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True Story

May 19, 2011

Some time ago our family went on vacation to the Big Apple. We like many others wanted to see if we could make it there and perhaps confirm that we could in fact make it anywhere. Visiting NYC was a part of our quintessential family vacation to parts East. The kids had never seen any of the sites and as an added bonus Kira’s mom had a place in Queens where we could crash. We dedicated an entire day to seeing the sites of the City that never sleeps and we did not waste the opportunity. Among the many items on our agenda Max and I were most excited about eating a real Dirty Water Dog from one of the City’s fine pushcart vendors. We started out the day  by strapping on our fanny packs and going for a ride on the Stanton Island Ferry. The one attraction we did no get to was the Statue of Liberty because it was closed for renovation (or at least that is what we told the kids-I don’t really remember.) We did get a nice view of it from the ferry and really when you are up close you can’t see it all at once. The ferry ride took us to a shipyard with Tall Ships that were very cool to look at and make you want to recite poems by John Masefield. The ships were very cool but from this locale you could practically hear the buns being steamed for the hot dogs we craved.

When I think of everything else we did that day it’s hard to believe we ate lunch so early. But this was really what we had come here for, so why wait? In my memory we all got hot dogs or pretzels from the pushcart and drank Snapple or Hanson’s soda. This is a real memory and swear I didn’t make it up, but when I go back and look at the pictures from the trip everyone appears to be eating McDonald’s. I don’t understand it. The pushcart is right there in front of us why would we eat greasy fast food from a national burger chain. The only thing that I can conclude is this – pictures lie. I am not in the photo so there is no proof I ate McDonald’s food. I know that I had a great NYC all beef hotdog with Sabrett’s onions that   I  the hot dog vendor made from scratch the night before. And topped with homemade sauerkraut from the second batch he made because the first batch didn’t turn out.

After we are done eating and slightly less weak we took on New York City. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, went to the top of the Empire State building, and took a stroll through central park. At some time during this we have some french fries and I think maybe some ice cream to help us keep going.

At this point we realize it is getting late in the day and Kira and I hoped to score some tickets to a show. We believe we are far away from where we need to be so we all hop in a cab for the kids very first NYC cab ride.  Luckily it is a short cab ride because Max decides he isn’t feeling well and gets sick in the back seat. I felt kinda sorry for him – the cab driver that is. I suppose he is used to that kind of thing in the big city, but he still shouldn’t use those words in front of children. [It is only just now that I realize I have decided to tell a story about Max throwing up while I am trying to show how good these hot dogs are. Too late to turn back now.] Max did not have any onions and sauerkraut on his hot dogs so it doesn’t make sense that he is ill, perhaps it was the ice cream and the heat.

Max does get better, but only after a repeat performance in the huge ToysRUs store in times square. Now we just want to get back to Janet’s apartment in Queens, but we realize we don’t have a key and we have no way of getting a hold of her. [Fun fact for the kids: This was only five years ago, but none of us had a cell phone.] We get on the subway and hope that Max’s stomach can handle it and make it over to the other side of town where we are supposed to meet Janet. We leave the kids with her and head off to watch the Producer’s on Broadway. There was a little guilt of handing over a sick Max to his grandmother, but he was fine by then – at least that is how I remember it.

Epilogue: I am now questioning everything about this trip because I would have sworn we all ate our lunch from a pushcart vendor. Either way I am sure if I did eat a hot dog in NYC I would have forgone both the onions and the sauerkraut – not my style. However, for the ones I made tonight I had to try my own sauerkraut. I wanted to make something authentic so I spent an hour last night simmering onions in various spices. I’m glad I did because it was delicious.

Damn Real Snapple Fact #691: The archer fish can spit up to seven feet to shoot down bugs from overhanging leaves.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 10:19 am

    Way to slice open the whole street vendor hot dog experience to craft a cool post! Excellent work.

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