Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Eid Mubarak 2014

To all my Muslim friends, may your celebration be full of family and all good things with which God may bless you!

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July 28, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Eid, Faith, Friends & Friendship | 2 Comments

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor . . . “

Who are we?

I’m listening to a heartbreaking discussion on National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm show about the masses of children heading toward the southern border of the United States.

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Anti-immigration is nothing new, not in the United States, not in newer countries. It is shocking to me, however, that people who came from somewhere else are so strongly opposed to allowing these desperate children in. If they are running for our border – and they are – they are desperate. They are desperate to escape violent death, and death by starvation, death of the spirit eeking out a living day to day.

“They come here for a hand-out!” is the most common complaint.

Read your American history. Very few immigrants – your ancestors, American citizens – arrived with money. Most relied on friends, family, the immigrant community, social services – whatever they needed to survive until they could get on their feet.

And get on their feet they did. Immigrants to America come here to work hard, believing that working hard will give them a chance at a better life. Your ancestors and mine – they came and worked hard, scraping together the money to build a business and/or to send their kids to schools. If you’ve ever attended a citizenship ceremony, you will love the jubilation. They don’t want a handout. They want a chance at building a decent life.

So now it’s “I’ve got mine, go back where YOU belong?”

When I grew up, not even in the United States proper, but in a U.S. territory, we sang a wonderful song, from a poem by Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus, which is on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty:

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Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I’ve never forgotten those words we all sang as children. The immigrant flows into America are our life-blood. You can keep your stale traditions and meaningless pomp, she cries, send me those willing to work hard and yearning for freedom.

How can we refuse CHILDREN seeking asylum? Each child we feed, house and educate will have a chance to become contributing citizens. The face of our nation is changing, has already changed greatly and will continue to change, and what we choose today will have a critical effect on what our society will look like tomorrow.

Do we still yearn for liberty for all? Do we want a highly stratified society where some are born to high paying jobs and others relegated to trades (I’ve seen how this works in another country; it’s stultifying.) Restricting access to all that we enjoy will create a wholly different society, a zero-sum-game society, where your loss is my gain, instead of an everyone wins society, where my success lifts you, too. Our country thrives on the creation of wealth; ideas are generated, resources and labor pools are created, they are not finite, they transition. Immigrants fuel the kind of innovation and population flow that keeps the lifeblood of our country flowing.

My family has been in the US a long time. We qualify as daughters-of-just-about-everything. We were immigrants; we were not native-born. The entire United States, other than the First People, are immigrants. We are immigrants, all of us. It makes us strong.

July 28, 2014 Posted by | Character, Charity, Circle of Life and Death, Civility, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Leadership, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Quality of Life Issues, Social Issues, Spiritual, Values | | 2 Comments

Pensacola July Sunset

It’s a sunset, yes, but it’s all about those delicate opalescent colors.

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July 26, 2014 Posted by | color, Pensacola, Photos, Sunsets | Leave a comment

Contemporary Art Bike Racks – Another Reason to Love Pensacola

00PalafoxBicycleRack

These are so cool, on every corner south of Garden on Palafox. They are not only handy for our urban riders, they LOOK great, very svelte, minimal. Very cool. Woooo HOOOO on you, Pensacola!

July 25, 2014 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Cultural, Environment, Exercise, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Parenting, Public Art, Road Trips | Leave a comment

The Tin Cow on Palafox in Pensacola

It’s not a bad place. The service is fabulous. The restaurant is often packed, and has something for everyone.

I have one complaint. I don’t often eat hamburger, so I saved my July hamburger to eat at Tin Cow, which I had heard totally majored in hamburgers.

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Here is the interior on a busy Saturday – and. thanks to the renaissance of downtown Pensacola, it looks like every Saturday is a busy Saturday, and that is a good thing. We got there early, within half an hour every table was taken and people were lined up outside to get in. Here is what it looks like inside, before every table is taken:

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They have a great menu for children, children are welcome and well taken care of. Another positive for the restaurant – we saw people of all generations and genders there, all having a great time, all enjoying the Tin Cow experience.

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They have a huge menu. There is a have-it-exactly-your-way menu, where you pick every little thing, and then there are about thirty hamburger theme choices, and for the vegetarians or non-beef eaters, there are alternatives. Truly, there is something for everyone. It can be almost overwhelming, but truly, you should be able to find something to order.

00TinCowMenu

Here is AdventureMan’s hamburger and fries. The fries were good.

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I had a hamburger and salad. The salad was really good, notably good because it was just a little side salad but really good.

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Everything was good – except for our hamburgers. As we ate, we looked at each other in dismay. The burgers weren’t even grilled, they were maybe fried, and had no taste other than the condiments. I was especially dismayed; what? I had wasted all my beef calories and cholesterol on a mediocre hamburger?

It must be us. We love the burger at Annie Apples, at the Seville Quarter, and at Red Robin. We think Sonny’s has a pretty good burger. But the Tin Cow is supposed to specialize in burgers, and this one was one big disappointment. I hate to even write this review, because to us, everything else was so good, especially the service. But . . .

July 25, 2014 Posted by | Cooking, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Restaurant | , | Leave a comment

Miss Zainab from Iran, My New Found Friend

LOL, you want a new friend? You can have mine:

Hello

I believe you are the one i’m searching for
Assalamu”alaikum,

I am miss zainab from the country Iran, your profile caught my attraction,
please reply to my email address (zainabbolhassan33@hotmail.com) so we can
communicate easily to know each other the more, i promise to also send you my photo for you to know me. Remember that distance, religion or tribe does not matter in life but true affection is everything we need to live our life and be happy.

Yours new found friend,
Miss zainab.
(zainabbolhassan33@hotmail.com)

July 25, 2014 Posted by | Lies, Scams | 2 Comments

Pope Meets With Sudanese Woman Condemned for Apostasy

I am not Catholic, but what I love about this humble Pope shines through in these photos – the Pope, the revered leader of the Christian world, is standing, while the family sits in his presence. His loving actions speak loudly. You can see all the photos on AOL News by clicking here.

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ROME (AP) – Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant born just weeks ago in prison.

The Vatican characterized the visit with Meriam Ibrahim, 27, her husband and their two small children as “very affectionate.”

The 30-minute encounter took place just hours after the family landed at Rome’s Ciampino airport, accompanied by an Italian diplomat who helped negotiate her release, and welcomed by Italy’s premier, who hailed it as a “day of celebration.”

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the pope “thanked her for her faith and courage, and she thanked him for his prayer and solidarity” during the half-hour meeting Thursday. Francis frequently calls attention to the suffering of those persecuted for their religious beliefs.

Lombardi said the presence of “their wonderful small children” added to the affectionate tone of the meeting. Ibrahim was presented with a rosary, a gift from the pope.

Ibrahim held her sleeping infant as she stepped off the plane from Sudan, which had blocked her from leaving the country even after the country’s highest court overturned her death sentence in June. An Italian diplomat carried her 18-month-old son and they were followed by her husband, Daniel Wani, who is a citizen of the United States and South Sudan.

Ibrahim and her family are expected to spend a few days in Rome before heading to the United States.

Ibrahim, whose father was Muslim but whose mother was an Orthodox Christian from Ethiopia, was sentenced to death over charges of apostasy. She married her husband, a Christian, in a church ceremony in 2011. As in many Muslim nations, Muslim women in Sudan are prohibited from marrying non-Muslims, though Muslim men can marry outside their faith.

The sentence was condemned by the United States, the United Nations and Amnesty International, among others, and both the United States and Italy – a strong death penalty opponent with long ties to the Horn of Africa region – worked to win her release.

Sudan’s high court threw out her death sentence in June, but she was then blocked from leaving the country by authorities who questioned the validity of her travel documents.

Lapo Pistelli, an Italian diplomat who accompanied the family from Sudan, said Italy was able to leverage its ties within the region. “We had the patience to speak to everyone in a friendly way. This paid off in the end,” he said.

July 24, 2014 Posted by | Women's Issues, Family Issues, Sudan, Living Conditions, Community, Character, Interconnected, Law and Order, Charity, Civility, Faith | Leave a comment

“In Other” to Serve Me Better

LOL, if you are a scammer, work a little harder on your grammar ‘in other’ to succeed!

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July 24, 2014 Posted by | Lies, Scams | , | 1 Comment

Celebrating Sainte Mary Magdalene

From today’s Forward Day by Day:

TUESDAY, July 22 Saint Mary Magdalene

John 20:18. Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.”

The information about Mary Magdalene tantalizes the imagination. A Jesus groupie in an age when decent women did not leave home to follow itinerant men. One from whom seven demons, by Luke’s count, were exorcised. A woman of such low status that she was free to stand unchallenged at the crucifixion site. It is no wonder that, like other women who do not fit into boxes of conventional understanding, she is defined in terms of sex. By declaring her a prostitute, imagination satisfies the Bible’s thin facts and the human desire for predictability. She has become a sex symbol in every sense of the word.

In seeing her this way, we miss the single piece of information that connects Mary to us all: gratitude. She followed Jesus because he cast out the seven demons. Jesus gave her new life and hope, a fact she never forgot and carried as her banner through thick and thin. If one or more of the demons in her had a sexual manifestation, it does not matter to the bottom line. Mary Magdalene is witness to the power of gratitude, a power available to our lives as well as hers.

PRAY for the Church of Jerusalem and The Middle East and the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Today the Church remembers Saint Mary Magdalene.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | Charity, Faith | , | Leave a comment

“Perfect!” The Bridge Restaurant in Anchorage

Language changes, and usage changes, and one of the differences I heard on this trip was an increasing use of the word “Perfect!”

We had eaten at Mooses Tooth (see below) and we wanted to change up the pace for our last night in Anchorage, finishing with really really good seafood in Anchorage. We decided on The Bridge, and we decided to make reservations.

“I’d like a reservation for two at seven o-clock” I said and the lady taking the reservation said “Perfect!”

She asked our name and I told her and she said “Perfect!”

Our name is perfect? That we gave her our name is perfect? That she wrote it down perfectly?

I told her we would see her at seven and she said . . . well, you can guess what she said:

“PERFECT!”

It took us a missed exit and some driving around to actually find The Bridge, and oh, what fun. It is in the downtown most part of downtown Anchorage, on the banks of the river, spanning the river.

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There are a lot of parking lots with limited parking, limited to like two hours because they have so many people wanting to fish in this river. At seven at night, this river was PACKED. The river was packed with people, fishing! They had gorgeous weather, and the fish were biting.

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This is the kitchen at The Bridge:
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And this is a view of a part of the interior. There are a variety of seating areas; this area was for those who had reservations. There was seating on a patio, but this is a very brightly lit place on a hot, sunshiney day, and I am glad to be inside, out of the hot sun, hot sun at seven at night – it’s the equinox.

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We loved this restaurant, and while we had many wonderful experiences on this trip, this would be one of my first choices going back. It’s a little off the beaten trail, (although we saw two tables of eight reserved for Orvis fisherpeople) and the people who worked there seemed to really love working there. At least half of the people were from Anchorage.

We ordered the Smoked Salmon Pate, not realizing we would also get more pate with our bread. The Bridge is like that; it gives you more than you expect. Sorry for the high contrast photos; there is a lot of bright sun I am working with here.

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AdventureMan also ordered crab legs, not realizing they came on the appetizer buffet you get with the full meal, which we ordered. We ordered too much food for our last night in Anchorage, when it didn’t make sense to take food back with us.

The Bridge has a fabulous appetizer buffet.

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For his main course, AdventureMan had the grilled halibut, which he says was the best on his entire trip:

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And I could not resist ordering The Bridge’s Alaska Cioppino – I am a sucker for Cioppino, and this was exquisite.

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They also had rhubarb crisp as a dessert, but I could not even think about eating another bite. Next time I hit The Bridge, I will start with the Rhubarb Crisp :-)

The Bridge is only open for the summer season. It is a total WOW.

It was (you guessed it!) “PERFECT!”

July 21, 2014 Posted by | Alaska, Cooking, Customer Service, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Living Conditions, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel, Weather | , , | Leave a comment

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