Standing up for a whole concert is considered exercise. The drummer hits the bass drum and jumping and throwing hands up is necessary. Just like every exercise burns calories, there must be some good food to follow.
To give you some perspective I’ll tell you about the concert I went to at the Best Buy Theater in New York City last Thursday.
It may have been a glimpse of brilliance when I brought food for the train ride. A sandwich, trail mix, or granola bar, is enough so that when you see the restaurants in Grand Central the only response can be, “no, thank you!” Maybe some of us have a bigger appetite, and that’s ok! The walk to Times Square is lined with chain restaurants.
The most recent addition is “Chop’t”, a salad bar that requires calories to be burned just to walk through the variety of toppings. The lettuce is washed and the toppings are all diced for the perfect forkful. When the salad is chopped, dressed, and ready for take-out, I feel accomplished. Take a soda! The sugar helps keep the energy up waiting on line to get in the venue.
Now, the only available beverage from the venue is water. We’re here to see the artist! If I’m paying more than a train ticket for anything here, it’s going to be merchandise to support this artist. Now, not all artists do this but the artist I went to see, Lecrae, fundraised to improve the lives of kids in Uganda. Extraneous spending on peanuts and a soda is a privilege after seeing how that same money can provide a month of clean water for a child living in Uganda.
Three hours of jumping, singing along with the lyrics that I know, and waving my arms from side to side brings us to the encore of this concert. The stage crew has already started packing up and now the band is coming back out for another song? Like the last hill on a bike ride, I have to give it my all.
The doors open. The crowd floods out. It’s 11 o’clock at night. Any other venue the whole town would be asleep. The only food that’s available is fried food from the bar next door. Not in New York City.
In the city that never sleeps, there is always an opportunity to be cultured and eat a different cuisine. After being in a concert it rarely seems right to sit down and wait at a restaurant playing the same radio station you listen to on the way to work. Humming, jumping, singing, are all acceptable ways of expressing what I just heard while walking back to the train. When the crowd walks the same block every voice joins the symphony. How can I keep walking towards the train and eat something that’ll be filling?
Street vendors. The silent heroes of the late nights in NYC. Oh yes, the gyro and knish combine to serve those of all nationalities. At the cart, BBQ sauce goes on everything and water bottles the length of your arm are yours for the taking. Everyone is excited to see them and we all feel the same way waking up with a stomach of charred kebabs and steamed hot dogs.
I want to dive into the life of street vendors next. Who feeds the street vendor? How elaborate does this business get? What can social media do to help the street vendor?
As the concert-going-beginner, I salute the street vendor. It’s no mystery to me. Your meats may be kosher and your soda’s cold, but your place of employment constantly changes. Thank you for always parking in front of the train station at midnight.