New York Cheesecake: A Slice of Life


A return visit to New York City brings on memories of the city's energy and a desire to make cheesecake.

Junior's Restaurant

Like the shirt says, I Love New York City. A recent short trip back to the city flooded my mind with memories of its energy, adventure, and creativity. I lived in NYC in 2001. Even though I have been back since then, there was something about my recent trip that was eye-opening. I saw change everywhere I looked. Once-dead neighborhoods had sprung to life in a burst of development. New restaurants were everywhere. The diversity of the people and culture was inspiring. At the end of my stay, I felt highly caffeinated and, once again, part of the vibrant city. My eyes were open and ready to explore more!

Growing up in Wisconsin, I would daydream about living in New York City. Shows like “Seinfeld” and “Friends” filled my Thursday evenings, teaching me about neighborhoods like the Upper West Side and West Village. Romantic comedies like “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle” perfectly blended the sense and romance of the city. My definition of success and power was based on people “making it in the City.” When I moved to New York at age 17, I knew I was going to be a part of something bigger than myself that was going to create a lasting, positive change in my life. Almost every day, I discover a new gift within myself from the time I spent living in New York City. My experiences have made me braver, more tolerant, and more creative. The city also taught me to walk fast, look up, and pay attention. Life will pass you by—but only if you let it.

I still live in a big city, but nothing compares to the feeling I get walking the streets of New York. It was my first big city. It was my first experience as an independent person. Discovering something new around every corner brings truth to the slogan, “I heart NY.” On my recent trip, I stumbled upon Junior’s. This famous restaurant, known particularly for its cheesecake, has been around for decades and was only a mile away from where I lived in 2001. Yet I had never been there. While good for my waistline, I had missed out. I’m even more ambitious today than I was then. And I have New York City to thank for it. Enjoy some time in the kitchen, and make this easy cheesecake for dessert. Maybe after enjoying a slice of New York, you’ll experience those same feelings of excitement, creativity, and the confidence that you can accomplish anything you want to in life.


1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tbsp sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

4 eggs

HEAT oven to 325°F.

MIX graham crumbs, 3 tbsp sugar, and butter, then press mixture onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after adding each just until blended. Pour over crust.

BAKE 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with fruit of choice.

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