I was going to do a post on the new Borders store in New Orleans. It just opened this Friday. I was going to talk about it (surprise!) in a positive light since the store took over an old funeral home, saved the facade, and now can boast of a pretty cool store: a great adaptive reuse.
But I stumbled upon a book during my visit that just pissed me off.
It's "Don't Go There: The Travel Detective's Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World" by Peter Greenberg. If that sensationalist, asshole-y title didn't tip you off, it might come as a surprise that Greenberg selected the ten most dangerous U.S. cities (via those ever reliable FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics, which warn viewers NOT to rank cities!) and systematically trashes every one of them.
Here is my recap (not a direct quote, but almost) of his St. Louis smear.
"Let me give you a tip for visiting St. Louis: exit at the airport, go south [sic] on Interstate 70, do not pass go, do not collect $200 until someone dumps you off downtown. Do the same for Interstates 64 and 55--do not stop until you see the river."
His point? The rest of the city is so devoid of anything interesting and is just so dangerous that you MUST not stop anywhere but downtown.
Cleveland voiced its protest over being labeled a "Must-Miss" destination. But the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" had to deal its discontent in a civil fashion. I don't.
Greenberg is an irresponsible idiot. A hack. What kind of travel writer can't discern any positive attributes about an entire city (a group of cities, actually)? Isn't that supposed to be his specialty?
I just cannot vent enough towards this moron.
I urge you to check the passage out for yourself at your local bookstore. After making your own assessment, please contact Mr. Greenberg to let him know what you think of his journalistic integrity.
I'll tell you my assessment: an insufferably stupid asshole that clearly is not qualified for his high-profile job.
Here's his Facebook page.
Email him your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org !
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