Top of John’s ‘To Do’ list was a traditional Deli established by the Jewish immigrants from Europe. the famous Carnegie Deli had been recommended by a friend, however it was closed down last month for having an illegal (un-metered) gas supply. There are only a few old school Delis left in the East Village, so despite the despite the heat and humidity, that’s where we headed, to Katz’s as featured in that famous ‘When Harry met Sally’ scene. First we tested the rest rooms in the cool and calm of Bloomingdales (or Blooming Expensive as Matt referred to it) and then headed into a very different part of NYC.
It was amazing how the neighbourhood changed only one block back from Broadway. It quickly became quieter and a lot more run down in places although we did find one complete road where all the shops sold just light bulbs.
We found Katz’s Delicatessen, were each given a ticket on entry and were warned not to lose it. If we did, there was a $50 charge. The famous Pastrami on Rye was ordered and it became clear why we needed a ticket each. We had to queue in different places for sandwich, salad, drink and dessert. Each order was added to a ticket which was handed over when we paid on leaving. Essentially, we were booked in and out – a neat way of keeping track of occupancy rates. It’s a very popular venue with the walls covered in pictures of all the famous people who visit. The place was heaving and it’s difficult to describe how it works other than hygiene laws may well have closed it in the uk.
Next stop was the Strand bookstore, back on Broadway, with a Pret opposite! It is a real haven for book lovers (Strand not Pret) and claims to be the largest bookstore in the world.
It’s been really hot and humid today so it was the subway back to the hotel from Union Square, which looked the place to be. John was tempted to join a game of chess, but that would have meant missing the complimentary bar at the hotel, or that was his excuse!