Eat

Homesick on the Hudson

The beer and the maypole dancers seemed to cheer him up a bit and we laughed every time the band played a song we knew so well from Oktoberfests back home. We were also highly amused at the incongruity of sitting in a makeshift biergarten looking at New Jersey.

Story by Lora Wiley - lora@citizenbrooklyn.com Photos ©Icarus Blake

Monster Wurst photo©Icarus Blake

My German beloved has been living in NYC with me for 9 months. This past weekend after randomly viewing photos of home, he proclaimed himself officially homesick for the first time.

I had the perfect solution, the Maifest at pier 81 featuring German music and most importantly beer and food! So we hopped in a taxi, bought our entrance tickets, purchased beer mugs filled with Paulaner and proceeded to sing along at the top of our lungs with the Bavarian band. The crowd was partially real live Germans, some strolling around in dirndl and lederhosen. I sang the prostit song loud and proud but drew the line at doing the chicken dance with the other inebriates.

The beer and the maypole dancers seemed to cheer him up a bit and we laughed every time the band played a song we knew so well from Oktoberfests back home. We were also highly amused at the incongruity of sitting in a makeshift biergarten looking at New Jersey.

Maypole Dance photo©Bernhard Lennartz

After receiving a text, he wandered off to locate another couple we had spontaneously arranged to meet.  All of a sudden, a big round figure approached our table carrying two chairs and proceeded to seat herself.  I explained the places were taken which was the beginning of a tremendous fight with this large German woman who was doing her best to steal two places at our table. After a shout down where I yelled at her in both German and English and then in a combination of the two, she finally tucked her Teutonic tail between her legs and slunk away. I turned to the gaggle of twenty somethings next to me who were watching with amusement the entire ugly exchange and said, “She may be a big German woman, but I’m a fucking New Yorker. No Contest.” Recently transplanted North Carolinians, they thought this hilarious, said several “awesome” s and dissolved into giggles.

Turning back to my chicken bratwurst and beer, I cursed myself that after living for several years in Germany, I still am not a beer drinker and couldn’t stomach it straight up. A quick trip to the food stand nabbed a sprite and I quickly made myself a Russ, a combo of wheat beer and lemon soda. This paired much better with my bratwurst heaped with sauerkraut, onions and mustard and if I closed my eyes I could picture myself back in a gemütlichkeit place in Germany.

USS Intrepid photo©Bernhard Lennartz

The beer was perfectly authentic, the chicken bratwurst less so but tasty nonetheless. My schatz’s hot dog order unfortunately proved to be the NYC version masquerading as a German one. Traditionally German style is two wieners served with both a small round roll and mustard on the side. This was a single straight up dirty water dog.

Trying to ignore the irony of being a Jew at a German festival next to the WW2 USS Intrepid aircraft carrier parked at the next pier over, we boarded a boat for a short trip up and down tour of the Hudson. The day was gorgeous, the perfect combination of sun and breeze and hey, we were on a boat in Manhattan with some semi authentic German fare in our bellies.

All in all we gave points for the Maifest effort and a few more for taking the edge off of an urgent case of homesickness.

View of Upper West Side photo©Bernhard Lennartz

 

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