Four and a half years ago, I boarded a plane and headed to New York City where I would meet up with my wife in Times Square. My flight took me to the Long Island airport and from there I took one hell of a long train ride, all filled with nervousness and anticipation, to the heart of New York City.
My wife was in NYC with some company promoting some lap top that had its cover designed by some famous fashion designer. She had an itinerary for the trip all filled with adventures, tours, and meals. I, on the other hand, had absolutely no itinerary and no preplanned adventures, tours, or meals.
I had three full days in New York City all to myself. Casey was gracious enough to allow me to stay in her hotel room, which is another blog post of its own because I almost had to go get my own hotel room, but outside that we didn’t see each other more than a handful of times.
I set out on a personal quest to find the best pizza and cheesecake that New York City had to offer. There were a few problems with my quest. I didn’t have a cellphone and I didn’t have access to the internet. I did all of my research online from home and memorized it like I was going to be taking a four hour exam on food once I arrived.
I figured that the best way for me to do my pizza and cheesecake tour was to walk all of Manhattan. Consequently, I memorized the street map of New York and didn’t bother to even glance at a subway map. That was all fine and good since I had three days to do whatever I wanted. I wasn’t in a rush.
The first night, Casey and I ended up with front row seats to Chicago on Broadway. It had been her dream to attend a Broadway musical so we spent that first evening making sure her dreams came true.
The second evening, I decided to walk to a little bakery that I had seen listed as having the best cheesecake in New York. The bakery was located way uptown and I didn’t have access to a phone to call them to see what time they closed, nor did I have the internet to check either. Figuring it would all work out, I took off on foot, in the rain, headed towards Two Little Red Hens.
My shoes filled with water, my clothes were completely drenched from the rain, and I arrived at the bakery at 9:03 pm. (I think you can see where this is going.) The bakery closed at 9:00 pm. I missed what was supposed to be the best cheesecake in New York by 3 minutes. By the time I made it back to the hotel, I had walked for nearly 4 hours in the rain. The soles on my shoes had split in half during the walk, which meant that my socks were acting like a sponge as I walked across the puddles on the sidewalk.
For the last 4 years, I’ve told that story and I’ve always regretted not being able to have that cheesecake. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend a day in New York City without anything to do just as I had 4 and a half years ago. I did some research on the internet before I left to see if I could find that little bakery again, but I couldn’t remember the name and I figured that my chance was gone forever.
On our first night during this most recent trip, Casey and I headed uptown to some clothing store Casey really had been wanting to visit. I sat in the men’s lounge area and when Casey’s shopping dreams had been fulfilled, we started making our way towards the subway when something clicked.
Even though I had only been there once before and that once before had happened more than 4 years ago, I recognized the streets and the stores on the streets and I told Casey I thought we were close to that little bakery I had missed so long ago.
Casey and I both opened the browsers on our cellphones hoping we could find the name of that bakery. Several minutes later, Casey found its address and we were only 4 blocks away. We located the bakery, we went inside, and I marched up to the counter and asked for a slice of cheesecake. The lady who rang me up told me it would be $25 and I didn’t even hesitate. She was shocked because she was joking about the price. She said, “You were really willing to pay $25 for a slice of cheesecake?”
If you could have tasted that cheesecake, you’d be willing to pay $25 too. I could taste the real, actual cheese in this cheesecake. It was amazing and it was by far the best cheesecake I have ever had.
Here’s a little photographic evidence of the visit:
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