Cruisin’

Cruising is distinguished from regular driving by the social and recreational nature of the activity, which is characterized by an impulsively random, often aimless course. A popular route (or “strip”) is often the focus of cruising. “Cruise nights” are evenings during which cars drive slowly.

dievca went to College in a mid-sized City and worked selling dance clothing and shoes her Junior/Senior year for extra cash.  The store was off the historical “Main Strip” where kids would cruise in their cars on Friday and Saturday nights.  She was amazed to see the activity continue in the mid-80’s, because she thought it was a 1960’s and a Southern thing.

Wrong.

The same feeling occurred, last night – watching a few of lowriders cruising in Albuquerque.  They joined the ranks of a couple of vintage cars and souped-up mufflers on pick-up trucks.  They ALL made dievca smile~

Apparently, New Mexico claims to be the Lowrider Capital of the World.
The town Espanola in particular:

Wedged between two national forests and split by the Rio Grande sits Española, New Mexico. With a population just over 10,000, and an economic relevance that peaked when the railroad rolled through in 1880, you wouldn’t expect much more than Southwestern small-town tourist fare here. All the more surprising, then, that it’s become the Lowrider Capital of the World.

It started small, 60 years ago. The lowrider scene had already taken root in Los Angeles, a new car culture born of rebellion. Its brash, flashy, low-and-slow mantra served as an act of defiance by Chicanos who had long been told to keep their heads down, work hard, and assimilate into the white American mainstream. Lowriders were an outward statement that they weren’t content to blend in. They had arrived, they had a culture all their own, and they wanted people to know it.

Showing off on the street is a surefire way to draw police attention, and lowriders were no exception. Hydraulic suspension, the defining feature of a modern lowrider, was invented in response to harassment from law enforcement. California authorities made it illegal for any part of a car’s bodywork to sit lower than the bottom of the wheel. With hydraulics, you could raise the car to dodge a ticket and slam it back down when the cops were gone.

That resonated in Española. The town, sometimes called “Little L.A.,” has deep ties to the Hispanic and Chicano communities of Southern California. Families that had been in New Mexico for generations would head west seeking opportunity and return with money and a taste of California culture. Lowriders were a natural fit for Española, a continuation of the artistic tendencies that had defined Northern New Mexico for hundreds of years.

Excepts from Road and Trackclick here for more and some great machines

 

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It does have a population of around 8.7 Million…

Photo: dievca 05/2021

New York City would crack the top 100 in countries in population!
And ‘good or bad’ we all know there is a Strong Culture…

100  Sierra Leone 8,297,882 0.105% 1 Jul 2021

trött

After a heavy week ending, then heading back to a friend to help her entertain and feed 10 people. – dievca is trött.

Tired.

The crowd was lovely, kind, fun. But when it is not your house, your dishes, your food, your timing – you have to be aware.  Add the language-shifting and alcohol– by the time we played, Kubb, dievca was cooked.

Click on the name to find the rules of the game…just let dievca tell you that it involves throwing larger wooden dowels at wooden objects across a pitch…sometimes around windows.

Recovery starts this morning:


CONSENSUS CULTURE

A Danish retail chain called “Normal” offers this Ad on a Swedish storefront. Interesting choice for the target audience.

Conformity, most of the time

dievca runs into dichotomies within the Swedish Culture by pushing individuals to ‘shine’ (or standout) when culturally that act is a social kiss of death. Insisting upon change within a well-developed system?
Slow going….but that’s why they hired her.

The US has long been and remains an invented culture, full of disparate and changing parts. Those parts vary by race, ethnicity, class, and region, to name a few demarcations. Identities in the US are lightly held; there is always the possibility of moving to a different geographical and cultural location and reinventing yourself. Lots of Americans are at any time “on the move” in that way.

Sweden, like many European nations, has an old and deeply-rooted culture that manifests itself in dominant group norms. Reinvention is less possible and, it seems, less desirable to Swedes.

Those norms may have grown from the centralist history of their institutions. Sweden has long had one strong national government, a single state church, one public system of higher education, one set of national employment laws.

You must fit in.
Individuality is not usually prized. This may be one of the strangest traits of Swedes because their contribution to popular culture is so disproportionately huge relative to their small population.

Being a pop music superpower (Sweden is the third-largest producer of pop music after the US and UK) shouldn’t sit easily with a nation that frowns on those who drive flashy cars or exhibit any flamboyance. What about IKEA, H&M, COS, & Other Stories. Pop music, Retail and the arts, in general, are about expressing your creativity. How does this fit in with the country of ‘lagom’ (the Swedish word for ‘just enough’)?

Swedes (like many Americans) think that the way they do things is the best – their university degrees are better, their work practices are better, etc.

Annoyingly, unlike Americans, Swedes’ superiority complex is mostly warranted. After all, the Swedes are ahead of the curve on many issues.

But that doesn’t mean that newcomers to the country cannot offer a fresh perspective. Unfortunately, many Swedes have no desire to consider an outsider’s approach or listen to new solutions to old problems.

The attitude from the local Swedes is very much, “Oh, we’ve always done it this way, and we’re OK – why would we change?”

They just waddle along complacently, happy with their lot, not at all bothered that there is a whole world out there that might just, know how to do some things a little better than they do.

Modified and added to a piece from Paul Connolly – “The Local” August 17, 2015