Thursday, July 14, 2011

They Don't Have Real Food Where She Lives

Cuz Patty needed deli and she only had a few days in New York.

Deli is in her blood. She comes from the same grandparents I come from, the ones on the Lower East Side surviving diaspora and poverty, domestic violence and disease.

Where she lives now, pastrami comes in plastic and is served with mayo on white bread. And the only blintzes in a ten mile radius is frozen and made of tofu.

So in 100 degree weather, we trekked to the Second Avenue Deli which used to be on 10th and 2nd but the landlord raised the rent and now it's on 33rd and 3rd and the minute we walked in we smelled the smells of food we knew like we knew the names of our ancestors.

2:17 pm

2:23 pm


Anonymous said...

Well it's not for looking at is it?

Bucko said...

Nooooo tofuuuuu blintzzzes! Now I have the face of a new nightmare.

c.o. moed said...


Here in the middle of the world - yes, Cincinnati - we once had a few real delis. The best was Izzy's downtown. Cramped and dark, a long counter on the left and unfancy tables to the right, each with huge jars of pickles and kraut on top.
Izzy held court in the window area, his big girth slammed between the wall and his slicer. He sliced and sliced and sliced, his ever-present boat-boat-shaped paper hat always tllted on his huge head. He barked at his wife and the help constantly. Arguments inevitable rose and fell like sea-swells.
The sandwiches were enormous and amazing. Each came with a huge potato pancake. No bills......ya just told them what you had at the register.

When Izzy died his son took over and applied business savvy to turn Izzy's into a franchise. The sandwiches gradually got smaller and more like every other place and and the stores grew and then closed until only a couple remain.
All the other Jewish delis in this white-bread town are gone.

The original place would have been at home in NYC or anywhere for that matter. It's gone, gone like my grandma's homemade gefilte fish.

Melanie said...

Yum..their chicken in a pot with matzo ball rocks.

c.o. moed said...

The ONLY thing that could kick a cold out of my head.