It was unseasonably cool and incredibly shady in the stand by line for tickets to Regis and Kelly. Our goal was, of course, to be a part of a studio audience. Five hours of patient waiting later, the goal was unrealized, and despite the thrill of celebrity sitings and pictures, we walked away from ABC studios desperate for food and a pick-me-up.
New York City provided just what we needed in a way only it can.
We walked a little further into the Upper West Side hoping to find the restaurant recommended to us by a frequent visitor to the area, and on the way, the clouds parted and sunshine rained down on Magnolia Bakery. We had heard the name, and it was on our list of places to visit, but happening upon it in that the moment was exactly what we needed.
Somehow we had the presence of mind to make it to more substantial food before we consumed sugar on empty stomachs. Two hot dogs from Gray’s Papaya later, we were back at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and heaven.
There are currently three locations of Magnolia Bakery in New York City. In the course of the next three days, we happened upon all of them, compulsively opening the door to the fragrance of warm butter and sugar and vanilla. The original location on Bleecker Street was easy to spot by the line of people wrapped around the corner ready to box their own 2, 6, or dozen cupcakes to go. Another location is easily missed if you decide to walk on the more televised side of Rockefeller Center. Still, the first experience was my favorite. I can’t imagine that anything will actually beat my first bite of a vanilla, vanilla cake and the magical things that happened while we sat by the window, savoring the next half hour.
I’ve heard that other great cupcakes and bakeries exist in NYC, but for now, my heart and stomach belong to Magnolia. I even attempted to make the cupcakes according to the recipe published in The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. I can only hope they came close!
If I have not convinced you to visit this place yet, let me appeal to you another way, rather, let Andy Samberg appeal to you and click here.
And if you still haven’t been enticed, I’ll excuse you and let you join whomever Alec Baldwin was speaking for when his 30 Rock character said to Jennifer Aniston’s, “Welcome to New York. Let’s see, uh, we’re using credit cards in cabs now, all the galleries have moved to Chelsea, and we’re off cupcakes and back to donuts.”
I beg to differ.