On the first-day stroll around the city, you would notice that San Jose is a city of beautiful old Spanish architecture. From the majestic Bank of Italy building to the 18th century cathedral of St. Joseph. From the Sainte Claire hotel building to the art museum. The architecture is captivating. Then there are large and beautiful urban murals in the parking lots and smaller art projects in every corner of the city.
And the city is home to the homeless. On a lazy Sunday morning, you would see people packing their bags from their ‘spots’, and there is poop and pee and broken glass pieces of beer bottles on the sidewalks. In to the evening, you would see the homeless getting into a brawl with the security folks of the buildings, as they try to find a spot and settle in for the night.
On the first-day stroll around downtown San Jose, I found it quite amusing, with curiosity and a bit of fear, of the unknown and unfamiliar.
San Jose City Murals:
The mural on the wall of Workingman’s Emporium (a retailer that sells work wear) that showcases the working class.
And it is titled “Go Back“.
American diaries } FOOD, LIKE PEOPLE
Some say food is like people. Like people, it travels the world and in the course it imbibe cultures and change its color and character. Like people, it survive the wars and carry the bitter-sweet taste with it. How else do you explain ‘Tacos Al Pastor’, a Mexican dish with Pork, that seem quite similar to the middle-eastern dish, Shawarma? And you learn that it was actually brought by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico, and this immigration was a result of the collapsing Ottoman Empire back in the time? I mean, how many hundreds of years of history is that behind a single dish?
Or take the Greek dish called ‘Souvlaki’ (pita) which is also a close cousin of Shawarma, and the origins date back to the 17th century BC. When you look at the Vietnamese noodle soup ‘Pho’, it has stories of war to tell, because the soup was made popular in rest of the world by refugees of the Vietnam war (oh, and that soup is so delicious). While the Korean ‘Bibimbap’ has so many things mixed together – raw and cold vegetables, slices of meat that are sweet, fried egg and Kimchi. And you have to mix it all and eat. It is believed that farmers ate this during the farming season because it is easy to make food for a large amount of people.
Ain’t food interesting, like people?
Tacos Al Pastor (Spanish/Mexican)