When I made the move from Austin to Houston almost two years ago, I noticed a marked difference in the way people presented themselves here. Cutoffs didn't seem appropriate attire even at the most casual Tex-Mex joints, I was embarrassed to pass over the keys of my beat up Honda to the valet and a swipe of mascara seemed necessary for even early morning trips to my neighborhood Fiesta.
I have since acclimated nicely to the Bayou City's more refined scene, but apparently visitors feel that it's a bit too effete. Houston landed a spot on the list of America's Snobbiest Cities.
That ranking was determined by Travel + Leisure readers based on results from the annual America's Favorite Cities survey. The magazine factored in features like the reputation of residents' attitudes; the prevalence of high end retail stores and highbrow cultural offerings; plus "21st-century definitions of elitism" like "tech-savviness, artisanal coffeehouses and a conspicuous eco-consciousness."
Austin took No. 19 on the list for its "brainy, offbeat vibe." Dallas somehow didn't make it.
It was a "combination of a rich arts tradition and luxury shopping" spots like Abejas, Dao Chloe Dao and Pinto Ranch — and knock-off designer fashion from Harwin Drive for the thirty thousandaires — that earned Houston the No. 17 spot on the list.
(Don't agree? You're not alone. The Black Sheep Agency, a Houston-based marketing agency and creative group, is making a pretty compelling case otherwise on Twitter — follow their arguments at #snobbynotsnobby.)
San Francisco ranked No. 1 overall, followed by New York and Boston. Minneapolis/St. Paul took No. 4 on the list, thanks to the "bookish, indie-music-loving, craft-beer-drinking hipsters" that call the Twin Cities home. Austin took No. 19 on the list for its "brainy, offbeat vibe." Dallas somehow didn't make it.