RE: Non-NY Bagels
Welcome! (also to "sbp"!] You must originate here in Our Fair City??
I lived in London for 5 yrs and Oxford for one. Originally there were no good bagels, to the point where I refused to try any more... but sadly that policy went awry! After about 9 months in Oxford I caved in and tried a bagel at my favorite sandwich place and guess what?? It was GOOD! Not great but very very passable and I was sorry I had wasted all those months of bagel-less-ness.
So, fyi it is The Alternative Tuck Shop on Holywell Street. If you venture out there, say hi to Mohammed at the register! He has a Red Sox hat and is a far-away fan, of sorts. I updated him all year and now I get to tell him we are World Series bound!!!!! Woooo hooo! (Sorry NYY fans... hee hee.)