The Fallows' Journey Across Small-Town America

Monday, August 05, 2013

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, and his wife, linguist and author Deborah Fallows, on their cross-country trip to discover America's most unique small towns.


Deborah Fallows and James Fallows

Comments [8]

SGreenberg from Brooklyn

Most unusual, maybe, but most unique, never. Kind of like being mostly pregnant.

Aug. 06 2013 09:39 AM
Darren from Greenfield, MO

Liberal, Missouri was founded in 1880 or so as an atheist/liberal/progressive community in Southwest Missouri.
Christians founded a little town next to it in an attempt to show the Liberal residents the error of their ways, or something like that.
Anyway, the town is still there and has a few reminders left of its history, including some interesting street names for these solidly conservative parts (Darwin Street, etc.).
Interesting history and controversy await you in this sleepy little farm town.

Aug. 05 2013 07:43 PM
Ed from Bedford, NY

Ironically, just last night they replayed a segment on Marfa, Texas on 60 Minutes, which highlights how that small town in West Texas has morphed from a dying farming commnity into a thriving arts scene, complete with a large Prada store (an art installation, not a real store) on the outskirts of town.

Aug. 05 2013 12:15 PM
Ed from White Plains, NY

Celebration, Fla. was a planned community (by Disney), with a design specifically intended to recreate a sense of small town America. There was a deliberate mix of housing, a central core, etc. I was only there once, but have heard that it is evolving, although I'm not sure how. I think it would be interesting to research the theories that went into the development, and how the assumptions have panned out.

Aug. 05 2013 11:15 AM
Larry Arney

Lenoir, NC. It was a dying furniture town that reinvented itself as an arts community. It has also drawn companies like Google to use the excess power that was left when the furniture companies closed. They has also started community gardens to help the out-of-work citizens. For swimming, Wilson's Creek - beautiful & cold, wouldn't wait too late in the year to visit.

Aug. 05 2013 10:52 AM
Alex from Jersey City

My mom just moved to Hot Springs, AR, where my grandparents live. I used to think only oldsters live there - my granparents live in a huge retirement community - but having revently visited, I am shocked to say that it's actually a very interesting place with huge potential for an artistic renaissance. The center of town features many of the original Art Deco era bath houses - built to serve people coming to visit the natural hot springs. The federal government has preserved these beautiful buildings and is looking for businesses to come in and do something interesting with them - a brewery just opened in one, and it will be the first in the world to make beer using water directly from a natural hot spring. The surrounding area is truly beautiful - the downtown itself is actually part of a national park. Many of the downtown buildings are also from the same era as the bath houses, and are lovely, though in need of could easily see them inhabited by artists and other creative types, and they're already beginning to move in. The whole place seems primed for a complete rebirth!

Aug. 05 2013 10:45 AM

re: Holland Michigan - Also home to the founder of Blackwater INC/ DoSTATE security contractor in Afghanistan/Iraq, etc. Company has ???? AKAs.

Aug. 05 2013 10:43 AM
Al from Brooklyn

Fairfield, Iowa
Transcendental Meditation community
Maharishi University of Management
Wonderful Artwalk on the town square once a month
Sustainable living and farming
Eco Village

Aug. 05 2013 10:36 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.