My father would have been 76 today, except that he died two years and one day ago. Being from Philadelphia, silly as it is, I would have celebrated his 76th as an extra-special birthday.
Mourning and grief are reasonable. Mourning and grief are irrational. I make decisions to feel and behave a certain way, but I still find tears in my eyes during Johnny Cash songs in the car. We would sing along to a Greatest Hits cassette in the kitchen when I was a kid. Why didn’t I ever accept his invitations to go to Chi-Chi’s for karaoke? Continue reading “Mopey Musings on My Dead Father’s Birthday” →
It’s been a while since I felt compelled to try getting a good cheesesteak in the Buffalo area, but after jonesing hard for a tasty sandwich this week, it was time to make another attempt. A coworker today suggested I try the sandwiches at Elmwood Taco & Subs, just a few minutes from my apartment, so I stopped by on the way home from work tonight.
What a mistake that was. Let’s start at the beginning. Continue reading “The Cheesesteak Diaries, Chapter 2: Elmwood Taco & Subs, Buffalo, NY” →
Those of you who know me are probably aware that I grew up in Philadelphia and spent a few years working in a cheeseteak and hoagie shop (“The Original Steak and Hoagie II”, now closed). I take my cheesesteaks and hoagies seriously. Possibly too seriously.
As a field organizer I have the opportunity to do some traveling, and I’m often curious about what gets passed off as a cheesesteak in other cities. Inspired by a couple of epic wtf-this-is-not-a-cheesesteak experiences, I thought I’d start cataloguing some of these “Philly cheese steak subs,” or whatever it is they get called in different cities. Continue reading “The Cheesesteak Diaries, Chapter 1: Primanti Bros., Pittsburgh, PA” →
When I moved from Philadelphia to Buffalo a handful of years ago, I thought I was pretty prepared for the major dialect differences. Pronunciation-wise, I had steeled myself for the Western New York pronunciation of words like car and crab shack, and I knew I wouldn’t be understood if I asked for a glass of water the way I was used to. (Check out the fantastic Super Grip Lock commercials on YouTube for examples of the accent here.) They say garbage where I say trash, pop for my soda, and they’re generally clueless about hoagies—but at least they don’t say tennis shoes or youins. Continue reading ““Sliding Board” v. “Slide”: Some Notes on the Mid-Atlantic Dialect” →