Fatima and I have been on this vegetarian diet for a few weeks now and recently my sister Tauhirah asked me what kind of meals I have been cooking. She seems to think that a vegetarian meal, that is tasty, is something that is complicated to prepare. Funny, for us, it is simpler. We try and use a minimal amount of ingredients and focus on color and nutrient balance. We are not nutritionists, chefs, or experts in any fashion.
Two nights ago we had quinoa and green beans.
And last night we had a yummy daal, some cauliflower and a awesome raw kale salad that I made with some lemon juice, olive oil, coarse sea salt, black pepper, sesame seeds, and a little spray of braggs.
I started Brooklyn Bedouin in the middle of the Hurricane Season of 2004 and wanted to highlight the voices of those voices that were forgotten similar to the ones forgotten during the slave trade - whose bodies were strewn into the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Many people were at fault for slavery including the white, arab and african slave traders who dealt in human beings for various reasons that make no sense to anyone living today. Or, it should not.
Have you ever been to Joloff? It is a special place for me. When I was in graduate school I would sit there with my papers, pens, laptop, and eat good Senegalese homecooked food surrounded by beautiful black people, across the street from a Masjid, and I would write, think, ponder, read, and debate with other diners.
It was my place to be a nerd in style. It was also the place that I went to by myself, no one would meet me there. I often turned off my phone, or at least, stuck it in my bag and pretended not to notice it. When the adhan was called across the street I left all my belongings there and went to pray. A stream of street people would join me.
“Pop” is the owner. He is a lovable guy who loves Allah and His Messenger and loves to open his doors to the new and old, bad and good, black and white, muslim and atheist... He is there with his wife and children who come there after school, do homework, help one another, and then help out at the store. Sometimes, since they are just kids, they lay out on the couch, a book sliding out from their hands, dreaming away after a hard day in school.
Recently his restaurant changed locations. For me the shift was sudden and emotional. For him, well, it was more of an existential situation, a story with twists and turns and some major disappointment. Pop waved away the negative. He embraces the change. Joloff is now at a new location. One that feels fresh. It is the start of a new era. I hope you go and make some memories at Joloff.
PS- if you eat meat, try the Dibbi with Joloff Rice, have some ginger drink when you are done, and then plenty of water. NO meat? All their tofu dishes are awesome!
It was nice to see you again. With your concrete and all the trimmings of the lovely pedestrian life that we humans should all be living; living. It has been just a few weeks now that the Bedouin has traveled outside of his native lands. A man told me... in this traveling... that a man’s home is the place where his money comes from, where he makes a living. Well, then I have many homes...
Is home where the heart is? If that is the case then home is like the native word Kea - or the land beneath my feet - home is where I am because that is where my heart is.
Is home where a soul feels most comfortable or the place where no one takes his shit? in either case that would be wherever I am with my wife!.
In any case, I hit the Brooklyn streets. Rocking new Puma’s and feeling fresh; at home.
Since my days hanging out on the regular with branding and identity maven Tyler Askew, I have become obsessed with a good typeface. Nothing says artistic, class, and "you got your shit together" like a really good typeface.
Check out the following article and start to imagine what your City/Borough/'hood or rural county's typeface would be :)
"Chatype came about when D.J. Trischler, a brand consultant, discovered he'd been sitting next to typeface designer Jeremy Dooley at their local coffee shop. The two became fixated on a question: What if Chattanooga had its own typeface? .... the first-ever attempt to create custom typeface at the grassroots level, rather than from the demand of a city government"
Khaled Hosseini: A Thousand Splendid Suns this is the next one on the list. My wife read it in like a day and a half, i read a little slower but it is already going fast, so far it is painful but i like the writing.
Colum McCann: Let the Great World Spin: A Novel what i am reading right now, such an amazing book and a great fiction offering to start a new decade by devouring. It was the first thing i read this morning and last night before i went to bed. it is a book of souls.