What I’m Celebrating Instead of America’s Birthday This Fourth of July

Introducing Goldberg Wonderland Day, the holiday for those who want more than just one-dimensional nationalism.

[new_image position="standard" id="null"]Illustration by Jean Wei[/new_image]

On the Fourth of July, most Americans (and Danes for some reason) will break out Old Glory, stock up on hot dogs and other mystery meat products, and head out to fireworks-watching picnics (or in my Brooklyn neighborhood, rooftop parties) to celebrate. But while the bulk of the country is out listening to patriotic music and reveling in wholesome nationalism, I’ll be sitting about 2,000 miles away, at a decidedly un-American bar in Reykjavik, Iceland, with nary a USA!USA!USA!-chanting expatriate within earshot. And that’s exactly the way I like it, because I am incredibly dubious of this nationalistic holiday.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Why Your American Wiener is Unimpressive

We should all be envious of Iceland’s tasty, high-quality hot dogs

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

Hot dogs have a pretty bad reputation in America. At best they’re mystery meat, at worst sodium nitrate- and MSG-laden symbols of all that’s cheap and gross in our culture. As the World Series kicks off Tuesday, and peak wiener season gets into full swing, this is as good a time as any for Americans to examine their sausage culture, from the dirty water dogs of New York City to the Dodger Dogs of Los Angeles. Though there are thousands of types of sausages from around the world, maybe the best tube-steak tutorial can be gleaned, surprisingly, from Iceland, where the hot dog is a widely celebrated, unironic national treat.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

Hot Dogs for Cultural Acceptance in Minneapolis

Hot dogs are tasty, but can they build cultural acceptance? A food-cart entrepreneur thinks so.

Labor Day may mark the end of the United States' unofficial hot dog season, but a new a line of hot dog carts in Minneapolis is just getting started. Halal Hotdogs is a collaboration between MFA candidate Brian Wiley and leaders from the city's Somali community. Wiley came up with the concept in his social design class at the Minneapolis College for Art and Design as a way to build acceptance for Somali culture in the greater community by using food as a catalyst.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles