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When the Walls Come Crumbling Down

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Ask a random American where to get the best bagels and most will say New York City, where bagels have been elevated from nosh to food group.

The promotion making bagels the foundation of some New Yorker’s food pyramids!

To a New Yorker, the bagel is as-much cultural as it is nutrition; the Big Apple leads the planet in bagel related searches on Google!

Among Google’s favorite spots to recommend is Tompkins Square Bagels, which averages 4.8 out of 5 on Uber Eats. No-doubt many of those reviews coming from the freshman dorms at nearby New York University.

Getting into college doesn’t make you smart!

Tompkins nailed THE toppings-to-cream cheese ratio, their three-quarter inch schmear smoothly spread at room temperature more than enough to impress freshman and more seasoned bagel aficionados!

Who know that most NYC bagel stores know where to buy their fish, and how to slice it!

When you open a bagel sandwich it should split down the center, with the wax paper wrapper remaining in-tact on both sides. Failing to slice through the bagel’s bottom leaves the sandwich a lucious mess, with no obvious geometry nor strategy for eating.

With facial protection provided by THE beard I engulfed my brunch Guy Fieri style, my incisors poised to cut through the bagel’s hard outer shell.

A defining characteristic of any great bagel, which Tompkins' bagel lacked. That failure alone enough for a quick exit for Tompkins from any serious consideration as the city's best.

The "crust" of Tompkins' bagel was otherwise well-seasoned, with and mild interior, both characteristics of a good bagel.

And the bagel was served warm-through-the-bag, but not too warm as to melt the cream cheese.

Though I ascribe that more to the hour-long line than any bagel mastery Tompkins had planned for.

Absent THE crunch it’s hard to take Tompkins Square seriously as a contender for City’s Best, though they’re tasty enough to understand why the NYU kids like them.

Though you can get a better bagel in Westchester!

THE Sunday morning bagel quest remains a quintessentially New York experience. Last weekend’s unseasonal warmth and New York’s updated marijuana laws only adding to the merriment.

This trip was the first of two weekends my fiancéeic and I plan to spend in the city this month, the overnight stay allowing enough time for Guy to cross an item off her bucket list!

Completed in 1883 the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan to Brooklyn spanning New York's East River, providing both transportation and one of the city’s best views.

But while the views from the 140-year-old bridge continue to inspire, up-close – the city’s crumbling infrastructure comes more into focus.

Notably, the New York City subway system.

Each of the subway cars, stations and platforms we utilized this weekend reflect the decades of neglect the system has suffered.

As with much of our country's infrastructure.

Leaving the New York City subway system in no condition to comfortably or safely deliver its 4.3 million daily riders!

That failure wreaking havoc above ground as well, as those who need to travel within the nation's largest city seek alternatives.

And the condition of the infrastructure is not the subway's only problem!

Agreeing with my assessment is Janno Lieber, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It's Lieber's MTA that is responsible for maintaining New York's subways.

Lieber claims that the MTA would need to spend more than $1.5 trillion over the next 20-years if New Yorkers want the trains to be clean and safe. More than five-times planned capital expenditures.

So rather than telling Lieber she doesn't have the money, New York governor Kathy Hochul should just tell Lieber where to go!


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