Donuts of New York: Starting Fresh

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“I used to be a sailor. I worked the pastry deck on the USS Michael Vale. Life could get pretty stale after a month at sea, and it was hard not to grow a bit salty out there. But I got to travel the world, and there was nothing like a warm dip in the Java Sea to make it all worthwhile. And we did have our fair share of excitement: One day there was a man overboard, and someone mistook me for a life ring and tossed me in after him. We all had a hearty laugh after that. Oh, and you see these spots? Let’s just call them my ‘souvenir’ from a wild night with a bagel I met during Fleet Week. Anyway, I eventually grew tired of that lonely, dough-madic way of life, so once I was back in the city, I re-ordered myself to stay. And it was for the best by then. My shipmates had started taking bites out of me. They thought it would prevent scurvy.”

– Lemon Poppyseed, Dough Doughnuts, Flatiron.

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Donuts of New York: Love at First Bite

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“We met while waiting for the G train one night. Blue said she dug my glaze. I told her she was berry sweet. It was a recipe for warm, gooey love. I asked if she wanted to get outta there and take a walk around the park. She said, ‘I can’t. I don’t have legs.’ Forty minutes later the G train rolled up, and by then, we knew we were baked for each other. That was a dozen years ago. Today we share a charming prewar pastry box on Kent Street, raising our own little batch of munchkins together. After all this time, we’ve managed to keep the dough-mance as fresh as ever.”

– Chocolate Cake and Blueberry Buttermilk, Peter Pan Donut and Pastry Shop, Greenpoint.

My New Life in Movie Land, Part II

Yesterday Mike and I took advantage of the glorious sunshine and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a first for both of us:

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Enjoyin’ the view

We then followed our little cross-river excursion with a visit to an equally iconic NYC landmark:

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That’s me haunting the street corner

This one was not a first for us (I stumbled across it totally by accident while exploring the city shorty after moving here), but it was the first time pictures were taken:

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(Cute texting fireman not included in tour package. I asked.)

Amazingly, there’s a Ghostbusters sign hanging inside the station, and the on-duty firemen seem relatively unbothered by the occasional gawking tourist (or newbie local) wandering in to pose beneath it:

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I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghostly white legs
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Who you gonna call?
This is my life now.

(For further reading on the Ghostbusters firehouse, my friend Geraldine made the same pilgrimage a couple years ago, and did a great write-up on her blog. Check it out!)

My New Life in Movie Land

I was walking up Broadway the other day, and I stopped to snap a quick picture to send to my bestie, Meg. She’ll be visiting NYC for the first time in a few weeks, and it’s been lots of fun stoking her excitement:

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“Soon, my friend”

Meg: “Gasp!”

Me: “You know. Just another day. Walkin’ around the city.”

Meg: “In Movie Land!”

This is my life now.

Five Great Billy Joel Songs About New York City

I’ve seen Billy Joel in concert seven times. Yes, SEVEN. And while every one of those on-the-road shows was magical in its own way, I’ve never seen him play a home game. Apparently, his New York City shows, charged with the energy of an adoring hometown crowd, are incredible.

Well, as luck would have it, things are about to change for me. Tonight the Piano Man will be ringing in the new year at the Barclays Center here in Brooklyn, and Mike and I will be there! (Also, Ben Folds Five is the opening act! I can’t friggin’ believe it. More on this later.) I am pee-my-pants excited about tonight’s show, so in celebration, I thought I’d share my own BuzzFeed-style listicle of five quintessentially “New York” selections from the Billy Joel catalog. I hope you enjoy.  

(Also, be sure to tune into “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” on ABC tonight. They’ll be cutting to the concert after midnight, as Billy will be performing the first song of the new year.)   

Have a happy New Year, and I’ll see you all in 2014!  

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“Why Should I Worry?”

Performed (though not written) by Joel for the 1988 Disney animated film Oliver and Company. Dodger, the shades-sporting mutt who rules the streets of New York, cockily boasts about his “street savoir-faire.”:

 

“52nd Street”

Named for the Manhattan street on which Joel’s record label and studio were located at the time of its recording (1978), and a tribute to the street’s history as a famous jazz-performance corridor. Despite being the title track from one of his best-known albums, this little number remains a relative obscurity in the Billy Joel catalog:

 

“Big Man On Mulberry Street”

A big-band inspired highlight from the 1986 album The Bridge. Joel self-referentially conjures a “Mr. Cool” poser strutting around lower Manhattan “like he’s the King of Mulberry Street”: 

 

Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway)”

From 1976’s Turnstiles, and inspired by the infamous “Ford to City: Drop Dead” headline in The Daily News. Joel’s lyrics imagine the Big Apple’s apocalyptic demise from the perspective of an aged survivor who watched it all go down. (Note: the “distant” future from which this old-timer gives his account is now only three years away. Yikes): 

 

“New York State of Mind”

Joel wrote this number to celebrate his New York homecoming after living in Los Angeles for several years. Said to have been composed within 20 minutes of his return, the 1976 release has since become an extensively covered standard and Joel’s own definitive NYC anthem: