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Knish Alley Revived For a Day

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We asked Laura Silver, the woman who dressed as a five foot tall knish and paraded down Second Avenue yesterday, to write a few words about her experience. Here is her full report:

Laura Silver revived "Knish Alley" with a processional down Second Avenue yesterday. (photo by Syd Bolton, a Londoner who caught the images while he was strolling Second Avenue on his holidays.)

They came from the Bronx. They came from Boston, They came from Newfoundland and yes, they came from the Lower East Side. They came to join in the knish processional and some of them were people I had never seen before.

Village East (Cinema) let us enter and pay homage to the plaque to Yiddish Actors inside the theater. Some folks on the street figured out I was not a slice of American Cheese (really?! with mustard dangling from her neck?) but indeed a potato pocket. Plus I met  several old timers, 40+ years in the neighborhood, who remembered not only Abe Lebewohl but also the remnants of Yiddish Theater in the area.

Funny thing: at the end of processional the “Knish Color Guard” reconvened in our starting place for a snack of knishes – part of the ritual of reinserting the pastry into the ‘hood —and suddenly passersby swarmed us. My favorite was a woman named Bina who made out some of the words on the Yiddish side of my sign. She thought the phrase Knish-Allée (sort of like Knish Boulevard) was a diminutive form: knishele, as in “little knish.”

Molly Picon (the Village East Cinema City theater bore her name for a short while in the early 1930’s) had a song: “Die Ganze Velt iz a Theatr.” The Whole World is a Theater (or a Stage). For a few hours on Second Avenue yesterday, it felt like all the world was a knish, or better yet, a knishele, a warm, safe, cozy, friendly place where strangers stop for a nosh, share stories and become friends.

And the warmth continues. This is a work in progress, so I’d love to hear your impressions, your suggestions and your knish stories. And, if you’d like to see more of this kind of thing, I’d welcome any bit of you dough you might want to contribute to the Knish Revival Movement via my kickstarter campaign.

Best knishes to all.

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