Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ode to a neighborhood street fair

On Saturday we decided to take Meg's sagacious recommendation for weekend fun off this very site's invaluable Astoria Weekend Edition... and how can you go wrong? Rhetorical question. You can't. There are just too many awesome Astoria things to do every weekend. We happened to pick a convenient one; 36th Avenue and its colorful street fair was only a 5 minute walk from home. Meg tells us that this pedestrian wonderland was sponsored by the Dutch Kills Civic Association, and we say kudos, DKCA.

First stop: Italian sausage sandwich at the archetypal food cart (with zeppolis, fried calamari, cheese fries, deep-fried Oreos, bracciole...) Don't forget to pack the Pepto.

New York City's Finest. Doing what they do best: patrolling the perilous street fair beat. These guys were actually hovering hungrily around one of the kabob vendors-- you know, investigating a lead and maintaining the peace. Quick, loot the damned Mozzarepa stand!

They didn't know it, but the hungry cops were probably yearning for a piece of the majestic Meat Cage. Mmmmmmm barbecue!

Where else but Queens? Women shopping at one of the various jewelry stands...

In the same league as the Sock Vendor is the perennial Plastic Fruit Magnet table. Think of the luscious refrigerator art you could generate for $6!

What's a summer street fair without the intimidatingly aggressive games hawkers? First one to shoot the balloons gets a huge plushy beerbong-backscratcher-Barbie!

The best part about this particular street fair was that it reflected the vibrant colors and vivacious nature of the actual local community, as opposed to most of the generic street celebrations around the city. Astoria has a thriving Indian and Bangledeshi community (among the Czech, Croatian, Colombian, Brazilian, and Greek constituents, of course). This captivating performance was well-attended and seemed totally impromptu, on the western end of 36th street (between 29th and 30th streets). It was a real family affair, with children sweetly putting coins in the collection box and teenagers rockin' right along with their parents. GO America.

Is his instrument of melodical glory a stationary accordion? A xylophone with keys? I know nothing about musical instruments. Check out the gleaming knobs.

The quintessential street fair fare: grilled corn on the cob! Don't be a rube, get it with all the butter, lemon juice and cayenne pepper they have to offer (the jury is still out on slathering mayo on it).

There's no mistaking the face of real food when you're walking a street fair. No artifice, no factory-processed food-product here. Just a barbecued piggy's parts.

Naturally the best part of eats-on-the-street is that you don't have anything to clean up. Leave it to the venerable professionals of the street fair circuit (and the trusty NYC Department of Sanitation sweepers)... Which is convenient now that you're caught in the stupifying grip of some debilitating food coma.


Unknown said...

Dude - how do those fruit magnet guys stay in business? It never ceases to amaze me.

MissPinkKate said...

Mayo on corn? Yes, yes yes (but only if there's parmesan cheese, too).

Unknown said...

oh how that pork calls to me!

megc said...

Eeeuw, mayo on corn seems icky. Ok on fries, but corn?

Glad you made it annie! Great pix!

Annie said...

Jury's still out on the mayo-corn, I agree... and I was more than a bit intimidated by the piggy parts, but my-oh-my could that Bangladeshi man sing!