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America Thy Love

Cities play a fundamental role in understanding the art and culture prevailing within a country. Monuments, buildings, and artifacts outlive the grandeur of their creation, spreading the time stamps of the past into posterity. The essence of a structural landscape with natural habitat is pivotal in preserving the well-being of our race. Places of art and culture serve as fountainheads, summing up the past and present achievements across the fabric of time. Historical monuments and creative festivals showcase the underlying bondage that binds people together to unique cultural boundaries that we humans cherish and assimilate for bettering our lives. Travel and adventure are integral to our lives, exploring cities an everlasting leisure for many, and academic study for few. The Gambler is rated by The middle Road as one of the greatest country songs of all time, sung by Kenny Rogers and written by Don Schlitz is about two strangers meeting on a train. One of the travelers (The Gambler) shares his perspective on the nuances of playing poker with the other. Poker is a metaphor to explain the finer points of life.

Many American cities have an underlining paradigm; cities built around academic institutes example universities, cultural and historical places example museums, art galleries, and planetariums, and natural spaces example parks, etc. Americans love music, there are recurring annual events with live music; herein one of these festivals held at Pittsburgh is the foci of this piece. American cities have the downtown area that are commercial hubs driving business activities. Many Americans drive to downtown from the suburbs for work. Wikipedia defines Suburbs as suburban areas that are within the metropolitan area, suburb includes commercial, mixed-use that is a primarily residential area. Redmond, home to Microsoft, a suburb of Seattle, is a famous example of how a commercial powerhouse is blending natural wilderness. The place is renowned for hiking, biking, etc. an experience that enhances wellbeing of its residents. Kirkland with its marvelous landscape is an excellent place to live with nature, on the other hand, Bellevue home to many technology companies is a well-cut mix-use urban suburb of Seattle. Proximity to world-class universities fosters entrepreneurship, using the lab-to-market model.

Refer to Nishant Malhotra’s conversation with Manoj Kumar to know more about the lab-to-market model.

Below is a presentation deck of Chihuly Garden and Glass, the world-famous glass extravaganza of Dale Chihuly.  

# Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, the second largest city in Pennsylvania, is an enchanting city once renowned for its steel industry and bridges. It’s a historical city though of lesser importance compared to its bigger brother Philadelphia, a major cultural centre of America. If you are in Pittsburgh, you must visit Oakland.

# Oakland – A cultural marvel – Blends Educational and Commercial Excellence 

Oakland blends educational institutes and commercial places. A walk around the place is a walk with a difference. The downtown area in Pittsburgh is very well laid out and structured comparable to Chicago. Oakland is close to downtown, houses the majority of skyscrapers and the jewel in the crown, Point State Park. The town has an eclectic mix of skyscrapers, parks, world renowned universities, bridges, museums, cultural centres, and the magnificent Point State Park.  Point State Park is located at the confluence of the AlleghenyMonongahela, and Ohio Rivers, at the very heart of the city. The area around the 6th avenue, especially Point State Park is mindbogglingly. Point State Park has a huge park surrounded by river where you could ride in motorboats. Backed by an encapsulating mountain with a railroad track, the park’s breathtakingly panoramic view transports the audience to paradise. Landscape views are priceless, example trip around Alleppey in Kerala, India is beyond comprehension. A quintessential American city, Pittsburgh has world class universities – Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh. The city is mushrooming into a technological and entrepreneurship powerhouse and cultural paradise. The University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University along with shopping centers, museums, libraries offer a wonderful overview of the cultural and scientific triumph of humanity. Close to a garden, surrounded by museums and eateries, University of Pittsburgh is a picturesque reminiscent of striking charm from fairy tales. Three Rivers Arts Festival, an annual event is celebrated with aplomb. Point State Park is the focal point of the festival, mainstay of rock performances and various eateries. The festival attracts people from the US – a diaspora of American identities. Adults with kids, elderly people with teenagers’ blend for fun and togetherness. The festival does not serve alcohol yet there is a milieu of celebration filled with enjoyment, a testament of the sophistication of people in the city.

Video of a well-choreographed street dance group from New York City, US. Video taken by Nishant Malhotra | The middle Road

The event is a high point in our civilization, showcasing centuries of progress in entertainment and modes of fun features humans have come to imbibe in their lives. From the bloodthirsty gladiator battles to the riffs of Stone Gossard, Slash, or Mark Knopfler to the symphonies of Bach or Mozart, the tastes of humans have evolved, and progression breeds sophistication. Subtlety at its best. Technological advancement overlaps creativity, best seen on the big screen. If James Cameron changed how we enjoy movies using technological innovation, it’s Steven Spielberg who changed the way entertainment is delivered combining drama with special effects. Can you forget the Extra-Terrestrial movie or Indiana Jones running for life through a cave followed by a menacing boulder? This feat showcases the artistic brilliance among individuals quenching the rise in poise and elegance for entertainment among the masses. An excellent mechanism to measure the essence of cultural progression would be to go back in time using a time machine or building a vehicle like Marty used in Back to the Future. Better to visit a multifaceted museum.

Washington DC 

The United States of America is known for its architectural marvel, museums being one of the essential ingredients in the structural bonanza. Of all the cities, Washington DC is one of the cities that stands out in the historical, cultural, and political context. Washington DC has a European feel, a melting point like New York City served with a concoction of new age architecture and pristine glow. Well-planned with a dependable subway network, the city epitomizes the magnificent land of America.

 # Chicago – Museums & Planetarium   

Chicago is known as the windy city. The name is a misnomer since although the city is known for high winds, its name comes from the fact that statesmen and politicians from Illinois were a bit long-winded in their speeches.

 

Above from left: Field Museum; The famous Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennial Park in Chicago. Millennial Park is located in the loop community area of Chicago; Adler Planetarium; Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle | Image The middle Road

Chicago like many major US cities is built around world-class universities example the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. A famous alum of University of Chicago includes Eugene Fama (University of Chicago), who makes a major reference in the online course on Essentials of Investment Management, an online course built around the single factor capital asset pricing model and portfolio management. The marketing guru Philip Kotler taught at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.  The city also houses the famous Chicago Art Museum and Field Museum of Natural History, one of the largest in the world. Adler Planetarium is the first planetarium set up in the United States of America by Max Adler in 1930. A public museum, the planetarium is not the biggest in US or the World but captures an enviable history of science- astrophysics and astronomy of the universe. The planetarium visit package includes two movies to watch during your visit. The movies are a regular feature in the museums in Chicago, sharing a very informative panoramic view about the subject matter. The planetarium has multiple floors with many floors having sections with different themes. Located in Museum Park, Adler Planetarium accompanies Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, with Chicago Art Museum and Millennium Park in the vicinity. Navy Pier, another melting pot for tourists, a happening locality laced with dinning and bars is about a mile or two away. The planetarium includes a small 10-minute presentation about the stars. Adler has a view overlooking Lake Michigan, a view to die for.

Seattle, Washington 

Seattle is the largest city in Washington state. US News rated Washington to be the best state in America in 2021 based on specific parameters – Healthcare, Education, Economy, Infrastructure, Opportunity, Fiscal Stability, Crime & Corrections, and Natural Environment. Seattle and its suburbs are known for their business, economy, and natural beauty. The University of Washington based in Seattle is the leading university in Washington. Dale Chihuly is a famous alum of the university. Seattle and its suburbs have numerous historical, art, and cultural areas — the famous Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Museum of Pop Culture, Ballard Docks, etc. Home to grunge music, the city is home to Kurt Cobain of Nirvana fame and Pearl Jam and the iconic Jimi Hendrix. Refer to the publication on I Love Rock N Roll to know more. Seattle and places around Washington State are renowned for many hiking trails.

Inset image: Field Museum, Chicago. Illinois | The middle Road
Adler Planetarium Images Deck | The middle Road  
Above from lehttps://fb.watch/i5bqXOzRLI/?mibextid=2Rb1fBft : Field Museum, Chicago, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Chicago skyline from the famous Skydeck Chicago, Ballard Locks, Seattle | Images Nishant Malhotra | The middle Road

#Pittursburg Revisited

 

Pittsburgh Aerial Acrobatics Video | The middle Road  

As I lay on the ground among the crowd, staring at the aerial acrobatics of the artists, I felt elated at how our civilization has advanced over time. The struggles humans went through over the centuries to achieve excellence across varied disciplines in life exemplify the creativity prevailing in the US. Every turn and twist of the aerial athletes stamped an upliftment of humanity, a positive progress of a well-rounded ecosystem driven towards self-actualization. Many countries globally contributed towards the best business and sustainable practices, for example, the Nordic region’s innovative business model focusing on best humanitarian practices or innovation in early education that has become a benchmark in formative learning. The experience remains priceless – a pinnacle achievement of the United States of America in adding a superlative dimension of art, culture, and innovation raising people to another sphere. Sipping diet coke, feeling refreshed and aware that all my travel to various places mentioned herein will be an experience of a lifetime, an intersection of art, technology, innovation, and nature; a defining experience – Oh America Thy Love.

 

Note: The above is based on Nishant Malhotra’s travel during his stay in the US (2016 to 2018). A few places esp. Washington DC could not be covered due to a lack of images and clarity of timelines. If there is a divergence with reality or on ground experience, the information will be corrected. For any queries related to this piece kindly get in touch with nishant@themiddleroad.org. To plan your trip to the places covered, please contact travel companies or refer to travel magazines. This piece is not written to be a guide for your travel and adventure. 

 
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