Black Rook Bakehouse is back!

Coconut cream pieI wrote in August about the sad closure of Black Rook Bakehouse’s funky E. Hastings location. It seems that renovations and permitting took a lot longer than they planned, and it was many months before they re-opened at their new location, a few blocks further east, on the opposite side of the street. Well worth the wait!

I had been jonesing for their coconut cream pie for months, so I was really excited to visit BRB shortly after they re-opened in December. I was very sad to discover that there was no coconut cream pie to be had. I had a cookie instead, and some pretty awesome quiche, but the craving went unsatisfied. Then, just last week, I met a friend there to try again. I was speeding across town to meet her when she texted me that there was a pie situation. They were almost out of pie! She said there was one piece of berry pie and one piece of coconut cream, and she asked if I wanted her to reserve one for me. I took the first safe opportunity to text her back CC!

And oh, the beauty of that last glorious slice, sitting on a plate waiting for me when I arrived. I dug in too eagerly to think of recording the moment. Partway through, the craving starting to settle into a feeling of purring satisfaction, I recalled my blog and took this pic.

The new location is at 2474 E. Hastings, in the East Village. There is a cozy fireplace, and the same kind of country-homey furniture and friendly neighbourhood vibe as the old location. Check it out!

What’s in a Tiffany ruby?

Ruby necklacePart of the thrill of being in New York is visiting places I’ve seen or heard about in books and movies. One of the most famous, glamorous New York institutions, in my mind, is Tiffany’s. Perhaps I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s at an impressionable age, but I suspect the allure of Tiffany’s was caused by the even earlier impressions of the magic of jewels from 1001 Tales of Arabian Nights, which I read as a very young girl.

Yes, we have a Tiffany’s in Vancouver (3 in fact), but I’ve never gone there. It seems like these are sham Tiffanies. The real Tiffany’s is in New York, on Fifth Ave., at the corner of 57th St.

So when I made my first trip to midtown, to enjoy the nap I had booked at YeloSpa, I was delighted to see that Tiffany’s was right across the street. I had a few minutes before my nap, so I popped into Tiffany’s to marvel at the beauty.

I stepped into the vast, high-ceilinged room and saw what seemed like dozens of display case islands, many of them populated by Tiffany tour guides. The glamorous woman guide on the closest island asked if there was anything she could help me find.

I have been on the lookout for a pair of ruby earrings to match the ruby necklace my mom Tiffany's as viewed on 57th St.brought back for me as a gift from Australia, so on a whim I said, “Can you point me in the direction of the rubies?”

Imagine my surprise when she told me they don’t have any rubies. What!!? Tiffany’s doesn’t have rubies? She went on to explain, in a friendly way, that the only “Tiffany quality” rubies in the world come from Burma. She said that there is a trade embargo in place against Burma because of their human rights violations. Who knew? Well, I didn’t until that moment. I also didn’t know that Tiffany’s was such an ethical company, and I felt very moved to be informed of this. This discovery was one of the magical moments of my trip to New York.

I spent the next few minutes wandering around the store and feasting on the beauty shining forth from every island. My attention was drawn to a fabulous, sparkling diamond bracelet, costing a mere $20,000. Yes, I could afford it if I really wanted to spend money on something like that. But as I thought of a better use I had recently put $20K to, I once again felt a warm feeling in my heart.

Tiffany NY SATCSo that’s my Tiffany’s story. I must say that the woman I spoke to was much friendlier than the sales staff at Giorgio’s on Rodeo Dive, a place I stumbled into and out of with my sister Kim in the 1990s. Well done, New York!

As a P.S., as I mentioned earlier, I have been researching New York in preparation for my next trip by re-watching Sex and the City. Tiffany’s has been an important place for purchasing Charlotte’s wedding rings on that show! Here is a picture I took of Charlotte and her first husband, Trey, on the street in front of Tiffany’s.