Pig Roasting on a Spit in an Upper West Side Alley
by Avi - May 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm -
It’s not every day that you see a pig roasting on a spit in an alley on the Upper West Side. But that’s what was happening earlier this week, and some local residents were not very happy about it.
Recipe, the New American restaurant at 452 Amsterdam Avenue off of 82nd Street, held a first anniversary celebration for its staff this week, and roasted the pig out back, a manager at the restaurant confirmed.
But residents apparently complained to the restaurant because the smell of the roasting pig was overhwhelming their senses.
One of them, Judy Starr, lives in a building next to the restaurant and took the above picture on Tuesday morning (she blames Land Thai, another restaurant on her flickr page, but the pig was actually being cooked by Recipe, Land’s sister restaurant). Starr said she complained to the restaurant and even called the police to no avail. She said the smell of pig and lighter fluid invaded her apartment for 2 days and she had to turn on air filters so she could breathe comfortably. Eventually one of her neighbors who has two newborns complained and the restaurant took the pig inside, Starr said. (A quick aside about the picture: I love the guy who’s roasting the pig. He just looks very relaxed hanging out in the alley with a pair of tongs in one hand and a fire extinguisher at his feet.)
Starr, an animal-rights activist, said she was horrified by the roasting pig.
“It was the horrible smell that I first noticed. Then I saw the poor piglet from my kitchen window. I love animals and have never ever seen anything like that before in my whole life,” she told us via email.
(We understand her sentiments, and imagine the smell must have been intense, but there is something appealing about seeing an actual animal being cooked, as opposed to the processed food we eat every day. Of course, it is somewhat strange to see it in an alley on the Upper West Side, and not somewhere like Hawaii.)
The Recipe manager we talked to said she hadn’t heard about any complaints, but another manager may have been on duty at the time.
We asked her if the pig-roast would be a recurring event.
“It was just a one-time thing,” she said.