For the first time in about 5 years—since 2008, I believe—I have no travel scheduled. It's an odd feeling, but one I'll soon rectify. Just not sure where or when to go yet.
Meanwhile, Chuck Thompson, author of Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern manifesto for Southern secession, bemoans the homogeneity of every small city and its brewpub:
Whenever some self-appointed hometown convention and visitors’ bureau rep (and sometimes it’s an actual CVB rep) takes you to that cool little place in the downtown renaissance district where they actually make their own beer—So cool! Nobody does that, right?—you know you’re in trouble. Or, more precisely, you know you’re in that bastion of municipal mediocrity: the newly anointed “It” City.
Artisanal ice cream, gluten-free pizza, burrito trucks run by real Mexicans, jalapeño-infused margaritas, celebrity graffiti sprayers, and First Thursday art walks in revitalized industrial zones promoted by farsighted civic planners armed with government tax schemes—these are the totems of It City. I’m certain Nashville has plenty of them to brag about. But, then again, so do Asheville, Austin, Baltimore, Boulder, Burlington, Las Vegas, Madison, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, San Diego, Santa Monica, Savannah, Seattle, Taos, Tucson, the Twin Cities, and a klatch of other cities that have ascended the heights of those “most livable,” “coolest,” and “best” lists.
Yes. We had brewpubs in Chicago before it was cool. Now Poughkeepsie is getting into the act. Awesome.