A Bite of Bagel Before the Gym: “That’s what New York is, these little traditions that you try to uphold.”

H & H as captured in its last days by the Times. Photo by Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times.

Just in case you missed yesterday’s farewell to H & H bagels on the Upper West Side in the Times, we wanted to draw your attention to the article, which touches on some our favorite subjects (other than carbohydrates), those being food and memory and food and tradition.

“When Karanja Muigai, 21, heard, his heart went out to his sister, who lives nearby. “My sister goes to the gym around the corner, and she cheats before boxing with a little bite of bagel,” a customer told the Times. “That’s what New York is, these little traditions that you try to uphold.”

The store at 2239 Broadway (between 79th and 80th Streets) is open until Sunday, and you can read the story here, as well as a follow up piece in the City Rooms blogs about the state of the bagel with insights from food writer and former restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton, who speaks knowledgeably about the disturbingly massive size of modern bagels.

We only wish we’d managed to do a profile of the round bread in our Iconic Foods column before the shop shuttered. Speaking of, if readers have any suggestions for fine specimens to include in that piece, we’re taking notes now! It also has thinking that perhaps next year we’ll make the bagel one of our Seven Ingredients of The Week for Eat Drink Local Week, our celebration of locally sourced foods and food artisans that begins this year on Friday, with strawberries. They’re no bagel, but hey, whatyougonnado?




Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.