May 1, 2023
On a beautiful April evening, members of the Middle Island Civic Association, Gordon Heights Civic Association, Gordon Heights Chamber of Commerce
On a beautiful April evening, members of the Middle Island Civic Association, Gordon Heights Civic Association and Gordon Heights Chamber of Commerce gathered for a night of food, conversation, and community at Taino's Café and Lounge, 24 Middle Country Road, Coram. The lively chatter of neighbors filled the air as everyone enjoyed the delicious Dominican cuisine and the warm hospitality of our host, Domingo.
The ambiance of Taino's was perfect for the occasion. The atmosphere was festive. Lively Hispanic music also added to the festive atmosphere. The restaurant was busy with other customers, but Domingo and his waitresses made sure that we were well taken care of throughout the evening.
As we settled into our seats, we quickly got down to business, lively discussing the issues and concerns facing our community. It was heartening to see such a diverse group of people come together to share their ideas and perspectives, everything from local politics and development to environmental issues and community events. Despite our differences, we all shared a deep love for our community and a desire to see it thrive. Everyone was committed to making a positive impact in our neighborhoods.
As we talked and laughed, the delicious aroma of the Dominican cuisine wafted through the air. We enjoyed a variety of dishes, including empanadas, plantains and mofongo. The flavors were rich and bold, and everyone agreed that Domingo’s chef had outdone himself in the kitchen.
After dinner several of us lingered to continue talking. We got to know each other even better by sharing stories and experiences. It was inspiring to see how much we had in common and how much we could accomplish by working together as a community.
As the night came to a close, we all felt a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. We had come together as neighbors and had accomplished something important. Our dinner night out at Taino's was more than just a meal; it was a celebration of our community and a testament to the power of collaboration and conversation.
A few words on the Café and Lounge’s namesake. Thank you to Fred Correa for piquing my interest.
The Taíno were an indigenous people who lived in the Caribbean Islands, including modern-day Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), among others. They were the first Native American group to encounter Christopher Columbus when he arrived in the Caribbean in 1492.
The Taíno had a complex social and political structure, with each island having its own cacique (chief) and hierarchy of nobles. They were skilled farmers, fishermen, and craftspeople who developed a sophisticated culture with a rich mythology, art, music, and dance.
Unfortunately, the Taíno population was decimated by diseases brought by the Europeans, forced labor, and enslavement. The Taíno were considered extinct in the 16th century, but there is a growing movement of people in the Caribbean who identify as Taíno descendants and seek to revive their culture and traditions.