Sunday, July 11, 2010

City of the Big Shoulders

In just a few days, I will be the seventh circle of hell - on an aeroplane above the vast Pacific Ocean, by myself, with my three children aged 4, 2 and 1.  We are headed to the balmy summer of the warm American Midwest, to stay with Mr Baklover's family, and will be gone for a couple of months.

While there, I hope to share some of my favourite American foods with you, like ribs, Italian beef sandwiches, and Chicago-style hot dogs.  Unlike Australia, the USA takes an immense amount of pride in its junk food, and I don't say that facetiously.  Far better to have a pizza, albeit a cheesy, pepperoni-studded one, made with love and care than the horrible, flabby examples thrown in a cardboard box that we often get here.

I also hope to share with you some of the cuisines that are unique to America, like African-American soul food.  I want to make the most of having access to Hispanic ingredients such as fresh tortillas and a myriad of dried chillies.  Rather than simply going off air, I hope you will instead enjoy some posts about American food, which is so much more than McDonalds and Burger King.

But, dear readers and fellow bloggers - help me keep the home fires burning!  Please consider contributing to Footscray Food Blog with a review of a restaurant or a recipe based on an interesting, locally-obtainable ingredient, from anywhere west of Pascoe Vale Road.  If you can take a photo or two, that would be brilliant.  Email submissions to  Don't be shy!

I still have a few more Footscray reviews up my sleeve, so don't despair just yet.  Thank you as always for reading!  I do love writing this blog, and I love getting your comments and emails.  As the inner West gentrifies, a process of which I know I am a part, I feel it is so important to encourage newer residents to engage with our local area, lest it become merely a dormitory suburb.  Get out there, and get exploring!

I'll leave you with Carl Sandburg's masterpiece, Chicago.

HOG Butcher for the World,
     Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
     Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
     Stormy, husky, brawling,
     City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I
     have seen your painted women under the gas lamps
     luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I answer: Yes, it
     is true I have seen the gunman kill and go free to
     kill again.
And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the
     faces of women and children I have seen the marks
     of wanton hunger.
And having answered so I turn once more to those who
     sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer
     and say to them:
Come and show me another city with lifted head singing
     so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.
Flinging magnetic curses amid the toil of piling job on
     job, here is a tall bold slugger set vivid against the
     little soft cities;

Fierce as a dog with tongue lapping for action, cunning
     as a savage pitted against the wilderness,
          Building, breaking, rebuilding,
Under the smoke, dust all over his mouth, laughing with
     white teeth,
Under the terrible burden of destiny laughing as a young
     man laughs,
Laughing even as an ignorant fighter laughs who has
     never lost a battle,
Bragging and laughing that under his wrist is the pulse.
     and under his ribs the heart of the people,
Laughing the stormy, husky, brawling laughter of
     Youth, half-naked, sweating, proud to be Hog
     Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with
     Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.

Poem from


  1. I will indeed look forward to your reviews from the US, although I will miss your local reviews! As an American/Australian who loves food, your blog has been just a fantastic find for me!!! :-)

  2. Oh, have a great trip! Look forward to reading all about it. If I eat at any places around Footscray, I'll send you an email!

  3. Hoot! Have a great trip! Shall catch up when you get back.

  4. Ooh I'm jealous! Mmmm, ribs.

    But seriously now, we all know the seventh circle of Hell is Kuta in Bali. :P

    Have an awesome trip, and hopefully I'll be ensconced in the 'hood upon your return, and able to write a guest post for you!

  5. Hope things go well for you overseas. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

  6. Thanks all. I am here, made it reasonably unscathed! Billy, good luck with the move! I agree, Kuta is Sin City, not in a good way.


I love getting your comments! They're what make blogging worthwhile. Unfortunately, the amount of spam I get is obscene and it is so tiresome to have to moderate every comment, so I have had to turn on annoying word verification. I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but please know how much I love you having your say!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Related Posts with Thumbnails