By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
More on New York's shortcomings
Elyse: "They only fill 175,000 potholes a year. We fill 475,000."
Elyse: "Yeeess ... and I love that number!"
Lloyd: "I bet you've heard that number over and over."
Elyse: "I have. I'm really not a great numbers person, but that one really does amuse me."
Elyse on the Port of Houston
"Our port is magnificent."
We've got "drive-bys," too
Lloyd: "We have some of the prettiest drive-bys .... I know you and Bob both commented on the Main Street drive around Rice."
Elyse: "That's right. He thought that's the prettiest in the world ...."
Lloyd: "And then we have Memorial, and Allen Parkway, which is gettin' prettier ...."
Elyse: "Isn't it beautiful?"
Lloyd: "Isn't it nice?"
Elyse on Houston's parks
"Our parks are so beautiful ... our parks are so magnificent."
Elyse on the made-over Moody Park
Lloyd: "Let's not forget a world-class opera house ... and world-class opera."
Elyse: "Oh ... it's amazing."
Lloyd: "I mean, the season here, compared to even San Francisco ... they're redoing their theater out there."
Elyse: "Well ours is, I mean ...."
Lloyd: "World class."
Elyse: "World class."
And there's always a place to sit in Houston
Elyse: "One of my favorite selling points is that next to New York City, we have more theater seats than anybody else in the country."
Lloyd: "Is that right?"
Elyse: "Yes, I think we have a little over 10,000, something like that, and we are number two next to New York. I think that's startling."
Elyse on public response to the Houston Image Group
"It's been fabulous ...."
Houston versus Dallas
Elyse: "Dallas, as a comparison, had Neiman Marcus and then Stanley Marcus -- and when he sold Neiman Marcus, it really sold the city, and we never had a Stanley Marcus. We never had anybody like that who really thought, 'We've really got to go out and sell this' ...."
Lloyd: "Plus, they had a TV show ... Dallas."
Elyse: "They had a TV show."
Elyse's advice on sales and marketing
"You've got to sell what you've got."
On what they think of when they think of Seattle
Elyse: "When I think of Seattle, I think of commuters ...."
Lloyd: "I think of rain ...."
Elyse: "Well, it's kinda supposed to be pretty there, too, from what I understand."
[Editor's note: She may, of course, have meant to say computers.]
What Elyse wants you to think of when you think of Houston
"I want Houston to be thought of as a very diverse, cosmopolitan, international city."
Repetition, repetition, repetition
"... diverse, cosmopolitan, international."
Elyse on the Medical Center
"Oh, it's just unbelievable."
On the enormousness of Elyse's task
Lloyd: "It's almost overwhelming to think of how you would package a city with so much going on, so much going for it."
Elyse: "There are so many different areas you can get involved in -- there's an area for everybody."
We have met the enemy, and he's hot
Elyse: "Probably the most important thing that I personally would like to sell is the weather ... everybody says, 'Oh, the Houston heat,' and Houston is the worst about. We are our own worst enemy: 'It's so hot in Houston!' Lemme tell you something: It's maybe hot three or four months out of the year. The rest of the year ...."
Lloyd: "It's beautiful."
Elyse: "It's beautiful. Would you want to freeze in Buffalo, New York, or Cleveland, or Minneapolis?"
But if you can't stand the heat...
Elyse: "[Houston's] really got about the best climate in the world. People tend to focus on the negative and the heat. But you know, it's the most air-conditioned city in the world, too, and it seems to me if they're hot, they'll go inside!"
Lloyd: "... in the evening, it's not bad."
Elyse: "Not at all."
Houston versus New York, Chicago and Detroit
Elyse: "We don't have that sleet and snow. I mean, it's a mess."
On the task ahead of us
Elyse: "We in Houston, though, have to really discipline ourselves in this one area more than anywhere else .... I've heard preachers say, when they would get up and talk in August, 'Ohhhhh, it's so hot outside.' Rather than starting out with 'so hot outside'...."
Lloyd: "Generally it's not hotter here than it is in Washington in August."
Elyse: "Not at all, not at all. We're just so spoiled with the weather the rest of the year .... We just have a little heat for a couple of months."
Lloyd: "Well, good luck on that one."
Elyse: "That is my personal pet peeve, to hear people talk about the weather -- because it is so wonderful."
And you thought it was cosmetic surgery
Elyse: "And the other thing: People say the humidity is so bad. Do you realize how good the humidity is for your skin?"
Lloyd "... you're an expert on that."
Elyse: "It's true: If you go to Arizona or Colorado, it is so dry. Oh, my God! I mean ...."
Houston versus La Jolla, California
Elyse: "My husband and I went to La Jolla this summer and the weather was really beautiful. But the restaurants were not great. I mean, there were very few restaurants that we went to that were really good. And you take Houston -- we've got great weather, great restaurants."