Most Horrifying Sight So Far at Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

A barbecue-sauce fountain

Second Most Horrifying Sight:

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Perry-phernalia Block Party: Best & Worst Finds

WORST: A seemingly homemade clock featuring a chocolate doughnut, Hershey bar, and three semi-wrapped kisses. [click to enlarge]

Every year, the West Village's Perry Street Block Association throws an open-air block party, which is more of a down-at-the-heels flea market that a peddler of tube socks and mozzarepa cakes. If you're looking to equip a kitchen with half-broken housewares from the 1960s, this is your place. Here are some of the best and worst potential purchases Fork in the Road found this year, most of them in a foodistic vein.

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Cinco de Mayo, West Village Style

By 10 p.m., there were long lines in front of the West Village's most notorious margarita mills. [click on any image to enlarge]

Although not much celebrated in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that commemorates an 1862 victory of Mexico over France at the Battle of Puebla. In New York City, the recently hyped holiday commemorates the importation of inexpensive tequila to the United States. And expensive tequila, too, come to think of it. With one of the city's greatest concentration of Mexican resetaurants, the West Village is the site of severe thronging on the holiday. Restaurateurs rejoice; residents try to get some sleep by putting their pillows over their heads. Here are some West Village Cinco de Mayo scenes.

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Take Me Out to (Dinner at) the Ballgame: What To Eat at Citifield

Canned Kozy Shack pudding dispensed from a booth and twee little bottles of wine with the plastic cup built into the top of the bottle? This is baseball fare?

I went to the Mets' third game of the season, versus the Atlanta Braves, yesterday afternoon. The baseball was entertaining (Mets won 7-5, after almost blowing a seven-run lead late in the game), but what blew me away was the food.

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Offered Without Comment

Handbag store, Bleecker Street, West Village, Sunday, 8:45pm

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Coffee Cup Motifs in NYC's 59th Street Subway Station

Don't fall in!

In the last 10 years or so, lots of subway stations have been revamped, many with mosaics intended to reflect some associations with what's above the station on the street. Some of these motifs involve food and entertainment -- there are fish in the Delancey Street station, for example, and New Year's revelers at the Times Square stop. Somewhat more inscrutable are the coffee cups and slippers in the 59th Street express stop on the IRT and BMT lines.

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The 'Serious Burger' at Cheeburger Cheeburger: Taste Test and an SNL Video

The abridged version of the chain, at Newark's Terminal A

National burger chains are flying into town and running up their numbers so fast we can't keep up with them. One of the latest to arrive -- along with Smashburger, Fatburger (which tried twice in the last two decades, failed, and is trying again), and Five Guys (which had a big head start) -- is Cheeburger Cheeburger.

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The Wild Wild Mushrooms of the New Amsterdam Market

Bear's head mushrooms look more like polar bears than brown or black bears.

With all the rain and general dampness, It's been the best year in memory for hunting wild mushrooms upstate and in the fungus-friendly areas of New England. Not only are the varieties more profuse, but the specimens are bigger -- even reaching humongous in some cases.

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An Ode to Summer's Last Footlong

The last footlong of summer -- click to enlarge it to full size.

People without imagination find the last day of summer on Labor Day, when they lament the return to the routine of school, or the last summer-hour schedules at work. More poetic souls see signs in the first day you put on a jacket in the morning, the minute pumpkins arrive in the farmers' markets, or when the first leaf on the gingko right in front of your tenement window turns from dark green to pale yellow.

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Untimely Disappearance of Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls Suggests a New Restaurant Category: the Pop-Down

Is the shadowy figure with listening devices in his ears somehow responsible for the disappearance?

Call it what you will, a Secretly Temporary Restaurant (STP) or maybe a Pop-Down, but the disappearance of Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls at this juncture in time -- after the shank of the summer, but before Indian summer furnishes a sweltering late September and early October -- makes us think "conspiracy."

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