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Berlin Dispatch: When Pide Leads to Döner, Part II

lahmajun

Something remarkable happened on the way to the movies a few weeks ago: Rumen and I hopped in a cab with a driver named Aziz – who used to make his living selling pieces of the Berlin Wall, and who’s been driving a taxi for 16 years — on Frankfurter ...

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Berlin Dispatch: When Pide Leads to Döner – Part I

Photo by Rumen Milkow

Before he started driving a taxi 16 years ago, Aziz made his living selling pieces of the Berlin Wall. From 1990 to 1995 — his first years in Berlin — he manned a souvenir stand at Brandenburg Gate, learning German, observing the tourists, watching some of his Wall-selling colleagues become ...

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Berlin Dispatch: Osman’s Two Turkish Tips

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A burly, broad-shouldered man with a mop of black-brown curls who might be in his early 50s, Osman maneuvers his taxi with a light touch, like a piano player who enjoys an easy relationship with the keys. The expression on his face is not the expression you would expect of ...

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Berlin Dispatch: Rogacki Forever

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A few days ago I met a Berlin taxi driver named Zlatan who told me his favorite place to eat is Rogacki, the superdeli/marketplace in Charlottenburg that started out as a smoked fish stand back in 1928. Once a week, Zlatan stops by the cafeteria at Rogacki for fried codfish ...

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New York Dispatch: Connie’s Food Tips, Old and New

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There aren’t too many cabbies in this world who can pull off a purple fedora and “make a potato salad that’ll slap your mama.” Constance Marie Barnes is one of them. The diminutive cabby, whom I met in 2010, also recommended what is to this day one of my favorite ...

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Flashback: The Taxi Astrologer’s Masala Dosa

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Sometimes the cab ride, and the conversation with the driver, is the most remarkable part of a taxi adventure. Sometimes it’s the food. When I was living in New York, the trip with Vinod Dogra to Ganapati Temple Canteen in Flushing, Queens was one of those rare and wonderful instances ...

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Culinary Mapping: New York, Buenos Aires, Berlin

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I don’t know about you, but I’m obsessed with maps, and I couldn’t resist creating ones with all the cabby-recommended restaurants I wrote about in Driving Hungry. The map above is from the New York section of the book: At each marker, I’ve included a few lines from the story. ...

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Driving Hungry on Tour: Upcoming Readings

Photo by Lilian Moreira

We’re taking this book on the road! If you’re in any of these seven cities, I hope you can join me for an evening of stories about hunger and wanderlust: New York: Monday, July 27, 2015 – 7:00PM – McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street Washington, DC: Tuesday, July 28, 2015 – ...

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Berlin Dispatch: Chasing the Golden Pretzel

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Jürgen has been driving a taxi in Berlin for over 20 years, and he doesn’t believe in giving restaurant recommendations. “How can I know,” he said, “if your taste is my taste?” Leave it to a German, I thought, as he went on to explain the inherent flaws in following ...

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