May I present…Ta-Nehisi Coates and Luxury Travel Mom

By Mad Dog
Published: Apr 01, 2013

I’ve admired the big-brain, big-hearted writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Atlantic blog for years. But it wasn’t until last week, when he went to Europe for the first time, that my admiration turned to something like awe. Raised in Baltimore, where he says “my first language was violence,” he now shares a travel diary that starts with race and moves rapidly beyond; it will challenge you, touch you, and, like the best writing, will make you want to read him on any topic. When you have some time to think and feel, start here, then here and here and here.

I was a panelist at a Luxury Marketing event at Bloomberg last week, and I began my remarks with an apology: “There’s a jerk on every panel. I’m it.” I went on to say 1) social media is not media, it’s something else, and not nearly as important as some people think. 2) “Content is king” is a lie. Media companies hate content made by people. They want content made by bots for bots. 3) Authenticity is the highest value, and it’s costly and made by cranky people. To my total surprise, one panelist agreed with me — and went further. Judging on appearances is shallow, but a stylish blonde from Connecticut as a crusader for authenticity? I would have bet against. But Kim-Marie Evans is one of the most grounded people I’ve met in years. Her husband works long hours, she has four kids, she loves to travel. Solution: She launched Luxury Travel Mom, a site that gets her and her kids to great places, often for free or close to it, with the understanding that she’s not going to sugarcoat her reviews and that her kids, who consider all travel free, are certain to tell the truth. How is she as a writer? So not a bot.