Your Local Attractions

We are getting ready to set forth on an epic road trip, going the length and breadth of this great land of ours.  I’ve always wanted to do that.  To get our minds ready for summer vacations and as an experiment in localism, I would like to ask you this:

If I or any other reader of this blog were to come through your neck of the woods, what should we see?  What should we do?  Where should we eat?  And if we eat there, what should we order?  Is there any historical fact, cultural curiosity, or quirky inside information that we should know about?

I realize that some places may not have all that much to them, but I have found that if you scratch the surface, interesting things are everywhere.  Other places, like big cities, have an overabundance of things to do, and what visitors need are recommendations and inside information.

I’d like to hear about natural vistas, odd museums, and local industries.  And food:  I’m a diners, drive-in, and dives kind of guy.  Particularly serious BBQ.  Chicago has deep-dish pizza and otherworldly hot dogs.  What food stands out in your city, region, or locale?  As for tourist traps, well, I’m going to be a tourist.

HT:  Jackie

UPDATE:  Everybody, these are priceless suggestions.  I will make a pilgrimage to some of these places.  Some I’ve been to already and concur about how great they are.  And some actually will be on our route this summer!   I urge all of you to refer to this as an online travel guide.

My book on George Herbert is back in print

My first book, Reformation Spirituality: The Religion of George Herbert, is back in print.  It is basically my dissertation, which I revised for publication by Bucknell University Press back in 1985.  Recently, Wipf & Stock approached me about re-issuing it.  You can see in it the research I was doing in Reformation theology and 17th century Anglicanism that would eventually lead me to Lutheranism.  As a work of literary scholarship, it was not without impact.  Previously, most scholars interpreted Herbert in terms of medieval Catholicism.  My work on Herbert, along with that of some other folks, showed that he was a poet of the Reformation and, further, explained what the Reformation entailed by way of Herbert’s poetry.  Today, the “Protestant” reading of Herbert is pretty much the scholarly consensus.  [Read more…]

The Great or Not-so-great Gatsby?

Words and images are two different media, so a novel and a movie are two different kinds of art forms.  Sometimes a good written story can be told visually, but if what makes the novel good is its language, that may not translate at all into motion pictures.  I don’t know if the movie version of The Great Gatsby (in 3-D, no less!) is worthy of Fitzgerald’s novel or if it might possibly be a good movie in its own right.  I haven’t seen it, so you tell me.

But I was struck with this example of a genre in its own right, the movie review, by a master of the form, Rex Reed, who eviscerates the Gatsby movie with razor-sharp words: [Read more…]

Journalists are turning on the White House

As I predicted, the news media is turning on the Obama administration.  Not just because the Justice Department, trying to trace a leak, subpoenaed phone companies for a list of calls made and received over two months by 20 reporters from the Associated Press (including both office and personal cell phones).   According to the Washington Post, tensions have been simmering between the White House and the press corp for some time. [Read more…]

Rand Paul courts Christian conservatives

Sen. Rand Paul is presenting himself as a “libertarian Republican” rather than a “libertarian,” and is courting evangelicals and other Christian conservatives.  In an apparent effort to position himself as a credible GOP presidential candidate, Paul is backing away from conventional libertarian positions, such as legalizing drugs, and is nuancing his support for gay marriage. (I believe he has always been pro-life.)

I know lots of readers of this blog have long supported the Pauls, both father and son.  Are you bothered by Rand’s attempt to appeal to the GOP establishment?  Or do you support him in trying to make himself electable?  And, for you Christian conservatives leery of libertarianism, do these efforts  make you likely to support him? [Read more…]

Should you be able to buy a car online?

It’s illegal to buy a car direct from the factory or over the internet.  You have to go through a local dealer.  The electric car company Tesla is trying to change that.  But state and local governments are resisting.  That, arguably, goes against the free market and against the trends of the new technology.  But do we really want online commerce to kill off small businesses that are the backbone of many small town economies? [Read more…]


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