Thursday, June 15, 2006

Back to Brooklyn, via the LIC.

Last weekend we decided to brush off the old bikes for their inaugural summer season ride. Having gotten to the LIC and PS1 pretty quickly, we endeavored to head over the Newtown bridge into Greenpoint and Williamsburg. Along the way we made a pitstop to check out 5 Pointz, LIC's own 'Institute of Higher Burnin', where artists have legally overtaken a series of old warehouse buildings under the 7 train tracks to create a living monument to street art. Artists are free to add their distinctive flourishes to any open surface on the grounds over the weekend, and during the week you must call/e-mail to make 'reservations'. Legit! MoMA's sexy bastard Queens offspring PS1 Contemporary Art Center is across the street and it preens with jealousy.

Ode to the Dutch Master: who said that street art isn't high art?

New York City's Finest doing what they do best: standing around, scratching their crotches and suspiciously eyeing the Puertorriquenos at McCarren Park, Williamsburg.

Condemned pool complex that will play host to one of this summer's most insane shows: Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Sonic Youth.

Someday, when ClearChannel finally turns the pool at McCarren Park into the Fanta-WorldCom Memorial Stadium, you will tell you kids that it used to be this.

Greatgodfather of Soul!

That's Mister James Brown to you. And yes, he can still do the splits. Irving Plaza. A few weeks ago.

Waiting outside a Shack

In the short time since its birth, the bouncing bundle of joy known as the Shake Shack has been terrorizing the hearts and minds of New Yorkers everywhere. The lines are long. The wait for your food is equally arduous. The pidgeons of Madison Square Park are getting ready to poop on your head. The price is reasonable, but by no means dirt cheap. Why queue up for a designer burger when you can walk over to the Wendy's on 23rd and grab one there for half the price? I contend that its (1) become a right of passage for burger aficionados, and (2) really one of the best in the city. Additionally, their menu is quite extensive, which is like its only point of domination over the monolithic In-N-Out Burger of my homeland...

The corrugated metal siding gleams in the sun, forming a clarion call to all new york burger enthusiasts. The outdoor seating is plentiful but on a day like this (we went on a Sunday at 6pm) the line is still totally ludicrous... our wait time was only about 40 min that day. But the stories are true about the lunchtime crowd wrapping a line out the park and onto 23rd Street. Bring a book.

Shack Burger, thy name is hallowed. To settle the matter off the bat: no, it is not at good as In-N-Out. Are you crazy? But for $4.38, its cheaper, bigger, tastier and better made than the Burger Joint. The handmade pretty patty is juicy, not overcooked, and well-seasoned. Word on the street is that Danny Meyer grinds the chuck (high grade sirloin and brisket) at his nearby restaurant 11 Madison. Good to know. The toasted bun is springy and absorbs the greasy meat juice runoff perfectly. Again, its no sponge dough from In-N-Out, but not everyone can make hamburger buns like the crazy Mormons.

The fabled CONCRETE frozen custard shake changed my life. Pictured here is the best of their evil creations: the Hopscotch. For $5.77 you get a vanilla frozen custard blended with chocolate toffee, hot caramel, and Valhrona chocolate chunks. There was so much dark, delectable chocolate at the end of the shake that I had to bring the chunks home and put the cup in the freezer. Totally worth it.

Golden krinkle cut fries: reminisent of elementary school lunches, only not soggy and laced with crack. Well, maybe a little crack. $2.08

Wash it all down with... a Chicago Dog! $2.77 for your daily allowance of sauerkraut and tomatos on frankfurter. I wasn't man enough to do it but my husband was and from what I can tell, the hotdog should constitute its own dessert course.

Thank you for your understanding... that no normal human being should be hoarding more than six Shack Burgers at once. Chubbo!Its still debatable whether they'll do an 'animal style 4-by-4' ala In-n-Out.

Shake Shack
Southeast corner of Madison Square Park, near Madison Ave. and E.23rd St.

Bloated smoker

Photograph of NYC "6th Ave" rat enjoying a cigarette from Jason Toney, misterjt on Flickr, via Gothamist. Mmmmmm ripe like summertime!