Taste The Streets Of NY

Aramie Ewen01/28/2022January 2022



As I wander the streets of New York with my head down, tongue placed firmly against the cement, I wonder why I don’t see more people doing as I do.

It’s wintertime here in the big city. And I, a humble former-New Jerseyite, am the only one taking advantage of the salty streets that this magnificent city has to offer. What intricate aromas, what coarse, bumpy textures, what stories remain unknown, trapped in the unloved sands of Times Square’s pavement?

On the walk to school every day, I can taste the fruit-forward notes of where members of The Radish have walked. I experience the exceptional terroir given by Fort Greene, embracing the cracks in the sidewalk imbued with the despair of spilled Rocky’s coffee. The particular dustiness of the ground right outside the school, protected by the scaffolding, sheltered from the elements, is truly unmatched.

And yet I never see anyone giving their tongue an exfoliating flavor journey. These days, everyone seems to have their eyes glued to their screens rather than their tongues glued to the pavement.

Why can’t we go back to the days when people were more flexible, more willing to lock their knees, bend their heads hellward, and test their immune systems? It’s not like you’re going to get COVID from licking the ground, anyway. COVID is a respiratory illness.

Maybe people are worried about the cement-licking stigma? I mean, sure, I get the occasional odd look as I shuffle about giving the cement a taste, but critics have never known the hint of fleshiness in the last lick of cement before your tongue goes numb.

Perhaps the lack of popularity of this tasting perspective of New York is a lack of information about the sport. I personally believe, however, that the best guide for your sidewalk-tasting exploits is going out and trying sidewalks.

Go taste the intellectually satisfying profile of Wall Street’s streets and relish in the subtle aroma of “how did I get here?” mixed with a healthy dose of imposter syndrome. Ponder the tart tannin finish of the corner where someone got their heart broken. You, too, can get to the point where if you walk to a corner, put on a blindfold, and taste the ground, you’ll be able to tell exactly where the sidewalk you licked has been. 

All you need is a tongue and a dream to get started with sidewalk tasting.

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