Oh, America.

America has a bad reputation. For the most part, it’s perceived as an emotional wasteland; a place of crazy people talking about their insecurities, their canine’s separation anxieties, whilst eating egg-white omelettes, carrot juice and Starbucks extra-hot lattes. And, of course, that’s exactly what it is.

This guy's bored.

This guy’s really bored.

And yet there’s a level of openness here unlike any place I’ve experienced before. Yes, people talk constantly about their feelings and eat insane amounts of kale (the best place for Kale is Jack’s Wife Freda, try it), but they are also hugely receptive to new people. I am always surprised how willing the yanks are to strike up a friendship, even if you’re in the city for one day. They really do care about how you enjoyed your shopping experience at Walmart, today. People don’t hide away from commitment, it’s something they wear like an S Club 7 badge on their primary-school denim jay, unlike us Brits. We’d rather pop iPod headphones in at the first sight of possible human interaction, prefer to sit next to someone eating a vindaloo on the bus than say anything and burn our tongues on a coffee rather than admit it’s too hot – unlike Americans, who stomp around their city, proud of their brash, loudmouth reputation. And, damn, it’s contagious.

The Great British Take Off

Why is the cat trying to shave?

I started to question our entire motive for isolationism, living out here. I mean, why should we sit in silence when we can shout about every aspect of our relationship issues at the top of our voices? Why shouldn’t we brag, and moan, and cry and shout in public? Man why are we so damn QUIET.

Being outspoken is not sexy in the UK.

Being outspoken is generally not sexy.

Because, you know what, American loudness is productive – it’s a means of engaging with your surroundings, with your city, of taking control of the world around you. Ask any New Yorker where their favourite place to eat is, and they’ll get out their iPhone and have a list of 20 places that you.simply.have.to.try. And I love that – it’s a pride and a joy in one’s own city. It’s a way of taking ownership over a place that can seem daunting and overwhelming, so that you can fight getting lost in it. And man, the meatball sub at Parm really is something to tell the world about.


FACT: Americans can only eat out of red plastic baskets because otherwise they explode.

I met Nadia from FrouFrouu recently, and she told me one of her reasons for moving stateside was that she felt creatively stifled in London. When pushed, she explained that in London, the job is the bit you get done – so that you can get down to the pub after work. But in New York, the job is the fun bit, people actually like what they do – after work, bar after bar is crammed full of people in work suits, drinking corona and getting cheap tacos. Socialising is an extension of work – there isn’t a divide, everything is just quite fun.

We eat salads now because we live in New York!

We eat salads now because we live in New York!

When I met Timo Weiland earlier this week, he explained to me that his collection was based around the concept of the ‘modern New Yorker’, someone who needs to be able to go from work to business lunch, dinner to bar, bar to club, all in one outfit. His philosophy is based around the habits of modernity – in a place that is cyclical, never-ending and always evolving, you need clothes that can keep up. It was a beautiful ode to the city that never sleeps and I’ve never wanted to own a branded fur coat more.

Who the fuck looks like good in Simpsons clothing?

Who the fuck looks that good in Simpsons clothing?

I cannot say that the hectic New York attitude to consuming all, revealing all, living all, is for everyone. It’s easy to think that’s it’s all simply too much – why do you need 16 handles of frozen yogurt when you could just have plain? I mean, plain’s best after all, isn’t it? We all really love plain? You end up getting toppings that don’t even slightly go together…

Sprinkles are only for the emotionally stunted.

Sprinkles are only for perverts and emotionally stunted people.

But variety and excess are the buzz words of America – physically, mentally, emotionally, there’s so much muchness it’s all a bit much. But we can learn a lot from these crazies because they are owning their world, they are carpe-ing the hell out of their diem and gorging their way through their 16 handles of frozen yogurt. Fuck it, America, I love you.

Read more at: www.suitcasemag.com

8 thoughts on “Oh, America.

  1. I’ve got to admit I enjoyed your post, America is a very interesting place. Yes it’s full of cry babies, and those who have more insecurities then they have sense. But I will tell you there is an opposite side which can be quite ugly. I only say this because I lived there for 55 years, I think that to very coin there is an opposite side. The cool part is a coin wouldn’t be a coin with out it.

  2. Your article written with so much humour reflects how happy you obviously are and makes me wonder why I don’t pack a bag and head out there right now.

  3. Pingback: 10 Signs You’ve Been in the Library Too Long… | Time is How You Spend Your Love

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