Some 10,000 tidily-groomed, day-drinking young men and women crammed onto historic Stone Street yesterday afternoon for the 13th annual Oyster Festival, the culmination of what has become a 17-day Oyster "Week" in New York, with tastings and events all over the city and on Long Island.
Plaid and checked shirts, oversized sunglasses (often propped rakishly atop the head), carefully-coiffed and tousled hair, and bright colors were amply represented fashion-wise. The percentage of recent-past affiliation with some sort of collegiate Greek organization was likely 99.3% or above. Booze flowed freely—gushed, even—and most everyone seemed very pleased with themselves and their sometimes newly-met companions.
And there were so many oysters! Ulysses Folk House organizes the event every year, but all of the restaurants and bars on the block-long Stone Street happily participate. So in addition to all of the other sorts of food demolished by the revelers, some 36,000 oysters were slurped down over the course of the day and night. Many of these shells are recycled, and used for "Oyster Reef Restoration Programs" in New York Harbor, so that's a good thing.
But really, the Stone Street Oyster Festival is as much about alcohol as it is about the bivalves, and it is one of the most densely-packed outdoor parties you will ever attend, if you ever do.