I will never forget what happened on August 14, 2003. I know the exact sequence of where I was for every moment of that evening. It was a tragic day, and it's burned into my memory. Many people might remember that date, vaguely, as the date of the infamous eastern seaboard blackout that plunged all of New York City into darkness.
As a Middle Eastern male, I know there's certain things I'm not supposed to say on an airplane in the U.S., right? I'm not supposed to be walking down the aisle, and be like, 'Hi, Jack.' That's not cool. Even if I'm there with my friend named Jack, I say, 'Greetings, Jack. Salutations, Jack.' Never 'Hi, Jack.'
Overcoming the Cold War required courage from the people of Central and Eastern Europe and what was then the German Democratic Republic, but it also required the steadfastness of Western partner over many decades when many had long lost hope of integration of the two Germanys and Europe.
I worked on the line, I've been an executive chef, I've worked for the Mets, I've worked for various steakhouses, vegetarian restaurants, a lot of Middle Eastern stuff. I've worked my fair share of a lot of different things. I've worked at festivals and street fairs, you know? I've been through it all.
I am a spiritual person in an eastern religion kind of way. I learned that happiness for all of us is a switch that you flick in your brain. It doesn't have anything to do with getting a new house, a new car, a new girlfriend, or a new pair of shoes. Our culture is very much about that; we are never happy with what we have today.