When I first heard about American Space, I had visions of Neil Armstrong and the man from ET with the jangling keys.
However, American Space is much more down to Earth; third stone from the sun last time I looked, and is run, in Valencia, by Kathy Matles in collaboration with the American Embassy.
It was in fact the American Ambassador James Costos, who along with Valencia Polytechnic University (UPV) Rector Francisco Mora, opened American Space on the UPV campus in December 2013, one of 800 worldwide.
Kathy has lived in Valencia since 1994, and chose down home Valencia over Barcelona, wanting a more user friendly city, where you can more or less walk everywhere; or at least everywhere that matters.
Before taking up her post as Director of American Space, Kathy from Michigan had been an English teacher (she taught Spanish back home), and also a translator at the multinational Deloitte.
American Space is multi-functional and organises a wide range of activities with the global goal of bringing America closer to local people, a lot closer than it was at least when Columbus discovered it, financed by Valencian money back in 1492.
Even if Columbus didn’t have a clue where he was, thanks to American Space, a lot more Valencians have the opportunity now to find America (just east of India Chris!)
So at any day you could wander along to American Space on the first floor of the UPV language centre in Building 4P and find a karaoke, a concert, an English class, a networking session, a yard sale for charity, an information session about studying at an American University, a book exchange or a discussion on the news.
While you are there, you can borrow American books or magazines, or learn how to use the 40 data bases that will tell you just about everything you need to know about the USA.
All the American national holidays are celebrated and people are actively encouraged to come along and feel at home.
There are plenty of activities for kids, including twice monthly sessions on Saturdays with wide ranging activities like robot building or stop animation sessions, and local American volunteers and two interns, as well as Kathy herself, waiting with a warm welcome and open to new ideas and offers from anyone who feels that this might be the right space from them.
So, check out their website and then take that one small step for a Valencian over the threshold of American Space.