Slow Food On A Fast Subway

As we recently saw, pop-up restaurants are growing like mushrooms in the most strange places we can imagine. But what if I tell you that also the subway could be the perfect location to have a wonderful lunch? Yes, and not a random one, but New York City’s subway, that chaotic labyrinth full of running people.

The group ‘A Razor, a Shiny Knife’ created this theatrical and culinary experience on 1 May: they turned a train car of the L Line to Brooklyn into a moving and alternative bistro, offering a choreographed flash mob to twelve lucky passengers.

Well-dressed hosts served a six-course meal on little elegant tables made up for the occasion and decorated with sprigs of lavender. Everything was perfectly organized and plates changed every subway station where other friends of the group arrived with new luxurious food already cooked (have you ever eaten foie gras in the way to Brooklyn?). This lunch was a familiar experience realized in an unfamiliar way, as they explained:

“The subway is a familiar place, providing a necessary means of transportation for many New Yorkers. Its stairwells, turnstiles, platforms, trains and unpredictable elements are all-too-familiar to its dedicated patrons. One begins to know the exact time of travel from one destination to another. One begins to intuit the conditions of a ride, anticipating smooth stretches and knowing when to brace for a jarring turn. Through a series of familiar gestures, presented in commonplace locations in unfamiliar ways, we set out to challenge a habitual experience.”

A love declaration to slow food found place in a very fast location. Sometimes contradictions can bring very unusual surprises. This flash mob, even though it has a completely different spirit, reminds me of a 2007 performance of the Russian art collective Voina, which organized a funeral feast action in memory of the poet D.A.Pigrov in the Moscow subway: