Voices from Russia

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Jewish Theatre District Spot “Cafe Edison” Closing… #SaveCafeEdison

00 Save Cafe Edison 01. 13.11.14.

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00 Save Cafe Edison 02. 13.11.14

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00 Save Cafe Edison. 13.11.14

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Another old-school New York Jewish institution is about to fall victim to gentrification. The New York Times reported that the owners of the Hotel Edison asked the Cafe Edison, a modest Theatre District coffee shop long favoured by Broadway cognoscenti, to leave its premises in the hotel. While not kosher, Cafe Edison, founded by Polish-born Holocaust survivors, Harry and Frances Edelstein, served deli sandwiches and traditional Ashkenazi Jewish fare, like blintzes and matzoh ball soup. Known, in a nod to its founders and its no-nonsense manner as the Polish Tea Room… in contradistinction to the swanky Russian Tea Room… it was also the inspiration for the setting in Neil Simon’s play, 45 Seconds From Broadway. Simon reportedly enjoyed frequent meals there with his producer Emanuel Azenberg. Other regular patrons included comedian Jackie Mason, actor Henry Winkler, and the late African-American playwright August Wilson. Mimi Sheraton, a former NY Times restaurant critic who published books about bialys and chicken soup, among other topics, featured Cafe Edison in her forthcoming 1,000 Places to Eat Before You Die.

7 November 2014

Julie Wiener

Jewish Daily Forward

http://blogs.forward.com/the-jew-and-the-carrot/208864/cafe-edison-jewish-theater-district-spot-closing/

Also read this, this, this, and this on this beloved “Noo Yawk” eatery

Here’s an online link to a petition to save this iconic Midtown beanery

Editor:

Where will we go for kasha varnishkes and mushroom soup in Midtown if it closes? Kasha varnishkes… real Noo Yawk Soul Food… kasha with bow-tie pasta lubricated with real schmaltz (chicken fat, for them not in the know). Who the hell wants another Disneyfied POS plastic eatery? 😦

Can we save this hole-in-wallsky beanery? We oughta… if not, Big Nick’s (The Burger Joint) on B’way is next…

BMD

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Secret History of the Anthora Coffee Cup… It Ain’t as Greek as You Thought!

00 anthora coffee cup. new york city. 02.10.104

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Fifty years ago, in an attempt to sell more paper cups to the plethora of Greek-owned diners in New York City, the marketing director for the startup Sherri Cup Company created the “Anthora” coffee cup. The cup’s creator, Leslie Buck, was born Laszlo Büch to a Ukranian Jewish family. The Nazis killed his parents, and Leslie himself was a survivor of both Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Featuring the blue and white of the Greek flag, with a classic key pattern, a drawing of an amphora (the Greek vase for which the cup, courtesy of Buck’s thick accent, is named), The New York Times called this cup, “a pop-cultural totem” that was “as vivid an emblem of New York City as the Statue of Liberty”. For many New Yorkers, this simple cup can evoke Proustian memories of streets travelled, early work mornings, and Sunday dog walks. For Buck, it was a long journey from “Work Makes You Free” to “We Are Happy to Serve You”. At our Seder, we lift each cup in remembrance of our journey from slavery to freedom. However, it isn’t freedom from work that we desire… we want the freedom to approach each (caffeine-fuelled) day with the discipline, generosity, and patience necessary to immerse ourselves in work that really matters… to our lives, our communities, and our world. As Marge Piercy wrote, in her poem, To Be of Use:

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along…
…The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

10 April 2014

Eric Schulmiller

Forward

http://forward.com/articles/196060/the-secret-jewish-history-of-the-coffee-cup-starbu/?p=all

Editor:

Who woulda thunk it? That one of the most iconic things in the City doesn’t come from where we think that it did… everybody (including me) thought that the “Greek cup” was just that… say it ain’t so, Joe! However, I did check this out with a Greek friend, and she was just as surprised as I was (she asked an Old School Greek coffee shop owner from Sparta and she got the real deal from him).

Live and learn!

BMD

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