Madison is the home of the University of Wisconsin. Because I went to Michigan, and they are in the Big Ten, this makes us sort of like cousins. After my first visit, how do I feel about Madison? Meh.
On my first night there, I went out for dinner with my colleague and friend - Ahram. We went to a highly rated restaurant, The Old Fashioned. When we get in there, we found out it would be a 25 minute wait, so we put our names down and went for a nice stroll around the capitol.
When we returned half an hour later, I enquired about a table and was informed there was only one group ahead of us. In the front of the restaurant, I saw about 3 or 4 tables open. Over the next ten minutes or so, I see the hostess seat no less than 4 groups in front of us. One group had been at the bar, came strolling up to the hostess with drinks in hand and were immediately seated. Two couples had walked through the door and had also been seated.
At this moment I take a look around and realize that
everyone is white. Save for one or two brown individuals tucked away here and there, there were almost no minorities. Suddenly, I felt like we stuck out like sore thumbs. I suppose it didn’t help that I had my camera and umbrella in very tourist-like fashion.
So I walk up to the hostess and say “Is there a table ready yet? It seems like you’ve seated several groups just now.” She cheerfully says yes and guides us to our table… in the back… of the restaurant… by the bathroom. That’s right, she gave us the shittiest table in the house.
As soon as I sat down I realized that there was no way we were going to eat at that table. I was deeply offended.
I went back to the hostess and said “Look, can you give us a better table? We have been waiting for a really long time.”
Without any protest she then points to one of the front tables. Yes, the one by the window. Yes, the one where everyone can see you. Yes, the one which is the image that the restaurant wishes to present.
I’m glad we got that table
and enjoyed our beer and brats in peace… but the resolution only further confirmed my sneaking suspicions…
Madison needs more diversity!
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