Grandmas of New York

Words by HETTY MCKINNON | Photos and interviews by SHIRLEY CAI

This is a special audiovisual companion to the Grandmas of New York section in Issue 4: Grandma. We encourage you to pick up a copy of this issue to experience this story in print.

In the Winter of 2018, Peddler embarked on a project to document the “signature dishes” of grandmas in New York City. We ventured out to the streets and approached strangers, we asked family and friends, we called out on social media. The task of finding grandmas who were willing to speak about their cooking had its challenges. A concern we heard often was that their food wasn’t worthy of applause. We disagree vehemently. Grandmas of New York are rich with the wisdom and discernment that only time and living can provide. Their memories, and their food, are gold.

Below we feature six grandmas who shared a slice of their edible history with Peddler. The women we met were strong, vulnerable, and disarmingly charismatic. Some challenged our very definition of who a grandma is or could be. Each portrait is assigned to an audio clip where you can listen to each grandma speak more about the history behind her signature dish. This story is accompanied by a photo essay available in Issue 4: Grandma.



Forest Hills, Queens



Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn


RAGS, 62

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn



West Village, New York



West Village, New York


MARY, 70s

East Village, New York