All posts tagged: Journey to 30

30 Restaurants: Cochon Butcher & Heard Dat Kitchen

Cochon Butcher Folks have been talking about “le Pig Mac” for years now. I finally tasted one. I’m still drooling at the thought of it. It was just like my favorite big mac of childhood (which I stopped eating after they started labeling their products with calories and I realized a big mac meal was like an entire day and a half’s worth of calories) but better. I couldn’t tell you if “Le Pig Mac” is just as high in calories, with pork patties instead of beef patties–it’s certainly more expensive than a big mac, at $10–but it was worth every bite. Not one single regret. I WILL be going back to eat it again.   Heard Dat Kitchen I don’t remember how I first heard about this place, but it’s gained a lot of traction through yelp and other reviews. It is a hole in the wall, every reviewer prepared you for that (although they’ve been working on their ambiance, and apparently just expanded to have a bigger dining area). But the food is …

Book 16: Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth–Warsan Shire

I first learned about Warsan Shire through Beyoncé. Her visual album, Lemonade, had all this great dialogue in between songs, and it turns out it was attributed to Shire, so of course I had to know more. She was born in Kenya to Somali parents and immigrated to the United Kingdom. What’s wild to think about is how crazy accomplished she is and we’re the same age. Almost exactly. Down to the month (August babies!). I had to pause a moment and think about what I was doing with my life when I see folks my age out there grinding hard and being recognized for their work. But let’s not dwell on making comparisons… This book is her first published work. And unlike some of the other poetry I’ve read on this Journey to 30, this felt more accessible. I think being a contemporary of the time period in which poetry is written does that. I still had some difficulties in understanding meaning, because although we’re from the same generation, she still comes from a …

30 Restaurants: Casa Borrega & Cavan

Neither of these places were on my original list of 30 restaurants, which has changed at least six times throughout the course of the year. But I’ve been dying to go to Casa Borrega, so it was silly for it not to be on there, and Cavan became an after the fact replacement. Casa Borrega There were so many options on the menu that I wanted to eat, I wish I had gone with more people who all got different things so I could taste them all. Or I can just go back multiple times (isn’t that the point of their business, to visit again?).  We started with some chips and queso, we were both really hungry by that point. For an entree I decided on the tostadas, one with chorizo and the other with lengua (beef tongue). Both were delicious! And it was more than enough food for $10. I got horchata to drink, also fantastic, so by the time I finished eating, there unfortunately wasn’t any room left for dessert. I was interested …

Book 15: Homegirls & Handgrenades–Sonia Sanchez

Another book of poetry, another reminder of how difficult poetry is (can be) to fully grasp. I feel like to truly appreciate Sonia Sanchez I need to read this in a class with someone facilitating a discussion; someone who knows more about her, knows how to interpret her stylizations. I never could figure out what to do with the forward slash “/” separating words, especially “yo” and another word (i.e., “yo/arena of love”). Is it supposed to be read a certain way? Is there a double meaning I’m missing? I just have questions. And then, like Nikki Giovanni, some of the metaphors were so time and place situated, they went over my head. But in the anthology I have of Giovanni’s work, there’s an appendix with notes explaining the references. That being said, I enjoyed this book, preferring the haikus and shorter-stories more than some of the longer poems, probably because they were easier for me to understand, but I’ll have to revisit Sanchez, hopefully with some more context. Haiku i see you blackboy bent toward …

Book 14: The Color Purple–Alice Walker

I’ve seen The Color Purple with Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah, no less than ten times. I’ve also seen the (first) broadway version of story and would like to see the more recent (and apparently better) broadway musical. But I’ve never read the book. Surprisingly, I didn’t finish the book and think about how terrible the movie was in comparison like I do with most movie adaptations of books. Maybe it’s because I watched it before I read it (vs. reading and then watching), but I think the movie did the best possible job of covering the vast time span of the novel and staying true to essential scenarios within the novel; there are parts of the movie that were taken from the book almost verbatim. But all that being said, the book was still considerably more interesting. Obviously, a blockbuster film directed by a white man, adapted from a novel that deals very heavily with issues of racism and imperialism, is going to be filtered out to focus on the more palatable storylines …