“The Changzhou public bus system is more than likely better than any bus system in America.”
When I say this, my Chinese university students usually gasp in shock. They become even more flabbergasted when I say the US is pretty bad at public transportation. If they counter by bringing up the New York City subway system, I remind them that New York City is always the exception and not the norm, and a lot of the subway stations often smell like a public bathroom — and I am saying that as a New Jersey guy that has always had a very large soft spot for The Big Apple.
Owning a car is not a sign of wealth or status, because even poor or broke people have to drive to get to work. It’s just that they own a jalopy, wreck, hooptie, rattletrap, clunker, bucket of bolts, lemon, junker, or any other colorful noun that can mean “old car that breaks down often.” America, I always tell my students, has a very car-centered culture. Instead of opting for an intricate rail system, President Eisenhower initiated the construction of a network of super highways in 1956 that has defined America up to the current day.
So, it’s interesting that the Changzhou Museum has a temporary photography exhibit celebrating this aspect of Americana.
It’s located on the ground floor of the museum.
There are some old black and white photos as well as some vintage illustrated posters.
Plus, there are some contemporary shots on display. Not to mention this…
This shot is particularly grainy. That’s because I took this picture with my cell phone (of course), and it’s basically of a TV screen playing a documentary. Some of the guys featured are true whackjobs. Lastly, I sort of had to take a photo of the place I now love to hate….
There is a wall of license plates from all 50 states. Not represented, it seemed, were Washington DC and territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, and The Virgin Islands. Anyhow, it seemed like a quirky temporary exhibit. It runs until November 18th.