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A. When it all gets to be too much that's of course what I turned to food me for comfort. I think people. Need to visit gardens in New York. I think that it makes you feel better about yourself. It makes you feel better about your world. Gives you one. It's a total release. And re check all the things that New Yorkers are going. Through your. One. VOICE. New York. Places. New York Voices is made possible by the members of 13 additional funding provided by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Norman and Rosita Winston foundation.
Welcome to YOUR VOICES I'm Rafael here online. You know we took a little poll recently and we found that most of the New Yorkers we spoke to are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the news these days. So to alleviate that news overload we decided to bring your show about a New York City. Whether you're looking for a few hours to break away for more coverage or you just like to rediscover New York at its most beautiful this spring. We have a few ideas. Wiltord some wonderful outdoor spaces and check out one place where no matter how bad the news is you're guaranteed the final after. But we begin with restaurant critic Ed Levine the author of New York eat who gives us a few of his favorite picks for comfort food in the city. New York would seem like a place to live
when it all gets to be too much. That's of course when I turn to food for comfort and there's so many places in New York that offer that comfort. I spend a good part of my time looking for comfort. In the foods of New York. And there are all kinds of places to drive that comfort. And that's one of the great things about New York is that you can find comfort anywhere. From a cup of coffee to a steak dinner. Doors are always going to pass. Thank you very much. You know there's no place to feel more comfortable in New York and the cats is because. They're the only delicatessen left when you get one of these tickets and then they punch your ticket as you spend money and then you just pay the cashier what your punch ticket adds up to.
With mustard south the Caps have those really good. Thank you sir. Now we know what you do with cats is that you when you walk in you walked out of the next spot. That's the kind of place that I think New Yorkers from all over come back or even if they've moved to the suburbs it's a place that they feel at home. It's not because of a roaring fire place it's really because. The place. Even though it's noisy and brightly lit with fluorescent lights it's just the place that makes you feel them when you walk in the door. All right I need a I need a push from a young club. You know. And I like pretty juicy. This is often the last Deli in New York and your club world. Which is sort of a
Jewish hero. Thank you. Katz is a place that my parents used to go to. I came here when I was a kid. Don't try to. Hide strife like this. I always come back you have a friendly family and a hotdog and. A side order of comfort. When I come for food in New York I come to Russ and Daughters. Mark Fetterman is the third generation. Of his family. To. Run Russ and Daughters. He was a lawyer and then he found religion. Thank god but his religion was smoking fish. You know so the place was started by my grandfather and my mother and aunts and they had a certain attitude about their business. And that's haunting the place or it's here for us. And it just seems to be the way we continue things that personal experience and the people who work for us many of them of work for us for. 20 some odd
years they've been imbued with the same kind of spirit they become like family. We've all become family so they pick that up. And you know that's just the way we do it. A Mormon is the kind of food writer I mean smoked salmon and cream cheese have become comfort food to two generations of New Yorkers. Jews and non-Jews right. Yeah absolutely. Herring and lox was an ethnic market here and it started from the Lower East Side. But then as the Jewish population. Got more affluent and moved out and then exposed. Other portions of the population to it it became more widely accepted it became a New York food. And now it's you know all over the world. If this doesn't relax you I don't know what will. Do. You.
Know. What Mark Meyer is the chef here at five points. He's was an architecture student at Berkeley when he discovered that he liked to cook more than he liked to. Design buildings. And he's one of the chefs with a great feeling for cooking and for the people that eat this restaurant. So Mark what are you doing there. Well we're making the batter that sure for those people that don't know are essentially crawlers right. Yeah I would say it's more it's more donuts and seems to me that your food is kind of an interesting blend of. Sort of comfort food items like donuts and crawlers. And slightly more exotic ingredients. I mean you're not a macaroni and cheese kind of guy but there's something very simple elemental about what you're doing because. I think food has to be. Accessible. To. It. It has to be enjoyed. But I think that. It has to be done with. Good
technique. And good breeding. It's about. Making. People feel well. It's about making. People feel. Special. In the way. They're. Giving them. The power. Giving. Be in that position. Where you want people to feel well. The comforting smell of short ribs that have been braze for days. And mashed potatoes and leeks and. Red wine. No there's the comfort derived from sitting amidst wrongs of people eating a corned beef sandwich at Katz's and there's a comfort derived from engaging in a bit of Rep parte with the counter folks at Russ and Daughters. But when you really need to chill out. The whole idea of coming to a restaurant like this they have these forsythia Andys Hopper esque windows on the walls. And this 25 foot
tree that's been made into a fountain. This is really the way to escape in New York. You know they say laughter is contagious and if you're looking for a laugh at a time when they're hard to come by. There's one group that's quintessentially New York. The Upright Citizens Brigade will make you laugh and if you're really interested they'll teach you how to make others laugh as well. There. Will never be seen. If you get somebody who's a funny person and they get trained well and empowers Asians and they learn how to function in an ensemble just by the nature of improv because of its spontaneous nature 95 percent of the time it's going to be funny. They've You just have one funny person you meet another one and they have an honest conversation. They're
going to make each other laugh. It's just going to happen. That's just it just happening on stage. Yeah the Upright Citizens Brigade proper is a group of four people. Their sketch comedy group. They had TV show called The Upright Citizens Brigade and they're also teaching improv classes and a real community had started to surround those classes which are now not just classes of a classes and performances. And that transformed into the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater which not only doctors both worship was young oh everything I've read. Sure it's affected ship you saw it. Yes. You know. I just want to commend you on. But you know what to do. Definitely. I have heard a lot of people say Im probably saved my life. And people say that about
theater too. And I think it is because improvisers and a lot of actors are these sort of sort of misfits and people who are often really creative wonderful people who just didn't fit in or got a bad shape or hated authority or who knows what. And I think when one of those sort of misfits find something they can excel and then it really gives their life a little bit more direction and they actually can often start to really shape up and be part of a community and make something of themselves on the machines and carry on ones. Which is normal. Must not. Be one of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater is not just a theatre it's also a school where we teach improvisation a lot of different levels. I think the thing that attracted to me and tried to be to you for any of the other pirates is that we both have left peg legs. Yes only 10 percent of pirates have it and if you want me to tell you how
I'd like to. I'm sorry. I'd like to be your inside don't you know I love scraps right. Yeah I know that I think. I should. Get it. Right. You know you came inside it so often. Most of the kids that are going to that's that's really nice. The fact that he's a dog and you're the man did not stop you guys for one beat from engaging in a real conversation and having a real relationship. He said Son your wife goes on. Yeah it's very important to me to have this. Like a refuge almost in high school and high school sometimes I get down and I just think like well you know Saturday I'm going to be doing this like great day I'm going to be improvising and be with these people who are just like so much. So it's been it's been nice because I'm not like a huge fan of high school but I'm but I'm a huge fan of this. Was I'm sorry. God. Wanted off troops. Gosh darn right I.
I guess it is an escape. In so far as movies and theater are an escape too but I think that thing that if people are in it to get away from their problems they may actually find that they're digging into their problems even deeper than they than they would have if they just went out for a burger. And that was hell on wheels down a bit here with the Muslims up Sal's. Way around us. We try to find really truthful stuff to begin with. We use we often start with things that are very ordinary realistic almost by now and through the process you'll find some That's a little bit unusual that's based on truth. Also if I was giving all this tension to the borderline everything so we she's out he's just beat him. I read him the riot act think this was a psych you take. Boy I just did it to keep you both shut up on top. Your truth.
There's a street car breaks down and we take that and start to heighten and heighten and build in of it's something it's a little bit absurd. If the audience saw that truthful kernel of where it began the audience will follow that far far far away into some very strange absurd it absurd places and they'll still be believable. Maybe right. I don't know what that. But I don't know where. To. Go afterwards even laugh. Like how. Oh gosh. The audience plays a huge role in improvisation because they're in the room they sort of guide you when you start to play you feel that audience. You can feel the things that they like and the things that they think are funny and things I think are outrageous. And it's almost like a conversation happening between the players and the audience. Those chicks chicks
right. But. Mostly Czechs so much and yet wrong. Still I. Do think that the audience seeing the process happening before their eyes is part of it. It's part of the mystique it's part of what makes it fun and makes it great. It's sort of being in on the joke. It's like the ultimate you had to be there. I mean so often you're out with your friends something funny happens you try to tell someone the next day. It's never going to make them laugh. That's every great improv moment. You know there are times when you just have to walk through a garden. So we've enlisted the help of the authors of garden guide New York City Nancy burner and Susan Lowry to help us find serenity and beauty in a busy city during difficult times. I think people need to visit gardens in York. I think that it
makes you feel better about yourself. It makes you feel better about your world and maybe think a little bit differently about how you live in the city and how you live in the world. Every season is so exciting when you look at gardens. I think even in the very earliest of spring when you look outside you can't even really believe it's spring even though it looks as though they're just bare branches and dark soil and bare. In fact if you look just a little more closely you see that the earliest of bulbs are coming up like the snow drops here and conservatory gardens even the hellebores which are one of our favorite plants. They're just beginning you see the buds on the early bushes and the magnolia as well those buds.
But for now it's almost a gardeners favorite moment of the year because much that's about to happen. One of our favorite gardens in early spring is the heather garden which is in for Triumph Park just south of the cloisters. I think lots of people go to the Cloisters but maybe they don't realize the heather garden is right below it and in spring it's a fabulous place to go before the trees have come out and you can still see the George Washington Bridge sort of glistening in the distance. As my co-author and I discovered more and more gardens and the lists kept growing we started thinking that there was a lot to share with people about all of the gardens that are right under our noses. We wanted to make a book out of this and that was really the beginnings for garden guide New York City. Spring has just been extraordinary everywhere
out at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. We have the cherry trees which are world famous. There's the bluebell wood. It's a sea of flowers underneath mature trees. 5000. It's really in England but here it's a real surprise. The other great spring garden where you see the cherry trees daffodils naturalizing everywhere here at the conservatory garden. Spring of course Mary. We have the blooming of our 20000 tulips and 30000 daffodils and tulips garden early. We have full bloom.
In a way the most obvious of seasons. But New York is a fabulous place to come to in spring. Summer then settles in with fabulous rose gardens the Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden roses at the U.N. and then in the community gardens summer is just packed with great. Sunflowers annuals vegetables growing everywhere. All the flower gardens look great in the summer. The thing that we wish we could do and it turns out we can do is we can put our feet in the water. At gantry Plaza park out in Queens. You can actually see the gantries as you're driving down the FDR. You get down to Wagner Park which is at the southernmost part of Battery Park City and you see these lush gardens that are just very inviting and and very soothing you know on a hot summer's day.
Christie garden. Which is on the corner of Bowery and House just a stone's throw really from it's a long. Very mature trees and it's packed with interesting plants. One of my favorites in New York City not just for fabulous display at the conservatory but also for all of the colors that we have in the park are turning pretty. You then get to some gardens like Wave Hill which is up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. Has a wonderful fall moment where there are late blooming and just seem to burst out of the beds. They have an extraordinary collection everything they have is very special.
Paul is just gorgeous at home. After the fall of winter where we get to see the bones of the great gardens we get to see Bartow Pell a place that I'm sure very few people know about but it's a historic house. It's in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx. With a little bit of snow. It looks it's most romantic. Winter is also a great time to go indoors. There are gardens in a lot of our buildings that we probably don't even realize are behind those doors foundation. The design of the whole building really is a round the central atrium of a garden. All of the offices look out on it their gardens right around the corner from where we have or no matter where you are in the city. There's a garden to discover.
Take a look. It's really good I think. Everywhere. Connect.
They were doing some exercises. To get rid of internal anger. And you actually empath. That with a group laughter. I think been a big person but I come to a Saturday morning and from the first moment. I am. A half hour and that's about how long it takes to run out. But you can do because. As a child you are.
We have many times going in and I think. Their hands up to the sky. Really hard. But. Usually people who are running around the beach. It's really beautiful. And. If. Somebody goes into them. And it's hard.
To the body and the spirit. But I think it's. Think about the quantum. And I think the more the better. The world is going to be and I think that it's very dear all the time. I think it's really. Going to.
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New York Voices
Episode Number
Escape to New York
Producing Organization
Thirteen WNET
Contributing Organization
Thirteen WNET (New York, New York)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/75-20sqvg65).
Host Rafael Pi Roman explores ways to relieve tension and enjoy New York City during tough times, from restaurants and comedy clubs to outdoor activities. Restaurant critic Ed Levine tours his favorite spots for comfort food in the city, a feature profiles improv performed by the Upright Citizens Brigade, a third segment highlights different New York gardens, and the program concludes with a story on laughing yoga.
New York Voices is a news magazine made up of segments featuring profiles and interviews with New Yorkers talking about the issues affecting New York.
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Copyright thirteen/WNET 2003.
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Host: Pi Roman, Rafael
Producing Organization: Thirteen WNET
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Thirteen - New York Public Media (WNET)
Identifier: wnet_aacip_12220 (WNET Archive)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
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Chicago: “New York Voices; 317; Escape to New York,” 2003-04-08, Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 18, 2020,
MLA: “New York Voices; 317; Escape to New York.” 2003-04-08. Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 18, 2020. <>.
APA: New York Voices; 317; Escape to New York. Boston, MA: Thirteen WNET, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from