All-Star Weekend: Five Things Houston Got Right
Whenever there is a large event in the city of Houston, there is a moment where Houstonians who really want things to go well hold our collective breath and hope nothing crazy happens. We imagine the worst: 90-degree weather with 100 percent humidity, giant mosquitoes the size of humming birds, roaches flying at guests, gridlock and the ugly looking even uglier than usual.
Fortunately, we seemed to come out of this latest event unscathed. NBA Commissioner David Stern called us "spectacular." Whew.
And let's take a moment to pat ourselves on the back, because we did a really good job hosting what can be a difficult and complicated event to pull off.
5. The weather was perfect. None of us can claim we were responsible for the absolutely picture-perfect weather we had the last five days, but we'll take it. I never understand how people who visit any city can criticize the weather over the course of a few days or a week in the first place, but better safe than sorry. If there is better weather in Houston than what we had over the weekend, I've yet to see it.
4. Downtown was awesome. Now this we can take credit for. In less than 20 years, our city has literally transformed its urban core from a rotting ghost town into a vibrant thing of near beauty. Imagine trying to host an event like this one downtown in 1999. It couldn't have happened. First, there were no facilities. Second, there was no anything else. From Discovery Green to George R. Brown to the hotels and restaurants, Houston's downtown was the center attraction. 3. You went about your business. For those of you who weren't all that into the All-Star festivities, you did a good job of just staying out of the way. Not only was that smart, but it helped keep things (mostly) running smoothly. Sometimes, it's better to just hunker down and wait out the crazy. Good job on that.
2. The Jam Session was packed. The fan Jam Session at the GRB was absolutely jam-packed every moment it was open. The NBA can be criticized for a lot of things, but their skill at delivering a fun experience for kids is most definitely not one of them. The times I was inside GRB for the Jam Session, kids were crammed in there absolutely having a blast getting autographs, goofing off with mascots and shooting hoops.
1. The crime rate didn't spike. Seriously, this is a big deal. Ask Dallas or Detroit or L.A. or Atlanta about how badly things can go during big time events. As usual, we remained calm, cool and collected, even if the cops did have to shoo a bunch of us out of the Galleria early on Saturday.
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