Big Bird and the urban jungle

Dining at The Breakfast Club was noticeable for among other things, such as the potent food and buzzy atmosphere, the fact we were eating among a largely African-American customer base.

That isn’t a big deal in itself, nor should it be, though it stood out to me because I’ve never done it in Austin–the only place I’ve seen whites and blacks really mingling in close proximity is in a darkened and noisy nightclub on Sixth Street.

Houston tends to get a bad rap for being a bland urban jungle, while Austin is held up as this liberal Mecca,  which it is in some regards–though arguably only because of what it’s surrounded by and compare and contrast doesn’t necessarily equate to true substance–but the fun and mixed dining experience in Houston indicated Austin could still learn a thing or too from its bigger, supposedly blander cousin.

One of the employees wore a hastily scrawled sign around his neck saying “I love Big Bird.” During the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama the night before, Romney said that he would cut back on anything that required a “loan from China,” such as public funded television. Hence the likes of Sesame Street might get the chop even though the good governor said he loves Big Bird.

Consensus is Romney had the upper hand in the debate, though as the gentleman wearing the sign pointed out, Obama may have played it tactically so he can come back to take the second debate in dramatic fashion and that will be what the electorate remember and are influenced by.

Risky strategy we both agreed. Next debate is Oct. 16. Good luck, Mr. President; Big Bird and those of us who enjoy and rely on PBS television and can’t afford cable are relying on you.