New Yorkers around the Internet are bemoaning that the Greenwich Village outpost of Gray’s Papaya, a once mighty hot dog chainlet that dotted the city with cheap but hearty frankfurters and fruity juice drinks, has closed. According to Eater New York:
An employee at the Upper West Side original confirmed that the Greenwich Village location had closed, although he was unsure if it was done for good, or just shuttered for a revamp. But it looks like this goose is cooked.
Wait, did Gray’s ever serve goose hot dogs?
Probably not, but I ask because one of the biggest mistakes of my life was eating at this very Gray’s Papaya two days in a row. The now-closed Village location was a block from the West 4th Street subway station that I took from Washington Square to Washington Heights, where I first lived upon my arrival in New York. Gray’s Papaya was cheap, and I was receptive to the “Recession Special” because you got two dogs and a juice drink for about six bits and a ha’penny. I don’t remember why I ate there on consecutive days, probably because you can’t find any good food in New York City, but on the third day, that “goose” I ingested started to peck its way out of my gut. Suffice to say, I didn’t return for the hat trick. On the fourth day, I found a new route to the West 4th station that bypassed Gray’s Papaya and the smell of sizzling tube meat. That proved difficult because I later lived just one Avenue block away from this corner, off West 8th Street.
To this day, if I catch a whiff of Gray’s Papaya hot dog, all I remember is my visceral pain from many years ago.
I am not bemoaning the loss of a hot dog stand.