GUEST POST OVERVIEW: I’ve always been fascinated by how other cultures view the USA. As an international traveler during the George Bush era, popular opinion was at an all-time low.

When Obama was first elected, that opinion did a 180 almost immediately but has since leveled out. Politics aside, my Catalan friend Maria wrote in with an interesting opinion of how we are viewed by Europeans in terms of our food and fashion. I always though that it was the rest of the world that tried to emulate us. However…


New York City's Empire State Building
New York City’s Empire State Building

“Despite the US being a great nation that marketed the American dream where everything is rich, plenty and “super size,” (a US small translates into a large in Europe), us Europeans feel like we are drowning in a sea of soda climbing a huge hamburger mountain.

At least, I’ve always regarded the US as an exaggerated country, especially regarding food, where everything is in style. However, I’ve realised that European culture is becoming trendier and trendier amongst the New Yorkers. And I’ll give you some examples on this:

Trendy pizzas are more similar to that of the Italians (of light and thin crust and few ingredients), rather than the fatty, cheese-filled, thick crust American ones. A good place to find this kind of refined pizza is the trattoria Franny’s in Brooklyn, New York.


Drinking Coffee in New York City

Again, depending on where you have your apartments in New York City, you’ll see people perfectly happy with a 30-oz coffee with milk. Or,  you’ll see others who find it much more interesting to have an espresso.

A foggy midtown skyline, as seen from the Highline in New York City
A foggy midtown skyline, as seen from the Highline in New York City

The point is, in recent years a new kind of café has established itself in the city that treats coffee in an artisan and crafty way. Places like Bluebird Coffee Shop in the East Village or Third Rail Coffee in the West Village, for example, have decided to import the art of making coffee from the Italians.

Also in fashion, the ones who want to be real hipsters pay a lot of attention to European trends. This way, retro and vintage trends are to be seen a lot around Brooklyn’s Williamsburg. Try for example Beacon’s Closet for some vintage/second hand shopping.

The same way low-budget, indie films with a very personal message (see Juno or Little Miss Sunshine) are gaining importance to the detriment of stereotyped catastrophic typical American films.

Who knows… Maybe in a few years people will approach the windows of their New York apartments and see a lot of people riding a bike, just like in Amsterdam.”

Maria Climent is a 27-year-old Catalan lady currently living in Barcelona who after studying translation decided her life was odd enough to study humour scriptwriting. This is how now she works as a blogger and lives hidden after this nickname @noparoporcasa