Good European Sense

Posted on 28 May 2009

I love the United States and regularly thank heaven I was born here–the ever-self-scrutinizing land of the free, home of the brave.  But in some respects, I believe the Europeans may still have us beat. Vacation time, the seriousness with which they take their meals, their love and eternal use of bikes, and that good ol’ appreciation of fine culture (when it’s not too snooty) are a few of my favorites.  Other interesting contrasts can be found in an interesting New York Times article I came across the other day that elaborates a little on some of the ups and downs of life over there–in Holland, to be exact. I recommend checking it out! At

As I have learned in working with the designed landscapes of our nation’s capital, Americans have taken liberal notes from Europeans in the past (the original 1792 plans for Washington, DC were drawn up by a Frenchman; the “ideal” design later used for planning the continued development of the city, in 1901, was based upon a plan drawn up by a committee who had together recently visited some of Europe’s greatest cities, for inspiration).  As they realized then, dignity and respect must be earned–and building a particular physical environment was just one way they hoped to enhance and, in a sense, remake society after a more “cultured” vision.  In today’s aspiring United States, why not peak over the Atlantic curtain once more, and take a few notes?

1 Response to Good European Sense

  • Damien says:

    Not sure how I missed this blog until now, but I like it!

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