Not in agreement

The author, a travel writer by trade, lists what he calls “beloved places I’m supposed to like, but don’t.” I agree with him about New Zealand, although on different grounds. I certainly agree with him about Colorado, which he calls a midwestern state posing as a western one (or, as one review paraphrased it, “Kansas with hills”). And he didn’t even get into all the reasons why Boulder in particular isn’t great. So, why does he put Austin on his list of beloved places that, by him, aren’t? Why does he say that, if Austin weren’t surrounded by Texas, it would be Sacramento. I kind of like Sacramento, but other than the fact that it is also a state capital and sited on riverbanks, where is the resemblance between it and Austin? Just wondering. (On the other hand, I wonder whether bus-riders in Sacramento are barred from waiting near the governor’s mansion and are scheduled to be barred from waiting in front of the capitol.) The book is Smile When You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer, by Chuck Thompson. It’s entertaining for lots of reasons. I totally agree about bed-and-breakfast outfits, but I can’t quite understand his animus against Lonely Planet books. Don’t read the book for more opinions on Austin; the author says he doesn’t like it and that’s it.

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