Food is the “new disco” – so let’s dance to this new tune. But we won’t do it at a nightclub; follow us to the streets instead.
Around the world street food has become more popular than ever. People queue in front of food trucks and street food markets. As it seems, they are all tired of the same old standard fast food. It no longer satisfies their hunger, and they yearn for something else – something unique with quality and abundant variety. But it’s not just the food itself that attracts street food fans. Sharing the experience with others is a major draw. People come together to celebrate street food.
Yet, street food can be a very personal thing: cooks and vendors reveal a big part of themselves through their work. They expose their cultural roots and combine them with their passion for food. This new movement – this dance of different tastes – attracted us. Why do people fall in love with street food? What are the reasons for the worldwide mushrooming of this trend? We needed to know. So we packed our bags and began to search for answers. Over the past few months, we went on a journey that took us to some of the significant spots of street food history: Berlin, New York and Beijing. We started in Berlin – the home base for street food in Germany – where the hype is still quite fresh. Our next destination was New York, trend capital of the U.S., which had big impact on the worldwide success of street food. And as street food can trace its very origins to Asia, we finally explored Beijing.
It was an exciting trip through the tastes of the world. In the end, we got a pretty good idea of why people indulge in street food. Join us on this worldwide celebration. But beware – if you hit the culinary “dance floor” your clothes might end up a little tighter. Believe us, we can attest to that.
PS.: Thanks to Air Berlin for taking us to New York.
The typical New Yorker seems to never be strolling. Whether it’s 5am or the middle of the night, the New Yorker rushes and dashes through the city. And even when he wants to stroll, he can’t - others will literally run over him. In this city, time is a luxury comparable in value to living space. And strangely enough, the people who aren’t running always end up waiting for something. You wait in line for a restaurant, for a concert or to get into the movies. You wait for a taxi, for the subway, for a hot dog on the corner. Waiting is as much a part of New York life as running and rushing.
In a city where time is money and efficiency sets the pace of everyday life, the last thing you want to do is wait around. That, at least, is how it seems at first. Whether the train is late, the traffic light red or the internet slow – people are short-tempered and impatient. Not only in New York, but everywhere in the Western world, waiting has become the modern nightmare. But here’s the paradox: The more efficient we are, the less time we have. If you’re short on time, you’re a top performer. If you have time on your hands, you’re a slacker. The constant pursuit of efficiency seems pathological. It’s hard to understand how we got to this point. How can life can be so busy, now that we have more free time than ever before? A few decades ago, people dreamed of a slim 40-hour work week. Now we have it, but there’s no time for ourselves.
Getting off the hamster wheel demands self-discipline, not just time management. We must first re-learn the art of waiting, of indulging in quiet moments. We must turn off the phone and make quality time for ourselves. Cast off our fear of boredom and wasted time in waiting lines.
The more we saw of New York’s fast-paced lifestyle during our ten days in the city, the more we appreciated those moments of recharging. We even had an inkling that New Yorkers didn’t mind it either. No matter how busy New Yorkers are, they will find their quiet moments somewhere in the city, even waiting in traffic. It’s not obvious right from the beginning, but waiting seems to serve as an equalizer to the normal and hectic rush in New York City. It’s the Yin and Yang of the city. That interplay between the hectic to-and-fro and the moments of recharging is what makes the city fascinating. It was this balancing act that we tried to capture in our film. Enjoy it.