Explore Broadway Panhandler's Pots and Pans Near Union Square in New York City
New York's famous Broadway Panhandler is located in a large, sparkling building situated in what is known as the "university area" near Union Square and Washington Square (see map at the end of this article). Its storefront is framed by showcase windows and ever-changing displays that interplay antiques with the latest in equipment.
The windows are so irresistible that they practically pull you into the store's wide-open front door. Once inside, you see a multitude of displays that include groupings of, say, children's products, dishes, and piles of gadgets, all of which reflect the past, present, and future of culinary arts.
The top picture, for example, shows a grouping of this season's bright silicone and nylon utensils piled on top of an old stove, with the cutting boards balanced on the oven door.
The store is owned by Norman Kornbleuth, a native New Yorker, who makes a point of listening to his customers and, in turn, provides them with expert advice and an ultra-wide selection of reasonably-priced products.
While the store sells standard kitchen and cookware products, it specializes in cutlery. If you are already a blade connoisseur, you'll appreciate seeing Broadway Panhandler's extensive showcase of Wusthof, Shun, Wenger, Sabatier, GLOBAL, and R.H. Forschner cutlery, to name a few major brands. If you know nothing about cutlery, but wish to learn, just ask Norman, who often holds court in the knife section situated in the back of the store.
For those people for whom the task of expertly carving holiday-sized birds, roasts, or hams seems daunting, Broadway Panhandler sells reasonably-priced Cuisinart electric knifes, which are a particularly good choice. According to a November 2, 2007, Wall Street Journal article by Lauren Lipton, when Cuisinart electric knives are put to the test, they produce clean, thin, ridgeless slices, unlike other brands that cost significantly more!
Of course, knives aren't the only devices used in the kitchen to separate, chop, and shred items. Broadway Panhandler also features a nice selection of kitchen shears, mandolines, anchoring trays, and graspers, including a "fashionable" glove formed out of stainless-steel mesh.
Broadway Panhandler is, indeed, colorful! With the exception of heavy duty baking pans and glassware, many items really hit the eye. Examples include orange Kitchen Aid toasters, vivid Fiesta Ware, Italian dish sets, utensils, bowls, and a complete line of Le Creuset French enameled, cast iron cookware (pictured above).
I am personally fascinated with their clothware, including kitchen and hand towels, potholders, placemats, and aprons. Above all, I love their aprons!
Depending on Broadway Panhandler's decorating scheme-of-the-week, aprons can be found all over the store, so don't just stop at one section and think you've seen everything. Browse, and make a point of looking up and down as you walk.
Pictured here is one of several cute, soft-cotton, lace-fringed, patchwork-type aprons that harmonize with other cloth products, such as napkins and placemats. They also have standard, solid-colored, chef aprons, plus more full- and half-sized aprons featuring various designs. They even have darling children's aprons that are perfect for two-to-four-year-olds.
Silicone hot pads and mitts complement the clothware collection.
Frankly, after being exposed to what's available, I've replaced all my old hotpads (which never worked when they accidentally got wet) with some like you see here.
My favorite potholder is about a half-inch thick, bright blue, and is made like a soft waffle. Another handy product includes brightly colored silicone gloves that are flexible enough for washing dishes, yet thick enough to pull pots out of the oven. Best? All of these products double as jar openers!
Special Cooking Events
One of the thrills of visiting (or living in) New York is having the privilege of attending store-sponsored classes and seminars lead by hands-on professionals. Broadway Panhandler offers a version under the name Demonstrations and Conversations. These events are usually led by professional chefs who share food preparation tips and answer participants' questions. For dates, check their website at www.BroadwayPanhandler.com, sign up for email notifications, or pick up flyers when you visit.
What's Nearby - a University Area Shopping Tour in New York City
Broadway Panhandler (866 266-5927) is located on 65 East 8th Street, between Broadway and University Place near the map's blue dot.
This area, stretching from Washington Square to Union Square (and beyond) is noted for New York University and New School University. For those of you familiar with New York, you'll recognize that this area is also loaded with famous streets and shopping destinations.
Many tourists, however, are most familiar with Union Square, so with that as a starting point, I'm providing a few examples of what you'll see in the area bounded by the red line on the map:
- Union Square: The famous New York Greenmarket and Holiday Fairs are held on the square. Also seen are individual artist displays, Whole Foods Market, Shoe Mania, Filenes' Basement (huge), and the famous, multi-story Barnes and Noble. Restaurants abound and there are two Starbucks!
- University Place: This street features delicious restaurants, antique stores, Ibiza (fabulous boutique that rivals Paris shops), La Petite Coquette (upscale lingerie), Environment337 (cool design and mid-century antiques), and Joyce Leslie (flirty clothing at low prices).
- Broadway: Beginning at Union Square and walking north on Broadway, this stretch features Max Brenner - Chocolate by the Bald Man (must visit), Forbidden Planet (comics, graphic novels, more!), D. Barton Kyner Antiques (wow wow), Strand Bookstore (famous used bookstore), Blatt Billards (really interesting), and New York Costumes (must must visit).
- 8th Street: Besides Broadway Panhandler on 8th Street, there are numerous lunch shops including Johnny Rockets (fun). Go to Crumbs for dessert (giant cupcakes). Selected shops include Big Bag (I buy all my handbags here), Laila Rowe (cool jewelry), and Rickey's (everything for hair).
- 9th, 10th, 11th Cross Streets: These streets are filled with high-quality, internationally-known antique dealers, along with a few boutiques and fine-dining restaurants. The area is great for strolling.
Broadway Panhandler's website is at www.BroadwayPanhandler.com. Note that this is a very modest website and while tidy, it does not convey the size or excitement of its store.
Questions? Just ask!
Article and photo by Karen Little. Photos with permission by Broadway Panhandler. First published on 11/20/2007. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.