Sunday, May 18, 2008

The homoginization of America

If I have learned anything from my travels so far, it is that corporate America has a plan to make every city the same. Every major city has every major restaurant chain and retail shop. From the highways, they look and feel the same. Take the roads less travelled.
When you travel across this wonderful country, avoid the restaurants and shops that you can find at home and in every other major city. Find the local businesses and support them. When you buy souvenirs, don't buy the crap made in China or Taiwan, look for the locally made items.
Not every meal you eat in the local dive is going to be a gem, but you'll never know until you try. Find out what the local specialty is. Here it is green chili. Green chili on hamburgers, green chili on pizza, green chili stew. It isn't spicy hot, just a different flavor. This advice is from a picky eater, but I'm trying. I just don't plan on visiting the tomato capitol of the world.
One exception is when you feel a touch of homesickness, then a comfort meal in a restaurant chain that you enjoy can be just the ticket to remind you that you are never far from home.
The next couple days will be in the 90s and I think they are going to open the pool, so that's where I'll be.


Paige and Dave said...

I have to say, I have yet to find a Texas Roadhouse here near the nation's capitol! I agree with you about finding the local stuff but there is something comforting about walking into a Nordstrom's (or a Target or a Costco) anywhere in the country and knowing without opening my eyes where I am. Have fun in the pool, we are having another rainy day. p

Anonymous said...

Scott....those are some profound words and certainly make a lot of sense to me. I'm going to take your words to heart and use them as future words of advice when it comes to travel. By the way I always avoid "chains" and look for Mom & Pop restaurants. I've come across some really outstanding places to eat in my travels and it reinforces my decision to stay away from the "chains".

CiaoBella! said...

Tom and I agree; we always go with the truckstops or local diners and avoid the "normal". I really found the same chain restaurants in El Paso; it was disheartening.
Keep eating and keep enjoying the local ambience!

Anonymous said...

Local greasy spoons are the best. Chains shops are all the same taste like Mickie D's and the help usually comes from there, ('you want what! when!').