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Joey Chestnut, Tim Janus, Matt StonieNathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest hits Coney Island this weekend. Photo via Huffington Post.

The 4th of July is around the corner, and with it comes the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island Pier. Broadcast on ESPN2, this world-famous gastronomical event brings thousands of bystanders every year. While it’s certainly New York City’s most famous eating contest, it is far from the strangest. Those with strong stomachs should have a taste of the more bizarre eating contests the city has to offer, from a tray of deep-fried calf brains to a deadly combo of tequila and habanero peppers.

1. New York City Cupcake Run – Astoria Park

New-York-City-Cupcake-Run-Untapped-CitiesPhoto via New York City Cupcake Run.

Held for the first time last year, the New York City Cupcake Run is a five-kilometer walk/run through Queens’ Astoria Park with a unique twist: participants must eat three cupcakes at checkpoints throughout the course. Proceeds for the seemingly oxymoronic event are donated to New York Cares.


Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens.

We’ve often thought that if you love food you should just move to Brooklyn—the way a lover of Thoroughbreds should move to Kentucky or a lover of surf to California. Brooklyn Eats, the annual food and beverage trade show hosted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, showed on June 27 just how sound that impulse would be by offering the borough’s full range of food possibilities, from serious farming to frivolous (but fabulous) ice cream and cupcakes.

Brooklyn Eats

“We are farmers that live in apartments. We see green fields where others see rooftops,” announces Gotham Greens’ website, baldly appealing to local patriotism—and so they should. Brooklyn’s rooftop farms and greenhouses are becoming one of the wonders of the urban world. Did anyone predict urban agriculture could be profitable before 2010, when the Brooklyn Grange opened its soil farm on the roof of a 43,000-square-foot building in Queens, and Gotham Greens built its commercial-scale greenhouse on the roof of a warehouse in North Brooklyn? Using hydroponic technology—nutrient-rich, reusable water instead of soil—Gotham Greens has since opened a greenhouse on the roof of the Whole Foods in Gowanus, and will soon operate a third in Jamaica, Queens.

“We concentrate on perishable crops,” says Nicole Baum, Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Gotham Greens, especially the lettuces that must be shipped long distances, from Latin America and California, and the herbs that are so treasured by today’s cooks. In place of long-distance transport, they simply carry the products down from the roof, converting “food miles to food footsteps,” says Gotham Greens co-founder Viraj Puri.



Little Senegal, or “Le Petit Senegal” to many of the Francophone locals, is home to African immigrants from Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Ghana,  Guinea, and more. It is centered around 116th Street and Lenox Avenue right in the middle of Harlem. Over the past 30 years, the population of immigrants from West African countries has slowly grown and expressed its influence in the area. (more…)

Snow Cones 4 Grown Up-Untapped CitiesImage via Flickr; Drew Hubbard, Ben Waters

Snow cones aren’t just for kids anymore thanks to Casacabel Taqueria and its tequila snow cone, “Mango Valentina,” available today until September 20. Made with Espolon Silver tequila and a syrup combining mango and lemongrass, this cool summertime treat is perfect for adults. On top of this awesomely fresh combination of ingredients is a fruity liquid packed with tart pineapple and volcanic hot sauce for an added kick. We hear you can get the treat to go as well;–seems like desserts don’t apply to the open container law!

Casacabel Taqueria, a casual Mexican restaurant inspired by the markets of Mexico, is located on the Upper East Side at 1538 2nd Avenue.

Main Shot-RooftopsImage via Flickr; Patrick Shyu

It’s summertime in the city and there’s no better time for maxin’ and relaxin’ after a long day of work with a cocktail and some friends! These off-the-beaten-path rooftop bars hidden high above buildings around the boroughs offer the chance for some breathtaking views of the sunset and skyline along with the requisite craft mixed drinks, beers and bites.



Here is your weekly events guide for the week.

Monday, June 30

Just because NYC Pride is coming to an end, doesn’t mean that the party has to! Come out to the NYC Pride Ultimate Mega Grand Finale event at Club Element. Powered by Lovergirlnyc, Dreamgyrls Ent and many more, enjoy three levels of nonstop music by DJ Mary Mac, DJ Missy B, DJ Poison Ivy, DJ Kidd Swag. Doors open at 8 p.m. so don’t be late for the party. Additional information about the event, venue, and ticket purchases are available here.

Head down to the West Village for the last night of the 4th annual Blue Note Jazz Fest to hear Argentinean jazz tenor saxophonist and composer, Gato Barbier. Not only will he be having one show but another to follow; the first is at 8:00 p.m. and the second at 10:30 p.m.  Click here for more information about Gato Barbier and how to purchase tickets for this event that is bound to bring music to your ears. (more…)