Articles on New Orleans are as abundant as the city's joie de vivre, but Kevin Sessums's "The Big Easy Does It" [October] captures the city's charm with evocative accuracy.

His account of Michael Kors's Crescent City adventure rings true for this transplanted New Orleanian. For a moment, I was taken backto Galatoire's on a Friday afternoon, dining and imbibing, with the real world far away. So many no-no nannies are out there trying to deny us life's pleasures, it's refreshing that New Orleans just gets it. Our next trip is booked.

Eritrea Over Easy
Tara Bahrampour paints a vivid picture of the newly peaceable nation of Eritrea ["Eritrea Emerges," September]. That residents write poetry amid constant reminders of their long history as a subjugated people is a testament to their progressive spirit. But the Modernist architecture and pristine coastline are like brittle eggshells—albeit of the Fabergé variety—that conceal the country's problems (a ban on private newspapers, a 2.5 percent annual population-growth rate, economic stagnation). For those of us who dream of a long, languid holiday in this land, let's hope the "growing pains" don't crack that shell.

Blame It on Rio
I was enthralled with Henry Alford's "Some Like It Hot" [September], about Rio de Janeiro, one of my favorite cities. I couldn't read it fast enough—until I came to the author's description of his ascent in the Santa Teresa tram: "Not skin-flayingly frightening, but [not] without suspense," with an unnecessary, tactless reference to Ted Kennedy's Chappaquiddick car accident. The attempt at cheap humor detracted from an otherwise enjoyable article.

West Town Story
I really enjoyed your foray into Chicago's up-and-coming West Town ["Building Blocks," October]. While visiting a friend in the city last summer, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about this energetic and fresh neighborhood, once ill-famed but now rejuvenated and thriving. My friend, a fashion fiend, frequents the area for its unique boutiques, such as Le Fetiche and Noir Women. Together we discoveredethnic restaurants, such as Coco and Green Ginger, and hipster bars like Rainbo Club. Thank you for bringing this emerging district to light!

CORRECTION Due to an editing error, a price was misstated in "The Burger Lives" [October]. At Father's Office in Santa Monica, a burger costs $10; at In-N-Out, $1.50.

During a trip to southern France, my husband and I discovered a peaceful Lubéron oasis. La Louveterie [3 Rue des Écoles, Puyvert; 33-4/90-08-76-50;; doubles from $122] is a four-room maison d'hôte in a restored 17th-century bastide, just a short drive from Aix-en-Provence. The charming Swiss owners, who served us fresh croissants daily in the tree-shaded courtyard, both speak excellent English and offered us invaluable touring tips for the region. But the best part was the private roof deck, accessible by a staircase from our large and airy room. There we sampled local bread, cheese, and wine while taking in sunset views of the surrounding valley. La vie est belle!

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La Louveterie