Talk about al fresco dining!
An ingenius Brooklynite cooked shrimp on a 72nd Street stoop — literally, on the concrete — during a hot June afternoon, neighbors say. Seeing the dozens of decapoda roasting on the doorstep between 11th and 12th streets was too much for one Dyker denizen to stomach.
“I thought, ‘Man, that’s dirty if somebody’s gonna eat that,’ ” said Vinny V., who lives nearby on 74th Street and asked that his last name not be published for personal reasons. “What if a dog comes by and pees on it?”
Vinny wasn’t convinced residents were actually cooking the shellfish — rather than just defrosting them — until he returned to the block later that day.
“We came back and the shrimp were on the sidewalk,” he said. “They were following the sun with the shrimp.”
A woman who answered the door at the residence on July 7 said she did not know anything, and did not speak English.
Another neighbor speculated that sun-drying might be a traditional rural cooking method that only appears gross on city sidewalks.
“A lot of these people are right from the countryside, and that’s just what they do there,” said Anthony Ceretti.
Using the sun to cook is not unheard of. Each year kids worldwide roast hot dogs in solar cookers in elementary school experiments. And sea critters don’t always need heat to “cook.” Spanish ceviche is made with shrimp and other seafood cured in citrus juices — no heat required.
The fire code bars grilling with an open flame on within 10 feet of a building, and residents can report their neighbors for blocking sidewalks with barbecues, according information from the city.
Neighbors logged a complaint on June 13 for a “condition attracting rodents” at the location, according to 311 data.
Health department inspectors are due to investigate by July 13, city data shows. But the shrimp are already long gone.
“We saw the woman come out and put them into a basket,” Vinny V. said. “That’s hopefully the first and last time I see someone try to cook shrimp on a sidewalk.”