Shy’s Burgers Goes East For A Feast
A work-filled journey to the Hamptons over Fourth of July Weekend with Shy's Burgers.
By Shyan Zakeri
Conductors of Summer is a Heatwave feature in which we ask the conductors of summer — a lifeguard, an ice cream man, a gardener, a drag queen, and more — to document their high season with a disposable camera. Bring your handheld fan, because it's about to get hot.
While the sun-drenched summer typically signals rest and relaxation, for Shyan Zakeri, it’s a sign that things are about to get busy. As the founder of burger pop-up Shy's Burgers, Shyan tirelessly serves thin, greasy, nostalgic burgers to New Yorkers throughout the city. And as the days get longer, the burger demand gets higher.
With the sizzle of a greasy burger on a hot grill as his summer soundtrack, Shyan spent a hot July week dishing out thousands of his creations all throughout Hamptons (and a little in NYC too). His sweaty, labor-intensive summers are a stark contrast against the backdrop of summer ease. Yet, it's through this very counterintuitive summer routine that Shyan facilitates moments of joy and leisure for others. While we're retreating from the sweltering heat and finding solace in a burger, Shyan has one thing on his mind: work.
As we continue to float through dog days of summer, Shy cranks up the heat, and brings us along for the ride.
What does summer mean to you?
Work. I don’t mind it - the money’s good. I could fill this section up with platitudes, but I won’t. Cool shit happens all year round. Did you know when it’s Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the other half of the world experiences Winter? Fucking crazy.
How do you prefer to heat things up in summer?
For a lazy person, I love working. It defines the pace of my life. It’s how I measure the weeks and divide the months. As much as I prefer chilling, I’d rather be working. All I can talk about is work. My brain doesn’t know anything else.
What's your #1 way to cool down, either literally or metaphorically?
Van air conditioning. Water. Ice. Tylenol. Cold showers. Things of that nature.
I made Anthony pose for this when he came by to drop off some propane and my flat top. He and his partner Sadie make some of the best food in New York. They’re also my neighbors. They made bagels that Saturday with our friends Joey and Mike around the corner. Hence, the borrowing of the flat top. My home address is already out there so I fear no doxxing.
Danny at a pool party we catered on the 3rd. I think I got heat stroke that day. I was really fucked up after. Body burning, spine shivering. Not good! Happens a lot, nature of the business I suppose. I try not to think too much, in general. Ryan and Arjan (not pictured) make wonderful shower heads. Auri and Alex (not pictured) throw a great event. My only photo from that afternoon. Felt like I had to leave with something.
Rain on the 4th. I wanted to kill myself. The start of an uneventful 4th of July.
Lucas outside Libertine. A phenomenal resturant. I hate dining out in New York City usually; spending too much money on exceptionally adequate food. Libertine is not like those other places. A triumph. This photo reminds of Skream’s self titled debut. I guess that’s a reach but that’s where the brain goes. Or like an early 2010s post-dubstep EP.
Jonas getting a haircut at home. A trade: food credit for the cut. This photo reminds me that I need a haircut. Maybe just a trim, a touch up. Clean up the sides a little and leave the length. I love my barber but I have a bad habit of making appointments after he said I can just text him. Sometimes there are cancellations. Sometimes there aren’t. I never learn my lesson.
Rainbow chard from a you-pick CSA farm. I forget the name. Might be Quail Hill. Drying greens after washing is tough. Salad spinners are your friend. We used this special towel you had to swing to no avail. Not sure if we used it right. Just get a salad spinner.
My feet before sleeping outside in Bellport at Bella’s house. One of the best experiences of my life. Woken up by the sunrise before 6am. I took an outdoor shower. I think I figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life.