ART IN EL DORADO: The Griffin Building, shown in an artist's drawing, is part of the plan or the new arts district in El Dorado.

Here’s the Sunday open line. Also: Texas flood news of relevance here and an El Dorado angle in today’s New York Times.

* FLOOD NEWS: The Houston airports are closed. A spokesman for Little Rock’s Clinton National Airport sent the alert this afternoon to anyone planning travel to or through Houston.


Damage from Hurricane Harvey was great where it struck shore, but the flooding aftermath, if anything, is worse than predicted. It’s catastrophic in Houston, with rescue efforts required all over the vast city.

The Twitter coverage reveals how dire a situation that is forecast to worse. Take just one shot from a nursing home where residents sit submerged in water waiting for rescuers, who reportedly did arrive.


* NATIONAL EXPOSURE FOR EL DORADO: The New York Times travel section today included an interview with Terry Stewart, former CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, who’s now CEO of El Dorado Festival and Events, the umbrella organization for the vast state and private investment in an arts district downtown that will include a cabaret restaurant, music hall, outdoor amphitheater and a play park for children. The opening event will span five days beginning Sept. 27 with a number of major acts.

I’ve always had a warm spot for El Dorado. It was the big city we’d visit on stays with my Aunt Luna in Huttig. Laugh if you will. El Dorado looked pretty good against Huttig.They’ve plugged along at downtown preservation for years, but this is a quantum leap and the project will be fun to watch. The city lies amid miles of piney roads and river bottoms, with Little Rock the biggest population center in reach and then a two-hour drive. But Stewart cites Marfa, Texas, as a place that has become a cultural center and it’s far more remote than El Dorado.


From the Q&A:

El Dorado aside, why do you think small cities in the United States make appealing travel destinations?

Because many retain their historical roots and have their original buildings, charming town squares and picturesque small parks. They’re often a throwback to another era that is increasingly hard to come by these days.