So this entire week I've spent walking to and from the post office and chasing down mailmen.
Don't feel too bad for me. Babycakes Bakery was on the way and I discovered that they make Fair Scones... they don't call it that... in fact I've discovered that no one here, including my husband has ever had or heard of Fair Scones. Anyways, this is the best gluten free scone/biscuit I've ever not imagined could be even possible (If you think about that sentence it may make sense...I, however, have chosen not to think about it). Too many GF biscuit recipes end up weirdly sweet?? Do you guys know what I mean? Anyways, this one was perfectly salty and flaky but absolutely not crumbly and paired exquisitely with the best cherry preserve I have ever tasted. Plus they hand it to me on a perfect sized, malleable wax paper bag. Malleable packaging is actually a very important characteristic for a baked good to go... cause I was able to eat the gluten free scone while walking. My fellow celiacs understand how unheard of the ability to walk and eat is.
When we moved here we had a very broad general idea of where we wanted to live... namely Lower Manhattan. We were also pretty sure we wanted to live in the Lower East Side. Now when people hear both these things they assume lots of things:
a. that we're rich or going to go broke. Reply: we are the opposite of rich... but we also are not broke. Cause we work. And Jesse is really good with budgeting. And we are creative ex-homeschooled kids who have been trained to entertain ourselves cheaply. My most expensive habit is thrifting. So...not very expensive. Our collective most expensive habit is coffee. Also not very expensive. And once my job starts finally, will be even cheaper. Jesse does not have any expensive habits. Well, actually about once every two years he finds something he loves and thinks about it for a year and uses his magical budgeting skills to get us things like out Fuji X100T.
b. that we like to party. LES (lower east side) is known for its amazing nightlife. Reply: we do love speakeasies and shows... but we stick to happy hours and frankly usually end up staying in or up on our rooftop with a bottle of wine... cause: Jesse's magic at budgeting. Also we love the LES because it's more affordable (no yuppies cause of it's partying repute), the streets are narrow, bustling and lined with fire escapes, and tenement buildings are cool. And we like the noise. And how it doesn't get sad and dead at night.
But we also knew that living in places gives you a much better feel for a place and is a better vantage point for a place's actual livability. That's why we decided to sublet for the first month (it has become the whole summer because landlords are weird about renting places to kids whose jobs don't start till September (me).) We didn't want to just take the first apartment that appeared regardless of location and proximity to the places that we didn't yet frequent but would eventually. We have definitely fallen more in love with the LES but this week has made me realize that, like, every neighborhood, it has littler neighborhoods within it! I know, so cute! Like a Russian doll!
This text that I sent to Jesse while sitting under one of those umbrellas right next to Man With Newspaper (that such a famous sounding title... I will sell you prints for many dollars if you want) pretty much sums up the whole of a frustrating (cause, lost package) and beautiful week in one happy burst:
<<It's just (I think) my favorite square in NYC. It's perfectly placed in between les and Chinatown. It's affordable. It has a library and a post office in spitting distance and my bakery and more coffee shops than I can count. A park with tons of sprinklers and concerts. A market in the park. People sit and read in the square and in the park. Hester is a beautiful word. You can look down the streets and see the civic center buildings which I adore. Oh and best of all the East Broadway subway stop has like five entrances on every corner you could possibly need it to be on. So perfect for winter or summer. Can I live here please?>>
Basically what I'm trying to say is I want a home where you step out the door on heart winds ... and Swedish clogs (that did eventually make their appearance and maybe partially responsible for the exuberance of this post... and lest you think my buying them nixes my earlier point about budgeting... they were bought with gift monies).
This section of town seems mostly unsullied by gentrification... no, this is Manhattan we are talking about... but it does seem to have gentrified more gracefully than many other neighborhoods (I'm looking at you Brooklyn). For example, there's what I assumed was a ghost sign for a Hosiery Shop that I stared at for a while cause it was beautiful then I realized that it actually still sold hosiery. I mean, that's the dream in a place!!!
So if any of our readers happen to know of a two bedroom, pre war apartment somewhere between Allen, Essex, Grand and Broadway.... let me know. Seriously.
On a completely unrelated note... I recommend you check out the instagram feed My People Back Then, Chelle. It's a Danish (I think?) woman that I follow's feed of old family pictures. Recording amazing 70s style (including clogs just like mine!), and an epic (I do not use that word lightly) road trip from Denmark to Yugoslavia. I mean.... that last place doesn't even exist anymore!