Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Manhattan Bagels Gone

Here's a page from my 1999 sketchbook. In those days, there was a "Manhattan Bagel" shop in a shopping center within walking distance of the place where I still live. It is long gone, its storefront now occupied by a cheap cell phone store or something equally dull. I used to hang out there and drink coffee and eat bagels almost every day. I drew this picture in February of 1999.

I have just heard that the famous "H & H Bagels" store on 80th Street in New York City has closed. Gourmets hated these bagels as "inauthentic" or oversized or too sweet or whatever but I loved them and remember eating them in my rare visits to New York. They were one of my favorite things to eat and in my ignorant opinion no other bagel came close. Here in the DC area there are of course bagel shops, including not only Manhattan Bagel but "Chesapeake Bagel Bakery" and I have tried to find a decent bagel there but no luck.

As you know if you are a reader of this Blog, I work at a bagel shop doing signs, that is for Mena's "Bagels, Deli, and Donuts" which is not one of a chain but a unique establishment. Usually by the time I arrive in mid-afternoon to do the sign work, her bagels are mostly gone, bought up by hungry patrons. The ones that are left are no longer in pristine condition, since the Bagel is a fleeting delicacy. Mena won't tell me where the bagels come from but I suspect that she imports the pre-made dough and then bakes them at the store in the pre-dawn hours. For all I know, Mena's bagels might be made in New York. It's one of those food secrets I'd rather not know.

Sketchbook page is black technical pen, 7" x 10", February 15, 1999. Click on the pic for a larger view, including part of a shop employee at the right edge.

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