When I first came to New York two years ago, I had to have a real New York-style bagel.
I went to an H&H Bagels on the Upper West Side and bought myself one sesame seed bagel.
Biting into its golden crust, with roasted sesames, I nearly broke a tooth, because it was so terribly stale. Whatever I was able to chew was entirely flavorless.
A disappointing dining experience, to say the least.
That's why I was not surprised to learn this morning, from a DNAinfo article, that the legendary H&H Bagels on the UWS is closing after the 39 years in business.
I'm sure New Yorkers are really beat up about it.
As a non-New Yorker, I feel that everyone in this city gets too excited about food.
Everyone feels that somewhere in New York is the best Indian restaurant- Better than Delhi. Better dim sum than Hong Kong in Chinatown. The best cookies. The best frozen yogurt. I've never heard a New Yorker not wax poetic about the food here.
And a lot of non-New Yorkers are taken for a ride. A lot of non-New Yorkers are drawn, like sheep, to believe they make a better red velvet cake here than they do in the South. I feel betrayed by these people and their vapid monologues on the hamburger joint in the village that is heaven, just heaven. Shut up.
When a native New Yorker tells me that a restaurant is excellent- - like edible gold --and I end up there and realize that no matter how good it is, its only food, I'm inevitably disappointed.
Maybe the problem isn't that New York eateries are mediocre, but rather that New Yorkers are delusional cultural chauvinists.