Tuesday, July 22, 2008
...One Siren too Many
Coney Island (is actually a peninsula). Home of Nathan's Famous 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, amusement parks (many of the rides are privately owned), the Brooklyn Cyclones (the minor league baseball team), and an immensely packed shoreline.
Coney Island is located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn; it is hard to imagine that it lives just over the water from Manhattan. Images of old movies with carnival scenes filled my head when I stepped off the train. Men yelling "step right up!" and women with tight ratty tank tops and countless tattoos were running carnival games. Have you ever noticed how small the hoop is for the basketball game one? I saw this poor guy miss and miss... Anyway, the Coney Island Circus Sideshow is still one of the most well-known acts around, and includes shocking! amazing! curious! performances by Insectovora, Donny Vomit, Serpentina, Heather Holliday, and Scott Baker,the Twisted Shockmeister. A blend of tinkling carnival music (you know what I'm talking about) and the sound of Broken Social Scene are still clashing in my head. The whole atmosphere reminded me of scenes from the book Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin Books 2006), or the movie Wild Hearts Can't be Broken, or even that scene in Big when he goes back to the carnival grounds to try and find the electronic fortune teller. There is just so much history.....
Last Saturday, Village Voice hosted the eighth annual free Siren Music Festival in Coney Island with the vicious heat in tow. Bands who appeared included STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS, BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, ISLANDS, RA RA RIOT, THE HELIO SEQUENCE, BEACH HOUSE, TIMES NEW VIKING, JAGUAR LOVE, THE DODOS, ANNUALS, FILM SCHOOL, PARTS & LABOR, DRAGONS OF ZYNTH, and THESE ARE POWERS. If you check out the pics on Gothamist, you will see that this day was about more than the music. Fashion statements were made, and there were no rules to be broken. You name it, people wore it. Style staple of the day? Fedoras. Everywhere. As you can tell from the pic, I am a big fan. I can't take credit though, I borrowed this hat from David.
The train ride from Hoboken wasn't that bad, but my God. It was hot. I wore my bathing suit, and this turned out to be the best decision I've made in, i dunno, years. Above-- Steph and I drinking beers from Nathan's. This was our first stop before we got to the stages (there were two). In case you need refreshing, during the 2008 hot dog eating contest, the six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi was defeated by Joey Chestnut(I wonder if MTV will make a special on him next). They tied at 59 hot dogs in the new 10-minute time limit (it was changed this year from 12 minutes (quickly imagine what that would look like in your stomach), but Chestnut won after they had a five hot dog eat-off. I mean. Talk about rally on three.
After awhile Lance, Michelle, and David and I walked down to the beach. FYI. Port-a-potties are my least favorite thing to encounter in the heat. The beach offered a little relief. After we people-watched on the beach for awhile, David and I walked back to Nathan's, where we waited in the "Seafood" line for our fried frog legs, chili cheese fries, and beers. Yes, all food appropriate for hot weather. And, I must of thought I was going to die very soon, because as you can tell, I ate like it was my last meal. What can I say? Amusement parks do that to you. Oh, and I may, or may not have eaten a few bites of funnel cake too. So, once we got our "Seafood" (frogs are not seafood though...) Somehow we found a table, and I sat with the food while David waited in line for hot dogs.
He came back 31 minutes later. Apparently, the line was a tad long....
At the risk of sounding unoriginal, yes, the frog legs tasted like chicken. The one thing that was a little creepy was the tendon (?). I'm not sure exactly what it was, but it reminded me of eating a boiled shrimp --except I believe this is the intestinal tract of a shrimp, and this was a little more gummy and stringy. Tartar sauce covered the texture up nicely.
As I mentioned in the blog about my birthday weekend (refer to Clash of the Carbohydrates), hot dogs are indeed, amazing. So, if you want something a little more authentic (whatever that means) -- make the trek to Coney Island. Siren Music Festival turned out to be one of the best days I have spent in NY yet.
Posted by smartcookie at 11:25 AM