Culture

An In-N-Out Burger Was Discovered On The Streets Of NYC And Now We Know Why

Every now and again, a groundbreaker of a story comes rolling in. Like last weekend, when a mysterious In-N-Out burger was found abandoned on a street in Queens, 1,500 miles from its home-state or any of its outlets.

Picture this – another average Saturday morning in New York City. You’re heading for a coffee at McDonald’s on Sutphin Boulevard. 

You pass a bus stop and the glance down to see a… familiar shape?

Credit: @nypost / Twitter

A pristine In-N-Out Double-Double cheeseburger burger sits quietly in the middle of the road. And it’s perfect. Perfectly untouched, wrapped and lying face-up in Jamaica, Queens, at the wee hour of 6:30 a.m. Such was the strange sight, Lincoln Boehm, 31, recalls. 

“It genuinely shook me to my core,” he said. 

The popular fast food outlet In-N-Out is famously a West Coast chain. 

Credit: TheTakeout.com

In-N-Out has spread to 346 locations since they opened their first outlet in Baldwin Park, California in 1948. However, it’s common knowledge that you can’t find an outlet further east than Texas. So, how a Double-Double had somehow fallen out of the sky into Queens, New York was anyone’s guess.  

A devout In-And-Out fan himself, it struck a deep personal chord with Boehm. 

“This was a startling and somewhat horrifying discovery,” he wrote. “Was this evidence that we really are living in a simulation?” 

But more than anything, he was baffled how fresh the burger still looked; “as if it had come off the grill five minutes ago”. That, despite the closest store being some 1,500 miles away. 

He understood the gravity of this. Since his move to New York nine years ago, Boehm had attempted to bring burgers back from Los Angeles, with no success. “Every time I’ve done it it becomes inedible,” he mused. “The bun gets soggy and it becomes a mess. This one was just in such perfect condition… It just felt strange… ‘

They didn’t touch the mystery burger, but snapped some photos and looked around, wondering if it was some sort of marketing stunt. 

Boehm later posted a photo of the burger to Instagram. 

The sight of the lonely, picture-perfect burger soon caught the American imagination.

Credit: lincolnboehm / Instagram

It was dubbed the internet’s ‘new favourite mystery’, with hundreds of people confused and demanding answers. 

Naturally, Twitter broke out into a million conspiracies. 

Some leapt to the conclusion he’d stumbled across some sort of masterpiece.

I mean it’s New York. People make art out of everything so it’s not much of a stretch for people to have thought that maybe, just maybe, this was some sort of avant-garde art installation.

Others suspected the cheeseburger was some sort of party favor of the rich and famous. 

Credit: @leighmunsil / Twitter

Again…it’s New York. There’s rich and famous people on literally every corner so it kinda makes sense that maybe, just maybe, In-N-Out would do a pop up for som big celebrity event.

And others had much more convincing theories. 

Credit: @_TheOnlyJuan / Twitter

Now this…if only.

Even the In-N-Out Vice President of Operations, Denny Warnick, had this to say to VICE: 

“We were surprised to hear recently that one of our Double-Doubles was found on a street in New York. Because our burgers are only cooked fresh to order in six states, it must have taken considerable planning for that burger to make the trip from the grill all the way to the Empire State.”

But despite the frenzied speculation, the world was no closer to an answer. Boehm, least of all. 

In his words, “I assumed this was just a mystery that would consume a part of my brain until the day I die, much like how the JFK assassination consumed my parents’ generation.”

But to give up, friends, is to underestimate the power of the internet. After two full days of media madness and social media buzz, Boehm has since provided an update. 

We have satisfying news – the mystery of the burger has since been solved.

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Credit: Giphy

Yup, we can all of us breathe easy again. Let the Earth spin on.

Two days later, at 9:56 p.m. Boehm received a DM from a girl claiming to be the burger’s former owner:

Credit: Vice

He was sceptical at first – she hadn’t been the first to claim the burger as hers. However, upon further questioning, her story started to come together. She backed it all up with a digital papertrail of Instastories, receipts, screenshots from her JetBlue flight, and more. 

The culprit introduced herself as Helen Vivas, a 16-year-old high schooler from Flushing, Queens. 

Turns out she was catching a flight back home to JFK that morning and had made a pit-stop at an In-N-Out Burger in Encinitas to pick up some snacks. 

She had stopped by the Encinitas outlet just before her flight. 

Credit: Vice


She’d eaten one burger on the plane and held the other three poised on her lap in a paper bag. Once she’d landed and made it to in Jamaica, she had suddenly caught sight of her bus and broke into a run.

It was then that her beautiful, slightly greasy paper bag broke and unleashed the Double-Double into Queens. She managed to catch two burgers before they hit the ground rolling, but hadn’t been quick enough on the DD. And that was that –  mystery solved. 

But hang on… how’d the burger end up so freakishly perfect? 

Turns out, it was all about prep. At the In-N-Out counter, she’d told the staff that she wanted to bring her burgers on the plane. Her Double-Doubles were ordered with no sauce and her cheeseburgers had been “packed fresh” with veggies separate. Ahaaa!  

Ready for a wholesome turn? 

Surprised by how his whole story went viral, Boehm had decided to milk some good out of the whole incident. 

He’s since started up a Shopify store that sells t-shirts about the incident with all proceeds going to the New York City Foodbank to help feed the homeless.

Credit: Ja-m-aica-queens

The caption for it reads: 

“…How it got there I honestly don’t know, but for whatever reason it has captured the imagination of America, so I’m trying to use this publicity for good by selling these commemorative t-shirts with ALL proceeds going to the New York City Food Bank that helps feed the hungry in this city I call home.” 

READ: We Asked, And These Are The 14 Weirdest Junk Food Meals You Eat

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Because Words Matter: NYC Votes To Ban The Words ‘Alien’ And ‘Illegal Immigrant’ From All Official Documents

Things That Matter

Because Words Matter: NYC Votes To Ban The Words ‘Alien’ And ‘Illegal Immigrant’ From All Official Documents

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When you hear the word’s ‘alien’ or ‘illegal immigrant’ used to describe a person, what goes through your mind? For many, these terms have been used to dehumanize and isolate migrant communities. Like so many other pejoratives used against minority communities, often times the intent is to create division.

We all recognize that words matter. So this small victory in New York City, where they’ve decided to ban the terms from all official documents is a huge step forward for the city’s migrant communities.

New York just became the largest city in the U.S. to ban the official use of the terms.

The New York City Council has voted to ban city officials and its law enforcement department from using the terms ‘alien’ and ‘illegal immigrant’ to refer to undocumented migrants in all official city documents.

In a 46-4 vote in favor of the bill on Thursday, the Council passed the measure sponsored by Queens Councilmember Francisco Moya.

“These words are outdated and loaded words used to dehumanize the people they describe. It’s time to retire them,” Council Member Francisco Moya said. The words will be prohibited from use in local laws, rules and documents and replaced with the term ‘noncitizen.’

Words matter,” Moya added. “The language we choose to use has power and consequences. It’s time we as a city use our language to acknowledge people as people rather than to dehumanize them and divide us.”

The words have long been used to sow division so here’s why it’s such an important move.

Credit: David Zalubowski / Getty

The words and language we use determines the nature of a conversation. Terms like ‘alien’ and ‘illegal’, which so many of us grew up hearing on the radio and on TV, have an isolating, disorientating, dehumanizing effect and can really impact one’s identity.

New York isn’t the only place in the country working to undo the decisive rhetoric. Across the country, politicians and immigration activists are taking aim at the rhetoric etched into official documents.

At the national level, United States Representative Joaquin Castro, Democrat of Texas, introduced a bill in July that would replace “alien” and “illegal alien” with “foreign national” and “undocumented foreign national” in one of the country’s main immigration laws.

The vote comes after the NY state Human Rights Commission prohibited their use to demean someone.

Credit: New York City Council / Flickr

In late 2019, the New York Commission on Human Rights created a new rule that prohibited the use of the terms ‘illegal alien’ or ‘illegals’ with the “intent to demean, humiliate or harass a person.”

The guidance also made it illegal to harass or discriminate against “someone for their use of another language or their limited English proficiency, and threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE ) on a person based on a discriminatory motive.”

The vote was nearly unanimous, however four council members voted no on the rule change.

The new rule had bipartisan, wide-ranking support on the city council and passed with a vote of 46-4. However, four council members did vote no on the measure –Robert Holden of Queens, Kalman Yeger of Brooklyn, and Staten Island lawmakers Joseph Borelli and Steven Matteo.

Holden told the New York Post the Council was “overstepping our bounds here prohibiting certain terms.”

“It’s like the speech police is out again,” he said. “’Alien’ is a term used for someone who is from another area, another land. That’s a term used in Congress and in the government.”

But it’s worth noting that other pejorative terms have been removed from government documents as people better understood the hurtful connotations.

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Get Ready To Loosen Your Belt– KFC Is Launching A New Chicken Sandwich

Culture

Get Ready To Loosen Your Belt– KFC Is Launching A New Chicken Sandwich

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We’ll just come out and say it. Chick-fil-A just isn’t worth it.

Known for sparking a fried chicken sandwich craze and Sunday closures, Chick-fil-A should be better known for its long history of contributions to charities with anti-LGBTQ stances. It also has ties to a 2019 decision by a Ugandan government minister to announce his intention to make homosexuality punishable by death in the country. The National Christian Foundation has ties to the promotion of the bill to make homosexuality punishable by death. The foundation has funded projects that opposed LGBT rights in Uganda. The WinShape Foundation, which has ties to Chick-fil-A, has funded the National Christian Foundation.

Now some chicken sandwiches are worth the regret, but when a wimpy bun with teeny tiny pickles comes with a side of homophobic murders… we’ll take a hard pass.

All of this is to say that when it comes to eating good fried chicken sandwiches there are other and better options. And it turns out we’re coming into a bit more luck because KFC is launching a new one!

Kentuck Fried Chicken’s New Sandwich

It turns out “KFC Chicken Sandwich,” KFC is testing an extra crispy chicken that might just cause another series of riots like Popeyes did a year ago. Set on a buttered brioche bun, topped with pickles and spicy mayonnaise. This one is definitely one to try when it comes out.

Price: $3.99

Popeyes

Popeyes sparked riots of all kinds when it launched its now-beloved fried chicken sandwich made with brioche bun, a substantial cut of buttermilk battered chicken, pickles, and mayonnaise. Many have argued that its the best chicken sandwich in the fast-food realm for quite some time and we have to agree it’s pretty flawless.

Price: $3.99

Wendy’s

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Relationship Goals 🔥

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Toasted bun, chicken breast, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise you got it! The chain with a head of red hair and pigtails laid down the gauntlet a while back when it claimed on Twitter that it has the best fried chicken sandwich and that its competitors were simply “fighting for second best.” And truth be told, it’s not bad.
Price: $5.79

Burger King

Made with a potato bun, white meat chicken filet, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise, Burger King lends a Crispy Chicken Sandwich that lives up to its claims of royalty.

Price: $5.99

Jack in the Box

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Go wild with some Wild Caught Alaska Pollock

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Greasy, fried, and delicious chicken sandwich is a value-menu item that comes at a pretty cheap price.

Price: $1.89

Arby’s

Arby’s offers up a solid sandwich in the name of the chicken sandwich wars with a star cut bun, buttermilk breaded chicken, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and mayonnaise.

Price: $4.99

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