Parks, Rec & Fun


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Friday, September 6 1pm update: For the last few days, while Marketplacehas been covering Sioux Falls, I have been holed up writing a long, and long-past-deadline, print-magazine story. Multi-tasking has its limits. Watch this space soon for our series of reports on Sioux Falls, covering many of the themes mentioned below.  This evening on public radio’s Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal — shown at center above, talking with me recently in South Dakota — kicks off our Atlantic / Marketplace / Esri software reporting collaboration we’re calling “American Futures.” Here is just-redesigned our special project site. The idea is to explore the realities and surprises of the country’s economic, demographic, and cultural adjustments by looking at places off the normal big-city circuit. This week’s reports, on both radio and online here, begin in Sioux Falls.

Marketplace’s site has a range of great features, pictures, and audio clips already available, with more to come. For instance, here is one with only mild overstatement on “Sioux Falls As Center of the Economic Universe.”  An archive of some of their other coverage is here.

Here is some of what we’ve done on the Atlantic’s site in the past few weeks. “We” in this case means me, my wife Deborah Fallows, our Boston-based teammate John Tierney, and a very large numbers of readers we are quoting.

About Sioux Falls:

– Welcome to Sioux Falls

– Dakota-style language in Sioux Falls

– An earlier greetings from Sioux Falls

– And many more coming this week

Elsewhere in South Dakota:

– What “green” now means, in the hotel business

– Beef jerky, and a surprising sanctuary in the Black Hills

– Why Rapid City is where it is, and what that means for other cities

About Holland, Michigan

– “Welcome to Holland,” and the veneer of quaintness

– How a city saved a downtown via “snowmelt”

– From a scrapyard: what happens after the recycling bin

– Our special “geoblog” feature to illustrate the spatial realities behind economic and political stories

– The language of the Upper Midwest

– “Serial reportage” in the modern blog-and-broadcast age

– The drama of immigration in a tiny midwestern town

– The huge importance of locally based wealth

– Readers’ experiences with Holland, pro and con

About America:

– The unexpected “American Orientalism” debate, starting here, response from readers here, roping in Joan Didion here and here.

– Our ongoing, remarkable “What Is Special About My Town” series, with one example here

About the project as a whole

– An introductory and explanatory post

– A “takeoff video” before we left DC last month

– Flying through Wyoming, and the mountain flying I am staying away from.

Thanks for your attention; we hope you enjoy these accounts via audio, video, maps, web posts, and soon articles in print.


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