On the Horizon: Adam and Eve on Delancey Street
It is months now that a crowd, several rows deep, has been gathering at the window of an East Side delicatessen store to watch Kosher Fry Beef come off the slicing machine. The process is simple and uninteresting. A flat chunk of meat is placed in the machine by one girl and received four feet away, at the end of a wire conveyor belt, by another girl, who wraps the slices in cellophane and stuffs them in a little cardboard box. The slicer is perfectly ordinary, the wire conveyor is not worth a second thought, and neither are the girls, both of whom look even more unattractive because of the blue waitress’ uniforms, with beige collar and cuffs, that they wear. The chunks of meat are like gnarled pastramis, but resemble greasy driftwood much more than anything edible. Yet the crowd comes on and stands at the window oblivious of the burden of parcels, of errands and of business; no comments are made, they stand in silence, not to interfere with one another’s contemplation, as they follow the course of the slices, from the blade to the box. To be sure, some of the spectators may never have seen bacon or its kosher analogue. But what is there in bacon, kosher or treif, so to draw a crowd?
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