The second part of our NYC adventures!! We did so many things that I couldn’t put them all down in my blog for fear of losing your attention, or sending you to sleep, and as this is a cake blog, I will try to stick to the subject of all things sweet & sugary.
But first, a quick summary of some of the other things we did. One morning we strolled over to the East Village and then the West (I kept getting them confused, just like I do with the witches from the Wizard of Oz ). Both areas had its own distinctive feel and both had different kinds of boutiques, small cafes and bakeries too. We even found the house used in the filming of Sex and the City, where Carrie was supposed to live: the front steps of which were chained off with a harsh “NO TRESPASSING” sign. I guess I cant blame the owners really- they probably have excitable tourists posing for pictures all the time, which can be quite disturbing when you pop out in your negligée in the morning to collect your milk!
One of my favourite cafes was the Yaffa cafe in the East Village, with its very kitsch interior, a favourite of my husband’s and now mine. It was decorated like you’d imagine Barbie would ‘do up’ a cafe if she was on acid, and I found it a rather pleasant place to stop for a mug of tea (tho ours was served in what appeared to be a be a pint glass). We all eventually decided that we all wanted a nice mews house in the West Village, but seeing as we had very little time to carry out a bank job, we decided- maybe next time, 😉
Another highlight of my trip was going to see a recording of the David Letterman show, courtesy of our friend Harvey, who mixes the sound for the band and guest musicians on the show. We sat in the sound-mixing room, which made the starship enterprise bridge look like interior of the number 12 bus to Peckham.
We had a wander up Madison Avenue one morning, with its fierce power-dressed ladies who looked liked they had been dipped in preservative (like the girls in the film ‘Carry on Screaming’ were). Madison Ave is lined with glamorous designer stores and expensive restaurants (which we found out to our cost during a rain storm when we dived into one for cover and ordered food). I did find a lovely chocolate restaurant called Payards, with a little help from our friend, Michele, which had some very contemporary styled desserts & hand crafted chocolates. I wanted to stay there and fondle them (the desserts not the staff !!)
I did a little tour of bakeries, but it was so hot I didn’t get very far, it was like being on the sun but with shops!! One of my favourites was ‘Billy’s‘, which was very 50’s and preppy. The interior was so full of pastel shades that I thought my retinas had been bleached! Still, the cakes were very simple but looked very tasty indeed, and I liked its style and the packaging ( a nice package is very important ). Another intriguing one was ‘Babycakes‘, a vegan bakery: everything looked lovely – not like the usual blocks of cement that could put the weight of a neutron star to shame. However, I couldn’t sample one as they wouldn’t take my only note, a hundred dollar bill! I wasn’t going to buy loads just for a tasting…not with my thighs !
Just off Crosby Street & Spring is a little kiosk in the wall- if you blink you might miss it! It’s called ”baked by Melissa” and it just sells mini cupcakes, all filled with different flavours. My favourite was peanut butter and jelly- teeth-rottingly gorgeous! I was a bit hung over that day so I didn’t try it, but I have it on very good authority that they are fabulous !
I have saved the best until last: Eileen’s Special Cheesecake. We were on our way to our friends, Wanda and Michael’s place for a dinner party, and Wanda suggested we go here to get a cheesecake for dessert, and I’m so glad we did. I consider my baked cheesecake to be my signature dish, but these were way above anything I have ever made: there were mini ones and large ones of so many different flavours. It was a small shop and you could just peek into the kitchen if you craned your neck over the counter. I even met Eileen herself who was so charming and posed for a pic with me when I told her I was a pastry chef from ol’ London town. She invited me to go to the shop on the following Monday to watch her being filmed for a show on the food network and I was gutted, because we were leaving NYC on the Sunday night. We bought a rocky road cheesecake and it was fantastic: so light an airy, and probably so bad for you (in a good way). I scoffed quite a bit of it actually- so it took the rocky road straight to my hips. But did I care? No..not a jot ! It was my favourite foodie place of our whole trip.
Well that concludes my New york Adventures. I tried to cram in as much as I could about what I experienced, but i think it would take a couple more blogs to get it all down, so hopefully I picked out the best bits to share with you. One tip if you visit this amazing city..JUST FORGET ABOUT DIETING… IT AINT GOING TO HAPPEN. 🙂
© The cake-shaker 2010