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Hard To Resist

January 30, 2017

Food blog. Must. Remember. This. Is. A. Food. Blog.

Sometimes change comes slow. Other times, change comes fast. Today, I feel like we’re starting the week in an entirely different country than last Friday. It’s not that Donald Trump is doing anything other than what he said he intended to do. It’s just that I always had faith in a system of checks and balances that would soften some of the bat shit crazy ideas he presented on the campaign trail.

And you know what, I bet a lot of people who actually voted for Trump felt the same way.

Thank God for the activists. Thank God for the ACLU. And thank God for the immigration lawyers who showed up to airports around the country to fight for the rights of legal green-card carrying residents of the United States who had the misfortune of being born in countries where the President holds no business interests.

You know what I was doing when all of this was going on? I was eating soup. Actually, I was eating all of the soup in Schenectady. Thankfully, that required my full attention and I was off social media for the day. Saturday evening was my recovery period, and I caught up on some of The Walking Dead.

It used to be that watching a compelling drama about a zombie apocalypse would make me feel better about the current state of the world around me. Now, even that isn’t helping.

So how do I get through this week as a food blogger and still feel like part of the resistance?

I have no idea. The Super Bowl is coming up, and second to maybe Independence Day, that’s got to be the most American day of the year. I know crap about football, and haven’t figured out who I’ll be rooting for this year. While I hate the Patriots, I may just have to cheer them on. Just this once.

Even football is feeling like it’s politically charged. Dagnabbit.

Yesterday people were murdered in a Quebec City mosque while they prayed. A mysterious fire destroyed a Texas mosque on Friday. It’s a scary time to be a Muslim living in the West.


Despite the current rhetoric and actions coming from the White House, and the despicable acts of hatemongers, we are not at war with Islam. We’re not. I’m definitely not. And I hope you’re not. I have Iranian friends. They aren’t evil. One of the kindest most admirable person I have ever met is Sudanese. The Iraqi people risked their lives to support our troops. There are good people in all of the Muslim-majority countries that have been barred entry to the U.S.

And these cultures have wonderful things to offer us.

There are the ancient things, like algebra and the camera obscura. But like I said at the beginning of this post, this is a food blog. And the food of the Islamic world is wonderful. Besides the wedding I went to in Detroit, the best part of that trip was my time spent in Dearborn. Including a lunch at Al Ameer which just was recognized by Eater to be one of the 38 best restaurants in America.

In the Capital Region we’re lucky to have representation from several middle eastern cuisines, including two Afghani places. But mysteriously, Afghanistan isn’t on the list of banned countries. Iran is. And Iranian food is amazing.

So here is my proposal. It falls under the umbrella “Think globally, act locally.”

I propose we all eat at Persian Bite in Schenectady. Especially if you haven’t had Iranian food, but even if you have. And honestly, I don’t even know if the owners are Christian or Muslim. It doesn’t matter. Because Iranians are being targeted as being too anti-American to come into the country.

Except here, in our midst, we have an Iranian who has invested in our community. He has set up a business and has put down roots. And not only that, but he’s giving us the rare opportunity to try a cuisine that’s new and different from anything else we’ve got in the region.

Feel free to join me or go on your own. I’ll be there this Wednesday at 12:30pm. It’s not going to be anything political. There aren’t going to be any signs. I’m not going to ask you who you voted for. I won’t be talking about the news of the day. It’s just going to be lunch. And supporting a great local business. And really, just showing up.

If this is out of your comfort zone, then you should definitely do it. If you think the drive to Schenectady is too damn long for lunch, just think about how long people from Iran were detained and held in limbo at airports around the country, based on a capricious and poorly conceived executive order.

Hope to see you there.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. boya3706 permalink
    January 30, 2017 11:40 am

    I’m there, and really everyone else should come too, the food is incredible.

  2. January 30, 2017 12:08 pm

    I’m there, if I can clear my calendar. It would be great if someone is taking up a collection for the ACLU or other human rights defender while we are there.

    Their “our story” web page is very relevant. Talks about how they settled in Schenectady because of the atmosphere of cultural diversity.

  3. January 30, 2017 8:58 pm

    I will be there. Never had Persian food. Now’s as good a time as any (or maybe the best time) to try it.

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