Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

NYC Street Fair

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There are so many reasons to love NYC, and surely, the best reason is the street fairs that occur all over Manhattan during the summer. Street fair “season” in NYC runs between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Street fairs occupy huge stretches of the surface streets in Manhattan on either a Saturday or Sunday between the hours of 9am and 6pm. This street fair, for example, occupies the downtown-bound lanes of Broadway between West 72nd and West 86th streets. Every weekend and holiday day has at least one scheduled street fair and nearly every north-south running street in Manhattan hosts a street fair at one point during the season.

Some of the crowds at today’s street fair at West 74th and Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. These are the downtown-bound lanes of Broadway, which is a divided street (you know, with trees and flowers and grass in the middle).

Image: GrrlScientist 2008 [larger view].

Perhaps not coincidentally, Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of NYC’s famous “Fleet Week” where navy men by the thousands pour into Manhattan on shore leave, seeking companionship amongst the locals and spending copious amounts of money on food and alcohol and baseball games. I haven’t yet had the courage to photograph any of these guys, although I have already spent a few minutes admiring them from a distance in my favorite watering hole, located on the UWS.

Of course, a street fair always has plenty of food available. Here is just a small sampling of the foods I passed on my way to my cat care job today;

Just an example of the many wonderful amazing foods available at the typical NYC street fair. Are you hungry?

Image: GrrlScientist 2008 [larger view].

I admit that the olives did it to me: I gave in and spent $4 of my hard-earned cat shit-scooping money on two types of giant green olives; those stuffed with pimentos and those stuffed with jalapenos. Were they good? Um .. they didn’t last very long!

GIANT GREEN OLIVES at the street fair — how can a mere mortal resist?

Image: GrrlScientist 2008 [larger view].

Of course, no street fair is complete without politics, and this one is no different. After I took a picture of this booth, I decided it was only polite to buy a shirt — until I discovered that the shirts were $18! YEOW! Even though I found a nice Obama shirt (the green one in the middle, although I am several sizes smaller than that one), I can’t afford that price, especially since both Hillary and Obama’s politics are too conservative for my ethics, anyway.

Bush’s last day: January 20, 2009. I thought it would NEVER arrive.

Image: GrrlScientist 2008 [larger view].

After wading through all the fun and excitement of the street fair, I am now taking care of two cat clients who live nearby, who are busily dropping hairs onto my laptop. I am wishing I had arrived at the UWS earlier so I could spend more time roaming through the festivities.


  1. #1 Tony P
    May 25, 2008

    Here in RI, particularly in communities like Providence, Cranston and Johnston we have the feasts.

    The Columbus festival lasts all weekend and we locals refer to it as the Feast of St. Sausage and St. Peppers.

    Then of course there are the church feasts, and all the other thing. And yes, Sausage and Peppers abound.

    We also get farmers markets, arts faires, etc. And then there are the Waterfire events.

    I love the warmer months so much. And I hate the winter with the passion of a thousand burning suns.

  2. #2 Bob O'H
    May 26, 2008

    I am wishing I had arrived at the UWS earlier so I could spend more time roaming through the festivities.

    The Beast has decided he likes you, if you consider wading through cat hair as “festivities”. Unfortunately he was distracted by a wagtail before I had explained what you really meant.

  3. #3 tony
    May 26, 2008

    I think I am one of the few former NYers who couldn’t stand street fairs. Mostly junk being offered to the public at inflated prices, food sold violating most health code laws (olives being sold, that’s new and exciting), and worst of all, nothing returning to the community. These are big money operations yet they take city services for free to operate. Have a fun summer and feed those kitties.

  4. #4 Bob O'H
    May 26, 2008

    And I hate the winter with the passion of a thousand burning suns.

    A pity it isn’t with the heat of etc. etc. 🙂

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