…but also institutions.

I had the blessing of visiting New York City a few years back, a trip I would make again in a heartbeat. Checked out a few museums, saw the 9/11 Memorial and the Statue of Liberty, basically did everything except attend a show – which, in my case, was no big loss. 🙂

Much like my experience in the French Quarter of New Orleans, I decided pretty quickly that it wasn’t really possible to find a bad restaurant in NYC. And, since I was there for a few days, it seemed essential to go check out some authentic old-school Jewish deli. Sure, you may have had pastrami in your life, but if you ever go to New York and don’t take advantage of the opportunity to have it the way it should be experienced, I feel bad for you.

I’m glad to say the Carnegie Deli was one of the places that I got the chance to try, and it was outstanding. They brought me a sandwich so huge that I literally had to, HAD to save half of it for later that night…and it was just as amazing then. The memory of that sandwich can pop up on my taste buds, almost by sheer will, in the present. It was transcendentally good.

The Carnegie is, even under new ownership, about to hang it up for good, and that’s a heartbreaker right up there with any local place in Columbus that had my affection – whether Lucas Brothers or Becker’s or anyplace else that captured my imagination from youth to now. They’ll be done permanently, and good Jewish delis are already pretty thin on the ground, even in a town as huge as New York.

Reading the David Sax book Save the Deli a few months ago brought it all back, that memory, and now to find out one of those venerable institutions is waving goodbye…to know that book, as of end of this year, will have one significant entry that no longer exists in the present, that’s a killer.

I don’t know what I’m aiming for in this post, except to say that you can love places that have a character more vibrant than some people. And while the people and places are here and among us, you really owe it to yourself to love them HARDER, so that you have no regrets.

Faretheewell, Carnegie Deli. You, your people and my fellow customers – you will all be missed.

One commentator describes his first, and last, experience at the Carnegie here.

Todd Berryman
106.1 The River Morning Show