It really is best to "come hungry" to the New Yorker Festival event that bears that title. Over about a four hour period, Calvin Trillin takes the lucky ticket holders on a walking tour of food related businesses in New York City. These are not all restaurants, by any means. The tour yesterday had ten stops, and ample food offerings were proffered at each stop to stuff me beyond comfort by the end of the tour.
By the way, for potential future participants, it is highly advisable not only to come "hungry," but to come "empty," too. There were no provisions for restroom stops, which meant that I (who had not been helpfully advised of this fact by earlier participants - or by anyone else, for that matter) had a little creative work to do to, early on in the tour, to allow my continued participation.
Final advisory: this is a "rain or shine" event, and if there had been rain (which there wasn't) the walk around session would have been grim. The food establishments visited were generally in the "cubbyhole" size range, and it was physically impossible for the group to enter the businesses, for the most part, which meant that the food was sampled al fresco. This was a lot more fun on sunny yesterday than it would have been on rainy Friday. Joyce Carol Oates, people from all over the nation (and Canada) were on the walk (not to mention Calvin Trillin himself), but it all would have been totally less fun under umbrellas in a freezing rain!
One final "by the way" for potential future participants: if you are expecting some social and political (Deadline Poet) commentaries from Calvin Trillin, forget that. This tour was scrupulously microtargeted to "foodies," not political types like me. Frankly, though, considering the food, you will not feel cheated. As an example, Stop #2 on the tour was a Bakery Market which served a savory, never before experienced type of matzoh cracker. Calvin Trillin opined, as he introduced us to this item, and as twelve-inch diameter circular matzoh crackers were being passed around by his assistants, that "if Egypt had had that kind of matzoh, the Jews never would have left." I am not Jewish, but I think he's right. And if these circular crackers were available at Christian Communion in place of the Host, I doubt anyone would notice the lack of wine.
Tomorrow: a list of the stops on this year's "Come Hungry" tour.
Monday, October 4, 2010
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