While the distance between Houston and Dallas is a mere 240 miles, the two cities are light-years apart when it comes to style, substance and citizenry.
Even as Robert Brooks of our Dallas-area sister station 97.9 The Beat reports on 10 Reasons Why Dallas-Fort Worth is Better Than Houston, I say numbers don’t lie. More often than not, the Bayou City is the crown jewel of the Lone Star State, according to researchers, statisticians and critics, alike.
We have some qualitative opinions, too, all which help prove that Houston is better than Dallas:
10. Without Houston, America Would Be Crippled
New York City and Houston are symbolically and economically the most important cities in the U.S. today. As one of two cities which possess all 10 of the most vulnerable targets for terrorism, according to the FBI, special emphasis must be placed on our city.
We’re pretty important, and this fact alone proves it.
9. Houston: A World Destination for Business, Education
Not only do we have a stronger climate for international business here, spearheaded by elected officials who champion our economic interests like Mayor Annise Parker’s recent trade mission to the Middle East, a diverse population of students make Houston a destination city for college.
The University of Houston ranks as the second most diverse research university in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report, but is among the top 25 U.S. universities for international students, according to the Institute of International Education.
Lone Star College, meanwhile, ranks third for international students among U.S. community colleges.
8. Arts and Culture Are Everywhere
Dallas has history, but we’re making it every day with the veritable renaissance which is happening among our creative community which sprawls across our great city and region.
We’ve got the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre and a bevy of others downtown, while Texas Repertory Theatre satisfies northwest Houston audiences as the only professional theater between here and Dallas.
You can take in exhibits aplenty at our sprawling Houston Museum District, or rich music offerings at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, in The Woodlands, all the way down to the indie (and awesome) Bohemos, in Eastwood.
Don’t forget the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in the Klein-Cypress Creek area, nor the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum on Caroline.
7. A Landscape for Every Liking
From urban to suburban, from cityscapes to treetops, whatever you are looking for in a place to settle down, you’ll find it in Houston. While our urban communities have a lot of charm, I’m something of an ambassador for our city’s lush green landscapes.
Check out Discovery Green downtown for an out-of-this-world natural experience within the city, or trek out with family and friends to Armand Bayou Nature Center, in Pasadena; the Mercer Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, in Humble; or to the Katy Prairie.
6. Houston Football: Better Than Dallas
From the Houston Texans to the Houston Dynamo, our city knows it’s football, American and the international kind.
You don’t get ranked first by the Associated Press, have back-to-back playoff opportunities nor stand in the shadow of a third MLS Cup title without the heart, acumen or the fans. Houston has plenty of all three.
Cowboys and FC Dallas? Think again.
5. You Might Be a Millionaire If You Live in Houston
Houston had over 88,000 millionaires in 2009 and was the only Texas city to make 24/7 Wall Street’s list of ten U.S. cities with the wealthiest citizens. But, if a Houstonian isn’t swimming in greenbacks, he’s at least better off than he’d be in Dallas.
As reported by NEWS 92 FM Business Editor Brent Clanton, Houston leads the nation in personal income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In 2011 dollars, that means the per capita personal income for the average Houstonian is $47,612. In Dallas, $43,608.
4. You Might Be Famous, Too
Dallas has its fair share of celebrity residents and famous beginnings, but Houston’s are better. For every Angie Harmon the Big D offers, we can put up a Beyoncé Knowles, Renée Zellweger or a Dennis Quaid.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Marvin Zindler, Walter Cronkite, Molly Ivins, President George H.W. Bush, ZZ Top, and even Lil Wayne called Houston home in their lifetimes.
3. Advancements in Medicine Begin in Houston
Houston is in good hands with some of nation’s best doctors and hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report, from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, ranked No. 1 for cancer care nine out of the last 11 years, to Texas Children’s Hospital, ranked No. 1 in Texas overall and in the top 10 for a host of categories.
Kelsey Seybold, Memorial Hermann and the Texas Medical Center all earn high marks and have been observed across the country and internationally for their work in medicine.
2. If Everything in Texas is Big, Everything in Houston…
Speaking of the Texas Medical Center, did you know it ranks as the largest medical complex in the world? Houston is also home to one of the largest urban roads in the nation, FM 1960, which spans nearly 47 miles and 26 zip codes; Lakewood Church, America’s largest church, according to Forbes; and the Astrodome, the Eighth Wonder of the World.
The Houston Independent School District is the seventh largest in the nation, and we boast the nation’s second largest port, The Port of Houston.
Dallas, meanwhile, has us beat for longer airport delays, according to AvoidDelays.com. Epic fail.
1. Houston is Cool at Any Age
As a late 20-something, I can attest Houston is a great place to live and work. Forbes agrees, naming our city not only the best city for college graduates because of our economic and job opportunities, but best city for the 30-and-under crowd.
But, when you pair that with Forbes naming Houston as the “coolest” city in 2012, based on entertainment, restaurants and bars, recreational and cultural activities, you can clearly see we’re the city every other should aspire to become, especially Dallas, who scored a respectable fourth on that list.
Fourth is good. But, it’s not number one.
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