Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New York May Not Be Center of Everything, but It's Most Everwhere

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New York May Not Be Center of Everything, but It's Most Everwhere

Article excerpt

By Frank J. Prial

N.Y. Times News Service

What's in a name? When the name is New York, apparently not too much.

Here is the Big Apple, pretty well convinced it is the center of everything, the capital of the world.

But does anyone out there buy it? Not if you measure its fame by the frequency with which its name is invoked outside its borders.

There are New York bagels, New York cheesecake and New York-cut strip steaks. There is beer from Manhattan Brewing Co. and even Brooklyn Lager, from that other borough. There is a cocktail, the Manhattan, and, stretching the point, the Bronx, a gin-based concoction dreamed up, legend has it, at the old Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan.

After that, the list gets very thin very fast. And even those few famous New York items are derivatives. The bagel comes from Middle Europe, the steaks from the Midwest and the cheesecake, while it may have reached its apotheosis in New York at Lindy's, surely had it origins elsewhere.

Go through a few telephone books from beyond the Hudson. Here and there, you will find a Manhattan Dry Cleaners or a Manhattan luncheonette, probably the effort of some lonely expatriate. Portland, Ore., has its Manhattan Pizza Co. and its Manhattan Beauty Nook; Seattle has a Manhattan South Deli and a Manhattan Pharmacy. Omaha had a Manhattan Deli, but it closed.

Here and there, usually in a mall, there will be a Manhattan Bagel Shop. Miami and Los Angeles, homes to thousands of onetime New Yorkers, have delicatessens and coffee shop-style eateries that try to evoke the feeling of New York without using its name.

The West Coast doesn't need New York; they have California cuisine, and so, for that matter, does New York. But has there ever been a New York cuisine? Never. New York opened a Max's Kansas City in the '60s, but has Kansas City even considered opening a Joe's New York?

In Europe, it's the same. In the business section of the Manhattan phone directory, there are 92 listings under London. Know how many listings there are under Manhattan in the London directory? Fourteen.

At the Manhattan Bakery in Seven Sisters Road in London, a young woman answered the telephone. …

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