Organ Recital: Anticuchos in McCarren Park


McCarren Park may be the very last place where you’d expect to find organs, yet, last Sunday I did. The occasion was the summer picnic of a Greenpoint Peruvian soccer club, attended by perhaps 300 souls, who sat on folding chairs under the London plane trees as bad weather threatened. Undeterred, they grooved on a series of singers who ranged from perfect pitch to outright caterwauling, accompanied by a pair of stentorian guitarists.

There was food, too, doled out under red awnings. Among the viands, I spied anticuchos, the premiere street food of Lima: hefty batons of charcoal-grilled beef heart. They’d been extensively marinated, and as they cooked, the griller wielded a knife, cutting cross hatches on the surface to multiply the amount of smoke the meat could absorb, and to speed the completion of the kebabs. The brochettes turn out tender and chewy at the same time, with a taste somewhere between sirloin and a glass of blood. And the Peruvians go crazy for them. Captain Beefheart would approve!

The beef-heart brochettes sizzle over charcoal, offered three to a plate with a choclo (segment of a corn cob with outsize white kernels) and a hunk of potato.

Continue onward for more pix from the picnic.

A pair of shy guitarists provided the strums…

…as a blond singer cut loose on a raised platform.

Pumpkin fritters called picarones are fried by a hefty guy, as the crowd licks its lips in anticipation.

Fans drinking brews flank the flag of Greenpoint’s Peruvian soccer club, and an excellent time was had by all–until the sky opened up, lightning began striking all over, and a torrential rain ensued.