As an homage to my father and grandparents, who had wonderful accents I don’t hear anymore, and also to celebrate that which makes New York so unique, I began producing a documentary on the New York accent called If These Knishes Could Talk.
They say you never forget your first, and for me that means my first knish. It was at the Staten Island Zoo when I was about five. My father bought it for me, and it was love at first bite. But it was also symbolic: a New York/Jewish food introduced to me by my Irish father in an Italian borough. That’s about as New York as it gets, at least for this foodie.
Since filming began, I’ve been lucky enough to interview Pete Hamill, Amy Heckerling, James McBride, and many other wonderful characters I’d otherwise never have had a chance to meet. We’re still in production, so if you know anyone with an accent you can cut with a knife, drop me a line at hquinlan [at] nyc.rr.com. T’anks!