New Jersey- Cakes and the Big Apple
Have you ever watched the show Cake Boss about Carlo’s bake shop in Hoboken, New Jersey? No, me neither. I first heard about it from a girl at uni just before I flew out to the States but to this day I still haven’t gotten around to watching it (bar a few clips on YouTube). Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s probably a brilliant show but I’m not in any rush to watch a full episode. That’s partly because I didn’t think it was that popular so I didn’t really need to watch it to be kept in the loop of what people around me were talking about. Boy was I wrong! When I got to America so many people were talking about it and one of my good friends at camp was a massive fan. For those of you who don’t know it’s a show about this bake shop in NJ who do these amazing cakes and the show basically follows the relationship between the family members who own it (think ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ but with an interesting family and a bakery). They have cafes in other places (such as Times Square) but because it was my friend’s birthday (the massive fan I mentioned above) she and another girl were going to the actual shop in New Jersey and invited me along. Not being one to miss out i accepted the invitation (also, did I mention there was cake there?!).
We road tripped down to New York City, stopping for Dunkin’ donuts breakfast on the way. We got out of the car at the Bronx Zoo, as that’s where the guy driving us was going, and had to make our way to Penn station from there (I do not recommend getting lost in the Bronx. It was definitely an experience but an experience I do not want to repeat). We finally made it to the station only to be told to go to a different one. After what seemed like an eternity of walking (okay not quite that long, and I did finally get to see where Madison Square Garden was) we found the PATH train to New Jersey, and it turns out that Carlos bake shop isn’t far from the station in Hoboken so we didn’t have to walk much further. I’d been told by my uni friend that people can sometimes wait in line for three hours just to get a cake (!) so we were expecting the worst. However, there was no line outside and, although it was pretty rammed inside, we could easily get to the front to see what we wanted. I think we only waited about half an hour in total. Another thing that surprised me was the prices were actually really reasonable; I paid $6 something for a massive slice of chocolate mousse cake which would have easily been made into two slices at home. They also sold t-shirts for only $20, which is what I paid for a Harvard shirt in Boston, so I don’t consider that to be a bad price at all.
We sat on the benches outside in the boiling hot sun eating our baked goods. My cake made me feel sick because of the size but it had a huge strawberry on top so it was obviously healthy…
While we were in New Jersey we also wanted to go to the shore but didn’t realise how far away it was; we walked to the train station but found out we wouldn’t get there for three hours! Unsure of what to do, but knowing we definitely didn’t want to sit on a train for three hours, we just walked until we found a park by the river. It had the best views of NYC and it’s such a strange, magical feeling to be lying on some grass and looking at the skyline of the most amazing city on earth. We just sat there for a while in the sun, me hardly believing that this was my life, but alas we couldn’t stay there all day.
We decided to head into the city to do a spot of shopping before getting the train home to Poughkeepsie. We walked all the way up fifth avenue, completely underestimating how long of a walk that would be! We shopped for a while and I bumped into a girl I used to go to school with (small world, huh?), then started walking back to Grand Central, getting lost in the process. But, as you can never really get lost in New York City, we eventually made it. Yay! By the time we got on the train I wasn’t sure, and I’m still not sure now, how my feet managed to carry me as far as they did.