Dinner with Rougi and Cisse, in the Bronx.
My long, desperate search for a homemade African meal is over. As part of my ongoing “Dinner With” series, I finally scored an invitation to a West African household, just off Gun Hill Road, run by Rougiatou “Rougi” Tounkara and her husband, Cisse.
Before immigrating, Rougi and Cisse lived the kind of lives that remind you just how ferocious racial bigotry is in some parts of the world. Even for Africans living in Africa.
When he moved from the Ivory Coast to Tunisia, Cisse said he was spat on, by children, and had stones thrown at him, “because I’m a black man.”
“They come close to you,” said Rougi. “They scream on you, they’ll call you monkey. They call you dogs, they call you cats. But we never care.”
But of course they did. Rougi was never allowed to go to school growing up, but she’s making sure her kids get the best education possible, and they’re blissfully unexposed to the sort of name-calling Rougi and Cisse once took for granted.
So they’re happy. The funny thing is, they’re both unemployed at this point, getting by on whatever Rougi earns from sewing while Cisse looks for an IT job.
Cisse moved here just a couple months ago, so they’re in something of a honeymoon period. I wonder how long that’ll last. But Rougi’s hopeful.
“America is the best for me. I always say that, everywhere and every time. They help me a lot. To have all this opportunity.”
On the menu: acheke (a grain, like couscous, but made of cassava — it’s smoky and delicious), baked chicken (spiced with onion, garlic, and MAGGI cubes) and fried plantains. There was also a sauce, Sauce Tomate (ie., tomato sauce) that apparently included molten lava it was so hot.
Many thanks to my warm and gracious hosts.
um. somebody had to go all the way to the bronx for home cooked african food?
Fletcher Harris, of Rockaway Park, warms himself by a flaming oil barrel on 118th Street, October 31st. Parts of New York City outside Manhattan, including Staten Island, Coney Island in Brooklyn and The Rockaways in Queens, were completely devastated by superstorm Sandy, destroying homes, businesses and knocking gas stations offline. “No one knows we’re here,” one Coney Island resident told a reporter from WCBS 880, a local news radio station. (Photo: Adrian Fussell / Reportage by Getty Images via The New Yorker)
From the Times:
“The return of power to apartment buildings in New York was greeted with cheers in many parts of the city, according to multiple reports from witnesses on social networks. Out-of-towners from Pat Robertson’s Christian relief group Operation Blessing, captured some of the rejoicing on video after initially guessing that the sound of loud screaming from a housing project on the Lower East Side “might be a riot.””
Just fucking wow.
My sister just left a really terrible situation and is moving to NYC tomorrow to find a live-in nanny position. Here’s where you guys come in. While there are tons of great sites to find jobs on, there’s just nothing like word of mouth when you’re looking for a good family to work with or when a family is looking for a good nanny. So, if anyone knows anyone in NYC who is looking for a live-in, please message me and I can pass on info to my sister (whose name is Kat) or pass on her info to you.
Kat is young and active and VERY experienced. She was an assistant at a home daycare for many years. She was a part time nanny for two families, one with a difficult 4 year old and a younger boy, and one family with twins for whom she worked for about a year and a half. She was a full time live-in for a toddler boy in Washington until the breadwinner of the family lost his job and they could no longer afford to keep her on. She has excellent references, works best with very young kids (she LOVES babies and toddlers), and would be a happy addition to any family. AND SHE CAN COOK. I mean really well. She could make soup and it would be the best soup you’ve ever had. She is the only person I’ve ever seen get every kid she comes in contact with to eat a healthy meal and like it.
So, please, if you hear of any openings in NYC for live-ins, send them my way and I will send them on to her. Message me privately and I will happily give you her email address, phone number, and a link to her Care.com page.
The sooner she finds a position, the sooner I can have my room back. My cheap nyc bedroom is not nearly big enough for two people. So if you don’t know anyone, please signal boost!
Anika Noni Rose reads Edwidge Dandicat’s short story “Claire of the Sea Light”, a story of a young girl and her fisherman father, a widower who makes arrangements for her care in the case of his death. The story is a selection from the anthology Haiti Noir.
Laurine Towler reads Dandicat’s “New York Day Women, a piece from her book of short stories Krik? Krak! The narrator, Suzette, whose mother never leaves Brooklyn, is surprised to see her mother in Midtown, and follows out of curiosity.
Very different stories in terms of mood, but both excellent.
Ami Vega, co-founder of NYC’s El Salonsito mobile nail art salon, is bringing art to your finger tips.
Ami Vega had her first brush with nail art in middle school. She and a friend would experiment with different polish colors on their hands. It wasn’t until high school that the Dominican American teen graduated to more elaborate ways of nail décor.
[Picture of a white man wearing a Andriod Gay Pride Shirt. It’s the shirt I’ll be wearing so you can find me at NYCPride. I’m not white: but uploading video takes a very long time in my hotel.]
Hi! I’m Rachel. I run thelittlekneesofbees, a microblog on tumblr and I along with Riley are having a POC/Allied meetup for NYCPride this year on Sunday June 24th 2012
Kenya’s Mutai sets NYC Marathon record
Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya won the New York City Marathon, setting a new course record.
The 2011 Boston Marathon winner crossed the finish line at 2:05:06.
The previous record was 2:07:43, set by Tesfaye Jifar of Ethiopia in 2001.
The 30-year-old has established himself as the favorite at next summer’s Olympics after two landmark performances this year. In April, he ran the fastest 26.2 miles in history: A time of 2:03:02 in Boston. It didn’t count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and too downhill.
The second- and third-place finishers today also broke the old course record. Fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai (no relation), the London Marathon champ, was 1:22 back. Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia was third.