When it creeps up on you….

I woke early, still with this cough, and immediately needed to drain my nose. I have had this “thing” for 2 weeks now, where mucus has just drained from my chest and nasal cavity. It has made me learn to enjoy tea. I mean, any other day… fuck tea… But today I will side with tea with the intention of having it sort out my throat.

Other than that I feel great. I listened to the Yeah yeah yeah’s new release this morning whilst skating. Something bout that choir wailing on Sacrilege while the wind blew thru my hair seemed to make everything apear that much more
“epic”.

Afterwards I day-dreamed thru breakfast, wondering how deaf people felt about volume knobs. Then wondered how blind people felt about light switches. Then I wondered about people who lost their hands, and how they felt about joysticks and game controllers, then wondered how paraplegics felt about treadmills. Then things really started to get weird, which is when I realized I needed to finish my meal and get out of the house.

I headed to see a client, who had been trying to see me for a number of days. He’s an old man, who greeted me at the door wearing only his shirt with no pants. I began to wonder if he at least had underwear on under his shirt… but I wasn’t about to let it go beyond curious pondering… this is a dude in his 80’s, I’m not interested in investigating.

He has computer problems that he claims prevent him from banging chicks. This little jewish man, sitting around in his underwear (I assume), whining about how he’s just trying to meet women he can bang and can’t figure out why craigslist keeps taking down his posts. I explain that his post has been ghosted, and he just stares at me. I look at his previous posts and noticed a few things.

First being that he says he is 63, he can’t spell and he has standards that seem a bit unrealistic. He has stated that he isn’t interested if you are larger than a size 8, or over 135lbs, and no one over 40. He claims in the ad he is looking for a potential live in lover, however he complains to me that he has done it in the past, and he usually finds the person annoying after roughly 6 weeks. Says it sucks because it’s like you’re married and you have to pay for everything.

I draw up the ad, fix whatever issues he had pertaining to why it wouldn’t post, and run some updates. He talks about the past, and how growing old sucks. He offers me tea and I accept. He tells me he finds tea helpful for when he is hung over.

I ask him if he drinks much, and informs he that he can’t anymore. But back in the day he had it all and saw crazy things. I ask him to tell me, cuz I would like to know. I told him to make me feel Amish. He asks what Amish is, and I tell him to simply wow me.

I begins to talk about the 60’s when he had to studio, and in his studio he had every pill under the sun. Seconals, morphine, tuinals, mandrex, all filled in his refrigerator. Talks about a quack-doctor he had who told him to simply make a list of what he wanted and the doctor would give it to him cheaper than what he would have to pay for it on the streets.

One night he decided not to go home and instead sleep at his studio in Manhattan. Upon crawling in bed he stretched his arms out and felt a body lying next to his. It was dead girl. I asked him how the dead girl got there, and he stated that she was his studio assistant. She apparently had committed suicide by overdosing on one of the bottles of pills he had in the studio. He explained that he had to hide the rest before calling the cops. When fianlly called the cops and told them that there was a dead girl in his bed. They asked him how he knew that she was dead, and he had to elaborate that she was hard and cold, with puss coming out of her eyes, not to forget the piss and shit on the bed. All I could wonder is how fucked up was he that he didn’t smell that before laying down.. He must had been pretty loaded.

Do you have any idea what kind of buzzkill that must have been. I mean I’ve have been in the back seat of a car barreling down the freeway at 70 miles an hour on a head full of acid when the front tired just flew off the axle leaving us to grind into the pavement all the while sparks are flying everywhere and yet I knew that once we finally stopped it was simply an ordeal that only lasted 30-40 seconds. But this… would have just sobered me up so fast: finding a body, think of what to do and having to wait thru the cops coming to your house?… the night is shot.

I sip on the tea as he lays half a C-note on me. We talk about drinking for a few minutes and he tells me that alcohol just creeps up on you… he got caught up in it for 20 years. Says he would hide it in the bathroom so he had a place to drink where nobody would know what he was doing.

I can always smell when someone has been drinking, you can never hide that stench. Who knows… maybe they had better breathe mints in the 60’s.

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Classic vinyl and double smoked bacon

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I answered the phone and an old raspy voice asked for computer help. This is the geek, how can help the? He first says he’s retired, then says he’s on disability, something something computer, my mind wanders. He doesn’t have much money is what I gather, yet he needs his computer repaired.

Well I think we can work something out; he at least needs data recovery, maybe a reinstall. Before getting off the phone he drops a hint saying that he used to own a record store for thirty years. He tells this as if its supposed to sweeten the deal.

His name is Dan, and he lives in Jackson Heights. Mytchie once made an observation about Queens and why she didn’t like it. Everyone forms a line when getting on the train or bus, or wherever they are going, and she didn’t care for that. Come to think of it, I hate that shit… lines.. are they serious, get fucking real people.

The part of Jackson Heights we are headed to is also know as little Pakistan. 74th st, ground zero for that experience, is usually where I wind up. The trees are lit for the holidays, the sidewalk is lined with muslim and Hindi men chain smoking, and the shop windows display samosas, pakora and sweets. Most items go for a dollar, unless you are heading to a restaurant, which changes everything dramatically. I grab one samosa and notice a stage with a couple of Pakistani muslim men playing bhangra rhythms on drums like it’s nothing.

When I got to Dan’s apartment he showed me the computer in question. Dan is a rather large old man with a tiny chihuahua named Joey. I fucking hate chihuahuas; hate how they shake and growl and bark their little yapping barks non fucking stop. Dan is in pain and has a heart condition. Their is medication bottles anywhere and I am scanning all of them for pain killers. For roughly 90 minutes of this dude moaning and grunting as rattled on about how I am not listening to him as he struggles to figure out what it is he’s trying to say… all this while Joey the chihuahua yaps away.

He has an a middle aged nurse sitting on a lazy boy watching TV. Every time I glance at her she just shakes her head at him, as if she can’t believe the man takes up any space at all.

At one point Dan began to realize that I knew what I was doing. He started giving me attaboys and patting me on the back, then offered me food. Not knowing what he has, I decline. In a place like that, it doesn’t matter what he’s serving…. I am not interested.

When all is said and done, I racked up roughly 4 hours of work and was ready to rummage thru his record collection. He has saved all the records from the shop that he used to own. He was in business for 30 years, but had to give up the business due to his heart condition. The guest room is filled with records stacked from floor to ceiling.

I started digging thru the vinyl as he began to explain how he got his heart condition. He partied a lot, he didn’t care, he had fun, but he saved no money. He said is twice “I didn’t save any money”. I found a couple Dusty springfield records, god I love that woman. Also the Specials and the Shirells. He tells me du-wop was his specialty, then I find a bunch of bootleg Stooges, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!

He says “Oh yeah, my brother loved punk, he used to just get high and party in my record shop and then we did it together”. He tells me of a rock n roll fund which supports people in the industry who have fallen on hard times. He claims he approached them, they researched his history and now he is getting his rent paid for the rest of his life. I mean, as long as he doesn’t outlive the fund. We all think at his ripe age of 75, that should be a problem.

I grabbed a few James Brown rarities, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and a Shangri-La’s. He was thrilled. So many bad experiences, he told me about. So many guys not wanting to do all the work. I think to myself I must be a shit business man. I’ll bet those guys who don’t want to do all the work make twice as much money as I do.

I get back to Brooklyn and reckon I have 30 minutes before the butcher closes and realize that I am overdue for a visit.

You see, just up the street about six blocks up lies a Romanian butcher with a shop called the Ridgewood Pork Store. It’s wall to wall pork and he smokes everything himself right there on site. Smoked cheese, frankfurters, sausage, salami and double smoked bacon. Everything there is outrageous. I Have to be the luckiest boy alive… the greatest Italian bakery down one street, and Romanian hog heaven up another.

I got some bacon, some dried sausage, cheese, spicy mustard and frankfurters.

So as the sun went down and I realize what I want. Breakfast with double smoked bacon, and smoked cheese over green eggs…. it’s on.

Mashing on the Mushy

Back when I lived in San Francisco I began a long distance collaboration with some musicians in England. Me and Ure were doing a compilation at the time called Audio Odditions and one band he grew fond of at the time called Orchis, whom we included on the compilation.

After the compilation I was still in correspondance with the band and asked if they wanted to collaborate on a track, which began a series of collaborations through the mail. We started simple just one track at a time, the first being centering around a bass line I had written. The second being off of a song I wrote on guitar whilst staying at my ex-wife’s place in Pacifica (yes, I was married once).

The first time around I remember they sent me their music back in the mail, but for the second song I decided to go to them. I was going to be in London to visit my brother anyways so I figured we could meet up.

When I finally came face to face with them it was in a British version of a sports bar. Having a bottomless pit when it came to my appetite, I decided to order up some food and reckoned the national dish was good enough for me. That’s right, fish and chips, this was the food that fueled an empire that once spanned across the globe. When I went to order it thou, I was stumped. I ordered fish and was then given an option for chips or mushy peas. I have no idea why I did this, but I ordered mushy peas.

Alan and Tracy gave me vocals and guitar accompaniment for the work I had sent them in the mail while I ate and enjoyed mushy peas.

Every time after that I would spend a week with my brother in London and a week with Alan and Tracy in Lincolshire. Lincolnshire is known for how well they do British cuisine, but thats another article. One thing I would request whenever I’m in Lincolshire is fish and chips, and thats when Alan took me to a spot called Mermaid Fisheries.

Apparently they had award winning haddock and chips. Growing up in America, whenever you order fish and chips, the fish was traditionally cod, but in Britain, haddock is more prevalent. You can get cod, but cod seemed cheap compared to haddock and at some places you could even get sea bass.

The last time I visited the Mermaid had gone downhill. Everything was greasy and salty, which was just a shame really. When it was good, it was a treat, now it was penance.

Everyone now and then I get an urge for “proper” fish and chips like I used to get at the Mermaid, and living in New York, there is only one place I can think of that fits the bill. Park Slope has the Chip Shop which is ok, but the West Village has A Salt & Battery.

At A Salt & Battery, you can get haddock, pollock or sometimes even sea bass. You can get “proper” chips as a side or mushy peas, or if you like both and dip your chips  in the peas. My only complaint about this place was that the mushy peas are bland, but then again, maybe they have always been bland and now I’m just realizing that… either way, I want to go back and order mushy peas again, cept I want to  bring in my own hot sauce to mix in. Habenero should do the trick.

Is that bad to bring hot sauce around with you when going to a restaurant? I knew two different women, one from Thailand and one from Trinidad who did the same. They kept it in their purse in case of emergencies, like when you’re at a restaurant that sucks, or whenever I date went sour.

Maybe if I left the hotsauce on the counter at A Salt & Battery as a suggestion it would be ok.

When it’s time to vote I prefer a no brainer.

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Go ahead and laugh.. I voted today.

I went to check my mail which is at an office on 5th at 28th st in Manhattan. I originally got that mailbox almost 9 years ago when I first came to the city. I wasn’t sure how much I would be moving around but figured a static address would be good. I have only had four places the entire time I have lived in New York.

Three months at 116th and Lex in Spanish Harlem; three months at Graham and Metropolitan in Williamsburg, three and a half years at Bedford and Dekalb in Clinton Hill, and five years at my current place in Bushwick. I have to admit having to go to Manhattan to check my mail sucks at times, but I like that it brings me into the city..I think. I remember, I like the fact that all mail, all information everything goes to an office in Manhattan. Passport, auto insurance (when I had it), bank info, debt collectors, etc.. all go to somewhere other than my residence.

Either way..checking the mail today I noticed something telling me to vote. I didn’t think much about it until after I left the office and even though I could care less… I guess I secretly don’t, and knew that It couldn’t have been far. My polling place was at 14 east 28th st, which was only half a block away from where I already was.

When I walked in the polling station I realized the only form of ID I had was my California license. Well that was the end of that. Or at least so I thought until I ran into a friend who worked at Tekserve. They asked if I had voted to which I told of my lack of ID. I was informed that if I had not registered anywhere else, and my polling station was still the same, then all I needed was my signature.

Wait a minute… that’s it, my signature.. this is crazy, but fuck it… I guess I am going back.

When in line it took about 5 minutes to find out where I need to go. The scene was a mess. People were cutting in line, people next to me made brutally mundane small talk, all the pens were missing, and then there was this shit.

What party do I pic, I just want to… ugh, guys come on. Do I pick both parties Obama is with? Why is both Obama and Romney represented twice? It’s always something.

On my way out I noticed that they were out of ballots. It’s only 6pm.. are they serious? I almost walked out of there before I voted, just going thru that zoo made me embarrassed to be participating in the whole process in the first place.

I needed to get something to eat and my friend mentioned getting a slice at that dollar pizza shop, stating that for a dollar it was the best deal in town.

Hmmmmmm, I mean there isn’t much decent food you can get for a dollar. Let’s exclude fast food chains, because while 2 bros pizza isn’t health food, I don’t feel that eating there strips me of my dignity, unlike going to McDonalds or Burger King. I mean what else can you get for a dollar that will fill you up like a slice. I’m not stuffed after a slice, nor am I hungry anymore. There is an alternative for a dollar, and thats down on Eldridge st just south of Hester.

The is a little hole in the wall I mean it’s a closet…called Prosperity Dumpling. 

I remember I 1st heard about this place from clients of mine who owned a clothing shop called Proper Fools. All they said was for a dollar, you get five dumplings, and it’s bangin. The closer I got to this place the more I saw Chinese folks walking around eating sesame sandwiches.

When I arrived I realized that my closet was bigger than this place, but Chinese don’t fuck around, you give them a bowl of rice and come back 5 minutes later and it’s a restaurant. I just went to the counter, and this is exactly what I said: “um yea 1 dollar”. That was it, broken English was good enough right… I mean lets be honest, how many times have you been been in Chinatown and had a shop owner correct your grammer.

So I said “1 dollar” and she handed me a styrofoam take out box. I pulled up to a stool, opened it laying the top down, put soy sauve and hot sauce mixed together on the top grabbed a plastic fork and proceeded to have at it. After the first bite I placed my vote once again, for best deal in town: Prosperity Dumpling.

Dinner full of McShit

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I don’t think I heard about Hurricane Sandy until Saturday, and only because I heard they were stopping all mass transit on Sunday as of 7pm. So I went out skating as much as I could that night. When I hit Clinton Hill I got a text from who said they were in the area so I decided to meet them. They were at a McDonalds.

I don’t really hang out in McDonalds; I have seen too many videos online of people getting in fights in public places, and most of these places tend to be fast food joints. Realizing that if you are what you eat, and you go to a place that serves shit, what kind of people do you think you are going to be waiting in line next to you.

I’ll do you one better, I was on the A train a few weeks ago when a west indian woman opened her bible to read a line to everyone in the car. “Psalm 51 vs 7” she said, as she began to read from it. Then she elaborated on how this verse related to her, stating that she once worked at McDonalds, and that it was hard. People were rude to her, and would curse at her leaving her to ask herself “god, what did I do to deserve this?”. Then she stated that god was a tester, and that no matter how big your problems were, Jesus was mightier than all of them, and that you got to have faith.

Me personally if I was in line at a McDonalds and someone started a fight anywhere around me, I wouldn’t think god was testing me, I would tell myself to leave and then yell at myself for setting foot in McDonalds at he first place.

Nobody smiles in this place, except for the kids, and why not, they are getting Halloween Happymeals which are served in a bucket. Growing up as someone who’s parent had horses, I think there is something shamelessly demeaning, yet comical about serving food to people.. in a bucket. I initially wanted to think that it would be awesome if there were a place where adults ate from buckets, then I remembered Aziz telling me about that scene in Precious when she ate a whole bucket of chicken. Oprah is a comedic genius.

When I was a kid my mom traditionally refused to give in to my pleas for McDonalds, stating that it was plastic food. Eating at the place was always a rarity, my mom knew better, and we ate at that Chinese buffet across the street instead.

I met my friend at the McDonalds on Clinton and Atlantic. In just a few hours they were to stop all mass transit for the 5 boroughs. She was drinking water and had a fish sandwich. I would like to say I never understood the idea of sea food at such a place, but then there’s the McRib, McPizza, etc…  But honestly… none of this holds a candle to the artwork on the walls. Why; Why bother, who are you appealing to, who had the job of picking it out and can I meet them?

I can’t imagine deciding what art to put on the walls on McDonalds, and then asking for payment, jesus, what an amazing life this person must have. Thats a dream job right there sir, that or deciding what people eat on Fear Factor.

It’s not all hatred I have for this place, I actually have some fond memories of this place. I remember when I lived in San Francisco, David Spero (aka the pig) referred to the Egg McMuffin as “the classic” of breakfast sandwiches. Back then I worked the graveyard shift at this 24 hour diner called Sparkys. At the end of every shift I would sit down with all the Mexican who cooked in the back and together we would throw back as much free beer as possible.

So traditionally we would get off our shift around 7am, and by 8 we would have floated the keg after which I would head home. There I would be, stumbling down market street at sunrise, with Tupac’s “All eyes on me” blasting on my headphones. A drunken eyesore repelling all these business folk on their way to work as the sun rose through the office buildings of downtown San Francisco.

It was the height of the dotcom boom, and even though the rents had soared, there were always alternatives. You could live in an office building, use the bathroom down the hall and shower at a gym, which is exactly what I did. I lived in an 8 x 10 office in the Grant building on 7th and market… right across the street was a McDonalds. I would wander in the lounge reeking of ale at 8:30 in the morning and order 2 Egg McMuffins. I’d take em up to my office on the 3rd floor, stretch out my futon couch and eat them in bed, till I passed out.

Like I said… you are what you eat.

Crack Shack-a-lac

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I got a call from Karen today. She just lost her lease on the office she has had for the last 8 years, and was only give a months notice. I probably started working with her in 2006 when she was introduced to me by Janice.

We caught up while I fixed her computer, and afterwards helped myself to her food. She had a fruit bowl in the center of the kitchen table. Nothing out of the ordinary, but she had gala apples, which I tend to favor. I love Gala and Roma, everything else is just a crapple in my opinion.

I couldn’t help but notice how good the apple tasted as I looked at her and stated this. She was at a loss of knowing what I was getting at. I live in Bushwick which is still a poor latino neighborhood, the produce is shit. She lives in Windsor Terrace, there is an obvious difference.

After getting everything online and up and running, we shot the shit and caught up for about an hour. We talked about family, business and how everyone seems to be in the act of reinventing themselves. Five years ago, everyone was sitting pretty, yet now we are both in uncomfortable places. We have both watched our businesses slowly slip through our fingers in the past couple years and realize that a good sorting was in order.

When I first met Karen she was a graphic designer and now she worked with kids. She mentioned that they have an honesty to them. I told her that they don’t loose it when they get older, they just save it for the internet… usually for the comments section on various video  sites, or maybe craigslist rants and raves.

When I left I hopped on the F train at Ft Hamilton only to realize that I would rather skate home, so I got off at 7th ave. I haven’t skated since before the hurricane and debris was all in the street, which made 8th ave sort of a bitch but Underhill was a breeze. At least it was till I got to Atlantic an noticed that Washington was completely blocked off. I went a couple of blocks up and cut across to Fulton when I saw it….Mac Shack.

Aziz had told me about Mac Shack; not that it was any good, just that a friend of his owned it. I called Aziz to see if he was nearby so we could do this together. It was when the phone began to ring that I remembered there was a gas shortage and people weren’t driving anywhere. Before I left Karen’s earlier we joked how the gas shortage reminded us of the 70’s. She then commented “odd numbers one day, even number the next”… Wow, I didn’t remember that, but then again I was only 5 at the time.

I have only 3 memories of the 70’s, shame really but one was voting for Carter in our 1st grade mock election. The second was going to Herman park zoo and seeing a black muslim, dressed in a dishadasha, singing John Lennon’s “Come Together”, whilst playing it on the steel drum. The last is actually my first, and that is watching my sister in a high chair and my father encouraging her to eat by telling her to “go on and stab that food”.

Talk of stabbing food brings me back to the Mac Shack. Before I could cross the street a woman asked me for directions to the A train. After pointing to her I noticed she had a Mac Shack bag in her hand and asked what she ordered. She claimed the lobster was good but this time she got the Brooklyn Burger Mac.

It was cold out and that actually sounded good. I also noticed they sold their own brand of root beer, which on those few occasions I want something beyond seltzer, root beer or a gasosa is usually it.

They made my food fresh or, at least I assume they did seeing how it took 15 minutes to get it. While waiting I chatted to Aziz on the phone. The election was what was the biggest buzz in the air, and as much as we could truly say we weren’t about Obama, how the fuck could you vote for Romney, and how was the election this close, and why did it take a natural disaster like hurricane Sandy to surge Obama in the polls.

I skated home, and shared the mac’n cheese with Lily. We got thru half a large before we were full.

Verdict: It was bland, and if it weren’t for the hot sauce I put on, it would have almost been a waste. For $15, I guess I can’t call it overpriced, however almost $3 for the root beer threw me off. I will confess that I feel I should go back and try something more exciting. Maybe the lobster, though the jerk mac really seemed more my taste.

While I do feel that the “Brooklyn Burger”, was rather basic, I honestly felt it still could have had more flavor.

Sooooo….

So I took a couple of weeks off. I felt a little drained, and was curious about my direction. Standing back and looking at what I was creating here, I decided that what I was pushing on was a sort of Gonzo food journalism.

I want to work further on this, and perhaps that means focusing more on the quality of the posts as opposed the quantity. I am curious to see just how well I can intertwine the food, with the story. How seamless can I make things, and how smooth can I get the rhythm.

At no point did I ever think I would stop writing, perhaps I felt a somewhat nervous, that this would turn into another project that became shelved. I just figured, I could stand back, recharge and come back fresh.. couple weeks was all I needed, and already I am flooded with ideas… funny how that works.

Here’s to a healthy appetite for recklessness.

J

Tales of Tamales

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I can remember living in San Francisco, if you were out late enough at a bar, the infamous “Tamale Lady” would come around selling tamales she made fresh in her home. I remember when I first came to New York, and was living in Spanish Harlem, 116th and Park, and if you were out early enough in the morning you would see various ladies selling tamales.

When I lived at Bedford and Dekalb, I would see tamale ladies set up on Myrtle ave, and now that I live in Bushwick, I see that Wyckoff and Knickerbocker has its share of ladies selling tamales. If you’re out at 6:30 it’s not uncommon to vaqueros drunk from the night before side by side with families on their way to work, all in line to buy tamales.

My personal love with tamales goes back to a very young age, where I grew up in Houston Texas. I reckon I was around 13 years old when my mom started buying tamales off this woman named Maria. Maria had a truck on the side of highway 90, just outside of the city limits. I don’t know how it is now, but I remember back then you would see trucks all along the highway selling whatever their specialty was. There were BBQ trucks, strawberry trucks, pecans, watermelon, okra, you name it.

I don’t know how my mom, and Irish/Italian from Brooklyn, began buying tamales. I’m sure it had something to do with her naturally adventurous personality, Her “whats the worst that can happen?” attitude. Either way I have a hard time believing it was my father, an Italian from Brooklyn as well yet stiffer than my mom, bringing up the idea of trying tamales. However, I’m sure when he reads this he will want to dispute it. Anywho, my mom became friendly with Maria. My mom would easily hang out with her for a half hour and just shoot the breeze. Inadvertently, my mom would bring me along because I couldn’t be trusted at home.

I was a trouble maker from a very young age, so as a punishment, or perhaps just out of fear of how bad I would make things on my own, my parents started bringing me with them everywhere. My brother and sister were self sufficient on there own, but I always got into something. To make things worse, whenever they asked me for an explanation why I did something, my best answer was always “I don’t know”.

So whenever my mom went to see Maria, so did I, and after a while my mom noticed that I was always well behaved with Maria. My mom also knew that Maria was a single mom who lost her only child to gang violence. So I guess one day my mom put 2 and 2 together and decided to leave me with Maria. All day Saturday and all day Sunday, to sell tamales and sometimes nachos with Maria.

My mom must have thought she hit the jackpot, and it did keep me out of trouble. Maria was always so nice, I never remember feeling like a wanted to get into any trouble nor do I remember feeling bored. Maria just put me to work, serving all the clients for her. Hell in her eyes she was a chicana who had free labor from a gringa.

The fashion of tamales in Houston were established a long time ago, I call them Chicano tamales. Chicanos aren’t exactly Mexicans. Chicanos are the descendants of those who were Mexicans before the boarders changed in Texas, California and everywhere in between. Born of Mexican decent, but are U.S. citizens, cut off from Mexico. In this day an age its hard to be cut off from any part of the world, but anything predating the 90’s, had a definite effect on the sense of isolation .

So you can call Texas tamales Chicano, or Tex-Mex tamales, but here in New York, the tamales are quite different. In Texas restaurant only one type of tamale is typically served, usually pork, maybe chicken and they tend to be hard and greasy, while in Mexico tamales come in a myriad of varieties. Seeing how the tamale ladies(or men) are direct from Mexican, their tamales reflect this. You have a choice of verde, roja, mole or even dulce; I tend to choose either verde or roja.

Growing up as an Italian in Texas, I have noticed something. There is a southern influence, so I grew up eating grits, there is the Maria influence, so I love Tamales, and of course being Italian I love polenta. All these things are based around corn meal. So I started wondering, why hasn’t someone made tomato/basil with garlic Tamales, or bacon/shrimp with hot sauce tamales? They are all based around the same concept, it’s not rocket science… Sounds like an in home experiment.