I think the buildings in New York are actually meant to serve as wind tunnels. I think that’s the real reason they were built so high – to blow people along at the pace the city demands.
There’s nothing like it.
Normally, I’d say, “To each his own.” But no. New York is non-negotiable.
Okay, so I’m biased. I can’t help it. There’s no place I feel more at home. More like I’m with the people I’m meant to be with. More comfortable, confident … me. I suppose.
I’m sure there are many out there who go somewhere and are like, “Oh, wow, this is me.” Maybe that’s not New York for you, but that’s New York for me.
Just to clarify, I’m not from New York. My dad/dad’s side of the family is. So for me, it’s my second home. And I don’t spend as much time there as I should.
5th Ave. Temperate. Warmer for what’s supposed to be a winter day. Actually, it’s kind of empty. Well, empty by the city’s standards. I’m excitedly walking down the street, acting as if I’m from here. “Ooh, I love that,” I remark as though I’m about to go in and drop a couple hundy on some sweater I’ll wear once because I’m too afraid to wash it. The destination (because obviously if you’re walking through the city, you have a destination – it’s a requirement. Unless you’re a tourist ;)) is a neighborhood bakery my aunt brought my cousin and me to when they were visiting from Europe.
Stop at the crosswalk, look both ways, see cars, taxis, buses speeding toward you, cross anyway. You’re supposed to dodge, it’s what you do here.
Open the doors, and the smell of baking wafts through.
It’s a tad busy, people milling about, looking at the various options, thinking which would suit their fancy – frankly, it’s difficult to choose. Do I want a muffin, or do I want a pretzel croissant? Do I want a coffee and a scone or a signature hot chocolate with a giant, homemade marshmallow?
The first time I ate here at City Bakery, located around 5th Ave. and 19th, I got the pretzel croissant. Did not disappoint. Soft. Salty. A bit chewy and flaky. Just how a croissant should be. Baked just right. And of course – the hot chocolate. To be quite honest, I think that Max Brenner’s has the best, unrivaled hot chocolate – thick, creamy, sweet, almost a velvety texture (I imagine it flowing like lava as it’s poured into a giant mixing vat somewhere in a Max Brenner chocolate factory or something). However, City Bakery’s comes pretty close, in my opinion.
And, of course, how could I forget the homemade marshmallow. A big, fluffy, powdery cube of soft and chewy goodness that decadently floats on top of the steamy, flavorful cup ‘o cocoa you’re about to down. It’s almost so big and sweet that you can’t finish it all (but, obviously, you do anyway).
This place is very neighborhood-y, being kind of far from the bustling, touristy midtown/Times Square area. My aunt mentioned how she used to come here all the time when she was living in the city and that it had, however, changed a bit since those times (I guess more people found out about the place, and it now gets flocked with more people). In any case, it still certainly maintains its neighborhood-bakery charm, and of course, the food is delectable.
Another time I came here, I got this chocolate chip pastry thing, which was obvs delicious, in addition to a – you guessed it – hot chocolate, adorned with that famous marshmallow.
In any case, I’ve only had a few different things here, but I have no doubt that anything one decides to try would be delicious enough to make one want to frequent the establishment, despite the long walk downtown (or taxi ride, or train ride, or if you live close by, well, then, lucky you).
I think this goes without saying, but you can find everything and anything in New York. All kinds of food, music, people, artistry, you name it. This bakery is only one of the many eateries the city has to offer and one I definitely recommend checking out if you wanna go and feel like a local.
Walk like a local, talk like a local, eat like a local.