Houston cleaned itself up so quickly after five days of All-Star Game festivities that when commuters arrived in downtown Wednesday morning, the city looked like it did last Wednesday — only it was $75 million richer, and Main Street smelled a little like a sewer.
The Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau offered the rosy economic picture after a preliminary estimate of five days of hotel stays, dining splurges and souvenir hunting. And the city's Department of Public Works and Engineering, despite its quick removal of the rubbish, is offering no excuses for a stench of beer, party excess and manure left behind by nearly two dozen police horses.
And what's up with that smell?
Indeed, the odor is the only noticeable hint of an All-Star hangover. The question is, "How long will it last?"
"How long does it take to get over any hangover?" asked Wes Johnson, public works spokesman. "You never know. You just hope it goes away."
"Why it smells the way it does, I have no idea," Johnson said. "But it's only a matter of time before it goes away. We'll wash a little water on it and in the storm sewer. What we need is a good cleansing rain. But in the meantime, I'll send someone over there to, uh, nose around."