Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Young Mr. Whitefolks

Two of my favorite bartenders have taken the leap and will be moving to the south side prior to the holidays.

One gentleman has purchased a three flat not too far from me while the other will be nestled in bosom of Bronzeville.

Mr. Three Flat is a cuter version of Tiger Woods. I’ve seen people literally stop and stare at him behind the bar. They think that Ashton is around the corner and that everyone is about to get punk’d.

Celebrity look alike + liquor = hilarity

My other bartender friend is a tall drink of water with an affinity towards DJing and a easygoing demeanor.

When he told me that he and the wife were putting down roots a tad north of me, I was thrilled but concerned.

While some may disagree, as minorities in this country we’ve always had to straddle two or three cultures in order to negotiate our day to day living situations.

Knowing that you don’t want to purchase any loose squares (cigarettes) at the entrance to the “L” and being able to discuss the fact that Wagner must have been on crack when writing his Ring Cycle can come in handy.

Even when things were segregated we all knew that we didn’t like in a completely Black world. In order to get by we had to know something about the dominate culture.

It was (and is) a matter of survival.

While much has changed in the last 60 or so years and Black culture has been incorporated into the mainstream, I am still amazed at how much some White people don’t know about Blacks and other minorities.

Then of course I was thoroughly confused at the bi-racial, Mexican Catholic wedding I was at a month ago so I guess that knife cuts both ways.

In short we could all stand to go outside our usual comfort zones to experience other people’s cultures.

Nonetheless my tall bartender friend, I’ll call him Young Mr. Whitefolks, probably hasn’t had the pleasure of being one of the few people that look like you where you live.

Or maybe he has.

Maybe he’s been in the Peace Corp and I’m talking out of my ass.

I doubt it though.

Because he’s so tall and solid, I doubt he’ll have any trouble once the neighborhood gets to know him and the lovely Young Mrs. Whitefolks.

From what he’s been telling me, she was the one who recognized the beauty and value of the south side.

Obviously this young woman has an eye for real estate and is good with a dollar.

But I think the both of them discovering south side culture, particularly Black culture, is going to be a hoot.

Perhaps they should start reading ChiKat’s blog.

Young Mr. Whitefolks didn’t even know he is directly on the route for the Bud Bilikin Parade.

It’s only like the second (or third?) largest parade in the nation and if memory serves me correctly the largest parade in the city.

Saying that everything shuts down on the south side on parade day is an understatement.

I’ve already advised him to purchase his collard greens early.


Nat said...

I wish i had found your blog sooner, it took me forever to figure out what loose squares were. To be fair, i have never smoked cigarettes. So, what's up with the guy at the red line who just says "cab, cab" over and over? I've seen him drive off, it's not recognizably a cab. Do folks really take a ride from a dude uttering "cab, cab" over and over, or am i totally missing something?

The Mr. and I are the the young whitefolks on our block, and we've learned plenty in the last 2 years. The main thing i have learned is that my neighbors are awesome.

The Woodlawn Wonder said...

You know me Nat, always here to help.

The guys you see calling out "cab, cab" are the livery guys and most of them a legit but whoa unto you if you get into a cab with someone who isn't.

They may not find you---that's no joke.

It's a particular hazzard for those of us women who don't have cars. Most of the grocery stores have dropped their driving services due to possible litigation or insurance costs. So you either call a cab (who btw may also send out unmarked liveries that work for them---it's best to get a cab number from the dispatcher), get a ride from a friend or tough it out on the bus. Quite a task when you've been working all day and are laden down with holiday groceries.

Nat said...

The funny thing about cab guy, for a year i thought he was saying "yeah, yeah" and thought it was code for something. One day i walked right past him because he was blocking the stairs to the 69th Red Line, and i finally caught that it was "Cab, cab." His car is more beat-up than mine! I'll stick with waiting for the 67 Bus.