Monday, September 6, 2010

Road Week and The Americans

With the final days of summer, come the last sweet moments of warm nights, drinking beer on patios, and barbeques. Damn I love summer. More specifically after living in New Mexico, the warmest days of the year have taken on a very different meaning for me. Having lived in California for most of my life I hadn't seen the unique regional elements of this season, those particular traits of Americana that scream Americans on summer vacation! Most importantly, I've learned that nothing says America like a pick-up truck, classic rock, and the open road. FUCK YEA! Let's not forget the other essential ingredients, cold beer, a shot of cheap whiskey, and barbeque.

So to close out the last few days of this delightful season, I dedicate this week to the Open Road and Americana culture. To kick off the first post of The Road week a few photos from one my favorite photographers that perhaps sum up America and the Open Road best. After a long run at the SF and NY MoMas, I suppose Robert Frank's  "The Americans" exhibit, is a bit played out. My apologies, however I thought that this would still be fitting to inaugurate The Open Road week as his photos capture the alienation, the beauty, and the intricacies of American life. It’s a complex bitter sweet thing, yet he captures its paradoxes, conundrums, and hypocrisy in a starkly beautiful manner. With simple photos he carefully examines our fascination with technology, automobiles, and the fact that they have been infused into our very existence and have literally shaped how we interact, where we live, and how we live. Let’s also not forget, his wondrous journey through America’s forgotten heart land and how he captured the lonely highways, the hardened people scraping by, and the grittiness of their daily existence.

Random tangent: Speaking of America, I just recalled one of the most hilarious patriotic moments I’ve ever heard. My friend and her boyfriend were in San Francisco and watching the Gay Pride parade on her roof when he randomly started to sing the Team America theme song. Of course, much to his delight he was quickly joined by other watchers on rooftops and ajacent balconies in a massive chorus of patriotic wonder. What a beautiful moment.

1 comment:

  1. Friend, open road week is killing me. I actually had a dream about my dusty ole pick-up last night. These days, I'm really missing mesas, cheap motels, and running out of gas in the middle of the desert and having an old timer with overalls give me a half a gallon of gas so I can make it into Tucumcari. Just saying that makes me feel cooler.