Written by guest blogger Jessica Henry McClements
Close your eyes. Take a moment to relax and breathe in and out a few times.
You hear the clinking of glass. The smell of onions sizzling on a grill starts to fill your nose. You can hear someone saying “two dogs with the works please.” Next to you, someone is pouring coffee.
Can you smell French fries fresh up from a fryer?
Can you hear the soft humming sounds of a refrigerator?
There is steam wafting through the air. The soft tinkling of forks and knives can be heard throughout.
Open your eyes.
What did you see? Where were you in that moment?
If you were thinking of your favorite diner then you’re in the right place.
For me, that would be New York Lunch on Bleecker Street in Gloversville.
I have been eating at New York Lunch since I was a small child. My grandparents would take me shopping for new shoes at Rossbach’s or to pick up a few things from Rauch’s Bakery and then stop in for lunch on Bleecker Street at our favorite diner, New York Lunch. They had my favorite French fries and the best hot dogs.
As a child I lived for those French fries. Crisp on the outside. Soft on the inside. What else does a little kid love more than French fries, and New York Lunch had the best. I loved these outings with my grandparents whom I was very close to. Every outing with them was an independent adventure away from my parents but still with the people who were dearest to me.
When I was a young adult, my first job was at the YWCA right next door. I was a little older but still I was excited to be so close to a place that I loved so much as a child. But I had acquired more adult and sophisticated tastes. Lunchtime meant I could get a huge cheese burger (and my French fries) or a Reuben sandwich (with my French fries). As a young woman I was on a tight budget but still, I found a way to keep my daily trips to New York Lunch. To be honest, it wasn’t that hard as they are an incredibly affordable place to eat and so I became a regular there for a couple of years.
Today, have my own children with whom I continue the New York Lunch tradition.
They eat French fries and hot dogs and grilled cheese sandwiches. I order a Backwoods burger with a huge pile of French fries because I am not sharing those French fries.
Like so much in Gloversville, New York Lunch invokes a feeling of sentiment and love that only special places from your childhood can do to you.
We sit and listen to the sounds. Smell the food. Enjoy each other’s company. This is comfort food at its finest and I love that I can pass this place on to my children and maybe someday my grandchildren. It stokes the fires of nostalgia in a way only a diner with a great deal of history can do.