26 January 2010

New York Nostalgia

Stage 2 of the lecture tour of the US. Flew across with SAS and ended up with the worst kind of “seat-mate” – middle aged Norwegian male who guzzled has much alcohol as he could get, constantly invaded my space, then fell asleep snoring and farting. And I mean farting badly, it was horrible! Still managed to get some work done in between trying to burrow deeper and deeper into my hoodie…

Anyway made it to New York, which is just transit and I am sitting in the lounge. It was very strange looking out at the docks in Newerk and the skyline in the distance because it all feels strangely nostalgic, which is fine but I have never been here before. Even the people and their slurred accent, the dress styles and the general atmosphere all seem oddly familiar in a pleasant way. Somehow it makes me think of Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi and even Rocky and for some bizarre reason that is good.

I guess you can crudely sub-divide the US in to 4 quarters.
1. There’s everything west of the Rockies, - the West; where there is the remnants of the pioneer spirit, lots of wide open space and where outdoor and adventure sport junkies mingle with red necks in picks up. I love the high desert and the western US.
2. There is the SE – including Texas, Mississippi etc. The land of the large, where very big people drive even bigger trucks, were Sarah Palin is not a joke and George Bush was a good guy. Hmm not so sure about that bit.

Then there are the two bits I haven’t really sampled

3. The mid-west, flat cornfields filled with bible bashing creationists – at least that’s my impression and it’s not really drawing me in
4. And finally the NE, including New York. This seems like somewhere that has a strong culture and a strong history. Somewhere I definitely need to visit properly and not just from an airport lounge

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