Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Early in the morning, the day after photographing the wedding of Sheena and David, we started the drive back to Florida. We'd planned on relaxing in New York city for a night because we wanted to visit the 9-11 Memorial. Our regular readers know that Phyllis and I photographed the after effects of that tragedy on Sept. 21, 2001.  Now, we wanted to go back and see the rebirth of that area.

We booked a room at the Millennium Hilton which directly overlooks the memorial area. It was a cold February day and we felt every degree of that cold as we photographed the memorial It was a very touching few hours that we spent at the memorial, remembering that day and the days that followed. I will post our images from that day soon. 

Today I wanted to post something light and what fun. The morning after photographing the memorial we awoke early to start the trip back to Florida. Before we left, we thought that we'd have breakfast at the famous Stage Deli. The Stage Deli has two locations in New York City, one on Seventh Avenue and the other in Manhattan. 

The Manhattan location was right across the street from our hotel. We walked over enjoying the beautiful blue sky morning and the busy New York streets. People were arriving in the area for their work day. It is a sight to see as a throng of people depart busses and come up from the underground subway stations and it seemed they were all walking in the opposite direction from us. (I know what  salmon must feel like swimming upstream!!)

The Stage Deli was first opened in 1937 by Russian immigrant, Max Asnas. It has served their overstuffed sandwiches to stars of stage and screen as well as governors and presidents. We wanted to buy a breakfast sandwich ( lox and tomato on a bagel) and eat it our room before we left.

When we entered the deli, there was a feast for the eyes of signs, products and people. There was a mixture of people in expensive suits, blue collar workers and the construction workers from the 9-11 site. In the deli, you step up to a counter and place your order, move down the counter, pay a cashier and then wait for your sandwiches.

"During the attacks people entered the deli seeking cover from the wave of black dust and chunks of rock like particles".  The deli, like the rest of the area reopened and started to serve the public as they came back to the area.

Being a Boston sport's fan I grew up hating New York teams, especially the Yankees and the Rangers. I had not really visited New York in thirty years before 9-11, then we visited after the attacks and when Mayor Giulaini asked people to visit and spend some money, to help rebuild the city we headed the call. We went twice, seeing Broadway shows and just generally enjoying the city and it's citizens.  

New York City has had a reputation (like most big cities) of being a fast, rude city. In all truth, it might have been at one time but that is not what I have found in the trips we've made after 9-11. I was wondering what the deli employees would be like, I think I was expecting the "Soup Nazi". What we found were helpful and polite people working under lots of pressure. It is busy and every customer wants their order quickly and correctly but the staff were well trained and seemed to be enjoying the challenge.

Here are the images we took that day on our walk to the Stage Deli.

This was the view when we stepped out of our hotel. This impressive building is "One World Trade Center".  It will be the tallest  skyscraper in the United States when completed later this year. It is located where the original 8 story 6 World Trade Center once stood. It's radio antenna will proudly stand at 1,776 feet in reference to to the year of America's independence.

This was the wave of humanity we saw on the street. Where is the Stage Deli? Over there behind all those people !! It was a cold morning and walking against all those people was a little intimidating, especially carrying my camera. Trying not to get in the crowd's way and take pictures was a daunting task. I decided to keep walking and literally shoot from the hip. It seemed like a black and white moment!!

Then we entered the deli!!! There was warmth, friendly people and color with bright greens, oranges, reds and the yellow coats of the construction workers!!!!

When you order your sandwich, the person you order from yells down to the far end of the long counter, what you ordered. 
After it is made, it is delivered back to the person who called the order in. But not by foot, it would take to long, it is delivered by air!!
That silver missile you can see in these images is my sandwich!!

It was fun seeing this method accomplished with the skills of an NFL quarterback and receiver and nothing was dropped. 

There was a reminder of what this deli, this area and these people have been through! This was on a wall above a stairway that was off limits to customers. This was the best shot I could get!

When we left the deli it was still cold on the street but it was not so grey anymore. An explosion of color reached my eyes and soul.

I saw a mixture of people; business, construction workers and even a photographer.

What was he photographing?
The morning sun reflecting off "One World Trade Center" representing the start of a brand new day!!!


Ann said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm hoping to go to the site this summer. the photos are great.

Jessica M said...

Great images. Thanks for taking me along. I haven't been to NYC in ages!

Hostel Tinktinkie - Santa Rosa de Calamuchita said...

I enjoyed this trip to NYC, Jim! what an experience this sandwich shop must have been..would love to try it some day. The new building is really beautiful!