Cross-posted from lgbtSr.

*Enjoy a bonus audio side dish here.

Who knew there was a barbecue block party in the heart of blue country? My partner Frank and I went over to Madison Square Park, my favorite in Manhattan next to Central Park, for a photo shoot, of all things. My photographer friend Amy Mayes is doing a series of same-sex couples and had asked us to be her first. Why not! So off we went at 8:30 am this morning for an expected hour in an empty park – it was Saturday morning, after all. What do we find besides squirrels and early risers but trucks, tents, and dozens of people setting up for a barbecue block party bash.

This is the 10th Annual Big Apple Barbecue Block Party, and it’s mobbed. I went back this afternoon for some crowd pictures and knew I wouldn’t be eating any barbecue today – the lines are long and slow-moving. But they are there Sunday as well and we plan to head over close to 11:00 am when they open.

The event is sponsored by Southern Living and features live music, beer and beverage stations, and lots of barbecue prepared by some of the country’s top pitmasters: Kenny Callahan from Blue Smoke right here in NYC, Joe Duncan from Baker’s Ribs in Dallas, Mike Mills from 17th Street Bar & Grill in Memphis, Ed Mitchell from Raleigh, NC, Rodney Scott from Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, SC, and more. Each of the two days has events from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm, including a film retrospective, lots of cooking ideas, recipes and demonstrations, and, did I mention, live music. If you’re in the City this weekend, saddle up and cowpoke your way over to Madison Square Park at 23rd Street between Broadway and Madison and chow down! This is the place for it.

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