Ah, the potency of borscht as memory. Look, it’s no coincidence that no one is neutral about borscht: You love it, you hate it, or you have never tasted it. There is no neutral. Because for Ashkenazi Jews and Eastern Europeans, borscht is family history. People get fierce about how to make the proper borscht. There’s even a children’s book called The Princess of Borscht about how EVERY borscht-maker feels her borscht is the best borscht (I wish I could recommend it — the text is wonderful but I loathe the static, wispy art).

Also, while we’re pondering hot vs. cold, here is a quirky history of NYC’s public bathhouses and outdoor pools (unshockingly, both are products of Jewish visionaries in different decades). Happy summer. 


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