In the post-Patriot-Act America, it is necessary to stand in a long line, remove one’s belt, and grovel before security personnel just to enter the area beneath the [Gateway] Arch. Paying ten dollars secured me a ride in a very Tomorrowland-esque little capsule to the top, 630 feet above the river. I thought for a while about the America that would build a stainless-steel arch for no particular reason, and the America that would make you remove your belt to get close to it. They are not the same. I grew up in the former and I cannot stand the latter.
At least there’s still an America through which you can take road trips. For now, anyway.