Chapter 1. The New York Bagel

<From China, land in America>

– Joy’s American Adventure Book

This is a book about a fresh-off-the-boat Chinaese born’s adventure in the America.

Chapter 1 – The New York Bagel

When the first time I heard of my U.S. law firm provides free breakfast on Fridays, I was so excited. In Chinese, we have a word saying:“There is no free lunch in the world. ”Yet, I found there is free Brunch in my law firm! What a surprise.

I was expecting the free breakfast would be something like this:

A traditional Breakfast for me means Soybean milk, 油条 (Chinese fried sticks), dumplings, soup, eggs, and vegetables. I love to eat them at cheap local restaurants near my schools and working place when I was in China.

In a city like New York, where you can almost find anything you like to eat, I forgot about I am in an American firm with all Americans.

Surprisingly, their breakfast is called Brunch, because they eat quite late, between 10-11:30am. Brunch is a name when you combine “Breakfast, ” + “Lunch” = “Brunch”! A very innovative name created by a majority of people who fail hard to start their days at 6-7am. Brunch is also part of New York culture, especially on weekends. Families and friends gather together for brunch, talk and relax under the sunshine. Being lazy or being relax is part of life.

That was my first time to see so many big round bread. They do not like donuts not sweet, and they are just bread.

I was somewhat disappointed at first – only bread for a meal? Until a partner in my firm came and naturally picked up one, cut in half, put on creams and bite with satisfaction in his face. I watched him and was amazed. He looked at me, comments:”Do you have this thing in China? ”

“We have bread,” said I.

“Wow! You gotta love these. Try the creams, there are two different kinds of creams – the plain cream and the vegetable one. In New York, you gotta love Bagels!”

Bagels? What are cute and unique names these little round things have, which separate themselves from the concept of bread families? I think, are Bagels part of families of bread? If so, they may be soldiers to a kingdom as Bagels to the bread.

I know Bagels much earlier. I often saw them in the supermarket, street stores, breakfast included business restaurants, I never think about their significant status in the breakfast/brunch of the western world.  Now I realized they are so essential to daily New Yorkers, as 豆浆(Soybean milk)油条( (Fried Sticks) to my Asian breakfast world.

A half-of year later, now,  I found myself fall in love with Bagels. They are nutritious( made of wheat or whole-wheat), chewy, convenient to eat, and much satisfiable. With milk cream, they taste better! Most of the bagels look conspicuous, with a humble brown cover. Yet, they are so endurable that you can freeze them in the refrigerator for weeks, their quality stays the same.


Bagels have the qualities of many working-class New Yorkers – simple, affordable, easygoing, acceptable, numerous and trustworthy. You may not feel them so-so at first bite, but when you are hungry and hurried to work in the late mornings, Bagels can be angels.

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