A group of my friends and I were craving Ethiopian food. We finally got together and planned to eat at a restaurant called “Abyssinian”. The Abyssinian restaurant is located at 268 W 135th street in Harlem, New York. Ethipioa is in the horn of Africa. Traditionally, Ethiopian cuisine consists of vegetables and very spicy meats. It is usually served with injera bread which is a large sour-dough flatbread that’s made out of fermented teff flour. The low-lit atmosphere of the restaurant was quiet and filled with traditional Ethiopian music. It was tastefully decorated with a bar and friendly staff. You’re quickly seated depending on the party of people and served water. The menu was filled with a lot of lunch and dinner meals with wines and authentic Ethiopian beers. A friend and I decided to share a meal which is the picture of a big plate. Furthermore, my other friend decided to get a separate one due to a difference in order. To share a plate cost $38 and a separate one was $19. I ordered a Lamb Awaze Tibs which was cubes boneless lamb marinated with spicy sauce and served with tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and split peas. My friend ordered Lamb Lega Tibs which was a mild version of the Awaze. We all finished our meal with a delicious Ethipioan Honey tea wine which was very smooth. For those who may not want to order any meat, there is also vegan Ethiopian food at this restaurant. I encourage anyone who’s interested in trying Ethiopian food to go to this eatery! It’s an experience you will enjoy!
My friend and I went to a beautiful, cozy Japanese restaurant called, “Misoya”. It is located in New York City on 129 2nd ave. Misoya is a great place to visit with friends or a significant other. The staff is very friendly and the food is beyond delicious! Once we entered the door we were quickly greeted, seated and offered menus. There are tons of cuisine to try whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a full meal. The atmosphere was filled with laughter and lively music. Misoya is the perfect place to not only escape the cold but to try something new. The menu was filled with many foods and drinks such as hijiki (homemade simmered seaweed), gyoza (homemade pork dumpling), sake and more! My friend ordered, “Mame Miso Ramen” which contains beans, dark-colored miso, beef with fried breaded shrimp. I ordered, “Kome Miso Spicy” which includes half of a boiled egg, corn, beautifully sliced pork, potatoes and beef marinated in a broth. The dishes were affordable and ranged from $11- $15. We were very pleased with our meals and made plans to visit again.
I was told by a friend to share my experiences on finding my cultural identity as an Afro American-Caribbean British female. I had many positive and negative experiences but continued to persevere for myself. In my youth, I spent continuous summers in Barbados. Despite being from America my parents weren’t. Now reflecting on those memories, it was a way for my parents to help me stay grounded and connected to not only their culture but mine. I continue to connect and embrace my family from both the Caribbean and British side and it has been sweet!
One of my experiences…
At a young age, I had a very hard time balancing my identity. With certain groups of people, I was only seen as an African-American. To them, I was nothing more regardless of my background or my parent’s dialect. To some people, it was more believable to be Caribbean than British because of my dark skin. This is an ignorant and thoughtless comment because it was far from the truth. Like America, people from other nationalities come in different shades.
In High School, I mostly listened to rock music. A dark skin girl listening to rock music didn’t fit their view of being “black”. It was always one thing after the other for them. I didn’t pay attention to the comments because not only was I happy but I was comfortable. I hung out with people that had the same music taste yet to many it was odd. Till this day we don’t fit the “norm” but we continue to unapologetically live our lives.
In conclusion, people should try to learn more about a person than just their appearance. Sadly, ignorance will always exist but you must continue to feel comfortable with yourself. Ignore those who rather judge you than get to know you.
Barbados’ cuisines are very flavorful! It is influenced by African, Indian, Creole, Irish, and British culture. A typical meal is made of either fish/meat also marinated in herbs and spices. There are many great cuisines from Barbados which makes it hard to narrow for this list. You can find additional foods and drinks such as rum/black cake, Bajan macaroni pie, pudding and souse, golden apple juice (June Plum), snow cones, sorrel or ginger juice by asking the locals. If you’re thinking about traveling to Barbados, read “Fly To Barbados For These Exciting Activities” article. It describes in great and vivid details as to why Barbados is favored by many. The best of Barbados awaits thee! Furthermore, here are my top 5 meals and beverages to try on this lovely island:
Roti is a dish inspired by Indian food. It’s chicken/beef with vegetables and potatoes wrapped with a homemade round flatbread. A Chicken Potato Roti is a Barbadian’s favorite. You can buy this at the famous Cheffete restaurant or any roti eatery on the island. You should definitely try this meal! You’ll be satisfied and full in no time!
2. Bajan Fish Cakes
“Bajan/Barbadian’s fish cakes” are absolutely my favorite side dish to eat! These are not your average fish cakes! Traditionally, the base of this meal is chopped onions, boneless salt cod, flour, baking powder, and hot pepper. They’re easy to make! You can add additional ingredients to spice or sweeten it. Also, don’t forget your dipping sauce!
3. Vegetable, Conch, Chicken, Beef or Halal Samosas
This is a dough filled meal that includes a variety of meats or veggies paired with a traditional sweeten sauce and salad. Additionally, it’s best with an ice-cold Banks’ beer.
“Conkies” is a favorite Barbadian/Bajan treat! It is eaten around Barbados’ Independence Day. The basic ingredients of this dish consist of pumpkin, coconut, spices, raisins, and flour mixture wrapped then steamed in a fresh green banana leaf. It’s a treat that needs precision and patience but in the end, you’ll continue to make or buy more!
5. Cou Cou And Flying Fish
Last but not least, is the national dish of Barbados. “Cou Cou and Flying Fish” is traditionally served on Fridays or Saturdays. This meal may take a long time to prepare but it’s worth the wait! Cou Cou is described as a polenta-like cornmeal and okra porridge. It’s topped with beautifully made garlic, herbs, peppers, and spiced gravy then seasoned fish.
1. Cockspur Rum Punch
This rum won the “International Wine and Spirit Competition’s” Gold Medal in 1981, 1984 and 1989. It’s a very popular rum with excellent quality.
2. Coconut Water
Barbadians have been drinking coconut water for generations. Enjoy the Barbados sea even more with this refreshment. It’s great to pair with rum too! You can buy it from roadside vendors who offer fresh coconuts to both locals and tourists.
3. Banks Beer
This beer was founded in 1961 in St. Michael, Barbados. There’s nothing better than to relax on white Barbadian sandy beach with a cold Banks beer in your hand! This beer is naturally filtered through Barbados’ limestone rock and a special strain of yeast.
4. Tiger Malt
Tiger Malt is a popular non-alcoholic beverage made from barley. Like many Caribbean islands, malt is a good source for energy that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Tiger Malt gives you energy without the caffeine!
5. Mount Gay Rum
Barbados is the birthplace for rum. Furthermore, Mount Gay Rum’s distillery is the world’s oldest commercial rum. The rum is used in many of Barbadian’s drinks such as rum punch, old fashioned, black/rum cake and cocktails. It delivers the kick to any beverage!
Barbados is a British West Indian island in the eastern part of the Caribbean. It’s also the birthplace of rum. Additionally, many famous singers such as Rihanna, Rupee, Alison Hinds, Cover Drive are from this island. To frequently travel to this region for relaxation is one of my proudest traditions. There are beautiful beaches, friendly people, botanical gardens, great food, music and culture festivals, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, a submarine tour and horse riding in Barbados!
Here are my top 10 vacation activities to do in Barbados:
1. Grand Kadooment also known as, Crop Over.
This is rated as one of the best Carnivals in the Caribbean. Many people from all over the world, come to participate with the revelers as they parade in fascinating embellished costumes. It’s also a nice way to interact with the locals, listen and dance to soca/calypso music! You can attend this carnival on the 5th of August. If you love to party then this is the best month to go to Barbados.
2. Harrison’s Cave
If you’re adventurous then you must visit Harrison’s Cave. Harrison’s Cave is located in the central uplands of the island. It’s a tourist attraction that allows you to access the subterranean environment on a tramway. This crystalized limestone cave displays flowing streams, deep pools of crystal clear water and towering columns.
Snorkeling is another great option if you want to do more than relaxing on the beach. Don’t get me wrong, Barbados’ beaches are breath-taking! It offers pale creamy white colored sand and crystal clear blue waters but it’s time to live it up! With snorkeling, you’ll see plenty of tropical fish, the famous hawksbill sea turtles, corals and more!
4. Andromeda Botanic Gardens
Andromeda Botanic Gardens is located in St. Joseph, Barbados. It is one of the alluring, unique and historic attractions that Barbados offers. Furthermore, it’s 6-acres home for numerous flowering plants and tropical trees. Farmyard and green manures are constantly used in this garden.
5. Food And Rum Festival
This festival is a series of occasions for both culinary and beverage experiences. Barbados Food & Rum, bring people together by offering a variety of flavorful and colorful food. You’ll watch top chefs from all over the world cook and share recipes for you to also use at home. Additionally, it’s a great event for families or those with a significant other.
Freights Bay is located in the South Coast of Barbados. It is where a lot of surfers go to catch waves. It is great for longboarders, novice, and intermediate surfers.
8. Visit George Washington’s Home
It was told, that Barbados was the only country he visited outside of colonial America. The house is also a museum, that gives an insight into the lives of Barbadians/Bajans 250 + years ago. The ground floor of the house is furnished with the original items since 1751. The second-floor displays mid-eighteenth century items that are both visual and audio. It’s a great place to visit and learn all about Barbados.
The Silver Sands on the Eastern Coast of Barbados is the main kite-surfing zone. Due to the large shores, it isn’t recommended for novices.
10. Visit Mount Gay Rum Distillery.
Mount Gay Rum is the world’s oldest commercial rum distillery. They offer full tasting rum, lunch, rum pairing, and cocktail tours.
What’s not to love about New York? You’re surrounded by people from different cultures, beautiful sceneries, unlimited events, and restaurants. I lived in almost every borough such as Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens and don’t wish to leave New York. You may also want to live in the Bronx, Staten Island or New York City. There are unlimited options to live in this outstanding metropolitan New York utopia. However, living in New York City is expensive but in this post, you’ll find areas that may cater to your needs.
It’s located in Manhattan New York on the West Side. Chelsea is known for its’ attractions and one of the best places to explore art. Additionally, it’s also known for the “Chelsea Markets” and the “High Line”. The neighborhood also has an impeccable nightlife scene. This neighborhood most certainly has character! Apartments range from $3,000 – $8,000.
This neighborhood is a good balance of vintage and modern. Furthermore, there’s a lot of history here. Each block displays beautiful old row houses and mansions. Many people love to buy homes/condos here but you can also rent. Apartments usually go for $2,400 – $10,000.
It’s no longer a NY kept secret! Hell’s Kitchen is located in Manhattan. It is filled with a lot of luxury developments with a few mom and pop shops. Homes, apartments, and condos here range from $1,200 – $50,000.
Upper West Side
This is area is filled with very friendly people and a great spot for millennials. Apartments, condos and homes range from $1,150 – $800,000.
The Flatiron district is more than a shopping area. Flatiron NYC is also a nice area to dine with friends and family. Many would also say, it’s a very safe part of NY. It has an elegant and professional vibe with lots of pizazz. Apartments, condos and homes range from $1,900 – $600,000.
East New York
It’s a residential area in the eastern part of the Brooklyn borough. Despite its very rough history with crime, East New York is an upcoming neighborhood. Additionally, it’s a very diverse and friendly neighborhood. It’s attracting lots of buyers due to its potential and location near the city. It also has a lot of delicious cultural restaurants. East New York is going to be the next big thing! Apartments, condos, and homes range from $850 – $600,000.
Bedford-Stuyvesant aka Bedstuy
It’s located in the north-central part of Brooklyn. Bedstuy is still a developing area with lots to offer! It’s very diverse and filled with friendly neighbors. It’s affordable to live in this district. Additionally, you can easily hop on and off new york transits to get to your destination. Apartments, condos, and homes range from $900 – $40,000.
This is a quiet neighborhood filled with young professionals and families. There’s a lot of good restaurants nearby and close to transportation. Apartments, homes and condos range from $650 – $40,000.
Williamsburg is one of NY trendiest neighborhood and it resides in Brooklyn. It displays a combination of industrial and modern life. You will have multiple transportation options and you can get a good real estate deal compared to Manhattan. The homes, condos, and apartments range from $900 – $30,000.
Forest Hills has a very suburban setting yet it’s near transportation. It’s surrounded by great schools, restaurants and shopping districts. Apartments, condos, and homes range from $700 – $500,000.
This district is very close to Manhattan. Sunnyside Queens is an ultra-diverse neighborhood with immigrants from Ecuador, China, Korea, Mexico and more! This area also has a lot of lost landmarks such as Queen’s version of CBGB which once opened for Kiss. Apartments, condos and homes range from $1,300 – $200,000.
There are wonderful restaurants located in Park Slope. It’s a family-friendly and quiet neighborhood away from Manhattan. There are excellent schools, diversity, and gorgeous historic houses. The district is surrounded by train stations which mean easy transportation/traveling. Apartments, condos & homes range from $1,050 – $20,000.
Soho is filled with lots of cast-iron buildings and also one of the trendiest neighborhoods to live in NYC. However, living in Soho is expensive. Soho living can range from $2,050 – $40,000.
The population of Crown Heights has fluctuated. It has a harsh history but things are different!This district is filled with stunning architecture and cultural attractions. Crown Heights is also known for the famous, ” Brooklyn Botanical Garden”, “Brooklyn Museum” and the northeastern edge of Prospect Park.This districts apartment, condo and home range from $650 – $9,000.
Astoria is a neighborhood in Queens. I spend a lot of time in this district. I love the culture and diversity. It’s close to midtown Manhattan. Real estate has increased but still affordable compared to many Manhattan apartments. The views in Astoria are breathtaking and the restaurants are divine. Apartments, condos and homes range from $1,400 – $20,000.
Upper East Side
The upper east side is part of Manhattan. It is known for upscale buildings. Additionally, there’s well-known prep schools, townhomes, affordable apartments, and designer boutiques. Apartments, condos and homes go for $1,600 – $32,000.
I love Harlem! I spent most of my years there. Harlem is part of the borough of Manhattan. The people are very friendly and Harlem is rich in culture. It’s known for the popular “Apollo Theatre” and the “Cotton Club”. The night scene is filled with jazz music and afro culture. Additionally, there are plenty of brownstones and public transportation. The apartments, condos, and homes range from $1,000 – $15,000.
Prospect Park is part of the Brooklyn borough. Despite its’ rough history, Prospect Park is an upcoming neighborhood with modern apartments and brownstones. It’s very affordable to live here and great for middle-class families.Apartments, condos and homes are from $700 – $18,000.
Riverdale is a beautiful and quiet residential area in the northwest part of the Bronx. It’s relatively affordable to live here. You can buy a house/condo or rent an apartment. Apartments, condos and homes range from $1,100 – $8,000.
The fresh and natural flavors of a poke dish compel me to buy it every weekend. It’s safe to say that I am obsessed with this Hawaiian delicacy. Poke to me was a quick escape from reality. As you continue to read this post, you’ll discover all about poke and local poke restaurants in New York. Join the craze!
What is poke?
It’s a native appetizer or main course that consists of diced raw fish such as salmon or tuna in Hawaii. In other words, it’s one of the main dishes to many native Hawaiians. The word “poke” (poh-kay) means to slice or cut. Hawaiian poke is heavily influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. Therefore, it represents the diverse culture of Hawaii. A poke bowl is made up of a base; rice, cubed sushi-grade raw fish, vegetables and Asian toppings such as seaweed or soy sauce.
Is poke healthy?
Yes, it is! Poke is one of the healthiest current food trends. It contains salmon and tuna which offer lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Four ounces of poke is under 150 calories. However, it should be eaten in moderation due to mercury poisoning but that’s with all seafood/fish!As
You must be hungry and thinking, “Is there poke near me?”.
Here are my top places for a delicious poke bowl or dish in New York.
The regular signature bowl is $10.95 + and the large is $13.25. There are many sides to choose from such as miso soup or a kani salad. The Poke is also a great spot for vegans! Also, you can order Asian-style hand rolled ice cream with toppings!
A very nice trendy and cozy environment to go with friends or family. You have a huge variety to create your poke bowl. Additionally, the staff is very friendly! They even have a “nacho supreme poke plenty bowl” for people craving spicy poke.
104 FULTON STREET ( NY, 10038 ) 386 CANAL STREET (NY, 10013) 840 8th ave between 50 & 51 east side (NY 10019)
This modern Hawaiian restaurant elegantly prepares brunch and dinner poke cuisines. They offer authentic poke Hawaiian food and meals such as mochiko chicken wings, grilled octopus, truffle gnocchi, mentaiko spaghetti and more! Lets’ not forget dessert!! You can also order a pineapple upside down cake, chocolate haupia sundae and SO much more! There’s even a wine list! Everything at this restaurant is under $40.