Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Read, Connect, Act

What now? Friends are asking in the wake of the presidential election shocker last week. What we can offer to those questioning how we got here, is more of what we so believe in: the power of books to inform and inspire. The power of community to support and strengthen the insights gained. And action, a plan for creative sustaining ways forward, to apply what we’ve gained through reading, reflection, conversation.

To that end, Canio’s Cultural Cafe will again offer a series of community discussion courses focusing on environmental issues. This winter we’ll present inspiring, engaging material to read, discuss & act upon focused on environmental activism, living simply, sustainable energy, and more. Join us for an upcoming course. Now more than ever the planet requires your participation. Find out more by contacting the shop.

We’re grateful to organizations like Northwest Earth Institute for creating and promoting these courses, and to Orion Magazine for providing inspiring articles to engage the imagination, the heart and mind in our understanding of our responsibilities toward Earth.

 

The Only Poll You Need to Know About

Undone by the relentless vacillations in this year’s presidential election polls, to say nothing of that nail-biting late-night extra-inning rain-delayed World Series Championship win by the come-from-behind Chicago Cubs (whew!), I just had to consult our Parisian pollster and restaurateur Craig Carlson.

Do you know his amazing memoir, Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France? This highly recommended read takes us on a wild ride from Craig’s “crazy” idea of opening an American-style dinner in Paris, to realizing that dream complete with pleasures, pitfalls and panic-attacks along the way. Sort of like those Cubs, rallying after near elimination! Craig is victorious with three popular Breakfast in America locations in the culinary capital of the world! Craig read at Canio’s in September, and yes, we even served pancakes with Vermont maple syrup.

So how is the Breakfast in America “presidential election” going in Paris? Back in 2012 his restaurant offered customers “an election” choice between two blue-plate specials:  the Romney Omlette and the Obama Burger. They kept count, and announced the overwhelming winner: the Obama Burger by a landslide!

This year he’s featuring a choice between the Hillary “Hot & Nasty” Hamburger served with hot sauce, a nod to Secretary Clinton’s penchant for Tabasco, and the Trump “Totally-Rigged” Wrap with a “wall” of tortilla chips.  The count right now: 34 hamburgers to 4 wraps. Voila! That settles it for me! Bon appetite and happy reading!

Girl in the Obama print skirt

Our drive to the nation’s capital was book-ended by listening to the excellent audio recording of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration written by Isabel Wilkerson. The audio version  performed by Robin Miles brings to life the complex characters whose lives are portrayed in vivid detail, testimony to the tenacity of African Americans to endure and resist racism.We stepped out of that narrative into one of the greatest multi-colored street parties any city has known: the second inauguration of President Barack H. Obama.
The mood was already festive Sunday night, Inauguration eve at a jam-packed party hosted by  founders of http://www.globalgiving.org , the online charitable marketplace. Here are just a few of the many projects they seek donations for: solar lighting; clean cook stoves, rainforest restoration and preservation.
We chatted with a young woman wearing an “Obama” skirt, a marine- blue cotton pencil-skirt with ruffle. President Obama’s face shown in red and black among maps of African countries in the background. She was hesitant to wear it, she said, but we assured her it was the perfect outfit for the occasion. The skirt wearer had worked for a non-profit in Kenya where the fabric was designed. She told us how an elderly ancestor of President Obama greeted visitors who made the arduous pilgrimage to her remote rural village.
We were on our own sort of pilgrimage, as were hundreds of thousands of others.The feeling on the streets of D.C. that night was giddy, if also poignant. Restaurants were packed.  “There won’t be another black president in a long while,” cried one slightly inebriated reveler. He was right; it gave us pause. Better enjoy this moment now!
Early Monday morning people of all colors streamed into the streets and swirled into one great river of humanity on the Mall. We tucked in with a group of friends near the Washington Monument.  So many jubilant faces, young, old, in between, smiling and making space for one another even though the jumbo-tron near us didn’t work well. We could hear cheers from the crowd closer to the Capitol flowing across the Mall. “We were made for this moment,” said our president.
Later, at the parade, a booming voice announced, “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States!” We rushed the gates in time to see the back of Pres. Obama’s beloved round head. Later,  both Joe and Dr. Jill Biden walked by on their way to the White House. We had a clear view of them.  “He looked directly at me,” shouted one young student to his friend. We felt that way, too.
Next day, despite the bitter cold, we visited the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. Crowds continued to swirl; the city was full of the nation’s citizens. Everyone wanted their picture taken in front of these two great figures, an act of affirmation, as if to say, “We are here; we are part of these United States.”
We caught a glimpse of what this nation could really  be when everyone’s included. And it was beautiful!
 

Canio's Books is located at 290 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963. You can drop an email to info@caniosbooks.com, or even check out some of our stock online. Thanks for visiting our blog!

Vanishing Landscapes