I mentioned ten days ago a trip my wife and I were making from Maine to the DC area in a little plane, with a teaser that she would be doing a fuller report about what we saw and why we did it. (Below: the view out the left side of the plane, toward far off New York City and environs, from a site over the upper Hudson Valley. As it happens, we were at 4500 feet at that moment, for a safe margin over the hilly terrain and under the clouds.)
She has now written her report, for the Atlantic.com's National Channel. Because so few people have had this low-altitude view of the U.S. landscape, which is itself so different from the perspective offered by an airliner at 35,000 feet or a car at ground level, it is hard to convey how different America and its cities and countryside look relatively close-up from above. Her post begins some of the explanation of this distinctive view. Worth checking out, in my biased but sincere opinion. She includes a bonus snapshot of the pilot at the controls.