Four Things that Signal it’s Labor Day in NYC
Mode of Transport: Barbecue
Labor Day Weekend is coming this week and it has always represented four things to me and, I think, to many other New Yorkers:
1 – End of Summer – The LAST hurrah weekend!
2 – Beginning of Fall and busy work/school life.
3 – Change of closet and the end of wearing white. Although many really don’t follow this ritual anymore, we still do.
4 – Some sort of Barbecue to eat.
According to The History Channel , the real representation of Labor Day is a celebration of workers and their achievements. It originated during the Industrial Revolution, when the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living.
I’m proud to say the first Labor Day Parade in U.S. history, according to History Channel, was held in New York City, on September 5, 1882. This holiday which was started in New York, is supposed to commemorate a time where Americans – especially New Yorkers – were overworked and taken advantage of.
This holiday is to remind us that an eight-hour working day is the norm, and not 12. Strange… we New Yorkers are, to this day, still overworked! Yes, we are duly paid for it, unlike our ancestors, and of course, many of us work many hours by choice, plus our offices are not the dumps they used to be. Nevertheless, we still work our asses off and we surely miss out on quality time with our family.
In fact, when Andrew, Bailey and I were on holiday in the Cinque Terre this past July, a Belgian couple we befriended over some Aperol Spritz asked us if it’s true that New Yorkers are always working. Our answer was a definite YES! Absolutely, it’s so true!
Would we change it though? I don’t think so. New Yorkers will always be the workers, the pushers and the “hustlers” – it’s just how we’re wired. However, I do feel a small bit of change. I do feel that we, as a whole, do crave the shift. We crave our free time and our time with our families and our friends.
This year, as a family, we shifted our priorities and I’m changing careers, so we can spend more family time together.
Labor Day weekend is such a huge weekend here in NY because everybody is trying to just get that last bit of lazy summer that we allow ourselves before BOOM, getting right back to the hustle.
This weekend, we will probably go to the beach and just do absolutely nothing but enjoy each other’s company and talk about our Summer Holiday this past July, in Italy. We will also EAT. For this holiday, we normally eat some sort of barbecue.
We decided to start on our holiday eating early this year and go to a barbecue joint that we’ve always wanted to try – The Mighty Quinn’s at 103 2nd Avenue.
The Mighty Quinn’s has a great story which you can read on their website. They make what they call “Texalina” barbecue – which I’m sure you guessed is a mix of Texas and Carolina style barbecue.
Andrew, Bailey, our friend Mike and I went there for lunch mid-week. Andrew and I ordered, as usual, more than we needed – we had a whole rack of Spare Ribs and Brisket.
It was served with pickled cucumber, celery, red onions and chiles. We also ordered two types of slaw (one vinegar-based and the other mayo). Our daughter ordered Chicken Wings.
Our favorite was actually the brisket. It is soft, juicy and completely melts in your mouth. We also loved the slaw and the pickles. The slaw was great both ways and the chiles were our favorite pickles (so different!). We also loved the giant bottle of BBQ sauce – YUM!
Now it’s your turn. Tell us what you will be doing this weekend and what you’ll be eating. If you’re not American, when does summer officially or unofficially end for you and what sort of ritual do you enjoy to celebrate?
Let’s travel the world, one dish at a time! Did you like this “Dish”? Please share it with your friends! I would be so grateful!
If you plan to travel to Cinque Terre, make sure to check out our short travel guide.