Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Edge of Heaven Dir. Fatih Akin

Miss Talibonita just watched the latest film by Turkish German Director, Fatih Akin: The Edge of Heaven. It is playing at the Film Forum (wonderful cocoon of a place featuring Indie Films) until June 11th. So go see it now while you can!

The film was beautiful. Such incredible shots of Turkish landscape. After teaching Head-On this semester (which the students loved), it was great to see his latest film. Akin captures youthful defiance, loss, and the fragility of life in this film. Its a father-son / mother-daughter film. So bring a hanky if you are soft on these things. If you have a blood-sucking vamp for a mother (like Miss Talibonita) then you can get through dry-eyed at all those mommy scenes. No more can be said about this film without spoiling it for you. Note: Do not read too many reviews of the film before you see it. Just go and dedicate 2 hours and 15 min of your life to the film!

Akin's films do bring up one question: Why do the Turkish German characters end up returning to Turkey? (Wait is that a spoiler?)

Monday, May 26, 2008

CenAsians <3 Brooklyn

Miss Talibonita has been a Brooklyn girl ever since she was five and always thought that her Dari infused Turkestani language was something home brewed, something only spoken within the warm-womblike confines of her home. However, in the past five years, she's been pinned as a CenAsian at her local train station, supermarket, laundromat, 99 Cent Store, and pizzeria. Although, she cringes at hearing a CenAsian face speaking Russian (a side effect of being Afghan), she has been fascinated with these interactions.

Apparently, this side of Brooklyn, Shish Kebab Bay (named for fish shaped like kebabs), is a palimpsest of CenAsian footprints:

1950s: Bunch of Turks (as in from Turkey)
1960s: Bunch of Crimean Tatars
1970s: A Drizzle of Afghan Turkestanis
1980s: Tons of Afghan Turkestanis
1980s: Whole Lotta Turks (by the 90s most of the shish kebab shops were owned by Turks)
1990s: Bunch of Uzbeks, Uyghurs, Kazaks
2000s: Whole Lotta of Uzbeks (mostly here as caretakers or babysitters for Russian families)

*These facts are based on tea visits with elder CenAsians who told Miss Talibonita of "the first" Tatar or Uzbek or Afghan they remembered moving into the area. The info has not been fully verified or researched properly.

Miss Talibonita loves some CenAsian appreciation of her round face, however she has been presented with a matchmaking scheme at almost every one of these interactions. So let's make it public. "Yes Miss Talibonita is American. No she will not meet your brother/cousin/uncle/nephew/neighbor's nephew/third cousin's wife's little brother/ or whoever else out there male (or in male drag) to settle down with!"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Xinjiang Kebabs in NYC

Miss Talibonita has been wading through a sea of articles to write and papers to grade... she had little CenAsian news, other than her own silly struggles such as a bad haircut in Chinatown followed by way too many conferences to attend and pretend to be smart.

Anyway, this weekend Miss Talibonita the brave stumbled upon a Xinjiang Kebab street cart on Main Street and 41 Ave (right where Kissena splits off) Flushing, Queens. For a $1 a stick of lamb or chicken, she had some amazing kebabs from back home!

Miss Talibonita could not tell if they spoke Uyghur, she did not try too hard, her mouth was all a drool from the heavenly smell (at least heavenly for the carnivorous at heart) of lambs grilling over an open fire.

Apparently, there is another Xinjiang Kebab cart in Manhattan:

Division St. , New York, NY 10002
at Forsyth St. $2 a kebab

If anyone knows anymore locations, pass it on! Its definitely Turkistani kebabs at its best!