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Mustard mobile: ‘Hot Dog Bus’ offers free franks

Hot dog inception: Artist Erwin Wurm’s Hot Dog Bus is parked in Brooklyn Bridge Park this summer as part of the Public Art Fund.
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Hot diggety!

You can chow down on a free hot dog served fresh from an overstuffed, vaguely bun-shaped bus that will be parked in Brooklyn Bridge Park every weekend until Aug. 26.

Austrian artist Erwin Wurm created the stationary “Hot Dog Bus” by transforming a mustard-yellow vintage Volkswagen Microbus, adding extra mass to its body, stripping out the engine, and adding cooking implements. Sponsored by the Public Art Fund, the vehicle sits near the waterfront, on Pier 1 on Saturdays and Pier 5 on Sundays.

A recent visit on a sunny Sunday afternoon found no line at all for the free food. Staffers waiting near a rope line offered a tablet, and asked visitors to type their email address, zip code, and the number of people in their group before walking up to the window of the bus. Topping options for the kosher dogs are limited to mustard and ketchup. And despite Dirty Harry’s conviction that “Nobody, but nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog,” a woman working inside the wienermobile confirmed that lots of people do just that.

A plaque near the bus notes that the piece of public art “highlights how everyday consumption might grow into gluttony, encouraging us to examine the connections between food, consumerism, and our bodies.” But most of examination happening nearby seemed to be whether or not someone had accidently spilled mustard on their clothes.

The free frankfurters are fine. They lack the snap of, say, Nathan’s Famous, but they were a perfectly acceptable lunch item — and the price can’t be beat!

Hot Dog Bus at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1 (Enter at Furman Street at Old Fulton Street in Dumbo) on Saturdays, and Pier 5 (Furman Street at Joralemon Street in Brooklyn Heights) on Sundays. Noon–6 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, June 22, 2018
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