In the very early 80s, when I waited tables at Banditos (the Tex-Mex restaurant that used to be on Second Ave, I think between 10th and 11th but I’m never quite sure anymore), and lived on Pitt between Rivington and Delancey, I stopped at Moishe’s every morning on my way to work and bought two (TWO!) raspberry hamentaschen and ate them for breakfast. I always thought of Moishe’s as a vestige of the neighborhood’s early 20th century Jewish immigrant past, the days of the Yiddish theaters on Second Ave and pushcarts on the Lower East Side. There must have been a few kosher bakeries in the neighborhood back then, but Moishe’s opened in 1977, long after that era had passed. There were still Jewish businesses around — 2nd Avenue Deli probably the most famous — but beatniks and Ukrainians and Puerto Ricans and artists and drag queens had all staked big claims too by 1977.
I’m glad — though I’ll admit kind of holding my breath — that Moishe’s smaller satellite store down the block from me on Grand St. is reportedly staying open. I walk by it almost every day and like to swoon at those big-as-a-brick hamentaschen and black and white cookies all lined up on trays in the window AND I RESIST. Well, not every time, but I sure can’t eat 2 of them a day anymore.