Tammyanka2's blog

On fresh food .......

So thanks to Miles 950...food is on my mind! I decided recently to reclaim my body. I was eating too much crap, had fallen into the semi fast food trap and was eating whatever was available, instead of planning my meals. It has taken a toll on my skin for sure and I was begging to feel sluggish.

My poor body has been robbed of its fresh tropical air and food grown by my father and grandfather….And you know I don’t need to label it organic…it just is!

So I did the Haymarket thing one week….wont say I loved it that much…..with the close of the Basement…I’m not Downtown’s biggest fan anymore.

Then I tried our local Farmer’s Market right here in Fields Corner. I must comment that there isn’t much variety…variety of greens and herbs yes…but that’s it….but bwoy oh bwoy…was that food fresh! I kid you not. I got a bunch of red beets, leaves and all….for a dollar the same cost of a Mc-crumbled miscellaneous scraps Nuggets!

But do you know what beet can do for you…..anemia, no more, like most raw veggies it promotes cell regeneration, it has cancer-fighting agents, colon cancer in particular. May prevent heart diseases and birth defects! It filled with potassium, vitamin C, fibre, folfate etc…..all for $1.

The lettuce…a $1.25…same as Lambert’s. [Which is great too] was so fresh…the dirt was still intact. They had every variation of greens you good think of….I doubt there was any one item over $2. The market runs July – October.

It’s a little chaotic, you need patience….but for the irons, vitamins and freshness….I’ll join the circus!

 

“out of many, one people”.

I hate the word diversity.

Prior to moving to the US, in particular Boston, diversity to me referred to different kinds of species, it was a word confined to my zoology and botany classes. It was only occasionally used in other contexts, but not in the way I now constantly hear it. I was listening to an ad on the radio for a Diversity Employment Fair, and then heard a lady in a store remarked on how diverse Fields Corner was, when it occurred to me that I despise the word.  

Maybe I don’t hate the word it self.  It is a poor helpless word.

I despise the way in which it is immediately equated to mean the inclusion of blacks, Asians and Latinos in a primarily white space and the assumed ownership of spaces to any particular race.  

My country’s motto is “out of many, one people”. Mind you, I had no idea what it really meant growing up. I took “diversity” for granted. My best friend in high school was Chinese with a Syrian mother; I am as Afro Caribbean as it gets with a maroon descendant for a mother.  I lived nearby a predominantly Indian neighborhood and had German classes taught by a black Jewish teacher.  I knew whites who spoke Jamaican Creole; towns were named by the dominant people like Irish and German Town. I ate food hyphenated by Asian country names and countless other things I didn’t realize were diverse. This diversity thing makes more aware of my race. I now realize that people call groups diverse to make me feel included. Geez. Thanks. 

This ‘diversity word” is the complete antithesis of what it is supposed to be. It’s a very exclusive word that really says, “We are dominant, and more powerful than you are and our inclusion of you in our workplace, schools and elsewhere is our extension of a helping hand to you.”  Like those job ads that say - women of color are encouraged to apply. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with what grown folks want to do to feel better. It’s just funny to see it play out. Maybe diversity is a movement. Similar to the many that passed years ago, and in twenty years, diversity will mean the inclusion of gays or people who speak only one language or have no access to technology into our workplace and schools. Since we would all, by then, be so integrated and over ourselves that we look for another group to exclude with our politically correct terms.   

In closing, we need to be more careful of the labels we use. We are so much alike than we recognize. If we learn about a person beyond their name, skin and ethnicity and do away with prejudice then we are less inclined to have Diversity Employment Fairs.

 

 

Tammyanka

Define your corner of the Dot!

I kid you not.....two years ago I used to cry and dreamed of moving out of this wretched place that is Dorchester, in particular Fields Corner.Ouch. That was harsh. Or just honest.  I had no idea what wonderful coffee they had in Balle, the convenience of having post office, library, banks, restaurants, open space amongst other amenities in a 1.5 mile stretch. I had no idea of the humans behind the titles at our many organizations and groups.

Just last week I celebrated two years of living in the Dot. Perhaps as a reminder of what my new home was, I had too many events, activities, initiatives etc going on to list them here. You see, the difference with how I felt two years ago has little to do with major changes to the Dot....I'm sure there have been some changes in this short time.Instead, it was me being conscious about my relationship with my space, after all, my fellow geography majors in college and I used to call our selves Spatial Engineers.  I made a decision to help define, and if not, at least participate in shaping my neighborhood.

Last night for example, I attended the Fields Corner Main Streets First annual fundraiser, Dancing with the Stars. Of course I had little to do with the planning of the stellar event, but I attended. I owned the event as my neighborhood fundraiser. Hey, that counts for something.Then there’s the City Spotlights at the center formerly called the Wang, tonight. There’s the Mother’s Walk for Peace on Sunday, [I usually don’t walk for anything]. But because I’m doing the whole, owning and support piece I’ll be there. Besides, if you’re not part of the solution – you’re part of the problem.

My point is, it’s easy to criticize and despise a place simply because you are not a part of the process. It s easier to blame them than it is to celebrate with us! Stand up, speak up and define your corner of the Dot!  

Tammyanka

Have seen places, met people , am very tired but ready to share.

They say to whom much is given much is expected. I have been given this tool and I have been m.i.a for a couple weeks.Don't worry my dear lads, I have been on a few excursions, have seen places, met people , am very tired but ready to share.

I’ve learnt lessons in anthropology, picked up a few foreign words and tasted things I can barely pronounce. But what does all of this have to do with you. Probably not much, except that I went to two countries in the last month, one first world and the other third. [still trying to figure out who designated them such] And the common thread between the two, seems to be America. Her consumer driven culture and her politics – plus or minus Beyonce, Brad Pitt and Tiger Woods not winning. I am not quick to side with the argument that America is the greatest world power...blah blah blah. But I will say this... America does have a social responsibility to the rest of the world to act right, since the world is watching and playing ‘Simon says’.

For starters, we…usually I’d say you… need to ensure that our communities are strong, citizens’ voices are heard and youth are nurtured to become good citizens. After all, isn’t that what we are selling to the rest of the world….? TAMMYANKA

I heart this place!


 

I'm in no way subscribing to forced celebration of love that was Valentine’s Day, but I couldn't help but wonder….when do you realize that you are in love? 

For the human relation you tend to know it. It’s usually marked by a moment, a kiss, a glance and or a feeling. In many cases it is verbalized or you simply cannot function in your usual capacity because you are just overwhelmed by this emotion. 

But back to the question at hand. When do you know that you are in love…with a place, its people and its happenings? 

Is it when you no longer feel the need to go elsewhere…or go home?

Is it when you call it your home and use references like “my neighborhood”?

When all your needs and most of your wants are met by the place?

Is it when you sacrifice the “never ever” rules and go with its flow? 

And when you know or think you know, are you supposed to turn to that place and say I love you? Tammyanka 

www.USE IT FOR GOOD.org

I was reading a daily paper from my home country and saw that there were ‘impersonated” profiles on a popular social networking site for our current and two former Prime Ministers. Similarly, on Thursday, a local Boston news channel aired a story on how college recruiters and human recourse personnel sometimes conduct online search of candidates – to check out the ‘social behavior’ and ‘interests’ that don’t make their way onto resumes. [Hint, hint – you should probably remove those pics of your last trip to Vegas] These checks include viewing social networking sites, like the one that allows you to create ‘your space’.

Those two articles had me immediately thinking of this site. www.scidorchester.org. Long before I moved to Dorchester and started volunteering at SCI, I lived on sites such as www.idealist.org and www.takingitglobal.org. They were my connection to other people like me [my neighbors then weren’t exactly feeling the world peace thing]. People who feel they need to get their 10cents in about various issues – poverty, the environment and world peace –for starters , people who want to hear of workshops and trainings to advance their skills or get info out , people looking for scholarships, internships and jobs in the not for profit sector. The people who want to virtually travel to other places and lend support worldwide while they were restricted to home or school.

So, while I’ll continue to be members of those sites, and have another more high school- and college- friends- keep –in- touch- kind- of- page, that features pictures of vacations, new hair dos and significant others – don’t worry they are the ones HR people can view – I think I’ll also be spending much time on this one. Simply because www.scidorchester.org presents an opportunity for me to do all the world peace, save the environment type of work right here. The trainings, scholarships and jobs I’ll here about will most likely be within 50 miles of home or work. And I’ll cement my humanitarian efforts closer to home before taking on reforestation in Haiti,genocide in Africa and bauxite mining in the cockpit country, Jamaica. But most importantly I’ll get little houses each time I share info, post calendar events or tell you what I think! Yeah! building social capital…now if only I could trade it them in for airline miles! Tammyanka

I miss my old ‘hood

When I first visited Dorchester, back in summer of 2001, I didn’t know what to make of it. I was en route from New York and stopped over for two days only. In that time Dorchester had not revealed it’s personality to me.

Jump to December 2002…..on a extended two week visit in Fields Corner I left with a formed opinion, it was dirty, there was chaotic Asian chatter, abruptness, trash and no apparent order.

Fast forward 2007 and I moved from one part of the Dot to another. [Yeah, yeah yeah…more trash to take out] If I didn’t know better I’d say that things are better in my new parts…..but I won’t….cause they aren’t. As with every other distinction between places…first world and third world, urban and rural, uptown and downtown, the difference has to do with one’s appreciation, former experiences , the quixotic notions sold to us by the media, inherited prejudices, or disparity in services rendered by the powers that be.

I miss my old ‘hood……Korean cleaners, African Braider, Italian cooks and Spanish grocers trading for the “American Dream” against the backdrop of sirens, syringes, potholes and trash. It was where the bustle to make a dollar was more important than trimming lawns and welcoming neighbors. It was my lesson in anthropology, institutional racism, American public policy, health and as close as I will ever get to home…….How different things are along the same Red Line. Tammyanka

A city is a place to taste the world

I'm happy to have this opportunity to blog- to share my opinion, views and ideas...with my neighbors. This is my first entry and I have a confession... I'm nervous. I usually find comfort in food, so I have decided to share with you some of my best lunch finds in my little part of Dorchester….

“A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.” Margaret Mead


For under $10 dollars allow your taste bud to travel as far as Asia and Europe

  • Grilled Pork and Shrimp Vermicelli bowl - Pho Boston, Fields Corner
  • Goat cheese and beet salad – Blarney Stone, Fields Corner
  • Shanti’s Indian Food Buffet – Shanti Boston, Dot Ave, Savin Hill
  • Chiicken Brocolli Ziti – Papa Rhino’s, Geneva Avenue • Fisherman’s Platter – Boston Fish Market, Dot Ave
  • The Cee Cee’s Calzone- Cee Cee’s , Adams Street

Now the most important part of experiencing these foods is to talk with restaurant staff and other patrons. To listen to unfamiliar voices.... other wise “yuh belly full but yuh starvin’ ”… and you thought this was a simple list of food finds! Check back for an explanation of the proverb. Tammyanka

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