Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Lower East Side Festival

This past Sunday the Kehila Kenosha Janina Greek synagogue on Broome Street sponsored a Greek Jewish street fair with lots of food, music, and most importantly people. The fair was only one block long so people were packed in tight. That made photographing them much more fun, there was no place to run, and it was a wide angle festival. The entire neighborhood of the Lower East Side is in transition from what was a tenement district for a good part of the 20th century to a gentrified neighborhood. It's still a mix of old style clothing stores, restaurants, bars, and art galleries.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

On The Street, May 19th

Went in to Manhattan today for a walk around on 59th street and 34th street.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lookin' At You

Huge Billboard on Fifth Avenue.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Springtime Lunch

Spring lunch hour in New York brings the people out to the streets for a walk, a bite to eat, and a pop-up performance.

Friday, May 6, 2016

After Pesach

After spending eight days munching on cardboard-like sheets of baked dough, it's a treat to get back to adulterated-loaded-with-carbohydrates-bread. And to celebrate, the Ashkenazi tradition on the first Shabbat after Pesach is to bake Shlissel Challah. The ritual is not without controversy, big surprise there. But braiding and baking challah after Pesach is reason enough to have a social gathering.
Six strands of dough (with plenty of yeast), left to rise, and baked for 40 minutes. Yummy!

Of course, the rabbi has to get his two cents in:

And the kids get to play with real dough:

Six strands braided (guys get to play also):

Quite an intricate weave:

Almost ready for the oven:

Friday, April 29, 2016

Pesach - Part 3, A Day In The Sun

The holiday is both sad and joyous. We eat the traditional matzah to remind us of the hardships of Egyptian slavery and the journey through the desert. But it's the defining celebration of the Jewish nation - our spiritual coming of age in the experience of the parting of the Red Sea and the delivery of the Ten Commandments and Torah at Mount Sinai some 50 days later. It's a weeklong celebration (as is the fall festival of Sukkoth) of eating festive meals and studying the Torah. And many Jews take the time off from work to spend (spiritually and materially) with their families and friends. Out and about for a stroll or shopping on Fifth Avenue and Herald Square.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pesach - Part 2, More Shmurah Matzoh

Pesach is a holiday that is centered around home and family. Recounting the story of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt and the establishment of the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai with the giving and receiving of the Torah as the defining story of Judaism is passed on from generation to generation through the Seder service and holiday meal. Nothing symbolizes the Pesach holiday more symbolically than matzoh. And despite what Governor Kasich had to say, matzoh has nothing to do with anybody's blood.

How better to impress kids with the meaning of the holiday and the significance of matzoh than to have them mix, roll out, and bake the dough.

Mixing the water and flour:

Breaking up the dough and rolling into flat wafers:

The final stage: baking the dough to end the 18 minute process: