Simply Jonathan

Archive for August 2007

USA Impressions

I recently went to the US for the first time in my life, and while I was there, I wrote down some of my impressions. Note that not all of these apply specifically to USA, but are merely things I got to think of, while I was there.

  • Entering is not as bad as I had feared. Sure, we had to fill out a scheme to verify we weren’t terrorists, but all in all, it was pretty okay.
  • For the first time ever, I lost my luggage. That obviously sucks, but even more so, SWISS Air wouldn’t pay, because most of my party’s luggage had made it. Bullshit. (They did actually find it while I was there, but when they couldn’t reach us, I got it when I got home. Still, they’re morons.)
  • “Gentlemen’s club” is quite an insulting name, to those who don’t go such places.
  • As a side effect of losing my suit case, and us arriving late, the first night I had to brush my teeth with my finger. Not as fun as it sounds like, and definitely not very effective.
  • NYC is a damn hot place. I knew it was on the same degree of longitude as Rome, Italy, but I had always understood that it was a far colder place.
  • In turn, the air conditions are far too aggressive. I understand why you want to turn down the heat, but it seemed like every AC was turned to 10ÂșC, quite cold.
  • American radio seems to be, even more than TV, advertising with more or less relevant content mixed in.
  • The buildings are tall as fucking hell. This wasn’t really a surprise, but it was still quite amazing to see. Empire State Building of course being an incredible experience.
  • Ground Zero wasn’t nearly the tourist trap I had actually thought it would be.
  • GAP might just be my new favorite clothing brand.
  • The average American isn’t nearly as obese as I had thought, at least not in New York and New England.
  • American people seem extraordinarily nice to strangers. Whenever we looked the tiniest bit lost, some nice fellow would come over, and ask if we needed directions. Some even followed us there, like a guy in the Subway, who probably missed his own train since he had to show us ours.
  • There seems to be an infinite number of spin-offs available to the legendary “I (heart) NY” shirt, my personal favorite being “Go (heart) your own city.”
  • NYC is a very, very busy city. Everyone’s in a hurry, all the time.
  • Boston isn’t, and seems much cosy, and quite a charming city, actually.
  • Soccer shirts seem to be incredibly popular, despite my understanding, that soccer is a game only played by 10 year olds in the States. And they weren’t even David Beckham-shirts, which would’ve been understandable somehow.
  • Everyone and their dog seemed to have a tattoo. I mean, tattoos aren’t rare in Denmark, but it seemed that everyone, even the nice family moms, had one.
  • Places I recommend eating:
    • Siggy’s in Brooklyn Heights. Simply wonderful. They only serve organic food, of such a high quality that you won’t believe it. I recommend the turkey burger.
    • ASA Grill in Hyannis on Cape Cod. Despite its rather humble name, ASA is actually a wonderful place to dine, with some extravagant rooms.
    • Pony Express in Yarmouth on Cape Cod. I got a quite decent pizza, but the experience to be had is with the owner. He seems like a Jack Black without the attitude.
  • Cape Cod isn’t so much fun when it’s raining.
  • Multi-line one way streets is a very confusing concept, and we got caught once at ghost-driving. Not nice.
  • The Niagara Falls are marvelous, but the insane amount of tourists — ourselves included, of course — ruined a bit of the experience for me.
  • Macy’s logo (a red, five dotted star) seems as a bit of a strange choice for an American company.
  • Even the Subway sign on Times Square is blinking.
  • NYC clearly doesn’t care much about its bicyclists. I saw one single cycle path in the entire city, located in Brooklyn Heights. And the cyclists seem to have taken an according reaction, by driving like maniacs, ignoring light stops and what not.
  • “Thru” apparently is the correct spelling. I always thought it was just stupid Internet slang.

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This is Simply Jonathan, a blog written by Jonathan Holst. It's mostly about technical topics (and mainly the Web at that), but an occasional post on clothing, sports, and general personal life topics can be found.

Jonathan Holst is a programmer, language enthusiast, sports fan, and appreciator of good design, living in Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe. He is also someone pretentious enough to call himself the 'author' of a blog. And talk about himself in the third person.