Eye on Travel

Radio Guest List–Hotel Alessandra in Houston, Texas–March 16, 2019

Locations in this article:  Houston, TX

This week, Eye on Travel broadcasts from the Hotel Alessandra in downtown Houston, Texas. First, with an update on the investigation into the crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jets in Indonesia and Ethiopia. What did Boeing know and when did they know it? And the FAA apparently slow-walking the decision to ground these jets. Peter reports on the history of the FAA and enacting and enforcing aviation safety policy. Also joining Peter is William T. Harris, President and CEO of Space Center Houston, who talks about celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and dispels the misconceptions and reveals Neil Armstrong’s real experience when he stepped on the moon’s surface. Then, Jim D. Hornfischer, Author of Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, tells the riveting story of the doomed ship: her history, tragic demise and how she’s remembered today. Plus, Jim Parsons, Programs Director at Preservation Houston, on why Houston is “a new invention,” how it has evolved in the last few decades and the city’s extensive — and surprising — open green spaces. And, David Bomford, Curator of The Museum of Fine Arts Houston reveals more about the largest Vincent van Gogh exhibit in North America. All this and more as Eye on Travel comes from the Hotel Alessandra in Houston, Texas.

 

Click here to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. E-mail him at peter@petergreenberg.com, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).

 

William T. Harris, President and CEO of Space Center Houston, talks about celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and dispels the misconception behind the expression, “Houston we have a problem.” He then reveals what Neil Armstrong’s real experience was stepping on the moon – it’s not actually what everyone saw on television. William also explores Virgin Galactic and the immense change for NASA: space tourists, hotels in space and the innovation of imagination. Since technology is moving faster, there’s a real market for space travel.

 

Jose Hernandez, Executive Chef at Hotel Alessandra, discusses the French techniques that influence the food at the hotel’s Lucienne restaurant and where his inspiration comes from. He reveals its signature dish and why his background as a pastry chef has molded a lot of items on its menu. Jose also talks about some of his successes, failures and surprises.

 

Greg Morago, Food Editor for The Houston Chronicle, speaks about Houston’s growing food scenes, the development of cuisines and some of the classics that are still present. He dives into the melting pot of flavors that have become staples in the city’s food DNA, the craft BBQ movement that is on the rise and a Pakistani restaurant he loves at the moment. Then, his views on fine dining, mom-and-pop shops and even Cajun Vietnamese crawfish.

 

David Bomford, Department of Conservation, and Audrey Jones Beck Curator, Department of European Art at the The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, talk about the museum’s fantastic European, Middle Eastern and Latin American collections on display and retiring and then unretiring to come work at the museum. David describes his biggest surprise when arriving in Houston and the largest Vincent van Gogh exhibit that this side of the world has ever seen, and it’ll be coming to the museum. David then expands on its recently opened conservation and biggest surprise collections to date.

 

Ryan Gullion, General Manager at Hotel Alessandra, talks about the still-young hotel in the up-and-coming downtown district, the new developments by its parent company and its centric location. Ryan talks about creating a serene environment for guests and reveals what hotel amenity guests have loved and are constantly using. He discusses the logic behind its bright design and space as well as the biggest surprise guests have upon arrival.

 

Jim Parsons, Programs Director at Preservation Houston, joins the program to talk about Houston’s rich history – that hasn’t always been appreciated or even noticed – and some aspects of said history that people don’t realize like the fact that Houston is a port. He explains why Houston is “a new invention,” how it has evolved in the last few decades and the city’s extensive open green spaces, which not every major metropolis can incorporate.

 

Dylan Powell, Author of 100 Things to do in Houston Before you Die, Lost Houston, and Houston Then & Now, talks about his 20 years of living in the city, the changes he’s seen during that time and the fact that people don’t have a preconceived idea of Houston like they might with other cities. He argues that if you haven’t been to Texas, you’re likely to think that it’s all cowboy country but Houston has never been that. He talks about new things to come, his favorite place to go strawberry-picking and the biggest Houston eye-opener. And he shares some of the city’s historic hidden bars and the best brunches in town.


Chip Rankin,
Publisher and Co-Founder of 365 Houston, chats about the origins about the resource guide, the unplanned city’s continued growth and evolvement, and all the green spaces that make up the metropolis. He talks about the surprising expansion of the food scene, his biggest surprise as a transplant and why Houston has never loved itself like it does now.

 

Jim D. Hornfischer, Author of Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR’s Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of Her Survivors, tells the riveting story of the USS Houston ship: her history, tragic demise and how she’s remembered today. He analyzes the second Houston ship that came after the USS Houston, the similarities shared in combat and what happened to the ship afterwards. He then expands on the lesson learned from the fate of the ships and the warriors on board and what needs to change in the future.

 

Genevieve Keeney, President & Curator of the National Museum of Funeral History, discusses the well-kept secret just outside of IAH airport. She expands on the famous Ghanaian coffins – the museum has the biggest collection in the world outside of Ghana – as well as what people are most surprised to see. Genevieve and Peter exchange ideas on all things cremation. And find out the little-known difference between a casket and a coffin.