Tuesday, May 24, 2011

NYC Vintage Image: Gray's Papaya, Since 1973

Gray's Papaya, established in New York in 1973, is a hot dog restaurant renowned for inexpensive, tasty wieners. A single dog costs $1.50, while the Recession Special—two dogs & a 14-ounce drink—is $4.45 (up from 2008's $2.75). Its namesake papaya fruit drink is joined by orange, grape, pina colada, coconut champagne & banana daiquiri. Thankfully, Gray's also serves sodas, coffee & hot chocolate. And that's it: other than bagels for breakfast, no fries... nuttin' else.
Gray's was founded by a former partner of its predecessor, Papaya King, established in 1932. In 2006, Time Out ranked Gray's hotdog No. 1 over Papaya King.
Two locations of the iconic joint remain, which are open 24/7/365: Broadway & 72nd Street and Sixth Avenue at 8th Street.The 72nd Street locale has been featured in a bunch of films, including The Warriors, Die Hard with a Vengeance, You've Got Mail, Fools Rush In, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and in 2010, The Backup Plan, starring Jennifer Lopez—which I watched last night, prompting me to find out more about this NYC fave. Gray's has also appeared in TV shows Sex and the City and How I Met Your Mother.
Above, The Smoking Nun's take on the Sixth Avenue location... and below, a telling image I took in November 2008 during the Bush administration, days after Obama was elected.