September 24, 2017 will be our 43rd Atlantic Antic, one of the largest street festivals in NYC and arguably the one with the most diverse food selection. I have been at each and every one. I was only 7 for the very first Atlantic Antic and as I have grown so has the festival. Even with all the other competing events in NYC, the Atlantic Antic is a must-do. This giant party is almost always the last weekend in September, and in all these years we have been lucky enough to never get rained out.
The festival is your chance to eat your way down the Avenue. For us at Sahadi’s, it is the culmination of weeks of work. Items have to be ordered, displays have to be built, signs have to be made and T-Shirts designed. Staff has to be lined up and then reinforcements have to be brought in from all over. For 4 or 5 short hours, we will be furiously making sandwiches and luncheon platters as well as staffing our store both inside and on the sidewalk. The craziness lasts only a few hours but we make more lunches during those hours than in an entire average week.
To make it work we call on past and present employees, as well as enlist all of our own families. It is a great opportunity to see those whom we don’t see often, both staff and customers and friends. I’d like to tell you I have walked the length of the Avenue and seen how terrific and diverse the festival is — but in truth, I have never made it beyond my corner! So, you’ll have to stop by and tell me how it is.
Every year we try to take a group photo, which is always a riot as we drag all 50 of us onto the sidewalk while the customers wait patiently. The best thing about these photos is seeing the progression of our family, friends and valued staff members as the years go on. I am so proud that quite a few of our team who are in the earlier photos are still with us. This is what makes Sahadi’s the unique shop it is. During Atlantic Antic (or anytime!), visit us at Sahadi’s at 187 Atlantic Avenue.