This Oyster Festival is near and dear to my childhood heart. I learned how to swim with oysters under my feet. Since I was 10 his festival, named after the bi-valve and the town I grew up in, has taken over the small North Shore Long Island village. Back then, a few buses of people would amount to 10,000 people over the three-day extravaganza. Now in its 32nd year, 200, 000 attendees flock to what was my sleepy hamlet on the bay. It’s fair to call it BIG TIME. The food vendors now require a food court. There’s a seafood themed shopping pavilion. Music is no longer sourced from the high school band talent. Of course, there are plenty of competitive eating bouts. Most oysters, fastest oysters, biggest oysters, they all get prizes and make for some crowd roars. Being an insider, I tend to hang back. Belly up at one spot and let the action unfold around me. Give it a try. October 15 – 16 Weekend in Oyster Bay, NY.
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According to us, there are two plans of attack for the insane amount of java you will encounter at The New York Coffee Festival, an event as hyped up as its theme: 1. pace yourself, imbibe cautiously, and drink responsibly or 2. do nothing of the sort and guzzle as much of the unlimited joe as you can. We suggest option two, and with good reason. We’ve never seen an event lineup more worthy of our favorite bean than this annual NYC event. Also, in case you missed it (did you miss it?), we said unlimited coffee. With the best of the best baristas and vendors on site, they won’t be your average cups of joe, either. That extra buzz you get will be put to good use at the event’s packed roster of coffee demonstrations, coffee workshops (go ahead, try to make a better brew than that famous barista teaching you how to do it), coffee-inspired music and art, and, what we’re most excited about, Coffee Masters New York. This is where 16 baristas will go head-to-head in a caffeine-fueled competition with challenges including latte art, signature drink creation, and taste identification. In case you want to proactively ward off any post-festival shakes, there will be street food and martinis infused with, uh, coffee. We warned you that there’d be a lot of coffee, didn’t we? Good thing you’d already decided to go with that “guzzle unlimited joe” option. September 16-18 in NYC.
You know our BBQ history runs deep. This event is at the root of our ‘Que know how. On a rainy Saturday in 2002, I bumped into a guy named Danny while poking around 27th street. I asked him where all this barbecue came from and I quickly learned the far reaches of the expertise that was in front on me. Fourteen years later, Mr. Meyer and the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party is much more than a block, the crowd is far more than a few New Yorkers biting their way down a gramercy park street and a New York restauranteur with an idea to share the world of BBQ with his neighbors. So big in fact there’s some new options like fast pass and VIP that will get pork to your lips faster than you can snort at the crowd you just bypassed. June 11-12 from 11am to 6pm in NYC.
If you’re a proper NYer you know the part a “slice” plays in your daily borough to borough maze run. We’ve written about the necessity of this iconic mainstay extensively. Since we’re kids the price for this necessity has seen a 1000% increase. Enter the recent trend in $1 slice joints. Slice Out Hunger takes the price of old, the best pizza places in NY and a HUGE charity angle on creating their Annual Dollar Slice Night. Fifty of the best NYC pizza makers under one roof for one night of a pizza party unseen since the first Napolitano’s landed on Ellis Island. 100% of proceeds benefits New Yorkers in need. We’ll be there with a bib on. Hope to see you. Wednesday, October 5 from 6pm-8pm in Soho, NYC.
For the fourth year in a row their will be more capscium concentrated in North Brooklyn than any where else on earth. With names like Naga Morich, Madame Jeanette, Dorset Naga, Bhut Jolokia and Moruga Scorpion, you might think it’s a South American ex-con reunion. The NYC Hot Sauce Expo burns their home into Greenpoint for two days this weekend with representation from India to Africa to Trinidad with sauces highlighting the hottest of the hot. With events like the Torch Bearers Gacumole Eating Contest and Defcon Sauces Chicken Wing Eating Competition, there is something for everyone. Even if you’re not a hot sauce enthusiast you can come down and watch people compete to burn their face and insides to win a pepper topped trophy. April 23rd and 24th from 10am-6pm in Brooklyn.