Every day at 7:00 a.m., Mateo (names in this article have been changed to protect the immigrants) wakes up next to Maria, his longtime girlfriend. Most mornings, he hops out of bed, throws on his workout clothes, stretches, and goes out for a three-mile run. Sometimes he'll attach weights to his ankles and include a big hill or two for more of a challenge. When Mateo gets home to their one-bedroom apartment in Normal Heights, he showers and has a light breakfast with Maria and their five-year-old daughter Carla. Then he's off to take English at a local language school. Mateo speaks English fluently but still attends classes three or four times a week. Today, he learned the present perfect tense: "By the time I go to school, I've already eaten breakfast."
By Geoff Bouvier, Sept. 14, 2006 | Read full article
Adventures in San Diego
"I thought I had come into hell. Van Nuys was so hot. I mean, God. And at that time I was naughty: I smoked. And I thought, 'How can anybody have a cigarette in this place? It's so hot! You can't breathe!' I didn't know where the hell I had got myself." Jennifer "Ducky" Dorman was talking about coming, by her own choice, some 40 years ago to the United States. "When I walked off the plane, I was scared to death. The vastness of everything scared me. Everything seemed very large. The freeways and the roads. The one wonderful thing was that I spoke the language.
By Abe Opincar, March 2, 2006 | Read full article
At last, the fashion of French-bashing fades, and now kisses, fries, poodles, horns, bread, dressing, curls, maids, braids, ticklers, manicures, twists, and toast might drop the mock-corrective mark of "freedom." Even our most patriotic consciences can again drink the best wine in the world and eat the best cheese and watch the best weird independent films. Just think of the thousands of words in our language that derive from the French, words that are both utilitaire and more than chic to speak: café, patron, agent, souvenir, matinee, blonde, panache, brunette, critique, cuisine, encore, employ, petite, perfume, risqué, rendezvous, soiree, sauté, déjà vu.
By Geoff Bouvier, Jan. 26, 2006 | Read full article
The Ethiopian Army caught up with the boys at the Gilo River.
"Most of us couldn't swim," says Isaac. "It was really very deep and swollen because of rains. The currents were very, very fast. All the rivers were overflowing. We didn't have boats. There was no bridge. The army started firing guns at us. Artillery, big machine guns. And that's why many of us threw ourselves into the river, because we had no option. Out of the river you just get shot. I did not know how to swim, and I was scared to throw myself into the river and get drowned or be taken down by a crocodile. So I followed another group who were running along the riverbank.
By Bill Manson, Jan. 25, 2007 | Read full article
Dubed’s Far Janna market sits near the northeastern corner of University and 54th Street. The shelves are sparsely stocked with Jif peanut butter, Comet cleaning products, and a range of jars, cans, and bottles bearing Arabic writing. Beneath the foreign (to me) script, one glass jar reads “Labneh in oil.” Inside, white balls float in a clear, yellow liquid.
The approximately 1000-square-foot space looks sparse now, but Dubed assures me, I would have been shocked to see it six months ago.
“I started from empty,” he says. “For the first four months, I only sold drinks. Like Arizona [Iced Tea], Coke, stuff like that.”
By Elizabeth Salaam, Oct. 12, 2011 | Read full article
In the office where I met David Omen Acana II, paramount chief of the 800,000-member Acholi tribe in northern Uganda, a large color photograph of two hippos hung on the wall behind him. The animals, neck-deep in water, teeth glistening, seemed to be grinning at each other. I told Chief Acana that I thought the hippos looked "cute."
The chief, broad-shouldered, deep-chested, dressed in a tailored navy blue suit and a gray and light blue tie, laughed. His two bodyguards, huge men with shaved heads and grapefruit-size biceps, laughed too.
By Abe Opincar, June 8, 2006 | Read full article