It dawned on me the last time I visited my family in New Jersey, as I transported a gigantic bag of cupcakes during rush hour on the subway, through Penn Station and onto New Jersey Transit for the umpteenth time, protecting them like rare, precious cargo, that my family uses me. They totally use me for cupcakes. Granted, these aren’t just any cupcakes – they’re giant, decadently frosted, calorie-overloaded heaps of cake and icing in the coolest of flavors. Reese’s cupcake, anyone? Cookie dough? They just can’t get ‘em in Suburbia, NJ. If you haven’t guessed (or, gasp, haven’t been) I’m referring to Crumbs. So at least my family has good taste.
While not exclusive to Lower Manhattan, we’re lucky enough (or cursed, some would say) to have a Crumbs shop just a few blocks away on Beaver Street, a glowing beacon of cake in a tiny financial district storefront. I’ll admit it’s endearing that my younger brother – who is now in his 20’s and many inches taller than me – feels compelled to request cupcakes each and every time I visit. Setting aside my overdramatic plight as big sister-cupcake transporter, I love to bring them to my family. They’re so unique, and so New York. I also bring Crumbs to dinner parties and birthday parties and even to parties that aren’t really parties (with the exception of the celebratory fact that I’ve brought cupcakes).
Having a Crumbs so close to my office made me realize something about Lower Manhattan: time and time again I have an after-work engagement; nine-out-of-ten of which I am likely to be fed at. Which means I should really find something to contribute. And that is where Lower Manhattan exceeds. Bottle of sparkling white wine? Greene Grape is a block away. Cupcakes? We’ve already covered that one. Box of chocolate? La Maison du Chocolat. Guacamole or the ingredients to make my own? Either a homemade batch from the authentically awesome Mexican restaurant Tajin or avocados and cilantro from Zeytuna, ready for mashing. Even that birthday/thank you/congratulations/card I forgot to pick up the other day can be easily snagged at Papyrus. Thanks Lower Manhattan, for your abundance of delicious contributions to gatherings all across the tri-state area.
My hosts thank you, too.