I love today’s post title. It’s refreshing and healthy to think about looking around at the same old people, places and things, but with a fresh perspective.
The “being from Minnesota” part that made me a tourist in southern California almost 20 years ago has worn thin. I’m more like a local than not these days.
Lucky for me, I live in a very culturally dynamic part of the country. Actually, it’s not luck. After growing up in a town where most of the other people looked pretty much the same way I do (and dressed the same, prayed the same, talked the same way “don’tcha know” :)), raising my family in a diverse community is something for which I sought.
Towns with lots of the same kinda folks are cool in their own way too, but my personal preference is for a hodge-podgy-er inhabitant set up.
In Los Angeles County, a person could likely find pretty any food item on the planet authentically prepared by someone from that part of the planet. I like that. It means I can still be a tourist in my own town if I get the hankerin’.
Here in Pasadena, one of my favorite ethnic influences is the Armenian community. I love the way the written language looks (can’t read a word) and how it sounds both gruff and sweet to my white little ears. I love the exotic beauty of the people and, of course, I love the food. LOVE THE FOOD.
The Armen Market: 1873 Allen Ave. (at New York Dr.), Pasadena, CA 91104 (I have searched and searched and cannot fine a website for these guys!) is one of my favorite places to shop as a tourist in my own town. Remember that Sesame Street song “which one of these things doesn’t belong here?” That’s me! But in a cool way when I shop at places like Armen’s.
The thickly accented friendly foreign-born ladies smile politely at my deeply thought provoking questions such as “What is that?” and “What is this?”
Many of the food labels are void of any written characters I recognize so I gotta ask sometimes!
This market sounds and smells like a food market–not like cheap degreasing agents used to clean floors of sterile big chain super markets.
If you live in a city like mine, and you think Trader Joe’s is the ticket to international cuisine, I really must beg to differ.
As a fixed-income stay-at-home mama with a travelin’ heart, I truly appreciate the variety of food experiences offered to me here in Pasadena. Armen’s is but one of many places I can “visit” in my own town.