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New York Eats Out

In 1827, there was only one restaurant in New York: Delmonico's, a small café and pastry shop on William Street, which is considered the first real restaurant in the United States.

Today, New York is a home to thousands of restaurants, diners and eateries. The New York Public Library's newest exhibition New York Eats Out, which opens November 8, presents 225 menus, photographs, prints and magazine covers that portray the history of dining out in New York. The exhibition will run through March 1, 2003.

"The library has a good selection of menus not just from fancy restaurants, but from ordinary places where average New Yorkers would eat," said William Grimes, the exhibition's curator and New York Times restaurant critic. "That prompted the decision not to concentrate specifically on expensive restaurants catering to the upper crust but to make it a more comprehensive picture of how New Yorkers ate."

The exhibition consists of seven sections:

- Delmonico's and High-style Dining, 19th Century to Prohibition features photographs depicting lavish restaurants and their menus that included specialties like green turtle soup, roast partridge with cream sause and goose liver with jelly.
- Popular Dining, 19th Century to Prohibition documents the city's first pizzerias, oyster houses, cafeterias, kosher delicatessens and earliest Chinese restaurants.
- Street Vendors presents a variety of pictures depicting people selling candy, roast sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and pretzels.
- The World's Fair, 1939-40 is devoted to a food festival that gave rise to many ethnic restaurants in the city.
- High-style Dining, Prohibition to 1960s features photographs depicting two most popular restaurants of that period: "21" Club and the Colony.
- Popular Dining, Prohibition to 1960s depicts several restaurant chains, including Schrafft's and Childs as well as a variety of ethnic restaurants.
- Coda:Windows of the World features pictures of a restaurant that occupied the 107th floor of the World Trade Center.


The Big Apple Circus

The first circus in New York was that of the Englishman John Bill Ricketts, which opened in 1793. It featured the first elephant ever brought to the United Sates. For many years the circus had to come to New York, but since 1977 the city has had its own show: the Big Apple Circus.

This year The Big Apple Circus, which travels nationwide, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This season's show Dreams of City is about New York at the turn of the 20th century, when thousands of immigrants with dreams of a better life flooded into the city.

"The circus wanted to take a look at the historical associations with New York City and at the historical associations New York has with circus," said Phil Thurston of the Big Apple Circus.

To recreate the period in New York's history, the circus has invited artists from countries around the world, including musical clown Francesco from France, high-speed juggler Claudius Specht from Switzerland, and slack-wire balancer Cong Tian from China.
The show, which opened on October 24, will be presented at the Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center through January 12, 2003.

For ticket and tour information go to:

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