July 18, 2012

Lunch at the Library (sort of)

It's Summer Restaurant Week in NYC! Want ideas on where to go for Restaurant Week? Visit the site, or check out some of my previous blog posts!
The New York Public Library has a FREE exhibit that opened this week--which is also the start of NYC's Summer Restaurant Week (this is the 20th year!)-- dedicated to the history of lunch in New York City. I got to take a tour of it last night thanks to a Gothamist invitation, and my coworker CJ came along with me.

From the very origin of the world 'lunch' itself (I'm such a word nerd) to establishment of the 'lunch hour,' yes, THE lunch hour, to inventing metal hot dog carts, NYC was at the head of it all.

Another example of word-nerdness that I enjoyed: this shot of diner slang/jargon!
You can see everything from a restored Automat (now filled with recipes instead of grab-and-go dishes) to an old-school luncheonette soup dispenser.
There's also a vintage Heinz soup machine. Apparently the server behind the counter would open up the can, pour it into the pitcher, and in 2 minutes flat, you had hot, delicious (turtle???) soup!
The exhibit was fascinating, full of historic bits and pieces of our country's story.. from menus touting 35 cent pork chops to an impressive display of old-school metal lunchboxes. You can even listen to immigrants from all over the world share how certain recipes bring a bit of home to you with one bite.
Want to listen to food-themed songs? There's a display for that. :)
(I'm listening to "Ham N Eggs" by A Tribe Called Quest.)
After my coworker CJ & I made our way through the displays, we sat in on a panel that featured (L-R) Zagat guide co-founder Tim Zagat, Andrew P. Haley, author of "Turning the Tables", Rebecca Federman, curator of the exhibit, and well-known chef David Burke. We enjoyed hearing everything from Burke's rise through NYC's restaurants, and how cuisine has changed over the decades to each panel member's memories of dining in NYC.

It's a great display and well worth a visit. Also, did I mention it's free? Who doesn't love free?? Go here for more info on the exhibit, which runs through February 2013..

Lunch Hour NYC

New York Public Library's Steven A. Schwarzman Building (Entrance at Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street)

2 comments:

Carlota said...

That photo of you listening to "A Tribe Called Quest" (HAHAHA) is honestly one of the cutest of you I've ever seen...! Should be your profile photo, Doll!

LKPheartsfood said...

Srsly? I almost didn't pin it because I thought I looked almost gooberish. Thanks, Kitten's Ma!

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