New York is not America

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Aug 2 15:19:46 UTC 2001

I hope I am not sending this out twice.  But my email is being prankish
this morning, and I may be.

Barry writes:

>   From "This New York" by Lucius Beebe, NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE,
> 4 March 1939, pg. 16, col. 2:
>   Some wag once remarked that good Americans, when they died,
> went to Paris.  Somebody also later discovered that New York was
> not America, a fortunate exemption, which makes it possible for
> good New Yorkers, when dead, to go not to Paris but to San
> Francisco.  Only San Francisco rather prefers them alive.

Ford Madox Ford published a travel book about New York City called "New
York Is Not America" in 1927: London: Duckworth and New York: Boni.

>   From "Incomparable Senegalese" by Tama Janowitz, NEW YORK PRESS
> restaurant review, August 1-7, 2001, pg. 37, col. 4:
>   I CANNOT TELL you if Chez Gnagna Koty's is a good Senegalese
> restaurant or a bad one, as I have nothing to compare it to. (...)

There have been a number of Senegalese in NYC for some years.  It seems
that many of the street peddlars who flog dubious high-fashion-label
watches, handbags and such are Senegalese.  Therefore there have been
some Senegalese eateries, at least, if not restaurants.  I ate at one
about 10 years ago, off Broadway, in the low 50s.

A word to Barry:  In your fieldwork for exotic food terms that are
entering English, or may be, do not neglect Brooklyn.  In a walk
recently along Avenue Z near Brighton Beach I passed a Moldavian
restaurant, unfortunately seemingly out of business, and a Caspian
restaurant that was flourishing.  These were both near the Avenue Z
stop of the D train.  There used to be, at least, an Azerbaijani
restaurant in that area too.  I haven't been in Sunset Park for years,
but it should be worth trawling, too.  As Thoreau said, "I have
travelled widely in Brooklyn, and eaten pretty dang well while I was
there, too."  This is what Thoreau really said: ask Fred Shapiro if he


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African
Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998.

More information about the Ads-l mailing list