NYC Day 1: Pastrami Edition

I am at the glorious Pastrami Queen on Lexington.


Mushroom Barley soup




Corned Beef


“Smile!” … yep… he was smiling.


We spent time in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, sort of my Mecca, to which I bow several times when I come to this city.  There are exhibits of incredible tapestries right not by Pieter Coecke van Aelst. Wow. There is also a small exhibit of Pre-Raphaelite stuff, of which I can’t get enough. Fascinating movement and period.


Some of the cases in the lower hallways (straight on) have been switched around. Here is something I haven’t seen:


This is a late Roman or maybe Byzantine piece, 300-500. It’s a chariot mount.  You see three figures, two orators and a grammarian.  The scrolls and the raised hand, palm outward as a teaching gesture give them away.  They also have writing tablets.  My interest in ancient rhetoric caused my eye to zoom to this piece as we were charging by.

I find this little medallion, perhaps made in Alexandria but maybe found in Tivoli, made in the early 300’s, to be charming.


A mother, probably wealthy given the hairdo, with her son.

Did any of you listen to my LENTCAzTs last year?



Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (+1704).  This is a hard-paste biscuit porcelain piece from Sévres.  The Met, btw, has a spiffy collection of soft-paste, also.

When I am at the Met, I can feel my brain reactivate.

Also, during a short break for a refreshing beverage in the cafe of the American Wing, we were approached by a fellow who writes for Crisis, Tom Piatak.  Review his piece from last April about Divorce.  HERE  He makes great points drawn from Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.

More later.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in On the road, SESSIUNCULA, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. wmeyer says:

    The sandwiches look great! The prices, not so much.

  2. schmanz says:

    Is it wrong to covet another’s sandwich? Enjoy

  3. New York City is expensive.

  4. Fr Fox: You should see the size of the sandwiches!

  5. Patti Day says:

    Father, that kosher pickle made my mouth water.

  6. NBW says:

    The soup looks delicious.

  7. Father Z:

    No doubt. And I’m sure they are first-rate!

    But I’m guessing that deli is at the low- to mid-end, in terms of price, for Gotham.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Thank you for reactivating our brains, too: what a striking juxtaposition, the late-antique orators and grammarian and Bishop Bossuet! (Millennial canons of iconography?) And the chariot mount, in itself – I have a vague sense of how chariot racing permeated at least Constantinopolitan life at some stages, but, how do they come to be there? Wow!

  9. tzard says:

    Ooh, they serve tongue!

  10. HeatherPA says:

    Sigh. yummmmmmmm

    35 weeks pregnant and would kill for a NYC deli pickle and some (good) pastrami.

  11. Elizabeth D says:

    That thing goes on the front of a chariot I assume? I guess I could see how those guys could be useful to loop the reins on if you needed to, and the monsters on the bottom could be handles. I saw a chariot race at the horse fair one time but it is a little hard to imagine driving these things. I drove a jack donkey one time (which ran away with me at the canter, he hadn’t been driven in a year), the pony sized horses used with chariots would not be much larger than a donkey so they were not overwhelmingly powerful. But still this took some real skill, and balance presumably. The riders in Roman days were all bareback to, presumably anyone involved with horses learned good balance by the school of hard knocks. Apparently there are such a thing as chariot classes in miniature horse shows, this looks fun:

  12. Bea says:

    Ah food for the body
    After following the Synod, I needed that.
    Concerning food for the soul, I’m starving.

  13. The Cobbler says:

    Scholars mounted on chariots. Huh. I guess they took Thucydides’s advice seriously.

  14. StJude says:

    Oh my.. that pickle looks delicious!

  15. Choirgirl says:

    If you weren’t going to the Met, then you could have shot down to Little Italy on the 6 train, had 6 -12 clams on the half shell at Umberto’s, then walked them off with a leisurely stroll to Katz’s Deli. Mr. Smiley has the puss on because he has the meat on the slicing machine, and he knows they still carve by hand at Katz’s. It’s true that Katz’s is under NO rabbinical supervision whatsoever, but what the heck, we’re Catholics! :-)

    Whenever you go anywhere, I always wait for the food posts. That shrimp dish last time really got to me. LOL!

    If your friends know their way around, ask them to take you to a Sri Lankan restaurant in the St. George section of Staten Island. (The name slips my mind.) They have some spicy hot food, but plenty that’s not, and unlike the Indians, each dish was seasoned with different spices. I’ll be calling the caterer of the eternal banquet to place my order in advance. Heaven has to have some of this stuff (and clams on the half shell).

  16. Choirgirl: I think Pastrami Queen’s pastrami is better than Katz’s, and the place is a lot less noisy. Moreover, it’s pretty much on the way to the Met when you take the 6.

    I think it has been nearly… 40 years?… since I’ve been to Umberto’s. It’s now Little Chinese Italy down there these days.

  17. aviva meriam says:

    Choirgirl: had either Katz’s or Pastrami Queen been under Rabbinical supervision they couldn’t be open on Saturdays….. However Katz’s has quite the collection of fun photos from the past , what, half century?

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf, the pastrami and pickle looked perfect….. was the corned beef a bit dry?

    Glad you’re enjoying yourself: keep recharging those batteries.

  18. Choirgirl says:

    Grand Central Station at rush hour is quieter than Katz’s! LOL! But Katz’s is a lot of boisterous NY fun, the photo covered walls are cool, and the FOOD! But suum cuique, as they say. ;-)

    aviva meriam, re Rabbinical supervision, I was going by the claim on Pastrami Queen’s menu – maybe the * means that “the food is Kosher, but we’re open on Saturdays.”

    I agree that the corned beef looks a bit dry, however, after the rollout of his new very cool “Biretta and Roses” swag, I wasn’t about to insult the good Father’s sandwich. LOL!

  19. Tom Piatak says:

    Thanks very much for your kind words on my article, Father.

  20. aviva meriam says:

    choirgirl: you’re RIGHT, they are under rabbinical supervision even when open on Saturday…

  21. CAR says:

    I did too, HeatherPA. I was craving for all during my pregnancy. Right after delivery, I requested a corned beef (Chicago style) w/pickles and a milk shake and I got it. Yummy! But NY really looks good, Fr. Z. BTW, I really miss Schmaltz in chicken soup.

  22. techno_aesthete says:

    Choirgirl, according to the menu, Pastrami Queen is between 78th St. & 79th St. Grand Central Station is around 42nd St.
    Father Z., it looks like P.Q. is near St. Jean Baptiste Church.

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