This past weekend Kit and I have added Delaware, D.C. and Virginia to the ever-growing list of states we have drunk in. I know D.C. isn’t a state but it makes up for how much Delaware sucks.
(Author’s note. I am not actually sorry. Delaware really does suck.)
I’m also excited to announce that I will not be posting The Traveling Duck’s vacation photos here anymore. Kit has decided that Duck deserves his own blog and she is working on one as we speak. Stay tuned for updates on that.
On to the actual post…
The problem with the Travel Channel
I will start by saying I do enjoy watching the Travel Channel, I watch it often and I even Tivo-ed a few shows. Aside from a few great shows that the Travel Channel actually have, a lot of the shows on it are just plain crap. Boring filler. Which seem written by the tourism office PR agent. No real content or honest opinions, basically televised hotel brochure crap.
But, Thats not the real problem with the Travel Channel. Nope, I don’t care if the Travel Channel try to pass tourist propaganda as real television. Nope, I take all the 100 greatest hotels or the top 10 best restaurants shows with a large grain of salt. The problem is when the Travel Channel feature a real special local spot on their shows.
Anytime a restaurant is given a considerable amount of airtime or is given rave reviews by the likes of Samantha Brown or Anthony Bourdain, the chance of ever experiencing why they liked the places is lost.
Example, When Anthony Bourdain was shooting in Baltimore. He was taken by a real Baltimore native to Chaps’ Pit beef. A rough place that serves some great pit beef. The charm of this place, was that it was rough. It’s not in the greatest neighborhood, in fact the place is located in the parking lot of strip club. Fast forward a few months after Bourdain’s visit and the place is now packed with tourist. The line generally extending out the door. No more room for junkies or drug dealers, just your typical family of four visiting from Nebraska.
Looking at it from the point that the place is now cleaned up a bit might seem like a good thing, but that’s what made it fun. Judges and junkies sitting together enjoying good food. This was a place that real locals enjoyed. The food was good, and cheap. I didn’t need to be super nice and safe, it just needed to serve good food.
The same thing happened to Mexico’s sleepy beach villages and the majority of the Caribbean islands. Every guide-book wrote about the serenity of these places. The empty beaches, the small family owned restaurants. So, what happened? People flocked to those destinations… and with them came the super resorts, chain restaurants and commercialism. They lost their original appeal.
In all honesty, the only reason I’m writing this is because I really wanted a half smoked with chile at Ben’s Chili bowl, and the line was just way too long to wait. I am just as guilty as any other tourist but whatever, get the hell out of my way so I can eat.
So, please next time you travel please do not visit the following restaurants…
Ben’s Chili Bowl (DC)
Lombardi’s Pizza (NYC)
Chap’s Pit beef (Baltimore)
The Lazy Gecko (Key west)
Holla Batar (Reykjavík)
Just stay away from these restaurants… I’m hungry.