Emerald Beach, Coprus Christi, Texas
I spent the 4th in Corpus Christi. I dont know why, it just sounded appealing; watching fireworks on the water, fresh seafood, a place I had never been in all the time I had lived in Texas.
I liked Corpus and I will return. Short version: its a laid-back, coastal city based mostly on tourism and oil. Anything and everything in Corpus can wait until tomorrow, so you can just leave your impatience at the city limits.
I understood the demographics before I left: 70% hispanic. But thats academic. The reality of being the only blonde out of 2000 people on the beach is quite another thing. It was like being in Mexico only closer and without those pesky border rituals.
I visited the State Aquarium, which is nice but small. Dolphins with tricks, pools of manta rays to pet, pools of jellyfish to not pet. Its not really worth the $20 admission ($4 of which is parking) but the surrounding area - the outrageous density of T-shirt/tourist crap shoppes and the USS Lexington - are entertaining and worth a visit. Corpus Christi has some very creative T-shirt designers, I wound up with 4 only because I loved the designs and the materials were great! Texas State AquariumDolphin TankUSS Lexington
I wanted to visit the South Texas Art Museum but it was closed on the 4th and the hours didnt work with everything else I wanted to do. Next trip!Downtown and South Texas Art Museum
Theres not much reason to go to Corpus and eat anything else but seafood. Fresh seafood, which is obviously abundant, has a wonderfully different flavor and texture. I found a couple of really good places but my favorite was Water Street Oyster Bar. I think I went 3 times in 2 days. Two things stood out; the mesquite grilled sampler (crabcakes, shrimp kabobs, tilapia and yellowfin) and a sushi roll called the Water Street (shrimp and avocado in a remoulade sauce, rolled then topped with seasoned, seared tuna). Even if you are eating in a group still try to eat at the bar, its quieter since its away from the main dining area (which is usually packed with families with small children in tow).Water Street Oyster Bar
The gay community in Corpus is interesting. Well, if you like over-the-top macho Latinos, most of whom go out with their wives then are solo before midnight. Very friendly people regardless of agenda and I have to say it was the first time I truly enjoyed going out to a bar since I left Houston in 1993.
The fireworks display was incredible, despite the persistent drizzle and gray that permeated the weekend. Me and 2000 of my closest latin friends watched as they launched for about 30 minutes off a barge parked in the Gulf. The uninterrupted view and reflection off the water made for much better fireworks viewing.
Labels: Corpus Christi, Travel