Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Restaurants Book

Everything happens in restaurants. We meet, we consume, we celebrate or commiserate, we feel utterly alive, and yet the ever-present posters instructing us on the Heimlich maneuver are a constant memento Mori. Many of our most intense experiences occur in restaurants. In a famous scene in Rob Reiner’s 1990 film "When Harry Met Sally" the Sally character played by Meg Ryan visits a Jewish restaurant and has an orgasm. Within the narrative context of the movie, Sally is faking an orgasm for reasons necessary to the plot. In fact Sally's reaction to the multisensory and polysemic environment of a Jewish restaurant could not be more real. (from "From Khachapuri to Gefilte Fish: Dining Out in Russian-Jewish New York" In The Restaurants Book Ed. David Beriss and David Sutton, 115-132. London and New York: Berg.)

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