Sunday, September 12, 2010

Beet Juice and Other Offensive Stereotypes

The ethnic experience here in Chicago can sometimes be a bit jarring. Back in Kansas, the closest thing to an ethnic festival was getting sushi at the KU Union food court or lying about how you are 1/32 Native American. But here, there is actual diversity! For example, I patronized this lovely Polish restaurant last week.

Pictured above: Come for the borscht, stay for the wall-mounted guns.

This establishment was clearly run out of the back of a house of an elderly Polish couple, and between the broken credit card machine and the static from the Polish television station, it felt like I had traveled back in time. I wouldn't have been surprised if the food was prepared by a team of orphaned children in tweed, trying to get their big break in the New World.

When we arrived, the Mom of the restaurant gave us all complementary juice. Now, can you guess what kind of juice? Why yes, it was beet juice! For a moment, I thought: "Wow, this is an offensive Polish stereotype." And then: "Oh wait, this is real life. Not a television show."

Ater eating our pierogis and cabbage soup, we visited the Puerto Rican festival, and my brother an I blended in about as well as the only two white guys at a Puerto Rican festival can. With approximately 264 varieties of pina coladas being sold, as well as a unsettling amount of food being deep-fried, I, again, began to question the reality of my situation. I mean, this is a serious ethnic festival, right?

Pictured above: Sure, the Puerto Rican Superman was cool, but you should have seen the Costa Rican Green Lantern.

Finally, I topped off my week with a delightful festival for white people. Well, it was a KU Football watch party at a nearby bar, so it was just like being back in Lawrence. Initially, I wasn't going to go (now that I'm a big-city elitist and cannot be bothered with the quaint athletic distractions of the proletariat), but my brother informed me that they were providing a free breakfast buffet.

Pictured above: This is what it takes for me to pretend to like football.

There also was free beer, but for me it was more of a "free chance to make everyone uncomfortable about how I don't drink".

Pictured above: My demographic is supposed to like free beer, right? Is it so wrong that I was more excited by the free fruit salad?

Anyway, I've got to get back to pretending to study for medical school. And what I really mean by that is picking out what tie I will wear tomorrow. Decisions, decisions.


  1. I think you meant "Puerto Rican Captain America". Geez get your comic book characters right, that's so offensive to confuse Marvel and DC characters.

  2. I almost bought beets today at the store, and actually was going to make borscht.

    Although, frankly, of any city in Kansas, Lawrence has a great selection of ethnic hats to try on. India Palace, The Mad Greek, Thai Siam, Cielito Lindo... I realize they're not supported by an entire subsection of a city, but since I represent those who can't yet pretend they've moved on from River City, I have to call your bullshit.

    ... Bullshit!