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Mar 082009

The systemic impediments include both the legacy of racism and dramatic economic changes that have fallen with disproportionate severity on poor blacks.

….Today many ghetto residents have almost no contact with mainstream American society or the normal job market. As a result, they have developed distinctive and often dysfunctional social norms. The work ethic, investment in the future and deferred gratification make no sense in an environment in which legitimate employment at a living wage is impossible to find and crime is an everyday hazard (and temptation). Men, unable to support their families, abandon them; women become resigned to single motherhood; children suffer from broken homes and from the bad examples set by both peers and adults. And this dysfunctional behavior reinforces negative racial stereotypes, making it all the harder for poor blacks to find decent jobs.

 – Richard Thompson Ford, Professor of Law at Stanford University in his review of More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius Wilson

Source: New York Times, 3/8/2009

Mar 082009

These are troubled times for Shiva Natarajan, numero uno Indian restaurateur on the U.S. East Coast and Bollywood actor.

The New York City Health Department has come down heavily on Shiva’s Dhaba Indian restaurant citing mice, vermin, sewage, garbage, pesticide, prohibited chemical and a host of other unpalatable issues at this restaurant on Lexington Avenue in Murray Hill area of Manhattan.

Yes, Dhaba failed the February 10, 2009 NYC Health Department inspection.

Besides Dhaba, another Indian restaurant Shiva is associated with in the NYC area – Tadka – is also facing serious, serious sanitation problems.

Whining and More Whining
After our recent restaurant review on Dhaba, we got an earful from Shiva.

In our review, we made no secret of the fact that the food and service at Dhaba (Shiva’s newest Indian restaurant in New York City) were crappy and crappier respectively.

You know what. Shiva got agitated and whined and whined and whined over the phone.

Because we made a reference to Shiva’s Bollywood connections and his name in the headline, the fella suggested to us that our review took an ‘unprofessional approach’ and implied that it was a ‘personal attack’ on him.

Folks, by his association with Bollywood, Shiva is a celebrity. So, what’s wrong in putting his name in the headline.

Dhaba NYCDhaba NYC – Dirty Hovel

Citing a lot of appreciation from the American press and dropping names like the New York Times, Shiva boasted:

Today in New York City if you see the variety of food that I have got and the acclaim that I have got from the American press…you should be proud of what I’ve done.

Really, Shiva? So, we should be proud of your mice, vermin, sewage, garbage and other sanitation problems at Dhaba?

Shiva, remember all these problems were uncovered by the NYC Health Department after our conversation last month.

Disgusting. Continue reading »