Canter’s, 9:30am

When I left to walk to Canter’s at 7:30 this morning (I live in convienient late-night-drunken/early-morning-half-awake-staggering distance) the streets were uncommonly quiet and peaceful, and when I got to Canter’s things seemed unusually quiet, too. Now it’s 9:15 and things are picking up a bit. Julia and I chatted with a few of the regulars, and we saw a cart loaded with giant bins of pickles (so many pickles!) wheel by, and now I’m here on my own, on my third cup of coffee.

I just came back from a quick visit to the bakery counter, which is one of my favorite things about Canter’s. I love the pastries. I love the black and white cookies. I love the rugelach and the hamentaschen and the dude who works behind the counter listening to hip hop. And something that I have always admired from afar but never dared try are the cakes with their names written on them in icing. They sit enticingly in the window, labeled “rum” or “banana” in pretty admirable frosting penmanship. And I’ve never bought one because it always seemed kind of excessive, but today, in the interests of telling you, dear internet, all about it, I am taking one home with me. I’d eat it now, but I’m too full of blintz, so expect a full report later today once I’ve digested. But for now, behold: has there ever existed a cake more glorious? The chocolate sprinkles, the yellow writing, the weird single maraschino cherry. It is not just banana bread: it is art!