Nathan's Famous frankfurters. 1310 Surf Avenue. Coney Island, Brooklyn. NYC.

Friday, October 23, 2009


...On the fifth day of a journey across the Atlantic Ocean, we saw the gigantic buildings of New York. Before us was America. But when we had been in New York for a week and, as it seemed to us, we began to understand America, we were quite unexpectedly told that New York is not at all America. They told us that New York is a bridge between Europe and America, and that we were still situated on the bridge. Then we went to Washington, being steadfastly convinced that the capital of the United States is indisputably America. We spent a day there, and by evening we managed to fall in love with this purely American city. However, on that very same evening we were told that Washington was under no circumstances America. They told us that this was a town of governmental bureaucrats and that America was something quite different. ..

Perplexed, we traveled to Hartford, a city in the state of Connecticut, where the great American writer Mark Twain spent his mature years. Much to our horror, the local residents told us in unison that Hartford was also not genuine America. They said that the genuine America was the southern states, while others affirmed that it was the western ones. Several didn't say anything but vaguely pointed a finger into space. We then decided to work according to a plan: to drive around the entire country in an automobile, to traverse it from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and to return along a different route, along the Gulf of Mexico, calculating that indeed somewhere we would be sure to find America. We returned to New York, purchased a Ford (transportation in one's own automobile is the least expensive means of travel in the United States), insured it and ourselves, and on a chilly November morning we left New York for America..

Ilya Ilf Arnoldovich Faynzilberg and Yevgeniy Petrovich Kataev , Little Golden America, 1937

Thursday, October 01, 2009


It is the soldier, not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer,
Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,...

And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

-- Father Dennis Edward O'Brian, USMC