119 Comments

Your newsletter - the highlight of my Mondays 💗

Expand full comment
author

Awww thank you Katie!

Expand full comment

I love the story about the Planks and that you were able to speak to the owner. That's NYC price gouging for you. The wavy edge probably makes them look fancier than with a straight one. Thanks for this tidbit!

Expand full comment
author

Oh yes they are definitely fancier than your everyday straight-edge cookie Vicki. Fancy like a Bryant Park bathroom!

Expand full comment
founding
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

The shape of Strawberry Planks position it as one of the earliest ancestor in the evolution of Gumby; as the eons went by, Gumby needed to become more aerodynamic, so the flourishes on the sides of the Planks (or non-planks) slowly eroded; similar to the hairiness of the early hominids! See illustration: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1V_vmgwe40lt1p1ZMeOwBPDRRw2q-bGG8/view?usp=sharing

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Anne! Yes! Planks!

I started reading and was like, "oh, yeah, planks." I grew up with them bcse I am from New Orleans. How great to learn they originated there. I went to school in the French Quarter and across the street was our version of a deli. I recall getting an iced gingery flavor bcse I wasnt crazy about sweets. I want to say we got planks bcse they were a great deal--huge and filling.

Jump to today, if I were an Anchorite: I would order in gingerbread planks to my little cell with the window. Along with a café au lait from Café du Monde. I would entertain folks until I was exhausted by the repartée and then close up my tiny window to the world to be left the hell alone with my latest book. Anchorites Unite! ...as long as there would be an en suite bathroom.

Expand full comment
author

A.!

Oh Boy! I was HOPING SO HARD I'd get a comment from Planks fan and it's even better that you discovered them in their hometown. They did not have the original flavor in my bodega but Bob and Al promised to send me a sample so I am looking forward to that.

Also, your proposed Anchorite situation sounds like a pretty good life to me, seriously. In discussion with friends, the question often comes up—can you close the tiny window or not? I am not sure what the case was historically but I don't think I could live the life without decent shutters.

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

i mean, ya know, I would need air conditioing somehow if this was me in NOLA! So, like a window unit, central AC? I would need privacy so yes to shutters or ...I was imagining a little metal roll door like the shops here in NYC at night. But--If Anchorites are on 24 hour call, I would revert to my semi-hermithood. I don't want to be on anyone's clock. Unless it was helping people out. Argh! I guess I would need a windowbell for those in need of prompt catholic succor.

Expand full comment
author

OK, you win award for Most Demanding Anchorite.

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Our Lady of High Maintenance

Expand full comment

Now if you are making "Our Lady" references we have to go with King Cake for delivery in your anchorite abode

Expand full comment

it is mardi gras tomorrow and I am homesick fo sure :-/ Last Day for king cake!

Expand full comment
founding

HAHAHA!!

Expand full comment

A. -- If I were banished to be an Anchorite, there would be no better city for food if allowed delivery than NOLA -- Crawfish pie, a Central Grocery Muffaletta, the beat goes on. And of course, as you specify a bit of chicory in your coffee. The greatest food city in America and really our only unique cuisine we mustered in the melting pot in 300 years!!! I STILL remember being served satsuma cake and I was in heaven...no place like it IMO

Expand full comment

And if Djhn can keep it sparkling, amirite?

Expand full comment
founding

I'd want everything the same. That would be "AnchoRIGHT!"

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

I just have to say, I recently discovered your newsletter and it’s an absolute delight to read. I’m a native New Yorker who lives on the West Coast, but there’s so much about New York that I miss (and apparently am not aware of, e.g., the Bryant Park, bathrooms) and this newsletter is full of humor and discovery. Keep it coming, please!

Expand full comment
author

Laura Rebecca! That makes me very happy to hear. About half of CAFÉ ANNE readers live in NYC but the other half are out of towners and I know a lot are former New Yorkers like yourself. Glad you are enjoying!

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Oh, and I’m definitely seeking out Planks next time I visit (during my biannual vacation from being an anchorite)

Expand full comment
founding

I didn't notice before, but "Laura Rebecca" is a wonderful name combination. I will suggest the name for any future granddaughter.

Expand full comment
Feb 21, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Thanks, Judge! Rebecca is my last name actually (it's Sicilian, I'm told) but you go right ahead! :)

Expand full comment
founding

Isn't that something! It never occurred to me that it was your last name! My dad was 100% Italian.

Expand full comment

I never thought bathrooms could be so captivating!

Expand full comment
author

Haha! Only seven more to go!

Expand full comment

I already live in a forest. On an island. And I really do my best to avoid social settings. Hermit, for sure.

Expand full comment
author

Interesting John! I wonder if we will find the city readers overlapping with the anchorites types in general on the Venn diagram.

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023·edited Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

That's way above my pay grade. But I'll admit that when I was a city dweller during my early twenties, big Canadian city, lots of noise and malodorous winds and traffic and glass/steel and blinky lights and so forth, I'd finish my work week and head home to my less-than spacious bachelor apartment, one of many within a towering complex near a highway and extremely polluted river (into which a friend fell during a rousing game of Drunks Climbing Trees; days later discovering blisters and welts on his contaminated foot), and upon arriving, lock myself in and blow off the weekend eating Ramen noodles, drinking cheap beer, ingesting various illicit substances, and sleeping luxuriously. The whole weekend, no contact with anyone. It was glorious. So I guess I vacillate between hermit and anchorite.

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Djhn gives new meaning to the accolade “way to go!”

Expand full comment
author

Uncle Ralph it's all coming back to me now. Weren't you working on your own book about bathrooms? Urinals even? But there was a twist!...

Expand full comment
founding

Uncle Ralph, you win the Internet with that comment!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Expand full comment

The plank story was great! Maybe next time you can blow the lid off the black & white cookies you see at every bodega.

Expand full comment
author

So glad you enjoyed the Plank saga Mr. Estrin! I was so tickled when the two gentlemen agreed to chat with me.

And yeah, Black and White cookie. Can I just start with saying I don't actually think it's a very good cookie? I'm not even sure it COUNTS as a cookie. It's more like a flat cake with not very good icing. All they really accomplish is looking kind of snazzy.

Expand full comment

Oh man, this might be a problem. First, I love black & white cookies! One reason I love them is that they're cake-like. A real treat in a cookie. The other reason I love them is that you get two different icings. The best of both worlds! But I can't stress this enough, don't buy the bodega black & whites. I get mine from a local Jewish deli that has its own bakery. They are glorious.

Expand full comment

David Dinkins and David Duke in your stomach, according to Seinfeld.

Expand full comment
founding

The black & white cookie!!

https://youtu.be/aamDcMU9C2Q

Expand full comment

So much for looking to the cookie. Although, if memory serves, Jerry got a bad cookie. Usually, when a black & white, it’s delicious. But, and this is important, the bodega black & white cookies aren’t nearly as good as the ones you get at a bakery.

Expand full comment

Hot off the press, I kindly suggest a thorough investigation into this madness:

https://apple.news/AALGiGpJMSfexeCSTK5FZmg

Expand full comment
author

Oh man, for those who can't see it, "they" just found a four-foot alligator in Prospect Park lake!

Expand full comment

I grew up in Florida so I'm well acquainted with alligators. My contention is with climate change they'll eventually migrate north. I fully expect the Great Lakes to be loaded with alligators before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

If you do pursue this angle, I'd be curious to know if NYC officials expect northern migration too, and what, if anything, they're doing to prepare. I'm already laughing...

Expand full comment

Gotta tell you I'm thinking climate change will dry up thhe Great Lakes before the alligators arrive.

Expand full comment

Ooohh -- good point. The only thing I'm sure of is the alligators will find a way.

Expand full comment
founding

Does anyone find it at all suspicious that Florida's Rhonda-Santis was in NYC today and today they find a 4 ft gator in the lake??!! First immigrants now gators!!!

Expand full comment

Conspiracy! New York should start shipping rats to Florida in response.

Expand full comment
founding
Feb 21, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

MAGNIFICENT!! You won the Internet tonight!!

Expand full comment
founding

Whoah! That's incteduble! Now Hizhonner the Mayor will have to split his focus between rats and gators!

Expand full comment

I’m going to my bodega to find a plank. I’m curious how much it’ll cost in my neighborhood.

The Bryant Park bathroom is so nice! Nicer than those at the NYPL. Which seems wrong to me. I think they should hire Mr. Williams. He deserves a raise!

Expand full comment
author

Yes Jillian, the sisters were very clear that the Park bathrooms beat the bathrooms at the New York Public Library around the corner.

And if I had my way, Mr. Williams would be directing the queue and playing bouncer EVERYWHERE in the city. He was truly a delight.

Expand full comment
Feb 20, 2023·edited Feb 20, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

If I ever make it to NYC, then I must make it to the fancy bathroom! I love your newsletters and look forward to them every week. I didn't even know I was curious about some things until I saw them in your newsletter! Keep on keeping on!

Expand full comment
author

Thank you Cindy! Feedback like this makes me very happy. And my fondest wish is that you do make it to the fancy bathroom someday, haha.

Expand full comment

While I'm definitely going to visit the Bryant Park bathroom next time I'm in NYC, thanks to you, I'm also dreaming of seeing a small aerobics class in the subway bathroom. Now there's an image I can't shake for some reason.

Expand full comment
author

I know BA—Jane Fonda and everything!

Expand full comment

Ha ha—I used a Jane Fonda video when I was pregnant with my daughter 30 years ago. FEEL THE BURN!

Expand full comment
founding

“Alas, this restroom offered few of the fancy amenities seen in the park bathroom, as delineated by this extremely fantastic chart I made:” OMG Anne, that chart might be your finest moment!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! The detail is fantastic! “Room to do aerobics” and “Cleaning Hour Barrier” were the best of a very funny lot!

The “Velvet Rope” would clinch it for me!! That’s all you need to see!!! Reminds me of the finest public restroom I ever used: it was the restroom at the Kennedy Center in D.C., back in the early 80’s when we scored tickets to see “Oklahoma.” There were velvet ropes everywhere!!! Has anyone else used that restroom??? Simply magnificent. It make one feel guilty to use it for its purpose!!

Expand full comment
founding

"SHAKE" is the right word for the discussion of restrooms; I'm sure many women are shaking in their shoes waiting for 40 minutes to use the restroom. And the problem with men and unisex restrooms is the fact that men, usually, "shake" the equipment and don't rely on toilet paper to wipe. Which reminds me of an old rhyme about men: "You can dance and you can prance, but that last drop goes in your pants."

Expand full comment

I made a major junk food discovery this evening: Butterscotch Snickers.

I'm sure the strawberry boards are nice but these are amazing:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd2p42RtBjE

Expand full comment
author

Okay I will try. Though its hard to see how one could improve on a Snickers.

Expand full comment

They also have Almond Snickers here. Almonds are an improvement on peanuts!

(I googled and found that Saffron and Pistachio Snickers is another thing, but I haven't seen it in the wild yet)

Expand full comment
author

Oh Jeff, choosing almonds over peanuts. I'd feel sorry for you if I wasn't already feeling so ashamed.

Expand full comment

I bet you like lettuce too

Expand full comment

I had to watch this twice to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Butterscotch Snickers...what a time to be alive.

Expand full comment

A treasure of our time.

Expand full comment

Thanks, I’ll have to find those! Agreed the almonds are good.

Expand full comment
Feb 25, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

Hermit. I just could NOT stay in a cell!

Expand full comment
author

You've got a lot of company, Jennifer! Well, except for fact that now you're a hermit.

Expand full comment

A joy and a delight

Expand full comment
author

Awwww thank you Jack! :)))))

Expand full comment
Feb 21, 2023Liked by Anne Kadet

As a resident southeasterner, I’ve never seen a strawberry plank, probably because I have overlooked them. I now expect I’ll see them in every convenience store I visit, and am very curious to see what they’re selling for down here.

I also want a third option- cannot choose between anchorite or hermit. I also cannot go without a walk. If I am a hermit, can I still pet dogs and hold babies, if I don’t talk to them? It doesn’t seem like I could through the bars anyway, in anchoritic life

Expand full comment
author

Hi Ann,

I am sorry, I know this is a tough choice, but there is no third option. And no, hermit life does not include petting dogs and holding babies. Okay...maybe you can pet ONE dog and hold ONE baby ONCE every five years.

As for the anchorite-walking situation, I hear you! I LOVE long walks and short walks. I love all the walks. But having chosen anchorite, I am resigned to no walks ever again. Just my jail cell workout routine, which I do every morning in my living room already.

Expand full comment