Saturday, October 23, 2010

Retro Review: Flyover America





BLOG DESCRIPTION: We are two writers in love with America. Every diner and prairie and highway of it. The places that many people consider flyover territory—Lincoln, Nebraska; Lubbock Texas; Bayonne, New Jersey, and the like—grab hold of us. Flyover America is as much a state of mind as a place. Flyover America is packed with stories, discoveries and soul. And it’s got some great malls, too.

MY REVIEW: This is a fun blog, and a very informative one. The author(s) write well, in an informal, friendly style. In addition to reviews of travel spots, they talk about movies ("Maine Does Not Sound Like Queens" in which the author comments on the movie Welcome to Mooseport.
The premise is that an outgoing United States president (Hackman) moves to small-town Maine and runs for mayor against a local hardware store owner (Romano).

Fine and dandy, it’s a film of no consequence, but I must ask the filmmakers: Why on Earth would you set a film in Maine and cast no one with a New England accent? Maine!–which has an accent as thick and distinctive as Georgia! And yet , in a lead role we get the distinctively Queens, New York honk of Ray Romano. At least Maura Tierney was born in Boston, so her flatter intonations are not glaringly inappropriate. Most disappointing were the bit characters, the quirky old guys and gals who looked like all sorts of flat vowels and dropped R’s would come out of their mouths. But no, they sounded Midwestern, at best. This did not stop bothering me through the entire film.

Just ‘cause there’s moose in the movie doesn’t mean you’ve captured Maine.

(Sounds like the movie makers could have taken a lesson from the Coen brothers, who did Fargo using several local Minneapolis actors in bit-parts. (On the other hand, the movie took place in Minnesota, and Fargo is, y'know, located in North Dakota... And one of the locations they used for the movie, a small diner right near where I lived, never re-opened after the movie finished filming there. I guess they must have paid its owners so much money to use it, that they closed up shop and headed off to retirement land in less-snowier climes!)

But back to the blog under review. I enjoyed the writing, enjoyed the eclectic types of posts - but all travel related in some way, and I think you'll enjoy this blog as well.

Write a blog for long enough and, at some point, your patterns will start to emerge. You’ll notice the themes you return to time and again, the grooves of the record that are worn deep. I have a thing for the abandoned and the dying: American ruins, Rolley-Hole Marbles, Presbyterians. Psychologists, really, hold your tongues. I don’t care what it means.

So, while doing a bit of web wandering the other day, I got lost in It’s a not-necessarily-beautiful-but-pretty-damned-fun travel blog written (and shot) by Daniel and Ligian Ter-Nedden, a couple who live in Zurich, Switzerland. They’ve visited more than 200 ghost towns in nine U.S. states. (Yes, I’m also keen on people who get mildly-to-completely obsessed with…whatever.)

--What’s Left Behind, Again
--Road-trip Rituals
--That’s One Swell Silver Screen
--Cadillac Ranch: You Should Go
--A U.S. Library I Love (or, Sigh, Loved and Lost)

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