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11/08/2005
Bite into the Big Apple by: Leslie Bunder and Caroline Westbrook
FILED UNDER DAILY JEWS >> Travel
Cab in Times Sqaure
Cab in Times Square

As everyone knows, New York is so Jewish. Everything about the State oozes something Jewish, from the smell of the corn beef and pickles through to stand up clubs that grace it.

New York aka Jew York offers just about anything and everything a Jew would want to do. From going to shul, (Lincoln Square Synagogue is a top tip) through to trying to spot Woody Allen making his latest movie.

New York has the lot. It's a city that really never sleeps. Wake up at 5.30am in Manhattan and the bagel and coffee vendors will be out on the corner ready to sell you a combo for $1.50. Need to get some camera film at 3.15am on Sunday and the Duane Reade chain will sell it to you.

Grab a Yellow Taxi and cruise around Times Square and imagine what it was like during the sleazy days of the 1970s and 80s.  But don't expect a stereotypical Jewish cabbie. They are long gone and replaced by other immigrants making a buck in the Big Apple.

The essential Jewish stuff to do:

Visit the 2nd Avenue Deli. With its overstuffed sandwiches, enormous potato knishes and oversized matzo balls, this place is a kosher institution. Worth a visit for the bustling, fast-paced atmosphere as well as the food. Don’t miss the room which pays homage to stars of Yiddish theatre.  You may have to queue to get in and share a table with complete strangers, but this is just part of the fun.

Top tip: Order corned beef on rye but make sure you have it lean. For an extra dollar, they’ll remove any fat.

Address: 156 Second Avenue New York, NY 10003 at 10th Street
Tel: 212 677 0606

Visit the Jewish Museum. One of the biggest Jewish museums in the world, this offers a full perspective of Jewish life and history, from Biblical times through to the present day, encompassing painting and sculpture, decorative and ceremonial arts among others. Although darker periods in Jewish history such as the Holocaust are covered, this is largely a celebratory look at Jewish life and the contribution Jews have made to society. The museum also features an excellent shop selling a wide selection of Judaic and books.

Top Tip: Normally adults will pay $10 and seniors and students will pay $7.50 for admission, but if you go on a Thursday between 5pm and 9pm you can pay whatever you want.

Address: 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street New York, NY 10128 
Tel: 212 423 3200

Recreate film history by going down to the Lower East Side and actually Crossing Delancey - Delancey Street, to be precise.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to have your picture taken in front of the street sign.

How To Get There: Take subway line J, M or Z to Delancey Street/Essex Street

Try a genuine New York bagel. While there are plenty of places to do this, the one which sets the standard is H&H Bagels. With a choice of at least a dozen flavours, including Cinnamon Raisin, Sesame, Wholewheat and Blueberry, you’re sure to find something to whet your appetite.

Top Tip: Be careful when biting into your bagel as they are so fresh that steam will actually pour from them.

Address: 2239 Broadway New York, New York 10024 
Tel: 212 595 8003

Go To Boro Park. Home to one of the world’s largest Jewish communities, it features Jewish shops and kosher cafes and takeaways, as well as numerous small ‘hole in the wall’ shuls every few blocks.

Top Tip: Immerse yourself in the atmosphere.

How to get there: Take subway line M to Fort Hamilton Parkway/New Utrech Avenue or 50th Street/New Utrecht Avenue.

Try a knish at Yonah Schimmel Knishes. A New York knish is traditionally made of mashed potato in a pastry case, but at this lower East Side institution (it’s been going since 1910), named after a Romanian rabbi, a variety of knishes are available, including spinach, mushroom and sweet potato. The décor still has that old world feel to it. A real blast from the past.

Address: 137 East Houston Street, Between 1st and 2nd, Lower East Side
Tel: 212 477 2858

Looking for something musical?  Then head to the Knitting Factory, one of the best places to hear Jewish music.

Address:  74 Leonard Street, New York City , NY 10013
Tel: 212 219 3132

 
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