316 (Threehundredandsixteen) American National Flags
This post should have originally been titled "The last Weekend on Long Island before my girlfriends return home" but I decided to change the titel to the above one because the new title is related to the weekend in Long Island as well and those flags have been very interesting to us.
As a end of this weeks visit of my girlfriend Karin (she had to leave this evening to fly back home) we decided to spend the weekend in Montauk, a small village on Long Island.
After we knew that we wanted to go to Long Island we decided to rent a car for the weekend. Better coming around from beach to beach or from village to village in case of we wouldn't like the place we where going. So we got up Saterday morning, checked the trip route on Google, wrote everything down and left the apartment to go the Hertz, picking our car up.
We had our first nice experience while waiting for the bus in Co-Op City. A family of geese were walking around the green areas. I often saw them while passing by Section Five of Co-Op City which is directly next to the Hutchinson River but I never saw them here in Section One. Section Five is rather far away and there is a highway in between... A few minutes after we came to the bus station the geese (on the other side of the street yet) decided to move over to a new meadow and slowly started to cross the street in a perfect line. One after the other. Traffic had to stop - they didn't seem to be in a hurry. A very nice situation.
However, we arrived at Hertz on East 90th street to pick our rental car up about an hour and a half late. I've already been thinking about the possibility that they might have no car left from the smallest budget range. Lucky as we were they didn't, we got a free upgrade and finally sat into a brand new, huge and damn comfortable Volvo XC 70 including a GPS Navigational System. I still had the prejudice that these systems do not work well and probably lead us somewhere we didn't want to go. But luckily it worked very well and we found our way to Long Island.
To refere back to this posts title, we somehow started to count american national flags after leaving the city. We've been looking for flags on the roadside flying in front of houses, at gas stations, in car windows or on top of company buildings. We started to count while driving on the highway which was not such a big deal, but when we came to Long Island and drove through villages and towns we got really buisy. While we drove about 140 miles (approx. 225km) we counted 316 american flags. I am sure we missed some since we didn't count in New York City and in the town of Montauk. That's an amazing number isn't it? America is completely different in terms of patriotism than every other country I've been to. If you for example use an Austrian national flag in my homecountry to show that you are proud of this country everyone looks at you as if you would have got crazy. Personally I feel a bit uncomfortable with too much patriotism and bonds to a certain country.
Despite the fact that Karin had to leave this evening our weekend on Long Island was great. Montauk is a very beautiful place, it's quiet (at least at this time of the year), the beaches are very nice and clean and the atlantic ocean... What should I say... I love the atlantic ocean. And since Montauk has one of the busiest fisher harbors in New York State there are also some great places for delicious seafood. I got the second best tuna steak (after one I had in Portugal) of my life in a place called "Lenny's on the Dock" which is located directly at the harbor.
We found a nice small Motel with the sea just across the street in which we stayed for the night. We wanted to visit the lighhouse in the morning but there have been too many people there and the entrace was 16 dollars. Too much if you can have a beautiful beach for free. The way back to New York was not that good. Too much traffic, rain and a both of us have been in a thoughtful mood since we won't see each other for two months. But we got a new counting idea for our next trip. The next time we travel in the States by car we are going to count the yellow "Support Our Troops" and "God Bless America" ribons sticked to a lot of cars.
Posted by Martin Fuchs on May 22, 2005 11:39 PM