I treated myself to a short day in NYC today. I used to think a long day would be fulfilling but usually ended up feeling crabby, tired and utterly forlorn at around 3pm; so today I got in a little after noon and just caught the 4:30 bus home. I was not too tired, my feet didn't hurt and I wasn't feeling marooned so it was either comfier shoes- a possibility- or a shorter stay- or perhaps both. But I digress...
My first stop was Mood Fabrics. Those of you who are Project Runway junkies like me will recognize the name. And let's face it, who can resist that combination of whinging narcissism, enough al-anonic behavior to single-handedly fill a meeting, and amazing technical ability? But I digress...
I was treated to a lovely selection of buttons- not as quirky, as wonderful, as inexpensive nor as bounteous as the long-lamented and greatly missed K Trimmings- but I digress... Got a handful of charming buttons but my camera's battery is out so I cannot show you- ah well.
My next stop was to be Purl Soho but I had neglected to write down the address before I left home so I wandered around Soho for a while and, unable to find their new digs, gave up and moved on.
It was just as well that I had not stopped at Purl as I needed that money for my next objective- Podunk.
Podunk? Isn't that where I come from- a small inconsequential town in the North East? No, actually Podunk is the name of the most charming, idiosyncratic tearoom in the East Village. Two years or so ago I had clipped a short but glowing review of the place from the NYTimes and kept it on my refrigerator. I would read it and say to myself, "someday I will go there."
Well, today I finally went. It is on 5th street to the west of 2nd Avenue, a hole-in-the-wall sort of place, modest in the extreme in its signage and decor. But the aroma when I walked in from the blustery, cold sidewalk--- the warm embrace of savoury baking: butter, wheat & rosemary. They could charge just for the delight of wrapping oneself in that aroma.
Mindful of the "No Sniveling" sign above the counter, I ordered an "Old Friends" tea for one. (Perhaps they should call it "Absent Friends" when it is a single order. But I digress...) The tray came with a nice pot of Earl Grey tea, cucumber sandwiches, scones with unsweetened whipped cream & blackberry jam, several assorted cookies, a small slice of vanilla sponge cake, a small slice of a lemon pound cake and some luscious fresh raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. (Fortunately, the owner did not count my request of "no strawberries, please" as sniveling.) The sweet things were garnished with mint; the savoury, with a sprig of majoram.
The next time you are in NYC, stop in to Podunk and treat yourself to a most civilized and delicious repast.