Baltimore is "Charm City." There's a specific history as to how Baltimore came to be called Charm City, which I know, because I have right here, the book, Charm City (2007), by our friend, Madison Smartt Bell, who tells us the history of that appellation in that book.
So why in hell did the author of a very long article in the current New York Review of Books about Simon's HBO New Orleans's Treme series, title that article "Charm City, U.S.A?" He claims to belong by generational birth to New Orleans's aristocratic circles that began intermarrying with the old Creole families back in 1836. So one would think he knows better.
My response to Lemann's article is cranky. Decidedly cranky. I don't like it, or the author, who seems to not quite get it, in spite of his Garden District aristocratic family and upbringing.
Example: "Batiste’s ex-wife, LaDonna, played (overplayed, actually) by Khandi Alexander, owns a neighborhood bar." LaDonna is overplayed?
Another example: "Albert is the most saintly, and so perhaps the least plausible, character in Treme, a courageous political resister, rebuilder, and bearer of cultural tradition." Yes. Saints always beat the living bejesus out of someone who steals their tools.
He thinks that the harangues by Davis and Creighton are overwrought. "What they say is always in character, but it seems to express some of what Simon thinks too. " No, dude. These harangues are what particularly white New Orleans was thinking then -- and not a few weeks post the Flood Failure, but three months later. Out of touch, dude.
What universe does this dickhead inhabit? Oh, yes, the universe of the wealthy aristocrat personally unaffected by the hells of the Failure and the aftermath -- the universe that HBO Treme is NOT concerned with, except, on occasion to make fun of it, which he noticed. Oh yes, did he ever notice. And resents the hell out of it.