Since practically the first day of operation here, our WordPress analytics have indicated a remarkably steady blog traffic allocation of 70% American 30% outside. So in the grand USA tradition of minority coddling, this post is strictly for you my foreign friends.
What would you think are the most desirable countries to visit for tourists? It would obviously have to be first world, which is to say white or Japan. It would have to boast of amazing works of man or nature–preferably both and ideally in concentrated abundance. It’s well known that Paris is the most visited city in the world, and so France would be a top guess. Followed probably by Italy with its appealing mix of ancient and modern, and perhaps the UK from London. Well, I was kind of close.
USA number two, China four, Turkey six? That’s surprising. As mentioned above, I would have supposed first world as being mandatory and half the top six are not. Though perhaps that’s an uncharitable assessment…of China and Turkey. Though since I have little on-the-ground experience with either, I will limit my commentary to that big number two.
When a Native American, such as myself, imagines foreign tourists coming here (70 million in 2013) the first thought is: where the hell are they going? Because America is a tough tourist nut to crack. Her beauty being found more in the sinews than organs. I would think most visitors emerge into the huge coastal catch basins. And limiting themselves to those alone, return home with the notion that they have seen America. Hardly.
As a for instance, take New York…Please! It would be unfair to say it’s not actual America, for it is in its own way as much as the Cajun Bayou is in its. Yet NYC is nothing like the rest of the country, and a place to which I would only return at gunpoint. Though it is unique in its immensity and character. Just don’t go there expecting warm hospitality or friendly smiles. And don’t stand too close to the commuter rails.
After that megalopolis, other major nodes feature their own profiles.
Chicago: Surprisingly friendly for its size, and relatively compact and easy to navigate. But growing increasingly violent, even outside its enormous southern ghetto.
LA: Crowded, crazy traffic and about a generation behind Mexico City. The dichotomy between ultra-rich and teeming favelas is probably already on par.
San Francisco: a place of gibbering liberal lunacy that has just coincidentally priced out all of its cherished diversity into Oakland. I’m sure this was all completely inadvertent given the declared principles of the populace. Everything is ridiculously expensive, but you get what you pay for: diversity across the bay. As a result, San Fran is a very picturesque and relatively safe big city (stay far away from the Tenderloin) with plenty to do and see.
Las Vegas: This isn’t a population center, except increasingly for Mexicans. Though as a creation designed for entertainment rather than living, I must admit to its decent success. I have always enjoyed myself there and can think of no place quite as amusing in its gauche gaudiness. The strip is somewhere to see once in your life.
Orlando: Vegas for families. And again, as a purpose built destination, it succeeds. Orlando itself is an increasingly violent/vibrant dump. But Disney (and Universal and Seaworld) know their business, and if you go only where you should there is an unmatched array of entertainment options.
But you already know about all of these. I want to mention the byways, where you may just find a lingering glimpse of legacy America.
* New England in the fall. Even though the renowned foliage is overhyped and no more vivid than many other places, it’s still a very scenic place and time. Visit Acadia Park in Maine. Eat cheap lobster. Drive the coast. The people are surprisingly friendly…and old. I’m not sure if the secret to making babies was closely held in this area, though the entire (very white for now) state must resemble raw meat to the infiltrating Somalis.
* The Carolina beach towns in summer. Or alternately the Florida panhandle. Safe, fun, relaxing, and very unvibrant.
* The western ski areas in summer or winter. The scenic places in Colorado, Utah, or Montana have endless options for those whose favorite Americans walk on four legs. And places like Deer Valley can’t be beat for sliding down a hill in pampered style. Though again, you will find a troubling deficit of diversity in these activities.
* The southwestern desert. Here you may even get to witness the human migration first hand as mestizos emerge before you like sand crabs. Though in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, there are abundant places to enjoy the arid beauty and scenic hikes sans the blaring of mariachi music.
* Drive the California coast. See giant Sequoias and breathtaking cliff-side views hundreds of feet above an azure Pacific. Take in the majesty of Big Sur. And there shed a tear for this lost state.
There are many more and I encourage any potential visitors to vet their itinerary at this venue, or one equally reputable, before alighting onto this sprawling asylum. Until then…happy trails.