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This Week in Travel

Monday, July 30th, 2007

For years, Slate has had its Daily Papers summary - every morning someone reads all the major dailies, offers a quick summary. Saves time, useful. Then Slate added another service - they read magazines for you. The Chicago Tribune then commissioned the snarky Lucinda Hahn to reads crap-pop magazines, like Star and US Weekly every week — so you don’t have to.

Well, now the CT is getting into the summary bizness. Every week, we read the major travel sections with an eye for Contrarian Travel. This week’s reader, the Alpha CT himself, writes about the NY Times.

The Times has some amusing, serviceable pieces. A walk through the Welsh countryside, a visit to a Danish neighborhood known for fancy houses, gardens, and whiskey, and then an interesting thematic piece, if you’re a history buff — a myth-lover’s journey through ancient Greece. (We at the CT love, of course, any thing that involves both Zeus and Agamamemnon.)

But the only piece that really captured our interest was actually, strangely, aimed at kids. It was in the Escapes section. Fun things to do for kids in Pittsburgh. We love Pittsburgh. It’s a textbook contrarian tow. Lots of people think it sucks (smog, dirt, steel), few people visit, but truth is… it’s one of the country’s most pleasant surprise.

Check this out: Granted this piece focuses on kiddie activities, but read this. Then, next week, read our special feature “Why Pittsburgh?” Not only will it give you a glimpse of why we love the Burgh, it also give you a crash course on the whole contrarian world view. Plus, Lacy Rushwell chimes in on Pittsburgh’s feminist iconology, Urbanologist on the inimitable Pittsburgh patois (Pittsburghese) , and Lael will give you some tips on the only way to stay in Pittsburgh… in your car. Yep, it’s an urban extreme car camper’s paradise.

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