Exploring the Offbeat Past

New York City is loaded with enough offbeat attractions to keep a curiosity seeker busy for quite some time, no car required.  There are so many great places to visit that I wrote a book, Off the Beaten (Subway) Track: New York City’s Best Unusual Attractions , to document my experiences and encourage others to explore. So when my mom, dad, grandmother, sister, and brother-in-law) came to visit me from my hometown outside of Chicago this summer, we set out to see a few of the places in the book.

The family began the trip with lunch at Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop , a throwback lunchcounter from 1929. Thanks to recent renovations, we were able to sit at a table in the back instead of in a straight line along the counter in the narrow front of the restaurant. 

My mom ordered a chocolate phosphate, which can be hard to find these days, and I had a lime rickey. We bantered with the crabby waiter over the difference between Jews in New York and those in Chicago while my sister sucked down an egg cream. My brother-in-law enjoyed his hot tongue sandwich, although the rest of us stuck to chicken or tuna salad.  When the bill came, we fought over who would pick up the reasonable tab.