Monday, October 31, 2016


I just left a Jamaican restaurant in Queens where I don't believe a white boy has been...ever

I had googled Jamaican food and found a place called The Smokehouse, and set out for supper.
Man, it was deep in the hood. Trying to find a place to park and in the company truck, I ended up on a very narrow street. Cars lined each side, and the driveways were small. Suddenly in the darkness I see the DEAD END sign. Turning around would be a real trick, so I continued further in, hoping for a good spot. But the street narrowed, the dark got darker, the houses even closer together. 400 yards later and no good spot I came to the end and I was forced to back out in reverse.
The advice from my friend Nina rang in my ears:
"Be careful and always be aware of your surroundings"
No shit, but it was way too late.
I was looking like a real cracker.

I made the block and found a place to park right in front of the local NAACP Chapter. It looks quite different at night, and right next door is a Voodoo supply house where you can buy all sorts of candles, wooden bowls, live chickens, serrated edge knives with mother of pearl handles, and JuJu sticks.

I had planned to get a table, but there were only three tables. The place was full, but no one was sitting, and no one was looking at me either. If you had asked me last week I would have said there isn't much racial divide in this country anymore, just a lot of loose talk from people with latent racism. 
And that might be true, but in line at The Smokehouse tonight, I felt very out of place.
I decided to do like everyone else, and get my stuff to go, and get my white ass back to the hotel. I couldn't see sitting there eating and no one watching me at all. That would have been worse than everyone watching me, and what if the collard greens were under cooked? What would I do then?
  So I waited for my food like everyone else, and hoped while I avoided making eye contact with anyone, that someone might at least try to make eye contact with me.
It didnt happen.

I got back to my room with the jerked chicken, the red beans and rice (I think they call it "Peas and Rice"), the collards -- which were the best-- and some plaintains. It was very good.
Like I said I don't believe a white boy has been there...ever.

But I might go back tomorrow!

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