the 21st person

Last weekend, Joshua and I went to NYC. It was the first time I’ve ever really been, at least since 2001, when I visited with relatives for one day. In May of 2012, my brother and sister and I drove up the east coast, and one of our stops was, of course, the Big Apple. However, we made the mistake of bringing a car to the city (never ever again), and not dressing for the weather, and not having any plan at all. We didn’t see much.

This time, we really did it. We saw the city. We experienced New York. I love that place. Not to live, just to visit.

One of the things we did was get cronuts from the amazing Dominique Ansel‘s bakery. Cronuts are a semi-recent fad – they’re a mix between a croissant and a doughnut. You can only imagine.

The thing is, even though they blew up the food world over a year ago now, the demand is still much higher than the supply. Because they are only made by the original creator in his relatively small NYC bakery, people line up there starting well over an hour before the store even opens at 8:00am.

While Joshua was at his work conference (the reason we were in NYC to start with), I stood in the bakery line. I know, I know. It was insane. Growing up, my family just did not do stuff like that. No Black Friday shopping, no waiting in line for the iPhone. That’s just not us. It looks like it might be Joshua and me, though. He dropped me off with Aroma coffee at the back of the still-growing line at around 7:15, and I stood there for almost an hour before the line even started moving.

At 7:50, one of the bakery personnel came down the line with mini madeleines fresh from the oven to satiate our appetites (if one bite of pastry can do that). At 8:00, the line took a big leap forward, but then stopped dead. I didn’t realize what was going on, but it turns out that Dominique Ansel’s bakery very wisely controls the voraciously hungry and very competitive customers in their line by letting in only 20 people at a time. This means there isn’t a chaotic stampede toward hot cronuts when the doors finally open.

However, they also make you wait until all 20 of the 20 people have come out (for the most part). After three or four batches of people had gone in, I was so close to the front of the line I could almost taste the icing sugar. The bakery woman came out and started counting the next batch, and STOPPED right in front of me. I was #21. So in went the next 20 people, and I was left holding a foam baguette to mark my position as first in line for the next batch, which would not go in for another 25 minutes or so.


So close.

At 9:30am, when I finally went through the doors and there were, by some miracle, still cronuts left to be purchased, it felt so good. And then, the following morning, when Joshua and I consumed our cronuts for Shabbat breakfast and they were jaw-droppingly delicious and he LOVED them? It was totally, totally worth it.


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