Tag Archives: America

The right in the US has a new bogeyman: libraries | Maeve Higgins | The Guardian

By Maeve Higgins, Wed 27 Jul 2022 06.25 EDT

‘Twenty masked neo-Nazis recently protested outside a library in Boston hosting a Drag Queen Story Hour event.’ Photograph: Seth Wenig/AP

Neo-Nazis and Proud Boys are targeting libraries, as legislators and conservative lobby groups are trying to remove books from shelves and change how library board members are appointed

Last month, I went to a library in more or less the exact middle of America, and everyone was there – kids, elderly people, students of all ethnicities and ability levels – quietly doing their own thing, together.

A librarian interviewed me in an elegant amphitheater in front of Kansas City residents. We spoke about immigration, politics and the climate crisis and managed to laugh a lot too. Some audience members challenged my views, and we talked it out right there. We had a frank and fun conversation in a public space, free to all, and streamed live for people who couldn’t make it to the library that day. I only later thought about how rare that is – and how profound.

Source: The right in the US has a new bogeyman: libraries | Maeve Higgins | The Guardian

Howard Johnson’s restaurants were once all over America. What happened? | Democrat & Chronicle

By Alan Morrell, June 13, 2022

from article, over 200 photos…

Once found all over the country, what happened to the Howard Johnson’s in Brighton?

At one time, Howard Johnson’s restaurants were as ubiquitous in the American landscape as the McDonald’s golden arches have become.

Communities throughout the country were dotted with the signature orange porcelain roofs, blue shutters and trademark weathervane atop.

Customers flocked there for frankfurters, clam strips and the 28 ice cream flavors. The chain peaked at more than 1,000 by the late 1970s, with local restaurants in Brighton, Greece, Gates and Henrietta.

One of the best loved was at Twelve Corners in Brighton, which was as much a place to meet and greet as to eat.

“Every election day, we would get there at 7 in the morning and then come back at the time the polls closed,” said Louise Novros, an emeritus member of the Brighton Chamber of Commerce. “When it closed, there was a big hullabaloo, because it was a landmark. It was the place.”

The Brighton Howard Johnson’s (or Ho Jo’s, as the chain became known) opened in 1940 and stuck around until 1985. Ray Tierney III remembered it well. His family ran Tierney Super Duper at Twelve Corners for more than 30 years, right behind the Howard Johnson’s.

Source: Howard Johnson’s restaurants were once all over America. What happened?

“Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American” – An Excerpt from the Book – Chicago Review of Books

By Ian MacAllen, April 4, 2022

Article image…

Millions of Italians arrived in the United States during the great wave of immigration from the 1880s until the Second World War.

Dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, veal parmigiana, and oven-baked lasagna evolved during these years, yet Americans perceived these as the food of foreign ethnics with too much garlic.

One dish would profoundly change that perception forever: pizza. A popular street food in nineteenth century Naples, pizza served the working class and poor.

In New York City, the first commercial pizzerias baked pies in big bread ovens which resulted in the large round pies common in American pizzerias today. However, pizza did not achieve widespread popularity until after the war as American troops returned home. Everything was about to change.

Source: “Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American” – An Excerpt from the Book – Chicago Review of Books

What American Christians Hear at Church | The New Yorker

Drawing on newly ubiquitous online services, Pew has tried to catalogue the subject matter of contemporary sermons.

By Casey Cep, October 7, 2021

Illustration by Daniel Liévano

“Now that I have preached about a dozen sermons I find I am repeating myself,” a young minister wrote despairingly in his diary in 1915.

He was barely out of school and only a few months into his first call, at Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit. “The few ideas that I had worked into sermons at the seminary have all been used, and now what?”

It would be fourteen years before anyone else read those words, published under the title “Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic.”

It would take even longer for their author, Reinhold Niebuhr, to become one of the best-known theologians in the country, famous for works such as “The Irony of American History” and “The Nature and Destiny of Man.”

Source: What American Christians Hear at Church | The New Yorker

Train Travel in the U.S. Is Getting More Luxurious | Condé Nast Traveler

Upscale sight-seeing tours, new products from Amtrak, and planned high-speed routes are making U.S. train travel more comfortable and convenient.

By Barbara Peterson, September 7, 2021

Getty

Rail is on a roll, thanks to a new emphasis in Washington on infrastructure and the environment.

These efforts are boosting not just Amtrak’s fortunes, but those of private sector high-speed rail projects across the U.S. But will American travelers reap the benefits—as in, better and more reliable trains?

Train journeys have long been viewed as more sophisticated than traveling by either road or air, but train travel in the U.S. has long lagged behind Europe and Asia, where intercity trains are both high speed and high quality experiences.

In contrast, Amtrak has been plagued by aging rolling stock (some of its rail cars date back almost to its inception 50 years ago) and sagging on-time performance. That’s because the quasi-public company has spent much of its history battling congressional critics who’ve periodically voted to slash the line’s federal funding, arguing it’s a waste of taxpayer money.

Source: Train Travel in the U.S. Is Getting More Luxurious | Condé Nast Traveler