The Veteran Lox Slicers of the Upper West Side
Frank Cabrera was tending his garden and enjoying retirement at home in the Dominican Republic when his phone rang.
It was Zabar’s — he was needed at the lox counter.
“Every year I know Zabar’s will call me,’’ Mr. Cabrera, 64, said. “They fly me up, pay for my plane ticket.”
Mr. Cabrera is not Jewish, but he has always observed the High Holy Days by putting in long hours during the mad holiday rush at Zabar’s, that temple of smoked fish on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Even after he left the store in 2009, after 26 years, Zabar’s still summons him, and several other seasoned veterans who have a way with a lox knife, out of retirement every fall to satisfy the throngs preparing for Yom Kippur.
From “A High Holy Call for Lox and Old Hands to Slice It” by Corey Kilgannon for The New York Times, 2016; Photo by Alex Wroblewski (@alexwroblewskiphoto)
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