About Deena Shanker

Posts by Deena Shanker:

Beware the Bald, Mustachioed Man Who Offers You His Wedding Ring

The perp as rendered by his victim.

The perp as rendered by his victim.

As you can probably tell from the fact that you’re reading words I’ve put on a page, I’m a writer. And if you know something about the state of writers in general, and in New York in particular, then you know I’m poor. Luckily for me and the city’s taxpayers, I’m not yet food-stamp poor (I checked, I don’t qualify), but I’m cash strapped enough that if I’m out to dinner with a friend, I’ll make sure she pays the extra dollar she owes instead of splitting the check down the middle — because, after all, that’s why I got the PBR and not the glass of house wine.

All of this is to say that I can’t afford to just hand out money to strangers on the street, especially when it comes in the form of paper and not coins. Yet, despite the fact that I’ve lived in New York off-and-on for more than 12 years, that is exactly what I did a couple of weeks ago. I handed $30 to a scam artist.
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Get a Load of Anthony Weinerdog, Barksy, and 25 Other Costumed Canines

Teresa Costanzo and Charlie Blevins made their Lobster Bake for dogs Yum Yum and Lollipop in honor of their friends new cookbook,

Teresa Costanzo and Charlie Blevins made their Lobster Bake for dogs Yum Yum and Lollipop in honor of their friends new cookbook, "Millie LaRue & Mummy: Cooking with Friends." They also took home Best in Show.

It took Bennett Leak (l) and Brett England (r) a month and a half to make this King Kong costume for Maddie. “We wanted to play with levels,” Leak said.

It took Bennett Leak (l) and Brett England (r) a month and a half to make this King Kong costume for Maddie. “We wanted to play with levels,” Leak said.

Gerry Junior as Barksy.

Gerry Junior as Barksy.

Josh Orth and Radar as Heisendog and Barking Bad, with Sasha Orth.

Josh Orth and Radar as Heisendog and Barking Bad, with Sasha Orth.

Bonnie Rosen and Tracy Phillips dressed Maggie Roselips in honor of their family restaurant on the Jersey Shore, which just closed its doors after 140 years.

Bonnie Rosen and Tracy Phillips dressed Maggie Roselips in honor of their family restaurant on the Jersey Shore, which just closed its doors after 140 years.

Devon Meenagh, Alexandra Vittorini and Indiana Bones as “Paw-nochio.”

Devon Meenagh, Alexandra Vittorini and Indiana Bones as “Paw-nochio.”

Jade Payne and Broccolini are Crystal Warriors. Payne said being a Crystal Warrior is

Jade Payne and Broccolini are Crystal Warriors. Payne said being a Crystal Warrior is "a feeling, an identity I enjoy.”

Why did Brian Segall dress his dog, Maury Ballstein, as a mop? “It was his idea.”

Why did Brian Segall dress his dog, Maury Ballstein, as a mop? “It was his idea.”

Bethe Austin and Leetl Luloo  as a ghoul and a ghost. “Ghost buttons were the only Halloween buttons I could find,” Austin said of Leetl Luloo’s homemade costume.

Bethe Austin and Leetl Luloo as a ghoul and a ghost. “Ghost buttons were the only Halloween buttons I could find,” Austin said of Leetl Luloo’s homemade costume.

Connor Drake, Rebecca Straney, Lauren Watt and Gizelle as Team Sandlot.

Connor Drake, Rebecca Straney, Lauren Watt and Gizelle as Team Sandlot.

Cori Susser, Jeremy Chassen, Mika (larger) and Joey (smaller) as Cinderella and Co. “I’m gonna propose,” Chassen told B+B.

Cori Susser, Jeremy Chassen, Mika (larger) and Joey (smaller) as Cinderella and Co. “I’m gonna propose,” Chassen told B+B.

James Brooks, Nathan Coleman, Taco and Tessie in a shower scene.

James Brooks, Nathan Coleman, Taco and Tessie in a shower scene.

Dixie with Brad Previti and Alyssa Gatke. “Punk rock started in the East Village!”

Dixie with Brad Previti and Alyssa Gatke. “Punk rock started in the East Village!”

Coco as Anthony Weiner Dog with Jessica Minch.

Coco as Anthony Weiner Dog with Jessica Minch.

Bobbie Martowicz and Lalka. “She’s the pumpkin princess and I’m the pumpkin queen,” explained Martowicz.

Bobbie Martowicz and Lalka. “She’s the pumpkin princess and I’m the pumpkin queen,” explained Martowicz.

Jim Kloiber with Brinks and Gizmo. “They wanted to explore their feminine side,” said Kloiber.

Jim Kloiber with Brinks and Gizmo. “They wanted to explore their feminine side,” said Kloiber.

Jared and Julia Menurges with Omar.

Jared and Julia Menurges with Omar.

Sasha and Pippolina. “Everybody thinks she’s a golden something so today she’s a golden pompom,” says Sasha.

Sasha and Pippolina. “Everybody thinks she’s a golden something so today she’s a golden pompom,” says Sasha.

David Koffe and Cookie. “These are the hands and feet of my ex-girlfriend,” Koffe said.

David Koffe and Cookie. “These are the hands and feet of my ex-girlfriend,” Koffe said.

Gabriella Mangino and Nari as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. “I found the backpack at a children’s store and decided to build the whole costume around it,” Mangino said.

Gabriella Mangino and Nari as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. “I found the backpack at a children’s store and decided to build the whole costume around it,” Mangino said.

Lindsay Kaplan and Richard Blakeley are a longtime ketchup and mustard duo. Since adopting Bagel, “We just knew we needed a little hotdog,” Kaplan says.

Lindsay Kaplan and Richard Blakeley are a longtime ketchup and mustard duo. Since adopting Bagel, “We just knew we needed a little hotdog,” Kaplan says.

Margi Conklin and Mabel as a Sharknado. “She can do a tornado twirl,” Conklin says.

Margi Conklin and Mabel as a Sharknado. “She can do a tornado twirl,” Conklin says.

Noah Schwartz said his and Goose’s costumes were supposed to be of each other, “but he does also look like Spike Lee.”

Noah Schwartz said his and Goose’s costumes were supposed to be of each other, “but he does also look like Spike Lee.”

Deena Shanker and Barley as each other. “We both dressed up as our favorite person,” the exceptionally witty and charming Shanker says.

Deena Shanker and Barley as each other. “We both dressed up as our favorite person,” the exceptionally witty and charming Shanker says.

Teresa Costanzo and Charlie Blevins made their Lobster Bake for dogs Yum Yum and Lollipop in honor of their friends new cookbook, "Millie LaRue & Mummy: Cooking with Friends." They also took home Best in Show.It took Bennett Leak (l) and Brett England (r) a month and a half to make this King Kong costume for Maddie. “We wanted to play with levels,” Leak said.Gerry Junior as Barksy.Josh Orth and Radar as Heisendog and Barking Bad, with Sasha Orth.Bonnie Rosen and Tracy Phillips dressed Maggie Roselips in honor of their family restaurant on the Jersey Shore, which just closed its doors after 140 years.Devon Meenagh, Alexandra Vittorini and Indiana Bones as “Paw-nochio.”Jade Payne and Broccolini are Crystal Warriors. Payne said being a Crystal Warrior is "a feeling, an identity I enjoy.”Why did Brian Segall dress his dog, Maury Ballstein, as a mop? “It was his idea.”Bethe Austin and Leetl Luloo  as a ghoul and a ghost. “Ghost buttons were the only Halloween buttons I could find,” Austin said of Leetl Luloo’s homemade costume.Connor Drake, Rebecca Straney, Lauren Watt and Gizelle as Team Sandlot.Cori Susser, Jeremy Chassen, Mika (larger) and Joey (smaller) as Cinderella and Co. “I’m gonna propose,” Chassen told B+B.James Brooks, Nathan Coleman, Taco and Tessie in a shower scene.Dixie with Brad Previti and Alyssa Gatke. “Punk rock started in the East Village!”Coco as Anthony Weiner Dog with Jessica Minch.Bobbie Martowicz and Lalka. “She’s the pumpkin princess and I’m the pumpkin queen,” explained Martowicz.Jim Kloiber with Brinks and Gizmo. “They wanted to explore their feminine side,” said Kloiber.Jared and Julia Menurges with Omar.Sasha and Pippolina. “Everybody thinks she’s a golden something so today she’s a golden pompom,” says Sasha.David Koffe and Cookie. “These are the hands and feet of my ex-girlfriend,” Koffe said.Gabriella Mangino and Nari as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. “I found the backpack at a children’s store and decided to build the whole costume around it,” Mangino said.Lindsay Kaplan and Richard Blakeley are a longtime ketchup and mustard duo. Since adopting Bagel, “We just knew we needed a little hotdog,” Kaplan says.Margi Conklin and Mabel as a Sharknado. “She can do a tornado twirl,” Conklin says.Noah Schwartz said his and Goose’s costumes were supposed to be of each other, “but he does also look like Spike Lee.”Deena Shanker and Barley as each other. “We both dressed up as our favorite person,” the exceptionally witty and charming Shanker says.

Never one to disappoint, this year’s Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade was better than ever, with plenty of pop culture references, team costumes, and even a fairy tale marriage proposal. Click through the images to see the nods to Breaking Bad, Anthony Weiner, Banksy and more.

Sigmund’s Reopens Tonight With Beer and a Menu That Goes Way Beyond Pretzels

Sigmund's Pretzel Shop

Sigmund's (Photo: Deena Shenker)

Sigmund's (Photo: Deena Shenker)

Sigmund's (Photo: Deena Shenker)

Sigmund's (Photo: Dyske Suematsu)

Slider

Sliders. (Photo: Dyske Suematsu)

Pretzels

Sigmund's (Photo: Deena Shenker)

Sigmund's (Photo: Deena Shenker)

Sigmund's (Photo: Deena Shenker)

Sigmund's Pretzel ShopSigmund's (Photo: Dyske Suematsu)SliderPretzelsSigmund's (Photo: Deena Shenker)

Pretzel fondue, anyone? It’ll be on the menu when Sigmund’s Pretzels reopens after three months of renovations tonight.

The pretzel shop is now more of a proper dinner destination, having scrapped its former pretzel-centric menu and added beer. You can still get pretzels with dipping sauce or in bun form, on a slider or sandwich. But some of the standout dishes on the menu (below) don’t even feature pretzels. The chilled cucumber-and-spinach soup with sorrel and avocado should serve as a nice alternative to that reigning champion of heat-wave coping mechanisms, gazpacho. And there’s also a kale salad with pistachios, apples and crème fraiche.
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