I spend a lot of time in my home state, Minnesota, as well as in Manhattan and the greater New York City area. On my run yesterday I realized how very “American” both places are.
The heartland is beautiful. I love it. I really do. It’s open, sunny and filled with fresh air & nice people. Out East and in any larger American city (including Minneapolis/St. Paul) you’ll notice the iconic melting pot in action quite a bit more than in rural hometowns like mine. My current neighborhood in New Jersey consists of many faces. A few favorites include: Cora, a 95 year old Irish woman across the street. I call her the ‘Irish Bride’. She’s not recently married, but she told me all about her wedding, her long lost husband and her early days as a woman in this country. Then there’s a Russian man around the corner. I don’t know his name. He’s a friendly fellow and is most definitely the hairiest, large-bellied man I’ve ever seen. I have yet to see him wearing a shirt, even in the dead of winter! And I adore our half-Mexican neighbor girls. They LOVE my dog, Radar, and are quite conversational for being 2,4 and 7. Their parents are some of the kindest, most giving people around. They have fed us on so many occasions I can’t count them all!
The list goes on… Our landlord is Greek. I keep waiting for him to spray Windex on something to fix it, but that hasn’t happened yet. (You’ve had to have seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding to understand that comment.) And just yesterday as I was running through the park, a little girl from Jerusalem yelled at me, “Stop! You’re scaring the birds!” I slowed so as not to disturb the pigeons and admired her chutzpah.
See, I’m a mix of German, French, Irish and Native American blood. If I sprayed Windex on a zit you’d think I was crazy. (OK, now really, add My Big Fat Greek Wedding to your Netflix queue or Hulu or whatever you do-lu!) So, I love getting to know more about other cultures. It’s fun to travel to other countries, but also quite fun when you can experience a myriad of unique characteristics right in your own backyard.
And to that I’ll raise my glass to diversity! I hope we can always love one another and be accepting of each others’ heritage and way of life. I like my world just how I like my food: colorful & zesty please!
I couldn’t help but think of Fievel from An American Tail while writing this post. I love old school animation and had to share this progression of Fievel’s march. And since I found it I have now been singing “There are No Cats in America!” non-stop. Please help. Or join me. Enjoy the video below!
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You’re a Doll!