• 17 Oct 2007 at 11:02 AM
  • Travel

Lost in Shreveport: Cotton, Casinos and Subsidies

We’ve been delinquent in bringing you stories about what we learned on our recent sojourn to Shreveport, Louisiana. So we’ll take a moment to provide a couple of quick impressions.
• It is useless to ask for directions in Shreveport. No-one knows where anything is. Even the official brochure for our hotel misidentified its location. When we started asking people for directions to a famous jazz bar, we were consistently given the wrong cross streets. They knew it was somewhere over in that direction, but that’s it.
• Over at National Review’s blog, our friend David Freddoso reports that he had similar bad luck asking for directions. In New York, people are mean when you ask for directions. “In New Hampshire, they’ll act nice but give you the wrong directions on purpose,” he writes. “In Louisiana, the people are plenty friendly, but no one seems to know where anything is.”
• Which reminds us of our summers on the coast of Maine, where the official answer to any request for directions is: “You can’t get there from here.” It sounds better if you say it with a Yankee accent.
• Oddly enough, this works to the advantage of the casinos in Shreveport. Since you can’t find anything else, about the only things you can find are the casinos since they are lit up by giant neon displays and situated at the edge of town on the river. More than once we found ourselves giving up on finding any part of Shreveport’s native culture in favor of the bright lights of the riverside city.
• Cotton is like sugar. When you come across farms dedicated to growing it in the United States, the most surprising thing isn’t that it is done well but that it done at all. It seems like a triumph of hope, tradition and endurance over experience and global markets. Of course, it only seems that way. In reality, it’s a triumph of massive subsidies over free markets.

  • 27 Nov 2006 at 9:28 AM
  • Travel

Hailing A Cab In The Sky?

Everyone knows we’re kind of obsessed with the air travel habits of corporate executives and Wall Street bigs. So of course we’ve been wondering why no one has invited us to take a trip on one of these “air taxis” the Post is reporting on this morning.

As bonuses on Wall Street and beyond hit record levels, executives are finding new ways to pimp their lifestyles: for example, hailing air taxis instead of flying first class.
The air taxis – which afford practically on-demand jet travel complete with gourmet meals, no airport security lines and completely flexible scheduling – are priced, thanks to advancements in jet technology, just 65 percent over first-class commercial air travel.
And while most people don’t have to decide between a $1,024 full-fare first-class commercial airline ticket from New York to Miami or the $1,687 cost of hailing a Hawker 400XP eight-seater jet for a little South Beach fun in the sun, more and more successful Wall Street types are.
And traveling on one of the growing number of on-demand jets is becoming the latest lifestyle enhancer for the finance world’s bonus babies.
And we notice that although the story references “Wall Street types” the closest it comes is a reference to a “prominent real estate developer from Virginia, who wished to remain anonymous.” Uhm, okay. That’s not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when we think Walll Street. What’s worse, he didn’t even use the air taxi himself. He used it to send his (spoiled) kid on a trip to the Caribbean for spring break.

So has anyone out there ever taken an air taxi? Or do so called “Wall Street types” who are said to be spending their bonsuses on the air taxis only exist in the imaginations and press releases of the taxi services?
Pretty Fly for a Wall-Street Guy [New York Post]