The Hot Dog Mensch

This is second in a series called I Get It On the Streets. Click on the link at the end for the next post in the series.

Like the Handbag Guy, the Hot Dog Man has been on the hospital corner ever since I started working here, and I suspect, for a few years before. Great dogs and sausages, and unlike the push cart vendors in Central Park who are milking the poor tourists, this guy’s got great prices.

During my first year here, when I was commuting from Philadelphia 3 days a week and totally stressed, I lost my laptop computer. About a week into the loss, I stopped for a hot dog on my way to the train. And there, sitting on the wheel hub chained to the Hot Dog Man’s cart, was my laptop case. Turns out I had set it down there while paying for a soda the previous week.

“I didn’t know whose it was,” the Hot Dog Man told me, “but I figured they would probably pass by or stop again and see that they had left it.” So he schlepped that laptop back and forth with his cart to Queens every night, got a chain to lock it down to the cart so he wouldn’t have to worry about it getting stolen, and waited for its rightful owner (me) to claim it.

I love this guy (and this city).

Next Up: Coffee Guy.

Category: Considerations

6 Responses to The Hot Dog Mensch

  1. My comment is just a general comment on your blog. I am a medical student and if I pass my exams am going to do a residency in NYC. Anyways, I was wondering if people in NYC actually shop at the grocery store? Or does everyone just eat takeout? I noticed in Ireland people often shop at their local neighborhood shop for just about everything. Oh and thanks for the Clustrmap idea, I put mine on my myspace page. I keep trying to find someone with an IP address in Antarctica. No luck yet.
    My blog.

  2. John:
    Of course we shop at the grocery store! Where else do you think I get the ingredients for all the cooking I blog about?

    But, being a New Yorker, I also do take out or eat out at least once a week. But eating out is not going to Denny’s or to Boston Chicken – it’s Thai, or sushi, or Indian food. (Or the occasional hot dog from the vendor on the way to the train or the park.)

    Actually, when I shop for big food orders, I now use Fresh Direct, which delivers to my apartment. But that’s only about once a month or so. The rest of the time, we use the neighborhood stores and the supermarket. We may go to Gristedes or Food Emporium for staples and meat, to the fish monger or Citarella for fish, to Gourmet Garage for olives and cheese, and to the green market for veggies. Our favorite grocery stores are Fairway and the West Side Market, but we get 10% off with our NY Times card at Gristedes in our neighbohood, so we also go there a lot. My sitter picks up fruit from the vendors in Brooklyn where she lives, and brings it to us, since the prices in Brooklyn atre so much cheaper. We just got a Trader Joes, but I hear it’s a zoo so we haven’t gone yet.

    I do know people who do take out or eat out every night, and never cook at home. We go out or take in about once a week.

    What you are thinking of as a grocery store where you live is a far cry form what we have here in NY. Supermarkets are general very small compared to the markets in the burbs. Aisles are thin, you must be prepared to move your cart costantly to let someone else through. Selection is also a bit limited, as are the big sizes you are used to seeing in Costco. I always feel like I must have died and gone to grocery shopping heaven on the rare occasions when I visit a spermarket in the burbs.

    Wow! That was long – hope it answered your question. Thanks for reading.

  3. There must be some reason that street food always seems to taste better than regular food?

    (And can I just say I’m incredibly jealous of both your shopping and take out choices. You can have the wide aisles and big sizes, if I can have some Thai, sashimi, or even get veggies that aren’t steamed to mush at a local restaurant.)

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