(Aka trip to Caribbean New York)
It’s really important to understand that New York is a patchwork of cultures, all melted together and affecting each other with the influences of their cultural background and creating a sort of continuum among them. That’s you can find many boroughs or districts or barrios close to each other and very different but still some kind of similar. The cuisine is worldwide recognized as one of the first evidence to state the place you come from, and you can trust me because, as an Italian, I can assure you that this is the truth.
See not all the stereotypes are bad and aim to make a culture appear weak abroad, and some of them are real and healthy as never. For example this week we have an Italian night in my shoebox, which I will describe later on, and we had “pasta alla carbonara”, a particular kind of pasta with pancetta, eggs and pecorino, all genuine Italian ingrediants. Pasta is just one of the stereotypes that reflect Italian culture, and I don’t mind when people say that we just eat pasta all year long because basically it’s true.
It’s even true that we talk waving hands and that we are late at appointments, and I don’t see why or how this could offend an Italian. It’s part of a culture, and I am proud of it as everyone should be proud of their culture. I mean I don’t play mandolino and I am not a mobster but I guess it’s clear that this is just some kind of movies leftover. Anyway as I was telling you the cuisine is one of the first things that comes into your mind when you think about a country and yesterday we went to a couple of traditional looking Caribbean places in New York.
Just next to the East Village and close to University place you can find a colourful community of Caribbean countries people that turned this particular couple of blocks in a vibrant community, just in the heart of Nolita (North of Little Italy). With the beginning of spring air became warmer and the flavour and tastes of this barrio enriched my experience there. Sunday for me it’s the traditional soccer day, and I planned to play until 3 pm and then reach my friends that went to visit Coney Island; the match ended at a quarter past four, and I also took a shower so it was too late to reach them there. Too bad because I saw the pictures and the place was really awesome, I want to come back there and also in Brighton Beach.
Anyway we met later at a quarter to eight in this place called Oficina Latina, in Prince Street next to Mulberry, a Cuban place specialized in traditional Cuban dishes (obviously) and most of all in drinks. The menu offered Capirinhas, Pina Coladas and Mojito among the others, and I have to say that they really tasted delicious. The traditional white tiles on the bar and the wooden details, together with the wide choice of wines gave the place a fancy look. The drinks were a little bit expensive but I think that may be a good place to bring a girl.
Since it was around nine thirty and I still hadn’t eaten anything from the morning I was a little bit hungry and convinced the group to move somewhere to eat. Nothing fancy or big because I still had a pastrami sandwich I ate the day before in my stomach. We chose a taco place next to the bar, its name is Fonda Nolita, in Elizabeth Street, and as soon as you walk in you realize why this place will steal your heart. The guy that prepares the tacos is inside of a Volkswagen van converted into a kitchen with the open rooftop. It’s wonderful, I want one of those inside of my living room.
You can order your tacos or tortas in Spanish at the cash and receive your order directly from the van chef. I had a short rib barbacoa taco with rice and beans aside, a pineapple drink and I felt really satisfied by my choice. I saw also pictures of this place on Street View and it shows four guys playing cards with eating a taco and the van guy cooking with all the big repair shop windows opened, check it as it’s very funny.
I will definitely come back here, maybe more in the taco place than in the Cuban drinks place, but in the meantime I will try everything else this city has to offer in terms of food, drinks and else. Someday I will also go to an Italian place, I am planning to visit Le Cirque on Easter, as yes I am hungry and I love to eat in many different places, but I am still an unpaid intern so I will wait my parents to come to pay for trying that.
(I fell in love with a Volkswagen van. Again)
(Aka You just got Rickroll’d)
The main variable here that influences a wide range of subjects such as the technological gadget world, the groceries and the work is basically the integration of the human being with the World Wide Web. As I explained before in my posts you can technically do everything on the internet, and I am one of those that except meeting girls and play soccer loves to use internet for anything. Sometimes people do even those two things on the internet, but let’s say it’s not my style.
See in Italy there is no chance to use such a wide range of services, basically because in some areas of Italy we still have the dial up connection, and in other areas we don’t have even that one. And that’s just one of the problems. Most of all we are not mentally used to think about the the internet when we need something, we don’t have big stores and big chains of shops that offer products delivery. Shipping is expensive, you can only buy things on eBay, that is the biggest source of products for the average Italian, that is really, really scared about the idea to insert his credit card number on the internet.
Like in case they clone the card you will be immediately poor and alone, instantly after inserting the verification code. People in Italy buy just one, simple prepaid card from the same selle, the Poste (which is basically the US Postal Service here) because the voice of a simple, free and easy credit card spread among all Italy. Think about a country all with the same card. Why? Because they are afraid of everything, you always wait for the scam in Italy and the internet is an evil machine made to such your money and your social life. In fact it takes your social life, but if you are wise you can keep the money.
Here the things are different, and I will suggest you some internet sites you should visit that may seem basic for an American, but may result in something interesting for a future intern in New York, if you are reading this to obtain some information (or maybe they’ll make a book out of this, or a movie. In that case I would like Timothy Olyphant to play my role, he’s funny and looks alike me in some situations).
First of all the masterpiece, King Amazon: you can find everything, and I really mean everything, from food to clothing to gardening to sex toys. Everything. It is a search engine on recommended website that affiliates to Amazon in order to let it take the orders for them and manage them taking a commission on the order money. I recommend it for clothing, gadgets and technology stuff, be sure that all the items you buy are included in the Super Saving shipment because otherwise it would be something like five dollars for seller (you buy three objects from three shops you will have to pay three shipping fees). And this is the worst part, they send you tons of shipments even if you want them to reduce them to as few as possible.
Another internet site that will ease you things is FreshDirect. There are advertisements everywhere in Manhattan trains, I tried it and it works, they are fast, friendly and they deliver exactly in a two hours spot you choose. The delivery boy was so kind not to complain for the four floors of stairs to my apartment and was so kind I gave him 5 bucks. They told me to try Peapot too for food, but I think that this is the best site I used and I will continue like this.
Then I suggest you to subscribe to Netflix if you have a good internet connection and a strong Wifi. The site will permit you to stream contents from the internet right on your pc, Playstation, Xbox and similar, the quality is very good and the programs are decent. A service like this for example for me is necessary after the fall of the God Megavideo, which by the way I paid 30 Euros to in order to subscribe to the site on January.
If you need business cards (they are basically useful to spread them around to girls) you can buy the at Vistaprint, they are fast, cheap and they have a wonderful customer support: the post offices couldn’t find my shipment after two days and the customer support offered me for free a new shipment and if the post offices could find my business cards I could have kept them.
Now I can’t remember any other internet site, if I will in a future I will rickroll you again and suggest something else to visit. And by the way I always end up into Youtube videos that rickrolls you and hope that you rage. Too bad I love that song.
(Check out Brian Griffin on Family Guy version of the song, it’s awesome)