Saturday, September 18, 2010

Country Girl Goes to the City and Visa Versa

Pet spent much of her childhood at her grandparent's house in Uptown Manhattan

Ah...A wonderful garden in Provence. Karen can't wait to smell the flowers!

Dear faithful Transplant readers, sorry we’ve been MIA for so long but family health woes have had us both sidelined. But we’re back!!!!! And writing about Country Girl Visiting the city and vice versa


Do you ever leave your comfort zone of bright lights, public transportation and smog and take a trip to clean air, fields of flowers and pure lakes? On occasion, only because my nearest and dearest live in heavy traffic zones I do venture into a city. Not with my dear hubby though, as he’s a confirmed city-phobic. And he defines a city as any named place of 25,000 souls. I’m not in a mood to bash the places where my darling friends and relatives live. So for starters I’ll tell what I love about cities: food and shopping!


YES!!!! I’ve been dreaming of my vacation that’s coming up to the South of France! I’ve been missing my country roots and can’t wait to spend some down time in the beautiful countryside of Province. I’ve never been before but from what my friends say it will be just what I need: a breather from city life! Although I love what tinsel town has to offer the pace can be beyond crazy. So spending some time lounging with friends in a chateau in Province sounds pretty darn good right now.


LOL! My hilarity comes from a recent visit from my city slicker brother. He looked out the window in our sunroom and said, “This looks like the south of France. Tell everyone they don’t have to go overseas to see the quaint country sights. Just visit East Tennessee.” Tell you what. After your France trip y’all come and tell us if he’s right. Country scenes might look the same, but cities are even worse. Same stores, same restaurants, inside and outside malls look like twins, very often we have to stop and think, “What city are we in anyway?”


Some places do look alike especially with the mallization of downtown main streets. Take Pasadena for instance. The quaint historic section built in the late 1800’s called Old Town, was once run down and full of interesting art shops, funky boutiques and even an adult book store. Now it’s all dolled up with foundation and lipstick and filled with chain stores like The Gap and Crate and Barrel. But it’s nice to see some towns still leave a bit of the seedy side as well as the new improved version like Hollywood. Can’t mistake tinsel town for any other city. Where else can you see stars on the sidewalk and Spiderman posing for pictures in front of the Graumans Chinese Theater!


Now I’m getting home sick to visit tinsel town. I once went every year to celebrate the holidays with the family. Mom and Dad would travel in from New York and my brood and I would bop in from various rural settlements. Brother, sis and families lived there so we would have great times. Loved the celebrities. Once we caught a filming of PERRY MASON at the Ambassador Hotel where we were staying. Daddy, the joker, greeted Raymond Burr and said, “How come you win every case you try and I lose all of mine?” RB got huge kick from this. I also love the food and abundance of things to do. Bro, in the film biz, used to

take me to screenings at the Academy Award Theater. But I have to point out…the sunsets suck!


Ah Pet….the good old days. The Ambassador Hotel in no more. Most of it has been torn down and a huge school has been built on the site. The most expensive school in America at a cost of 578 million bucks!!!!! What other inner city school has it’s own park and a state of the art swimming pool any Olympic venue would envy. No wonder the state is on the verge of bankruptcy!! Also, the Academy Awards Theater has been replaced by the much more showy Kodak Theater. The red carpet is covered by a long series of suspended glass panels. The world would end if a celebrity got one drop on their fancy designer gown! : ) And a funny thing about the sunsets, since they cleaned up the air in LA, the sunsets have gone from dark burnt orange to pale sherbet colors. They actually look good enough to eat!


Wow! I have to catch up on the all new Los Angeles. I haven’t visited since Mom, who lived there for 15 years, passed. That’s about seven years ago, before we became internet buddies. My problem is only my brother still lives there, in West Hollywood part of LA metroplex. Sis moved to Berkley, niece to Napa and nephew and his darling brand new baby girl live in San Diego. Big state, big spread. How can I visit them all and still have time to tour your famous Victorian showplace? This country girl will be undergoing major big city trepidation. And a trip to the big apple is due; not only to visit my birthplace but also to meet another new family member, my grand-nephew, baby Louis living in Brooklyn. How did you fare when you visited your ex roommate in a tiny New Mexico town?


Well, the town isn’t as tiny as mine in upstate where the one and only traffic light changes to flashing caution at sundown, but it’s not much bigger. You can drive down Main Street in one minute! It’s still a town driven by agriculture. Oh and the occasional donkey farm. LOL. On my recent visit they added one more choice to the dinning possibilities, right next to the Sonic Bugger is a brand spanking new Taco Bell! I had to pinch myself. LOL! My friend lives on an acre that she has turned into a bird sanctuary. The yard is full of beautiful native bushes and trees and she has a small pond. Her little piece of heaven in the desert.


I’m sure I’d love your friend’s little acre, but I don’t know about that town! Why do so many rural hideaways have those fast food places? I guess because the residents would go to the next town to get their fix. Since our home city…yes it’s a designated city…has nothing except half a dozen churches, two gas stations (one with a lunch counter), a small library with a mostly m.i.a. librarian and a spanking new post office, 500 people and 5,000 cows, we go to larger nearby town with half dozen stoplights for amenities like banks. There you’ll find abundant fast food places, and a genuine Mexican restaurant owned and operated by real Mexicans. But where does the Hispanic population go to eat? You guessed it. Taco Bell of course.


They don’t pay for all those commercials for nothing. LOL! We are all creatures of habit. I’m gearing up for my big trip to France where I hope to dine on anything BUT fast food. Have fingers crossed no more family issues will keep me from Paris. I’m looking forward to seeing if the fields of grape vines in Province are similar to the ones in Napa and Sonoma. If the lovely hill towns are similar to the hills in upstate. I’ve been pining for a little time in the countryside. The saying is true: You can take the country girl away from the farm but you can’t keep her away from the hay. : )


Have a wonderful time hoping from famous city to famous country place while we do the same stateside. So many cities, so many country places…and we’ll all try to visit as many as we can.


Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

What fun seeing the city-country contrast played out in other venues besides your everyday home turf.

Here's wishing you both a fabulous vacation...and hoping you come home loving your chosen area even more!

Fran said...

Wow, now I want to go to NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and the South of France -- putting the travel bug into me. All of them sound great. Nice to hear your contrasting views, ladies. Safe Travels everyone!

Anonymous said...

Finally got to tip toe through your blog ladies!

Beautiful pictures and great commentary.

Hope all is well with you both.
Petrina... have you caught any of the facebook articles and pixs of Owego and the southern tier in general.. their spirit to rebuild since the flood could be fodder for a great great book! You two could put something together that would be awesome! Grace and Frank Penny