A Dragon in Orlando and Dallas
I recently spent a week away, half of the week in Orlando and the other half in Dallas. Since this is shorter than I typically stay in a city, today I’ll present two mini-reviews of each city instead of the usual full-blown one I normally write. Both cities were surprising in that they weren’t anything like I expected.
I once visited Orlando over 20 years ago, on business. I worked the entire time and wasn’t able to see much of the city at all. All that I remember from the visit was how hot and humid it was (I was visiting in early December).
This time, I wanted to take enough time to see the city and its people. I made sure to spend time in different areas of the city, including the touristy theme park areas, the downtown area, the suburban area, and the “shitty” area (where I actually stayed in a shitty roach motel; gotta save money!). I even spent half a day in the belly of the beast at Disney World.
During my February visit, the weather was wonderful, both sunny and cool. It put a smile on my face the entire time I was there. However, I know from experience and from people who live there that much of the year is hot, humid, and brutal. Don’t even get me started on the regular hurricanes either. Either I lucked out, or February is a good time to visit.
This may have been my imagination, but the sunlight there feels brighter and “different” than sunlight in other locations, even more bright than in places like Phoenix. I had to wear my sunglasses much more often than in any other city I remember visiting, and I’ve been to some very sunny places.
The women in Orlando are the typical “very average” that I see in most cities. Not hot, not ugly, and a few very hot women, but only if you hunt hard enough. On my city chart, you can see that Orlando is right in the middle, and that’s about right.
Every time I think “Orlando” I think “Florida,” and when I think “Florida” I always think “Miami.” So, I subconsciously expected Orlando to be wall-to-wall hotties, like Miami. Not the case at all. Orlando and Miami are two extremely different cities, with absolutely nothing in common. I always find it fascinating that two cities can be so different, even though they’re only three hours away from each other by car.
There is one unique quality to Orlando women: they’re skinny. Orlando is probably the skinniest city in the US that I have ever visited. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still America so there are still plenty of fat people, but compared to other US cities, overweight people are shockingly rare in Orlando, even in the poorer areas. If you’re put off by overweight women, Orlando is the place for you. I was very surprised to see such lack of overweight people in an American city.
(Once you get into the theme parks, then all you see is fat people, but those are not Orlando residents.)
People in Orlando are amazingly laid back and happy, more so than most other US cities. Folks there are smiling, happy and polite, almost as nice as Canadians. Several times, I saw complete strangers compliment each other as they walked by on the street. I didn’t see one upset person during my entire four-day visit, and that’s pretty unusual. (Even in Australia, which is full of super nice people, I saw a few pissed off folks.)
Since Orlando is small (around 2 million people, about the size of my hometown, Portland), there is no train system to speak of. The architecture and infrastructure is bright and new-looking. There’s an over-focus on the colors white and blue. Everything looks like it was just built a few years ago, streets and freeways included.
Instead of pigeons or seagulls like most cities, Orlando has these hilariously stupid looking stork-birds that made me laugh out loud every time they walked by. Poor bastards.
Orlando is beautiful, almost beyond belief. It’s flat but not too flat, lush, clean, with lots of flora and water. It is also very spread out and doesn’t feel urban at all. During my Uber drive back to the airport on my last day there, I just looked out the window the entire time and marveled at how nice everything looked. It’s impressive.
Because Orlando is at (or even slightly below?) sea level, the entire landscape is covered with lakes, small and large. Every mile or two you run into a lake. Very cool.
Bottom line, Orlando is a fantastic city, I had a great time and I can’t wait to go back. With its clean, new look, beautiful landscape, chill, non-fat people and no state income tax, I would almost live there if it weren’t for the horrible heat, humidity, and hurricanes). Other than that, well done, Orlando!
Then I went to Dallas, a very different and much larger city.
I’m writing this blog post during my last day here in Dallas. Unlike Orlando, I had never been to Dallas in my entire life. I hadn’t even been to Texas(!). Texas is the last holdout of right-wing values and economics in a country that has pretty much entirely been conquered by the left-wing. Texans love their guns, low taxes and low regulation. As a result, the Texas economy is one of the few economies in the US right now that’s actually doing well (which is why I’m here doing business). Those right-wingers might be delusional with their religious beliefs, but on economic issues, they’re light years beyond the progressives. As I’ve talked about at my personal blog, I keep waiting for Texas to secede from the Union. You guys need to get on that, Texans! Stop being attached to the sinking ship!
Anyway, I had a naïve view of Dallas, having never been there. I was expecting to see tons of women with big hair, big boobs, thick Texan accents, driving cars with bull horns on the grill and lots of Texas pride. Is that what I’ve seen here? Yes and no. I’ll explain as I go on.
One interesting thing that happened when I arrived at my hotel was to see the entire place overrun by a certain organization that made me laugh out loud at the irony. If I just told you what this organization was, you wouldn’t believe me, so I took a picture to prove it.
Yep, I shit you not. My entire hotel, and most of all the other hotels in downtown Dallas, are jam-packed full of cheerleaders. Before you get too excited, these cheerleaders are the little girl kind, perhaps between the ages of 10 and 13, which turned something that could have been great into a huge irritant. The line to check in at the hotel was huge, full of hyper pre-teen girls and their stressed-out moms. Thankfully, I’m a member of the hotel’s VIP program, so I was able to use the fast line. (Unlike in Orlando, I’m staying at a nice hotel in Dallas.)
Oh, if only these cheerleaders could have been college cheerleaders. Then this entire blog post would have been much more entertaining. Oh well, probably a good thing, as I wouldn’t have gone out to experience the city otherwise.
Similar to Orlando, Dallas can get hot and humid as hell, but, now in February, it’s cloudy but very comfortable; neither too hot nor cold. Nothing very interesting or unusual there. As usual, February is a great month to travel.
The women here are definitely more attractive than in most cities, but not extremely so. On the city chart, I would place Dallas in at the very bottom of the “attractive” range, below Vancouver BC. There aren’t a lot of hot women here, but there are enough just walking around so you don’t need to spend time hunting for them like you would in an average city like Orlando.
Fake boobs are more common here than in most other cities. Oh, happy days! The upside down pear body shape is more prevalent here than in other cities. In other words, there are a decent number of very skinny women who are sporting very obvious and too-big fake tits (that would be “too big” to other people; I think these women are awesome and look perfect). This includes both younger women and older women, including normal, everyday moms. Fake titties are clearly an accepted thing here. Again, awesome. No big hair though.
Women here, as well as men, are also quite skinny for the typical US city. Not nearly as skinny as Orlando, but you can tell the women here are taking care of their bodies (whereas I think in Orlando the women are skinnier by nature).
The exception to this rule would be the black women here, who are almost universally overweight. I think I’ve seen one black woman during my entire visit who wasn’t fat. Interesting. Black women in other large cities aren’t this chubby. I wonder what makes Dallas black women uniquely fat when the other races here are decently fit.
Most people here don’t have those cool Texas accents, so I was a little disappointed. I wanted to hear more people say “y’all” and call me “honeh” and stuff like that. I also didn’t see very many dudes in cowboy hats. Dammit, I want to see cowboys! Perhaps this stuff is more common in Houston and San Antonio, which are further south. Texas is huge, and Dallas is near the northern border. I may have to go visit Houston soon so I can hear more Texas accents.
By the way, if I had to have an accent other than my standard American one, it would be either Texan or Spanish (as in from Spain, not Mexican). The Texas accent is southern sounding, but not “hick” sounding. I like it.
The one feature about Dallas that I found surprising is that it’s one of the worst-dressed cities I’ve ever visited. I normally dress nice; nice jeans, expensive button-down shirts, often with a suit top or vest. When I go to LA, Vegas, New York or Miami, I look just about right and fit right in. But in Dallas, I was clearly overdressed, and several times I received strange looks because of this. Everyone in Dallas wears shitty jeans, shitty T-shirts and that’s about it. Rarely do you see anyone nicely dressed (outside of men wearing business attire during the workdays). Even at night at the bars, people are still dressed in ways I consider to be a little dumpy, men and women both.
The mass transit system here sucks ass. Unlike Orlando, Dallas is a huge city (5+ million people) which means it needs a good mass transit system to function. Too bad it doesn’t have one. If you want to take the train to downtown from the Love Field airport (one of the two major airports here), you have to take a (free) bus to the train station. Fine, but that means you need to find the bus, wait for it, then get into the bus and wait another 15-20 minutes to fill the stupid bus, ride the bus about 10 minutes to the train station, then get your train ticket, and wait for the fucking train for 30 minutes or longer. Then, take the train downtown, which takes another 15-20 minutes. Then, walk to your final destination from the train stop.
What could have been a 15 minute Uber ride from the airport to my hotel took an hour and a half using Dallas’ horrible mass transit system. Lesson learned; I’m not doing that again. Not good, Dallas. It’s almost as bad as Australia.
As usual, being accustomed to the mass transit systems in Asia, which are literally perfect, this kind of blatant inefficiency irritates me, whereas most Americans are accustomed to it and probably don’t even notice. I bet people who have lived in Dallas their entire lives and have never traveled don’t even realize how much their mass transit system sucks. It’s all about what you’re accustomed to.
Strangely, downtown Dallas is dead at night. Even on a Friday or Saturday night, no one is walking around. There are few restaurants and bars on their two main streets (Main and Elm) and you’ll see a few people around those, but beyond that, Dallas is strangely quiet once the sun goes down. I talked to a few people that I know who live here and they confirmed it. “Yeah, Dallas is a ghost town at night,” they said. No kidding. Night game would be extremely difficult here.
The fact that restaurants are sparse here compounded the problem of all the damn cheerleaders taking up all the room in the entire downtown area. Every time I went to a restaurant to get something to eat, it was filled to the rim with spastic pre-teen cheerleaders and their blonde Texas milf moms with their fake torpedo-tits. On Friday night, I had to go to five different places just to get some food. Dammit, could you girls get the hell out of here so I can get my salad? And couldn’t you chicks be about 10 years older so I could have some fun? Sheeeeeeit. (Some seriously hot moms though. Gotta look on the bright side.)
The architecture in Dallas is decent but pretty standard, with traditional blocky buildings. I would more or less expect this of a more conservative city. Though many of them light up at night, which is nice.
Overall, Dallas has been fun and I’ll be back here on business soon.
Dallas and Orlando, two very cool cities for every different reasons. It’s been a good trip.