“It’s not Katz’s; you can’t recreate it — and I’m not going to try.” That’s Jake Dell, the owner of Katz’s, the deli icon that’s been slicing pastrami on the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1888. But Dell is standing near a glowing red and white sign that, in the deli’s signature font, spells Katz’s — and this is Brooklyn; not the Lower East Side.
The first time I became a vegetarian I was 14. I liked to think it was for ethical reasons, but it was because I had a crush on a girl.
Kosher restaurants get a bad rap. The criticism isn’t entirely unwarranted: that the food is bland, or too oily and over-seasoned; that corners are cut: boxed pasta and canned sauce are bought; that the staff is rude or overbearing.
The guide I hired to take Teddy and me on an historical tour of Jerusalem came equipped with a plan for the day — clearly unaware that any itinerary he might provide would have to include the lunch spot of my choice.
Today Teddy and I spent a solemn afternoon at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, in Jerusalem. The experience is devastating — and essential. Even having been there before, I will need time to process the visit enough to write a description that might begin to do it justice. I’m thankful that the place exists; that it was built and curated so well; and that I got to bring Teddy, as my mother brought me 28 years ago.