Last night marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year. It's the start of year 5778, and it's the first of the Jewish High Holy days. I am not Jewish, but for the past three years I've worked at the 92nd Street Y, a Jewish cultural organization on the Upper East Side. We're not associated with the YMCA, but we have similar programs—a gym, nursery school, talks, concerts and adult education classes. Because we are a YMHA/YWHA (Young Men + Women's Hebrew Association), in addition to our standard vacation and government holidays, we also get 10+ Jewish holidays off work per year.
David and I are going camping with his kids upstate today (New York City schools are also closed today and tomorrow), but last weekend my friend Jess and I spent the day in Riverdale in the Bronx. Our main destination was Wave Hill, but we decided to meet at Liebman's Delicatessen. Liebman's has been family-owned since it opened in 1953, and was once one of hundreds of Kosher delis in the neighborhood. Now it's one of the last ones standing, and it's definitely worth the trek (it's about a 10-minute walk from the 1 train).
I had a very homogenous upbringing near Akron, Ohio and we barely ever made the hour trip to Cleveland. One of the things I love most about New York is the ability to experience so many different cultures, and the Jewish deli feels quintessentially New York. Liebman's felt more authentic and significantly less touristy than Katz's—in fact, there was only one other person eating alongside us at 11am on a Saturday morning. Jess ordered the pastrami and I ordered a salami omelette—which were both delicious—but I'll be dreaming about that pickle plate for many years to come.
Happy New Year to those of you who celebrate and happy free days off to those of you who don't, but work at Jewish organizations!
Open every day 9am-10pm
552 W 235th Street
Bronx, NY 10463