these are the posts tagged ‘usa’:


the portuguese of ironbound, nj

Recently, at the Newark home of António and Magda Araujo, Mr. Alexandre and his wife, Maria, cooked up a lamb feast. But instead of cooking it whole, they had Mr. Lopes butcher it to show off two Easter favorites — borrego assado (roasted legs of spring lamb) and guisado de borrego (lamb stew). The scene, as Mrs. Araujo described it, was typically Portuguese: “loud and fast.”

“Everything is better with olive oil!” Mrs. Alexandre shouted as she rubbed some into the lamb legs. Mr. Alexandre countered with voluminous and rapid-fire requests for bowls, pans and cutting boards. Their frantic pas de deux continued, and they dipped and spun to avoid elbows and sharp knives as they whirred garlicky pastes in the food processor, peeled potatoes and dressed the meat. In under 45 minutes, four pans along with a flan were ready for the stove. Ervilhas com ovos, a staple of peas and bacon topped with poached eggs, would be made right before dinner.

(…)

A short time later, half a roast suckling pig from Valença and both lamb dishes were nestled in the center of the table. Potatoes, rice, bread and the egg-topped peas filled the gaps. Around the table sat 10 hungry guests.

Dinner was suddenly interrupted by the bleating of Mr. Alexandre’s cellphone. A Portuguese woman was stranded on the highway and called for a tow. He stood up, popped another chunk of lamb into his mouth, and shrugged on his jacket.

“Got to take care of our own,” he said, heading for the door. “It’s how we survive.”

from a nyt article on the portuguese community in new jersey and their easter traditions.
the excerpt above actually happens everyday at my home, with my dad running out of the table to help some distressed driver on the highway :)

yes you did!

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cartoon by steve benson.

on roadtrips

roadtrip

“Ernesto Guevara: What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.”
from diarios de motocicleta.

if i hadn’t already felt the urge to travel to south america, i would surely get the itch after watching diarios de motocicleta: the story of young che guevara on his south-american continental roadtrip on a bike named la poderosa (“the mighty one”). the film photography is simple and stunning, eye-catching in its rawness.

besides, roadtrips fascinate me, as i am sure they do to many other travelers out there. my only stint at a roadtrip was a 3 or 4 days drive through colorado, utah and wyoming, over a year ago.
it was beautiful and liberating, and we plan to go back to the states and repeat it someday, with a twist: we shall visit an itinerary of odd-named places. it will certainly include highlights like potomac, normal, breakneck, chicken, gringo, frostproof, ding dong and most definitely choconut. no kidding!

above, our detour to visit a place called cisco. :)

jelly good.

dear friends.
after six months here in portugal to wrap things up at the university, i am now, officially, an “engineer”. a pretty clueless one, career-wise, but i’m working on that bit. ideally, i would like to develop my designing skills, as i realize i still have a long way to go to get any good. i like information visualization and interface designing, but i want to explore a lot more before i choose what i really want to focus my attention on.

on a different (but related) subject, and since i’ve told it to my parents and most friends, i can give the rest of the internet the big news too: we’re moving to shanghai, me and p.
yes, shanghai. the biggest city in china, the 8th in the world, the “pearl of the orient”.
after my one year in the netherlands, and p’s 6+9 months in the netherlands and the usa, i think the “exploring bug” really got into us.
it just seems right. the right timing, the right city, the right person to hold my hand on the plane. and besides, if you don’t trust your intuition, what else do you have?

the details of the process of moving there include job hunting, a house, plane tickets and luggage allowance, visas and plenty other details that will keep us busy on the next few weeks. i’ll try to keep you posted. wish us luck! :)

los angeles style, man!

i know one shouldn’t judge a country by its stereotype, but sometimes, you find a specimen so typical, so ironically representative, that you forget all about impartiality.
as i was leaving the netherlands, i met an american guy from los angeles, arriving for a small exchange period. he asked us to use the internet on your computers every once in a while and we got the chance to talk on one of those “visits”.


him – you know…the dutch people… they’re so…
me – what?
him – like… not technologically advanced.

me – hum? what do you mean?
him – bicycles. who uses bikes these days? that’s so… backwards. i gotta get a car here.

i was shocked and speechless and then i laughed inside, secretly wondering if he knew about the dutch gas prices (only the highest in the world), and, let’s be honest, of how stupid he was, really.
the dutch are backwards because they use bicycles? ever heard of environmental friendly way of transportation which is also cheap and good for you? … i thought so. forget the car, try to find some brains instead.

ps – luckily, this stereotype was changed by another student i met later that week, from seattle, which was polite, moved normally and was nice to talk to. but then again, someone told me seattle was not a exactly a typical city… :)

ps2 – i’m back! no more exams for now! :D