Longtime ShysterBall readers know that I take hot dogs very seriously. I’m not a snob about them — I’m cool with whatever is popular in whatever region I happen to be in — but I am certainly someone who expects others to honor and respect hot dog culture for the wonderful thing that it is.
The City of New York is not doing that when it comes to the new tourist-oriented banners its putting up all over the city:
What got me started on this rant was a banner that I keep seeing, featuring a hot dog. I suppose it’s intended to attract foodie tourists to the website. But where did that hot dog come from? It’s clearly not the slender, natural-skin weenie for which New York is famous, from its cart-vended “dirty water dogs,” to the esteemed products of Nathan’s and Katz’s.
No, the picture on the banner is clearly a bulbous, fake-skinned ballpark-type frank, the kind that is eaten in the rest of the country. Moreover, the frank is smeared with mustard and ketchup. No sauerkraut. No sauteed onions. It’s as if the artist had never seen a New York frank. I won’t even go into the artistic qualities of the banner. Actually–yes, I will. This thing is an eyesore, with jarring colors and annoying graphics. And was a ballpark frank the most iconic New York food image they could come up with?
The author himself has violated some code of professional hot dog ethics by making broad generalizations about the kind of hot dogs eaten in “the rest of the country,” but his primary point stands.