You get what you give – Day 42

Sign in beloved Connecticut hot dog joint

My friendship with Joe is like no other friendship I have. I feel a little like we operate out of a secret clubhouse with a sign that says “No Grownups Allowed!!!” Not that we do anything bad in our virtual fort, but sometimes we like stuff other people might think is weird, or eccentric. Or worse, boring. In my mind, we have lots of adventures – not extreme adventures, by any means – but things like a day trip to a cool cemetery is not for everybody. (Celia Cruz’s new mausoleum! Look: Miles Davis is right next to Duke Ellington!)

Another example: every outing, no matter how small, includes a search for the best hot dog. We’ve taken the subway to Coney Island just to go to the original Nathan’s; driven off many highway exits just with a billboard promise. Believe me, we have tried places lesser men (and women) would have passed over.

But my favorite part of being Joe’s friend is that we’re always trading favors, doing something special for each other. It’s not one-upmanship, or trying to pay back, or evening things out. There will be times I won’t see Joe for weeks, but today was a perfect example of the way we roll.

I was working at the store, and saw him lurking nearby while I was talking to a customer. “Wait 15 minutes,” I said, “and we can have lunch together.” He was saving his hot dog experience for the Yankees game he was headed to, but I bought him an ice cream cone. No big deal, just a way to say Thanks for stopping by. As he left, we talked about trying to go to the US Open tennis matches the next day. Joe took charge. “I’ll get out there first, intimidate a couple of tickets out of someone, and give you a call when all is ready,” he promised. Oh, boy. And then, as incredible luck would have it, I received a phone call at 5:01 pm as I was leaving work: two free tickets for tonight.

Who’d I call? You got it. We hop on the subway, and start our night’s adventure. First stop: Joe buys me a hot dog.

You get what you give.

Oh, and if you’d like to go to the Nathan Hale House, or read in the Moby-Dick marathon, or check out how a cranberry bog works, come knock twice on the door of the secret clubhouse.

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17 Responses to You get what you give – Day 42

  1. Ann Kingman says:

    I want to visit a cranberry bog! I’ve seen them, of course, and I know how they work, but I’d love to get up close.

    Hot dogs … well, I don’t know how they stack up against the ones you love, but Chez Pascal in Pawtucket has a hot dog cart at Lippitt Park that is to die for. They have amazing hot dogs, and the relishes are delicious — a bit on the upscale side, but heavenly.

  2. Melissa Klug says:

    OK, I’m in for the cranberry bog, but I hate hot dogs. Could we have a cranberry bog visit with, perhaps, a cinnamon roll? Then we have fun times AND alliteration.

  3. Joe G says:

    Nothing beats a good dog, and I don’t mean boiled, except a good friend, and I mean Erin, she’s the best. Merritt Canteen off the Merritt Parkway in Bridgeport CT is an entry on the list that we still have to get to together.

  4. Rachel says:

    Well if we’re talking hot dogs, I have to give a shout out to Super Duper Weenie in Fairfield. Not sure if you’ve had the pleasure, but I know you’ve seen the big huge sign while driving on 95. Great dogs, especially topped with the homemade hot relish! Next time you’re making the NY-MA trip, take exit 24, sooo worth the detour!

  5. debbie says:

    Wait, no Walter’s?!?!? I lived next door until I was 7! We were kosher so it wasn’t like I feasted regularly, but I spent many, many high school lunch breaks watching my friends chow down. Now, of course, I’m all in.

  6. debbie says:

    Erin, how can I have known you all these years and never discovered our hot dog connection? We’re pretty obsessed:

    • Oh, I agree – Rawley’s all the way! Though I notice you don’t mention the Duchess. I’ll get you address of Danny’s where rhe sign in this post comes from. They have an extensive hot dog menu.

      I am so obsessed, I host an annual family International Hot Dog Festival, with toppings from around the world.

      Oh, and as for the dogs st the US Open? Meh. But the company was perfect!

      • EllenB says:

        How about one day we visit Miles at his spectacular black headstone in the Bronx (my home) and then head up to Mamaroneck for hot dogs with special mustard at Walters? What, you say you have never had a Walters dog? Oh no.

      • Who knew hot dog talk drew such a crowd?

        As I replied to Rachel before you:

        I am IN!

  7. Rachel Mack says:

    I need to take you to Hiram’s in Ft. Lee. THE BEST HD!!! Have you been there?

  8. Jen says:

    I would absolutely do any of those things, and am blessed to have a small circle of friends that would dive into such adventures with me. I think your secret clubhouse is bigger than you thought.

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