New York is for foodies

Taking the subway in New York has become second nature to me. The jargon, thank goodness, is no longer an alien language, I no longer color code the different lines like I do in Montreal (taking the green or orange line) but rather, for example, take the '7' and transfer to the '1' uptown to get to Columbia. I also feel quite comfortable going to places I've never been to before.

Yesterday I made my way to the Lower East Side and explored East Houston Street which divides the Lower East Side and the East Village. I passed by Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, a fixture for more than ninety years and just down the block was the Sunshine Cinema, constructed in the 1840s and later used as a boxing arena and Yiddish vaudeville theatre. Today it shows indie films.

I couldn't stop for a movie or for mouth-watering knishes because I had one purpose: Katz's Delicatessen. Well past its 100th birthday and still packing 'em in for pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. Surrounded by photos of the famous: Al Gore, Jerry Lewis, and even (shudder) Pauly Shore, it seems like everyone's been here. One table in the middle of the dining room has a not-so inconspicuous sign hanging over it which says, "When Harry Met Sally... Hope you have what she had", commemorating Meg Ryan's fake big-o from the film, When Harry Met Sally.

I, however, couldn't eat a pastrami sandwich, not after experiencing Schwartz's world renowned smoked meat sandwiches in Montreal. That would just be wrong. Instead I was hankerin' for one of Katz's infamous spicy hot dogs, slathered in sauerkraut and hot mustard. Along with a Dr. Brown's Black Cherry Soda, steak fries, and a mountainous plate of cucumbers and pickles, I had my long-awaited spicy dog and scarfed it down with gusto. My pilgrimage is now complete.

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