New Question: “Why do you deserve to be Jewish Guy of the Year?”
You went to University of Delaware, right? What is a Blue Hen?
The Blue Hen is our mascot, and its proper name in is YouDee. Many people hear the term blue hen and they laugh at UD alumni because it does not seem to be a feared animal like a lion, tiger, or bear. The Blue Hen gets its history from gamecocks which are a ferocious rooster. If you have ever have the opportunity to visit the great state of Delaware (a small wonder), you are in luck because the University of Delaware maintains a small breeding farm of the blue hen. Go Blue Hens!
We know you’re from New York; how does the DC pizza compare?
It is true that I am one of those Jews from Long Island. When it comes to pizza I still believe that New York has the best pizza on earth (and bagels too). I have been exploring many pizza places in DC and while good pizza is pretty easy to find, great pizza is another story. The only great pizza place I have found is Vace Italian Deli in Cleveland Park. It is a small Italian grocery/deli store owned and run by the Calcagno family. The pizza is absolutely amazing; it tastes just like pizza I ate when I was studying abroad in Italy. It is also very reasonably priced; you can get two slices of pizza and can of soda for $5.
We heard you work in a hotel, do you have any crazy stories about any guests?
The hotel industry is by far one of the most interesting places to work. The things guests say will amaze and shock you, but they always keep you laughing. The other night I had a guest call around 8pm and said that he is P-Diddy’s manager (aka Puff Daddy and Sean Combs) and that they were in town for the night and were requesting a suite as well as seven other rooms for his entourage and that all the rooms had to be in secure location due to the high profile level of P-Diddy. It was very hard not to laugh during this phone call. I put the guy on hold and then laughed with everyone else in the office. I then picked up the phone and gave him some high price and he said “that’s the best you could do for the world famous P-Diddy?” I said “yes” and he hung up the phone and never called back. Puff Daddy never showed up in the lobby that evening to check in.
Where can we find you on a Friday night?
The great thing about DC is all the options that are available I have been to Chabad, Sixth and I, Adas Israel and even the Swann House. My roommate and I are also are part of a Shabbat Cluster which is one of the greatest discoveries in DC. It is a group of people who rotate hosting the cluster once a month for Shabbat dinner. I just moved to DC in August and have not really found a regular spot yet. I typically go where the events are (check out the calendar tab on www.gatherdc.org for the latest Shabbat happenings). Whichever one looks the coolest, that’s where you can find me.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The typical answer would be Israel. I have been there twice (family vacation and Birthright). There is no doubt that being at the Kotel on Friday night and welcoming Shabbat is an amazing feeling. However, if I could go anywhere in the world I would love to backpack through Europe for a month and just go wherever the wind takes me. I love spontaneous adventures. If you ever want to pack up and go somewhere last minute, just let me know.
Who did you root for in the Super Bowl?
The Giants. It was a great weekend to be Giants fan.
Who is the coolest Rabbi you know?
It is a two way tie. My childhood Rabbi from my synagogue on Long Island is one of the greatest people I know. He has the biggest heart and will go out of his way for anyone. When I was little he use to always give out candy every time you walked by his office. The second one is my campus Chabad Rabbi (aka Rabbz) from Delaware. He always made every single student feel welcome at the Chabad house and was always able to relate Judaism to what was going on in our crazy college lives. The Rabbz and his wife also made amazing food every single week and made sure you never left the house hungry. And the Chabad family kids are crazy awesome.
What is your favorite Jewish dish?
Oooy vaay this is a tough question. There are so many great options ranging from matzah balls to rugelach, and everything in between. If I had to pick just one I would say brisket. There is nothing like a great brisket on the Passover table or the occasional Friday night Shabbat brisket.
You moved to DC pretty recently. What were your first impressions?
It is true I am still a newbie to the DC scene. If I was still in college I guess you could say I just finished my first semester and things are going great. I aced my classes (I really like my job), I have great professors (work with really great people). Things with my roommate are great (Daniel Kuhn, cool guy you should get to know him). Life after college has been great. The #1 reason the city is rocking is because there are so many young professional Jews in city who are all looking to meet other Jews and hang out. So let’s keep Gathering The Jews.