Monday, November 9, 2009

Freebird Party11/15: Red Hook Chickens, Six Point, and Moxie


Sunday, November 15, 2-4 pm

In conjunction with the New York Independent Book Week (not to mention the present management's 2-year anniversary), Freebird will join forces with WORD Bookstore in Greenpoint to encourage our patrons to B-61 it (along the route of the future Greenway) between neighborhoods for a sampling of Brooklyn authors and food.

Freebird will host John Bemelmans Marciano, Freebird customer and author of the recently released work, Anonyponymous. John lives in Red Hook and will be supplying free range chickens raised in his next door lot (you can see pictures of it in this NY Times article from a few months ago). The chickens will be "moxied" till they are tender and falling off the bone. And by "moxie," they mean roasting a few with a half-filled can of Moxie soda, a process was tested at the Freebird labs earlier this week (Note: Freebird is the only place in NYC to carry Moxie). Six Point beer will be on hand to wash it all down.

WORD will host the Brooklyn author/illustrator duo of Randall and Peter de Sève (who will read and sign copies of their new book Duchess of Whimsey) and offer up grilled cheese sandwiches and milk from local vendors of the Greenpoint Food Market.
Freebird interviewed their featured author, John Bemelmans Marciano, about his book and the chickens. That interview appears below:

So what is an anonyponym?

An anonyponym is an anonymous eponym. When you have a person whose name becomes a word but you never heard of that person, both the word and the person are anonyponymous. Think Jules Leotard, Charles Boycott, Etienne de Silhouette.

What were your determining factors for these words?

Anonyponyms cannot be defined absolutely, as everyone's knowledge is different. Take the case of 'hoover'. When an older person talks about hoovering something up, they do so with the knowledge that Hoover made vacuum cleaners; a younger person uses the word free of that context. The older person is using an eponym; the younger one an anonyponym.

Who didn't make the cut?

The Earl of Sandwich, who has become famous for his very obscurity.

Would "moxie" qualify?

Absolutely. A certain Lieutenant Moxie discovered a rare sugar cane-like plant in South America from which is made the near-magical elixir that is contained in each can of Moxie. Whether Lt. Moxie is real or fictitious, he is still anonyponymous.

Tell us about the chickens. What kind are they?

They are called 54-day chickens. This is a case of a breed being named after its expiration date. I don't have a word for that yet.

Were they easy to take care of?

It was a shared project, and my share had less to do with the caring part. (And even less with the eating, as I'm a vegetarian.) On the days I did have to take care of them, I would have to say no, not easy. Fifty chickens is not easy.

Would you recommend others do this?

I definitely recommend raising your own food. For myself I recommend a lot fewer chickens.

Where did they meet their fate?

At the Yeung Sun Live Poultry Market on the corner of Columbia and DeGraw.

Would you do it again?

Yes and no. I want to raise chickens again, but ones that make food, not that are food.

Freebird Books
123 Columbia Street (between Kane and Degraw streets)

Images above from NYTimes and Wikipedia

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