Which Richmond, Va., did Burt Wolf visit?

Are his descriptions "flat incorrect" or "right-on"?

By Salon Staff

Published June 13, 2000 7:19PM (EDT)

From famine to feast BY BURT WOLF (06/07/00)

As a proud resident of Richmond, Va., and avid reader of Salon, I am sorely disappointed in Burt Wolf's article "From Famine to Feast." I might have endured the same dry, soulless guidebook-style information by reading a 1992 Department of Tourism pamphlet or seventh-grade civics report. At least one fact was flat incorrect (the Byrd Theatre upped its prices from 99 cents to $1.99 more than a year ago) and this line, "The word around town is that this enormous staircase was used as the model for the one in 'Gone With The Wind,'" confirms that Wolf is not concerned in the least with reporting (how hard could it be to pick up the phone and find out if the "rumor" is true?). This article raises doubt that Wolf has ever been to Richmond. If he had bothered, he would have found a jewel of a Southern city teeming with culture, character, and the quirky, off-kilter stories great travel writers delight in discovering. I wouldn't live in the crashing bore of a town Wolf describes, much less visit. I suggest Salon replace Wolf with a travel writer who has some enthusiasm for the job. Wolf is not up to your usual standards.

-- Elizabeth Hahn

I simply wanted to thank Burt Wolf for his beautiful review of Richmond, Va., my hometown. I currently attend school in Duluth, Minn., and while I enjoy the atmosphere here, I am a true Virginian at heart. His right-on descriptions of the magnificent Jefferson Hotel and the cozy, yet elite, ambience of Millie's, one of my favorite restaurants, made me more homesick than ever. Thank you, Burt, for that stroll through the dogwoods and the history of Richmond.

-- Jennifer Whigham

Salon Staff

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