Four Things that Signal it’s Labor Day in NYC


Destination: America

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.

Labor Day in NYC| Dish Our Town

Jones Beach in NYC

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.


On the Ferry with Brooklyn Bridge in the background

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.

Labor Day DIsh in NYC via @DishOurTown

On the ferry at the beginning of summer in NYC

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.

Brooklyn waterfront via @DishOurTown

Brooklyn waterfront

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!

Monterosso Al Mare via @DishOurTown

Monterosso Al Mare Fegina Beach – Cinque Terre – We miss this so much…

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.

Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre via @DishOurTown

Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre – longing to go back to this

This year, as a family, we shifted our priorities and I’m changing careers, so we can spend more family time together.

On the Ferry in Cinque Terre via @DishOurTown

On the ferry from Monterosso Al Mare To Riomaggiore – Cinque Terre SO HAPPY THERE

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.

Labor Day Weekend via @DishOurTown

Second Avenue in NYC in front of Mighty Quinn’s

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.

Labor Day Weekend 2014 via @DishOurTown

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.

Labor Day Weekend 2014 via @DishOurTown

Chicken wings and Brisket at Mighty Quinn’s

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.

Labor Day Weekend via @DishOurTown

Spareribs with pickles at Mighty Quinn’s

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.

Labor Day Weekend via @DishOurTown

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!

labor day weekend via @DishOurTown

Would you like a bite?

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?

Labor Day Weekend via @DishOurTown

The docks NYC – waiting for ferry in Summer. 

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.


0 Replies to “Four Things that Signal it’s Labor Day in NYC”

  1. Yum – brisket! You always look like you are having so much fun as a family with genuine smiles of delight and joy on your faces 🙂 Not sure what our labor day plans involve, but hopefully just as much smiling and fun as you so beautifully document through words and pictures!

    1. That brisket was GOOD! I think I may have to go back this weekend – LOL! Our summer has been great but we’re not really looking forward to the busy fall season coming up…it gets hectic! I’m sure your Labor Day will also be filled with so much joy! Thank you for sharing the adventure!

  2. since my husband and i both have location-independent businesses, we (as a family) typically treat labor day as we do every other day – a bit of work, a bit of play, and meals together. this year, we’ve been invited to a friend’s house so it will seem more like a real holiday. i believe we’re having bbq kabobs (mmmm . . .)!

    1. April, enjoy your weekend as a family. It’s fantastic that you are both have location-independent jobs and enjoy time together as a family all the time, cross our fingers, we’re planning the same for our family soon too. BBQ Kabobs sounds great! Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Brisket is one of my favorite foods. Your food pictures make me want to pull out the grill. But as it is raining here it is highly doubtful. We have family coming into to town after Labor Day so we are gearing up for that.

    1. Beth, have a great time with the family coming in town, I hope the rain stops for the weekend for you so you can bring out that grill! Thank you for visiting and the kind words!

  4. I knew knew that a beach in NYC (Jones) had such white sand … amazing! That BBQ looks so succulent as well. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! 🙂

    1. Meghan, yes, we do have some beaches that are somewhat acceptable in NY. They’re far from the world’s best but they will do for a day. Thank you for visiting NY with us!

  5. OK, I have to go to the BBQ place. The photos are drool-worthy. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

    1. Yes, you have to go Elizabeth. Thank you so much for joining us on the fun!

  6. Brenda I am so hungry now! LOL! I am in Australia and I really loved this post. We don’t really celebrate labour day like you do but I love to read about it! I must get myself over to NYC sometime soon. 🙂

    1. Sam, Gotta have some BBQ and think of me here in NYC – LOL! Thank you so much for joining my family and I for Labor day. When you get to NYC, give me a shout so we can have some good eats!

  7. […] As I write this, I am looking out my window realizing that the sun is already starting to set earlier than it had been. Summer is almost at its end, which is signaled on the calendar by that official last holiday of the season, Labor Day. […]

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