Friday, September 21, 2007

Simply Amazing Cannoli!

Mmm! So-o good

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

Indulge! Expect a little shiver of anticipation as the dessert fork lifts the rich luscious ricotta filling to your lips and eagerly awaiting tongue. Stop. Do not swallow before you allow all the flavors of the creamy custard to dissolve.

One luxurious cannoli is more than enough to leave you completely satiated; But, go ahead, be decadent, and have two.

By now, my guess is you have figured out that I have a wicked sweet tooth. My one cardinal rule: The sweets must be absolutely wonderful, never so-so or just okay. The calories have to be worth it!

Rocco's Pastry Shop and Cafe's cannolis, and all their desserts and cookies are worth every last calorie. A true Southern Italian pasticceria, the dolci (sweets) are never too sugary.

Friendly and slightly crammed, the shop's great to visit with friends for desserts or alone with a good book.

Most of the time I write about things readers outside New York must wait until they visit to experience. Not this time. Rocco's will ship anywhere in the continental US. Call 212-242-6031, order now, and you can enjoy these mouth-watering cannolis tomorrow. Don't you deserve a treat?

Buona fortuna!

Jacqueline Cable

Address to remember: Rocco's Pastry Shop and Espresso Cafe, 243 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, 212-242-6031.

Directions: From Times Square MTA 1 to Christopher Street, short walk to Bleecker Street, N, R, and W to 8th Street short walk to Sixth Avenue, A, C, or E to West 4th Street, short walk to Bleecker.

Photo by Joseph Knight

©Copyright 2007 The Cable Group

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Walk in the West Village

A tree-lined Street in the West Village

Dear Postcards from New York Reader,

Please accept my apology for no stories last week. The many 911 ceremonies and solemn memorials dampened the city's spirits, and I was unable to write anything.

When I confided my writer's block to my friend, Lisa Cosman, who writes cookbooks, she instantly remarked: "Well of course you can’t write, we (New Yorker's) bare all the physicality of that day; we are too close and we will never get over it." I knew people who lost their lives that day, so please forgive my silence.

Let's change lanes and back track to the scene of our last article in August about a great place to enjoy gelato,
Sant Ambroeus, in the West Village. This glorious late summer weather is perfect for walking. And, we know hitting the pavement is the very best way to truly make New York your own.

There are lots of green spots between and in the shadows of our dazzling high skyscrapers, as well as little known fountains and waterfalls, cobblestone streets and mews, tiny steeple churches tucked away in remote corners and 18th and 19th century buildings with endlessly interesting architectural features. I bet you thought I was describing some European city.

Have an hour? We'll keep it simple. Begin at West 4th and 6th Avenue, and find Bleecker Street. Walk north, just pass 7th Avenue to Grove, turn left, and continue walking until you come to Hudson Street.

Stop a moment to glance at the picturesque garden set back from the street at the Church of St. Luke's in the Fields on Hudson. Right out of a storybook, now notice the winding walkway leading to the entrance of the school not far from the church. Next, retrace your steps on the opposite side of Grove Street so you can take a close look at the brownstones and buildings across from you. When you reach Bleecker, walk to the next block, Christopher Street and repeat, then proceed to West 10th, Charles, Perry and West 11th Street.

Survey the unique character and architectural detail of the brownstones and low apartment buildings. There is an unhurried neighborhood feel here; people leisurely walk with little children and dogs, and sit on doorsteps and front stoops. You'll see ivy clad doorways and facades, well kept stone stairwells with exquisite wrought iron handrails. Dated plaques on many brownstones are proof they have been around since the mid 19th century.

Look up at the stairwells to find grand entrance doors; some carved with intricate designs or polished to a high gloss finish like the mahogany double doors at 70 Perry Street.

There is a lot to see. Bleecker Street has numerous small shops, cozy bookstores, intimate cafes and sidewalk restaurants. Your fingers will itch to touch the striking flower arrangements displayed at VSF 208 W. 10th Street. While the antiques in the window of Les Pierre Antiques beg to tell their stories, the colorful fabrics and smartly designed children's clothes at
Bonpoint are impossible to resist.

Until recently, Sarah Jessica Parker called this area home. If you are a fan of Sex and the City join the line trailing around the block at her favorite place for cupcakes, Magnolia Bakery, or you know where to stop for gelato. Better yet, be really decadent and have a "to die for" cannoli. I'll tell you where next time.

Jacqueline Cable
Postcards from New York

P.S. Speaking of Sarah Jessica Parker, shooting begins on the much anticipated movie any day. Stay tuned for details of the 1st Postcards from New York tour "Their Town - Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda's New York."

Address to remember: West 4th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Magnolia Bakery, 401 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014, 212-462-2572.

Directions: From Times Square
MTA 1 to Christopher Street, short walk to Bleecker Street, N, R, and W to 8th Street short walk to Sixth Avenue, A, C, or E to West 4th Street, short walk to Bleecker.

Photo by Joseph Knight

©Copyright 2007 The Cable Group