Destination: Ohio

Ohio: The Bedbug State?

With bedbug infestations apparently on the rise across the country, the Daily Beast has put together a list of the top ten buggiest cities in America—and burgs in Ohio landed in the first, second and eighth spots. If you’re headed to Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, or any of the other cities on the list, you may want to put this retro travel technique to use.

Bourdain on Pekar and Cleveland

Anthony Bourdain offers an eloquent tribute to Harvey Pekar, who died yesterday—a writer “whose life and works will surely remain an enduring reference point of late 20th and early 21st century cultural history.”

More on Pekar:

He was famed as a “curmudgeon”, a “crank” and a “misanthrope” yet found beauty and heroism where few others even bothered to look. In a post-ironic and post-Seinfeldian universe he was the last romantic—his work sincere, heartfelt, alternately dead serious and wryly affectionate.

And on Cleveland:

“What went wrong here?” is an unpopular question with the type of city fathers and civic boosters for whom convention centers and pedestrian malls are the answers to all society’s ills but Harvey captured and chronicled every day what was—and will always be—beautiful about Cleveland: the still majestic gorgeousness of what once was—the uniquely quirky charm of what remains, the delightfully offbeat attitude of those who struggle to go on in a city they love and would never dream of leaving.

Interview With Rose Hamid: Flight Attendant, Hijab Wearer

Interview With Rose Hamid: Flight Attendant, Hijab Wearer Photo courtesy of Rose Hamid

How does she navigate the tensions between her profession and her faith in a post-9/11 world? Andrea Cooper learns more.

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Ohio: The Burger State?

Ohio: The Burger State? Photo by pokpok313 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by pokpok313 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Cincinnati Enquirer points out that six of the top ten burgers listed in George Motz’s “Hamburger America: A State-by-State Guide to 100 Great Burger Joints” hail from Ohio. Perhaps it’s time for an update to the state nickname? (Via The Book Bench)

Welcome, JetAmerica and flydubai

Welcome, JetAmerica and flydubai Photo by joiseyshowaa, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo of Dubai’s airport by joiseyshowaa, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The list of lost-cost carriers now has two new names: JetAmerica and flydubai.

JetAmerica, a charter company with a home base in Toledo, Ohio, will fly to five cities. They are advertising $9 fares, with a “convenience fee” of $5, thus selling some seats (before taxes and fees) for $14.

Over at The Cranky Flier, Brett Snyder isn’t optimistic. “I honestly couldn’t make this sound any worse if I tried,” Snyder writes. “The CEO is John Weikle, one of the original founders of Skybus.”

Meanwhile, in the U.A.E., flydubai has been born, with initial routes beginning this week between Dubai and Beirut and Amman. They plan to expand from there. “You’ll soon be able to flydubai to other cities in the Middle East, GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] and India,” their website states. “And eventually, the network will extend to Iran, Eastern Europe and North & East Africa.”

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For the Love of Minor League Baseball

For the Love of Minor League Baseball Photo by willowbrookhotels via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Kane County Cougars. Photo by willowbrookhotels via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Albuquerque Isotopes. The Clearwater Threshers. The Dayton Dragons.

Ah, minor league baseball. The team names alone are joy. The experience? That much better. While I’ve always found it a bit ho-hum to attend a major league game for a team that wasn’t my hometown favorite, minor league games feel more neutral.

They’re about hanging out eating stuff you shouldn’t eat on a (hopefully) beautiful spring or summer night and (hopefully) getting to see a little magic when some not-so-known player smacks one out or looks like he has the potential to pitch a perfect game. They’re about relaxing. And just kind of being in a place with, mostly, the people who live there.

Minor league games feel out of time. They feel hopeful.

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Interview With Jason Barger: Author of ‘Step Back From the Baggage Claim’

Photo by Joe Maiorana

I love the transitory airport realm sometimes described as Airworld, a place selected by World Hum as one of the Seven Wonders of the Shrinking Planet.

I like the buzz of people coming and going, I like buying the occasional New Yorker magazine from Hudson News to pass the time, and I even like the sharp whiffs of jet exhaust you get going down the gate ramp.

But what would it be like to spend seven consecutive days in Airworld, flying around the country with no destination but the next city, sleeping in airports and killing time until your next flight leaves?

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Humor in America: You Know You Live In ...

Humor in America: You Know You Live In ... Photo by cindy47452 via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by cindy47452 via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Thanks to the must-see series and must-read companion book, Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, I’ve got 50 states’ worth of ha-ha on the brain. The series’ creators offer up six genres of American comedy; some are riffs on humor birthed in lands far far away, and others are distinctly American. Until you can get home to watch them (‘cause we all know you’re reading this on company time), here’s a good guffaw or five (which are, most definitely, not part of the series). They’re “You Know You Live In ...” videos, a brand of humor that, I’m pretty sure, is all-American. I mean, seriously, can you imagine the French or the Germans laughing at themselves in such a good-natured and charming manner. (Kidding. Kidding. Ish.) Prepare to be entertained.

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Walking in a Winter Wonderland Photo by Sophia Dembling
Photo by Sophia Dembling

I live in Texas and every now and then I get nostalgic for real winters. “I miss snow,” I’ll say to my husband, who grew up in Illinois and knows from snow.

And he always says the same thing: “That’s because you never had to shovel a driveway.”

Yes, OK. I grew up in a New York City apartment and now live where snow is here today, gone today. We do get it once or twice a year, but it rarely sticks more than a few hours. Snowmen in Dallas are a tragic sight, as much mud and leaves as snow. Still, hard as it may be to believe during this cold snap we’re having, I like traveling to where I can enjoy real snow. I’m no skier, but I like watching snow fall, walking in it, and sitting inside being warm on a snowy day. (I’m always game for an excuse to sit on a couch.)

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