Thursday, October 27, 2011

Downtown New York: 99% of Burgers are Owned By 1% of Sports Bars

     A protest group called Occupy Wall Street has been on the news lately. A couple weeks ago, I went down to Zuccotti Park (though the protesters aren't there now) to check out the scene. From just looking at everyone, there were about two hundred people from late teens to early forties, approximately. I saw a few little kids running around, too. They were dressed in what could only be described as street clothing-- jeans and t-shirts, but with accessories for flair. There were sleeping bags sprawled out everywhere and plenty of signs. Everyone was doing something: some people were talking, some were painting signs or drawing on the sidewalks with chalk, even a few people were dancing and singing with ribbons. In fact, the scene of Zuccotti Park was a lot similar to my camp. In fact, it was exactly like my camp! I almost burst into song, singing "The Zulu King."
     There was a lot of technology going on down there, too. Websites and numbers of people joining the cause were displayed on flat-screens bigger than my couch, and, of course, Occupy Wall Street has been all over the internet from Twitter to The New York Times.
     Something that has been becoming a fad in the City are food trucks. Not the falafel and bagel carts or overpriced hot dog stands, but restaurants on wheels. There are trucks for baked goods, cupcakes, coffee, fresh fruit, and whole meals that are actually healthy. One food truck in particular was what my parents were taking my brother and I to. It was under the overpass of what used to be a train running through the meat-packing district, but now is a public park/art display called the Highline. What I like personally about the Highline is that its an example of a transformation that took place when something old but unattractive is turned into something beautiful and interesting.
     However, when we crossed the Highline, the food truck wasn't there. After walking around for a few minutes, we decided on a nice restaurant that turned out to be a sports bar. Now, I am not the kind of girl to scream at a television in a public place when a team didn't make a touchdown. I have been known to yell occasionally, but usually when a character decided not to do something the audience was expecting them to do.
     To not much surprise, football food was served. What surprised, amazed, and freaked me out just a little was what my brother ordered. It was a plate of food called the Tuby Tiger, which included Mozzarella Sticks, Buffalo Wings, Chicken Fingers, mustard, ketchup, and a special sauce wrapped in a sandwich. The Tuby Tiger was probably enough to feed my entire graduating class and enough calories to keep me hibernating this winter.
     I think that the group in yellow sports jerseys at the bar grew on us, because before long, my family and I were cheering for the teams and jumping up and down as they scored what might have been the winning touchdown. It's not a bragging experience of sports bars, but I will probably still remember it ten years from now.
     I might have to find that food truck again another time. I'll make another memory out of the experience. Experiences are what I like about New York City. You make your own memories that don't fade, even as the places change. The culture of the city never changes, never stops or becomes uninteresting, but aspects change all the time. It's sad and happy at the same time: sad because the things you used to know are gone, but happy because the memories can still bring a smile to your face.

Here's to cheers, changes, and memories that don't fade.

P.S. Here are the pictures of Zuccoti Park:

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