Author: Joshua David Stein

  • Finding a Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name

    The silver lining of being slightly deflated is that you don’t roll all that far. Recently, I moved from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, to Kensington. It’s been a slow move, carried out with a Radio Flyer wagon and those blue bags you get at Ikea, and it’s left me beat. But I’m finished now and, boy, […]

  • Love, Longing, and Lunch on Restaurant Row

    If you fold up Manhattan like an old receipt kept in your pocket, the block of 46th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues known as Restaurant Row is right in the middle crease. Thus designated in 1973 by Mayor John Lindsay, Restaurant Row is a little filthy, a much overlooked, worn-out, and grit-gilded stretch of […]

  • Last Call at the Coffee Shop

    Everyone comes to New York to gape slack-jawed at beauty — unless, of course, you’re beautiful, in which case you’ve come here to be adored, or you’re already here, in which case, having been surrounded by both beauty and ugliness in profusion, you are insensate to it. As a young man — not even eighteen […]

  • Preserving Palestinian Culture, One Seed at a Time

    Last weekend, Vivien Sansour, founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, was on a quick stopover in New York City, from her home in Beit Jala, a small town in the West Bank, on her way to New Haven, Connecticut, a small city on the East Coast. Later in the week, she’d give a talk […]

  • Going Hungary: Meditations on a Last Meal

    Last week, I ate George Lang’s last meal. Or rather, I had the meal Lang said would be his last, four years prior to his death seven years ago — which, as it turns out, wasn’t in fact his last meal at all. On the other hand, that one of New York’s greatest restaurateurs reached his […]

  • Remembering Anthony Bourdain, 1956–2018

    Tony Bourdain died and there’s no silver lining or lesson to learn or pithy takeaway from it. Just, for me and I’m sure the thousands of people who knew him personally and the millions of other people who saw him on television, a tremendous amount of sadness that turns this sunny New York day somber. […]

  • When Dinner With Friends Shook the World

    Polaroids, pay phones, classified ads, two vast and trunkless legs of stone — the past is a back catalog full of shit the internet made obsolete. Am I of the last generation who remembers what it felt like to be alone? To be in a room with no one to chat with, no one to snap at, […]

  • The Trencherman: Punched in the Face by the Ghosts of St. Marks

    William Barnacle Tavern, Theatre 80 St. Mark's

    Ever wonder why a barfly sits so still? Both the question and the answer came to me at once one night last week. It’s the fear of falling over. I was sitting on a tall stool at the long bar in the narrow room. Not unlike the millions of other quiet Atlases that have done […]

  • Amid Delmonico’s Gilded Age Splendor, Diners Party Like It’s 1899

    Alienist

    A rude wind sweeps down the empty streets of the Financial District on a recent Monday night. Apart from the stray spray of tourists who ignore  the Bull and take pictures of the Fearless Girl instead, the neighborhood is dead. In that sepulchral stillness, zipped up in the body bag of night, Wall Street has assumed the ageless character of a […]

  • Babbo in the Bardo: Life After Mario at a Village Landmark

    Had I visited Babbo but a few months ago, I could have waxed poetic about how, as one enters the doors of the gracious former West Village stable house, through brocaded curtains into a hard-partying cathedral of culinary splendor, the light glows divine and the stereo blasts R.E.M. It would have been a paean to […]