Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Angleton, TX

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

It’s amazing what kind of interesting qualities a place like Angleton, TX can have, despite the fact that it is one of the most boring places on the face of the earth. It is the kind of place where schoolteachers remember when they taught your parents and where it is normal to be late to school because you were stuck behind a tractor going 10 MPH on the main road. We even have an extra school holiday on a Friday in October dedicated to the Brazoria County Fair because so many students would have conflicts between school and the livestock show that the district decided to give everyone a day off.

But no one will ever be able to truly understand Angleton without really experiencing it. It is just so…Texas. They say that everyone dies famous in a small town. My grandfather was no exception. My grandparents have been very active in the community ever since they came to Angleton in 1953, and my grandfather started a family business in the same year with his business partner. My grandfather’s local “claim to fame” was his fifty consecutive years of perfect attendance as a member of the Angleton Rotary Club, which he was a part of up until the day he died several years ago. He received many awards over the years from the Rotary Club, United Way, the Angleton Chamber of Commerce, and many other community organizations. My 86-year-old grandmother is still active in the Angleton Bridge Club, the Embroidery Club, serves on the hospital board, and teaches a Sunday-school class at the First Baptist Church. My grandparents were and still are model citizens of the Angleton and I am so proud and honored to be their granddaughter. And almost sixty years later, the family business is still around, now run by my father.

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always loved or cherished Angleton the way I do now. I have wanted to get out of that town ever since I realized there was a whole world out there just waiting to be discovered. Angletonians are very closed minded when it comes to varying lifestyles, different cultures and other places in the world different from what they’re used to. People ask my parents, “How’s yur daw-ter doin’ up theer ‘n New York with all ‘a them daym liberals?” Yikes. But despite the ultra conservative mindset and the surplus of confederate flags and pick-up trucks, Angleton’s small size has its advantages. People are much more concerned about their new rifles or mud tires than they would ever be about designer shoes or handbags. One time I wore a Marc Jacobs tee shirt to school and a girl in my Physics class noticed it and asked me, “Marc Jacobs? Is that a band?” (That pretty much sums up all of Angleton’s knowledge of the fashion industry.) It’s encounters like that over the years in Angleton, and also growing up in a modest family, that have kept me levelheaded and grounded here in New York City.

I have found that living in such contrasting places has helped me gain a true admiration of the beautiful things both of them have to offer: One night I can be enjoying an exquisite, lavish gourmet meal at Gramercy Tavern, yet my first day home in Angleton I cannot wait to get my hands on two scrumptious beef fajita tacos from Taco Loco #2- the greatest, most authentic taco stand north of the border. And even though I grew up spending every fall Friday night of my childhood at the Brazoria County Fair or at the high school football games, I can still enjoy browsing the galleries in Chelsea or simply people watching in Washington Square Park. I feel like I have a unique dual perspective on the world because I have a true gratification and appreciation for the lifestyle I grew up in and the one I am living now.

Sent by Angela from Angleton