10 March, 2008

Texas Contrasts

The inspiration for this entry comes from a comment that Rob made to me during our trip to Texas last week.

When you are in Texas, near one of the major cities, you don't have to drive very far before you're in The Country. It is not uncommon to have the skyline of Houston/Dallas/San Antonio in view just a few miles away, as you try to pass an enormous combine on a two-lane farm-to-market road. After you pass that combine/herd of cattle/horse trailer/tractor you're just as likely to turn onto a highway - with cars buzzing by at 80 mph - as you are to turn onto a dirt road leading to the most beautiful bucolic scene you've ever seen.

It is the combination of skyscrapers, flat land, wide open spaces, and ubiquitous ranch land that makes this contrast possible, I'd say. There may be other places in the world where similar combinations produce such contrasts, but when I think of major U.S. cities that have skyscrapers and skylines, I can't think of many (any) which have a combination that brings rural and urban trappings so close. And as for non-U.S. cities, I've only seen a few of them, and not many of them have these particular contrasts. It is definitely one of the things that I cherish about my relationship with Texas.

Texas. To a mid-westerner, "Texas" evokes stereotypical imagery and compels people to try to talk funny. But, to me, after spending half of my life there, thoughts of Texas just make me smile.

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Blogger Alan said...

So what do you see as you drive away from Chicago?

I recall the same thing in California (ie, country right outside of the city). But that was Eureka, CA, so maybe that's not a surprise.

March 11, 2008 5:53 PM  

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