Sailing for 20 nm through the only fjord in the Mediterranean and ending up in Kotor, where the sea looks like a Swiss lake, is out of this world. Yet nobody does this. When I first sailed to Croatia from Spain, in 2000, there were a few sailboat. This year, my second time, some of the most beautiful sailboats in the world were over here, but they still stop at Dubrovnik. They don´t continue south. They don´t come to Kotor in Montenegro, now a country.

This summer I have been in California, NYC/Hamptons and now back in Europe. Yesterday, working in London, today in Montenegro. USA is an amazing country in many ways, but while one of the keywords that define America is diversity, somehow I feel that America has managed to kill it. Travel from Atlanta to Philadelphia and you will see very little diversity. Whatever diversity there was was killed by franchising. Fly from London to Cavtat, as I did in the same time that you would fly from Atlanta to Philadelphia, and you are in another world. And if you ever get a chance sail this fjord.

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David S. Isenberg on August 17, 2006  · 


You’re right about the effect of franchising on America. There are places that look very much the same in all of our major cities. But if you get off the Interstate and out of the gentrified urban neighborhoods that surround the corporate boardrooms you’ve been visiting, you’ll still find unique spots like Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where we’ve been fighting off franchuises for decades, and Sommes Sound in Maine, the only fjord on the U.S. Atlantic Coast . . .

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Neok on August 17, 2006  · 

I envy you. It’s really beautiful out there. Enjoy!


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Jens on August 18, 2006  · 

True! But sadly the effect of franchising is also taking place in Europe and other parts of the world.

But what you said about Europe is so true. I always like to promote Europe to my friends from abroad as a theme park. You just fly 1-2h and you arrive in a completely new culture. It is as easy and fascinating as it was for me as a child to walk from Western Town to China Town in my hometown’s theme park.
I just had that feeling again last year when I went to Sweden for one winterterm and I have it right now here in Spain.

A Croatian friend of mine just made a trip thru that part of Europe and was overwhelmed, especially by Murter island.

Just flickr those locations to get an impression.


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dasmb on August 19, 2006  · 

I don’t know that America has suffered because of franchising so much as because of poor planning.

America is blessed with more land space per capita than most of the world. And it’s also blessed with plenty of private money to develop it. However, it’s been cursed with a fanatical devotion to capitalism in development, with the presiding wisdom being that a planner doesn’t really have the right to say no to industry. You can drive out of London and be in the countryside — the REAL countryside — in about twenty minutes. It takes an hour for the same effect in New York City. This is because no U.K. planner in his right mind would allow Starbucks to tear down a three hundred year old farmhouse to put up a strip of stores. Planning should be about preserving the quality of life in a town. In the US, it’s about tearing up the land and putting up cheaply made box stores.

You’re also not being fair in your comparisons…the modern parts of Atlanta and Philadelphia look very similar because they both grew up about the same period of history and they’re both massive metropolitan industrial hubs. The same can’t be said for Cavtat. You want to see the real America, an America untouched by franchised development? Drive to the Adirondack mountains of New York. Visit the Sangre de Cristos mountains in Colorado. Basically, the further from the airport you go, the deeper into “Old America” you go, and some of it is remarkably organic and beautiful.

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