Cultural New York, Uncategorized

Walk in the Sunlight of the Spirit, during these changing times

img_1366My friend Olive and myself at the beach, on a windy day in the Hamptons.  iPhone selfie.


I have been remiss about writing my blog;  after promising myself to write weekly posts my life got busy, but now I am back to keep that promise. Since last posting, we now live in a changed America, the New Yorker Donald Trump is our President elect. A frightening prospect not only for America but the rest of the world.  As a Bernie supporter, this election has been all about helping the Americans struggling to survive without job prospects and find a solution for the many Americans trying to scrape by on very little whilst the wealthy gain more wealth.  The democrats shoved Hillary Clinton at us, saying she will do, even though she had no connection to the extreme poverty in this country.  Hillary is also a New Yorker, so we have plenty of local happenings around these two politicians. The day after the election, Hillary was photographed, by Bill,  with a mother and child who ran into them both walking their dog on a local hiking trail.  The photo went viral because it humanized her, after such an arduous battle, enjoying the same interests and terrain as we “Westchesterites”do. Meantime,  Trump is perched in his gold- gilded building, high above New York, impulsively tweeting away, and professing his deep understanding and concern for the American “deplorables.” His golden tower has turned the midtown christmas festivities into a complete security nightmare, whilst costing the city a fortune to protect him.  Streets are closed and businesses are struggling to survive. This being a huge inconvenience to New York visitors and locals alike.  As we all wait to see him “make America great again.”

Now that Trump’s elected and the shock has subsided, I have thought long and hard about what is my responsibility, as an individual, and how to participate in the conversation about the policies that I understand to be important.  On a national level, we have no idea what we will get in the next 4 years, but we are guaranteed change.  Having read Trump’s policies, some make sense to me, so I leave those political discussions to others, my concern are the food, immigrant & environmental policies he will try to change.  As far as the economy goes, we all suspect there will be a boost in the economy as the Republicans lower our taxes and dump money we don’t have into rebuilding the infrastructure, and creating many jobs.  However, after this huge spending takes place,  we will be left with a huge inflation.  As our most important commodity is food, my concern is to get involved at a grass roots level to make fruits and vegetables affordable to all Americans, especially with the impending outcome set out for us.

Having received full UCLA scholarships, I became a proud English major, having studied at the university whose English department ranks #8 in the world. My specialty being Post Colonial Literature, I learned, from some of the top professors in this field, about the plight of the immigrant diaspora. I now have a thorough understanding about the struggles and concerns immigrants face throughout the world. Largely due to the many writers who opened my eyes and heart through humanizing their fictional characters. From James Baldwin’s lively and colorful African American characters in 1960s Harlem, to Zadie Smith’s harmonizing the characters of multicultural London of the 1980s, to Jamaica Kincaid’s juxtaposition of imperialistic characters affects on Caribbean Americans, and the fabulously talented writer Caryl Phillip’s novels about identity within the African diaspora. Armed with a full heart of hundreds of fictional characters who taught me about race and identity and the post-colonial times we are living in, I am absolutely certain we cannot return to the reign of the crusty old white guys!!

I urge everyone to sign up on twitter and follow the powerful voices from both political parties, the writers and journalists you admire and trust, and the organizations supplying the correct information about what is happening at this moment in time.  This isn’t a time to be complacent.  Yes, we are lucky to live in New York, shielded from the extreme poverty and anger that has created this possibility for Trump to become President, but as democrats, we have also become unbending and narrow minded, believing we are the smart, philanthropic, sympathetic, open-minded, liberals and they – the republican supporters are greedy, selfish, racist, misogynist, bigoted people.  How wrong have we been by stereotyping and not listening or discussing other people’s point of view.  What has happened to the art of debating.  We certainly didn’t see it with our political candidates.  It is time to come out of the ‘ivory tower’ and help make a difference for the next generations. The white Americans who want to return to the 1950’s need to remember there are many different cultures who weren’t welcome in that time period.  And we are certainly not returning there. Big change is coming and there will be a new democratic party emerging in four years.  That is democracy.


For this week’s recipes, I am doing roasted brussel sprouts with chopped hazelnuts

1lb of small brussel sprouts

1 garlic clove crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

large handful of hazelnuts

place brussel sprouts, garlic and olive oil in a roasting pan and roast in the oven, uncovered at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

sautee hazelnuts in a frying pan until lightly browned, rub in a towel to remove some of the skin and chop with a knife

once brussel sprouts are roasted, toss in the hazelnuts and serve as a side dish