Michele On January - 25 - 2011

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.

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27 Responses so far.

  1. Aleta Woods says:

    What an adventure!!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Michele says:

    You are most welcome Aleta. Other than the tremendously long line at Carlo’s it was fun.

  3. Susan Szold says:

    Oh my God!!! What a situation….next time you’re in the area, we’ll meet in Brooklyn and I will introduce you to pizza that WILL make you want to light up afterward as well as fabulous canolis you won’t have to wait on line for….but the adventure was priceless and the post was so much fun!!

    The only problem is that now I really want a canoli…and a pair of assless pants.
    Susan Szold recently posted..Drunken Monkeys With a Sledge Hammer -or- How My Family Coped with Minor Adversity and Avenged John Wayne at The Same TimeMy Profile

    • Michele says:

      Being in Brooklyn I know you can find a good canoli. As for the assless pants, send me an email and I’ll tell you where they were. Just don’t ask anyone there for directions though unless you’re willing to pay for the info that is.

  4. bunbytes says:

    I bought that top in Houston, and my “twin” got her’s in NJ. What a coincidence that we wound up on the same bench. It looks like I’d already spent weeks in the bakery. Pictures are so cruel.

  5. Bloody hell. That queuing sounds like a nightmare. So please tell me… was the food worth the wait, or was it a big PR machine? xx
    Annie (Lady M) x recently posted..I went AWOL for a good reason the birth of my new nephew!My Profile

  6. Connie Baum says:

    Oh my golly. What a HOOT. I’m happy that you got to be at Carlo’s but I am really thrilled that you grab life by the horns and live it to the max!

    Good on YOU. Good on Doug.

    I musta done something before you bodaciously blogged to inform and enlighten us all but I can’t for the life of me think what it was…

    Big Hugs,
    MC
    Connie Baum recently posted..Mother Connie Sez- Didja Miss MeMy Profile

  7. Pam says:

    It better have been worth it after a THREE hour wait! I do NOT have that kind of patience! Looking forward to following the links and reading more!
    Pam recently posted..Wednesday Words of Weight Loss- 2My Profile

  8. Darla says:

    Hey Michele, thanks for posting some of your past blog posts so that I had the chance to get to know you better. I loved your bowling with Doug post. Yes, I know “the hand.” Just thinking about “the hand” gets me, ahem, going, shall I say?

    I am trying to think if I have ever stood 3 hours in line for anything. I think the longest I have stood in line was for Space Mountain at Disneyworld in FL when I was much younger. It was an hour and 45 minutes (yes I was looking at my watch) for a 90 second ride. I felt so shafted. But at least you had goodies that lasted much longer than my ride.

    I guess I am too antsy to stand in line that long. The only time I am not is when I am reading. I am with Evelyn. I would have brought a book too.

    Loved this post.

    • Michele says:

      Glad you enjoyed them Darla. Now you know me a LOT better. Too much better? I hope not.

      Don’t all of us know the hand? It’s unmistakable.

  9. It was just as funny the second time…
    Bailey is precious and my bitch of a daughter who has been complaining about this the entire time has him on her bed right nw and I, who have been so excited about this, cannot even see him from here…do I sound a little hurt and bitter?
    Kim Wright (Pinkim) recently posted..Meet Me on Monday!!My Profile

  10. Michele says:

    Just a little. But that’s OK. I’m just so glad that you have him home.

  11. OK,so I am feeling a little better about things…he is an equal opportunity lover…
    Kim Wright (Pinkim) recently posted..Its Post it Note Tuesday!My Profile

  12. Michele says:

    I could already tell that he has an unlimited amount of puppy kisses. I’m really happy that Bailey has come into your life.

  13. Pam says:

    Stop by my blog when you have a minute, I have 2 awards for you!

  14. debbie says:

    I cannot imagine waiting that long! And what a business.
    The last photo with the sour faces cracks me up!
    debbie recently posted..Facebook Apps Id Love To See In Real LifeMy Profile

  15. Brenda Rosario says:

    I’m really happy that Bailey has come into your life. Too much better?
    Brenda Rosario recently posted..Many CuresMy Profile

  16. Claire Lopez says:

    Love the picture of the “twins!” And I want to check out Carlo’s Bakery! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Julianne Skinner says:

    Don’t all of us know the hand? Other than the tremendously long line at Carlo’s it was fun.
    Julianne Skinner recently posted..Many MopsMy Profile

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