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05/14/2017
Second Avenue: Knish Alley Revisited
Street Food Walking Tour

We continued Arteries: NYC in Circulation with an exploration of how a broad avenue sustains century-old cultural and culinary identity amid rapid movement. Participants joined the world’s leading knish expert Laura Silver, author of Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food (Brandeis, 2014), on a foray up Second Avenue. The famed thoroughfare was once known as the Yiddish Rialto and Knish Alley for all the theaters and Jewish delis that lined the strip. Laura pointed out reminders of the artery’s stuffed history on a tour that meets at Village East Cinemas and concludes at Yonah Schimmel’s Knishery, where participants did some taste-testing of their own.

This event was part of Arteries: NYC in Circulation, Van Alen’s spring program festival from May 12-18 exploring: What defines a city’s lifeblood? We journeyed to the heart of the metropolis as we explored the myriad main streets and water mains, multicultural conduits and transportation corridors—both designed and off-the-cuff—that shape the urban experience and route our everyday lives. Across seven days of debates, explorations, and performances, we discovered a new understanding of our city as we traversed its arteries.