Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Cupcakes and Fresh Muffins

Well, it has taken Sid some time to piece together the events of the last few days, but this is what happened, I think,  in as close to  chronological order as drink-induced haze and my adult ADD will allow (just kidding, Mom. Why don't you read the one about Jesus and sandals now? This entry won't be so interesting. It'll be all about exhibits at the Met, the Cloisters, and a bakery. No fun at all. Love you!) :   So anyway, we tried to get to the Met and the Cloisters, but we failed. We did, however, make it to the bakery.   The bakery in question, Magnolia, is in the Village, at 401 Bleecker (A,C, E or L to 14th St. and 8th Ave). I say this as though everybody and their mama (excluding me and mine) doesn't know where it is. Apparently, it's legendary: besides being a much touted NYC destination on its own , it was on an episode of "Sex in the City," so when we got there Sunday afternoon, after a long and eventful walk from one end of Bleecker to the other, there was a line that came out of the shop and wrapped around the corner. Now, I ain't no fool. No cupcake is worth an hour outside in the rain. At least, that's what I thougth at the time, and my friend, who had been before, decided it wasn't worth the wait. So we left Magnolia and headed to a fantastic bar on the LES called Verlaine (110 Rivington. I dunno how to get there; we took a cab. The subway route may or may not involve the F at 2nd Ave. Godspeed.).   Verlaine is heaven. Heaven, heaven, heaven. Those neighborhood guide websites will tell you some fancy background BS about the place being named after a poet, about the laid-back, minimalist decor, the high ceilings and chill music. Blah, blah, blah. It has the best drinks in the world, ever.  Fruit juices like lychee and pineapple and herbs like ginger and lemongrass punch up old favorites like vodka martinis and bloody Marys (the menu is Vietnamese themed, and no, goddamnit, you do not use an apostrophe to make "Marys" plural, though most of the American populace seems to think you can put one any damn where) as well as already exotic drinks like caiprinhas,  and drinks are half priced at happy hour, which I think is before 8 p.m. ($4 for a lychee martini? "Oh bartender! Another round, please."  Verlaine, Verlaine, Verlaine. Y'all had me at "lychee." ) Too bad it's way the hell downtown. It would be my local watering hole of choice, were it even so close as midtown. But it's worth a bit of a hike. Oh, they serve food, too.   Then we got lost, briefly, before jumping in another cab and heading to Chinatown for dinner. New Green Bo, on Bayard, is superb and cheap Chinese. The lines that stretched outside, in the rain, were a testament to its reputation. Yummy dumplings, noodle dishes, soups and dim sum at crazy cheap prices. Three of us ate for about $35, with leftovers that fed a midnight craving and breakfast the next day.    That was it for Sunday. Oh wait, nope--we had brunch at the Hi-Life on Amsterdam (gooooood smoked salmon benedict), a pint at the Dead Poet, again, and snackies at this place called Indian Bread Co., on Bleecker, that does a mean aloo paratha (and had a few remarkably pretty boys behind the counter).   And then there were two.  Sunday night our third partier left because he had to work Monday, poor sap. The two of us pretending at lives of  leisure took Monday to act like the kept women we wish to be, shopping for pricey num-nums at Zabar's and heading back to the Village for some sidewalk-cafe action and another run at Magnolia.   Our first course of business in the Village was not the Magnolia Bakery, but there was some muffin  action at Eve, a great, affordable little salon across the street (Confused? Hint hint--they have a service called "The date wax," which cleans up fuzz uptown and downtown, for under $50--hence the punny heading. Bonus points and drinks on me if you see the funny in "punny.") Yasmin is the recommended depilation tech.    We did finally get ourselves some cupcakes, after some outrageously priced sangrias at a Bleecker St. cafe, I can't remember which, since I won't be going back. But we did get back to Magnolia. I got a pink frosted chocolate, and a chocolate-on-chocolate with pretty candy flowers on top. I ate the pink first. Now, I don't like frosting so much, as a general rule, and this one was about 2/3 whipped-pink-sugar confection, but as we strolled back up Bleecker, I looked like a little kid, taking big, fat fingerfuls of frosting and moaning with glee over the sweet, creamy goodness. No wonder they have a 4-dozen-cupcakes-per-customer limit.   Later, we took our Zabar's goodies and had a late night picnic on the Great Lawn in Central Park while listening to a free performance by the NY Philharmonic.  A nice end to a fantastic long weekend.   And now, Sid sits, alone (happy friend flew off into the sunset hours ago), finishing off her second cupcake, gettin' crumbs up in her keyboard and lickin' extra frosting off the box. Sad. Back to work tomorrow, but they were good times while they lasted.   


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