Cross on Delancey
I've had my eye on 121 Ludlow Street for a while now. A giant "For Rent" sign hovered in its window for at least a couple of years, tempting me as I walked by. How cool would it be to … Read More
I've had my eye on 121 Ludlow Street for a while now. A giant "For Rent" sign hovered in its window for at least a couple of years, tempting me as I walked by. How cool would it be to live in an old Lower East Side synagogue?
I even called the landlord once. Only commercial tenants, he barked. Click.
But I'm perfect for you – a nice Jewish maydele, I wanted to tell him. I'm writing a freakin' dissertation on the Jews of the Lower East Side. What more could you want?
Now it seems the landlord has finally found his tenant. Chickie's Pigs. I kid you not. It's a new pizzeria, and their signature pie is topped with three versions of pork: prosciutto, ham and sausage.
Gawker posted this picture yesterday (though they reported that the former building was a burial society — based on the "Chevra Kadisha" in its name — it was probably also a synagogue):
Pig pies in a former house of Jewish worship? Sure, I devoured a souvlaki (guess which white meat) with tzatziki at a lovely Greek restaurant last night, without a care. Yet I've also been known to weep and nearly vomit in a gourmet restaurant in the French countryside when my chicken was served to me literally in a pot of warm milk.
People are contradictory, as my first professor of Jewish history would say, with a shrug. And many of those inner-conflicts are played out over the dinner table. So I'm not sure how I feel about this seeming transgression.
I'd do just about anything to save the remaining tenement synagogues dotted across the Lower East Side. But is this taking things to far?