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Food History Podcasts

Counter Culture: A History of Automats, Lunchonettes and Diners in New York City

PODCAST The evolution of affordable dining — from oyster houses to lunch counters. The classic diner is as American as the apple pie it serves, but the New York diner is a special experience all its own, an essential facet of everyday life in the big city. They range in all shapes and sizes — from the […]

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Amusements and Thrills

History in the Making (9/9): So Many Vices Edition

In this blog roundup, a Bowery Boys appearance in Vice, a threat to preservation, a classic restaurant closes, the story of two hotels with very different histories and more! In the photo above and below — From the Museum of the City of New York collection, some images of the so-called Prize Fighters Saloon (at […]

An ode to Sbarro Pizza, a long way from Bensonhurst

On the grim news today that Sbarro Pizza has filed for bankruptcy, I thought I would reprint my article from July 2009 on the Brooklyn origins of this fast-food slice joint. The Sbarro family in their original salumeria in Bensonhurst In my July 2009 roundup of famous New York-style pizzerias, I left out the one […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Remembering the Times Square HoJo

Howard Johnson at 46th Street: Dinner and a movie, all in one corner! There’s even Vietnam war protesters outside. (Photo by Bob Gruen, taken 1972, courtesy Ephemeral New York) Every Monday I’ll try and check in with the Mad Men episode from the night before and focus in on one or two historical references made […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Konnichiwa, New York City!

Every Monday I’ll try and check in with the Mad Men episode from the night before and focus in on one or two historical references made on the show. Spoilers aplenty, so read no further if you don’t want to know…. New York’s fascination with Japanese culture has never been because of a particularly large […]

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Mad Men

‘Mad Men’ notes: Swanky steaks and a market soiree

A postcard from Jim Downey’s showing a plethora of theatrical faces who frequented the place. Every Monday I’ll try and check in with the Mad Men episode from the night before and focus in on one or two historical references made on the show. Spoilers aplenty, so read no further if you don’t want to […]

Podcast Rewind: Reservations at Delmonico’s Restaurant

Famished: Mark Twain and a few friends at Delmonico’s in honor of his 70th birthday, dated Dec 5, 1905.Just in time for NYC Restaurant Week! I just put up a new ‘illustrated’ version of the August ’08 Delmonico’s Restaurant podcast in our archive feed. Before Delmonico’s, New Yorkers ate in taverns or oyster houses. But […]

100 Years Ago: Beer, tradition and the new Bohemians

Pic by Coney Girl/Flickr FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER To get you in the mood for the weekend, on occasional Fridays we’ll be featuring an old New York nightlife haunt, from the dance halls of 19th Century Bowery, to the massive warehouse clubs of the mid-1990s. Past entries can be found here. LOCATION Bohemian HallOpened: 1910-still open!Astoria, […]

Joy Fong and memories of Chinese food past

I have this thing for kitschy Chinese restaurant design, so this picture from 1971 made my day. Joy Fong Chow Mein was located on Avenue J and Coney Island Avenue in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn nearby Di Fara’s Pizza and the old Midwood movie theater (which closed in the early 80s). Joy Fong is […]

History in the Making: TGI Monday Edition

ABOVE Queens Castle: the Bodine Castle once stood in Long Island City at 4316 Vernon Boulevard, a private villa owned by a wealthy banker. The building was unfortunately demolished in 1966. Read more about it here Uptown flair: An interview with Alan Stillman, who opened the world’s very first TGI Friday’s in 1965 — in […]

Bensonhurst’s Sbarro: a non-New Yorker’s New York pizza

The Sbarro family in their original salumeria in Bensonhurst In my Friday roundup of famous New York-style pizzerias, I left out the one pizza company that could technically be called the most recognizable New York pie — at least to those who live outside the city. Sbarros Pizza is a fixture of shopping malls and […]

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Podcasts

Kings of New York Pizza: Lombardi, Totonno, Patsy, Ray?

Gennaro Lombardi and (I believe) Antonio Totonno Pero with a dog who must have been fed very well. You’ll notice that Lombardi’s is still a grocery store in this picture. Some bananas with your pizza? Although Gennaro is credited with opening New York’s first pizzeria, it may have been Antonio who came up with the […]

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Uncategorized

Bowery Boys Recommend: Sex and death in 1970s Soho

Laura is disturbed “I’m completely out of control!” BOWERY BOYS RECOMMEND is an occasional feature where we find an unusual movie or TV show that — whether by accident or design — uniquely captures an era of New York City better than any reference or history book. Other entrants in this particular film festival can […]

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Podcasts

PODCAST: Delmonico’s Restaurant Francais

The kitchen staff, 1902 Before Delmonico’s, New Yorkers ate in taverns or oyster houses. But the city caught the fine dining bug at this family-owned business, which standardized everything you know about restaurants today. Find out about “menus”, “fresh ingredients”, “dining rooms for ladies” and other unusual and exotic Delmonico innovations. Listen to it for […]

‘Moon’ Struck

There are very few ‘real’ diners left in Manhattan. My personal favorites still in existance are the Pearl Street Diner in the financial district, the Square Diner in tribeca (order the onion rings, trust me on this), and the far less endangered Empire Diner up in Chelsea But mention of the words ‘Manhattan’ and ‘diner’ […]