Thursday, June 15, 2006

New York, New York 1

Flatiron Building, Summer, New York, 1947/1948, Rudy Burckhardt

Things came together quickly. Michelle had been lobbying hard for a weekend getaway to New York for a while. It had been over a year since her last visit and she didn't want to put things off any longer. Around Tuesday she found out she might be able to sneak out on her Friday and Saturday shifts. By Wednesday night she'd found a replacement. Then we found out Cat Power (+ the Memphis Rhythm Band) was going to be playing The Town Hall on Friday night and we had tickets waiting for us courtesy of Team Matador. Then we found out about the 4th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, featuring 10 top pitmasters from across the good ole U.S. of A. Called a rental car outfit, found ourselves a car so we could take the scenic route down to New York (along the Hudson) the way we'd always wanted, and that's all it took. Sold! You see, Michelle, poor soul, has never had real American barbecue of any kind, be it North Carolina-style, Alabama-style, Missouri-style, or Texas-style (taking into account all of the possible regional variations on each of these traditions, of course), and the Barbecue Block Party was going to be featuring all of 'em, plus the work of some New York-based hotshots, and they'd all be concentrated within a convenient 2-block radius of Downtown New York. So we had visions of scouring the city streets in the way we typically do, eating plenty of street food and other tasty take-out items, catching some museum and gallery shows, hitting a few restaurants, immersing ourselves in the crowds and the energy, and catching up with old friends, then topping everything off with a few hours of savoring pulled-pork sandwiches and noshing on smoky ribs--all in the span of 2 1/2 days. What transpired in the end? What did we find on our whirlwind tour of New York? And just how much barbecue did we put away? Stay tuned...

Oh, I nearly forgot. What does the Flatiron Building have to do with anything? Well, you see that cute little park on the left-hand side of Burckhardt's photograh? That's Madison Square Park and that's where the Block Party took place.


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