... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

g is for geography

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

America's geography has to be the most diverse in the world!  The collection of plants and animals is surely the most unique since natives happily coexist with ones introduced from Europe and Africa.  Perhaps this is possible because of the diverse landscape.  Here in America you will find deserts, mountains, beaches, thick forests, rain forests and all manner of fields necessary to sustain life.  It's wonderful to explore and mind-blowing that the seasons and landscapes vary so dramatically from north to south, east to west.  You could almost be in different countries!

FL Pensacola Beach
TX desert

MI marshland
GA farmland in the mountains 
FL Pensacola Bay
Cities in America are laid out differently to the rest of the world.  In most places (Australia included), States have capital cities and these are the cultural, social and business center points of each State.  These capitals contain the Central Business Districts (CBDs) where all major businesses have headquarters, all major shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, botanical gardens, landmarks, entertainment and so on!  Everything in one location that's easy to walk around in or take a very effective mode of public transport to.  To say 'city' in Australia means the capital.  In America this isn't the case.

Firstly, American capital cities are not always central cultural hubs nor do they always have a CBD.  In the case of Texas - its capital is Austin but Dallas is much larger with a greater skyline and many more businesses.  In the case of Georgia, Atlanta is the capital but despite a massive CBD, has virtually no nightlife or shopping in the city itself!  Chicago and New York City bare the closest resemblance to Australian-style capital cities but despite being two of the largest and most popular cities in America, neither are actually the capital of their State!

Secondly, Americans call their suburbs cities and and their zones counties - each one independently ran and taxed, unlike Australia where many suburbs are grouped into one zone.  Therefore in most cases, each individual suburb has its own CBD complete with office headquarters, major shops, theaters, restaurants, art galleries, landmarks, nightlife etc.  I've met many people who rarely leave their suburbs since they contain everything they could ever want. Mechanics? Check. Hardware? Check.  Furniture? Check.  Pet supplies? Covered. Medical centers? Yep! Salons? You betcha! Everything is close by.

American housing estates are also built quite differently - many incorporating walking trails, swimming pools, community/ recreational centers that are complete with tennis/ basketball courts and gyms, covered in resident's monthly HOAs for unlimited use: it's all about convenience!

Lastly, American public transport SUCKS!  Chicago and Austin seem like the only cities attempting to fix this problem.  Everywhere else (NYC included) trains and buses move in straight lines throughout small sections of the cities, making reaching an actual destination almost impossible.  And honestly, there's a 'only poor people get public transport' mentality everywhere so most Americans never even bother with it.

I like the American suburbia style a lot but I miss 'going into the city' where I could disembark at a convenient train station, take a historic tour, eat an exotic cuisine from a restaurant representing any country in the world, walk the museum or art gallery, shop 'til I drop and then end the day with a relaxing latte at the botanical garden cafe, all in one central location!

Me in Brisbane Aus, next to the very efficient bus terminal
(that everyone uses!)

4 comments

  1. It's nice to see Brisbane's public transport system being given a thumbs up for a change. It is usually much maligned.
    Interesting post as usual.

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    Replies
    1. Don't get me wrong Mrs G, I could bitch about it as well. For example $12.40 for a ONE WAY train ticket into the city?? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
      But seriously, the stops and timetables are very efficiently ran. Just that (unlike poor Americans) Aussies have to be rich to afford the public transport!

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  2. Hi Lena .. I loved geography at school and was always interested in the different ways of doing things, as well as the different scenery, eco-systems etc ..

    South Africa is also very different ... Johannesburg = the CBD; while Pretoria is the administrative capital, Bloemfontein is the legal centre, and Cape Town has the Government ... it's a right old mix - but another stunning part of the world ...

    I'm learning lots about my little country as I tour the coastal areas geographically, geologically ..

    Love your photos though .. and I've yet to visit Aus .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Hilary! I'm so enjoying your A-Z as well :) SO many wonderful places in the UK you are blessed with visiting!
      That's so interesting about SA - other than her animals I shamefully know little about the country despite having many acquaintances from there, so thank you for that info... now I can wow them at our next gathering by casually throwing it into the conversation ;)

      Delete

 

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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.

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