The Family You Choose

The great thing about choosing not to procreate (besides having the most thankless job out there, not having to pay for someone to go to college, etc.) is that you get to choose your family – essentially who your friends are. As I entered my mid and late-twenties, I began to make solidifying my friendships with my kick-ass and reliable friends, since they were going to be my chosen family. 

You’ll always have your parents, and siblings, and extended family, but when those holidays come around that are in the middle of the week and you aren’t granted a day off (ahem, Chanukah), you get to make your own traditions as an adult.

Ben and I have a tradition for Chanukah that includes going to an old time-y diner and eating ourselves stupid on traditional plates for the holiday. Last year it was, of course, the Edison Cafe, but since the Edison is no longer with us (RIP), we went down to the East Village last week to B&H Dairy.

The service was fast, the place was tiny and crowded, and the food was just what we were looking for. We had matzo ball soup, latkes, and blueberry blintzes. It was delicious and I think it cost us about $24. 

This is one tradition that I’m thankful for and I hope we continue it for a long, long time.

a true Chanukah miracle

Tonight I met my friend Ben at the Edison Cafe for what may be the last-ever Chanukah spent at the Edison Cafe. We got in, sat at our usual seats at the bar, and ordered two bowls of matzo ball soup (duh) and latkes (duh). 

Our server made a face and said, “OOOOH. We might be out of latkes, hold on.” I may have made us leave if they were out, but…

BUT!

We got the LAST order of latkes in the Edison Cafe. They were out of potatoes after that.

Happy Chanukah, indeed. 

Last Thursday Jeremiah Ross of Vanishing New York broke the news that the Edison Cafe in Times Square was losing it’s lease and being kicked out. The theatre community responded and loudly. It is a regular hangout for many actors, stage hands, producers, etc. I’ve spent lots of time there in the past. What comes to mind first are the fourteen Monday evenings that I spent there in 2011 with my classmates in the 14 week Commercial Producing Intensive, along with our leader Jed Bernstein. We ate lots of matzos soup and talked about class, theatre, and life.

And most recently I went there with friends before we saw Cabaret on the first night of Rosh Hashanah in September. One of those friends, Ben, was crushed by the news and notified me the second he found out about the Saturday Lunch Mob that was being organized. Of course we’d go.

There was a line out the door to get a table but we slid up to the bar, ordered matzos ball soup, coffee, and blintzes, and watched the chaos around us. There were cameras there, reporters, patrons walking around with signs, and regular at the bar. I spoke to a couple while waiting for Ben’s arrival and they were just gutted. 

The Edison Cafe is the last affordable place to eat in Times Square that’s not a hot dog stand. Their matzos ball soup is ridiculous and way cheaper than the $15 bowl at Junior’s. Their lease is up on December 27th, so we have about a month and a half to save this New York landmark.

Sign the petition if you have a second.