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How the Lower East Side has changed since the 1988 rom-com ‘Crossing Delancey’

(New York Jewish Week) — The classic and very Jewish 1988 film “Crossing Delancey” is one of those movies that feels both extremely of its time and also completely timeless. 

Director Joan Micklin Silver’s film has all the classic rom-com trappings: A woman who’s torn between two men (and to that end, two worlds); complaints about how hard it is to meet a man in New York City (as true in 1988 as it is in 2022), and a “mother” figure who knows better (here, a Jewish grandmother known as Bubbe, and in this case, she actually does know better). You could pluck all these specifics and drop them into a present-day film — and, if told with the heart and care of “Crossing Delancey,” still have a pretty good movie.

Yet there’s one thing about the “Crossing Delancey” that fully anchors it in the past, and that is  its late-1980s Lower East Side setting. While our heroine, Izzy (Amy Irving), lives and works on the Upper West Side, she pays frequent visits to her Bubbe (Yiddish theater actress Reizl Bozyk), her grandmother, downtown. From the moment that Izzy steps off the train at Delancey Street, she’s transported to another world: a bustling Jewish enclave with market-goers shopping for produce, friends and neighbors in the streets kibbitzing and a Hasidic child sitting outside the subway, enjoying a treat from a local bakery.  

This dichotomy between the “Old World” of the Lower East Side and the “New World” uptown is the central conflict of the film: Izzy’s inability to reconcile her Jewish roots with her desire to live a secular, intelligentsia lifestyle, as represented by her two love interests (Sam the Pickle Man and Anton, the self-important author). 

However, rewatching the film in the present day, I can’t help but wonder: Would Izzy run from the shtetl if she knew that in a few years, it wouldn’t exist anymore? That due to rising rents and a shift in population, many Jewish businesses would meet their end — or, somewhat ironically, be part of the flight to Brooklyn that began in the early-to-mid 2000s? In some ways, 1988 itself was the beginning and the end: It marked the opening of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, an effort to preserve the neighborhood’s immigrant past, and it was the very same year that Mayor Koch created a new redevelopment proposal for the Seward Park Extension, a canary in the coal mine for the sea change of development the city would see over the next 30 years.

Re-watching the film in 2022, it struck me how the Lower East Side’s bustling Jewish enclave  — the same place where my grandparents were born and raised — has since been lost to time, gentrification and re-zoning plans. These days, the neighborhood paints a different picture entirely: giant buildings hog entire city blocks, with construction promising even more sky-high buildings. There’s no specific character to the neighborhood, no story to tell, few places more integral to the city’s fabric than the Delancey-Essex McDonald’s.

Of course, if you’ve lived in the city long enough, you know there’s no getting comfortable. New Yorkers have to, in essence, harden their hearts. We must accept that the local business you love that’s here today very well could be gone tomorrow — even if that business is a Duane Reade. The Lower East Side of today is not the neighborhood of 1988, or 1968 or 1928.

But amongst all of the present-day residential developments, upscale clothing stores and fast food chains, old-school Jewish businesses like The Pickle Guys, Kossar’s Bagels and Bialys and Yonah Schimmel’s Knish Bakery are still thriving. (And, I’d like to think that if you look hard enough, you’ll find some meddling but well-meaning bubbes and yentas, too.)

While we might not be able to fully experience the Lower East Side as the cast and crew of “Crossing Delancey,” here are four places from “Crossing Delancey” that you can still visit, and four that are sadly gone forever.

What Remains Today

Bubbe’s Apartment

154 Broome Street

The interior shots of Bubbe’s apartment, where Izzy fulfills all of her granddaughterly duties, like singing with her grandmother in Yiddish and plucking her chin hairs, were filmed at 154 Broome Street. The 181-unit building sits at the mouth of the Williamsburg Bridge — which is why Bubbe has that spectacular view — and is part of the New York City Housing Authority’s Seward Park Housing Extension. So while you still can visit the exterior of Bubbe’s apartment building today, don’t linger too long — it might weird out the current tenants.


Essex Market

108 Essex Street

This one is a little complicated. The original Essex Market, where Bubbe shows off her Korean-language skills, still stands today. (If you get off at the subway at Delancey Street, you can’t really miss it.) But that iteration of the market closed its doors in 2019 — in order to relocate to a building across the street so big and so glassy it would make Michael Bloomberg blush. In addition to apartments, office space and a movie theater (it’s a truly mixed-use building for our modern times!), Essex Market does boast local, independent vendors, such as Essex Olive & Spice, Porto Rico Importing Co. and Puebla Mexicana food. Per the New York Times, only one of the market’s vendors decided to forgo the moveopting instead for retirement. But you  might want to pay a visit to the original Essex Market while you still can — even if only to give it one last look. Following the move, Essex Market initially housed some avant-garde art installations, but it has since seemingly closed its doors for good. According to Gothamist, it’s to be razed to create — what else? — more condos.


Seward Park Handball Court

Essex Street between Grand and Hester Streets

From the moment Sam and Izzy meet, he makes no effort to hide his ardor. In fact, I’d say he uses every weapon in his arsenal to demonstrate his interest — even going so far as to try to impress her with his handball skills when she unexpectedly drops by the court. (You might also clock his CUNY sweatshirt, as I most certainly did.) The handball court is still there, should you decide you want to play a pickup game, but sadly the court’s colorful mural depicted in the film has since been painted over.


Bonus: Gray’s Papaya

2090 Broadway

While this article is focused on the film’s Lower East Side locations, and with good reason, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that one important New York institution Izzy visits triumphantly remains: The Upper West Side Gray’s Papaya. There, Izzy celebrates her birthday with a friend and a hot dog — the right way to do it, in my opinion — when a woman bursts in singing “Some Enchanted Evening,” for everyone and no one in particular. It’s one of many of the film’s classic New York moments.


What’s Been Replaced

Steinberg’s Dairy

21 Essex Street

When Izzy emerges from that train at Delancey Street, director Silver takes great care to immerse us in this world. The camera stays on Izzy as she walks from the subway to Bubbe’s apartment, passing a host of local businesses along the way. Among them is Steinberg’s Dairy, which once lived at 21 Essex Street. Steinberg’s Dairy, which also had an Upper West Side location, offered staples like herring, egg salad and vegetarian chopped liver for less than a dollar back in 1941. Today, if you’re in the area, you can grab a drink at the punk rock bar Clockwork, which opened in 2013.


Zelig Blumenthal

13 Essex Street

Izzy also takes us by Zelig’s Blumenthal (also known as Z & A Kol Torah), where three older women sit outside, enjoying the sights and sounds around them. Once a popular Judaica store, it unexpectedly closed its Lower East Side doors in 2010 after 60 years in business. At the time, then-owner Mordechai Blumenthal made the decision to relocate the store to Flatbush due to a dwindling Orthodox population and foot traffic in the area, and a landlord who made clear he “wanted him gone.” It’s unclear if the Flatbush location remains open today, but a vintage clothing store called Country Of has taken up its original spot.


Posner’s Pickles (AKA Guss’ Pickles)

35 Essex Street

Posner’s Pickles, as run by Sam the Pickle Man in the film, was never exactly a real place to begin with. Filming took place at the world-famous Guss’ Pickles, which first opened on Hester Street in 1920, before relocating to Essex Street, where there were once over 80 pickle vendors for locals to choose from. After a stint on Orchard Street, Guss’ Pickles followed in the footsteps of so many others by then, leaving Manhattan to open up shop in Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market in 2017. While Guss’ Pickles is today based out of the Bronx, their delicious pickles are available to order no matter where you are in the country, via Goldbelly. Today, 35 Essex Street is home to Delancey Wine —  appropriately named, but  doesn’t offer possibilities for a slogan like “a joke and a pickle for only a nickel,” as Posner’s Pickles did in the film.


Schapiro’s Kosher Wines

124 Rivington Street
For 100 years, Schapiro’s Kosher Wines proudly served the Jewish community as the only kosher winery in New York City. It’s where Bubbe chides Izzy for her lack of interest in Sam, and while today the pair couldn’t have this conversation outside Schapiro’s, they could grab brunch at the restaurant Essex. Home to New York City’s “longest-running Brunch Party,” Essex salutes its Lower East Side roots with dishes like potato pancakes and Israeli couscous.


The post How the Lower East Side has changed since the 1988 rom-com ‘Crossing Delancey’ appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Canada’s economic growth projected to be about 1% in the first half of 2024

Canada is a country with a thriving Jewish community and has traditionally offered the security of a strong economy for residents. The national economic outlook is naturally something that everyone in Canada’s Jewish community keeps track of – especially those involved in business in the various provinces.

With this in mind, the July 2023 Monetary Policy Report from the Bank of Canada made for interesting reading, projecting a moderate economic growth figure of around 1% for the first half of 2024. This is in line with growth figures that had been forecast for the second half of 2023, and sees the country’s economy remain on a stable footing.

Steady projected growth for first half of 2024

Although projected economic growth of around 1% in early 2024 is not as impressive as figures of around 3.4% in 2022 and 1.8% in 2023, it is certainly no cause for alarm. But what might be behind it?

Higher interest rates are one major factor to consider and have had a negative impact on household spending nationally. This has effectively seen people with less spending power and businesses in Canada generating less revenue as a result.

Interest rate rises have also hit business investments nationally, and less money is being channelled into this area to fuel Canada’s economic growth. When you also factor in how the weak foreign demand for Canadian goods and services has hit export growth lately, the projected GDP growth figure for early 2024 is understandable.

Growth in second half of 2024 expected

Although the above may make for interesting reading for early 2024, the Bank of Canada’s report does show that economic growth is expected to pick up in the second half of the year. This is projected to be due to the decreasing effect of high interest rates on the Canadian economy and a stronger foreign demand for the country’s exports.

Moving forward from this period, it is predicted that inflation will remain at around 3% as we head into 2025, and hit the Bank of Canada’s inflation target of 2% come the middle of 2025. All of this should help the country’s financial status remain stable and prove encouraging for business leaders in the Jewish community.

Canada’s economic growth mirrors iGaming’s rise

When you take a look at the previous growth figures Canada has seen and also consider the growth predicted for 2024 (especially in the second half of the year), it is clear that the country has a vibrant, thriving economy.

This economic growth is something that can be compared with iGaming’s recent rise as an industry around the country. In the same way as Canada has steadily built a strong economy over time, iGaming has transformed itself into a powerful, flourishing sector.

This becomes even clearer when you consider that Canadian iGaming has been a major contributor to the sustained growth seen in the country’s arts, entertainment and recreation industry, which rose by around 1.9% in Q2 of 2023. The healthy state of online casino play in Canada is also evidenced by how many customers the most popular casino platforms attract and how the user experience these operators offer has enabled iGaming in the country to take off.

This, of course, is also something that translates to the world stage, where global iGaming revenues in 2023 hit an estimated $95 billion. iGaming’s global market volume is also pegged to rise to around $130 billion by 2027. These kinds of figures represent a sharp jump for iGaming worldwide and show how the sector is on the ascent.

Future economic outlook for Canada in line with global expectations

When considering the Canadian economic outlook for 2024, it is often useful to look at how this compares with global financial predictions. In addition to the rude health of iGaming in Canada being reflected in global online casino gaming, the positive economic outlook for the country is also broadly in line with expectations for many global economies.

Global growth is also predicted to rise steadily in the second half of 2024 before becoming stronger in 2025. This should be driven by the weakening effects of high interest rates on worldwide economic prosperity. With rate cuts in Canada already expected after Feb 2024’s inflation report, this could happen in the near future.

The performance of the US economy is always of interest in Canada, as this is the country’s biggest trading partner. Positive US Q2 performances in 2023, powered by a strong labor market, good consumer spending levels and robust business investments, were therefore a cause for optimism. As a US economy that continues to grow is something that Canadian businesses welcome, this can only be a healthy sign.

Canada set for further growth in 2024

Local news around Canada can cover many topics but the economy is arguably one of the most popular. A projected GDP growth figure of around 1% for Canada’s economy shows that the financial state of the country is heading in the right direction. An improved financial outlook heading into the latter half of 2024/2025 would make for even better reading, and the national economy should become even stronger.

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The Legal Landscape of Online Gambling in Canada

Online gambling has grown in popularity around the globe in recent years. While many jurisdictions have legalized land-based gambling, it hasn’t applied to online platforms. Nonetheless, Canada is one nation that has legalized online gambling with their provinces’ licensing and regulating sites.

Nonetheless, Canadians of legal age can enjoy playing their favourite online games where available. So many games like slots, blackjack, and roulette still maintain their popularity even in the digital sense.  Want to learn about what’s legal in Canada for online gambling? Let’s take a look.

What is legal for online gambling in Canada?

What is the best online casino in Canada? The list we provide you here should be a good start. It’s also important to note that most Canadian provinces do not have laws that prohibit offshore online casinos.

Many provinces provide licensing to online casinos. They even regulate them as well. For example, Alberta and British Columbia have sites regulated by their respective governing bodies. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) allows legal online gambling and oversees the services it offers to Maritime provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, there are some caveats to address. In Newfoundland and Labrador, online gambling that is not offered by the ALC is considered illegal. Therefore, it is the only Canadian province as of 2024 that prohibits offshore options.

In terms of the legal age, there are three provinces where the legal age is 18: Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The remaining provinces establish 19 as the legal age for gambling including online.

Who are the regulatory bodies for gambling in Canada?

At the Federal level, the Canadian Gaming Association is the regulatory body for gambling in Canada. Thus, they cover both land-based and online gambling in the country. There are also provincial and regional regulatory bodies such as the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) – which covers the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.  

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation covers Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory. A handful of provinces also have their regulatory bodies covering lottery and gaming.

Canada requires online casinos that wish to accept players from the country to adhere to regulations and licensing. These licenses are provided by provincial regulatory bodies. When licensed, online casinos must follow the regulations and security standards.

However, there is the belief that many of the laws about gambling in Canada may be outdated. This could be because these laws were created long before the advent of the Internet. Therefore, such laws may need to be modernized. Nonetheless, online gambling for the most part is legal, just dependent on the province.

Are there any legal grey areas to discuss?

The grey area that is considered a concern pertains to the use of offshore sites. As mentioned earlier, Newfoundland and Labrador is believed to be the only province that prohibits it. Even online casinos with no licensing by Canadian or provincial authorities accept residents of the country.

On the players’ end, many Canadians are allowed to play at online casinos. However, they may be restricted from certain platforms. This is to ensure that the players themselves are protected from unknowingly playing on platforms that may be illegal. 

What are the other laws and regulations about online gambling in Canada?

Online casinos have implemented measures for responsible gambling. This includes providing support and resources to problem gamblers on their site. They are also restricted regarding the marketing and advertising aspects of promoting their platform. 

One restriction of note is that marketing that is targeted at minors is prohibited. Another prohibits professional athletes from appearing in online casino ads in Ontario.

Even offshore casinos must adhere to these laws and regulations. Especially if they have obtained a license from the provincial bodies that allow them to operate.

Canada’s online gambling is legal – but will things change

As it stands right now, the legality of online gambling in Canada seems to fall under the purview of provincial laws and regulations. Canadian citizens must perform their due diligence further to see which online casinos are allowed by their respective provinces. Just because it may be legal in one province, it may not be the same in others.

Nonetheless, the question is: will any laws relax certain restrictions? Will Newfoundland and Labrador change their tune regarding offshore casinos? It’s unclear what the future holds – but watch this space for any changes about online gambling in Canada.  

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Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.

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