Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Adventures in Eating: The 35th Annual Atlantic Antic

Webster's Dictionary defines "Antic" as follows:

antic[an-tik] a playful trick or prank; caper. a grotesque, fantastic, or ludicrous gesture, act, or posture.

And boy, does that sum it up for us. Never ones to shy away from anything playful, tricky, or caper-esque, we were thrilled when we read that Sunday, October 4th would be the 35thannual Atlantic ANTIC taking place on our very own Atlantic Avenue in majestic Brooklyn. All week long we crossed our fingers and we refreshed weather.com in hopes that the 11238 zip code would see sun for this outdoor festival. And as luck would have it the weather was perfect and the experience was just as grotesque, fantastic and ludicrous as one could hope.

Follow along as I take you along the mile-long stretch of Atlantic Avenue where Holly and I, along with kitten-loving Kristy, shoved our faces with so much food it was almost embarrassing.


On and even TIGHTER budget than usual I decided that my Sunday Funday on Atlantic should not exceed $20, so enroute to the festival stopped at a sketchy bodega (that had an uncanny selection of Sourpatch flavors) to withdraw a trusty Andrew Jackson that I hoped would cover the costs of all meat by-products I’d soon be consuming.


To kick off the consumption-spree Holly thought shed stop and Dunkin Donuts for an extra large coffee with tons of Splenda… okay. Then, turning the corner onto the avenue we were welcomed with the sight of innumerable Brooklynites engaging in activities that ranged from Go-Go Dancing to gospel singing. 

Not usually being a big fan of crowds I braced myself for some serious neighborly shoulder-rubbing, but my apprehension was overridden by the cheerful sight of $3 FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS. OMG. Lets not even get into where this would fall on the Maturity Index, but Holly, Kristy and I all HAD to have one, so now we do.


Our wrists tied with colorful yarn we turned our attention to the greater goal, filling our mouths. I spotted people toting around literal BUCKETS filled with what looked like lime-aid or similar and decided that, being what was sure to be one of the last warm days of the year, I too needed a lime bucket for $3 (pictured at top).


No sooner had the delicious sugary lime water touched my tongue than I turned to find H and K lining up for grilled corn (a Brighton Beach favorite) “Paige, they have JALEPENO BUTTER!” H cried across the crowd. Say no more! We had the corn man load up our “snack” with Jalepeno butter AND normal butter for good measure, tons of salt and parmesan cheese, a perfect “light snack” we all agreed. $3 Light Snack of Corn.


Now that we had beverages, appetizers and friendship under control we decided to peruse our “main course” options while taking in the scenery. Along the way we also did good things for the community, like sign a petition to keep PS 20 in the Red Hook public school system! We felt good about our selfless gesture and decided it was time for a treat, Kettle Corn it is!  We sampled the Kettle Corn of a kindly, albeit slightly creepy older gentlemen sitting in a lawn chair and referring to us as “little girls” as in “COME TRY MY KETTLE CORN LITTLE GIRLS”. It was delicious, and he was wearing a Korean War Vet hat, and we mused that he was probably friends with Don Draper, nee Dick Whitman, while serving.


All this snacking really had us working up and appetite, for things like meat and cake. Always fearless, Holly threw swine-flu caution to the wind, ordering a pulled pork burger on a pretzel bun (with pickle) for $5, being team players K and I both took bites to ensure solidarity should one of us fall ill.

 We were not disappointed. I myself opted for a bratwurst, it was mostly delicious minus the fact that I though I liked sourcraut and in fact, I do not. Sans-crout I’m sure it would have been a slam-dunk with nothing but net. At least it was only $4. Shirking the meat trend, K opted for a cupcake that easily measured 5 inches in height. Okay lets face it, it was a full-on cake, not a wimpy cupcake, sprinkles and all. $4 “cup”cake.


I bet you could guess how we were feeling at this point, we reached the end of the street, gazed out over the east river towards Manhattan and thought to ourselves, “isn’t there a pickle festival going on on the Lower East Side?”


I mean, at theis point I’d only spent $13 of my allotted $20, and $3 of that was on a new accessory!


The subways between Manhattan and Brooklyn can be a bit “antic-esque” on the weekend, really tricky and always grotesque, but miraculously we were still hungry. And K was “really in the mood for some dill”. Braving the eff-ed up trains we made out way to the Lower East Side just before the end of the pickle festival. They pretty much had pickeled-everything, but we played it safe with some “pickles-on-a-stick”, accidentally butting in a line that wrapped around the boarder of the parking lot. Oops. $1 Picklestick.


And since pickles weren’t quite adventurous enough we sampled some mango chutney on matzoh bread. Mistake.


Simply DYING to get the taste of salty, funky chutney out of our mouths we decided to cleanse our palates (and spend the remainder of our Jackson) with pay-what-it-ways fro-yo at our trusty Yogurtland on Bleeker St. Knowing that I only had $6 left, and that I usually end up spending around $10 (the toppings really get ya) I had to really watch myself. My treat totaled to $5.87. perfection.


After a day of adventure-eating H, K and I congratulated ourselves, sitting together on the steps of some lucky persons West Village brownstone.  Our legs ached, our stomach lining was tested and our jaws creaked from excessive chewing. And after a day of bi-borough wandering we decided to call it a night. 

And by that I mean it was dinner time and we each and our own Bahn Mi. 

For your viewing pleasure: The apex of Kelly Killoren Bensimon's career. "Gyro Girl" 

Forever your girl,


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