Everyone loves a good list story, especially on a Monday. Monday-morning list stories go down like that first sip of French press, lightened with a touch of cream.
However, the problem with a lot of list stories is they start with a title like “12 Creatures You Never Want To Find In Your Hotel Room” but run out of steam around number eight, so by the time they get to number 12 they’re down to “kudu.” Yes, no one wants to find a kudu in their hotel room, but would they ever? That’s why we totally appreciate Frommer’s list of best New Orleans experiences. It doesn’t tie itself to a set number, and the result is a short story that’s long on really solid information. We heartily second Frommer’s nomination of Rebirth Brass Band, John Boutté, and Kermit Ruffins as the acts to see in the Big Easy.
Speaking of practical pieces, there’s nothing more practical in the travel-writing sphere these days, at the jumping-off point for the summer travel season, than a good story on finding the lowest prices for hotel rooms. And the best part is, you only need one. Here it is, courtesy of Nomadic Matt. The best news is, it’s without question the most thorough analysis of hotel-room prices that we’ve seen … and understood. If you don’t get the lowest room rate in the world after reading this, it’s your own darn fault.
We’ll let you in on a secret: The best travel media is people-centered. List stories and research projects will always take a back seat to people stuff when they go head-to-head. And when people and food are involved, the list stories get relegated to the trunk. We were totally captivated by NPR’s visit to the Cowgirl Creamery, outside of San Francisco. It has history, personality, spunk, atmosphere, bacteria, hairnets, and a tasty payoff at the end. For the record, we’re all in on Red Hook, the creamery’s world-famous “happy accident.”
Finally, it’s the first of the month, and you know what that means: You have a new stash of 10 free New York Times articles to read before you have to start sneaking under the paywall. When it’s not cramming more food stories into its travel section (good food stories, but still: Isn’t that what a food section’s for?) the Times gets the whole travel-media/people-media thing, and few of its recent pieces are more evocative and people-centered than its “Personal Journeys” series. The most recent piece in the series is Liesl Schillinger’s reconnection with her Provencal host family, and it’s written the way we imagine Provence to be: sunny and warm, but with a undercurrent of longing and regret. Glorious — particularly with a touch of cream.
See you Wednesday.