Underground: USA
August 1, 2009 9:14 PM   Subscribe

Geoff is on a road trip around the lower forty-eight United States visiting cities and towns with the same names as London's tube stops. He's calling it Underground: USA.

Three years ago, Geoff Marshall quit his job with the BBC in London and moved to Charleston, SC to work for The Digitel as a videographer.

In May, he came up with the idea to visit forty-eight towns/cities in the United States with the same name as tube stops in London.

He took a three month sabbatical and left Charleston in June. You can follow him on the trip with video (listed below), blog entries, a Google Map of his progress and Twitter updates.

I’m Going Underground - USA Style (Episode 1)
What Car? (Episode 2)
Am I too camp? (Epsiode 3)
My Hair is better than Alistair Cooke (Episode 4)
The Maine Reason for Being Here (Episode 5)
New York I love you, but you’re bringing me down (Episode 6)
Oh for a rainy day (Episode 7)

This is where Geoff ran in to a bit of trouble. Someone broke in to his Jeep and stole all of his equipment in Greensboro, NC. His friends at The Digitel set up an online fundraising blitz to help Geoff get back on the road.

Reality (Episode 8)
On The Road Again (Episode 9)
It’s big. It’s easy. It’s NOLA. (Episode 10)
Moving from Memphis (Episode 11)
Superfood Me (Episode 12)
The White City (Part 2) (Episode 13)
The Badlands of Wall Drug (Episode 14)

Bonus Stuff:
* Statistics!
* Here's his page on differences between the US and the UK he's noticed.
* He's been mentioned on AskMe, too. That was a different project, though.
posted by cdmwebs (18 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
My first post, so please be gentle!
posted by cdmwebs at 9:15 PM on August 1, 2009


He'll be going around for another month, it seems. This guy has seen more of the US in one summer than the vast majority of Americans see in their whole lives.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:51 PM on August 1, 2009


The concept sounds ridiculous, but the shows are pretty interesting...

My country seems so bizarre in some way when a British TV host is presenting it to me. Watching him in the Badlands makes me think he's composited in somehow... he just doesn't belong there.

Very nice first post.
posted by Huck500 at 9:58 PM on August 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


How's he going to get to Mornington Crescent?
posted by klangklangston at 10:00 PM on August 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


To understand the past, ya gotta shave.
posted by Mblue at 10:12 PM on August 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the same guy who set a world record (later beaten) for visiting all 275 London Underground stations in the fastest time.

That he would attempt something like this does not surprise me one bit. Though I share klangklangston's concern.
posted by armage at 12:24 AM on August 2, 2009


I was expecting a game to be in full swing here, but I see klangklangston's won before it even started (probably for the best).
posted by bjrn at 4:46 AM on August 2, 2009


Here's his page on differences between the US and the UK he's noticed.

Arguably the weakest part of his site: most of the differences would surprise few even mildly cosmopolitan people. Treacle is called molasses? Aubergines are called eggplants? 'Cluedo' is called 'Clue'? Serviettes are called napkins? Yet he accompanies each comparison with astonished head-shaking:

My favourite trick is to be order bar food, and when they say "'Would you like chips or fries with that?", I always reply "Well that's the same thing!".

Just as 'dickhead' and 'arsehole' mean the same thing. There is however a late turn towards regional slang:

If I want to pop round to your gaff later, it just means I want to come and visit you at your house. Unknown here! Don't try to cack your pants, buy a pair of kecks, or go and do a dump in the khazi, because they just don't know what you mean.

I have this image of him buttonholing confused southerners, shouting Cockney rhyming slang and East-end patois at them, then following up with "I can't believe you don't know what 'apples and stairs', 'Pete Tong' or 'pikey' mean! Cor, where did you grow up?"

Let's hope he goes to a non-English speaking country. The "differences" he'll find there should be entertaining.
posted by outlier at 5:26 AM on August 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


The whole country? My friends and I considered doing New England a chore - and we just stuck pins on a map. All these crappy little towns with British names. I grew up in a crappy little town with a British name, and then I moved to another one - there's no escaping it. It's all either British, mangled native names, or the occasional florid Puritan designation.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:42 AM on August 2, 2009


The whole country? My friends and I considered doing New England a chore...

In one of the videos he says it's really just an excuse to get out and see America. I guess it's just wrapped in a neat little package this way.

This guy has seen more of the US in one summer than the vast majority of Americans see in their whole lives.

Exactly what I thought when I found the project.
posted by cdmwebs at 7:24 AM on August 2, 2009


That's a odd way of playing Mornington Crescent.
posted by paddbear at 8:18 AM on August 2, 2009


This immediately made me think of this Mitchell & Webb sketch (Youtube).
posted by pascal at 9:55 AM on August 2, 2009


Cilantro was coriander all along? Just plain coriander?!?

This, for me, is a Kaiser Sauze moment.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:30 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


You might think that's a weird catagory, but most Americans I talk to have no idea that there are different versions of Monopoly around the world.

...and all of those different versions are copies of the original, "American" version.
posted by oaf at 1:40 PM on August 2, 2009


Here's his page on differences between the US and the UK he's noticed.

"And this Yank--oh, I'm sorry, Amehhhhrican--I showed that page to just shook his head and spouted a bunch of gibberish! 'Grocer's apostrophe'? 'Regular plurals'? 'Laughably insulting generalizations'? 'Basic cultural literacy'? Wot are those?"
posted by kittyprecious at 8:01 PM on August 2, 2009


"...and all of those different versions are copies of the original, "American" version.

There are like eleventy billion versions INSIDE the US. I mean, I have no idea what foreign versions there are, "I build a hotel on the Rue Morgue" or whatever, but it's not a goddamn revelation.
posted by klangklangston at 9:13 PM on August 2, 2009


Want a serviette to wipe your face after you've eaten? Tough - ask for a napkin or you'll get nowhere.

Better watch out for Zombie Nancy Mitford.
posted by atrazine at 10:31 PM on August 2, 2009


RushYellowstone (Episode 15) is up, if anyone else is still following along.

Also, I'm beginning to regret linking to that page about differences. Oh, well.
posted by cdmwebs at 6:35 AM on August 6, 2009


« Older Obama's Iran Policy   |   Nice tomato Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments