New York is at its best when you can shake your head and smile and say, “Only here; this could only happen here; only in New York.” Tuesday night the upper reaches of the A train whisk me to the rainswept battlements of 181st Street, near the tip of the island, where I hear mysterious luminous fish haunt the rivers and the winds roar into a tunnel to the middle of the world. All right, maybe not, but I rarely get above 14th Street so it is miles foreign and the subway does run as much as 19 stories underground up there. Does that count as the middle of the world?
And perhaps “whisk” isn’t precisely the word; I could have walked most of the way there in the time it took.
Torrential rain chases the last of the Hot Nights/Cool Sounds outdoor summer concerts indoors, and the gleeful machinations of the subway leave me too late for the opening act. But six pieces’ worth of bluegrass band set up in the haven of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center across the way, and soon enough The Dixie Bee-Liners are tangling along through a thicket of classics on banjo, mandolin, fiddle, doghouse bass, and guitars. Kids cavort, one guy in the audience knows all the words, and we all have the startled look of people who haven’t been to temple in a good long time.
I’m jubilant. The text message I send to Pierre is:
> I am seeing bluegrass in a synagogue!
Only in New York.
There’s something frightening about that much meat slathered between two trammels of bread. I have in the past terrorized visiting Europeans by taking them to eat at Jackson Hole Burgers, where the sizzling promontory of meat and drippy toppings has more beef in it than a reasonable person needs to see over the course of several weeks. This takes the field to new extremes.
The whole wahoonie thumps in at 9 pounds soaking wet, and if you can finish it in three hours or less it’s yours for free (medical intervention not included). Otherwise your boasting rights will run you $23.95 with a Great Dane of a doggie bag. The beast is made from
- 6 pounds of beef
- Two whole tomatoes
- A half-head of lettuce
- 12 slices of American cheese
- A full cup of peppers
- Two entire onions
- A river of mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard
The Beer Barrel reports that no one has finished it to time yet. At least we all have something to look forward to, something to strive for, a dream to drive us through the days. Paging Morgan Spurlock…
Weekend Alert: I’m reuning with my family up in Maine this weekend, starting on Friday. It’s unlikely that there will be any blogging on my part until I’m back in the City; wish me luck with the allergies, and don’t forget to frolic. It’s almost August, after all.