Wednesday, January 28, 2004
open for business
*ding* there you are! sorry for the late opening. snow, you see, and my handsome bakery assistant [the one over there, with the lovely muscles] has been shoveling snow from our little front door for hours. never mind that, it's warm in here and there's a fire roaring. have a seat. switch on that phonograph and let billie holiday do that thing she does so well.
see those little cheesecakes, individually sized on flowered china plates to avoid bickering over slices? you won't see it for long. shivery is laughing her tinkerbell laugh as she passes delicate plates with golden cheesecake out to TCHW, the charming adrian, and... who's that? a shy lurker named neil? well, neil, i'll be holding your coffee hostage until we're properly introduced.
and stuart, very nearly seduced by the wiles of shiv and her cheesecake, has instead asked for death by chocolate. well, he asked for genocide, but i'm afraid the snow has prevented that delivery truck. as a consolation prize, stu darling, i've drawn a little skeleton out of creme icing on your cake. hope that does the trick. now, go drink your mojito like a good lad and take...
... away all karen's winter things! this lass gets special treatment at le bakery, folks. so of course hers is served by the hostess proper. here, dear, have a dessert i've never heard of but managed to whip up to perfection: a csoki ciga and one of my hand-brewed-and-steamed lattes. there, and i've tucked some homemade ginger snaps in your satchel for later. go sit over there...
... mark's entirely too engrossed with the macaroons in his lap and needs to be social. i'll bring his double expresso in a minute, i'm still finding the perfect demi-tasse for it.
*ding* oh, here's a crowd! kate, be a dear and pop behind the counter. oh, deal with gopi, please explain that stuart already ate all the death, he'll have to settle for cake. and marie! a stranger requesting vanilla ... how exciting! here's your french vanilla cake, in miniature of course, with lemon custard and merigue frosting. the tea, though, is raspberry. next time introduce yourself and we'll make it vanilla!
oh, my, stephanie's got coconut icing all over her face from the hummingbird cake. someone give her the iced coffee to wash it down. and wild darling! you're looking well. i had to go to rootland to get you rootbeer, but i would never deny anything to someone requesting my favourites, apple danishes.
well, a bananas foster and more fresh coffee for my pal brendan and i can finally put my feet up with a delicious slice of strawberry shortcake and a tall glass of lemonade.
what's that? yes, kate, you can stop serving coffee now. run in the back, you'll find an entire tray of cupcakes for you, made with our very own cow's milk and chocolates i brought straight from venezuela.
did i say lemonade? i meant vodka. right kate?
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since stuart has cornered monday morning coffee racket and no one could dare replace the sublime karen and her thirst-quenching friday cocktail hour, it seemed there was no place for yet another charming hostess. but then i thought, what about wednesdays? and what about sweets? that's right. the hosting phenomena from old blighty will be making its weekly stateside home on wednesday mornings, at petit hiboux's le bakery.
what does your little heart crave? eclairs filled with creme and topped with sprinkles? cupcakes as big as chihuahuas? melt-in-your-mouth merengues or pluck-me-up pecan tart? a dessert so fantastical as to yet be invented? it's like this, folks:
veruca salt: snozberry? who ever heard of snozberry?
willy wonka petit hiboux: we are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
so pull up a wrought iron chair. plop yourself down on the couch. watch the crystals catch the morning sun in our cushioned window seat. every tuesday evening [well-timed so the brits can join], i'll be taking orders for wednesday morning sweet treats. from my le heart to le yours.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2004
i love the winter weather because i've got your love to keep me warm PLEASE RELOCATE ME IMMEDIATELY TO SAN DIEGO.
look, i haven't posted about the cold snap here in new york for a couple of reasons.
1. it only makes me angrier to think up elaborate, creative ways to cyber-shake my fist at the elements.
2. people who live in places that are 60 degrees and above will leave comments telling me how warm it is where they are, and how sorry they am that i'm now ice-block-shaped, and I DON'T NEED YOUR GODDAMNED PITY.
but i'm posting about the weather now. i am. i can't help it. the freezing tentacles of cold have seeped into my grey matter and taken over, forcing me to babble incoherently at the sky in fury. this is the longest and deepest cold snap new york has seen since before i was born. it's been under or around 25 degrees since january sixth. i have not opened my closet door in weeks, opting instead to drag yet another sweater out of my trunk and pull on the same jeans and boots. these are some of the measures i have taken in the last few weeks:
1. putting two wool jackets on top of my quilt when i sleep.
2. briefly microwaving my pillowcase.
3. sitting in a hot bath for over two hours.
4. wearing sunglasses at night to protect my eyes from stinging wind.
5. accepting any and all offers to be bought drinks, simply to have something warm in my stomach.
the most annoying thing about the weather [besides imminent frostbite and never looking up while you walk] is getting dressed. i can't shower in the mornings anymore, choosing to shower at night when the heat is still on full-blast in the apartment. this morning, i actually stretched my arms from my bed to my dresser, pulling out underwear, tights, and undershirt. i dressed myself under the covers and then got out of bed, pulling on jeans, two pairs of socks, a wool turtleneck sweater, knee-high boots, a knee-length puffer jacket, an eight-foot-long scarf, and a wool hat made by blind sheep-herders in the brasilian mountains.
i was still cold on my way to work.
but the number one, life-saving, last-shred-of-sanity thing i've done during the cold snap is:
BOUGHT MYSELF A TICKET TO BRASIL. IN MARCH. FOR A WEEK.
i hope this sends the message to god or donald trump, whoever's in charge of the weather: "fuck this noise, i'm leaving."
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