Just a disclaimer: I've never been to New York. I spent a few hours in the Newark airport for a layover. I've only had fresh-ish direct-from-New York bagels once in my life. But I did have the great luck to live near a monument to all that is crisp and moist and bagel-y in life, for the short time it was open - Roland's Bagels. I still have cravings for this place and it has been closed for over a year now. But nothing, and I mean nothing, can come close to it. I have, truthfully, had a dream about those bagels. Not a metaphorical dream, but a real one from which I awakened to realize my cravings could not be satisfied.
A good bagel is crisp and a brown on the outside and chewy on the inside. You don't toast them, because they are still warm from the oven. Maybe you put cream cheese on it but its really quite optional. The toppings are sparse - some poppy or sesame, maybe some sea salt, maybe a little bit of flavor inside (like olive, or pumpernickel dough). Definitely not one of those "everything" abominations. Preferably not onion, unless its a few days old and toasted. But, really, if its a few days old and toasted its not worth dreaming about. It is merely an object for conveying cream cheese into ones mouth, and an inferior one at that. I may be something of a bagel elitist, thinking on this now.