Bake Some Chicken Already!

My daily meal when in ItalyCan you imagine always eating the same type of cuisine? Gone would be the discussions about whether you’re in the mood for sushi or seafood or pizza. The choice would automatically be sushi. Every night.

Recently, a date told me that his family meets at his parents home for dinner every Sunday, and his mom only cooks Italian food.¬†This struck me as extremely odd, so naturally I assumed that he was either an oddball or a liar — or both.

Let’s break this down:

Going to mom’s EVERY Sunday? That seems excessive to me, but several friends quickly defended him by saying that close-knit Italian families often do that. My only remaining question then is how do they enjoy the bottomless cocktail brunches on Sundays if they’re high tailing it out to Long Island to hang with grandma every week?

Point number 2: ONLY making Italian food? Never roast chicken or meat loaf or pork chops, a steak or something? I found it unbelievable that a person only cook one type of cuisine.

I mentioned my disbelief to my Dominican friend who confirmed that her mom ONLY cooks Dominican food. What’s more, if she happens to cook some other type of food, it still tastes Dominican because she uses the same spices!

My friend from Trinidad concurred, confirming that when someone comes to her home, she only cooks Trinidadian food — and that it’s expected. A Jamaican friend made it a trifecta. I don’t know if my Mexican or Japanese (or others) have the same experience, but I suspect probably so.

So I’m totally off on this one! I can’t imagine eating the same type of food day after day (perhaps that’s just another sign of my ADD). I appreciate that it’s a sign of a rock solid cultural and ethnic tie. And that solidarity makes it kind of cool, trek to Long Island or not.

Paris vs. Milan — The Report

Here’s the long delayed report on my April vacation to Paris and Milan. This time, instead of writing about what I did and saw, I decided to assess each city in a gamut of random, yet meaningful categories. Folks, you’ll never find observations like this in a travel book. Check out the winners!

1. Most bonafide gingers None at all spotted in Paris
2. Most men you want to look at Tie – Parisian men win the fashion, but Italian men are really handsome. A hybrid would be perfect.
3. Most women you want to look at   Hands down, Frenchies win this. The Italian women are atractive too, but their attire negates that.
4. People spotted wearing fur even though it’s Spring A surprisingly tied category
5. Tightest clothes Damn, signoras!
6. Most plastic surgery Donatella would be so proud
7. Most blondes
10. Most people wearing all black
11. Best lingerie Paris (however, see below)
12. Most clothing designers who actually realize that women have breasts
13. Best shoes French, you don’t have to leave the US to know that
14. Best sunglasses Enormous and always on, even on a cloudy day
15. Weirdest eyebrows Tie – In Milan, they draw them in quite dramatically. In Paris, their eyebrows don’t match their hair. Quell horror!
16. Best makeup Can you say cat eye magnifique?
17. Best smelling… people
18. Best smelling…shops
19. Least rude I was done with the Italians within an hour. New Yorkers and Parisians don’t even rank as rude in comparison
20. Quickest switch to English when noticing my slow processing of information
21. Most romantic
22. Best cocktails Milan didn’t even bother with cocktails, usually only offering a wine list
23. Best tap water Always on the table in Paris. Milanese looked totally offended just by the request for non-bottled water.
24. Tastiest tomatoes
25. Best french fries Only Amsterdam is better
26. Best overall food I walked down the street eating bread in Paris and pretty much starved in Milan
27. Best sweets Neither. Both need to learn how to use SUGAR
28. Most addictive snacks Total tie. In Paris, it was crossaints. Milan, lemon gelato.
29. Best public transportation Paris was quick, clean, no complaints. Milan – confusing as fuck.
30. Best cars Milan, you fancy, huh?
31. Fastest drivers
32. Most honking They might be worse than NYC cab drivers
33. Where you’re most likely to get run over by a motorcycle They’ll jump a curve in a minute
34. Most places to easily trip and fall
35. Most iPhones Tie. It is seriously outta control. Apple rules the world.
36. Most Beats by Dre headphones Yes, those enormous ones
37. Best music In Paris, I felt like dancing everywhere. Milan had the sound of cymbals in their music– or opera, God forbid
38. Most Angry Bird fans
39. Most public drunkenness
40. Easiest access to birth control Condom machines are in every subway station!
41. Best dogs They were usually small and had long hair and accessories!
42. Cutest kids Both had some pretty cute kids, but the Italian kids were cute AND entertaining
43. Least Americans spotted Americans are generally embarrasing
44. My most used phrase I want to buy this Do you speak Engish?
45. Place I could return to over and over and OVER