New Avenues Furniture Rental – 2nd Avenue Deli Cookbook: Recipes and Memories from Abe Lebewohl's Legendary Kitchen – Duffield Street Houses
New Avenues Furniture Rental
- new avenues
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The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook contains more than 160 of Abe Lebewohl’s recipes, including all of the Deli’s peerless renditions of traditional Jewish dishes: chicken soup with matzo balls, chopped liver, gefilte fish, kasha varnishkes, mushroom barley soup, noodle kugel, potato latkes, blintzes, and many more. These versatile dishes are perfect for any occasion–from holiday dinners to Sunday brunches with friends and family.
The late Abe Lebewohl was a great restaurateur in the showman tradition and a well-known and much-loved New York personality. His famous Deli attracted hundreds of celebrity patrons, many of whom have graciously contributed to this cookbook not only personal reminiscences but also recipes, running the gamut from Morley Safer’s family brisket to Paul Reiser’s formula for the perfect egg cream. A wonderful blend of New York and Jewish history and mouthwatering recipes, The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook provides a delicious taste of nostalgia.
The food at The 2nd Ave. Deli is what your grandmother, mother, or a friend’s family cooked. (Especially if you are not Jewish but loved being well fed.) From its recipes for Schmalz (the rendered chicken fat indispensable to real, old-fashioned Jewish dishes) and what is arguably the best chopped liver in the world, to Health Salad (a mayonnaise-less, sweet coleslaw), potato kugel (a dense, crisp-crusted pudding), six versions of chicken soup, a Honey Chiffon Cake served for Jewish New Year, and Mandelbrot, an almond-studded Jewish biscotti, this cookbook offers the best of the hefty, soul-satisfying Jewish cooking that is the ultimate comfort food.
Having survived World War II, and, at 19, hungry to succeed, Abe Lebewohl arrived in New York City in 1950, a Jewish immigrant from Russia. His first job was working in a deli on Coney Island. In 1954, he took over the tiny luncheonette near New York’s bustling Lower East Side, which he renamed the 2nd Ave. Deli. From that day forward, he looked after his customers (and everyone else he felt needed it) with spontaneous generosity. The stories in this book from his daughter and other people who knew Abe bring to life the passion and love he served along with the best authentic Jewish home cooking–making it clear why he was called the Mayor of Second Avenue. The deli, a magnet for tourists and New York City locals, is now also a memorial to Abe Lebewohl, who was killed in 1996 during a robbery after the restaurant had closed for the night. His daughter wrote this cookbook as a memorial to him, as well as to share the family’s recipes for elemental Jewish cooking. Its 166 recipes, black-and-white photographs, and inspiring text make this a joyful celebration by his family and friends. –Dana Jacobi
Erected between c.1835 and 1847. these four houses are unusually intact survivors from the early nineteenth century residential neighborhood that once flourished on the blocks east of Brooklyn’s civic center. In contrast to wealthier Brooklyn Heights and the working class district near the Navy Yard, this neighborhood evolved between the late 1820s and 1840s as a upper middle-class enclave and remained downtown Brooklyn’s leading middle-class neighborhood throughout the nineteenth century.
Moved two blocks to their present site in 1990, these houses were originally located on Johnson Street between Bridge and Lawrence Streets on one of several blocks developed by Rev. Samuel Roosevelt Johnson, who had inherited a portion of his grandfather’s colonial-era farm. Three of the houses were constructed by Johnson; No. 184 was erected in 1847 as an investment property by merchant Francis Chichester.
Nos. 182, 184, and 186 display aspects of the Greek Revival style. No. 186 is especially noteworthy as one of the few surviving row houses in the city with a free-standing Greek Revival portico. No. 188, an 1830s house remodeled in the early 1880s, is ornamented with a combination of Queen Anne and Second Empire elements including an elaborate bracketed porch hood. During the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, these houses were occupied by merchants, lawyers, brokers, engineers, teachers, builders, and shipmasters.
Residents included surveyor John S. Stoddard, credited with laying out the streets in many of the older sections of Brooklyn, who owned No. 188 in the 1850s and early 1860s, and teacher Helen Lawrence who conducted a private school in No. 182 from the mid-1850s through the mid-1870s. The houses remained in residential use through the 1980s. They were moved to their present site as part of the MetroTech redevelopment plan in 1990. Today they survive as a significant reminder of the history of downtown Brooklyn and of the evolution of Brooklyn’s middle-class residential architecture.
DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS
Early Brooklyn and the Johnson Estate
In the mid-eighteenth century the village of Brooklyn was a small hamlet centered around the highway (modern-day Fulton Street) and the ferry that linked the farming communities of western Long Island with New York City. In 1755, Barent Johnson, a prosperous farmer of Dutch descent, purchased a pie-shaped tract of land of about forty acres which extended from the highway to Wallabout Creek (near present-day Navy Street) between present day Willoughby and Tillary Streets.
Barent Johnson died in 1777 of wounds he received fighting on the American side during the Battle of Long Island." Johnson left his property in trust for his orphaned nine-year-old son, John Barent Johnson. John Barent Johnson attended Columbia College and became a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.3 In 1803, Rev. Johnson and his wife Elizabeth Lupton Johnson became ill and died with a few months of one another. They left three young children who were raised by Elizabeth Johnson’s half-brother, Peter Roosevelt, an Episcopalian minister at Newtown.
Both of the Johnsons’ sons, William Lupton Johnson (1800-1870) and Samuel Roosevelt Johnson (1802-1873), attended Columbia and became Episcopalian ministers. Their daughter, Maria Laidlie Johnson (1798-182?), married Rev. Evan M. Johnson, an Episcopalian minister from Rhode Island who served as curate at Newtown from 1814 to 1826. In 1823, when Samuel Roosevelt Johnson, the youngest of the three Johnson heirs, reached the age of majority, the heirs entered into a partition agreement to divide their Brooklyn property which was subdivided into city blocks and lots.
By that time the village of Brooklyn was growing rapidly due to the opening of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1801 and the introduction of steam ferry service between Fulton Street in Manhattan and Fulton Street in Brooklyn in 1814.
The village was incorporated in 1816 and in 1819 began an ambitious program to map and improve its streets. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 brought increased growth to Brooklyn. New warehouses were built along the Brooklyn waterfront and new factories were erected on the outskirts of the village; a thriving commercial district developed along Fulton Street.
The new opportunities for employment brought many new residents to the area. At the same time the expansion of New York City’s downtown commercial district led many businessmen who had formerly made their homes in Lower Manhattan to look to Brooklyn for convenient suburban residences. A wave of speculative residential building began. At first, most of the new houses were concentrated in Brooklyn Heights and in the neighborhood around the Navy Yard. In the late 1820s and 1830s, however, the heirs to the farms east of Fulton Street began to develop their property.
By 1834, Brooklyn had a population of 24,310 and was incor
The 3-story, limestone-clad Horn & Hardart Automat-Cafeteria Building at 2710-2714 Broadway (at West 104th Street), a distinctive small-scale commercial structure executed in the Art Deco style, is one of the best surviving examples of the popular chain restaurants that proliferated in the city during the first three decades of the 20th century. In 1927, the Horn & Hardart Co. became the leaseholder of this site. This building was constructed in 1930 to the design of F[rederick]. P[utnam]. Platt & Brother [Charles Carsten Platt], who executed numerous New York commissions for Horn & Hardart from about 1916 to 1932. By 1927, F.P. Platt & Bro. had developed a modern and functional design prototype for purpose-built Horn & Hardart automat-cafeteria buildings, with large windows, that assisted the restaurant chain in achieving a consistent commercial image. The Horn & Hardart Co., established in 1911, was the New York subsidiary of the Horn & Hardart Baking Co. of Philadelphia, which had been incorporated in 1898 by Joseph V. Horn and Frank A. Hardart, lunchroom proprietors since 1888. In 1902, Horn & Hardart opened its first waiterless Philadelphia restaurant, or "automat," in which customers could retrieve food directly from windows after depositing nickels in European-made equipment. The first New York automat opened in 1912, with American machinery, at 1557 Broadway in Times Square. Known for uniformly good food at low cost, automats became wildly popular and one of the city’s cherished democratic institutions, appealing to a wide clientele.
This automat-cafeteria building is made notable by its glazed polychrome Art Deco style terra-cotta ornament on the third story. Executed in hues of green, blue, tan, and gold luster by the Atlantic Terra Cotta Co., the terra cotta is located on sills, panels above the windows, stylized pilaster capitals, and the building’s terminating band. The highly sophisticated panels feature stylized floral motifs and zigzag patterns; the modeler of these panels has not been identified, but the work is strikingly similar to that of preeminent architectural sculptor Rene P. Chambellan. Horn & Hardart remained a tenant on the ground story and mezzanine here until 1953, and the mezzanine level was remodeled as a full story in 1955. There have been a wide variety of commercial and organizational tenants over the years. While the current ground-floor storefront covers historic elements, visible above this are the upper portion of the original central segmental arched opening (with a fluted molded granite surround with a keystone) and the top of the bronze entrance portal and decorative bronze spandrel.
Four lots at the southeast corner of Broadway and West 104th Street were assembled in 1885, 1901, and 1904 by George W. Walker. The combined property, built up with four structures, was leased to D[avid]. A. Schulte, Inc. (Schulte Real Estate Co./ Schulte Cigar Co.) in 1920. In December 1926, this property was sub-leased to the Broadway & 104th Street Realty Co., under Samuel Gershowitz, who, according to the #ew For^ T’wes, "apparently made a business of opening eating places and selling them," and had gangster-related connections.18 The Horn & Hardart Co. became the lessee a year later for $50,000. The #ew For^ T’wes in December 1927 announced that the firm would "upon the expiration of existing leases, erect a new building to house in part a branch automat cafeteria."19 George W. Walker’s will, probated in March 1930, left this property jointly to his sons, George L. Walker (who served as a chief engineer of buildings and sanitary inspection for New York City) and Samuel B. Walker, and his daughter, Katherine V. Walker Born.
F.P. Platt & Bro. filed plans in April 1930 for a 2-story plus mezzanine automat-cafeteria and office building, measuring approximately 71 by 69 feet and expected to cost $105,000. Construction began at the end of May and was completed in just five months, in October 1930. T.J. Murphy Co. was the contractor. The Art Deco style design, executed chiefly in limestone, featured on the main Broadway facade: a polished granite veneer base, with decorative metal grilles; a central 1-1/2-story segmental arched opening (with a fluted molded granite surround with a keystone) having an entrance portal (with ornamental bronze enframement) flanked by show windows on the ground story, a decorative bronze spandrel, and multi-pane windows with vertical mullions on the mezzanine level; a storefront at the north end of the ground story, and a storefront window and upstairs entrance at the south end, all flanked by fluted moldings; on the mezzanine level, a rectangular steel casement window (flanked by fluted moldings) above each storefront; and five multi-pane windows with terra-cotta si