25 Best Honeymoon Destinations In The World (And Where To Stay)
25 Best Honeymoon Destinations In The World (And Where To Stay)
25 Best Honeymoon Destinations In The World (And Where To Stay)
Whether you’re headed to Jamaica to experience the groovy beat of Reggae, hit up some of the world’s best beaches, adventure into the jungle, or taste the local cuisine, this Caribbean country is perfect for a couples getaway. In Jamaica, check out the many waterfalls, go bobsledding in Ocho Rios, relax on Seven Mile Beach, hike the Blue Mountains, and eat all the jerk chicken.
Where to Stay in Jamaica
The Caves Hotel All Inclusive is a luxury couples-only spot on the west side of the island.
The Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is an adults-only spot near Montego Bay.
Riviera Maya, Mexico
With its incredible scenery, delicious food, rich culture, and an array of activities, the Riviera Maya is the ultimate all-inclusive honeymoon paradise. Located on the Northeast side of the Yucatan Peninsula, this is one of Mexico’s most popular vacation spots and, while there, be sure to snorkel or scuba dive in Cozumel, visit the Mayan Ruins, swim in a cenote, and relax on the beach.
Where to Stay in Riviera Maya The highly-rated UNICO 20˚87˚ is an adults-only resort in Akumal with stunning facilities.
Located in Playa Del Carmen, The Royal Hideaway Playacar is another adults-only spot with full spa treatments available.
A bucket-list country for many, Fiji is located in the South Pacific and is home to more than 300 picture-perfect islands. Scattered with plenty of beautiful resorts (some that cover full islands), Fiji is famed for its beaches, excellent diving opportunities, and unique culture.
While here, hike the stunning Taveuni Falls, learn how pearls are harvested, participate in a local Kava ceremony, surf, and relax on the beach.
Where to Stay in Fiji
Located on Beqa Island, Royal Davui Island Resort is set on ten acres of beautiful landscape and is a great luxury property.
Tokoriki Island Resort sits on the island of Tokoriki and overlooks its own private beach.
Lomani Island Resort comes with a 7-kilometer private beach and great views.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Located on the eastern edge of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is home to over 500,000 hotel rooms and is world-renowned for its great all-inclusive resorts. What’s more is that most of the all-inclusive resorts offer awesome adventure tours, such as ATVing, horseback riding, and ziplining.
For added fun, plan your Honeymoon around a major festival such as the Carnival (early March), the Punta Cana Food & Wine Festival (May and June), or the December Golf Classic.
Where to Stay in Punta Cana
Tropical Princess Beach Resort & Spa offers all the amenities and is just a 3-minute walk from the beach.
The CHIC by Royalton features a spa and wellness center.
Turks and Caicos
If you’re looking for a luxury all-inclusive for your Honeymoon, Turks and Caicos is a great place to consider. The entire island is incredibly picturesque, but I recommend picking accommodation in Providenciales — a traveler’s mecca with beautiful beaches and luxury amenities.
While honeymooning on Turks and Caicos, go horseback riding in the ocean, pay a visit to the ever-stunning Grace Bay, and book yourself a Glow Worm tour.
Where to Stay in Turks and Caicos COMO Parrot Cay is a five-star resort set on a private island. Ocean Club Resort in Grace Bay Beach boasts its own dive-shop and spa.
St. Lucia is one of the most stunning Caribbean destinations I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, and it’s great for couples! While there, you’ll definitely want to visit Castries Market (go on an empty stomach), hike Pigeon Island National Park, and take a mud bath with your partner in Sulfur Springs.
Where to Stay in St. Lucia
Jade Mountain is five-star accommodation in Soufriere that comes with either sea or mountain views.
Located on Pigeon Island Causeway Beach, The Landings Resort & Spa is another luxury option that offers tropical gardens and a luxury spa.
Anse Chastanet Resort is another Soufriere property that is set on a lush tropical property set between Anse Chastanet and Anse Mamin beaches.
Comprised of over 1000 islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is famous for its dreamy beaches, sandbars, and extensive reefs — so if you’re looking for somewhere you and your partner can experience top-notch diving, this is an excellent choice.
Another key facet of the Maldives fame is the overwater bungalows, of which there are plenty. If you can, get a bungalow with a glass floor so you can watch the sea life swim by!
Where to Stay in the Maldives
Komandoo Maldives Island Resort in Kuredu offers a spa and private beach area.
Shangri-La Villingili Resort & Spa is a luxury property that creates harmony with nature.
Situated right on the ocean, Gili Lankanfushi is a five-star resort featuring a relaxing spa.
Italy is one of the most romantic countries in the world, and the region of Tuscany is perfect for adventurous couples looking to explore the art, architecture, and cuisine of the region.
I recommend taking some time to explore the capital of the region, Florence, before going on a food tour through the region, visiting the Monti dell’Uccellina coastline, checking out the art museums, sampling the wine, and taking touristy photos in Pisa.
Where to Stay in Tuscany
TSH Florence Lavagnini features a rooftop pool with great views and is only a fifteen-minute walk from Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral.
Hotel Davanzati is a mid-range hotel in Florence that is centrally located and right around the corner from Santa Maria Novella.
If you’re looking to get out of Florence, Eurostars Toscana is a 4-star property in Lucca that is super close to the train station.
The island of Bali is arguably Indonesia’s most famous destination, and for good reason. This stunning island is made up of picturesque volcanoes, rice fields, beaches, and coral reefs. Not to mention, this a great destination to go if you and your partner are particularly health-conscious — from the food to the spa treatments, you’ll walk away from Bali feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Where to Stay in Bali
OYO 190 BSB Hotel in Blahbatuh is a budget hotel with a pool and air-conditioned rooms.
Villa Puspa in Tanah Lot offers an outdoor pool and hot tub.
Cinque Terre, Italy
As said above, Italy is one of the most romantic countries in the world, and the region of Cinque Terre takes that notion and kicks it up a notch. Located in the Italian Northwest, Cinque Terre is known for its beautifully rugged coastline, colorful architecture, great culture, beautiful weather, and affordability.
Where to Stay in Cinque Terre
Agave Bed and Breakfast in Riomaggiore is a great budget option featuring a shared lounge and WiFi.
La Torretta Lodge in Manarola offers a free aperitif every evening, and the property has a hot tub.
Hotel Abetaia in Levanto is a family-run mid-range option that is set in the hills of Liguria.
Despite being one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Thailand is an extremely affordable country with plenty of activities for couples. While there, be sure to check out a Muay Thai fight, ride in a Tuk Tuk, visit some Temples, shop in a floating market, relax on the beach, and take a street food tour.
Where to Stay in Thailand
Castaway Resort in Koh Lipe is a mid-range hotel located right on Sunrise Beach.
Located in Old Bangkok, the Prince Palace Hotel overlooks Mahanak Canal and offers 7 dining options.
For the luxury seekers, The Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle features spa-treatment, meals, and round-trip airport shuttles. Staying at this resort is an experience you will never forget.
Home to diverse scenery such as mountains, rainforest, waterfalls, cities, and beaches, Puerto Rico is a dream destination for Honeymooners on a budget. This Caribbean island also packs a punch when it comes to culture, as its home to a blend of both native and international influences and traditions.
In Puerto Rico, check out the great surfing opportunities, go diving, explore San Juan, kayak through Mosquito Bay, and taste the traditional street food.
Where to Stay in Puerto Rico
Casa Verde Hotel in Rincon is a mid-range hotel just 200 yards from the beach and features an outdoor pool.
A bit more upscale, Serenity Rincon is located on a hillside, away from city life, and has some great views of the sea.
Compared to similar Caribbean destinations with higher price points, St. Maarten is a gem that’s easy on the wallet. This mountain-rich Dutch region is also super tourist-friendly with plenty of shops, guided activities, and nightlife options.
In St. Maarten, go hiking in Guana Bay, watch the planes at Maho Bay Beach, trek to Pic Paradis to get an overhead look of the island, and visit Fort Amsterdam.
Where to Stay in St. Maarten
Princess Port de Plaisance Luxury Resort in Philipsburg is a five-star resort featuring a casino and a swimming pool.
One of the most budget-friendly Honeymoon destinations in the southern USA, the Florida Keys are perfect if you’re looking for a low-key beach getaway. While there, hop on a glass-bottom boat in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, dive the Molasses Reef, visit the Everglades, go see Crocodiles (with a guide), and eat your weight in Key Lime Pie.
If you’re looking to further stretch your budget, head to the Florida Keys in the summer months – the humidity will be higher, but the number of visitors drops off significantly.
Where to Stay in the Florida Keys
Tranquility Bay Resort in Marathon is a beachfront option with an adult-only pool.
Hawks Cay Resort features a full-service spa, 5 pools, and a tennis court.
Coconut Cay Resort is a budget-friendly option in Marathon just 8 minutes from Sombrero Beach.
Located in the Indian Ocean, the island of Mauritius is known for its azure waters, fabulous hiking, striking mountains, and snorkeling and scuba opportunities. While there, you’ll definitely want to make trips to the botanical gardens, go wildlife watching, try out the local cuisine, visit Black River Gorges Park, check out Charamel, and, if you have the time, visit the island of Rodrigues.
Where to Stay in Mauritius
Four Seasons Mauritius at Anahita is a five-star resort on the east coast of Mauritius set against Bambou mountain.
Sunset Reef Resort & Spa is located in the village of Pointe aux Piments and is a great mid-range resort.
Seapoint Boutique Hotel is located right on the beach and provides luxurious accommodations.
Between sites such as Shipwreck Beach, the Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon State Park, Hanalei Bay, and the Kalalau Trail, Kauai is one of the most scenic, beautiful islands on which to Honeymoon in the world. The Island has an abundance of food and accommodation options to suit all budgets and is rich in local Hawaiian culture.
Where to Stay in Kauai
Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai is a five-star resort set along the Napali Coast and offers luxury accommodations, golf courses, and a spa.
Grand Hyatt Resort & Spa is nestled among river pools and gardens and offers a golf course and seven restaurants.
Kauai Beach Resort is located on the eastern coast of the island and is a great mid-range option.
Big Island, Hawaii
If you’re looking to Honeymoon somewhere lively with tons of activities, varying landscapes, and an abundance of entertainment, then Hawaii’s Big Island is for you. Not only is this the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Hawaiian lifestyle, but it’s also an opportunity to get out and enjoy some famous sites such as visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, checking out Waipi’o Valley, going on a Snorkel Cruise, and visiting Rainbow Falls.
Where to Stay on the Big Island
Hapuna Beach Prince Resort is a high-end oceanfront option that hosts a variety of activities.
The Kona Coast Resort is a mid-range tropical garden property and features a tennis court.
Hale Kai Hawaii Bed & Breakfast is a great accommodation option in Hilo, and offers free WiFi.
Made up of 115 islands off the eastern coast of Africa, the Seychelles is paradise defined. The main three Seychelles islands are Mahe, which is the most populated and developed, Praslin which is known for its beaches and sunsets, and La Digue which is famed for its wild nature.
As far as activities go in the Seychelles, taste the local Creole cuisine, go snorkeling, dive with Whale Sharks, check out the Vallee De Mai Rainforest, and visit the turtles on Curieuse Island.
The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach is a five-star property featuring a spa.
Colibri Hotel is a mid-range option surrounded by tropical gardens and features an infinity pool.
Valmer Resort and Spa features luxury accommodation on the coast of Bair Lazare.
Known for its rugged coastline and stark blue and white buildings, Santorini is on the radar of many Honeymooners. This is a place where you can relax, taste the locally-sourced fish and olives, drink wine, and watch the sunset.
For the more adventurous types, common activities on Santorini include hiking from Fira to Oia, visiting the ruins of Thera, taking a volcano tour, swimming in the hot springs, and checking out the ancient village of Akrotiri.
Where to Stay in Santorini
Skyfall Suites is an adults-only luxury accommodated located in Pyrgos Kallistis, and features private pools.
Lilium Santorini Villa is a luxury spot situated along the Caldera.
Iconic Santorini is a boutique cave hotel in the village of Imerovigli.
Located northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia, Bora Bora is a stunning island surrounded by a turquoise lagoon, pretty islets, and a coral reef. Bora Bora is a great choice for those looking for a more luxurious Honeymoon, as the island features many luxury properties and amenities.
Activities on Bora Bora include getting an aerial view of the island via helicopter, taking a cruise around the island, visiting a turtle sanctuary, swimming with sharks, and scuba diving and snorkeling the reef.
Where to Stay in Bora Bora
Maitai Bora Bora is a mid-range property located right on Matira Point Beach.
The St Regis Bora Bora Resort is a luxury spot offering two swimming pools and a day spa.
British Virgin Islands
Consisting of the four main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, the British Virgin Islands is a volcanic archipelago sitting east of Puerto Rico. The islands are great for those looking to get in touch with nature as, unlike many over-developed Caribbean islands, you’ll find the British Virgin Islands to be largely untouched. That said, the amenities and towns that the islands do have will delight you with splashes of local culture and friendliness.
Honeymooners should explore the islands by checking out the baths on Virgin Gorda, trying the local food and beer on Tortola, getting a taste for conch, doing some water sports, and swimming in Cow Wreck Bay.
Sebastian’s On The Beach Hotel is a mid-range property in Road Town.
Fort Burt Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and restaurant.
Iceland has boomed in popularity in recent years, and for great reason. This Northern country is full of stunning scenery including black sand beaches, volcanoes, craters, lagoons, and rolling fields. While each season definitely has something to offer, visiting in winter tends to make the scenery even more dramatic. Just be sure to pack appropriately and schedule your activities based on daylight/nighttime hours!
Where to Stay in Iceland
If you’re up for a road trip, I highly recommend renting a campervan and driving around the country.
If you want to stay in Reykjavik, Hotel Island features a wellness center, beauty salon, and is close to the city’s main street.
Hotel Leifur Eiriksson is a mid-range Reykjavik option right in the center of the city.
Lake Tahoe, California
Did you know that Lake Tahoe is home to roughly 14 ski resorts? That’s right, Lake Tahoe absolutely comes alive in the winter, and along with the skiing, there are plenty of other snowy activities to try such as hiking backcountry trails, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or sleigh riding. Plus, given the resort-town status, there are plenty of indoor activities and entertainment options for you and your partner to enjoy.
Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe
Hotel Azure in South Lake Tahoe is just a few miles from Heavenly Ski Resort and features a cafe.
The Coachman Hotel is a mid-range option featuring a hot tub and on-site bar.
Lake Louise, Canada
While Lake Louise is a beautiful location to visit all year long, it truly turns into a magical wonderland in the Winter. With activities such as hiking, skiing, dogsledding, skating, and snowshoeing available when the days get shorter, you’ll have a great time getting out in nature and experiencing all the region has to offer.
Where to Stay in Lake Louise
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a historic building set right on the shores of the turquoise lake.
For a mid-range option, the Lake Louise Inn features an indoor pool and hot-tubs.
Heading to Finland in the wintertime is a bucket list item for many, with visions of snowy trees, northern lights, toasty saunas, and all kinds of winter activities to try.
If the Northern Lights are a hot ticket item on your Finnish Honeymoon, I’d recommend heading to Lapland in the North — if you catch them on a clear night they truly are incredible.
Where to Stay in Finland
For the ultimate Finland experience, stay in an igloo and watch the northern lights!
The Arctic City Hotel in Rovaniemi is the perfect place to stay while on a Northern Light hunt.
If you prefer to stay in Helsinki, try out the luxurious Marski by Scandic hotel.
First Statewide MICHELIN Guide Includes 90 California Restaurants with Stars
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. , June 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Michelin has announced the highly anticipated selection of star awards in the 2019 MICHELIN Guide California , the first – ever statewide MICHELIN Guide, in a live beach-front celebration. Expanding the selection announced in the 2019 MICHELIN Guide San Francisco , California is now home to 657 restaurants distinguished in the Guide.
(PRNewsfoto/Michelin) Since its creation in the early 20 th century , the MICHELIN Guide has continued to evolve and expand internationally, and it continues to serve as a trusted source and companion to travelers and foodies alike. While the Guide has evolved with culinary trends and dining preferences over time, the five criteria used by Michelin’s inspectors have remained the same to ensure that readers have a consistent experience, irrespective of the style of cuisine and wherever they travel throughout the world.
“Michelin is honored to reveal the 2019 star selection and to celebrate the talented California chefs and their teams included in the first statewide Guide in the U.S.,” said Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the MICHELIN Guides. ” California’s trendsetting, laid-back and health-conscious culinary scene continues to boom, and as a result is an amazing showcase for the great local produce.”
In summary, the 2019 MICHELIN Guide California selection includes:
Seven restaurants with three stars 14 restaurants with two stars 69 restaurants with one star The 2019 MICHELIN Guide California is available now in English, Spanish and Chinese at https://guide.michelin.com and will be available in print from major U.S. booksellers on June 6, 2019 .
The 2019 MICHELIN Guide California includes seven new two-star distinctions:
Campton Place continues to wow diners with its creative Indian cuisine and consistent execution in San Francisco . Inspectors are incredibly excited about this dining room’s return to the rank of two stars.
n/naka offers a clever, modern take on kaiseki at this dazzling dining room in Culver City . The chef’s stellar skills and technique are visible in every dish.
Providence provides a consistently excellent meal with skill and technique. The seafood-focused menu at this Hollywood establishment impresses diners with each course.
Somni is tucked away at the SLS Beverly Hills hotel and amazes diners with a stimulating experience that is a feast for the senses. Desserts are especially memorable and display attention to detail.
Sushi Ginza Onodera stands out for excellent sushi technique and product. Even the miso soup is special and flavorful with a trio of aged miso pastes.
Urasawa is an exemplary Beverly Hills sushi temple that showcases deep knowledge and tradition. The chef handles each morsel of fish himself in a display of world-class skill and expertise.
Vespertine is a Culver City destination where every dish oozes with personality and creativity. The innovative chef thrills diners with flavors, impressive technique and wholly unexpected dishes.
In addition, the 2019 MICHELIN Guide California features 27 new one-star distinctions:
Addison offers contemporary French fine dining with seasonal California touches. Luxury and refinement are on the menu every evening in this dining room near San Diego .
Angler is led by a chef who made a name for himself at Saison and now channels his passion for the freshest seafood at this new restaurant near the Embarcadero . Impeccable sourcing is a signature of this culinary gem.
Aubergine is a long standing, beloved destination nestled in Monterey with meals that leave a lasting impression. Inspectors were impressed by the local flavor and seasonality of the menu.
Bistro Na’s serves Chinese Imperial Court cuisine and is helmed by a Beijing -based restaurant group. Focused on product quality, the menu proudly acknowledges their effort to utilize good ingredients.
CUT provides quality beef and expert preparation as the original location of culinary icon Wolfgang Puck’s stellar steakhouse. The menu focuses on classics that never seem to go out of style.
Dialogue offers an evolving, lengthy menu with entertaining and artistic presentations from a maturing and highly talented chef who previously headed NEXT in Chicago . The cooking exudes inspiration from start to finish.
Hana Re focuses on an omakase format operated with minimal staff in a slightly hidden small space in Costa Mesa . Products are of supreme quality.
Harbor House relies on the local bounty of on-site gardens and diverse sea life found in a local cove and California’s North Coast. The chef provides a contemporary approach with finesse.
Hayato is a relative newcomer to the downtown Los Angeles dining scene. The chef offers a personal expression of kaiseki that is intimate and very impressive.
Kali is inspired by the chef’s vision for playful food, and carefully composed preparations that exceed expectations. A refrigerator displaying dry-aged ducks, steaks and even a pig’s head is a natural conversation starter.
Kato’s 27-year-old chef delivers an impeccably plated tasting menu focused on Californian and Asian flavors. The judicious use of deeply flavored sauces and charred elements are repeated showstoppers.
The Kitchen provides an interactive dining experience in Sacramento that doubles as dinner and a show. Whether you’re slurping oysters in the kitchen’s cooler or chatting with your neighbors over hors d’oeuvres , this elaborate menu is a spectacle that is sure to impress.
Le Comptoir presents a vegetable-focused menu that originates from the chef’s own garden in Long Beach . This intimate Koreatown space seats a mere handful of diners nightly.
Maude was named after the chef’s late paternal grandmother and exemplifies meticulous attention to detail. The tasting menu changes quarterly based on a single wine region and the results are impressive and memorable.
Maum offers an incredibly exciting dining experience in Palo Alto . This Korean stunner was promoted from a Plate award in the 2019 MICHELIN Guide San Francisco .
Mori Sushi received one-star awards in the 2008 and 2009 editions of the MICHELIN Guide Los Angeles . Everything from the homemade tofu to the kitchen’s selection of seasonal fish is nothing short of exquisite.
Nozawa Bar serves omakase in a hidden room at the Beverly Hills location of Sugarfish. The warm rice highlights the flavor of the fish.
Orsa & Winston showcases the culinary traditions of both Japan and Italy at this impressive downtown Los Angeles hot spot. The multiple prix-fixe menu items showcase the beauty of local ingredients.
Osteria Mozza serves delightful Italian cuisine that represents good quality with a touch of Mediterranean flavors in a casually elegant setting. This restaurant has long been a favorite in Los Angeles , and was awarded one star in the 2009 MICHELIN Guide Los Angeles .
Q Sushi is a downtown Los Angeles sushiya with a lineup of high quality fish and impressive technique. The chef gracefully prepares each course and thoughtfully serves each diner virtually from his own hands.
Rustic Canyon provides a vegetable-focused menu that is truly impressive. After years away from professional kitchens, the re-energized chef has re-emerged in Santa Monica.
Shibumi offers Kappo-style Japanese fare in downtown Los Angeles . The chef’s skillful cooking is evident and his plates are flavorful.
Shin Sushi is an under-the-radar counter that showcases excellent knife work, high quality ingredients and a delightful omakase. The friendly chef engages with each customer as he slices their fish to order.
Shunji is a delightful and popular Westside Los Angeles sushiya helmed by the chef who previously flashed his knife at several hot spots in the 80’s. While the menu does offer á la carte, the omakase is far and away the best option.
Sorrel was promoted from the Plate award in the 2019 MICHELIN Guide San Francisco and delivers seasonal delights from the tasting menu or á la carte. This sleek Cal-Ital eatery draws a casual-chic neighborhood crowd.
Taco Maria in Orange County delivers a deeply flavorful and memorable meal. The enticing scent of meat cooking over the fire and house-made heirloom masa tortillas on the griddle set the tone for an amazing experience.
Trois Mec is a Los Angeles based restaurant where the classic French skills and technique of the chef lend a hand to his contemporary menu that is equally creative and delicious.
Three-Star Restaurants: “Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”
French Laundry (The)
Restaurant at Meadowood (The)
Two-Star Restaurants: “Excellent cuisine, worth a detour”
Sushi Ginza Onodera
One-Star Restaurants: “A very good restaurant in its category”
Auberge du Soleil
San Gabriel Valley
Santa Monica Bay
Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant
Keiko à Nob Hill
Orsa & Winston
Santa Monica Bay
Sons & Daughters
State Bird Provisions
Village Pub (The)
Richmond & Sunset
Michelin, the leading tire company, is dedicated to enhancing its clients’ mobility, sustainably; designing and distributing the most suitable tires, services and solutions for its clients’ needs; providing digital services, maps and guides to help enrich trips and travels and make them unique experiences; and developing high-technology materials that serve the mobility industry. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France , Michelin is present in 171 countries, has more than 114,000 employees and operates 70 production facilities in 17 countries which together produced around 190 million tires in 2017. ( www.michelin.com )
Related Links http://www.MichelinMedia.com
Should you move to Chicago? – Curbed Chicago
Should you move to Chicago? Maybe! Flipboard Thinking about moving to the Windy City? First off, don’t call it that. Only tourists do. But for background, the nickname refers to our weather and our windbag politicians, although people more often think about the weather when they think of Chicago. Here’s what it’s really like: The winter is brutal and long. The windchill is sometimes as low as minus 40 degrees, but the summers are glorious—that same wind makes it less humid. Chicago is the third-largest city in the country (behind New York City and Los Angeles), but it’s simple to navigate. Our skyscrapers are concentrated in the downtown area called the Loop, while more residential neighborhoods fan out to the north, south, and west, with Lake Michigan to the east. If you’re coming from a smaller area, Chicago might feel like an easy place to learn the ropes of city living. Plus, affordable living costs and comprehensive, reliable public transit give Chicago a leg up on most other major cities. We are the birthplace of the skyscraper and have influenced architecture on a global scale. But we also have plenty of nature: The lakefront trail is 18.5 miles long, and we have 600 parks. There are some cons of city living here, though. We have one of the highest tax rates in the country, crippling state debt, significant segregation , and concentrated areas of deadly gun violence. To help you make your decision about whether to move to Chicago, below are 18 things you should know about living here. 1. We’re not second rate. In addition to being known as the Windy City, Chicago is also called the Second City, but that doesn’t mean we’re not as good as other metropolitans. Some say the moniker refers to our population size, which was growing rapidly in the late 19th century and, at one point, came close to New York City’s. It could have also been made up by malicious New Yorkers when the two cities were competing against each other to host a World’s Fair. Regardless, the name stuck after a writer for the New Yorker , who hated the city , published, in 1952, a book about Chicago called The Second City . Chicagoans hated the book, and a few years after it came out, Second City improv reclaimed the nickname by using it for its nationally renowned comedy spot. Don’t let a misguided stereotype color your perception of the city—Chicago is a leading city in so many ways. We are the birthplace of gospel music, improv comedy, and the skyscraper. Our city was the first to honor and recognize the LGBTQ community in its streetscape, doing so with rainbow pylons in Boystown. And we rank nationally as one of the best sports cities , restaurant destinations , and places to bike . 2. You can get anywhere in the city–on time–for $3. No nightmare commutes here. Unlike in NYC and LA, you can easily get across town on time on a train or bus. Our subway is called the L, which comes from train cars running on elevated tracks. All L trains stop downtown in the Loop, where many people work. Beyond that, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has eight train lines and 140 bus routes that run often and on schedule. It’s cheap, too. A single pass costs $2.50, and a transfer to another train line or bus is just a quarter more. Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel boasted about our transit frequently, citing near-perfect stats for on-schedule trains and buses. His administration invested more than $8 billion into transit and upgraded older stations, like the Red Line’s 95th Street terminal and the Blue Line’s Belmont Gateway . You might even find yourself wishing for a delay, since about 70 percent of transit stations have significant architecture or art installations. But the ride’s nice too: Being above-ground lets you peer down at backyard chicken coops or watch the busy LaSalle Street bridge as you cross the Chicago River. Our transit is reliable, but that doesn’t mean we’d advise a daily commute from one end of the city to the other. There aren’t many east-west train lines, and Chicagoans often complain about long trips if they have to transfer to trains or buses. Another grievance is that the Red Line, which ends at 95th Street, doesn’t reach neighborhoods on the Far South Side. 3. Midwestern niceness is real. Moving to the Midwest is like joining a club that wants you as a member. No one will shove you out of the way when they are in a rush. You can ask for directions, get a thorough answer, and not feel like you’ve annoyed the person you asked. If you take the L long enough, chances are you’ll run into that happy morning conductor who announces the day’s forecast, graciously explains delays, and sings “good morning” as you step off the car. All of the niceness adds up to a kind of camaraderie that makes it easier to get through the day together. 4. Discover a world in a city You might be surprised to learn that Chicago is incredibly global and diverse. We have 28 sister cities , an initiative that was launched by former Mayor Richard M. Daley, to grow global business relationships and exchange cultures through educational programs. And the neighborhoods reflect the communities that built them: Pilsen’s Mexican food and murals, arts programming at the American Indian Center, stunning Northwest Side Polish-style cathedrals, the Stony Island Arts Bank’s archive of black culture and records in South Shore, Vietnamese noodle shops on Argyle Street, and Indian and Pakistani restaurants on Devon Avenue. If you want to learn more, we have 40 cultural heritage museums, and there are plenty of city organizations that regularly have film screenings, art shows, and history exhibits about various cultures. 5. Chicago is extremely walkable, and it’s hard to get lost. We are a walker’s paradise! The terrain is flat and sidewalks are pristine. Plus, our easy-to-follow street grid makes navigation straightforward. The intersection of State Street and Madison Street is known as “zero, zero”—everything is calculated based on that. All addresses to the east or west of State are labeled according to if they fall east or west, and all addresses to the north or south of Madison are labeled if they fall north or south. The address numbers increase depending on their distance in miles from “zero, zero,” and there are about eight blocks to a mile, so something in the 800 block is about a mile away. There are also plenty of places to walk other than the sidewalk. The 606, a former elevated rail line and now linear park, begins in Bucktown. Downtown, there’s the vibrant Riverwalk. The Lakeview Low-Line turned space underneath the L tracks into an artwalk, and the Burnham Wildlife Corridor in Oakland has miles of trails and art installations. And more is coming: A planned trail along the North Branch of the river near Irving Park, 312RiverRun, will have the longest pedestrian bridge in the city, and Pilsen’s Paseo Trail will transform four miles of an old railroad corridor into a linear park. 6. Biking is part of the culture. Chicago is a great city for biking —there are over 248 miles of protected and conventional bike lanes, such as the one on Milwaukee Avenue, which gets flooded with cyclists during rush hours (and is called the “hipster highway” because of this). Even if you don’t have a bike, Divvy bike share provides 6,000 bikes at 570 docking stations. A single, 30-minute bike-share ride is just $3. When it snows, major streets are cleared, but bike lanes often aren’t. But, while it’s not the easiest winter ride, bikers are still out pedaling. In 2018, on the coldest day in 34 years, when the temperature was minus 23, 191 people traveled on Divvy bikes. There’s just something about riding in subzero degree weather and seeing a fellow biker. It’s an instant connection, even just in passing. 7. Chicago’s violence isn’t always conveyed accurately in media. Crime and violence in Chicago is a very complicated—and for many Chicagoans, very personal—issue that goes well beyond often misguided and overhyped stories in the media and national news. In 2016, there was a concerning spike in the city’s homicide rate. However, the following two years saw double-digit declines in homicides and shootings. Like every major city, Chicago has a difficult and painful history of redlining, segregation , disinvestment, and police brutality and abuse. It also has neighborhoods, especially on the city’s South and West sides, such as West Garfield Park and Englewood, that have been disproportionately impacted by the legacy of those problems. Racial oppression and concentrated poverty are more important factors to address than gangs, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago study on the city’s crime patterns and violence prevention. It found nearly 40 percent of Chicago residents live in areas with chronic and concentrated joblessness and poverty, a figure higher here than it is in NYC or LA. Historically, Chicago has prioritized policing over neighborhood investment. However, that strategy is starting to shift as organizations like Mothers Against Senseless Killings , Kids Off the Block , and Chicago CRED create neighborhood watches, start sports leagues, and find kids summer jobs. 8. Winter is long and brutal, but it brings Chicagoans together. Winter doesn’t mean months spent indoors as long as you get a good coat: Most Chicagoans wear a style that looks like a sleeping bag with a hood. The weather is unpredictable, and winter is rarely over when you think it is, so it’s better to just prepare and accept it. Subzero temperatures for 52 straight hours? Fine! A snowstorm immediately followed by a sunny, warm day in April? Sure. Fifty degrees in February? We’ll take it. No matter how cold it is, our city has tons to do. Wintertime events include Pitchfork’s Midwinter music festival, beer fests in heated tents, Lincoln Park Zoo’s festive light display, the wooden German market stalls of Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza, and even a polar plunge into Lake Michigan. One long-held tradition sure to entertain is Dibs season . After a big snow, Chicagoans populate their shoveled-out street-parking spots with foldable lawn chairs, inflatable pools, vacuums, traffic cones and even the occasional recliner and end table. 9. And actually, the winter is beautiful. On average, the city sees about 36 inches of snow a year. Our first snowfall usually happens in November, and then, there’s silence. In the stillness, all you can hear is the squeak of your boots on the snow. When there’s freezing rain, it coats everything in a layer of ice, which makes the trees look white instead of dark and dormant. The ice sticks like powdered sugar to even the tiniest branches. As winter progresses, the wind, waves, and low temperatures create eerie ice art on lakefront. All along the shoreline, tree branches turn into “crystal” chandeliers and bushes become globs of ice. Benches, light poles, and piers look like they’ve been carved out of ice too. 10. The city bursts with energy during the summer. No one takes a summer day for granted. If the weather is warm (Chicagoans think 50 degrees is shorts weather), people will be at a park, a beach, or a neighborhood festival. The Park District goes all out—it hosts hundreds of outdoor movies, concerts, yoga classes, volleyball leagues, stargazing walks, summer camps, fishing at Northerly Island, migratory bird watching, and plant sales. Tour de Fat celebrates bikes and beer, opening day for the Cubs and Sox is like a holiday, and there are endless music festivals (Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, Chicago Jazz Festival, and Riot Fest, to name a few). The beaches and outdoor public pools are packed, and the Lakefront Trail is a constant stream of runners and cyclists. 11. Our city lives for its sports teams and players. Chicago has eight major league sports teams: the Cubs and White Sox (baseball), the Bulls and Chicago Sky (basketball), the Blackhawks (hockey), the Bears (football), and the Chicago Fire and Chicago Red Stars (soccer). If you’re into college sports, there’s Northwestern University, DePaul, Loyola, Chicago State, and UIC. Plus, the Chicago Marathon happens every fall. It’s exciting to follow sports in a city with diehard fans, even if you’re not one. When the Bulls were on a hot streak in the ’90s, everyone talked about Michael Jordan and wanted to “be like Mike.” The Blackhawks won Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013, and 2015—the victories brought millions to the celebration rallies, where fans danced to the team’s “Chelsea Dagger” song. When the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, thousands of fans swarmed the streets around Wrigley Field to celebrate the end of the longest championship drought in professional sports. And for weeks afterwards, fans lined up for merchandise at Wrigleyville stores (a record $70 million in retail was sold in the first 24 hours after the win), and the championship parade was the seventh-largest gathering in human history. But if you’re not enthusiastic about gamedays, don’t live in Wrigleyville, which is home to Wrigley Field and, really, the center of the city’s sports culture. Thousands come to the neighborhood to watch the Cubs and revel at the local bars and restaurants. Avoid the areas around Soldier Field, the United Center, Guaranteed Rate Field, and Wintrust Arena, too. 12. There’s always something free to do. The city has thousands of events, activities, and places you can go to for free. If you’re an Illinois resident, there are designated days when museums , including the Art Institute and Shedd Aquarium, waive admission costs. The Lincoln Park Zoo, National Museum of Mexican Art, Garfield Park Conservatory, and Cultural Center are free every day. The iO Theater, known for improv, has free weekly performances. The Park District started a series of programming called Night Out in the Parks with thousands of free events in every neighborhood, like movie screenings, theater and dance performances, circuses, yoga classes, and nature walks. 13. We love pizza and hot dogs, but our restaurants have Michelin Stars too. Outsiders believe our contribution to the dining scene begins and ends with the Chicago-style hot dog and deep-dish pizza. And we do love those staples. Go ahead and try an all-beef dog in a poppyseed bun topped with diced onions, sweet relish, tomato wedges, a pickle spear, spicy sport peppers, celery salt, and mustard. Or get down with a thick slice of cheesy deep dish with a buttery crust. But know that our food scene doesn’t end there. We have famous tavern-style thin-crust pizza, chicken-fried steak, jibaritos, and Italian beef sandwiches. Chicago is a beer city , but we have a decent reputation when it comes to cocktails too. We’re a city of immigrants, so our global food is also worth checking out—go to Pilsen for Mexican cuisine, Devon Avenue for Indian and Pakastani, and Argyle Street for Vietnamese. To get started, take a look at Eater’s guide to Chicago food . You should also know we’re home to the James Beard Awards—the Oscars of food. It’ll be held at the Lyric Opera through 2027 and has helped distinguish Chicago as a dining city. Bon Appetit voted Chicago the best restaurant city of the year in 2017, and our restaurants have earned 22 Michelin stars . 14. You can find a home for cheaper than you can in other major cities. Compared to major coastal cities, you can generally get more space for less money. The median rent for a one-bedroom is $1,821, and a two-bedroom is $2,189. Rent might drop even further as more people buy homes (data suggests homeownership is increasing), a good thing, since rent is currently at a historic high. However, affordable housing for low-income renters is shrinking, and research shows that might be causing people to leave the city, according to a recent report . If you’re looking to buy a home, the median sale price for a house is $260,000 and properties are spending less time on the market compared to last year. Millennials are the least likely to buy, but in Chicago, 31 percent of millennials own their homes , and the median age for first time homebuyers is 34. 15. It’s easy to find nature in the city. Chicago’s lakefront is beautiful, but you don’t need to live near it to experience the city’s greenery. There are 600 parks, 70 nature and bird sanctuaries, and a total of 8,800 acres of green space. Chicago has a long history of making the city greener, and even committed to making sure every child was within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground . In the last eight years, the Park District has built or improved more than 1,000 acres of parkland and 377 playgrounds. Some areas along the Chicago River have been transformed from industrial to recreational with projects like Wild Mile , 312 RiverRun , and Ping Tom Memorial Park . Plus, all around the city, old rail tracks are being turned into vibrant linear parks, like the 606 and the forthcoming Paseo Trail. Our parks have bird sanctuaries, nature preserves, walking paths, art installations, historic fieldhouses, conservatories, and even outdoor pools. 16. Living here will give you an education in architecture. Chicago embraces its architectural history and is home to major players that shape design conversations. In 2015, the city launched a massive, three-month Chicago Architecture Biennial. The global architecture festival, soon beginning a third edition , invites practitioners and the public to engage in the field’s future through citywide exhibitions and programming. Another architecture festival unlocks the city’s sacred spaces, private mansions, and grand halls: For a weekend, the Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House gives visitors access to hundreds of sites rarely open to the public. Getting to know Chicago through its buildings is like taking a course in architecture. The skyline is iconic, and is not only home to the first skyscraper, but also the country’s tallest skyscraper (if we’re ignoring One World Trade Center’s controversial symbolic spire ). In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire burned down the city and turned it into a blank canvas for ambitious architects, including those who developed the first steel-framed high-rise, which led to the construction of skyscrapers today. Witness the works of Daniel Burnham, Holabird & Roche, Louis Sullivan, Dankmar Adler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, as well as new visionaries like Jeanne Gang, who just landed on Time ’s list of the 100 most influential people . Our residential architecture throughout the city is fascinating too—check out the beautiful, castle-like greystones, the modest workers’ cottages, Chicago-style bungalows, the Bohemian Baroque craftsmanship in Pilsen, the Prairie School-style homes in Oak Park, and Victorian-era mansions on Beer Baron Row in Wicker Park. Each building reflects a part of Chicago history. 17. Travel to either coast is quick. It’s easy to fly to anywhere in the contiguous U.S. when your homebase is Chicago. There are two major airports: Midway International and O’Hare International, which is the busiest airport in the country when ranked by the number of planes flying in and out each day. And more than 105 million passengers passed through both our airports last year. So if you need to get somewhere, there’s definitely a flight. Or a train! Amtrak runs out of Union Station and is the busiest hub in the Midwest. 18. It can be easy to find your place in Chicago. Like so many other major cities, Chicago has its challenges. But spend time here and you’ll start to see why Chicagoans love their city: the clear and open lakefront, affordability, and abundant transportation options. Each neighborhood has something to love, from historic theaters to community gardens to baseball stadiums. There are secrets to discover that make living here fun—like where the chocolate-scented air comes from in River North, how to find the tamale man in Logan Square, and what part of Jackson Park has a cherry blossom grove. Chicagoans have a kinship that makes winter survivable and summer incredible, and that you’re welcome to be part of too. If you embrace Chicago, it will love you back.
Los Angeles, The Automobile, and Mexican American Life – Boom California
Boom California on May 23, 2019
Eric Avila Genevieve Carpio
Essential Los Angeles: Revisiting the Automobile (Eric Avila)
Just when we thought we knew everything about Los Angeles and the automobile, Genevieve Carpio delivers Collisions at the Crossroads , not just a model of rigorous, empirically-driven, theoretically sophisticated scholarship, but a critical intervention into a canonical body of knowledge that explains the enduring love affair between Angelenos and their automobiles. The story is familiar: Los Angeles grew up with the automobile. Its vast expanse of flat arid land—partitioned by mountains, arroyos, and rivers—provided an ideal setting for the mass adoption of the automobile during the early decades of the twentieth century. Even in the depths of the Great Depression, southern Californians purchased automobiles in record numbers, creating an impetus for the construction of new streets, boulevards, and highways. These arteries and the cars they served fattened the coffers of oil, rubber, glass, steel, trucking, and construction companies, and furthered the sprawling, decentralized pattern of urban development that typified a broader pattern of ‘sunbelt’ urbanism. 
This history became the basis of a full-blown myth about Los Angeles as ‘Autopia,’ penned by a British expat who roamed the L.A. grid in a convertible Mustang in the swinging Sixties. First published in 1971, Reyner Banham’s Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies generated a new appreciation of Los Angeles, furthering a broader ‘postmodern’ sensibility that drew inspiration from the commercial landscapes of a car-oriented, hyper-consumer society. Much in the same vein as contemporary artists working in the Pop aesthetic (think Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, and David Hockney, another British expat in L.A.), Banham recognized the centrality of the automobile in a new suburban way of life unfolding in southern California. To him, the automobile symbolized mobility, autonomy, convenience, and free choice—the attributes of a consumer society and the underlying values of a new model of democratic urbanism. Banham thought little of recent conflagrations like Watts, which he dismissed as a “fashionable venue for confrontations.” Instead, he saluted the automobile and its role in making a city where “all parts are equal and equally accessible from all other parts at once,” concluding that “freedom of movement is the prime symbolic attribute of the Angel City.”  Yet in challenging these accounts of L.A.’s autopia that assert a universal mobile subject, Carpio reminds us of the divergent claims to mobility by diverse groups who navigated the metropolitan landscape and their racial positions within it.
Banham and his predecessors had important insights about the automobile and its impact upon Los Angeles’s development. Their narrative makes important contributions to understanding why Los Angeles is the way it is and why the city “bleeds” (as Carpio evocatively puts it) into its hinterlands. Her book Collision at the Crossroads tells a different story about the automobile, and about spatial movement more broadly, reminding us that the old story is dated for its failure to address issues of inequality, immobility, and injustice—issues that L.A. historians can no longer ignore. Workers and their Cars. Washing a Car.
In the two centuries of its relatively brief existence, Los Angeles sustains (thanks to a recent generation of historians who align with social justice movements) a not-so-hidden history of violence, oppression, and injustice, but also of resilience, struggle, accommodation, hybridity, and mestizaje or mixed-races. The city’s track record of mob violence and racial uprisings, not to mention its history of mass incarceration and police brutality, forces a need to rethink both the city and the technology that made it, including the car, but also emergent forms of police enforcement, public policies aimed at diverse movers, innovative strategies to navigate metropolitan space by the aggrieved, and claims to the right to mobility. In Collisions at the Crossroads , Carpio tells this story from the vantage point of inland southern California, where claims to mobility have been complex and always contestable. The automobile made Greater Los Angeles, as did streetcars and railroads in their day, but its arrival and accommodation benefitted some groups of people at the expense of others.
As with many technological advancements, white men usurp the privileges they afford themselves and deny those same benefits to everyone else (with some brilliant exceptions). This includes the automobile, one of the most consequential inventions in human history. Not just the automobile as object, but especially its meaning as a symbol: the promise of unfettered mobility, autonomous movement, and mastery over time and space at high speeds on the open highway. Reyner Banham exalted these qualities and rightly expressed their seemingly universal appeal (at least in his time). So many of us love the automobile: we wash their bodies, clean their engines, quench their thirst for oil, air, water, and gasoline, polish their glass and chrome, register their possession with state authorities, insure them against damage and destruction—we eat, drink, argue, bond, and think thoughts in automobiles. We love these damn things so much that those of us written out of autopia’s dominant scripts—women, people of color, immigrants—forget that we often relinquish our autonomy, will, even safety, by surrendering to the automobile’s allure.
What Banham and other apologists for the automobile also ignore is a counterstory of how the automobile became a powerful tool of state surveillance and discipline. As demonstrated in the larger chapter from which the excerpt to follow draws, the car’s pleasures are accorded selectively by a repressive police force that incorporated the automobile into its arsenal, enabling new forms of enforcement in which they could “invoke the eyes of fellow police cruisers over the radio, track car owners through vehicle registration, and erect traffic checkpoints to distinguish criminals from the law-abiding mobile public.”  LAPD Classic Cruiser, 1958. Watts Riots, 1965.
Carpio’s work provides early insights into emerging forms of state surveillance that would mature into the postwar period. During the 1950s and under the leadership of Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker, local law enforcement invented the squad car, equipped with short-band radios, sirens, rifles, shotguns, spotlights, and powerful engines. Parker revolutionized law enforcement in an age of mass suburbanization, effecting greater control over disparate working class Black and Latino communities that took shape throughout the five-county urban region.  The police arrest of Marquette Frye, who was pulled over on a hot summer day in early August 1965, illustrated the lethal consequences of ‘driving while black.’ His arrest sparked the Watts Riots, the most violent episode of urban racial violence during the mid-1960s, resulting in thirty-four deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.
Chief Parker realized the automobile’s potential on a new highway system that took shape during his tenure. During the 1950s and 1960s, federal money poured into the construction of a massive highway system, linking disparate suburban communities to the historic core of Los Angeles. Orange County now linked to the San Fernando Valley, and they had new links to the inland communities of Claremont, Pomona, and Ontario. This sprawling network of freeways converged just east of the downtown core, in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights, which bore the brunt of state and federal highway construction projects. Today, Boyle Heights stands at the center of L.A.’s expansive freeway system, quarantined from the rest of the city by massive highway interchanges built in conjunction with slum clearance efforts. A redlined neighborhood since the 1930s, Boyle Heights earned the official distinction of being “hopelessly heterogeneous” by the Homeowners’ Loan Corporation, identified as “an ideal site for a massive slum clearance project” which turned out to be two massive highway interchanges, built less than two miles apart from each other in the late 1950s.
In this deracinated landscape, ravaged by white flight and highway construction; in the shadows and din of new freeway interchanges, a new ‘Chicano’ culture took shape, a hybrid mix of Mexican cultural traditions, shaped by the cosmopolitan influences of a polyglot, glamorous, and dangerous society. Zoot Suits came from Boyle Heights, murals too, and lowriders, which fashioned an alternative car culture that had nothing to do with the very qualities of speed and mobility that Banham celebrated. They embraced ‘low and slow’ as their aesthetic, indulging in a new suburban pleasure that drew upon urban traditions of showmanship and technological mastery, and gave a big middle finger to the ideals of efficiency, speed, mobility, and productivity built into the object and symbol of the automobile itself. Lowriders were not 9-to-5 commuters and they re-fashioned these machines for their own sensory and aesthetic pleasure. Their spatial claims evoked strong responses from the viewing public and local authorities, contests that Carpio argues have continued to play out over symbolic landscapes like Route 66. Lowriders chose boulevards over freeways as the primary venue for their motorized brand of chrome-polish swagger, and enthralled sidewalk spectators who marveled at these machines.  Are lowriders the victims of a ‘false consciousness’ sponsored by a corporate-consumer car culture? Or are they subversive agents of a technological counterculture? Drawing on the history of contested claims to mobility appearing across the twentieth century, Collisions at the Crossroads suggests the latter.
Today, we stand at another crossroad. Like most every aspect of technological modernity, the automobile is a blessing and a curse. It remains the dominant mode of transportation in the southland, yet its false premise of unfettered, autonomous mobility seems to have hit a wall of its own making. We Angelenos suffer from a chronic addiction to oil and gasoline. Too many people, too many cars: the concept of rush hour is obsolete. Every hour is rush hour; traffic is at a standstill on most freeway arteries, at most times of the day. Although new systems of mass transit are providing alternatives to the automobile and the freeway, there is little relief from the congestion and pollution that cars inflict upon our daily lives. Like red meat, our insatiable appetite for oil accelerates global warming, sparking what will become a desperate search for new alternatives to fossil fuels. Whether or not the automobile will remain the dominant mode of transportation in the region depends upon a clear-eyed assessment of its costs and benefits. Carpio implicates that machine in a broader history of racial and class inequality that now poses an existential threat to the survival of the species.
The Automobile in Mexican Immigrant and Mexican American Life (Genevieve Carpio) 
By World War I, the automobile was already an integral part of life for Mexican agricultural workers in Southern California. Prominent citrus ranchers provided laborers garages alongside bathrooms, running water, electricity, and other utilities they deemed fundamental to worker housing. As described by Archibald Shamel, a USDA scientist who wrote extensively on Mexican citrus workers, “[the automobile is] an essential part of the household equipment.”  Local cooperative associations occasionally provided vehicles for their workers, but more often than not individual pickers and their families purchased their own. Like the Japanese bicyclists who preceded them, Mexican motorists used vehicles to maximize their work opportunities, and for fashioning themselves as modern citizens. Although at the national level cars at that time were largely owned by the white middle class, for use in leisure activities like tourism and cross-country travel, in the Mexican communities of Southern California automobiles were a working class item used to traverse uncertain economic and social landscapes. 
Disrupting national trends that linked whiteness and driving, period sources suggest that ethnic Mexicans owned automobiles at far higher rates than the Southern California population as a whole. A 1933 Heller Committee cost of living study, by the University of California, sheds light on patterns of automotive proprietorship, expense, and usage. In a survey of a hundred Mexican-descent families living in San Diego, the Heller Committee found twenty-six percent of households owned and operated their own automobile. A similar survey taken in San Fernando, about thirty miles north of Los Angeles, found that nearly forty percent of families residing in the “Mexican district” owned a vehicle. These figures are particularly significant when we consider that the automobile ownership rate in California as a whole was only seventeen percent, about half of the rate for the Mexican communities of San Diego and San Fernando. 
Far from elite toys of the rich, automobiles were regularly a necessity for Mexican laborers. Only two percent of the vehicles counted in the Heller study had been purchased new. Rather, families typically bought their cars and trucks secondhand, often as an essential expense. Purchasing a vehicle was a financial hardship that required cutting back elsewhere, sometimes even on food. Nevertheless, for their drivers, automobiles’ economic and cultural value exceeded their costs. Mexican respondents reported they used their vehicles for a variety of functions, including searching for work in surrounding towns, informal outings, and travel to family events.  Joe Hernandez (third from left) and crew on work truck, 1938. Courtesy of Inland Mexican Heritage.
Car and truck ownership often translated into direct economic gains for Citrus Belt workers. Groves were spread throughout the region and laborers commonly lived in towns adjacent to large farms, moving among them as the crops matured. Families who owned automobiles could leverage this location gap between housing and the groves to earn extra income. Former citrus worker Howard Herrera remembered, “In those days you had to pay for your ride. Sometimes the house would pay it. If the house would hire a truck to take the crew to work they’d pay the driver for all the heads that would drive and arrive in the truck.”  By transporting their neighbors to the fields, truck owners not only solved the problem of spatial dissonance, but also identified workers for the citrus cooperative in exchange for pay. In these roles, they served as recruiters, translators, and transporters. Women were often key in the relative success of these efforts. The son of one citrus foreman recalls that his mother provided warm lunches for riders as extra incentive to choose his father’s crew over others.  For these services, Mexican families were financially rewarded, receiving a small payment for each rider or a portion of the profits from the harvest.
If Mexican motorists could increase their wages by providing a vital service to ranchers, their automobility could also be used to challenge employers’ control over workers’ livelihoods. Mobility enabled Mexican-descent workers to determine which employment opportunities—agricultural or otherwise—offered the most competitive wages. Those with access to private vehicles identified opportunities at a range much larger than previously possible, aided by a growing network of roads, their ability to carry multiple passengers, and the incentive of hauling cargo for additional payment. While vehicles widened the geographic scale and types of employment available to Mexican drivers, vehicles were also beneficial in times of collective action. Even if primarily used for daily transportation, a truck could moonlight as a mobile picket line, stage for mobile theater, or emergency shelter. During times of direct action, vehicles helped to galvanize workers and prolonged their ability to strike. In this sense, automobility could quite directly contribute to the collective’s economic mobility. 
Automotive culture permeated not only the lives of those who moved, but also those in the communities that were passed. The largely Mexican Westside of San Bernardino is exemplary of this synergism. Later designated as Route 66, Mount Vernon Avenue provided residents with entrepreneurial opportunities to offer services to long distance travelers, such as managing motels, bars, gas stations, and restaurants. Consider Mitla Café. In 1927, its owners, Lucia and Salvador Rodríguez, migrated to California, and soon after this Lucia opened a small taco stand. The side business grew into a local landmark where the Rodríguez family catered to Mount Vernon residents, including workers from the nearby Santa Fe railroad repair shop, and passing motorists looking for something warm and affordable to eat. A combination of its location on Highway 66, its homey atmosphere, and foremost its Cal-Mex cuisine even earned Mitla Café a mention in the popular Duncan Hines travel culinary guide, Adventures in Good Eating.  Business leaders along the busy Highway 66 corridor often became community leaders and their businesses popular sites of community organization and place making. 
In addition to their economic value, vehicles held an important symbolic role for their drivers. Analysis of photographs collected by grassroots recovery efforts, such as Inland Mexican Heritage (IMH), further sheds light on the cultural significance of vehicles in Mexican agricultural communities. Looking to these personal family records adds a new perspective to those of the period’s social worker reports, which erroneously equated Mexican automotive practice with those of white middle class families. In public events held by IMH throughout the 1990s and 2000s, residents of former citrus communities near San Bernardino were invited to contribute family photographs and oral histories as part of a recovery project focused on Mexican American communities. Among cherished images of weddings, returning veterans, and family gatherings, residents frequently submitted family portraits in which cars and trucks figured as prominent features of the image. 
Unlike government or professional photographs from this period, examining the function of automobiles within these self-selected compositions helps reveal the ways Mexican American people themselves positioned vehicles in their everyday lives. While members of the family and their friends occupy the focal point, they were often staged in the photographs sitting or standing on vehicles. On the one hand, this positioning points towards the frequent presence of automobiles in Mexican American life, which were conveniently present during both special family events and mundane daily passings. On the other, the frequent appearance of cars as a central part of the photographs’ compositions underscores the subjects’ desires to craft particular self-identities.  Automobiles represented more than vehicles for travel. Rather, they held distinct social significance for those involved at the moment of a photograph’s creation. Where a group of youth dressed in their best outfits and standing in front of a car might represent the subjects’ identity as a modern subject immersed in leisure culture, workers posing with a truck filled with boxes of oranges could emphasize a strong work ethic, upward mobility, or traditional links between masculinity and labor. Historian Phil Deloria has examined the ways images of both American Indians and automobiles have been used by non-Indians to signify important elements in American culture. When brought together, these signifiers have conjured a “palpable disconnection between the high-tech automotive world and the primitivism that so often clings to the figure of the Indian.”  Where automobiles seemed anachronistic or unmerited when driven by nonwhites, photographs produced by Mexican American drivers were all the more powerful for the ways they disrupted normative expectations and bolstered self-representation in complex ways. Jessie Ortiz and friend posing on fender of car near San Timoteo Canyon, 1928. Courtesy of Inland Mexican Heritage.
Where photographic records help to uncover symbolic systems attached to vehicles by multigenerational Mexican American populations, songs emerge as an archive of the meanings produced by Mexican immigrants. Corridos—poetry set to music—are cultural artifacts that archive artistic expressions of daily life.  In these songs, vehicles held an important symbolic role in conveying immigrants’ experiences in the United States. As described by Mexican anthropologist Manuel Gamio, Mexican rates of vehicle ownership grew markedly among immigrants who had worked for a period in the United States. A close reading of popular corridos collected by Gamio and reprinted by the Social Science Research Council in the 1920s uncovers an ambivalent attitude among Mexican immigrants towards cars—and by extension, an ambivalent attitude towards U.S. life in general. 
A consistent note among corridos was nostalgia for life in Mexico, and the internal tensions generated among immigrants when pursuing American economic mobility. The lyrics of “El Dónde Yo Nací,” for example, use the car to signify dissatisfaction with U.S. consumer culture. The protagonist sings: No me gusta coche ni autómovil como al estilo de por aquí. A mi me gusta carreta de bueyes como en el rancho dónde yo nací. (I do not care for the cars or the automobiles like those found around here. I prefer the oxcart like on the ranch where I was born.) 
In this instance, the singer rejects the extravagant automobiles he views in the United States in favor of an old oxcart he owned in rural Mexico. At a literal level, his dissatisfaction indicates the singer’s longing for the ranch where he was born, land owned by his family and free from the empty consumerism he observes in the United States. Seemingly nationalistic, the singer’s nostalgia may also be read as a critique of political changes in Mexico, where privatization drastically transformed the countryside and large agricultural operations displaced many of the migrants. Dispossession pushed them to seek work in the United States. 
In a variation of this critique, another corrido titled “El Renegado” focused its criticism on Mexican immigrants seduced by U.S. markers of social status. The automobile in this corrido signals an immigrant who, upon gaining some profit, looks down upon his fellow countrymen who have not adopted a U.S. lifestyle. The ballad disapproves of the renegade’s “dandy” attire and his conceit when driving a flashy car, “andas por hay luciendo gran autómovil.”  Where the driver seeks attention by wielding control over the ultimate symbol of social mobility, the singer critiques this ostentatious display of wealth. The song discredits those immigrants who would negate their homeland and working class origins.  In both “El Dónde Yo Nací” and “El Renegado,” the automobile represents a U.S. lifestyle that stands in opposition to a Mexico envisioned as rural, homeland, and anticapitalistic. Roque Family and their car, 1930s. Courtesy of Inland Mexican Heritage.
Looking to these creative expressions of Mexican immigrant life helps reveal illicit uses of automobiles unaccounted for in most oral histories. Further, they recast as autonomous subjects the drivers who might otherwise be considered deviant. For instance, the car is often described with fondness for the freedom it offers its driver. “El Fotingo,” which can be loosely translated as “The Jalopy,” is one such example.  Although the jalopy is worn down and without seats, doors, or even lights, the song’s lyrics recall moonlit nights when the driver’s speeding Ford could be mistaken for a Willys-Overland. Where the old Ford represented economy and utility, the Overland had relatively more luxurious associations. By playing with the symbolic systems attached to the two models, the driver himself seems transformed in the moonlight from a worn-down laborer to a playboy bootlegger. The singer proudly describes flirting with women, smoking marijuana, and evading U.S. custom’s officers while smuggling liquor across the border. The mobility enabled by his vehicle is a fitting metaphor for the intersections between Mexican and American life, particularly as the increasing ease of automobility blurred the boundaries between the two, just as migrating bodies and smuggled booze could disrupt the apparent solidity of national boundaries.
Rising automobile registration rates in Mexico rose with Mexican American and Mexican immigrant vehicle ownership in the United States. Before 1910, there were no more than 3,000 vehicles registered across the Mexican nation. This quickly changed when Francisco Madero replaced Porfirio Díaz as president of Mexico in 1911. Fifteen years after abolishing a prohibitive tax on automobile ownership, registration increased from half a million to 17.5 million.  A continuing rise in vehicle registration was fostered by the arrival of the Ford Motor Company in Mexico City in 1925 and the construction of a vast new factory in 1932. 
Migration between the United States and Mexico further contributed to the growth of automotive ownership among ethnic Mexicans on both sides of the border. In December 1926, Mexico exempted repatriates from paying duty on U.S. items, including vehicles. Upon their return, thirty-eight percent of all repatriates owned an automobile. The widespread resale economy in Mexican border towns may have further boosted Mexican Americans’ ability to purchase low-cost Fords, creating a synergy between automotive manufacturing and policies in Mexico as well as Mexican Americans’ automobility in the United States. 
Surveys, oral histories, photographs, and corridos each provide insight into the internal significance of automobiles for Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants living in the United States. Vehicles were significant for increasing one’s economic mobility, and served as important social symbols used in self-fashioning as well as lyrical devices used to describe immigrant life in Mexican America. Focusing on reports by social scientists and others begins to reveal more of the external values placed on Mexican mobility at the economic crossroads of the 1920s and the Great Depression—an important background for understanding how we got where we are today with the Automobile and Mexican American life.
* This article, with introduction by Eric Avila, is an adapted excerpt from Genevieve Carpio, Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race (Oakland: University of California Press, 2019).
 Scott L. Bottles, Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City (Berkeley: University of California Press,1987); Richard Longstreth, City Center to Regional Mall: Architecture, the Automobile, and Retailing in Los Angeles, 1920-1950 (Boston: MIT Press, 1997); Jeremiah Axelrod, Inventing Autopia: Envisioning the Modern Metropolis in Jazz Age Los Angeles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009); David Brodsly, L.A. Freeway: An Appreciative Essay (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983).
 Reyner Banham, Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, 2d ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), 18.
 Genevieve Carpio, Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race (Oakland: University of California Press, 2019), 75.
 Inclusive of Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino counties.
 Brenda Jo Bright and Liza Bakewell, Looking High and Low: Art and Cultural Identity (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995); Denise Sandoval, “Bajito y Suavecito/Low and Slow: Cruising Through Lowrider Culture,” unpublished Ph.D. diss. (Claremont Graduate University, 2003); Ben Chappel, Lowrider Space: Aesthetics and Politics of Modern Custom Cars (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012).
 This section excerpted from Genevieve Carpio, “‘An Essential Part of the Household Equipment’: The Automobile in Mexican Immigrant and Mexican American Life,” in Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race (Oakland: University of California Press, 2019): 144-150.
 Archibald Shamel, “Housing Conditions of the Employe[e]s of California Citrus Ranches,” typescript, undated, p. 4, Archibald Shamel Papers, Tomás Rivera Library, University of California Riverside.
 On automotive cultures in this period, see Thomas Weiss, “Tourism in America before World War II,” Journal of Economic History 64 (2004); Marguerite S. Shaffer, See America First: Tourism and National Identity, 1880-1940 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 2001); Virginia Scharff, Taking the Wheel: Women and the Coming of the Motor Age (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1992).
 Constantine Panunzio and the Heller Committee for Research in Social Economics of the University of California, “Cost of Living Studies V. How Mexicans Earn and Live: A Study of the Incomes and Expenditures of One Hundred Mexican Families in San Diego, California,” University of California Publications in Economics, 13 (1933). In their report, the Mexican Fact-Finding Committee cites the San Fernando figure from an unpublished report by the Los Angeles County Health Department. See Mexican Fact-Finding Committee, “Mexicans in California,” 178. See also Scott L. Bottles, Los Angeles and the Automobile: The Making of the Modern City (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987). Statewide statistics for Mexican American motorists are unavailable.
 Panunzio and the Heller Committee, “Cost of Living Studies v. How Mexicans Earn and Live”; Mexican Fact-Finding Committee, “Mexicans in California.”
 Howard Herrera interviewed by Robert Gonzalez, transcript, 13 April 1994, Inland Mexican Heritage, Redlands.
 In an interview conducted with my paternal grandfather, Vincent Carpio Sr., he recounted his experience as a foreman and the bonus he received for identifying and transporting workers to the fields surrounding Pomona in the 1940s. He described the effective role of “incentives,” such as warm food prepared by my grandmother Consuelo Carpio and cold beer on payday, in retaining workers. Vincent Carpio interviewed by Genevieve Carpio, Spring 2001, Pomona, CA.
 On the connection of migrant workers, automobiles, and collective action see Don Mitchell, The Lie of the Land: Migrant Workers and the California Landscape (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996).
 Rick Martinez, “Co-Founder of Mitla Lucia Rodriguez Dies,” San Bernardino County Sun, 13 January 1981; “ Route 66 Special,” Access Rewind [film], IE Media Group, 2011.
 For more on Latina/o restaurant owners as place-makers, see Natalia Molina, “The Importance of Place and Place-Makers in the Life of a Los Angeles Community: What Gentrification Erases from Echo Park,” Southern California Quarterly 97 (2015): 69-111.
 Author has worked in consultation on various IMH projects since 2004.
 A selection of these photographs can be found in Antonio González Vazquez and Genevieve Carpio, Mexican Americans in Redlands (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2012).
 Phil Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2004), 138.
 For the continuing significance of the corridor in Los Angeles, see “The Corrido of LA,” an exhibition by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2010, http://www.lacma.org/art/installation/corrido-la ; for sound recordings, see the Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center and UCLA Digital Library, http:// frontera.library.ucla.edu.
 Manuel Gamio, Mexican Immigration to the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1930).
 Translated by author. Original printed in Gamio, Mexican Immigration to the United States.
 Veronica Castillo-Muñoz, “Historical Roots of Rural Migration: Land Reform, Corn Credit, and the Displacement of Rural Farmers in Nayarit Mexico, 1900-1952,” Mexican Studies/ Estudios Mexicanos 29 (2013).
 “You go around showing off in your big automobile.” Translated by author. Original printed in Gamio, Mexican Immigration to the United States, 93.
 Rita Urquijo-Ruiz writes that El Renegade was a character in a popular comedy routine in teatro de carpa, or traveling tent theater, used to poke fun at assimilated Mexicans. See Rita Urquijo-Ruiz, Wild Tongues: Transnational Mexican Popular Culture (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012), 23-25.
 Original printed in Gamio, Mexican Immigration to the United States, 31; the term “fotingo” was often synonymous with Ford motor cars, which Mexican farm laborers frequently owned due to their affordability.
 Ricardo Romo,“Work and Restlessness: Occupational and Spatial Mobility among Mexicanos in Los Angeles,” Pacific Historical Review 46 (1977): 176.
 See digital archive of Ford’s Mexico City plant at “Ford Mexico City Plant Photographs,” The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI, accessed July 2018, https://www .thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/sets/11598/. See also Ford Motor Company, “Historia de Ford de Mexico,” accessed 29 March 2013, http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id = 4166.
 Indeed, the vast majority were Ford cars and trucks, at twenty-seven percent of all automotive objects (a category including automobile types and auto parts) brought to Mexico by repatriates. See Gamio, Mexican Immigration to the United States, esp. Appendix 5, 224-225; for more accounts of Ford automobiles moving back and forth across the U.S.-Mexico border, see Alice Evans Cruz, “The Romanzas Train Señora Nurse,” The Survey 60 (1928): 468-469, 488; Cara Finnegan, Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books, 2003).
Eric Avila is an urban cultural historian, studying the intersections of racial identity, urban space, and cultural representation in twentieth century America. He is author of Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) and The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City (University of Minnesota Press, 2014).
Genevieve Carpio is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of Collisions at the Crossroads: How Place and Mobility Make Race (Oakland: University of California Press, 2019). Copyright: © 2019 Eric Avila and Genevieve Carpio. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ .
Ethnic Relations in Malaysia
Rupa Was Just 15 When Her Stepmother Poured Acid On Her Face As She Slept
Rupa Was Just 15 When Her Stepmother Poured Acid On Her Face As She Slept Meet India’s sheroes, who survived the unthinkable. Gwen Luscombe Whimn May 31, 2019 1:45pm Rupa is one of the extraordinary women behind the Sheroes cafe. Image: Supplied Source:Whimn
Not far from India’s tourist hotspot of Taj Mah in Agra, you’ll find a colourful café making a huge difference in the lives of women. With its bright murals and tasty authentic cuisine, the staff at Sheroes hangout are what’s most inspiring. Each one has survived acid attack .
Each year, roughly 350 women** are subjected to having acid thrown on them. Often, they’re attacked by men simply for declining marriage proposals, sexual advances , dowry disagreements or as the result of a property or business dispute. While most of these women are attacked by men, Rupa was just 15 when her step mother poured acid over her face as she slept. The acid, causing unimaginable burns to her face, also brought with it severe pain and emotional trauma.
Most of these women are seriously injured, blinded and disfigured by chemical burns and some even die. It’s most common for the perpetrator to targets the woman’s face with the intention to disfigure her, causing physical humiliation throughout her life. Survivors of chemical assaults are also subject to a long, painful road to recovery, they are often shamed, shunned and become reclusive, sometimes committing suicide . Because the surgeries that follow can be so painful, many survivors choose not to continue treatment once they feel they are able to do basic life chores, but either way having a successful career is something that is almost always destroyed. Rupa’s step mother attacked her while she slept. Image: Supplied Source:Whimn
For Rupa, without a family to assist her following her attack, she lived with an uncle who paid for her medical treatments, but with a lack of future option, depression took hold. Women who experience these attacks struggle to secure employment, which is where Sheroes Hangout helps to provide this and spread awareness of violence against women in India.
The café employs roughly 25 women and opened in 2014 as a crowd funding project put together by two journalists Alok Dixit and Ashish Kumar reporting on acid attacks among Indian women . Horrified by the injuries they witnessed and the way society shunned these women following their attacks, they decided to do something about it. They created the Chhanv Foundation and over the course of five years, the foundation has already made huge changes in the law with longer sentences for perpetrators, stricter control on the over-the-counter sale of acid, a residential centre and free medical treatments for the survivors in Delhi, and of course, Sheroes Hangout. The Sheroes cafe is changing lives for the better. Image: Supplied Source:Whimn
The project, says director’s associate and spokesperson, Abhay Singh, was never intended to become a café.
“We only needed a project in which the acid attack survivors could do some work for which they may also earn by themselves (sic),” says Singh. “As we came across acid attack survivor Rupa, she already used to do tailoring work before her attack. We thought perhaps these girls can be put in a boutique and could earn from their work,” Abhay says, adding that they then came across mother and daughter attack survivors Geeta and Neetu, also living in Agra. “They were living in very poor socio-economic conditions. We had to start a project where we could provide them employability and dignity to live in society.”
The mother and daughter didn’t know much about sewing and from thee another project was hatched, the café. Sheroes Hangout represents a growing revolution of women standing up against violence against women in India and has expanded to a second café location in the town of Lucknow. The Sheroes Hangout is providing women a safe space to take a stand against violence. Image: Supplied Source:Whimn
“Sheroes Hangout is not only a café,” says Abhay, “it’s a substantial project helping these women in as many ways possible. To the general public masses, it’s a visit worth a cup of coffee and a meal with friends, but it’s more for these women, helps them meet other survivors.”
Abhay adds that the Indian government does provide a compensation of sorts to some of the women, dependant on the percentage of burns they receive; however, the small stipend is barely enough to support daily living. The impact of employment for these women is huge. “They get to learn a lot. Almost none of them ever expected to find themselves working in a cafe. When they come from villages, in the early days it’s a cultural shock for them. It takes several months for any survivors to orient themselves as a working woman. We often get them involved in various training and orientation programmes to cultivate vocational skills and verbal ability in them so that they restore hope for living a standard life again.” They are by no means victims, they’re Sheroes. Image: Supplied Source:Whimn
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Visitors to India can find Sheroes Hangout in both Agra and Lucknow, the most popular site being in Agra near the Taj Mahal. Australian-based tour company Intrepid Travel also includes visits to the Agra café on both their new Women’s Expedition to India tour as well as their India Vegan Food Adventure tour (it’s also offered as an option activity on most trips through Agra as well.) Online donations via their social media channels are also accepted.
As these brave women continue to campaign against acid attacks, one thing is for certain, they are by no means victims, they’re Sheroes.
**According to the Acid Survivors Foundation of India 2015, however, according to the agency, less than half of the attacks are reported, often due to shame. Acid attack survivor Reshma Bano takes part in NY Fashion Week 1:15
Acid attack survivor Reshma Bano from India walks the runway at New York Fashion Week. September 13th 2016
All About Coriander
June 6, 2019 Spread the love
A versatile spice that can be used in dried, ground and fresh forms, coriander has a unique flavour that packs a punch.
The distinct aroma, pungency and flavour of coriander is unmissable which makes this a spice that can add a zing to any dish you make. To add to that it also has several health benefits that add a punch to this spice.
Coriander is commonly used in three forms as fresh plant, whole dried seeds and in ground form. Roasting the seeds ensures that the flavour, aroma and pungency are activated. Ground coriander seed is a spice in garam masala, roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal , are eaten as a snack. The fresh root is one of the main ingredient to flavor soups like shorba and rasam , the seeds have a sweet spicy taste used in many of the dishes to give a distinct flavour, the leaves when used in food does not lends flavor but also gives freshness to the food. “Coriander seed is used for pickling vegetables. In Russia and Central Europe, coriander seed is an important ingredient in bread making. The people in North America use them in their cuisine, by mixing the powdered seeds ground with chili and using it as a condiment with meat, and also eating leaves as a salad” says Sidharth Bhardwaj, Executive Chef, Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel Gachibowli. Rohan Malwankar, Executive Sous Chef, The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace adds, “it is the main ingredient of the two most popular South Indian dishes, sambhar and rasam. Dhania /coriander powder acts as a thickener when used in curries. It also makes as a great component in spice rubs for fish and chicken, and adds a robust flavour when used in making homemade pickles.”
Making the Difference
Coriander acts as a spice in terms of lending the food its freshness and aroma. This brilliant spice also prevents food poisoning by being harmful to a range of bacteria. “Coriander has a strong aroma and if we want to have this aroma infused with the food it is wise to never cook for a longer time after adding fresh coriander to any dish. If this is added in the last minute to any dish being cooked and then kept covered after removing from the flame, the aroma is released into the dish and it tastes fresh and aromatic,” says Avijit Deb Sharma, Executive Chef Ibis Bengaluru Outer Ring Road. Rahul Dhavale, Executive Chef, The Westin Mumbai Garden City adds, “while cooking coriander leaves, they should always be used with the stalk because stalk has more flavor than the leaves. It is always essential to wash the green coriander leaves before chopping since washing post chopping always spoils the flavor. Garnishing green coriander leaves in the end is always beneficial since it gives more flavour to the dish.” Coriander has been part of many cuisines, enticing palates as both a spice and herb. “The leaves of coriander, popularly known in the US and Mexico as cilantro, is fragrant and refreshing with a prominent citrus note. It is used as a garnish as well as in curries, chutneys and more. On the other hand, in the seeds the flavour of citrus is subdued by a warm and nutty aroma that works great in marinades especially when paired with cumin and cinnamon,” says G V Ramesh, Executive Chef, Novotel Kochi Infopark. Chuza Makhani – The Westin Hyderabad Mindspace
Do it Right
When using coriander in cooking, you need to understand that the seeds of the plant are considered a spice, rather than the plant. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed and is warm, nutty and spicy. Hence you will need to use the fully ripened coriander seeds, which are greenish brown in colour which gives the best flavour and ensure that it is either powdered or crushed. Dharmesh Karmorkar – Founder & Director Thangabali and Duma Dum Mast Kalandar adds, “when coriander powder is put directly in hot oil, it immediately burns and loses its flavour and aroma. Hence the best time is to add it after sautéing. However if the recipe demands for it being added in oil, then ensure the oil is not too hot.” It is best to dry roast them to get the best flavour and do note that it tends to lose its flavour over time. Chef Naveen Handa, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Chandigarh avers, “coriander is a versatile ingredient. Coriander leaves are mostly used as herbs to garnish many Indian dishes like soups and salads. The coriander seeds on the other hand have a rich citrusy flavour and can be used as whole and in powdered form as well. When grounded fresh, they lend a much stronger flavour to the dish besides helping maintain the consistency of its gravy.”
Coriander is a good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium and coriander leaves are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and protein. They also contain small amounts of calcium, phosphorous, potassium. Coriander contains anti-inflammatory properties and helps in inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Coriander’s anti-septic properties help to cure mouth ulcers and it is good for the eyes as antioxidants in coriander prevent eye diseases. Coriander helps those suffering from anemia as it contains high amounts of iron. Chef Rohan Dsouza, Culinary Director, Toro Toro, Goa avers, “coriander is best known to treat and prevent diabetes hence is always advised by the doctors. For the ones with digestive disorders, coriander is known best to flush the waste out, leaving behind a healthy system. It is also best for the skin, to keep it healthy and hydrated.” Coriander Tandoori Prawns
Coriander Tandoori Prawns – courtesy Ibis Bengaluru Outer Ring Road.
Ingredients Hung Curd: 2 ½ tsp Cream: 5 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tsp Yellow Chilli powder: ½ tsp Ajwain: 1 tsp
Bitter gourd also known as Momordica charantia is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit. Bitter gourd comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The fruit has a distinct warty exterior and an oblong shape. It is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large, flat seeds and pith. The fruit is most often eaten green, or as it is beginning to turn yellow. At this stage, the fruit’s flesh is crunchy and watery in texture, similar to cucumber , chayote or green bell pepper, but bitter. The skin is tender and edible. Seeds and pith appear white in unripe fruits; they are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking.
When the fruit is fully ripe, it turns orange and mushy, and splits into segments which curl back dramatically to expose seeds covered in bright red pulp.
Bitter melon is commonly included in cuisines. For instance, it is eaten throughout India. In North Indian cuisine, it is often served with yogurt on the side to offset the bitterness, used in curry such as sabzi or stuffed with spices and then cooked in oil.
How to make bitter gourd less bitter
– Sprinkle salt all over the bitter gourd pieces and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This will minimise the bitter taste of the gourd making it more palatable.
– Soak it in tamarind juice for a few minutes.
– Boil equal parts sugar and vinegar. Pour this mixture on bitter gourd and let it soak for some time.
Benefits of Bitter Gourd
It is widely believed that constantly drinking the mixture of bitter melon and some other ingredients water shrinks fibroids and prevents their growth.
Inhibits Cancer Cell Proliferation
Free radicals seek out and destroy healthy cells, which accelerate aging and lead to numerous complications including cancer. Bitter melon is abundant in antioxidants that combat free radical effects as well as creating a strong defense against common diseases. Along with its abundance of antioxidant are its anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic attributes. Recent clinical trials and pharmacologic studies show a link between eating bitter melon and the reduction of tumors in individuals with breast, cervical, and prostate cancer. There has been a significant body of studies conducted for its role on cancer prevention, which is promising as an alternative to potent chemotherapy agents.
Bitter melon can help reduce symptoms brought on by certain respiratory conditions such as
asthma, bronchitis, and hay fever. Bitter melon has anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, which makes it an ideal supplementary food in maintaining good respiratory health. It also helps promote sound sleep.
High on nutrition
Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins like A and C. It contains twice the calcium of spinach and beta-carotene of broccoli. Various anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are present in bitter gourd.
It also helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s not all. It strengthens the immune system, improves respiratory health, boosts skin health and contains anti-ageing properties.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Bitter melon is also widely consumed to help lower bad cholesterol levels, which in turn prevents atherosclerotic plaque buildup in arterial walls. Decongested arteries reduce the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
Diabetes Treatment And Blood Sugar Management
Momordica charantia is used primarily as an alternative therapy for lowering blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Considerably it is the most potent and popular fruit in terms of managing diabetes through alternative medicine. In fact, drinking bitter melon decoctions is a common practice of diabetes management in Asian countries.
It is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Regular consumption of bitter gourd contributes to relieving constipation and indigestion. It supports healthy gut bacteria, which favours digestion and nutrient absorption.
Boosts weight loss
Bitter gourd is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. These properties together help in weight management. It keeps you full for longer, so you avoid over-eating. It stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids that are essential for metabolising fat in the body.
The bitter melon may have an unattractive appearance and a taste that most people would despise, but its bitterness also comes with a wealth of health benefits. It has antibiotic, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic properties. The bitter melon’s most notable health benefit is its ability in managing type 2 diabetes. Bitter melon is a staple among Asian cuisines and traditional medicine.
A tribute to Jiggs Kalra
Jaspal Inder Singh Kalra aka Jiggs Kalra- the czar of Indian cuisine is known for reviving long lost Indian recipes, introducing those to the international audience and making Indian cuisine popular on the world food map. Those who have heard his name for the first, surely have either tasted his famous recipe of Dal Bukhara aka ma ki dal in every other restaurant or have eaten in his famous restaurant Farzi Cafe, Masala Library or Punjab Grill.
I live in Jaipur where I think the food is the most important thing, here people live for food! I am married into the family of outdoor caterers, my grand father in law Mr. Gyanchand Jain introduced the concept of catering in Jaipur and since then there is no looking back. My in laws remember Jiggs Kalra quite differently, he was a dear friend of my grand father in law and they used to share the same passion for FOOD . They have such interesting instances such as he used to sit all day long in our commercial kitchen just to learn how to make the perfect chakki ki sabji, having a dinner party at our farm, invited us to his food festivals and he was a die heart fan of diet pepsi.
It was a sad day in my family as they heard Jiggs Kalra had passed away. I was shown beautifully written books by him on Indian cuisine where he had acknowledged my grand father in law for his help in writing those books. One of the books was personally signed by Jiggs Kalra which really intrigued me to see it closely. Prasad is his most famous written book, which I as an amateur cook found it quiet interesting.
Hence, I have decided to take up a challenge of cooking Jiggs Kalra inspired recipes from his book Prasad. I will be cooking seven recipes from his book everyday for seven days. I hope I am able to finish the challenge and understand why exactly this book made such a difference for Indian cuisine.
Portland, with its beautiful mountains and rivers, fully deserves a visit
Home : Portland, with its beautiful mountains and rivers, fully deserves a visit Portland, with its beautiful mountains and rivers, fully deserves a visit in Portland, June 6, 2019 Mount Hood Portland, Oregon is usually not on the agenda of most tourists visiting the United States and is quite underrated. But it is a great city and extremely beautiful, fully deserving of a visit. The fact that I have my aunt, uncle and three cousins living there made it that much more attractive. And so it was that, on a recent work trip to the US, I took a flight from San Francisco for a weekend visit to what is rightfully called the ‘Switzerland” of the Pacific Coast. Many Indians of the current generation know Portland because it is home to chipmaker Intel’s largest concentration of facilities and talent in the world. Today, Intel Oregon has more than 20,000 employees at these facilities west of Portland in Washington County. And I suspect many of the Indians who travel to Portland are parents, siblings and relatives of the significant numbers of Indians who work for this and other IT firms. Creative companies such as Nike and Wieden + Kennedy have also chosen the city as their headquarters. Located on the West Coast of the USA in the state of Oregon, Portland has three dominating features. The first one is Mount Hood, a permanently snow-covered peak about 1.5 hours inland away from Portland. The mountain is about 11,000 feet high and offers a great spot for skiing, snowboarding, or for a trek up the mountain. This has been the site for Winter Olympics training for quite some time due to its snow cover, and a long ski-route. The second is the Hood River, which flows from the snow melt of Mount Hood, all the way to the Pacific, via Portland. This river and its tributaries are also the venues of the famous salmon runs: Salmons are born in a freshwater nursery deep in the river from the ocean and as soon as they are big enough to make the trek, they swim from their nursery down the river to the Pacific Ocean. After spending their adulthood in the ocean, they come back to the same nursery where they were born, overcoming great obstacles and an uphill terrain to spawn the next generation of salmon! The third feature is the Pacific Ocean – Portland is about a 60 – 90 minute drive from the Pacific Coast. We didn’t have enough time to go to the coast — maybe the next time I am there! Multnomah falls I had planned for a 36-hour stopover in Portland and landed there on a Saturday morning. After a heavy breakfast at an IHOP (where you can get pancakes with everything) near the airport, we headed to Mount Hood first. The plan for the day was to head out to Mount Hood and then loop around it to go back to Portland while driving along the River Hood. The route would afford several scenic photo-opportunities. As we drove up to Mount Hood, I clearly appreciated why this area is called the Switzerland of the West Coast. The road winds and cuts through miles of woods to suddenly reveal the awesome Mount Hood. The woods are home to miles of trekking trails, where one could get truly close to nature. There are several lodges around Mount Hood, where one could stay overnight or over a weekend to spend time at the serene and awesome mountain. Families also usually stay in the lodges and trek through the woods surrounding the mountain for several hours. The mountain, unusually, also affords a chance to ski in the dark as well. While we were there, the ski lift was operational and there were several people skiing and snowboarding down the peak. Clearly, to appreciate everything that the mountain offers, one would need to spend at least a week! Portland is a city of long drives. All places worth seeing in and around Portland are only 1.5 to 2 hours away, and it is wise to carry an international driving license and rent a car to get around to these places, as public transport and other modes of transportation to locations outside the city seemed sparse. Cars seemed to be the most convenient option — and it enabled us to take several detours to great scenic spots outside Portland! Both Mount Hood and River Hood are named after Viscount Hood, who was the Admiral of the British Royal Navy in the late 1700s, in whose name these areas were claimed after a British expedition party going up the river. River Hood On the way, the River Hood flows through several woods, which offers great picnic spots and hiking trails. We stopped at a well-known spot on the way to the Hood River Meadows, near a creek of one of the tributaries — just a few meters off the road. That spot marks the beginning of one of many well-marked hiking trails and opened into a secluded clearing with several picnic benches. We were lucky to have a great day — sunny with a light breeze. Many families had taken the opportunity to get out of the house and were leisurely hiking, with their dogs, and taking several photos of the beautiful nature scenes. It is important to have paper roadmaps, or downloaded offline maps, for these road trips, as there are several signal dead areas throughout the drive, and tourists less familiar with the route, can easily take a wrong turn and head to a completely different place! As you drive around, you will chance upon several fruit farms that give you the chance to pick your own fruit to take home. We were there in the middle of the cherry bloom season and a lot of the orchards were turning pink and white this time of the year. The river Hood also runs as the border between Oregon and, its northerly neighbour, Washington state. On the way, we crossed over Indian reservation land. Native Americans living on the reservation land have the right to fish as much as they can during specific months of the year. Many of them have opened up restaurants and shops where one can enjoy fresh riverine fish. On the way back to the city, along the river Hood, we stopped at Multnomah falls – the highest free-falling waterfall in the US. It’s a narrow stream of snowmelt that falls over 600 feet. The best part about this is that one can trek right up to the point where the water starts streaming over the edge into the waterfall. The Multnomah falls have an Indian legend behind them – the daughter of an Indian Chief was unhappy about a wedding she was about to be forced into. Without any other option in front of her, she decided to jump over the edge, and her tears then become the Multnomah falls. Although a small city by US standards, Portland is a cultural melting pot and is extremely liberal and accepting of people of all kinds. This culture has drawn many refugees to the US from across the world, which also gives its character. Ethiopian food platter Later that day, we went to a popular Ethiopian Restuarant for our dinner. The small Ethiopian community in Portland have given the city about 2-3 Ethiopian restaurants, which are immensely popular among the locals for its flavourful cuisine and unusually communal dining style. Many other cuisines have taken root here in this city and allows the residents and tourists to have a mind-boggling variety. We rounded off the day with a visit to one of the tallest buildings in Portland, at the top of which was the posh restaurant – the Portland City Grill. Although the building was short by New York and Chicago skyscraper standards, the 360-degree view was amazing. One could spend hours just observing the buzzing nightlife both inside the restaurant and on the streets. The restaurant also serves some of the best desserts that I have ever had – and we had ordered 3! I highly recommend trying the creme brulee, tres leches and the chocolate bomb. We had reserved the next day for shopping and a family get together. Portland is a great place to shop as they don’t have any sales taxes — so, in a way, you get bargain prices on everything! On the way back to the airport, we stopped over at a bridge reserved only for pedestrians, cyclists and the local train. Portland is a city of bridges — all bridges over the River Hood tributary flowing through the city — and is often called Bridgetown. This particular one was a great vantage point as one could see Mount Hood along with all the bridges in the city. Portland is quite different from the New Yorks and San Franciscos of the world, and is a great destination for a relaxed holiday where one can spend a lot of time to unwind in the great outdoors, and otherwise, just disconnect from the daily hubbub of life. Clearly this visit was too short – Portland deserves at least 3-4 days of your time to begin exploring all that it has to offer. The question about what you can do in Portland is easily answered if you have friends or relatives who will drive you around. But even if you are not lucky on that front, you will discover that there are scores of things to do and see — flower festivals, gardens, museums, film and music festivals, all kinds of outdoor activities, eating out, and so on. Reaching Portland directly from India is easy, with KLM offering flights to the city from Delhi and Mumbai to Amsterdam and onward connections from there. KLM will start flights to Amsterdam from Bangalore soon. Other places from where you can fly non-stop to Portland include Frankfurt, London and Tokyo. You can also fly to Portland from all major American cities.