Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Wandering Writer goes to U.S.A.

Well, this was something to be expected, wasnt it? After having traveled through Africa, Asia, and Europe, I wanted to visit also the country of the American Indians. The country discovered by the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (orig. Cristoforo Colombo), extensively colonized by the British Kingdom and which history brought it to become the independent country we know it nowadays.
We wanted to have a touch with the Country of Blues, Rock and Roll, Harley Davidson, great cars, amazing writers and artists.
One funny fact is that the American Declaration of Independence was also signed by John Morton, whose parents came from Finland (!)
Anyway, what pushed me to the final decision to visit at least two of the States in the US, was mainly the will to discover a new country, see new things, discovering other cultures, different architectures and history, but also a great chance I had to find a flight from Helsinki at a very special price (well, nowadays the prices with Finnair to the States dropped drastically then respect of how they used to be back in those days).
The direct flight cost was ridiculous, 420 euros per person and at that time, the currency exchange EUR/USD was very favorable, so even if our budget was slim, this was a must buy.
We reached New York City, the Big Apple on a fair Summer day, and the first thing we noticed was how different it looked like to our eyes.

For people who, like me, have spent their lives in small cities in Europe and the idea of a metropolis is a city which, like Rome is extended horizontally. Coming to New York, which development is mostly vertical, might be a bit overwhelming.

Personally, my biggest concern, if I had to live in one of those tall skyscrapers is how will I have some light during the day if I do not live on the top floors.
I went there about nine years ago, in 2008, and at that time the rebuilding of the WTC was ongoing after the terror attack of 2001.
That was perhaps, for us, a place we had to visit, as it marked a very crucial chapter in the modern history. Since our main reason for traveling is to uncover fact and figures, getting to know the historical facts of each country by the words of the people who had lived that particular part of history, the memorial site was a place we needed to visit, and with that talking to the people who wanted to tell us their stories.
Besides the first taste of the differences between what we are used to see and what instead New York has to offer, we reached another small cultural shock, the portions at the restaurants.
I have no idea why they must be so abundant. Generally, with one main course at the restaurant, I could have three meals back at home. After the first two meals we had at the restaurant, we started to split the portions in two or to get only the entrees, which were of the right size for the main course.
The quality of the food is delicious, and it is worth the try. I didnt reach Little Italy because I thought that if I want to visit Italy, I go to Italy, but I was in New York, and I wanted a taste of New York.

Could we forget about the Lady Liberty? Of course not!
The statue of Liberty was a gift of the French and was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and became an icon of freedom and of the United States and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.

The colossal neoclassic monument is something so stunning with such a powerful message, we all need to remember, and I personally felt overwhelmed by the symbolism and the meaning of that amazingly beautiful statue.
I wanted to write about another city and another State I have visited in that same occasion, but it seems that it starts to get quite long, and the least I want is to bore my reader. For this reason, I will dedicate the next week's blog to Boston, don't miss it because there are so many amazing things to be said, and great pictures to admire.
Stay tuned and have a lovely weekend!!



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