Why Do They Call It The Great Northeast?

A few days back, we came across this post from Joe Sixpack on a racist t-shirt he saw while on his way to a Phillies game. The t-shirt, from a bar in the Northeast called Casper’s, had a picture of the namesake friendly ghost saying “No Spooks Allowed.” We’ll let Sixy take it from here:

Please don’t tell me it’s an innocent joke; I’m not stupid. Only a dipshit wears a shirt like that. It’s easy to chalk it up to just one of those things, but I still wonder: How, in the 21st century, does anyone who conducts business with the public even think of printing a t-shirt like that? Honestly, the city Human Relations Commission nearly shut down Geno’s Steaks for less. Until I hear otherwise, I’ll just assume the answer is, “Because I’m a racist asshole.”

Bravo, Joe. We like you mad. We’d also like to point out that there’s a little cheesesteak place in the Northeast (and almost in South Philly) called Chink’s that is equally as offensive and yet food writers still swoon over it and write about its cheesesteaks and milkshakes–for example, Craig “I love the ones they make at Chink’s, the unfortunately named steak place in the Northeast, where they keep the milk in the freezer” LaBan–as if it was just some pesky nuisance to be brushed aside in the all-important pursuit of a great sandwich. If the beers were spectacular at Casper’s, would Sixy wiggle past the nastiness of the t-shirt under the guise of reportorial objectivity? We like to think he wouldn’t.

You know what we think it deserves? Pretty much what it’s getting now: its lease for a second location in South Philly was denied thanks to Asian American activists and some embarrassing press, like this recent article in the Washington Post.

It also deserves to not have its cheesesteaks praised on “best of” lists or its milkshakes drooled over by food writers and other media people who know better (LaBan is not the only one who has touted Chink’s. Philly Mag also awarded them best cheesesteak in 2002 and then there’s this thing). As a customer, you can also let your wallet do the talking. The owner knows the name is offensive:

[Owner Joseph] Groh likes the name, and does not see the need for a change. But he acknowledges, “I don’t think you could open a place today with that name.”

He’s had the opportunity to change it for years and he hasn’t. He’ll change if and when it starts to hit his bottom line (maybe he should check out the history of this establishment). Sad, but likely true.

Of course, Northeast Philadelphia seems to support it wholeheartedly, since it’s still in business and still named Chink’s even after this hubbub started back in 2004. This is why we hate the Northeast, except for the Grey Lodge Pub and Holmesburg Bakery. And since we grew up there, we can say it with real feeling.