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Spaghetti Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy of Spaghetti Tavern

The Instagram Thing: Get a glimpse of nature with this restaurant’s mighty moose

Its name is Willie.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako

The Instagram Thing is an occasional column spotlighting things you’ll want to Instagram. Our previous editions highlighted the ten-foot snake topiary at the Standard East Village, the pegasus at Serendipity3 the beef tartare at Little Mad and the bicycles at GupShup. 

We seldom have the opportunity to commune with nature in New York, save for the odd brush with a pigeon, chance meeting with a bodega cat, or sinister city mandate that we smash a certain insect on sight. The closest most of us ever get to furry friends is at the Museum of Natural History and on subway platforms. But no more! 

Spaghetti Tavern, which opened on the Upper West Side in March, has brought a little bit of the country to Manhattan by way of a moose. Apparently named Willie (representatives for the restaurant did not immediately respond at press time), the majestic beast is poised atop the Old West-themed Italian spot’s outdoor dining shed. 

Though not as large as real moose, which are surprisingly big enough to generate viral content when photographed near an SUV every few years, Willie’s still pretty substantial, and definitely detailed enough to pop in a snapshot. 

Most Instagram Things place you at the center of the action. There’s you, doing a thing! But, because Willie the moose is several feet off the ground, you can neither ride it, nor hug it, nor kiss it in the nose. But this position, especially in the evening, antlers theatrically lit from below, also imbues this moose with a certain import, a quiet dignity, and the notion that Willie is watching over the entire neighborhood, or at least this stretch of Amsterdam Avenue. 

Although you could still situate yourself in the frame with minimal effort, sometimes it’s best to let The Instagram Thing speak for itself. And this is one red sauce cowboy creature with quite a lot to say. 

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