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Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a breach of trust and decency: New York Times travel writer deals St. Louis an unfair hand

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 !


Michael R. Allen said...

Huys like this really drive home the saying that "opinions are like assholes."

ablank said...

Found this link:

posted to the wall of Mr. Greenberg's FB "fan" page. Maybe some creative minded and pissed off St. Louisans can continue the trend? (The Virginian songwriter totally missed his chance to use the other meaning of "peter" to comic effect in his little tribute. Surely someone from the 'Lou can rectify the error!)

It's a shame that people feel the need to rip on St. Louis without ever experiencing the city and all it has to offer. Though, if I was so narrow-minded to just drive from the airport to the Arch and ignore everything in between, I'm sure my opinion of St. Louis might be skewed too. Now that I've left I miss so many things and wish I had appreciated STL a little more during my time there. And I definitely "passed go"!

Lolololori said...

Who cares if some *cultured* folks who'd never leave Manhattan (except to go to LA, of course) add St. Louis to its long list of places they don't like for no reason?

I wouldn't even want to spend time trying to make st. louis a place this guy would love to visit b/c I sortof never would want to meet him anyway.

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