Fatburger, Joey Tribbiani, and the Village Voice

News that Fatburger - a California chain offering the usual gloppy, salad-topped burgers associated with that state - was planning another assault on New York City reminded me that this wasn't really the first time the fast-food-chain had made an attempt to establish itself in the metropolis.

Around 1990, before there were food blogs to publicize everything, a lonely Fatburger appeared in the Gramercy Park area, around 18th Street and Third Avenue on the east side of the avenue. It was a double storefront, with a flame-driven grill and some counter seating on southern side, and tables in the somewhat wider northern half.

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Jeremiah Moss Eulogizes Ray's Pizza

Aaron Landry/Flickr
Gone, but not forgotten
A day in the life of Jeremiah Moss, the writer behind the blog Jeremiah's Vanishing New York, is outlined in the Paris Review Daily. In the profile, Moss pays a visit to the original Ray's Pizza on the last day it's open and laments the decline of the ever-gentrifying neighborhood. (A new pizza place has already opened in its place.) "Little Italy is shrinking like a sandbar at high tide," he writes. "Just outside, people obediently go for cupcakes, exiting with heads bowed, eyes glued to iPhones, thumbing reviews to Yelp."

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Fudgie the Whale, Cookie Puss, and Hug-Me the Bear: Tom Carvel's Ice Cream Menagerie

Left to right: Hug-Me the Bear, Fudgie the Whale, Cookie Puss

Kids who grew up in the '80s and early '90s will doubtlessly remember Fudgie the Whale, Cookie Puss, and Hug-Me the Bear. They were characters in the crazy world of Carvel Ice Cream Cakes, relentlessly flogged during the cartoon hours of Saturday morning, and also a staple of late-afternoon TV advertising in the New York area.

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