After labeling Red Lake County as the "absolute worst place to live in America" in a data-driven 2015 article, Christopher Ingraham visited the county, moved his family there and is now writing a book about it.
The Washington Post reporter has been plying his trade from Red Lake Falls since spring 2016, moving with his wife and children to the reaches of northwest Minnesota.
Once it's most notorious critic, Ingraham has become one of the county's biggest cheerleaders, and is now planning on describing his experiences in a book. He took to Facebook on Thursday to ask his friends for questions about his life in Red Lake Falls.
When he announced his move, we kinda figured a book might be in the offing at some point, but to be fair he does address this when asked whether the whole move was for "publicity sake."
"This is a totally fair question. Certainly the idea of an eventual book or something was in my mind when we moved here," Ingraham replied. "But the primary drivers were A) cost of living and B) the sense of civic pride here. Plus we'd never lived in the midwest and wanted to see what it was all about."
"In fact, after we told people we were moving we were approached by a reality tv producer wanting to know if we'd be interested in making a tv show of it. I deleted the email without responding."
Other things Ingraham revealed in his impromptu Q&A include the following:
– He now gets annoyed when the media stereotypes "flyover states."
– His ranking of Minnesota delicacies Grain Belt (1st), Lefse (2nd), Hot dish (3rd), Lutefisk (897th).
– The pizza in Red Lake County is "not good."
– The biggest culture shock was people who "just drop by unannounced to say 'hello.'"
– When asked why are "fried cheese curds such a big thing?", he correctly answers: "Honest to god they are amazing."