The NYC Cupcake Tour 2010 continued on day two of my travels with two new stops. Billy's Bakery (on Martha's list of favorites!) and Crumbs Bake Shop which is actually right here in Hoboken.
I started my day off with a Crumbs cupcake and a coffee; breakfast of champions. While in Crumbs, I met this guy named Leon who I was chatting with while I planned out the rest of my day. I had made a lot of plans for the day, all on foot. It was raining cats and dogs out, but I am a firm believer in the theory that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear so I was determined to stick it out. After breakfast, with detailed game plan in hand, I took the bus into the city and ventured out into the rain. It was right slippy out, like 'go-go gadget rubber boots" wet. I was only wearing sneakers, which didn't take long to become drenched right through. I kept telling myself I would stop on the next corner and buy myself an umbrella but of course by the time I got to the next corner I would convince myself I was being a wimp. I am convinced that it's never safe to leave the house without rubber boots from now on.
My first stop in the city was Macy's. I had never been before and this one is seven floors! It was almost to big to shop in. Where do you even start? I tried my hardest but had some issues so after wandering around each floor somewhat aimlessly for a while, I decided to move on and continue on my grand adventure. Next stop: The Empire State Building. It was pretty cool, and tall...not sure what else to say about it though. I got there and was kinda like ok, now what? ooo, ahhh...? I didn't go up to the top of it because I had already been to the top of the rock (good thing because it was super foggy day two). So I took a couple of pictures and then carried on once again. My next plan was to hit up the Annex Antique Fair, but it was all closed up for some reason, so I just wandered around and window shopped a bit.
I was particularly excited for my next stop, at Big Cup Tea and Coffee house. Lonely Planet promised it was a perky, beautiful-boy meeting place with biscotti. By this point I was pretty soggy and the wind was starting to pick up so I was especially looking forward to an Americano and warming up with my book. Unfortunately, it was yet another bust. I'm pretty sure it no longer exists as it was no where to be found. I even double checked my map! And yes, I am aware that I am a huge looser, but I'm ok with that. I keep sneaking into coffee shops or little shops to check my map discretely with out being a total dork with my map out in the middle of the side walk. By now I was getting a little bit grumpy-it felt as though the entire day was becoming a bust.
Billy's Bakery was the next stop, and I was really crossing my fingers that this place was a) in existence, b) open and c) delish. It was everything I hoped for. It's just a little place with a couple tables, mostly take out, and they were baking when I got there so as soon as I opened the door a wave of warm, dry, delicious smelling air swept over me and I was cheered right up. The hardest part of the cupcake tour is deciding what type to eat. Do I pick the same basic cupcake at every bake shop so I can compare and contrast? Or do I just got for it and pick whatever is looking good at that exact moment? I decided variety is the spice of life and chose a Red Velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing. I had never had one before but Sam talks about red velvet cake fairly often so I figured I'd give it a shot. It was delicious, and the green tea I got with it warmed me right up and gave me a chance to dry off a bit. I lingered longer than I normally would have dreading going back outside. Of course I could have hoped on the subway, but no, I was determined to walk.
The next planned stop was the World Trade Center ground Zero, but someone I ended up at City Hall and the New York City Courthouse and got turned around. In an attempt to find my bearings, I ended up in Chinatown which was really cool. By now I had been walking for about 6 hours, and had never actually bought an umbrella. Every other person in the entire city seemed to have an umbrella though. The sidewalks are crowded enough, add to that people walking with giant umbrellas and their heads down avoiding the windy rain means dodging people left right and center. I'm pretty sure I almost lost an eye or two several times. Chinatown is not for those with a weak stomach. I couldn't identify even half of the edible food products in the shop windows.
It was at this point that I conceded defeat, and hopped on the subway to go back to Hoboken to dry off. Once I got to Hoboken, it was kinda early-about 5:30, so I decided I would change into some dry clothes and go out for a nice dinner. Stuffed mushrooms, wine and pasta..yuuummmm. Definitely felt judged eating alone at a restaurant, but I got over it pretty quick and enjoyed the meal!