Last summer Doug, Brett, Evelyn and I made an epic pilgrimage to NYC so I could go to my first ever blog convention, BlogHer. I blogged about it along the way. But for those who don’t know all our adventures I’ll get you caught up by linking back to some old pieces. Today’s post is my longest ever; but if you’ve got the time and really don’t know me very well but want to, just take the time to read the links. For those who’ve been with me from the beginning feel free to skip on down a bit.
It was quite a trip from Houston. From me falling asleep with cash stuffed into the top of my sundress and giving truckers a peep show; to Doug visiting his boyhood home in Plainfield, NJ where within 15 minutes of arriving in town we got the finger, were asked to pay for directions and saw some assless pants in a storefront window facing main street.
Of course when we finally got the hotel in Manhattan and discovered that because of a booking error that Evelyn had to share the bed with Doug and I that didn’t even phase us. That’s how we roll. You just gotta do what you gotta do.
While in the city Doug really wanted to check out NYC pizza. And he did. I don’t really know how many different pizza places he and Brett checked out while Evelyn and I were at the convention. After BlogHer we all went to eat pizza at Lombardi’s. It was good; but after eating it I didn’t feel like I needed to light a cigarette or anything. Which was a good thing since I don’t smoke.
Before we left Houston I told Doug that there was one thing I really wanted to do on the trip, other than go to the convention of course. That was to go to Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ. I’d watched Cake Boss, which is filmed at Carlo’s, on TLC from the very beginning. I wanted something from Carlo’s.
I like cake. I really like cake. I wish I didn’t like cake so much; but such is life.
I’d have more success changing my height than to quash my love of cake.
So our last day in the city before going to Connecticut to see my MIL we decided we’d take the subway from Manhattan to Hoboken, home of Carlo’s. I wasn’t sure if it’d be hard to find the bakery once we got there. It’s wasn’t. The bakery was less than 6 blocks from the subway. As we turned the corner to go to the bakery I saw a farmer’s market on the left side of the intersection. There was a huge crowd around the tents.
I told Doug they must have some killer produce to draw those kinds of crowds.
But the crowd wasn’t for the cucumbers, the corn or the collard greens.
The line was for Carlo’s Bakery, which was across the intersection and down the next block. Standing at the intersection and looking left I couldn’t even see the end of the line. Carlo’s actually had a bouncer from a nightclub watch the line. When people tried to cut, and some did, he took care of it redirecting them to the end of the very, very, long line.
“Well, we’ve come this far.” I said as I trudged resolutely to the end of the line. Brett’s always up for an adventure and been taking subways all over the boroughs for days; and Doug didn’t complain. He knew it was important to me.
After the first hour it had become a quest, like the Grail.
Thank God Evelyn had brought a book with her and not wanting to stand with the masses in that line, she went to read.
Thank God it was a big book.
Evelyn sat on that bench across from the Hoboken City Hall reading her book for 3, yes 3 hours while we waited in line to get into the bakery. She was a real trooper being so patient. But she had a good time anyway since she met her twin while sitting on that bench.
When they finally called us in the people behind us clapped. We felt like we’d won the lotto. And when we finally got inside the bakery at 6pm, this is what we saw.
A bakery with mostly empty cases.
I bonded with the woman standing in front of us in line. It’s hard not to after being hip to hip with someone for hours. She named me Godmother of her newborn. She said she’d been on the way home to Philly and had planned to stop in for just a few cannolis. However, since she’d waited so long in line she was going to buy much more than she’d originally intended. That’s what most people did. From what I observed the average sale was over $30. We spent $50.
Watching the sales in front of us Doug, AKA the human calculator, did some fast calculations. Carlo’s Bakery had to rake in over $40K that day, and that didn’t even count all the custom cake orders. I’m happy for them. I like it when a family business does well.
As they were boxing up our goodies Evelyn held up her camera and took a photo of the inside of the store just to show how crowded it was even late in the day. Note the peppy expressions on the folks in the photo.
Don’t be too hard on them. Remember they’d waited three hours in August heat to get to that point. We took the subway back to Manhattan toting 3 bakery boxes chock full of goodies. The fruit tart was destined to travel to CT for my MIL. And of course once there, it was received as no big deal.
Note to self: Don’t take a fruit tart on a subway, then a train, then a car. Big mistake.
But the burning question is “Was it worth that wait?”
Yeah, it was.