I have a longstanding fascination with mattresses, bedbugs, night terrors, and other such factors that can confer or deny a good night’s sleep. This might be why I liked Edward Ericson Jr.’s recent Baltimore City Paper piece about southeast Baltimore’s bedbug epidemic. Then again, it might just be a really, really good article. Ericson delivers a well-written, deeply reported story in which he addresses public health and class issues alike, presents some pretty interesting facts about bedbugs (baby bedbugs are translucent becaues they have yet to develop a taste for blood), and finds some great, great quotes (“The reality is that you will learn to embrace the bed bug,” says one oddly sanguine victim). His article epitomizes the sort of engaging, comprehensive city reporting that alt-weekies can still do better than most other outlets. Read it.
(Disclosure: I used to contribute to the City Paper.)Justin Peters is editor-at-large of the Columbia Journalism Review.