Program 665: Surprises from Boring Places; Sidecountry; Dakar, Senegal
Release Date: 02-05-2022
We consider how visiting second- and third-tier destinations — places some might dismiss as "boring" — can lead to the most rewarding travel experiences. And two New York Times journalists take us on a pair of journeys: first to the world of offbeat — and often mortally dangerous — athletic achievements, and then to the Atlantic-seaside attractions of Dakar, Senegal's lively capital.
- Eric Weiner, author of "The Socrates Express" (Avid Reader Press-Simon & Schuster)
- New York Times sports journalist John Branch, author of "Sidecountry" (W. W. Norton)
- New York Times politics reporter Dionne Searcey, author of "In Pursuit of Disobedient Women" (Ballantine)
- Eric Weiner describes what he found in such "boring cities" as Geneva (Switzerland), Bhopal (India), Izmir (Turkey) and Cleveland, Ohio, to fit the bill for him as worthwhile destinations.
- Eric's book "The Socrates Express" is being translated into more than a dozen languages, from Bulgarian to Vietnamese. He talks to Rick about it on Travel with Rick Steves program #611 from August 2020.
- John Branch writes about sports for the New York Times. His book "Sidecountry: Tales of Death and Life from the Back Roads of Sports" features 20 of his favorite feature articles.
- John won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2012 feature story "Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek" about a deadly avalanche near Stevens Pass, in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. He posts frequently to Twitter.
- John profiles the pro athlete with the greatest winning record in America, horseshoe pitcher Alan Francis of Defiance, Ohio.
- Reporter Dionne Searcey covers the political beat for the New York Times from her home base in Brooklyn. She's written "In Pursuit of Disobedient Women" as a memoir of her years reporting in West Africa as the paper's bureau chief there.
- Dionne wrote about attractions in Dakar for the NY Times' "36 Hours" travel series, which also includes useful reader comments.
More with Eric Weiner - Eric Weiner explains what he means by calling the Swiss "reticent." (runs 1:08)
More with John Branch - John Branch tells us about a bowler from Ravenna, Michigan, whose story is among the favorites he's ever written for the New York Times. John also explains how his reporting on the risks of diving for abalone off the California coast, spurred the state government to ban the practice. (runs 2:18)