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Thursday, July 2, 2015





LUCIA DE LA PAZ [Likely a pseudonym. It means "Light of Peace."]





Ian Keenan said...

Pertenant to this sign, Mister Clean in Mexico is Maestro Limpio. I read in Carl Franz' book that you can call your auto mechanic Maestro in Mexico, which I did when Sabino in Lazaro Cardenas had two people weld a connector pipe for five hours on Xmas eve for $70, and he seemed most flattered. If you drive a sort of car which is unknown down there the risk of theft is minimal, and welding is more common. The oil was leaking so I had to expensively refill that down in those parts where the drug gangs sometimes clean out gas stations, so the military trained 20-year old female station attendants pump your gas in fatigues with an AR-15 around each shoulder. I spoke to a mid-fifties US woman in Zacatecas who contracted yellow fever, for which she had no success in medical treatment at which time she turned to a Mexican Indian healer, who eliminated it instantly. Also elsewhere in Zacatecas I repeated a recommendation from Franz' book and a young tourist told me it was a racial stereotype, and I can certify that this person never spoke to a Mexican native outside an essential purchase or service.

I have been around South Philly with a pork sandwich craving late night, and though Geno's has them and Pat's doesn't, I can't order from a window that says 'English Only.' I wouldn't be adverse to reading to the staff in Italian some time. Whatever one thinks of Pat's fare now, it is the orginal and the neon of Geno's emits the essence of the gaudiness of imitation. In your picture it is out of focus in favor of the print reproduction of the Lady and the Limpia Gratis pledge.

Linh Dinh said...

Regarding Geno's:

Philadelphia's Geno's Steaks Adopts English-Only Ordering Policy

Associated Press--Bistec con queso? Not at Geno's Steaks.

An English-only ordering policy has thrust one of Philadelphia's best-known cheesesteak joints into the national immigration debate.

Situated in a South Philadelphia immigrant neighborhood, Geno's -- which together with its chief rival, Pat's King of Steaks, forms the epicenter of an area described as "ground zero for cheesesteaks" -- has posted small signs telling customers, "This Is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING `SPEAK ENGLISH."'

"They don't know how lucky they are. All we're asking them to do is learn the English language," said Geno's owner Joseph Vento, 66. "We're out to help these people, but they've got to help themselves, too."


Linh Dinh said...

Joey Vento is dead. Vento is "wind" in Italian, by the way, so it's an appropriate name for a man with a lot of hot air.

Joey liked Harleys, the confederate flag and top heavy women.

Campaigning for the presidency, Giuliani stopped by Geno's and even sneaked into the kitchen.

Ian Keenan said...

I read something to the effect that the son took over and said he's different from his dad but that to change to policy would be disrespectful to his dad. As the shirt says, "Homeland Security: Fighting Terrorism Since 1492."

Ian Keenan said...

"The defense produced sixteen witnesses, all Italians from Plymouth, who testified that at the time of the attempted robbery they had bought eels for the Christmas holiday from Vanzetti, in accordance with their Christmas traditions. Such details reinforced the difference between the Italians and the jurors. Some testified in imperfect English, others through an interpreter, whose failure to speak the same dialect of Italian as the witnesses hampered his effectiveness." (Wikipedia, Bridgewater trial)

Ian Keenan said...

Speaking of eels, they're caught in the Delaware, canned, shipped to Asia, branded, and shipped back to the US for me to eat instead of cheese steaks. Same deal with seaweed.


About Me

Born in Vietnam in 1963, I came to the US in 1975, and have also lived in Italy, England and Germany. I'm the author of a non-fiction book, Postcards from the End of America (2017), two books of stories, Fake House (2000) and Blood and Soap (2004), six of poems, All Around What Empties Out (2003), American Tatts (2005), Borderless Bodies (2006), Jam Alerts (2007), Some Kind of Cheese Orgy (2009) and A Mere Rica (2017), and a novel, Love Like Hate (2010). I've been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, 2004, 2007, Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, Postmodern American Poetry: a Norton Anthology (vol. 2) and Flash Fiction International: Very Short Stories From Around the World, etc. I'm also editor of Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (1996) and The Deluge: New Vietnamese Poetry (2013). My writing has been translated into Italian, Spanish, French, Dutch, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Icelandic and Finnish, and I've been invited to read in London, Cambridge, Brighton, Paris, Berlin, Leipzig, Halle, Reykjavik, Toronto, Singapore and all over the US. I've also published widely in Vietnamese.