I was not quite nineteen years old when I first visited New York City. I rode a bus from the Port Authority terminal to Staten Island, where my father’s WWII buddy lived. He put me up for the night before I met up with my friend who was to arrive the next day. My father’s friend and his teen-aged son took me on a brief tour of the city that evening. The highlight was Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island. He bought me a hot dog and a glass of beer. (The legal drinking age in New York at the time was eighteen.) I stood at an outside counter with my hot dog and beer. I felt pretty cool.
The story of Nathan Handwerker is pretty cool, too.