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beat writers: are you creatures of habit?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by accguy, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. accguy

    accguy Member

    So my beat has me this weekend in a strange city. It's a fine place, but it has left me out of my comfort zone.

    While having dinner tonight at P.F. Chang's (one of my regular on-the-road dinner spots), I was thinking about how I'm such a creature of habit.

    At pretty much all of my regular stops on the road, I stay at the same hotel and often eat at the same places. Sometimes I'll mix up a lunch spot, but if I get one dinner in a town, it's almost always at the same spot.

    As I said before I love going to Changs. I'm a big Outback guy. And several places I have a local/regional place I'll hit for lunch or maybe post-game beers.

    Is everybody else as predictable like this? And I'm not sure what it all means. I'm pretty open to trying new places and like to check out new stuff in my own town. I guess when I'm working I have my routine.

    Food for thought.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    the only issue is whether that predictability creeps into the way you work your beat.

    and if, like so many, you're afflicted with Home Bowl Syndrome.
  3. accguy

    accguy Member

    I don't think it's predictability creeping into my beat. I just have my place to stay in each town (a Courtyard or a SpringHill Suites or something like that) so I know what to expect. Then I don't have to worry about anything strange coming up.

    Sometimes I'll have a colleague say, "have you stayed at such and such hotel? it's really good." And I never change. About the only time I change is if there's a new marriott property that's an upgrade or if the rate is out of whack.

    Maybe it's one less thiing to have to worry about and I can concentrate on my work
  4. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I know how that goes. I get all flustered if I'm not dumping in the main bathroom with my favorite newspaper.

    Oh, Home BOWL Syndrome.
  5. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    It depends for me.

    I have a college beat, and during nonconference trips to unfamiliar places -- as was the case this weekend -- I have some old reliable restaurants, hotels, etc., I fall back on.

    But when I go to my once-or-more-a-year conference locales, I mix it up. As much as I can, I try to discover the regular cities on my beat -- its cool restuarants, bars, even local hotels. I've found some gems, fewer disappointments.

    For example, one city I visit is an unlikely center of Greek immigration, so it has a lot of Greek restaurants. I ALWAYS go to Greek restaurants over anything else, and this city has more than a few good ones. Never would have known that had I not sought it out.
  6. I'm with you, accguy. I hit the same places every time through.

    My goal is simple: Get back to the house with as few problems as possible. I stay in hotels I know are acceptable. I eat at establishments I know are acceptable. I save <i>adventure</i> for the times I'm kicking it on vacation with my lady friend.
  7. Through an error on the hotel's part, I ended up staying in the exact same room on one road trip earlier this fall as I did two years ago for the same game. Colleague of mine who dropped by for a postgame beer noticed it; I just thought I was having a bit of deja vu...
  8. Go local. You can go to a PF Chang's or an Outback anywhere. Pick up a guide book at the library, look for listings online on the local newspaper's site, and find good local restaurants and bars. Stick to the chains only if it's real late at night, or you're in such a podunk town you don't trust anywhere else. Go local. It's the only way to get the most out of any road trip.
  9. But hotels .... stick with what you know. Marriott points and dependable wireless.
  10. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Seriously, I stayed at a Ramada last weekend and I went there after my game to send my story and it had wireless. Only, it wasn't connecting. So, I call the front desk and ask if they are having issues with the wireless and they tell me no. Well, obviously you are, because I am connected to said wireless at 5 megabytes per minute. That is slower than dial up. I should of just stayed at the stadium. Anyway, I eventually had to retype my story in their "business center" which included computers with XP on them, but no Word.
    Needless to say, I will not be staying in that Ramada ever again.
  11. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I agree with this sentiment, though on a lot of trips you may just have time to grab a late dinner after a night game and you are stuck with what's open.
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