17 Apr 2009 9:00 am   //   Filed under: Food & drink, Hard times, New York is different

There’s always a recession at Gray’s Papaya

Gray’s Papaya is the most famous of Manhattan’s many hot dog lunch counters. Gray’s has locations all over town, and like its many clones, it sells pretty good dogs and dubious fruit drinks. When I moved to New York, I was immediately amused by Gray’s signage. The owner likes to use current events to promote deals on hot dogs, and back in 2002, big signs in the windows advertised a “Recession Special!” That slogan is copied all over the place, but Gray’s basically owns the idea.

In fact, in the last seven years, I don’t think Gray’s Papaya has ever stopped offering a Recession Special. After all, it takes a year or so to know when a recession has started or ended, but it only takes a minute to sell a hot dog.