Writing in the travel section of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, devoted Cardinal fan and reporter Diane Toroian Keaggy blows the lid off the great Houston population hoax: “Who am I to argue with the U.S. Census, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau and Post-Dispatch pal and Houston native Aisha Sultan? But no way is Houston the nation’s fourth largest city. Where are the people? Certainly not downtown, which cleared out immediately after the Astros win. The Museum District, easily reachable from downtown by rail and home to the Houston Zoo, Children’s Museum and Museum of Natural Science, also seemed strangely quiet. We wanted to visit the Contemporary Art Museum, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, the Menil Collection, the Houston Center of Photography and the wacky folk-art mecca called the Orange Show. Each was closed on Tuesday. We could have visited the Space Center Houston, which includes the tram tour of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, but it’s 25 miles south of downtown and costs $21. That’s too much money and time for a short two-day trip. Instead we visited the Museum of Fine Arts, which features an impressive collection of Impressionism and the Weather Museum, which feels more like a seventh-grade science project than an actual attraction. Don’t bother. . . . We continued our search for life at the Galleria, one of the nation’s top malls. A-ha! So that’s where everyone was hiding. Home to Fendi, Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Tory Burch and other impossibly expensive boutiques not found in St. Louis, the Galleria boasts 375 shops spread across two large buildings. Bring comfy, but fashionable, shoes. The mall claims to attract 24 million shoppers each year, and only a few seemed to be buying Gucci glasses, Kate Spade earrings and Jimmy Choo pumps. The rest could be found skating on the indoor ice rink or slumming it in Banana Republic, Apple and Claire’s.” [STLToday]
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