I originally wrote this for our “Where I’m From” prompt on the first day of class, but since the Wednesday Word is bagel, I thought this was appropriate to post.

Bagel Master

In the center of the town of Syosset sits Bagel Master– a modest-sized building with a giant flickering neon sign advertising their “Hot Bagels.” Over the years, however, residents have watched as the once bold letters slowly burned out, leaving behind nothing but dull letter-shaped shells. The letter T was the first to go, followed by E and L, so that today, the store advertises something shockingly different: Ho Bags.

Upon entering the joint, customers are greeted by the fishy smells of smoked salmon and baked tuna, masked by the cheap cologne scents worn by the workers behind counter. In the small seating area near the entrance, you can’t help but overhear the talk of the town in between gusts of wind let in by the open door: Sandy’s nose job, the Greenberg’s lawsuit, and of course, the occasional “This is like, way too much cream cheese. I thought I asked for a shmier.”

If you’re just passing through, chances are you won’t be taking your pit stop at Bagel Master. If anything, you’ll hit up the Dunkin’ Doughnuts next door. Only true Syosset residents know that there’s nothing like a Ho Bag to spruce up a Saturday morning- especially after a late-night bar mitzvah Manischewitz bender.

Bagel Master

One thought to “Bagel”

  1. Linda, I really love this! It sounds so poetic and created such a scene in my head, and I love reading things that do that for me. I really loved your description of the letters in “Hot Bagels” disappearing one by one to leave…Ho Bags. It definitely made me laugh. Your description of the smells were so vivid, and the little snippets of gossip were perfect for a bagel shop. I wish I could check out Bagel Master to see what it’s all about.

    My little hometown Saline doesn’t have much in it. The one place we have that is kind of a little gem is The Drowsy Parrot. It’s cute little coffee shop with some baked goods and sandwiches, and once in awhile they have some musicians come and play. It’s a cozy little place to gossip and sip on coffee, and most people probably don’t know about it. I’m sure people passing through would stop at our Dunkin’ Donuts, too.

Leave a Reply