Pepin , Wisconsin, Aug 23 rd 2013
There is a stark contrast between the ultra quiet charming harbor of Pepin on the Mississippi River and the buzzling alleys of the Minnesota State Fair or the crowded shops of the Mall of America. The three, each in its way, are symbolic of America.
The Minnesota State Fair and the Mall of America extoll the American commerce: there is probably nothing on sale in America that cannot be seen in these two huge shops .If you cannot buy a 500 HP tractor in the Mall, you will find it at the Fair. If you cannot find a computer at the Fair, you will find it in the Mall. The figures related to these two places in terms of production are staggering: I will not put my readers to sleep with them, as they can be found on internet, but they give an idea of the titanic size of the American economy. It is a perfect cliché to say that everything in this country is huge to a European observer: landscapes, sceneries, skyscrapers, fields, cars, trucks, highways, distances, rivers….
Regardless, there is another America, to be found in a place like Pepin,Wisconsin, on the shore of the Mississippi River. Small town America is everywhere to be found, not only in Vermont and Massachusetts, were Europeans feel at home, but all across the country. And it seems that more and more people here crave for a cooler way of life. The success of biking in America, depicted in each post of this blog, brings a strong argument in favor of such trend. America is becoming “blue zone” ( see my previous post), with a healthier way of life, less stress, more social time, more outdoor activities. The American Dream is no longer quantity, it is also quality.