Nothing says "come back to my blog" like Hasids and Bikini Bars. It isn't even the most amazing story ever. It's just that we had to read a paper for linguistic anthropology on socialization within "religious enclave communities," specifically Hasidic families in Boro Park. Children in these communities are raised to believe in their faith unquestioningly by being shamed/ignored/admonished if they ever ask the wrong question. It serves to partially explain why these communities are so tight-knit, and people rarely leave them to join the secular world. It is kind of appealing to me, a book of laws that tells you explicitly what you may or may not do. A culture that exists because one of its key values is placing the community above the self, not standing out, being autonmous but only enough to make decisions to serve God and your community.
Anyway, I'm reading this on the train to Brooklyn. I look up and there's an older Hasidic man standing above me. His suit jacket keeps flying open and almost hitting me in the face. I feel really annoyed. I'm trying to read. I look at him, waiting for him to realize his jacket is hitting me in the face, but he's oblivious. It isn't until I get off the train that I realize I should have offered him my seat. I feel a little ashamed.
The next day, walking down 8th Avenue, I see a young Hasidic man exiting a Bikini Bar.