Sep

26

2011

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Sep

23

2011

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$600 a night and not a drop to drink

Tweet On the first day of this month, the New York nightmare happened to me. The apartment beneath me caught fire. The girl who lives there wasn’t at home, but I’m lucky I was, because I had just returned from three weeks away. I’m fortunate my apartment wasn’t empty, because I smelled the smoke, then […]

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Sep

20

2011

(1)

Why I peck

Tweet A friend recently gently accused me of being too vocal on Twitter about bad customer service. “Do I henpeck too much?” I asked her. “It’s what makes you you,” she said. “Keep pecking.” Being a consumer reporter is one of the things I do. Being a travel writer, too, is a form of consumer […]

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Sep

15

2011

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A radical proposal to save the U.S. Postal Service

Tweet The United States Postal Service lost $3 billion last quarter, and now its masters intend to cut overnight delivery, slow down mail, and close facilities (particularly in poor neighborhoods). Government-hating Teabaggers whinge, but the fact is that while the Postal Service is federally mandated, it does not receive taxpayer money. So if we’re going […]

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Sep

10

2011

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Ago: The 9/11 account I wrote then, there

Tweet I wrote this post on September 18, 2001. I haven’t changed a word. I titled it “Ago.” + + + + + + That morning, I was awakened by the silence. I don’t recall what woke me up early, at 8:45 a.m., but it must have been something. Probably something I heard in my […]

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Aug

31

2011

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Mount Rushmore souvenirs that don’t look like Mount Rushmore

Tweet Girl, you know it’s true. Mount Rushmore is empty-calorie patriotism, but it’s pretty. Local concerns overbuilt the amenities so much in the 1990s so that they’re still paying them off. Merely parking a car costs $11. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum took extreme care in rendering his four subjects accurately, but the piles of tourist junk […]

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Aug

26

2011

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Minnesota State Fair: see all the foods on a stick

Tweet I visited the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul and thinking of you, of course, I had my camera with me. I created this kind cool, kinda quiltlike portrait of what it’s like to go, with a special emphasis on all the many foods on a stick you can find there. And, oh yes, […]

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Aug

18

2011

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Thrifty rental car requires your gas receipt now

Tweet When I rented a car at the Tulsa airport, I knew I was dealing with an officious company when I told the clerk my phone number and said she needed two. “I only use a mobile phone,” I lied. “We need two. It’s policy. In case you don’t return the car.” (“I could just […]

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Aug

5

2011

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On the scene at the World’s Longest Yard Sale

I traveled to rural Tennessee to cover a uniquely American shopping experience: a yard sale, annually held over the first weekend in early August, that spans some 675 miles of one highway. It's called, not undeservedly, the World's Longest Yard Sale. We can feel comfortable that the Chinese are unlikely to covet this world record and swipe it from us, partly because they made most of the junk for sale at this one.

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Aug

3

2011

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