Last Thursday’s dinner at Worth Street was what I like to call a “double sided patriotic experience”. Beyond the food being delicious, and the company exquisite, the entire evening was a true testament of how lucky we are to be able to move back and forth between the American and the Latin world.
To pay tribute to 4th of July weekend, which was just around the corner, all elements of the night moved smoothly between these two incredible cultures. A salsa song would promptly be followed by U2, what looked like a pulled pork sandwich was actually chicken “al chipotle” squeezed in the middle of two arepas, and a good beer (we drank Belgian beer, but we’ll pretend it was an “All American classic”) was followed by great Argentinean wine.
And before we knew it, the carefully planned out chaos, the American world and the Latin world began to tango. And the guest, wow, it was really incredible to see how equally excited they would get when the experience leaned towards one culture or the other. The thing is, it is very difficult to live right in the cultural middle, but that Thursday, all of the guests, including Felipe and myself, found the middle to be each other’s middle ground, and a great place to be.
Among the guest invited was a good friend of ours and a great blogger, and her husband, a Phillipino with the moves that are found only amongst native born Colombians. She documents Latinas’ experiences in the US, he behaves and dances like a true Latino at heart. Another guest was a Cuban American girl and good friend and colleague of mine, who has been an ally to me at work. At work, she is “the other” Latina in a sea of “gringos”.
These guests, just as last Thursday at Worth Street, found a way to get just the right Latin and American dosage into their lives. Maybe what happens to people like us, who find themselves in the middle, is that no matter how much of the American experience surrounds us, we really would enjoy it just a tiny bit more if we could spread some chile butter on top.