Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Meanwhile, on the Upper East Side...

 From West Side Rag:

I’d had enough of crime on the Upper West Side. Enough of the muggings, the stabbings, the robberies of 90-year-olds, the terrorizing of street vendors, the McDonald’s shootouts, the street fights, the park hold-ups, the thefts of businesses large and small. So, last week, I hopped on the crosstown M72 to escape to the swanky Upper East Side, which I was sure would be safer. I’d seek refuge in my favorite French boulangerie/patisserie/tea room/ice cream parlor, Ladurée, on Madison Avenue, where I would indulge in a treat hard to find in most restaurants—coffee ice cream. There I would settle into a miniature Marie-Antoinette boudoir, adorned with silk draperies, swag-framed mirrors, and a velvet banquette facing a window display of beribboned gift boxes and made-to-order macaron trees, priced from $95 to $545. 

Now, I had read in the New York Post that last April, Madison’s high-end clothing stores had been hit by an illegal theft ring so massive that they were now locking their doors and opening only by appointment. But the authorities had since indicted the ringleader and forty-one accomplices, so shop owners were feeling less fearful. Anyway, those were high-end apparel boutiques; surely, one was safe in an ice cream parlor.

How wrong I was.

I had been going to Ladurée since 2017, and pre-pandemic, indulging in their over-the-top Café Liégeois—three scoops of coffee ice cream drowned in espresso and crowned with whipped cream and caramelized almonds. Now, post-pandemic and tightening my belt, I ordered only one scoop sans whipped cream and almonds, but still stylishly served in a bulbous silver bowl, with a tapered silver spoon and silver pitcher of espresso on the side. (Read more.)


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