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The Pogues - Dirty Old Town

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I've had my coffee and after a very long day of travel from Charlotte back to Paris, I'm finally home again. Even better, it's actually sunny and warm here though not miserably muggy as it was in Charlotte.

Compared to the 2008 DNC in Denver, Charlotte did a nice job of organizing. It was relatively easy to get around and everyone was friendly and helpful. The weather was extremely unpleasant (unless you like heat and disgustingly high humidity) but that happens at this time of the year. They had police support from all over the country (lots from Chicago) yet the coordination appeared to be pretty good. Unlike Denver, where you had to walk forever due to the security fortresses, Charlotte was a breeze.

On the downside, Charlotte isn't my kind of city and I found it to be like an overgrown suburb and with the soul and character of a suburb. Nothing really defines the city from what I could see and it was too generic for my liking. Austin, which is somewhat similar in size, has much more character in various neighborhoods, including close to downtown. But hey, there aren't many Austin-like cities out there.

Above and beyond just Charlotte, I was reminded again of the American fixation with police on the street. Compared to the UK or Europe, you see police everywhere in the US. One morning I saw five police cars on the highway during the 30 minute drive. I did wonder if this was South Carolina's local hospitality to the Democrats (our hotel was in SC) but that's another subject. During my ten hour drive from the south this summer in France, I saw one patrol car. For whatever reason, we seem to love seeing police everywhere in the US.

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