An Interesting, Inspiring, and Sobering e-mail to Streetfilms

We get alot of letters, e-mail and feedback. Most of them heap praise upon us, and often include suggestions of ideas or places to visit. Some make us blush, some make us proud, and then there are some that are so amazingly original that we have to share.

Read these excerpts from fans Holly & Richard, who were recent visitors in the U.S. We just loved their honesty and sincerity in telling us what we already realize, but found it emboldening to see from a different perspective.

Dear Streetfilms,

We are visitors to the States from England. Our main reason for coming was to visit friends. However, upon researching transport options we were horrified to discover that the only viable option to get from N.Y. to L.A. [and be able to visit towns in-between] was by car. Many of our friends tried to justify this saying, "America is simply too big to have public transport." To us, this is purely INSANE: Surely such a huge country should offer the best public transport in the world! Bullet trains could cover the driving distances in no time.

We're feeling quite ashamed of ourselves as we write this - but inevitably we did end up driving across America. We have found the American people to be welcoming and friendly - and the landscape beautiful. But we have not yet seen a single 'town' in the U.S. that we, as Europeans, would classify as a town. I would say they are more like "motorway service stations". Buildings designed for cars. People waiting in line for a drive-through. People competing for parking spaces at gyms! These are not communities as we would recognize - market squares, parks, rivers, cafes, stations, public art, gardens etc. We feel saddened that many Americans are not afforded the community lifestyle that we enjoy in Europe.

Our purpose of writing is not to attack your country and we do apologize if we have offended. I am writing to urge you, beg with you, plead with you to keep up the fantastic work that you are doing. Despite the wonderful time that we have had in the U.S. I simply cannot wait to get home in order to walk from my flat and pick up a newspaper and a pint of milk, on my journey I shall say hello to everyone I meet, take note of the weather and breathe some fresh air.

Your course is so just and worthy. Please keep up the pressure on the government.

Holly & Richard [last names redacted]

We'd like to thank Holly & Richard for allowing us to print their letter. "Motorway service stations" is one of the most fitting descriptions to what we have turned a good portion of our country into. Rest assured we will continue the fight to reverse that trend!

Clarence