What I Love About America
October 5, 2005

Joseph C. Phillips (please rise for the mention of a Cosby Show alum) has asked a few of us to write about why we love America. That's an episodic endeavor so I'll probably attempt it later this week when I'm not sleep-deprived. In the meantime, Michael Bowen's list, "100 Things I Love About America" started the first meme I actually thought worthy enough to contribute to. And yes I sure did just finish that sentence with a preposition and start this one with a conjunction. Hi, my name is Ambra Nykol and this is MY website. Grammar is all relative here.

I didn't have time to get to 100, but with all poignancy aside, here are 63 things I love about America:

  1. The overflow of leather-bound Bibles and the freedom to read those Bibles.
  2. Thanksgiving
  3. The Grambling State University Marching Band
  4. Weddings
  5. 20 nail salons within a 5 block radius
  6. The South
  7. The Reflecting Pool
  8. Washington D.C.
  9. Worship Music
  10. Baby Dedications
  11. The New York Subway
  12. Private Schools
  13. Apple Computers
  14. Bacon
  15. eBay
  16. Times Square
  17. the Cheesecake Factory
  18. The Gap
  19. The Right to Bear Arms
  20. Lake Washington
  21. AAA
  22. 24-Hour Walgreen's
  23. Ukrop's
  24. Free Wi-fi
  25. Overpriced coffee
  26. The Debit Card
  27. Google
  28. Jazz
  29. Bill Cosby
  30. Elevator Music
  31. Front porches
  32. Cobblestone roads
  33. Philly Cheesesteaks
  34. The Blue Angels
  35. Collard Greens
  36. Manhattan
  37. Cable Television
  38. Salmon
  39. Dallas, Texas
  40. Strawberry Lemonade
  41. Trader Joe's
  42. Cotillions
  43. Walla Walla Onions
  44. American Apparel
  45. Chik-Fil-A
  46. Northface
  47. Choices
  48. Burgermaster
  49. Jeans
  50. Granny Smith Apples
  51. Nordstrom
  52. The Cosby Show
  53. Peach Cobbler
  54. Barnes & Noble
  55. Hip hop
  56. Malls
  57. Strawberry Shortcake
  58. TiVo
  59. 24-Hour Fitness
  60. Leather
  61. Snood, Minesweeper, Tetris, and Solitaire (otherwise known as the world's most addictive computer games)
  62. Sundays
  63. The Grand Canyon (from a distance)
So I've noticed that the majority of these items have to do with food. Forgive me for being a glutton. Take Cobb's meme and run with it. I think this one is fantabulous.

Posted by Ambra at October 5, 2005 12:33 AM in Culture
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Hey, haven't those nail salons been proven toxic and harmful to human cellular cohesion and the ozone?

Regardless, here's my list, in no particular order:

  • Don Cheadle
  • Freedom (virtually, at least) to worship God openly
  • MARCH MADNESS!
  • Andre Agassi
  • My momma's squash, collards (yeah, Ambra!), and fried chicken
  • Hampton Institute/University
  • Good gubment jobs (I don't have one, but my momma retired from one)
  • Outdoor basketball courts with lights (at least they had 'em back in da day)
  • Maryland Blue Crabs!
  • Arthur Andersen & Company, where I met my wife
  • "Lost"
  • "24" (It's interesting how the "hero" in both those shows in named "Jack")
Dang, just got called into a meeting. Too bad we can't come back and edit our posts later.

I'll holla.

1. Me

Before I read others', off the top here are mine:
-Free to be a Christian (#1).
-Checks and balances, especially with governments.
-Good and accessible roads, highways, signs and vehicles.
-Traditional yet voluntary honor toward God, proper authority, family, and personal dignity (but this has been hurt).
-Scenic variety of American landscapes.
-Literary and music and food mix and heritage.
-Surprise "did not expect" entry: the word processor and internet services that followed.

1. Tina
2. Freedom of worship
3. Martha's Vineyard
4. "The Twilight Zone"
5. IHOP

YES!!! IHOP!!!! A safe bet everytime.

Hmmm...bacon!

I will help Ambra by adding the next seven items of her list for her (she does have to reach 100 right?)
64. Jayda Kaine (of course)
65. Phi Beta Sigma
66. Al Sharpton
67. Bill Maher
68. Sean "(P) Diddy" Combs
69. Commenters who call themselves Tae Diggs
70. liberal college professors.
Hopefully she can take a joke. If not, I will soon be banned from posting here...

Ha. Yer funny man. And it would take way more than that to get you banned. Even if you are Phi Beta Sigma....(blue phi nuffin'!!!)

For the record, I've only ever banned 2 people. It's not really my favorite thing to do.

some of my faves:
--the Marines (thank you, fellas!)
--Yellowstone
--convenience stores
--interstate highways
--country roads
--CCM
--real Texas barbecue
--Taco Bell
--malls
--bathrooms everywhere (except NYC)
--country hardware stores
--potluck dinners!

- University of Notre Dame
- truth-seekers (the magnificent Ambra among these!)
- Lawry's the Prime Rib restaurants
- Monterey peninsula
- people in recovery
- theatrical movies
- classic broadway musicals
- Ward Connerly
- Art Bartner (USC band director)
- variety of food readily available to me
- the freedom to screw up again and again and again
- all who risk for me (especially military)
- martyrs
- ability to travel quickly and efficiently
- spectator sport (especially college football)
- HDTV

I don't want to be a killjoy here, but what is the American obsession with America? I may be German, but my dialog rarely has anything to do with Germany as an entity. My contact with Americans has mostly been through online forums, so this may not reflect the reality, but it seems to me that Americans are very self consious. If anyone mentions some 3rd world country, an American liberal will pipe in - it's Americas fault, we armed the militia, we supported the junta or something similar.

If an issue of race, for example in South Africa, is brought up - some American will immediately draw the conversation back the race issues in _your_ country. Most Americans, even those that hate America, seem to think that the world revolves around America.

I've never been there. My sister was, and she said she went on a train, arrived somewhere, and there were ONLY black people there. That was shocking. That a single city can be so segregated that areas are only of one ethnicity. That's the one thing I hate about America, and love about Germany. We blacks in Germany are like chocolate sprinkles on a vanilla cake - spread out everywhere, but in small quantities.

The thing I like about America is the creativity. Americans are always coming up with new ideas, new things to hate, new things to love.

Mark:

Err, lighten up dude. The thread isn't about obsession, it's about homage. I love Puerto Rico and Vancouver too, and have traveled with writers who can list their favorite cities all over the world.

Mark...chill.

It's called patriotism and it should be part of the life of everyone who's proud of their country. Now, if you read here enough, you'd know that I express my disappointment with America/ns on a regular basis. Yet and still, it's fun to highlight why I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Now, I'm sorry if you're not as excited about your nation as I am about mine, but honestly, I don't think Americans have the cap on patriotism. Have you ever met a Jamaican? Good golly.

Here are a few of mine.

1. Persecution of Christians here is normally limited to us being mocked. People in other countries have to fear for their lives.
2. No famines.
3. Modern healthcare
4. Democracy
5. Capitalism
6. Tivo
7. Education
8. Cheeseburgers
9. Interstate highway system
10.Larry the Cable Guy
11.Free Speech
12.NBA, MLB, NFL
13.Barbeque
14.Target
15.Tina Turner
16.Tracy Chapman
17.McDonald's
18.Strong military
19.Country music
20.Ebay
21.Taco Bell
22.Drive-in movies
23.Satellite radio
24.Cabela's
25.Costco
26.Reggie Miller
27.Kim Alexis

The freedom to be Christian
The freedom to be Black
The freedom of information
Unlimited educational resources
Stuffed pizza

Public libraries; the launching pad that can rocket you off to where ever you want to go.

One Hundred things I love about America? Your website, Ambra Nykol ! And Dr. Laura, and sermons online, and email, and weather websites, and DVDs, and comfortable chairs, and frozen fruit, Blue Bell ice cream, crusts from fresh bread, open windows, birdsong, cooing doves, Fourth of July Parades, rainbows, Veggie Tales, the orange color of clay soil, hymns, patriotic music, rain, the freedom and security to watch my sons grow up, and getting to watch my nephews go through those same fun toddler stages, knitting, grown son who can fix my dryer knob, coffee yogurt, grocery stores, and everything on your list !

10 06 05

Hello Ambra:
I posted this at Bookerrising, in case you did not see it. I am tainted and jaded. No need to feel insulted, young enthusiasm in early twenties is great. See below and sorry if I offended you. :)


10 06 05

Ambra:
I am only four years older than you, but I am tainted. LOL! This is what I mean. I think you do approach the world with the fresh enthusiasm of someone in their early twenties. That is a blessing. AT times, that can also be a type of naivitee. No need to feel I have insulted you. I have a lot of respect for you. I simply think that being closer to thirty jades a person a bit....
mahndisa s. rigmaiden | Homepage | 10.06.05 - 5:34 pm | #

msr, I'm 35 and still feel the optimism about life that Ambra does 'cause we both know that in Jesus Christ, all things are possible! In Him it isn't optimism but realism. :)

Now that'll preach.

Glad someone understands. Don't ever mistake purity for naivte. That's the world's urban legend. That's a fallacy we buy into. In fact, the older I get, the more I'm realizing that purity actually speeds up the maturity process for those who will let it.

The freedom to worship God freely
Chitterlings (Naw, this ain't no mistake)
Frank Sinatra (Please fly me to the moon)
Ella Fitzgerald
Marian Anderson
W.E.B.DuBois (The Souls of Blackfolk)
Booker T. Washington (Up From Slavery)
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Tuskegee Institute/University
Dr. William H Cosby
The Blues and Jazz
The Interstate System
Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Free speech
Capitalism
Poundcake
Sweet Potato Pie
Macaroni and Cheese (Naw I ain't talkin from some box)
There 's just so much more.

Some of my favorite things:

Online banking
WaWa (It's an East Coast thing)
IHOP
Amazon.com
Hip Hop
being black
Chik-Fil-A
Self-Publishing
Real Black Literature
Instant Messaging
Dunkin' Donuts

--American Music (especially Country and Blues [and when I say country, I don't mean the junk they try to sell today, I'm talking about Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams etc etc... ya know....COUNTRY MUSIC!!!!] )
--The WILL to fight
--The love of PEACE and FREEDOM
--Southern Style Pork BBQ (Vinegar, not sweet)
--Other Great American food (Mexican, New Mexican, Tex Mex, Cajun, Southern...man...I feel kinda bad for the folks who live up in the northern half of the country!)
--Beautiful, intelligent, American women (especially you beautiful black ladies!)
--Y Pluribus Unum/AMERICAN immigrants (as opposed to immigrants in America...If your proud to be an American, I'm proud to be your countryman)
--"In God we trust" (and I hope we don't ever lose that foundation for our country that allows us to retain our moral clarity)
--The American Cinema (all the great American movies, directors and actors...some favorites? Junior Bonner, High Noon, The Royal Tennenbaums)
--Our military men and women.
--Our love of competition
--The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the brilliance of our nation's founders.
--The internet (including www.nykola.com), newspapers, talk radio and our easy access to a wide array of diverse opinions.
--Great American Writers (Twain, Thoreau, Wharton, etc.)
–-Capitalism
–-Interracial marriages

There are a few of my contributions...

loving your website....and Amen to Strawberry Lemonade and The Cosby Show...lol

mmm, chick fil-a... dang i can't wait til i get down south to get some!

ambra,

you need to at least comment once a week on your opinions about anything.....

feed the junkies that read your site!!!! :-)

its funny that i have picked out a few, albeit important, writers that i read daily to get calibrated on the current events of the day. just so happens that i respect your opinions as do probably tens of thousands of readers. when you dont post for a while its frustrating simply because you have an excellent opinion about many things that help people like me look at the "other side".

not sure what is going on in your life for you to be spotty on blogging but i sure hope "he" is worth it! :-) hahahahaha.

you have such an endearing spirit, like the other bloggers i read and i just wish you would post more.

I realize its work to do this stuff and maybe you should risk doing something that would allow your opinions to be read large scale and let God take care of the rest? what do you say? anyhow i will continue to look for you to post SOMETHING! :-)

take good care and God bless

parker

As an European I probably shouldn't say this but I do: I have spent a year living and studying in North America and I loved it. I fell in love with America. I visited also in Latin America and loved that too. I'm not saying though that I don't love European continent or my country there, of course I do! But unlike most of Europeans I love America too. In Europe people dislike George Bush and American politics in general and with that almost everything in America. I love many, many thing in America, so I give here just some examples which I cannot get in Europe (I think):
- freedom to be Christian and to proudly live it on (in Europe you are expected to be TOLERANT towards everything and everybody - that means: don't show your colour publicly)
- american friendliness and kindness
- muffins (especially cranberry bran and banana nut)
- 7Eleven coffees
- Sheetz's coffees
- apple harvest festivals and apple pies
- Nickelodeon

What I love:
freedom to move from one city to another or state without getting government permission
freedom to say the president is a fool without fear of arrest
freedom to go to K Mart and buy coats for five kids and pay only $125.
all of the people who wrote saying why they love the US
Ambra, patriotism is important. Like everything else, it has its negative side. But the positive outweights the negative. People who don't love their country can't make anything good out of it. This is something liberals don't understand. Most People can't walk around saying I hate my country and my history. Human nature can't take it.

also freedom to mock religion without fear of being arrested or killed. This is the kind of freedom muslims need to have

I'm adding to my list

The Constitution
The Declaration of Independence
The Preamble
The Emancipation Proclamation
Carter Woodson
J. A. Rogers
Leontyne Price
William Warfield
Souse meat
The fact that we can come together
in states of emergency

The men and women in our armed forces
There's still so much more.

First, the serious things:

The US Constitution, and from that:
Democracy
Freedom to pray, think, speek, blog, whatever any way I want.
Freedom to live my life without having to ask for permission

Capitalism. Ability for anyone who doesn't mind hard work and dirty fingernails to be successful.

Military, and from that:
Security throughout the world
The ability to kiss my child goodnight knowing she's safe.
The internet (yes, Al, the US DOD invented the internet :)

And the fun stuff:

Jazz (gotta put that first!)
Bluegrass (close second -- two American musical forms)
Root Beer
The Maine coastline, waking up on a sailboat
Fog rolling in over Sausalito CA
Fall colors
BBQ
Pizza
A bunch of guys calling themselves "idiots" and winning the world series. Go Sox! (Chicago, your turn)
The ability to travel from the tropics to 20 foot snowdrifts without a passport.
New England Clam Chowdah

Michael

How about our National Parks? Love 'em!

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
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