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P is for Pakistani Cricket
Ah, cultural imperialism and its politically charged cauldron of effects both unintended and unforeseen. Who could have imagined Franco-Africans living in the Parisian banlieus would develop their own brand of Yankee-inspired hip-hop? Or the fact a British-schooled Indian lawyer would lead a genteel revolt against his colonial masters? The Brits probably also never dreamed that their beloved game would be taken up by its subjects in the sub-continent and used to humiliate them one wicket at a time. The Clash of the Cricket Titans will feature Pakistan’s politically charged tour of India, shown live on April 14 and 16 at ImaginAsian cinema (239 E. 59th St) www.theimaginasian.com — admission includes Munchies bag!
Q is for Queensland (as in Australia)
We don’t generally like to trade in nationalistic stereotyping, but we always make an exception for Australians (and sometimes Canadians). Aussies are generally loud and brash and entertain no second thoughts about satisfying their ample appetites. At the Sun Burnt Cow (137 Ave C) those appetites might include a craving for Chook Sticks or Roo Bangers (chicken and kangaroo respectively), or in a weird kind of autophagy, the eponymous Sun Burnt Bessie On a Stick — and to wash it all down you can take your pick from a Stoli Mootini or a Moojito. If you’re feeling frisky they also have a variety of world music events, and DJs on the weekends, and a cool garden to boot.
R is for Russians in Red Hook
Russia has exported a lot of great things: deeply philosophical literature, hockey players, those little dolls that go on forever, and vodka — but rock ’n’ roll isn’t high on the list. In an effort to right the balance, a concerned group of Russian musicians is presenting Optimystica Fest, a weekend event at the Hook (18 Commerce St) starting Saturday, April 16. On hand will be the so-called St. Petersburg indie sound, with bands you’ve never heard of like Interzona, Tequilajazz and Markscheider Kunst — but the scene itself is likely to be worth the trip to Red Hook. Shows on both nights begin at 9pm.
S is for Single Malt Scotch at St. Andrew’s
New York City is lousy with Irish bars. Everywhere you spit there’s a Duffy’s or an O’Sullivan’s; but you try looking for a MacLeod’s or a Campbell’s and you’re out of luck. For some reason, there’s only one bona fide Scottish pub on the island of Manhattan, and it’s called St. Andrew’s (120 W. 44th St). But rest easy, this pub/restaurant just off Times Square can take care of most of your Scottish cravings, especially the big one: single malt Scotch. St. Andrew’s boasts the single largest collection of fine Scotch in all of New York, everything from the most modest of blends to fine (and expensive) reserves. Which makes it a lot easier to wash down the haggis.
T is Tibetan Food at Tsampa
Two words: tsogo ngopa. Ok, two more words: shiitake pancakes. These are four of our favorite words, as they signify one delicious meal at this charming little East Village restaurant(212 E. 9th St). If you’re wary of appropriated Tibetan kitsch and earnest men from San Francisco with ponytails, fear not, this place is actually owned and run by Tibetans. The kitchen uses all-organic ingredients (but they don’t take it out on your wallet) and makes the best chai we’ve ever had. Here’s one more word for you: momo (specialized Tibetan dumplings that are not to be missed).