Broder on 'discovering vintage New York'
While it might seem as if modern chain stores and restaurants are constantly popping up around New York City, those shiny new places are surrounded by some throwbacks to what author and journalist Mitch Broder calls "Vintage New York."
He chronicled some of them in his new book, "Discovering Vintage New York: A Guide to the City's Timeless Shops, Bars, Delis & More."
"What I was really looking for [are] some place that give you an opportunity to experience life at another time in the city," he says. "And it's amazing to me that these places exist."
Here are four classic places that Broder thinks every New Yorker should check out:
"I'm particularly fond of mid-20th century New York, and I feel like this place embodies it. It kind of preserves that feel. I compare it to the Automats, because the Automats, which are beloved to this day, were these emporiums where people from all walks of life gathered together. You had movie stars and starving artists all together because everyone could afford something there and food was good. And that's how it is at Katz's. People know they're going to get really good food there, it's simple [and] it appeals to everyone. To me it's one of the last 'New York' places." (205 E. Houston St., 212-254- 2246)
"The hot dog is one of the symbolic foods of the city, and the original Papaya King on 86th is still there. That's the one that Kramer [from the "Seinfeld" episode "The Movie"] wanted to go to. It's [a] place that attracts people from all walks. Rich men like a hot dog as much as poor men. And it has one of the greatest slogans: 'Tastier Than Filet Mignon.' " (179 E. 86th St., 212-369-0648)
"The Strand is the last of the bookstores from Book Row. ... You can find everything. They gussied it up recently, but it still has its feel. It's a bookstore that you can't find hardly anywhere anymore, and it's a really New York experience. You can't really have a bad time at The Strand." (828 Broadway, 212-473-1452)
"The Silversmith is a little jewelry store; it's built into an alley on West Fourth Street. It's run by this woman who's been running it since 1960. It brings back the time when the Village was a place that an artist could actually afford to live in. ... Ruth is still there -- she's in her 80s and sells jewelry. She's kind of the queen of Greenwich Village, presiding over this place that gives you a last taste of what a lot of us think of when you hear the name Greenwich Village." (184 3/4 W. Fourth St., 212-924-5266)