Gray’s Papaya

Hot dogs are most definitely a food I must be in the mood for; they are not part of my regular fare, but a good hotdog can certainly hit the spot, at the right moment – like say the 4th of July!

For me, what makes a great hot dog is how it is cooked; I always prefer them cooked over a charcoal grill, second choice is roasted on the end of a stick, over an open fire, and third choice is all about the moment and not the dog. How delicious is even a mediocre hot dog at a baseball game? Hot dogs on a camping trip or day at the beach are pretty irresistible; as are hot dogs eaten at a carnival, street fair, or at a beloved child’s school activity.  Not to mention when you are starved and there is nothing else available or on an extremely tight budget, and you have just spent too much money on coffee, thus a dollar hot dog is a little bite of heaven.

A few months ago, after a trip to New York City, we decided to take a different rout home; as we turned north on Amsterdam Avenue, I looked around and told Kate, I think this is where we went to our first Starbucks together, in New York City, a hundred years ago. Sure enough, on the west side of the street, a few blocks up, we found that first Starbucks, and then for some reason, I remembered that we had found parking, will never know how that happened, and after our coffee we started walking, and a block up, found the famed Gray’s Papaya – yes, the one from the movies and television.

That day, we had a hot dog, which was neither good nor bad, though it was cheap and we were hungry and on that insane budget. When we saw Gray’s again, we had to stop, not for the good food but for the fond memories.  We did not find parking, but I ran in and got our dogs, and relived a bit of our youth.

I hope you have a very Happy 4th of July, that you make new memories and celebrate the birth and survival of our nation.

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