During the poetry unit in my seventh grade English class we all had to write an ode, and if I remember correctly my friend Laura wrote an Ode to Vlassic Pickles, which she almost couldn’t read out loud to the class for the giggling. Moral here: people freak their shit over pickles, when you least expect it. One such pickle shit-freaker is outgoing L Mag intern Jacqueline, who wants you to know about this year’s 8th Annual NYC Pickle Day, held this coming Sunday.
It’s almost the most important day of the year, NYC International Pickle Day! Or as I like to call it, "Pickle Fest 2K8." This one-day event is my favorite holiday because it knows no religious, ethnic, or gender discrimination. Instead it allows New Yorkers to bond over a common love: pickles. And I don’t know about you, but if the city sets aside one day each September as a day that glorifies this precious vegetable [“Vegetable?” Condiment. -Ed.], I’m so there.
On this one day, the pickles are out and proud. And they want you to eat them! Manhattan’s delicatessens fill the tents on two blocks of Orchard Street, handing out free samples of this crunchy little treat. There’s also kimchi, but I tend to stick to the pickles, and the pickle paraphernalia. The pickle has carved its own place in fashion, with bright t-shirts whose dancing, cartoon-like pickles say "la la la la la." Adorable dancing and singing pickles? If I can support the Lower East Side by buying a triple-threat pickle tee, I’m gonna do it. And I have.
Pickle haters are surprisingly difficult to spot, but they’re out there. I am thinking specifically of an occasion last year when I instant messaged a friend who I had pegged as a true pickle fanatic. I think the conversation went something like this:
Me: OMG guess what next Sunday is?!
Hater: Uhâ€¦ no idea.
Me: It’s pickle festival 2K7!
Hater: Oh, weird.
Me: Right about now you’re probably trying to figure out how to use punctuation marks and symbols to give me a cyber hugâ€¦or high five!
Hater: Not really. I don’t really like pickles.
Me: You pretty much just broke my heart. Thanks.
So to all you pickle haters out there, I just ask that you at least recognize the magic of the pickle. I use the word "magic’ because if you think about it, they really are the objects of a pretty incredible scientific phenomenon. They are transformed from cucumbers! How cool is that? I’m pretty sure there aren’t too many other vegetables, or really anything for that matter, that can start off as one thing, and then with a little vinegar and a Science Fair demonstration (come on we all did it—well, that or the erupting volcano) become an entirely different, and much more enjoyable vegetable.
Pickle Fest 2K8. September 14th. Let’s make magic happen over a half-sour.