Two years ago I was in NYC area for a couple of months. During that time I got to help out at the Big Apple BBQ - a fun, family friendly summertime event held in Madison Park which adjoins the Flatiron district with it's iconic tower.
Event producers invited BBQ superstars from all over the country to participate. I met so many BBQ greats. Among them the famous Mike Mills of 17th St BBQ in Murphysboro, and author of Peace, Love and BBQ and co-author of Praise the Lard!, Wayne Mueller from Louie Mueller BBQ, Taylor, Texas, Gary Roark of Ubon's in Mississippi, Sam Jones of Skylight Inn BBQ, Ayden, North Carolina and of course the reason for our visit, our son-in-law, Billly Durney of Hometown BBQ in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The bbq smokers roll in to town a few days before and on the Friday before the festival, the smokers start churning. The fires continue all through the night with workers poking the flames, checking the temps and tending the meats.
On Saturday morning, with the streets blocked of since the day before, the hungry throngs start arriving. Standing in line for your food is part of BBQ culture. I've heard stories of people meeting someone from another part of the country while standing in line for BBQ and creating lifelong friendships.
Unfortunately the festival producers have ended the event so my sketches are a record of a very fun event and an a personal memory of good times.