Saturday, April 21, 2007

The joys of Jamaica

Jamaica, Queens in New York i.e. Not the island nation in the Caribbean (which, I'm sure, has its own joys). Queens is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the country, and this end of it is no exception. There's tons of Mexicans and Guyanese and Bangladeshis and Indians. I've often remarked how New York doesn't feel like a part of the US -- there's a different dynamic that rises from such a concentrated diversity of cultures and peoples that mingle and interact and live together. Brown is everywhere. I love it.

So, I saunter over to this Bangladeshi joint which offers the most delicious fare, and end up having a long conversation with the proprietor about World Cup Cricket. (I'm here on every visit and by now he recognizes me.) He wasn't happy that I stopped following the tournament after India dropped out. "Man, you're not really a fan then! You shouldn't follow it racially! See, I'll root for Bangladesh when they play, then India, and then Pakistan. But I'll follow it all the way!" As the Super 8 series of matches continues, he's rooting for New Zealand over Australia. ("They are too good. I prefer the underdog") I admitted that I wasn't as much of a fan of cricket as I am of college football, and my being in India as the World Cup started out fanned the flames of nationalism. And, really, I could never bring myself to root for Pakistan. And yes, he did bring up that dark day when Bangladesh trounced India, and, effectively, shattered our World Cup dreams. I reacted with admirable magnanimity of course, as I picked up the steaming dal, naan and spicy chicken korma.

And the stuff I allued to below, is absent here. With this beard, I look more Sikh than anything. A kata Sardar (an un-turbaned Sikh, who cuts his hair). And in this part of Queens, that's quite ok.


Walt said...

I LOVE chicken korma and naan. I might even let someone speak highly of Clemson if they let me eat what you did while they did it...maybe lol. Anyway, safe travels, G!

St. Izzy said...

As long as you're in Queens and eating ethnic, if you get the urge for Italian-style brick-oven pizza, get down to the Vernon-Jackson stop and note a little corner restaurant at the foot of the Pulaski bridge (Jackson Ave. and 49th/Hunters' Point Ave).

The place is called Manetta's. They actually know what a pizza Margherita is supposed to be like.

You can get out relatively cheaply (although the last time the O'Cayce's were there was the summer after 9/11), but it's also very easy to ring up a huge tab.

Review 1
Review 2

They also have a fantastic wine list.


Gashwin said...

Walt, if you root for Clemson, I will deny you. :-p

St. Izzy: I think I'll check it out!