Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Cultural Heartbeat of America

My blogging friend, Angel, over at Womanhonorthyself, seems to think that New York is the cultural center of the universe. I suppose I can understand her "snobbery", being from New York and all, but I think she needs to get out of the city more to learn about real culture.

Here in the Panhandle we have:

The excellent Amarillo Symphony Orchestra -- but we also have the Coyote Orchestra that performs multiple times nightly.

Multiple theatrical companies performing in various venues such as the new Globe Fine Arts Center, or the West Texas A&M Fine Arts Center -- but we also have the outdoor amphitheatre amidst the grandeur of Palo Duro Canyon where there are nightly performances throughout the summer months.

Many internationally and nationally known musical entertainers performing virtually every weekend -- but we also have -- well, actually, many of them came from this area -- especially in the country music genre.

Our multicultural heritage is obvious. Just go into any Walmart. Spanish is as common as English -- OK, in some towns you have to hunt for an English speaker. Hey, that's just like some areas in NYC.

We have some of the world's finest dining. The Lone Star Diner on the old Claude highway southeast of Amarillo is world famous for it's Prime Rib. The atmosphere is unique as well. It is owned and operated by a former professional wrestler. The clientele ranges from the well-to-do in coat and tie to bikers covered with tattoos. It's a real experience.

In most towns in the Panhandle you can sample some of the world's finest ethnic cuisine. Mexican food is the specialty, but you can find Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, and Italian with no trouble -- Pizza Hut counts as Italian doesn't it?

We have zoos, water parks, theme parks, cultural centers -- the Qahadi Cultural Center in Amarillo -- museums -- The Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon is the largest history museum in the state and one of the largest in the nation -- great architecture -- and the list goes on and on. If you can find it in NYC, you can probably find something similar right here.

There is one exception though. We don't have an ocean full of water, our ocean is of grass. Watching the wind cause the grasslands to ripple like waves is as hypnotic as the ocean -- and just as beautiful in its own way.

The best part of our culture is the people. You will never find friendlier, more open people anywhere in the world.

Now Angel, I know I didn't do it justice, but I felt the need to share with you that the true cultural center, and heartbeat of America, isn't New York City (reminds me of a salsa commercial), it's Texas. And the crowning point of Texas, the part that wears the hat, is the Panhandle.


WomanHonorThyself said...

Well well.."snobbery"?..ouch.
Do I detect glimmers of a diss in there?
Have ya ever been to the Shiney ole Apple ?...oh and thanks for the :)

Panhandle Poet said...

No diss -- just a light jab and a grin...

Been to the Apple once. Didn't get much time there but would love to go back. Ya gotsta be able tuh take a lil kiddin' ya know?

WomanHonorThyself said...

Awwwwwwwwww...hit me wif ya best shot!..grinz..Come on down to da Shiney ole Apple and you'll see fo yoself

Incognito said...

The Texans are definitely friendly. Didn't y'all want to secede at one point in time?

Panhandle Poet said...

There's almost always a segment of the population that wants to secede. Most of them are radical groups. Occasionally normal citizens will voice such comments, but it's generally because of dissatisfaction with Washington. It's usually just a way to vent. Texas is one of the few states that has the diversity of resources that we could probably survive, or even thrive as an independent country. Breaking away would be a bit messy I suspect.

MotherPie said...

The famous photographer Stephen Shore (currently on exhibit at the International Center for Photography in NYC) took some of his best shots in Amarillo, imo.

I think that New Yorkers are a bit myopic about life in general and very ill informed of practical matters beyond the island.