Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Warning - this is a Baltimore centric post....

On my way home from work this work this evening, two very fortuitous things happened...

One, was a true sign of Spring:


An Arraber. Arrabers go back to the Civil War as a representation of Freed Slaves in the new post war economy at that time. They are small, horse drawn fruit carts driven by African American men, who sing in a patois like the market vendors I encountered in East London last year. Translation? If you're not from here/there - you won't understand them. I see them all the time in my neighborhood, I just never have the presence of mind to photograph them. Until today.

"Holler, holler, holler, till my throat get sore.

If it wasn't for the pretty girls, I wouldn't have to holler no more.

I say, Watermelon! Watermelon!

Got em red to the rid, lady" - Earl Dorsey, Arabber

The other fortuitous meeting was in the local market on the way home. I had no groceries at home to speak of, and just needed a few things to tide me over since I have plans to either go to dinner with friends, or go out of town shortly, so I just needed some snack things for a day or two.

In the checkout line (and it's a very small market) was Cornelius - the father of Marcel, my neighbor, and the provider of Stroopwafel. Lovely, lovely man. He, and his wife Nellie, are the same exact age as my parents, and I had them for Thanksgiving dinner along with my family and 10 other friends a year ago. They've kept in touch with my parents as good friends ever since. I also had Cor and Nellie over for an Indonesian Rijstafel meal when they were here a few months ago, to thank them for all the Indonesian spices they supply.

We laughed about the coincidence since they only visit once or twice a year from Rotterdam, and then I offered him a ride home (he had walked from our house), where upon we saw the Arabbers. Cornelius had never seen them before and was completely fascinated by them. So - there you are.

Baltimore 101.
posted by Broadsheet @ 9:22 PM  
1 Editorial Opinions:
  • At April 13, 2005, Blogger Malnurtured Snay said…

    When I read David Simon's "Homicide" several years ago, one of the suspects is nicknamed "the Arraber", and for the longest time, I just pictured an Arab dude, because until recently I'd never heard of an 'arraber.'

    You had them for Thanksgiving? Did they taste like chicken? How are they still alive?

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