Katz's Deli Saved My Life

Pickles, Pastrami, and Purpose


Harry, June 2015

Five years ago I ate a life-saving sandwich. I didn't know it at the time, but that pastrami on rye was the cold cut catalyst that would go on to forever change who I am. The transformational experience was anything but sweet, half sour one might say, but it was a modest price to pay for the new perspective and kosher-style values that resulted from it.


On June 20th, 2015, I had been living in New York City for exactly one month. My home at the time was an apartment with two friends on Howard Avenue in Brownsville, a neighborhood in Brooklyn.

I was 22 years old with a degree in accounting and a desire in flux. In my thirty short days of big city living, I had already entered and exited an unpaid copywriting internship and a job selling African soap and shea butter. It didn't take long to find out that unpaid internships don't pay your rent and that shea butter will only get you about a quarter of the way there.