Bagels, New York City
Bagles are really popular in New York City. You may buy them almost on every street. They are different than, for example, in Polish Krakow. Hard to say which one are more tasty.:)
Did you know that bagles are orginally Jewish? The bagel is a bread product traditionally made of yeasted wheat dough in the form of a roughly hand-sized ring which is boiled in water and then baked. Bagels are often topped with seeds baked onto the outer crust with the most traditional being poppy or sesame seeds. The New York bagel contains salt and malt and is boiled prior to baking in a standard oven.
According to legend the first bagels rolled into the world in 1683 when a Viennese baker wanted to pay tribute to Jan Sobieski, the King of Poland. King Jan had just saved the people of Austria from an onslaught of Turkish invaders. The King was a great horseman, and the baker decided to shape the yeast dough into an uneven circle resembling a stirrup (or 'beugal'). (Other German variations of the word are: 'beigel', meaning 'ring', and 'bugel', meaning bracelet.)
Bagels in New York are just better than elsewhere. Some say it is the water. Unlike in other parts of the country, there is no need for chocolate chip or asiago cheese flavoring. It is all in the bread. And please, choose cream cheese and not butter.
NYC is chaotic, loud, busy, often stinky and can be very overwhelming. Take a break during the day to relax in the many small pocket parks located throughout the city. Not only do you get a break from the chaos, you see how real New Yorkers spend their time, chugging a cup of coffee while talking on the cell phone and chomping on a bagel. Seriously, these parks are hidden all over the city. Some are a bit larger like Thompson Square Park in the East Village and have playgrounds and restroom facilities. Some are very small, just a few seats with some trees. Some have fountains and sculptures like the small park off of Broadway and 63rd Street. And others like Damrosch Park, tucked behind Lincoln Center, are just a shady oasis away from the city streets.