Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Whirlwind Through Pensacola

Winnie Hu spent 36 hours on a whirlwind tour of Pensacola for the New York Times just before Christmas.

Sadly, she seems to have had time only to follow the conventional tourist guide for places to go and things to do. And the copy she has seems to be missing a few pages, including "best restaurants" (Hemmingway's on the beach, Aegean Breeze in Gulf Breeze).

She got some things right, though, and even when she didn't, it still sounds nice:
"The city was forced to rebuild after Hurricane Ivan battered the region last year, and some hotels and beach sites remain closed for repairs. But Pensacola's identity -- a blend of Southern culture and redneck charm, conservative churches and Buddhist temples, and an ever-changing influx of ethnic newcomers, including many Vietnamese immigrants -- emerged stronger than ever."
The "influx of ethnic newcomers" and the plural of Buddhist temple will surprise many locals. They'll have to assume she means Katrina refugees from the Gulf Coast and undocumented repairmen from Mexico.

Other than that, around here, of late, the most visible "ethic" influx is peopled by Yankee retirees and quick-buck con artists looking to profit off the misfortunes of others.

Thus has it always been.

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