Everyone knows that the New York City real estate market is one of the most ridiculous in the nation, even people who have no intention of ever moving to New York. (Those are the people who say, “Nice place to visit, wouldn’t wanna live there.”) And everyone knows that if you’re a person with stuff, you’re going to have to get rid of a bunch of it in order to fit into a New York City-sized apartment. Cracker Barrel is no exception. The folksy “country store” that’s ubiquitous along American interstates and an object of fascination to traveling New Yorkers is moving to the big city later this month to take part in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it, too, has downsized.
The NYC Cracker Barrel is a petite 269 square feet, roughly the size of a Manhattan studio. But, boy, is it equipped! It has a front porch large enough to hold two of its signature rocking chairs. It has a little country store stocked with candles and quilts and games to amuse children on road trips and jars of old-timey candy. It has a vintage gramophone. It has a little two-seater table with the same peg-jumping game you find on the tables at every other Cracker Barrel. It even has a homey (fake) fireplace! With a set of antlers mounted over it! The one thing it seems to lack is a kitchen (and also a bathroom?), but maybe that’s what the fireplace is for.
But food isn’t why you go to the Cracker Barrel. You go to browse through all the crap in the country store while you wait for your table.
At this very moment, the tiny Cracker Barrel, also known as The Tiny Home Away From Home, is on the move, from Cracker Barrel HQ in Lebanon, Tennessee, to New York City. The reason for this road trip is its 50th birthday. I get it, Cracker Barrel. Big birthdays are times for big adventures. When it gets to Manhattan, the little store will be mounted on a big float, and it will go sailing down Broadway, just ahead of Santa. The float will hold an oven big enough for roasting 150 20-pound turkeys. The Cracker Barrel press release didn’t reveal whether there will be actual roasting happening during the parade, but we can hope.