All posts by kmccallum

Presentation and Aspiration: A Hostess’ Job

Disclaimer: The names in this article have been changed at the request of the interview subject.

On Thursdays through Saturdays, Emma stands with a smile behind the counter at a restaurant on Avenue M. She greets those who come off the street into the somewhat small building and gently guides them to their seats, handing them the large menus and letting them know to not hesitate to ask for anything. She answers the phone with fluid efficiency and a professional air, and examines seating charts with a practiced eye. She is the first impression guests make of the restaurant, and she is a friendly one.

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The Adventures of a Californian-Canadian


My sister and I in Grand Central Station, shortly after I joined her living here
My sister and I in Grand Central Station, August 2013; she was very excited

It’s interesting, being a Californian in New York City. Although I don’t notice it, New Yorkers say that I have an accent; and, without fail, the magical word ‘California’ evokes images of sandy beaches, tanned bodies, and celebrities. Although I can’t necessarily blame New York; Californians have a similar idea in spirit, if not in specifics, of the Big Apple.

New Yorkers say that I’m a Californian; Californians say that I’m Canadian. It’s a bit of an interesting dichotomy, albeit an understandable one. Talk to me long enough and you’ll understand. The accent never fails to surface. But the question then arises: why on earth does a Californian have a Canadian accent? (And how on earth does someone the colour of sour cream survive in California?) Continue reading The Adventures of a Californian-Canadian