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That's some delightful Sherlocking! I had a similar moment in the little Lithuanian town (10K inhabitants) I went to to visit some family over Easter holiday. I was surprised to see a group of like 10+ Sikh guys hanging around in front of some house that was previosuly unoccupied. I first thought they cam to celebrate a wedding or something similar (it's rare to see folk that are non-white in smaller Lithuanian towns). But apparently they were all their studying for their truck drivers license! As there's a shortage of drivers in this part of the world, they're bringing in folk from India, Cameroon and other places. And then I remembered reading that something like half of all truck drivers in California were Sikhs as well.

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Wow Oleg, that's a cool story! Who would have thought, right? It's fun when the explanation is nothing you'd have imagined in advance.

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“…they didn’t speak English…recent immigrants from Africa or Central America, and they work for all the different delivery services—Uber, Grub Hub, DoorDash, etc….but he offered to chat using the translator app on his phone…this length of curb was unclaimed space—perhaps the only unclaimed stretch of curb in the area…“We try to take care of the citizen,” he added. “We just want them to have their food on time and that it be safe.” …Wow, I felt like the Sherlock Holmes of Eighth Ave!”

Anne, you should teach a class in Modern Sociology in the Digital Economy at NYU, based on your investigation (Or a detective class in the Special Investigations Unit at the NYPD). You have it all right here…the so-called “American Dream” from the very bottom up. I’m not religious, but may the Universe bless these guys! NYC, like Chicago, L.A. and other big cities have the necessary ingredients to offer a meager living to immigrants.

Of course a memory comes to mind: my grandfather, Dominic and his brother, Joe, arrived in NYC in 1919 from Italy…another brother went to Argentina (I wonder how he made out?). The 1st day in NYC someone stole my grandfather’s money; yet the both of them managed to make it to the Steel Mills of Youngstown, Ohio, to sweat their asses off near the blast furnaces (many, many years later my great-uncle Joe got a pension from Italy because he was gassed in the trenches in WWI, which I heard was pretty substantial; the money and the mustard gas).

My grandfather and great uncle Joe also fought the KKK in Niles, Ohio, back in 1924; that was the last time Martial Law was declared in Ohio because a coalition of the Italians, Irish and Blacks (they called themselves The Knights of the Flaming Circle) dynamited the Mayor of Nile’s house, as he was a Klansman; the story was in the NY Times for a week! My grandmother and her sisters cooked for the men in between the rioting! My gradma did make some dynamite-pasta! LOL!!

WE ARE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND YET WE’VE NEVER LEARNED THE LESSON OF EMPATHY, TO HELP INSTEAD OF HATE. DON’T GET ME STARTED!! https://www.tribtoday.com/news/local-news/2017/08/niles-recalls-1924-riots/

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That's a great story JRB! Do you know what kind of sauce on the pasta? This seems like a key point.

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I think it was tomato-based with plenty of garlic powder and black powder and meatballs made of nitroglycerin gel, eggs and breadcrumbs all garnished with detonator caps. It really resembled a "flambe" when the Mayor of Niles had it. He said it was to die for. And all my relatives agreed!

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JRB -- I am in a history book club and we are ALWAYS looking for new stories to explore. Have any books been written about this period you would recommend as I would imagine it was probably not isolated to Youngstown.

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I did and am interested. I took a quick peek to buy a used copy but EXPENSIVE. I am on vacation so I will likely go to the Library and see if my library can arrange an inter-library loan. I've been able to grab hard to find books sometimes that way. Have a great day !

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I'm so pleased to know that there will be some kind of rest hubs for delivery workers!! Very much needed here in the city, especially as public restrooms can be pretty scarce...

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Me too Rebecca! Everybody depends on them so everybody should care for them! I’ll be sure to do a story when they open.

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Apr 10, 2023·edited Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Another delightful Monday

(1) Peeling -- I wonder how many of your peeling analysis staff will pompously reply to "What do you do with your time?" -- I do some volunteer work in my spare time.

(2) Trash Heap photo comes alive with your commentary – recommendation for a topic – have readers FREELY ADMIT something THEY have in their home or storage that they NEVER USE yet lack the fortitude to throw away -- I have a dishwasher -- ugh

(3) 8th Avenue – A master class in why I love that my phone can actively translate languages even into my earbuds! Reply to them in their native language even! Another killer app. Haven’t been on a GrayLine Tour in 25 years!

(4) Snack Survey – Mustafa has the most ingenious inventory system stocking the pregnancy tests and cigarettes together and just above the sex aids.

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Mark! Love your story idea! And I have never heard of someone keeping an old dishwasher around. That’s sort of a large item! A New Yorker in a tiny apt would never have that situation.

I was so happy when the delivery guys suggested the app translations. I wouldn’t have thought of it but they must be using them all the time.

Nice noticing on the Mustafa pic—haha!

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What i can say is the D/W is in storage and works. We will probably sell it soon. We swapped out two dishwashers and it turned out one of them had a small problem that had flooded a kitchen. It could have been easily fixed and we did not realize it till too late. I hate throwing things away that are not broken.

The on-the-fly translators to voice, text or transcript (to the earbud) are crazy cool. It is really the first time the manufacturer is not going to share it with other phones of any sort as it is done on the phone with an AI Chip. It seems the type of thing that will be impossible to replicate. The basics are available in Google Translate but mostly in window blocks on the phone. Nice but clunky.

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“I got a flood of applications from around the globe. And by flood, I mean ten! Which is plenty…Yes, what started as a humble Brooklyn-based fact finding commission has ballooned into an international tribunal.”

Anne, you should centralize the tribunal in the Hague!!

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An international panel should have broad "apeel"

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

YOU OWN THE INTERNET WITH THAT COMMENT!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! WELL-PLAYED MY FRIEND!! JUST LIKE GARKEL!!

https://youtu.be/_K_gBjKqBLg

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I miss 30 Rock -- the pun is the 60 year old version of a meme

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Mark, if the Smartphone can't increase understanding and empathy nothing can. I have hope for the future.

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One of my daughter-in-laws is from Okinawa. Her father does not speak English. A phone that can do universal on the fly translation may as well be a Star Trek device. When I think about what the first flip phones were like, this stuff is just Sci-Fi -- his Japanese converts to English in my ear and my English converts to Japanese in his ear -- it is not perfect but it is very very good -- I believe we dwell on the wrong things in many cases while the wonderful is right under our noses.

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You win the Internet twice in one day with that uplifting comment.

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Quite an honor to win twice. However, I think if you are 'SMART LIKE US' :), choosing a VERY NARROW corner of the internet like the Cafe is one of the secrets to missing a lot of the chaff. I would imagine occasional fun emerges on Twitter and Instagram, you merely have to wade through a lot of filth to get there.

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I hope I'm not wearing out my welcome on the corner of the Internet, Cafe Anne! I'm much too much most of the time. You, on the other hand, are a delight!

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It will always be hard to impeach and remove a judge. You make this a fun place to hover.

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Thanks Mitchell! Madison Avenue & now Social Media are very recent human developments. We all have different perceptions about their impacts. I think classic two-edged swords and the negatives are longer n sharper imo

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Actually, I did it intentionally because it make my customers smiles all the time When they see it.

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Your comment made my day! When I saw it I laughed and thought -- well as long as I'm buying X why don't you give me a Y also :)

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I’m glad I made you laugh that right there makes me feel happy making people laugh

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Anne! Above mentioned Janie here - thank you for (1) investigating (a thrill in and of itself) and (2) vindicating my initial suspicion that 'a lot of restaurants' was not what made this particular stretch remarkable or amenable as a delivery guy gathering spot.

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Yep that would be too easy! Thanks for your question Janie—I had so much fun conducting that little investigation. It was the highlight of my week. :)

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omg jillian's thing on beatrix potter's notes this week is pure joy...as are the 2 wild n crazy and deceptively hard working guys you note...this space here is valued equally

needless to say

the reflection of a truly good soul

with the Universal appeal of yup barbecue lays potato chips!

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What a world!

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So many varieties of Nutella-snacks in our bodegas! Who knew?! Nutella would go really well with that banana too...now all I can think about is Nutella! Thanks Anne 😂

Also, forget the rower. I’m going straight for the coin-op pony ride!

Also, thanks for mentioning my Alex/Michael interview! It was so fun.

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Jillian, now that two bodega workers mentioned Nutella, I am spotting an insane selection of Nutella products in bodegas everywhere. It's remarkable how the company has managed to maintain the image of the brand as a sort of gourmet indulgence while concocting all these spinoffs expressly aimed at the gas station/bodega crowd.

Coin-op ponies 4ever!!!

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Agreed: that's some brilliant marketing. And, I just looked it up, it's still owned by an Italian company. I thought for sure Hershey had taken it over.

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“Yes, it’s a rowing machine and a coin-op kiddy ride…so in a fit of disgust you toss them both out to the curb? I hate it when that happens.”

OMG, if the execs at Peloton are reading this they may come out with a coin operated pony ride with a screen on it!! It may save the company...I’d buy one!

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And imagine the weirdness that would display on the screen....

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These trash heaps that Anne shares are simply astounding. I'm beginning to believe if we ask for something, her readers will find it and photograph it. I want to see someone throwing away one of those ladybugs on a big spring that used to be popular in parks next to the teeter-totter.

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Yes!!! Me too!

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

1. Lou is correct. The other bodega employees need to try harder. I discovered these living in Germany in the 80s, and they still hold up. Also, the guy who ate all the BBQ chips!??!! So awesome. He is my friend.

2. Also, how amazing is it that none of them spoke English, yet the smartphone app still allowed the interview to take place and you confirmed the real answer? We're living in the magical future!

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Alright! As you can see from the photo it is a tiny little chocolate bar for $5 but if both you and Lou say so, I will check it out!

And yes wasn’t it fun how it worked out? Did not expect any of that when I was heading up on the A train. Smartphones not all bad!

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Wait. I didn't say it wasn't a ripoff for the $5 bodega price. I was judging it completely outside the realm of pricing. If it has to be "for the money" as part of the equation I would probably find a better deal.

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

“Biscuit packaging promises “Good Food” and “Four Happiness.” …Mustafa: “Lay's chips—bar-b-cue. They're tasty!” …Ahmed: “I like to eat the raisin bagel together with cream cheese and banana.”

Well, any snack is great, but to promise “Good Food” and “Four Happiness” is a game-changer; the snack may be unhealthy, but how can you go wrong?!

I’m partial to barb-b-cue chips and always have been since a little boy; barb-b-cue chips, as a child, were proof that God and the Devil existed

Mustafa just looks like a great guy with a great big smile! His snack is more healthy than most, banana and raisin bagel; sort of like choosing a nice-looking date who is an accountant instead of the knock-out who sleeps with you on the 1st acquaintance (if she does that with a guy like YOU, think of all the guys she did that with before YOU…prolly just hours (minutes?) before YOU!)

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JRB! I think I need to go back and buy those biscuits. And yes, Mustafa was really a sweetie. Also, it is amazing how even your comment about a NYC bodega guy's snack preferences somehow managed to devolve into further thoughts about dating adventures...

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May 11, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Thank you so much Anne for spreading the most beautiful stories it was my pleasure for meeting you and sharing the story with you much love.

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Just a reach for an analogy.

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Thank you so much for your kindly comment. Much love for everyone.

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Your smile makes people happy!

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Thank you so much

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Thank you so much awesome friend

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thats an understatement

for sure....you should see the stuff they leave out by road in MY neighborhood

id take a pic but these phantoms grab it so quick you cant get image!

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Love it, Anne!

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E. Jean Carroll!! Honored you stopped by. Thank you!!

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Apr 11, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Those $5 Kinder bars cost round £0.60 in my local supermarket. I'm going to have to save up a lot more before returning to NYC.

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Or maybe...International Kinder Arbitrage!!!

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Pretzels with nutella?!!! I don't think we have them in Australia, but I'm gonna DIY the hell outta that!!

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Medha I have tried the DIY version and can heartily endorse!

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Mystery on Eighth Avenue = It takes a village.

Great sleuthing and another engaging read.

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Thank you Nolan! Very glad you enjoyed.

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I thought on first glance, when I saw the man holding a bag with the words ‘Sausalito’ and ‘Milk Chocolate’ on its front that he was eating chocolate sausages. That would have been weird! To an oldie like me here in England, a sausage is made from minced pork and rusks, then cooked in an oven (which I do) or in a frying pan (they are also deep fried). Fast food takeaways also cook them covered in batter. Maybe in New York you can buy cooked meat covered in chocolate? Thanks for the thought Anne. Regards Robert 🐰

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A thought indeed Robert! I know chocolate covered bacon is a thing here in the US but sausage I have not seen. And no battered and fried sausage but we do have corn dogs which as you may know are battered and deep fried hot dogs. They are fun to try once!

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Anne I did not know. I assumed a corn dog was a deep fried maize/corn cob. Forgive my ignorance. I have just been looking at lots of chocolate covered bacon images on the web. Amazing! Now two things about American food I did not know. Robert 🐰

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This is all so great, Anne!

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Aww thank you Jolene! Glad you enjoyed!

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Apr 10, 2023·edited Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

That is some great investigating! I also noticed that a lot of delivery guys hangout on street/sidewalk of 8th Ave between 43rd and 44th. Right when the dinner rush starts. That area of Hells Kitchen has so many restaurants/fast food joints which makes sense for these guys. Another great Cafe Anne.

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Haha thank you Justin! I wonder if the block you noticed is also a similar situation bus-wise?

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

The side of 8th avenue they hangout on are dedicated bike and pedestrian lanes. So maybe they flip flop sides of the street as they make their way south.

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Anne, you should teach a class in Modern Sociology at NYU based on your investigation (Or a detective class in the Special Investigations Unit at the NYPD). You have it all right here…the so-called “American Dream” from the very bottom up. I’m not religious, but may the Universe bless these guys!

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Yes we are all rooting for them. I keep imagining what it'd be like to move to a huge city where you don't know the language, zooming through the streets on your bike, delivering food to strangers. It's a very weird world, but more weird for some than for others.

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Apr 10, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

A stranger in a strange land would be behind the eight-ball from jump-street, to mix metaphors. Why would any sane person add to their misery? Yet all through our history, the immigrant was scapegoated, just like people of color. LBJ said it best and could include immigrants, too:

"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you." That's how Trump garners donations.

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