Every year the Brazilian community in the U.S. celebrates Independence Day (Sept. 7) on the first Sunday of Spetember in NYC.
Having found out about it, I had to go there, right? And even though the bands playing were not my all-time favorites, it had everyting to be a perfect day, especially because I was dying for some typical food.
There was no time to be wasted, I got on the phone and put a group together. But pretty soon I would find out that I had picked the wrong group to go with. They complained about everthing and before the day was over they went home and left me behind.
I wasn’t totally innocent on the issue. Staying behind was my own choice. I simply refused to leave anytime before sunset. There was way too much going on for me to leave! So I stayed, mingled with the crowd and danced till my legs were num.
Between one concert and the other, we sang the National Anthem. It was beautiful! I held my flag up all the way through it and had to fight back a few tears.
The lady that sang the American National Anthem though did a very bad job. She thought she was Whitney Houston and hollered the words out, instead of doing some actual singing. Pitiful. The land we live in deserved better.
Artists from TV Globo (the Brazilian equivalent to Hollywood) were there, like Thiago Lacerda and Luigi Barricelli, good-looking guys that most of my friends in Brazil would die to see. Andre Marques, the cute chubby host from Video Show (a daily TV Globo show), hosted the party and shot some images for his TV program.
“Hey, Mom, I am on TV Globo!” Ok, ok, I was just one amongst the crowd, but I was on Globo indeed anyway! Next year I will write a huge sign saying the words “Film I here!” which draws attention from the camera because the grammar is so wrong!
Andre Marques asked the people from different states to holler as he said the names of the places. Minas Gerais was the largest crowd. Sao Paulo was the runner-up. Bahia was really small, but I cried my lungs out when he said “The people from Bahia-a-a-a-a-a!”
I would have hollered even louder if Miss Dumbo with me hadn’t pulled my arms down to say “My ‘Our Lady’! We are the only ones from Bahia!”
If you have ever looked at someone with a truthfull desire to kill the person, you’d recognize the look in my eyes. What did I care and why wouldn’t she let me holler?
Foodwise, I was disappointed. I paid SEVEN DOLLARS FOR AN ACARAJE!!!! There is acaraje being sold on every street of my hometown for a dollar! Seven dollars?!?! Shoot me!
Acaraje is a small cake made from crushed beans and you eat it with lots of different fillings, like a sandwich. It is a typical and unique food from Bahia.
When I say unique I mean it literally “not found anywhere else”. Oops, I am lying. Actually there is a lady in Sao Paulo that makes it, but it is pitiful. She wakes up at 4 am, and bakes the cakes at 5 am. At 5 pm she is still selling those same cakes that she made 12 hours ago! Well,you can not save an acaraje for the next hour, let alone 12 hours!
But as I said before, I was dying for some typical food, so I paid the 7 dollars with true pain in my heart. And it wasn’t even the best acaraje I’ve had. As a matter of fact when you’ve had Dinha’s and Deborah’s cakes you will not find anything better ever again. Soft dull, crunchy crust, fresh and ripe tomatoes for the salad, tasty vatapa... everything with those baianas is just right.
There was also churrasquinho (shih-kebab), but I guess it was not the one made in bahia, because the pieces in Bahia are smaller and crunchier and they come with slices of fresh tomato and onion on the tip of the stick.
The other thing they had was churros, some kind of dull with caramel inside. But the dull was too thick.
There were no preserves like tamarindo or groselha; no fruits like pinha, jamelao, jambo; no roasted qualho cheese. Things that I miss more than life! They were also serving feijoada and that green leafy thing that might kill you if it’s not well washed and cooked long enough, I forgot what it is called. Those are things you do not want to buy at the street.
When the party was over some guys I met found out I was from Bahia and asked me to go dance Forrall with them at some dance club on 47th. Forall is a typical north-eastern rythm. But then that samba lyric “moro em jasanan, se eu perder esse trem que sai agora as 11 horas, so amanha de manha.” (I live in jasanan, if I miss this train that leaves now at 11, only tomorrow morning.) Yeah, i had a train to catch and I had no idea what kind of transportation would expect me at my arrival in Stamford. I had better leave. So I passed on the Forrall, with true heart ache.
As I walked to Grand Central I realized my legs wieghed 100 lbs. each. But I was still trying to walk like a lady. I still had to get away from thi guy that proclaimed himself my boyfriend and would n't leave me alone. Guess what! he found me again at the station when I got there.
Overall, it was a fun day. It was worth it, and next year I am doing it again!