Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Reasons to love Cardiff

I don't really have a list of reasons to love Cardiff, perhaps I will make one some day. Somewhere at the top of that list will be the fact that it's not this place.

The picture was taken by a former co-worker of mine, Maggie, who asks the question "What city is this??" rhetorically. It is a picture of downtown Minneapolis. The frustrating aspect is that in this city that serves as the cultural heart of the only state to not vote for Reagan in 1984, there is massive (and, let's be honest, tacky) Americana propaganda and a Rush Limbaugh billboard framed by the omnipresence of Borders and the Target Corp.

I am thinking of putting this picture on a T-shirt, with the words, "Not The America I Grew Up In," across the top.

For everyone who's never been to the Twin Cities, this picture probably looks like exactly what you would expect to see from an American Midwest downtown -- wide, relatively empty dusty streets, minimal pedestrians and unabashed conservatism. But for those of us who know the place, it's incredibly depressing -- it's a picture that makes me want to go out into the garden and hug the sweet Welsh earth.

13 comments:

outercircle21 said...

I'm sorry to say that if you swapped the billboards for the latest Easyjet or Sun bingo promotion, the image could be an increasing number of UK cities too. I might pinch your idea and have a t shirt made with a picture of Merry Hill Shopping centre captioned "Not the Britain I grew up in."

mona said...

the thing that always intrigued me about the states was the number of American flags I would cross in one day, tried counting them once but quickly lost track.

DaviMack said...

Do go out there & hug the earth ... and I'm sure you'll increase the chances of putting down roots. ;)

Robert Humphries said...

Ick! I've yet to visit Minneapolis, and it's always seemed to me a fair-minded, progressive kind of place. Everyone I know from there seems to fit that description.

I have no problem with Americans having a reasonable amount of pride in their country (don't we all), but I can't stand the ascendant trailer-park flavour of American patriotism (I'm showing my cultural prejudices here, I know).

There are places around here where you feel as though you are an unwilling participant in an ongoing Toby Keith video.

That being said, I have to agree that Britain also has plenty of tacky crap festooned across public places.

Give the sweet Welsh earth a hug for me too, while you're at it. I miss it a lot sometimes.

Kim said...

Minneapolis Represent!!! Hey - it's not that bad. Those billboards change frequently... oh God I hope that one is gone.

Minneapolis is, indeed, a petri dish of liberals and conservatives usually getting along with each other because there are so many social and diverse interests that they do happen to have in common. The city has so much to offer... blockE is pretty low on the list of cultural draws and excellent places to hang out.

Actually it probably fell off the list...

Neal said...

Give the earth a hug for me, since I will not see it again for several more months...though that picture doesn't put me in any hurry to get back.

Curly said...

Reasons to love Cardiff -

The museum and city hall and CAthays park look GREAT in the sun.

You can get a pint for £1.70

Drivers let you across the road even when it's their turn to move.

There's a shop where you can buy American flags.

Bugail Aberdyfi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monica said...

I've walked along that very street before. I wasn't impressed.

Annie Rhiannon said...

I am definitely going to Cardiff this year, it's my ambition.

Monica said...

Not to get too far off the topic, but have
you seen this?

lindsay said...

Oof. I didn't even recognize it! At first I thought it was beautiful Sherman Oaks, on Ventura. Oh, Minneapolis. What has happened to you?

mona said...

is your disappearance cause for concern Cope ?