Somebody wrote in to gently educate me on the ways of Sedona, Arizona after my extremely well-thought-out and researched op-ed on what makes Sedona bad. I hope you haven't canceled your tickets yet, because there is another side:
I read you practically religiously and you always have something interesting to say. I'd even maybe call myself a fan. But something needs to be said.
I just read your note on Sedona and i must say that if you are basing the quality of your experience on gift shops, you deserved to have a shitty time. Did you bother to go out into the beautiful mountains at all? Going somewhere known for the mystical beauty of its natural setting seems a waste if you don't spend that time in... nature.
Flagstaff is much the same. Did you visit any of the awesome geographical sites? volcanos? canyons? Of course gift shops are bad. This is not news. If you wanted awesome shopping you should have gone to London or New York.
Mainly because i love northern Arizona and hate to think anyone is telling their readers not to go, especially for so shitty a reason as bad gift shops. There are some very good day hikes that can be done even by beginners all around. I also know that many park rangers around there will try to scare tourists with false tales of mountain lions which is (sadly) effective in keeping out the riffraff and then some. But the brave ones are rewarded.
Sufficed to say, Isabel shamed me greatly and I am glad she wrote in. Next time I'm in the area I will for sure give S-town a second chance and write about it here. For her time I am sending her a beautiful sweater from the Richard David Store for Men.
Also, if you're interested, I wrote about what pieces of pop culture my parents passed on to me and what I would pass on to my children. And in much sillier fare, I have been writing "Hot or Not?" pieces for Schadenfreude.