A month before the Presidential Election, stumping for The President’s re-election in west Philly, we find ourselves on line for oxtails…
It isn’t like me to knock on your door, clipboard in hand, to ask that you commit to vote for anyone, but “never say never” really applies here. On behalf of the President––and probably Hello Kitty if she were running––the Boyfriend and I boarded a bus out of Brooklyn, five trips in total, to join forces with the Obama campaign in Philadelphia to Get Out The Vote. We had to do it because had Romney become president, the Boyfriend and I would have had to leave the country. And another thing, you cannot whine and complain in good conscience about something if you haven’t lifted a finger to try to change it!
While the main focus was to rally the base, what a great bonus it was to be in such a great city like Philly. It was combination campaigning and walking tour of distinct neighborhoods and their murals. Coming upon these murals while making the rounds was a wonderful treasure hunt––inspiring and visionary, they really capture the soul of the city. This one below has a quote by Marcus Garvey on the top left: “It is by education that we become prepared for our duties and responsibilities in life.” Amen!
Not to mention the good eats that you can find by wandering into a bodega that serves, unbeknownst to us, hot food! We were happy and lucky to have made our acquaintance with the lovely cook and her platter of oxtails and collards with rice and peas!
For $11.99 we got fed well that afternoon, sitting out on the ledge of a concrete planter having our Sunday dinner, building up our sustenance for the next batch of doors. It took us some time to reach the bottom of that “platter”, but we got there!
I love oxtails. My mom used to braise them in soy sauce until the meat fell off the bone and quite heavenly. So whenever I see them on a menu or hear someone talking about them, like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I salivate. I remember reading an article years ago that warned of a oxtail shortage in NYC and how prices were skyrocketing. The horror! And ironic because this was the part of the animal that got thrown out and rescued out of the garbage heap by peasants who were poor, but savvy and creative cooks. Talk about real working-class fare!
Thanks to all the Philadelphians who opened their doors to listen to our spiel, filled out “commit to vote” cards and registered to vote so that we could all be ready together to re-elect our President. It was a team effort––volunteers in Pennsylvania and NYC along with the hardworking families and people of Pennsylvania who took their citizenship duties seriously during this election season.