Why can't you get a good bagel outside of New York City? There are large, vibrant Jewish communities in Boston, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Cleveland (well, Canton really, but who cares about Canton), Florida, Arizona, and Los Angeles.
The bagels in those places? Horrid: inedible mush that's closer to a bag of Wonder Bread left out in the rain overnight than a delicious, crusty, chewy ring of Hebrew happiness. How is this possible? Boston isn't that far from New York, but in bagel terms it might as well be in Myanmar.
New Yorkers will tell you that it's the tap water. That the Big Apple has some magical H20, which beyond making residents smarter and better looking than everyone else, also makes bagels more delicious. Of course, this completely ignores the fact that North Jersey also has good bagels (Bagel Box, bitches), but New Yorkers will tell you that the elixir of the tap is there, too. Somehow.
The booger in all this baking? Canada. Yes, the country that brought you... um, nothing as of yet?... also has a very large contingent of Jews. And guess what? Their bagels are fantastic.
Which is a really long way around to Rick Moranis. Sure the best bagels are in Montreal, while Moranis grew up near Toronto, but he's proof of a similar concept. Good. Jewish. Canadian. That thing that New Yorkers swear does not, cannot, exist.
So can someone get us a decent poppyseed with lox and cream cheese? We're dying out here.