Photo courtesy of the Public Art Fund
This summer, from June 9th to August 26th, from 12pm to 6pm, Austrian artist Erwin Wurm’s Hot Dog Bus will distribute free hot dogs to anyone who agrees to eat it. The Hot Dog Bus, which will be parked at Brooklyn Bridge Park, is presented by the Public Art Fund. The project’s goal is to both get people to eat (is this really a goal we need?) and to think of the human body as a piece of art, specifically as a sculpture. According to the Public Art Fund site, “it is the participation of the viewer that ‘completes’ the work.”
It’s not often that you’ll go to a New York restaurant and find “hot dog” on the menu. The meaty delight is typically reserved for baseball games (in the foot-long variety) and summertime jaunts on the boardwalk. And of course when we say boardwalk in NYC, we’re talking about Coney Island, widely believed to be the birthplace of the modern American frankfurter.
The name Nathan’s has become synonymous with Coney Island, whether it be for the annual hot dog-eating contest where Joey Chestnut reigns supreme or the childhood nostalgia of the boardwalk. It’s also become arguably the biggest name in the hot dog world in general. But, believe it or not, Nathan’s was not the first place to serve up franks in the seaside neighborhood. That distinction goes to Feltman’s, which was begun in 1867 as a pushcart by German immigrant Charles Feltman, considered the inventor of the hot dog on a bun.
Find out how the Coney Island hot dog got its start