Saturday, July 23, 2011
Multi Culturalism; Conversations with a Past Life, May 10th
New York City was a great time for me, it exposed me to a lot of diversity. My goal was to work for Sotheby's or Christies Auction house. Although that didn't happen. 47th Street was great in some respect and not in other ways. They have their own rules. The Chassidims welcomed me and some had great senses of humor. They look so serious in their attire, yet under all of that they are interesting funny people. Though on a hot summer's day, I wouldn't ride the elevators, I'd take the stairs. The heavy coats they wore didn't help the aroma in a small contained area. My husband's great-grandfather was Jewish. He was a Vaudevillian who died in a fire. My uncle married a Jewish girl from Brooklyn, so 3 of my frist cousins are Jewish and another another cousin by marriage. Nothing, like a Jewish wedding! I love dancing in the circle to Hava nagila. Some closed minded people don't realize all the wonderful things different cultures offer. Their loss. That's what makes NYC great, such a melting pot of culture. Here in Flemington there still isn't much diversity. We do have a mexican community, which provides a nice mexican market we use for our chili peppers. Newark is great, we go there often to the Iron Bound for dinner and for the Brasilian market. Branchburg just got it's first Indian restaurant. Wooo Hooo! I don't recall Ess'. Though nothing like a NYC deli and a hot pastrami sandwich. The word you were looking for is "Kaht_Leh_Tyee". Time for work and some Brasilian Coffee! Have a great day!
o There are Hasidim in Mexico City also; with their heavy coats, and the women with their wigs... It's funny, if you study the origins of the Amish/Mennonites and the Hasidim, you find that their "sects" were conceived exactly at the same time, almost in the same part of Europe for almost the same reasons. I imagine it was a response to the industrial revolution and both groups decided to vehemently protect their present day culture (200 years ago). The difference was that the Mennonites were farmers and the Hasidim were scholars and merchants. Until Napolean invaded almost all of Europe, freeing the Jews and giving them citizenship, Jews were denied the right to own land, which is what kept them from being farmers. They were forced into occupations later used against them in anti-Semitic Rhetoric. I also believe Hasidism was a reaction against the gentrification of Jews. It was a way to protect themselves against mixing. All over Mexico I'm seeing an increasing population of Mennonites I imagine dropping down from the U.S. because land cost and scarcity has risen greatly... That's what I loved about NYC also, the diversity. I'm very tired and burning out quickly, although I would love to respond to all you said. Later on... Hot Pastrami on Delancy street... Eastern Orthodox clarinet playing in Astoria Queens on January 6th, the original day of Christmas..., Klesmer Music is Jewish, but there is so much similarity in Greek and Czechoslovakian folk music... Everyone is so similar. But so many people want to believe that everyone is different from THEM. My in-laws are from Veracruz, Mexico hillbilly culture... The only difference culturally from what you would find in Appalachia is Spanish. But the dancing, the "moonshine" whisky, alcoholism, anti-education, style of talking, racism, etc and etc is basically the same. I develop a racist tone in Mexico, due to a ton of frustration. I want to speak positively about the people and the culture here, but I've learned that the negative way outweighs the positive. I believe there was famous fire in the Jewish vaudeville/yiddish theater district around the turn of the 20th century. But, I wasn't able to find the information. I've read a lot. The information is there, but I don't know where it came from, what book. When it comes to mind, I'll share it with you. Oh, did I tell you, growing up I was only interested in baseball, pizza and hamburgers and french fries and Sports Illustrated?... What are the best things about New York City? Crossing Queens from Astoria to Far Hills, you cross a different country every 5 blocks. That's how I learned to cook food from all over the world; street eating... I prefered entering small immigrant stores or restaurants and bought food to walk with. Occasionally I would sit down in a restaurant with the girlfriend of the time or a friend of mine. When I came across something new that blew my mind, I had to find the best cookbook from that country, locate the recipe and then locate the store that sold the ingredients. I travelled all over New York City looking for Thai, West African, Persian, Indian, Mexican...grocers. The only food I didn't like in New York City was Philipino... Greenpoint had my favorite Thai restaurant and the best Polish donuts. I wish I were there at this moment for the Kielbasa. Mexico has it's equivalent called "Longaniza"... The best Soul Food is at Charles Southern Style Cooking in deep Harlem; the only Soul Food that made it high on the Zagat's rating... and it is an all-you-can eat buffet... Cafe con Leche Puerto Rican style in Spanish Harlem and on 14th street near 7th avenue. Puerto Rican blood sausages... Jamaican beef patties all over the city... Damascus Bakery (syrian) near downtown brooklyn. Yemeni cuisine in the same neighborhood. An incredible Jewish delicatesen on Kings Highway around the corner from where I lived on Ocean Ave... Turkish Kasseri cheese, Fish from the Chinese Markets near Brighton beach. Gayanan cuisine between Park Side and Crown Heights Brooklyn.. Chinese steamed buns in Chinatown. Souvlaki in Astoria, All the diffferent forms of Falafel, from Greek, Israeli, to Egyptian, to Lebanese... (the lebanese had the best, not in pita pockets but rolled like a taco in giant "lebanese bread")... I could go on and on. And, as you can see, I didn't cut so short the response...