Where would I go in America
As an armchair traveler, by the way I nicked that from one of the Hubers, my first trip to the United States would be to see the Statute of Liberty from afar which I heard so much about from different mediums. It would be just look at the statute from my own peace of mind and ponder at it from afar and think of its French origins and how cultures mellowed together to represent basic human instincts.
Off course I would then envelope myself in the Big Apple, New York and rush through its different posts, starting maybe with Time Square, 5th Avenue, and working wherever the winds take me to the arguably great city of American architecture.
Despite the fact that I have never been to the place, I grew up in the midst of New York, hearing about it and living with it as if it was the city to know. Discounting the films and the television series, New York always had a strong presence about it and familiarizing oneself with of its neighborhoods, its Bronx, Queens, Richmond, its Umpire State Building, and all sorts of glitzy hotels. This is of course not to mention Broadway and its system of national parks while bordering on Lakes Erie and Ontario and getting a great treat in the Hudson River.
Frank McCourt’s biography, ‘Tis, paints a vivid picture of New York, its, colleges, schools, neighborhoods and people in a layback, amusing and at times funny portrayal of how the Irish brought their lot and travelled to make their fortunes in New York.
Next I would go to Washington DC, arguably the political capital of the world, if such a phrase can be used. Who can forget the city of power where political decisions are made that can affect the other four continents of the globe.
Washington DC is not a big city but it’s very official, the wheeling and dealing and horse-trading of national and international politics have the largest number of embassies. The capital’s stature is affected by a couple of John Grisham’s novels being the most famous of which is The Broker where politics, espionage and top-notch missiles intermingle.
But it is nice to meander in that special city, understanding the intricacies of Congress, Capital Hill, Pentagon, White House and the rest of it where you meander whilst tripping over politicians and CIA agents incognito. But that's not all, the Library of Congress is the most impressive were politics and culture meet at 147 million books and increasing.
As well, a trip to Washington DC can be a cultural sojourn for the city is the place of the Smithsonian Institution, an umbrella of museums and national galleries that ranges of natural history, space, African art and American history and a host of other private museums.
This is the place of the performing arts, orchestra, opera and ballet with many coming from all over the United States.
I don’t know what the situation is now-a-days but some friend told me that violence and mugging is something terrible and come six o’clock, people go in their abodes and lock themselves in with chattering teeth in fear of their life!
This of course, and I am sure, is widely exaggerated for all big cities around the world have the curse of the urban violence and have to take care; for many towns in America, you wouldn’t even hear of a whimper, so slow that hardly ever happens there. Here I am reminded of the exact opposite of that when looking at such great cities such as Chicago where television films have stereotyped the city into the stronghold of gangsters and Al Capone.
One place I wanted to visit in the States had been and still is Boston because of a romantic feeling that this is indeed great city. There is a mad desire to visit the city that I am told is a European conurbation in every respect but this is because of a strong settler colonial connection that goes back to the 17th century and around 1630 when a group of immigrants from Boston Lancashire in England docked in that American territory that became known as Boston.
Also, the city will stay in my mind because of the 1980s tv sitcom Cheers where it was rows and rows of laughter. One of my professor in the UK a long time ago, used to have a house in that city and he would tell me it’s the most European of all cities in the America. Maybe it is the fusion of culture between two similar continents, USA and Europe.
Another sleepy town I wouldn’t mind going back to is Manhattan, Kansas. Its one of those small universities towns where practically everything that exists is related to that academic institutions and its different departments. I am not sure if you can call it a green built university, but outside this stretch of concrete conurbation there is a sense of rural environs and psyche. Out beyond is of course Kansas City, Wichita, Lawrence and Topeka.
Surprisingly Kansas, as a state, played in music, literature and film and television locations. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was set there, Truman's Copte's novel In Cold Blood was about a family who was murdered there with the state playing host to many science fiction films and thrillers.
I remember the high mountainous ranges just outside Manhattan, and its man-made lakes that used to stretch as far as the eye can see. This is plus the fact that I can put on the ignition and drive anywhere out where there was not a single soul around, just me and the car. I did not go very far because I didn’t know where it led but I know this was the outback, and a lot of land that it was.