Welcome! This site has been evolving since 2012, and is currently the home to Cultures Capsules as we work out the design of the platform we will eventually more to.
What’s Up With the URL Name (and “RMoB”)?
The “Real Mom of Brooklyn” (hence RMoB) website was established in 2012. As you may have guessed, the name was obviously a bit of a response to something with a similar name, but with a decidedly different vibe.
While preparing to make the move to a new site, the moniker still fits. As people continue to “break the mold,” as it were – in ALL sorts of ways – “REAL” means not fitting into any simple demographic box, or category.
Are These Recipes Authentic?
Absolutely. But a clarification is in order. We feel that the word “authentic” is being misused, and conflated with the word “traditional” in the worlds of food and culture today. For example, one version of an authentic New York Pizza of today may have salad on top, but it is not Traditional New York Pizza, by any stretch.
Our family identities are often less a reflection of pure DNA, geography or taken-for-granted upbringings, and more about birthing our own identities through new traditions, food, music, etc. We hope this site begins to capture and share some of that beauty and exploration in a way that allows people to share bits of their existence in a nuanced way, and allows us to step in other’s shoes, using all of our senses.
Who Are You, Anyway?
Well, if you must know, as the name suggests, this was founded by an actual mom in Brooklyn, but as you will see, we collaborate with people from around the globe.
And to the question of my identity, well, I’ll let my Cultures Capsules stand in for me. The demographics you might expect to find here would actually just belie my actual existence. Or, to answer Taiye Selasi’s question, I’m local, in Brooklyn, Hyderabad, and Cape Cod. And like you, I’m a myriad of things outside of the boxes we like to put each other – and sometimes ourselves – in. So let’s explore other ways and words for identifying ourselves.
Why Aren’t There Photos of You or Other Cultures Capsules Contributors?
We choose to keep our visual identities obscured because we feel it’s not about us, and frankly we also think it’s important to protect the privacy of those who don’t yet have a say (i.e. kids).
Moreover, we don’t want the photos of other people clouding your experience of this multi-sensory journey.
Before dining at a new restaurant, must you see the faces of others who have dined there before you? When you go to a movie, must you see photos of people watching the film before you? When you read a book, must you first see exactly how others chose to read it (on the train, on the couch, via audiobook)?
In this visual-hungry world, we do try to include representative (and hopefully nice to look at) photos, but really this site is meant to represent a balance of past experiences and suggestions to take those forward.
In college, one of us wrote a 20 page paper about how MTV kills our experience of music, because music videos impose visuals and ultimately encode artificial associations about that song. When we are allowed to experience the recorded or live music using our own senses of observation, we own our own experience of that song.
This is a bit like that. We want you to have your own experiences to be untainted, and yet we want to provide enough visuals that you get a sense of where you are going.