Your Favorite Thing About New York?

Upstate New York

We lived in New York a decade ago while I worked at a national lab reclaiming a shard of twentieth-century nuclear dreaming. It was in upstate New York, not the city. I loved the history and the hippies, and the used bookstores. And Lake George. Oh man, we loved Lake George.

I still miss living there and, whenever I do, my wife makes that face. “You know that part where you can’t see the grass from October to April?” she says. “And when it takes twenty minutes to get the kids ready to go to the store? Nope. There’s not much there for me. Besides,” she gives that nod as if anyone would agree with her, “here in South Carolina? It’s like I’m on vacation every day.”
But, there was one thing she loved in New York and she shuddered each time it was slid across the counter to her.

Just a little dusting…


Being, as we are, from Seattle, where Starbucks and Pearl Jam and the Seahawks are the best things we’ve given to the world, except for maybe JP Patches, the family knelt to the altar of Italian pastries in New York. On Saturdays, we would stop by a shop where grandpa was working since three that morning and six or ten displays showed off his goods, like icons. We would buy enough for the week and Mal loved the string-tied boxes holding the treats. She stared like a girl on Christmas watching them tie the string around the box, and she loved carrying the thing, as if it held the queen’s crown. Most of all, she loved cutting the string, and peeling it off, and opening the box to hand out treats to us chirping cardinal chicks.

What about you? Any favorites from New York? How about your town or your family? Any pastries worth chirping about?