Independence Day in New York(This is the USA!!), July 4, 2011

In the morning, I was at « Veselka » which is a 24/7 open restaurant and serves Ukrainian food.
An old lady named Linda started to speak to me.

This was not the only one who spoke to me in USA.
When I was in a queue, at a restaurant, on a train etc,
local people often spoke to me.

When I introduce Japan, I praise its hospitality.
Everybody, who knows about Japan or have been there, nods my opinion.
Japanese staffs give their smile, bow, polite words and quick actions to their customers.
There is nothing like Japan, when it comes to hospitality.

But, its hospitality is for their customers.
No matter how polite Japanese staffs are,
they never speak to strangers when they take off their uniforms and enjoy their own holidays.
This is totally different from USA.
I love American hospitality which adds color to my trip.

Ms. Linda: « There are more than 40,000 Japanese here. I’ve never seen a Japanese like you before. All Japanese are Americanized. »
I don’t know what is the meaning « Americanized ».
But, I’m not sure I’m a jolly fellow like American.

After saying goodbye to Ms.Linda,
I went to see
« Nathan’s famous hot dog eating contest« .
When I was out of the station named « Coney Island/Stillwell Ave »,
the venue was right there and was packed with visitors.

It was too late to get a good seat, so I went to a restroom.
Luckily, contestants just came out of a wagon car.
I did high-five with Joey Chestnut who is a champion last year.

And I could see some side entertainment shows in front of my eyes.

After entertainment shows finished,
all contestants were introduced.
However, When a Chinese-American contestant was on the stage,
All visitors yelled out
« USA!! USA!! »
« We are Chestnut!! We are Chestnut!! »

I realized that
friendly character is a part of American people’s features and
keeping away outsiders is a part of American people’s features.

When Chestnut was on the stage,
everybody shouted
« Joooey Chestnuuuuut!! ».
The excitement reached a climax.

After we sang together
the American national anthem « Star Spangled Banner »,
the contest started.

A Sweden contestant had a lead until 15 or 16 hot dogs.
After then, Chestnut took a top from behind.
After all, Chestnut won this contest.

I asked some contestant staffs about « Takeru Kobayashi » who was a champion from 2001 to 2006.
« What’s up with Takeru Kobayashi? Why does not he take part in this contest? ».
But, every staff said to me, « I don’t know. it muust be he didn’t sign ».
It’s a bummer not to see a Japanese in this contest.
It seems he fought alone at another stage.
Kobi’s BLOG(

In the evening, I went to 12th Ave alongside the Hudson River to watch fireworks.
After 9:00PM, I could see smaller fireworks at the side of New Jersey.
A hundreds of American sang together,
« Happy Birth Day to You,
Happy Birth Day to You,
Happy Birth Day U S A,
Happy Birth Day to You. »
I felt this is the independence day which means this country was born long long years ago.


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