Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 6: 4th of July!

Yet another early start for us on our trip, but it was easy to get out of bed knowing what was to come on this 4th of July. Bagels in hand, we got on the subway again for the long journey to Coney Island. We got to Surf & Stillwell around 8:40 Saturday morning, trying to scope out a good spot to stand for today's momentous event. Gates were set up all around the stage area so no one was really allowed to get close to the stage. Around 9:30 security opened up those gates to let in the masses and we fought our way to the front like crazy women fight for a free snow globe on the day after Thanksgiving. We ended up getting spots right in the spray zone and were surround by fans from all over the country who soon became our friends for the day. A couple from California right in front of us came to cheer on Kobayashi. Some Pennsylvania boys beside of us were die hard Joey Chestnut fans who came to NYC without telling their parents, hoping they wouldn't be spotted ESPN.

Nathan's did a good job of keeping us entertained for the 4 hours we stood there in the hot sun before the contest began even though they passed out thundersticks. Ever since last year's Krystal Square Off I have decided that thundersticks have to be the most annoying thing ever invented. Anyway, some old school funk type band played for a while and there were a few circus acts performed on the stage including jump ropers, weenie dogs who can do tricks, and a contortionist/gymnast type person. George Shea also did a pretty sweet Michael Jackson tribute--moonwalking and doing the MJ lean.

One of the best parts of the pre-show was Badlands Booker's rap about saving Coney Island. It kind of got down right political; people were yelling "TAKE US NOW" right along with Badlands and everybody seemed to get into it. It was awesome to be there right in the middle of it. Badlands Booker: if you read this you should totally post a recording of that song online.

Finally, at high noon, the big show had begun. The bunnettes came out on stage and it was cool to see some of them after reading the bunnette boot camp stuff online. We had been reading Zoe's blog and were glad she made it as a bunnette this year. Next, the eaters were announced. The eaters only had one introduction this year, not really giving them a lot of time to flaunt their stuff on stage. The intros actually seemed a little rushed. Pat Bertoletti came to the contest dressed as Tony Clifton, and as a long time Andy Kaufman fan, I thought it was an excellent idea! The crowds screamed for the favorites as they were announced, and everyone was excited to get the show on the road. We did notice that one eater was missing--Rich LeFevre. We didn't find out until a few days later that he was absent because of an illness. The judges were brought out and Beautiful Brian Seiken was judging right in front of us and gave Jamie his camera to take some pictures for him.

Around 12:40 the countdown started and the eaters began eating the first few minutes were chaotic to watch, not knowing where to look. It was exciting to be right in front of the stage, but it was also hard to see around the judges. Joey and Kobayashi looked to be neck & neck throughout most of the competition and Eater X definitely held his own as well. From where were standing it was hard to see Pat Bertoletti but we knew he had to be close as well. We had a really good view of Hall Hunt, Juliet Lee, and Humble Bob so we cheered them on from our spot in the spray zone.

In the end, Joey Chestnut won the contest eating 68 hot dogs and buns in ten minutes, Takeru Kobayashi in 2nd with 64.5, Pat Bertoletti in 3rd with 55, and Eater X in 4th with 53. Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas also set a new female record eating 41 hot dogs and buns.

After the contest, Jamie managed to get a left over hot dog and we went to the boardwalk. It was nice to finally sit down after standing up for five hours. We got a little sunburned during the contest, but that wasn't something a few beers at the after party couldn't fix. It was fun getting to hang out with some eaters and friends after the contest and we even met some people we hadn't met in person (Steakbellie, Crazy Leg's mom, & others). We even got a personal invite to the after-after party by none other than Crazy Legs Conti himself.

By 3:00, our stomachs were telling us it was time to go, and we headed back to Manhattan. We made a mad rush to McDonald's because we hadn't eaten in like 8 hours and nothing seemed more delicious at the time than a double cheese burger and a large chocolate shake. Bellies full and rested up, we got ready and went out to the after-after party. The night was filled with drinking many drinks, making new friends, blowing in a breathalyzer, and doing our best drunk white-girl dance. A fun night was had by all.

Sunday morning at 7:14am, we boarded our train and rode from Penn Station to Trenton, Trenton to Philly, and drove the long haul from Philadelphia to North Carolina, arriving back home Sunday night. Round trip, we spent 986 miles driving in a car and probably 200 miles on a train. Totally worth it--I would do it again tomorrow if I could.

Being at Coney Island on July 4th was the most American way I could ever imagine spending Independence Day. This will definitely be the first of many more July 4th trips to New York City!

For more pictures, from our trip click here!

We've got a few videos from our trip that I have yet to upload, so be sure to check back for those.

Thanks for reading, ya'll. See ya at Krystal on September 27th (...or maybe before, who knows)!


Anonymous said...

Your trip looks amazing! You guys seem to have had a great time.
Ashley K

Gavonne said...

hey,your blog is pretty cool.I am a competitive eater called Gavonne & my blog is Gavonnews.I look forward to reading your blog more.

Val said...

It was great to see you again! Hopefully see you at Krystals!

beautifulbrian said...

You girls are so vivacious and so full of life, if you were candy i would eat you up. Keep up the great work!

HungrySisters said...

Ashley--Thanks! We had a blast

Gavonne--thanks for reading :)

Val--ohh yes, we will totally be at Krystal, hope you will be there too! Maybe we can hit up some more after parties ;)

B. Brian--Sorry we haven't had the chance to send you copies of some contest pictures, I'll do that asap!