Words that immediately spring to mind when I want to describe my hometown. I'm not from a town where you got 1 blinking stoplight, a convenient store that doubles as a diner, and a school like a lot of my friends are from, and in reality it really isn't all that bad, it's just there's no major attraction and when you've lived in the same spot for 23 years, you just really wanna get away and see what else is out there.
Like Nebraska. I hear that's nice...
Anyways, I'm from Corpus Christi, TX (I believe forum members Tynerra is from Victoria, TX (about an hour away from me northwards) and Xkeenfiremike is from McAllen, TX (down close to the Mexico border - about 2 hours away)). We have a population of a little over 300,000 and are located pretty much on the coast as our beaches and South Padre Island are a big draw for us. However, most of our beaches really aren't as grand as they're hyped up to be since a lof of them are littered up with trash and seaweed; there are still great, beautiful beaches around - you just have to know where and how to pick a great spot. Being close to the water has for whatever reason given us the [undeserving] label as "The Sparkling City by the Sea," but we are in no way "sparkling." More like... bewildering.
The fishing is great and pro's and casuals come from all over the nation to fish here. Once you get past these two aspects - the beaches and fishing - you're pretty limited. Yes we do have a double A minor league baseball team (the Corpus Christi Hooks (whom just had a Top 10 Best Plays of the Week air on SportsCenter yesterday! )), do have the Texas State Aquarium (which isn't anything special and should in no way represent the state's official aquarium), do have a really huge, badass aircraft carrier called the USS Lexington (nicknamed the Blue Ghost since they illuminate it to make it look all glowey blue at night), and do have other odd 'n end activity based hotspots and events to go to (such as several movie theaters of which one is an iMax (does iMax use the annoying little "i?"), go-carts, putt-putt golf, flea markets, and malls (only 1 good one and it still isn't great, but they did just recently remodel it to be 10x better than it was), but that's about it. After this small list, you're pretty limited on entertainment if you want to live here.
We are, however, about to get 2 water-based theme parks: Hurricane Alley and Schlitterbahn. There's a Schlitterbahn in South Padre, but it's not close enough and isn't considered a Corpus attraction. There's also another a couple hours away in New Braunsfels, TX which has earned the right to be called the greatest waterpark in the world (it's very cool). Another thing sports-related, we do have a small minor league hockey team (the Rayz) and an Arena League Football 2 team called the Hammerheads both which play at Corpus' pretty cool, decent sized American Bank Center (our primary events center for concerts (which has had pretty big names perform such as Cher (she was the inagural performer for the place), Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, tons of other country singers, etc.), and other events such as WWE, rodeos, graduations, etc.).
Shopping is decent as we have the usual superstores and large chains such as Best Buy's, GameStop's, several huge Wal-Mart's (just got an influx of 3 or 4 for some reason...), Home Depot's, Lowe's (just 1 of these), Texas-based grocery stores by the name of H-E-B (of which 2 are mega H-E-B's called H-E-B Plus (which stands for Howard Edward Butt, btw)), Barnes & Noble's (1), decent amount of restaraunt chains, Academy's (1), etc.
The freeway system is setup so horridly as the main drag through Corpus only has 3 lanes both ways of which have a ridiculously slow speed limit (60 even though everyone goes 70+), crappy on and off ramps which cause major problems at certain points, it isn't double-tiered when it should be, and the roads everywhere (including the freeways) are constantly under construction (they constantly start road work somewhere else without finishing their current project) and have potholes and boo boo's out the wazoo. It also doesn't help that - unlike other cities in Texas such as San Antonio, Austin, Houston, Dallas, etc. - you only go one way when you drive in Corpus, north and south. The cities I mentioned above branch out in all directions with far reaching tourist attractions and major stores and shopping malls everywhere. Here, we're subjected to the main drag (South Padre Island Drive or S.P.I.D. for short) being the only real place for shopping and is considered the main part of the city (which is sad 'cause it isn't anything special at all).
There are several other towns and communities nearby that make Corpus seem bigger than it is and ups the population by 10,000 or so, and I'm from one of them as I live 20 minutes outside the city, but they're nothing to talk about whatsoever. The community I live in - called Calallen - has nothing to claim for entertainment or shopping other than a Wal-Mart Superstore, a Home Depot, an H-E-B, and a few restaraunts, so we all have to go into town for concerts, shopping, movies, or whatever... and it's really a hassle and is quite mind boggling since there's so much land out here and land equals opportunity (that and our school system is pretty good and our sports always rank nationally). It's a very cliqish community full of arrogant refinery working rednecks though so if you don't have a last name associated to high school sports fame or community work you're pretty much screwed.
We also have 2 somewhat major universities to attend and 1 smaller community college (of which the majority attend). I went to the smaller community college for a while, but now attend our closest university, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (apart of the Texas A&M University system - which is about a 40 minute drive for me from my home ). TAMUCC (for short) has a very cool atmosphere as it's located on an island so it's right by the water and always breezy (loaded with palm trees as well) - very peaceful and serene every time I go to school in the morning and love the fact that I get to be near the water nearly every day. We have about 10,000 students (give or take) and are a division 1 school for basketball, baseball, and all other sports (mascot is the Islanders, go figure), but we lack a football team which, in my opinion, is really what is keeping our school from taking off. Corpus is not a college town at all and this does not help our school's reputation nor spirit as there is little attendence and desire to even care bout any of our sports, which really is freakin' sad (and annoying). If we added a football team (which is feasible), I think it would definitely up not only our school's spirit, but the city's as well since football is a natural draw (especially in Texas). The other university (Texas A&M University Kingsville - about the same distance from me) does have football as they play division 2 ball. TAMUCC's sports is still another attraction I guess (even with low attendence)...
Perhaps most importantly out of everything I've mentioned so far is the fact that Corpus Christi was voted in 2010 by Men's Health as the fattest city in America. Yup, we've got it that bad... we have a high rate of people with type 2 diabetes here and there's a direct correrlation with this disease and obesity. Couple this with the fact that we're considered "less healthy" than other cities in Texas, as well as our low-income status, and you got the makings of a city prompting the majority to make poor food choices which in turn ultimately affects food quality (I took this part from a powerpoint presentation I just made about health for a class, lol). Mexican culture is also huge here given how we're so close to the border (Selena is pretty much considered a goddess here, it seems). You can't drive 5 minutes without seeing some sort of Mexican food restaraunt or taco hut...
Our downtown is virtually undetectable and is horrendously underwhelming so there's really no point in talking about that. City officials and mayors past and present are always going on about how they're doing great things with downtown and are making "huge strides" in advancing downtown's attractiveness, but it's all horseshit. About all we've got to show for it are a few bars and nightclubs, lawyer offices, banks, Subways, and crappy, old buildings dating back to the 1800's that haven't been kept up at all (shame too since there's so much history in them for them to go to waste like that).
Our port is also one of the largest in the US (5th, in fact).
After all I've said about my hometown, you've probably got the notion to say or think "Ciren, what the hell? It isn't bad! You've got it good compared to me," and you may be right. Maybe it's the fact that I've been living here my whole life without seeing what else is out there, and maybe I'm taking the place where God put me for granted... Pssht, yeah right. This place sucks... B-O-R-I-N-G... Compared to San Antonio and Austin, we're nothing; we all have to go there for the good stuff.
So that's enough about little ol' Corpus. What about your hometown? You got it as bad as me? Worse? Better?
Edited by Ciren, 07 May 2012 - 04:47 PM.