Monday, May 01, 2006
A REPORT ON THE DAY W/O IMMIGRANTS, WINDY CITY STYLE
Satya finishes up a g-rated dream of traveling to India and landing in a posh hotel near the ocean (???) that stars Filipino immigrant Joey and his cohorts; apparently he's not taking the day off.
The line of cars at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru on Ashland Avenue is moving, albeit slowly (as per usual). At least three people (read; Southeast Asian immigrants) mind the counter.
No attendant at the parking lot behind the downtown YogaNow. The white plastic chair sits empty. Parking anarchy reigns.
No immigrants (or so it seems) at Mysore class at YogaNow, where the studio temperature hovers around 80 degrees. Nor are there any Native or African Americans -- ie, the people who technically aren't the spawn of immigrants who came here looking for a better deal...although when it comes to Native Americans and the Bering Strait land bridge, well, it does get kind of messy.
E-mail from Scottish immigrant The Hex, reporting the impossibility of getting a cup of coffee in Park Slope as both Dizzy's and Red Hen Bakery are closed.
Speculation as to whether the young Romanian woman will be working at the chiro's today and whether or not Blogger has a significant number of immigrants on the payroll.
A woman with a thick accent calls from a local Lithuanian newspaper, to talk to Miss Y.
While practicing, Satya realizes all of her favorite yoga teachers including Guruji and Sharath have accents: Suddha (American citizen from Austria), Manju (American citizen from Mysore itself), Dharma Mittra (American citizen from Brazil) and Lino (world citizen from Italy).
Midday parking attendant graciously moves the Lexus blocking Satya's Civic.
The Romanian lady is indeed AWOL.
A Sun-Times newspaper box screams a headline about Chicago gang graffiti turning up in Iraq.
Traffic patterns normal. The threatened rain continues to hold off. A small group of black-jacketed Latinos holding small American flags congregates at a southbound bus stop.
Satya realizes she left her (expensive, Swiss-made) water bottle at the Chiro's.
Hedge Fund lady cancels 3PM yoga lesson; turns out her nanny has called in sick.
Dorian Black reports normal activity in Little India. "[The immigrants] own all the businesses and they all work there themselves," he explains. "There are no Mexicans on Devon Avenue." That last bit is debatable, as Satya has seen them toiling away in various tandoori kitchens.
Satya awakens from nap to hear public radio traffic reporter give an update on the "ingrates'" march and rally in downtown Chicago.
Report from Gridlife that famous meat-pusher Hot Doug's has closed for the day (see comments for details).
The Hex calls while standing in front of NYC's National Wholesale Liquidators but is barely audible due to the march passing by. Apparently it's nowhere near as big as Saturday's peace protest. "There are a lot of busboys and cooks on Broadway right now...I'm waiting for them to sing 'The Star Spangled Banner' in Spanish -- or some other language." Like Farsi?
One-third of Satya's ashtanga students do not show up for class. Is it a walkout? Are they all sick? Perhaps it's just a lousy day to be out and about. The woman with the trans-Atlantic accent does show up, albeit a bit late.
Dreaming of a delicious fish sauce-free Pad Thai, Satya rolls her bike over to Penny's Noodle Shop. But the branch that's usually open on Mondays (at Diversey) is closed. A sign in the window says something like, "You support our business. We support your cause."
Dorian Black reports that his teenage grandson, who is half-Mexican, decided not to do his chores in honor of the strike.
The media can't decide whether the protest drew 300,000 (the police) or 700,000 (the organizers); they do agree however that it wasn't just Mexicans but also Eastern Europeans, Asians and at least one Swede. Best sign: "I'm Juan. Not Saddam." Si Juan pero ya sabemos que el enemigo es Osama, no Saddam. !Por su puesto!
Between hearing Led Zeppelin's "The Immigrant Song" and U2's "A Day Without Me"* in head, speculation that there are some immigrants who are taking highly-paid jobs that Americans actually do want -- entertainers. Such as Russel Crowe (Angry Kiwi), Nicole Kidman (Aussie), Bryan Adams (Canadian, very popular in India), Neil Young (Canada), Donald Sutherland (Canada), Jason Priestly, Norm McDonald, William Shatner, Keanu Reeves, Tom Green, Christopher Plummer, Matthew Perry, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Meiers, Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Alan Thicke, Leslie Nielsen, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Polley, Kim Cattrall, Neve Campbell, Geneveive Bujold, Margot Kidder, Jill Hennessey, Mary Pickford, Jennifer and Mel Tilly, Fay Wray, Sandra Oh, Rufus Wainwright, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Sloan, k.d. lang, Corey Hart, Sarah McLachlan, Rush, Glen Gould, Burton Cummings, Joni Mitchell, The Guess Who, Barenaked Ladies, Tragically Hip, Jane Siberry, Crash Test Dummies, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Daniel Lanois, Paul Anka, Shania Twain, Alanis Morissette, Bruce Cockburn, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, Loverboy, Paul Shaffer, Cowboy Junkies, Anne Murray, Peter Jennings (all Canadian), Anna Paquin, Naomi Watts, Elle Mcpherson, Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett, Flea, Erroll Flynn, Heath Ledger, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John, Geoffrey Rush, Rick Springfield, Rachel Griffiths (all Aussie) and so on.....But you don't hear about anyone trying to deport them, do you?
*"A Day Without Me" is actually about the suicide of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis