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Today we celebrate 241 years of American independence aka the holiday we celebrate on July 4th in the states… aka the day we take off, don’t write posts, eat grilled meats made in someone’s backyard, wear clothing with Old Glory on it and shoot off fireworks to scare all the neighborhood pets. It’s a pretty awesome holiday for a pretty awesome place.
Though the last seven months (and the election season before it) have been incredibly tough for a lot of Americans, we wanted to share the things about America that we LOVE! We might currently be having a bit of an existential crisis but America truly is one of the best places in the world for so many reasons and we thought we’d share a few today to celebrate!
I love American for the reason in this photo above. Sometimes, I’m just walking tipsily to a better corner to grab an Uber in Old City Philadelphia, trying not to break a heel on the cobblestones when BOOM- Independence Hall, the birthplace of our democracy, is in my face. It is just a building. One that is generally covered in scaffolding because it’s under constant repair, but it’s there. It’s near bars and restaurants and pizza joints and cheese steak shops. And it reminds me, whenever I see it(and the line for the Liberty Bell across the street), of our great country.
And while I’m a BIG fan of my city, even with all its grit and grime, I am also so glad we have a country of so much diversity- in its people AND landscape. From the most beautiful place, in my opinion, in the US (The Pacific Northwest) to the beaches and sun of Southern California, to the cliffs and chilly air of Massachusetts and Maine, The United States is one of the most amazing places on earth!
I love America because our country has a great mixture of so many cultures. My two favorite cities (currently) are San Antonio and Fort Worth. If you ever have a chance to visit either one, take it – you won’t be disappointed. Both cities have a ton of things for families, singles and couples – you name it, they’ve got it. I love that I live in a country that is so big and that celebrates the differences that make us unique (even though it may not always seem like it!)
San Antonio has a very rich cultural district that melds Spanish and European culture that defines central and south Texas really well. Plus it has the Alamo and the River Walk!
Western heritage is a big deal in Texas, and Fort Worth is the perfect place to see it. My favorite place in Fort Worth is Sundance Square – there are beautiful historic hotels, art galleries, eateries, jazz lounges, entertainment halls and a lot of fun people watching. You can even watch a daily longhorn cattle drive at the Stockyards…which might seem odd because it’s in the metroplex, but it’s fun.
Even though I’ve lived a state over from NYC my entire life, this past weekend was the first time I had a chance to see the Statue of Liberty up close and in person. And I didn’t think it would affect me at all being the self-involved millennial that I am, but on our boat tour the majority of the crowd was foreign, and to see them so eager to get a picture in front of it and excited to be in the US reminded me how lucky I am to live in a country where I’m so free. People fight to get here and I had the extreme luck to be born here. Maybe it’s all the WWII historical fiction I’ve been reading lately, (thanks, The Bronze Horseman) but I’ll admit that I teared up a bit when the boat started playing that jazzy version of America the Beautiful by Ray Charles and Lady Liberty held her torch up in the distance. Things might not be so great politically right now, but I’ll still take the USA over a hundred other countries. So my advice when you’ve seen too many political posts on Facebook and you accidentally saw Trump’s latest tweet disaster on Twitter is to step outside and find some historical landmark you’ve never seen before. Take a minute to think about the history of this country and how beautiful it is that a bunch of people didn’t like how things were so they decided to change it. And remember that we can still do that today.
Plus where else can you get french fries on pretty much every street?!
There’s a lot going on to be upset about in America right now, but I will be damned if I let it get me down on the 4th of July. Let the other 364 be filled with worry and outrage, but today is the one singular day to celebrate all the great things about our country. And there are a lot. It’s been hard to see lately, but I really do think there are more loving and open people in America than not, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, people have been flooding their Congress members’ town hall meetings, protests have been organized and put into motion within hours over Twitter, and good people have been encouraged to run for office when they would have never considered it before. There were millions of people who showed up at the Women’s March in January who all love their country and were angry enough to fight for it to have gone out and stood in the cold for hours. At the one I attended I saw little boys holding signs next to their mothers and dads carrying their daughters around on their shoulders. It was a beautiful thing. Even more so considering what a huge and diverse country we are. (Seriously, you could never leave our borders and experience almost every climate on earth and meet any type of person you can imagine.) It might be the grill smell and the fireworks today making me overly sentimental, but at least right I feel like we’re going to be okay, even if “okay” is at the end of a rough road. For me, America has always been like those funky looking dogs that you can’t help but love anyway. Super scrappy and kind of a mess, but so obliviously overconfident regardless that it’s almost endearing.
I LOVE AMERICA (most days)! And July 4th is my favorite holiday! No really! With the last year of awfulness so many Americans (and those watching) have experienced, it’s been hard to think about my impending favorite holiday. I mean, what would I celebrate when I don’t support many of the people tasked with leading us? What will I celebrate when so many fellow Americans have felt emboldened to commit hate crimes and fly Confederate flags and instigate violence against their fellow Americans just because they look or worship differently than they do? Yes, you can see the conundrum of my favorite holiday. We might be in a bit of a mess, but this has always been a great country, full of so many wonderful, loving, talented people so I celebrate all of these things that have always made us great!
A post shared by itshowtimenikki (@itshowtimenikki) on
(Americans smiling on a tour bus in a foreign country!)
Growing up in the southwest with family in the south, I’ve known generous, amazing people who would give you anything, invite you over whether you’re family or not and treat you like their own. Americans (for the most part) are known the world over for their friendly personalities and I LOVE that. I’ve had the pleasure to travel outside of the US many times and I remember a friend who lived in France who told us, it’s easy to spot Americans, “they’re always smiling… with their teeth!” There’s something about that thought that’d stuck with me. We smile because we’re friendly, we smile because the American spirit is full of optimism, curiosity and a welcoming heart.
America is made up of SO many different people. I don’t say this as someone who lives in Los Angeles, a large city with lots of ethnic groups, immigrants and various people from different corners of the US. America the physical country is HUGE, we have so many different types of people from east to west, to territories and beyond who make up our collective culture. We are rich because of it’s depth and breadth.
American food iiissss AMAZING and it’s because of the all the people I just mentioned and the incredible variations in our food sources that make it some of the best in the world. We are not just Fried Butter from the State Fair, we are Galbi and smoked salmon and molé and tamales and biscuits and Italian Ice and oysters and lobster and apple pie and kimchi and beef jerky and collard greens and chicken parm and pancit and curry and avocado toast and casseroles and everything in between. Our food heritage is rich and is the physical manifestation of our shared history.
Because of our ideals, how we were founded and the freedoms so many fought and died for, we are free to say, talk, discuss and disagree with our leaders, we’re also free to run a website where we can drool over a show like Outlander, while publicizing our participation in the Women’s March without fear of being jailed or killed.
We love you America!
Have a great 4th of July everyone!
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