Above: the scene yesterday at the Houston Zoo, where my two daughters — ages 4 and 5 — especially enjoyed the elephants, lemurs, and cotton candy. We were lucky to find a parking place!
On Thursday, the following email found its way to my inbox:
For reasons they decided not to reveal (other than “in the wake of Hurricane Harvey”… what a tone-deaf word choice!), fine wine importer Kobrand’s powers-that-be have decided at the last minute to change the location of their touring Italian tasting, scheduled for Tuesday, September 19, from Houston to Ft. Worth.
Honestly, I had been looking forward to the tasting and looking forward to writing about it on my blog and the Houston Press food and wine blog. But thanks to the “wake of Hurricane Harvey” (I still can’t get over how insensitively their marketing department’s email was worded), it will be a missed opportunity for all concerned.
Here’s an update on the Houston wine community “in the wake of Hurricane Harvey”:
– both of my favorite wine bars in Houston were open the day after the storm;
– both of my favorite wine shops were open the day after the storm;
– the Houston-area Italian restaurant where I write the wine list was closed for only one day during the storm;
– every restaurateur member of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce was open by the last day of the storm, except for one, which opened the next day.
Although the first day of school had been postponed for two weeks, my daughter started kindergarten this morning. Yesterday, I took my daughters to the zoo and we were lucky to find a parking place (that’s how crowded it was).
The USPS delivered mail to our house the day after the storm.
City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department picked up our trash and recycling two days after the storm (our regular day for pick-up; there was no disruption in service).
Houston’s airports reopened the day after the storm. I flew to California and back for work last week, with no disruption or delay.
Kobrand, I hope you “Have a wonderful day!” in Ft. Worth. (You can tell that Kobrand managers have a truly top-notch marketing machine working for them, all the way down to the authors of their heartless copy).
Houston is by no means fully recovered. It will take years, some say up to 10, to get the fourth-largest city in America back to its pre-Harvey bustle.
But I can assure you that the wine and restaurant community has rebounded swiftly and seamlessly.
Just think of all the meals that the winemakers and brand ambassadors would have enjoyed in Houston-area fine dining destinations. Just think of the tabs they would have paid and the tips they would have left. But, no, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, all of that support will go to Ft. Worth, where they surely need it most.
Have a wonderful day, Kobrand! Don’t worry about us down here in Houston. We’re doing just fine.