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No one is harder on Shreveport than Shreveport. But that creates an odd paradox, because sometimes Shreveport needs to hear it. However the paradox comes in the form of Shreveport apologists writing off any critique, and lumping them altogether as "complaints". Sometimes these critiques are real, and need to be addressed, not ignored.

There's a difference between someone who lives in the Shreveport & Bossier area moaning and groaning that "there's never anything to do here" and someone pointing out the city's infrastructure is crumbling. However this toxic level of apologist will combine those two criticisms, and throw them out.

That's how locals are treated when they point out massive issues with Shreveport, but what happens when visitors do the same? Those type of critiques should be heard, focused on, and dealt with. Because a city should be trying to attract people to come in, especially if one of your city's main industries is tourism and hospitality...like Shreveport and Bossier.

A few months back, Youtube travel vlogger LordSpoda visited Shreveport and Bossier City on the channel's expedition across the United States. Their stated intent is to visit all 50 states, and all major US cities, which is what brought them to Shreveport.

Lord Spoda via Youtube.com
Lord Spoda via Youtube.com

The channel generally includes high quality drone footage, historical aspects of the city they're visiting, as well as reviews. Sometimes those reviews are very complimentary, sometimes those reviews are critical. Some of the videos on their channel offer glowing reviews of cities, resorts, hotels, and restaurants. Every one that we reviewed was pretty straightforward and honest.

This Youtube channel isn't some over-the-top type review series, its extremely down to Earth, and seems like its built on the type of things that a normal person would observe. The things being reviewed are the types of things a normal person would notice when visiting a new city.

Lord Spoda via Youtube.com
Lord Spoda via Youtube.com

Now sit back, because this video is about 30 minutes long, but it offers a very honest review of what it would be like to come into Shreveport without any knowledge of the area. That's really important to keep in mind when watching this, because if you are a Shreveport local, you have an idea in your mind of what they're looking at, and where you feel they should be looking. But that's not how most travel in the US works. This is a very honest look into what a person would experience if they just drove up on the city to shop, eat, and stay.

Late last year there was another critical write up on Shreveport. It was from a reporter who follows BYU college football. He came in for the Independence Bowl, and gave another very honest review of the city of Shreveport.

Interestingly, that review from the football reporter, and this travel vlog, run pretty parallel. Meaning this is likely how all visitors get to see the city.

The football reporter's review of the city was met with both toxic apologist behavior (Shreveport people calling him a liar and getting upset with what the guy personally saw) as well as people taking it over the top and serving it as a reason to level the city and start over. But that's not the right take to have for either of these reviews.

You have to remove yourself from being a Shreveport local. You have to take the blinders off, whether that's apologist blinders or hyper-critical blinders, and just acknowledge that we're all too close to the forest to see these trees. Don't complain that they "didn't go to the right part of town" or that they "didn't even see the worst parts", this is honestly what they just drove up on.

Obviously the travel vlogger and the BYU reporter didn't come into Shreveport with an agenda. Neither of them care about Shreveport more than 10 minutes after they leave the city limits onto their next stop. They didn't care before, they don't care after. They're totally unbiased, and are giving you an honest view of what an outsider sees. So really think about the fact that those takeaways will be the same takeaways from the next visitor too. Because you don't get to be there to hold their hand, and show them only the parts you want them to see.

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