On the front page of your recent sports section, there was an article about the Saints’ arrival in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Your writer described Lewisburg as “… a small town, which boasts only a handful of hotels, a Wal-Mart and various chain restaurants.” Really?
Obviously, your writer did not take the time to visit downtown Lewisburg. Instead, he merely described what he saw from the interstate. Describing Lewisburg as seen from I-64 is like describing New Orleans after seeing nothing but Metairie. (No offense, Metairie.)
Tell your writer to go into downtown Lewisburg to the intersection of Washington and Jefferson streets. He can have a wonderful lunch or dinner at the Stardust Cafe or Stella’s or several other nice restaurants downtown. He can have a hardy Southern breakfast at the General Lewis Inn or a lighter one at the Greenbrier Valley Bakery. In the evening, he can go to the live theater in the middle of town or take in a live musical performance at Carnegie Hall. (That’s right — Carnegie Hall. There are only four of them in the world. The likes of Isaac Stern, Judy Collins and our own Wynton Marsalis have performed there.) After that, he can quaff a beer at the Irish Pub, owned and operated by former New Orleanian Patrick O’Flaherty, who is always in the house playing and singing. At the pub, he can bask in all of the New Orleans and Saints memorabilia on the walls. Patrick knows what it means to miss New Orleans.
Tell your writer that the next day he can buy a sandwich at the bakery on Court Street and have a picnic on the town square under the shade of the giant sugar maples and basswoods. And tell your writer that he can visit all of the numerous interesting shops and art outlets in town. Tell him he will not have to walk more than two blocks in any direction to do all of this. And tell him that he won’t see a McDonald’s or even a Walgreen’s anywhere near the downtown.
But most of all, please tell your writer to mind his manners while in West Virginia. Making snobbish and inaccurate statements for the sake of arousing interest in his story is not just poor journalism; it’s being a rude guest.