space Center Houston is not one of them.

  • Too bad we tore down the Transmission Dome. If that billboard had loomed above that awe-inspiring edifice, New York would have melted in shame and the shuttle would have been ours for sure.

  • It was more than saying Houston isn’t a tourist town. He rubbed our noses in the fact that he was able to get the decommissioned space shuttle. It’s incredibly insensitive to insult people after stealing a cultural icon from them. I mean really… it’s on our freakin’ license plate! I would be embarrassed to have Chuck Schumer represent me.

  • Actually, he made the comments after our congressional delegation announced that they’d try to take the shuttle away from NY via legislation. He’s sticking up for his district. If the situation were reversed you’d expect no less from your own senators .

  • I know I’m going to get flamed for this but…well..he’s right. We’re not a tourist city. We got rid of our theme parks and well quite frankly there is not much I can imagine a tourist could do here. Houston is a city to come and live and I’m proud to live here. But when friends and relatives come to visit I take them to San Antonio and Galveston.

  • He may be right that we are not a tourist city. Who cares? That doesn’t excuse his smarmy elitism, complete lack of tact and class, and preoccupation with trivia like worn-out museum pieces. The underlying message was that Houston somehow fails to live up to some sort of gold standard set by New York. This is simply not the case. We have a thriving economy, a growing populace, and a strong local culture. New York can keep the shuttle (and its whiny representatives), and I will happily enjoy the perks of living in Texas–jobs, oil, and manners.

  • “He may be right that we are not a tourist city. Who cares?”

    I don’t really care – I’ve lived in tourist cities before.

    But it actually is kind of a relevant point when you’re deciding where to put something that you’d like lots of people to see.

  • John. True, but that’s not my point. I don’t really care where the shuttles go. My comment concerns only the character and attitude of Senator Schumer.

  • It seems a little unfair to call him a jerk for pointing out NY kicks Houston’s butt in the tourism department, when the subject is where to put an exhibit so more people can see it. It’s relevant.

    Especially when the whole discussion was started when TX reps went into whiney sore loser mode because a half-assed proposal for exhibiting the shuttle didn’t make the cut.

    Schumer’s a loud mouth who never met a microphone he didn’t like, but he’s got nothing to apologize for here. Houston has nothing to apologize for about not being a tourist town, either.

    If you really care about the space program, and you want the shuttle to help ignite new interest in it, you should be thrilled that it will be dramatically displayed to lots of people in the largest city in the US, and not stuck in a hangar in Clear Lake.

  • I don’t think it’s unfair at all. Snarling “fuhgiddaboutit” and taunting and judging an entire city of people is completely classless. The conduct of the Texas delegation does not excuse that of Mr. Schumer (that’s the old elementary school “but he started it” argument), nor does the purported veracity of his statements.

    Like I said earlier, I have no interest in the space program, and I could not care less about the destination of the shuttle. If New York wants it, New York can have it as far as I am concerned.

    We will just have to agree to disagree on this one. I find Schumer’s behavior to be distasteful at best, and, as a former lobbyist and Capitol Hill staffer, I think it is sad to see yet another politician setting a publicized poor example.

  • “I would be embarrassed to have Chuck Schumer represent me.”


    If Chuck Schumer represented you, you would be celebrating the retired shuttle that he just scored for you.

  • He is absolutely spot-on correct. Houston long ago bulldozed any redeeming qualities it had, paved it, and put a strip mall over it.

  • Where were our Senators on this matter? Funny, but outside of SJL and the SugarLand Republican whose gerrymandered district also contains NASA, I didn’t hear anyone from Texas work on Houston’s behalf. That’s why it is again time for Houston to secede from Texas!

  • Caroline, as a former lobbyist and Capitol Hill staffer I would have expected you to have more tact than to make a comment like “I have no interest in the space program”. JSC direc tly supports 3,000 employees and more than 12,000 contractors. The number of jobs the space program indirectly supports in the Houston area is far higher then that. You may not give two hoots about the space program but there are several tens of thousands of families who I can assure you do. Their jobs will not be magically created by the oil industry as the program winds down.

  • @jimbo, good point. I was just thinking it was odd that a former Hill staffer wouldn’t understand a senator loudly going to bat for his state. It may not be appealing to those outside the state, but this is just standard stuff, hardly worth noting. Unless of course you’re a media personality whose career runs on manufacturing outrage…

  • Caroline, you need not worry about possibly being embarrassed by Sen. Schumer’s representation (D NY) when we’ve got our own first class grade “A” clowns embarrassing us on a regular basis (R TX 1 and R TX 2). Oh, forgot the gov’nah (R TX). Make that three. Hey, three (R TX)’s, where’s our shuttle?

  • I wonder if the outcome would have been different if Bill White was governor. Coming from Houston, he probably would have lobbied and represented our city harder. Perry you suck.

  • Think about it…when the space shuttle takes off who does/did they turn communications over to ???? Hummmmm?? HOUSTON !!!!
    I think that is enough reasoning for us to have one of the space shuttles here. This is my 2 cents worth …..

  • Chris – you are funny re Bill White and I totally agree with you re Perry !!!

  • Houston should secede. Bill White for Senator. Annise for Governor of the new State of Gulflandia.

  • Doofus– you are thinking too small. I think we go ahead and crown Bill White king. Houston is the only thing keeping this state afloat.