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The Best Cupcakes in Park Slope

June 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Food, Travel News

The Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn is home to several of the tastiest cupcakes in New York City. Bakeries have been competing for two decades to win over the growing customer base for the small cake designed to satiate one person. Three Park Slope spots have developed cupcakes that would satisfy even the toughest critics.
butter-lane-cupcakes-park-slope Butter Lane Cupcakes, Park Slope, Brooklyn © Gennaro Salamone

Butter Lane Cupcakes recently opened a Park Slope location after years in the East Village. Their French and American buttercream icing is extraordinary especially on top of a Sea Salted Chocolate cupcake. The general feel of the place is a lot better than the previous occupant — King of Cupcakes. There is a bench for two in front of the shop that might remind Sex and the City fans of the one Carrie and Miranda sat on in a July 2000 episode while munching on cupcakes and chatting about Carrie’s new crush on Aiden.

A little further down 7th Avenue is Crespella, which specializes in crepes, but is also a retailer for Robicelli’s cupcakes. Found in locations throughout the city, Robicelli’s has delectable flavors including S’Mores, cheesecake buttercream, and apricot chardonnay cake. For chocolate lovers, head over to Ladybird Bakery (formerly Two Little Red Hens Bakery) on 8th Avenue for their Brooklyn Blackout cupcake. It consists of chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, chocolate frosting, and lots of chocolate sprinkles across the top.

Read about the best chocolate in NYC or view tasty candy bar cupcakes.

 
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

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A Scenic View of New York City

October 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Features, Photography

New York City has a captivating urban landscape. Follow this photographic journey through the lens of local New York photographer, James Maher.

This is a time-lapse exposure of a busy city crowd moving through Grand Central Station.  The effect was created completely in-camera. The woman seemed to be a lonely tourist waiting for someone to come rescue her.  She was so amazingly still that she looked afraid to even move. I never saw anyone come, and she soon walked off by herself.
grand-central-terminal Waiting in Grand Central Station, New York City © James Maher

This is a photo that I’ve been wanting to take for a long time. It captures two New York City subway trains in motion. This image was also created completely in-camera at the 72nd Street station in 2010.
train-new-york-subway Subway Trains in Motion, 72nd Street, New York City © James Maher

This photo was taken from the top of my mother’s building on Broadway and 94th street on a hot summer night in June of 2007. Lightning was flashing all around the building and the wind was gusting hard. Soon after this photo, it started to pour and the lightning strikes got close enough that I thought it best to leave. Earlier in the day, it is believed that one of these strikes hit a substation in Queens and was the cause of a blackout in the Bronx and on the Upper East Side, which created a lot of chaos during the 90 degree weather.
new-york-weather-lighting Lightning over Manhattan, New York City © James Maher

This photo was taken during the huge blizzard that hit the city in 2003. The snowstorm created such bad conditions that for much of the day I was completely lost in the park. At some point I found this bridge to seek refuge under. It didn’t take long before this couple came along with the same idea.
central-park-winter-tunnel Couple in Snowstorm, Central Park, New York City © James Maher

The Chrysler Building, in my opinion, is the most iconic building in the city. The Gargoyles are probably the most talked about aspect of this classic Art Deco building, but I much prefer the metal spire, which can often be seen glinting like a diamond in the hot sun, or glowing throughout the night.
chrysler-building-black-and-white Chrysler Building Spire, New York City © James Maher
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james-maher.jpg James Maher is a fine art street and studio photographer based in New York City.  James credits his inspiration for photography to his love for the city and its endless supply of personalities to capture and streets to explore.  His New York photography consists of both scenic and architectural views of the city, as well as the closeup daily life of the people on the streets.
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The San Gennaro Festival

September 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Features, Photography

The Feast of San Gennaro is the longest running festival in New York City. It began in 1926 with the arrival of immigrants from Naples, Italy who lived along Mulberry Street in Little Italy. Revered by Neapolitans, as their protector, legend has it that vials San Gennaro’s blood liquify several times per year including on September 19. Though the festival still maintains religious significance to many attendees, it is primarily a celebration of the Italian culture that once filled the streets of the community.

little-italy-new-york-city little-italy-restaurant Little Italy, New York City © Gennaro Salamone

What was once a thriving Italian enclave, Manhattan’s Little Italy has shrunk over the decades leaving only a small section with Italian restaurants and shops. While visiting Arthur Avenue in the Bronx provides for a more authentic experience, attending the San Gennaro Festival is an opportunity to participate in a traditional street fair.

torrone-san-gennarozeppole-san-gennaro Torrone + Zeppole © Gennaro Salamone

The highlight for festival goers is eating Italian food from street vendors. Sausage and peppers, zeppole, and cuts from giant slabs of torrone are especially popular. There is also a cannoli-eating contest for those with bottomless stomachs.

italian-americans feast-of-san-gennaro Italian Americans cooking traditional sausage © Gennaro Salamone

When they’re not preparing your meal, vendors exhibit their fun-loving and uninhibited nature. It’s a much needed diversion from the crowded lines on Mulberry and the adjacent streets.

italian-horn-corno san-gennaro-statue Italian horns (corni) protect against the evil eye + Pinning of money on San Gennaro © Gennaro Salamone

For individuals who are more interested in the religious aspects of the San Gennaro, a mass is held on the official Saint Day (September 19) at the Most Precious Blood Church followed by a procession. It is tradition to pin money on the statue of San Gennaro as a donation to the church.
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gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.

 

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A Travel Picnic To Die For

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Features, Food

Picnics are a great way to have an authentic travel experience. It has the added benefit of saving the traveler valuable cash resources. In order to maximize the benefits of your travel picnic, we’ve created four steps to the perfect outing.

1. Location
“To leave a place is to die a little.” ~French Proverb

Select a comfortable spot that reflects the interests of the participants. It’s often best to select a place that communes with nature. Areas within reach of rivers, lakes, or parks are ideal. This approach is feasible in the urban jungle too. For instance, the banks of the Seine River (below) in Paris have popular walkways to spend an afternoon. The Great Lawn (map) of Central Park in New York City represents another great spot. The latter has Belvedere Castle within its vicinity.
travel-picnic.jpg Picnic, Seine River, Paris © Malias

2. Food Selection
“Tell me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are” ~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Picnicking is an opening to have an authentic meal. It’s easy to collect a variety of foodstuffs, from local markets, that residents eat in their daily lives. A sojourn to an Italian city or village, for example, would allow for a picnic menu that consists of fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, mortadella with breadsticks, chunks of Parmigiano-Reggiano, prosciutto on wedges of honeydew, and a basket filled with figs and grapes. Add a glass of local wine or fresh tomato juice with lemon and black pepper.

Having trouble with coming up with ideas? A great resource for selecting new picnic foods is The Minimalist: 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics.
picnic-foods.jpg Picnic Meal © Nanda

3. Guests
“Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.” ~Rod McKuen

Consider inviting a couple of locals or fellow travelers to your gathering. There is no better way to understand a location that to spend time with those who know it best. It will also provide an opportunity to learn several new phrases in their native language. If you haven’t met any residents, contemplate arranging your get-together near a smiling group of locals. Don’t be surprised if an invitation to join them is in the offing. This is especially helpful for solo travelers.

4. Conversation Topics
“Friends are those rare people who ask how you are then wait for an answer” ~Unknown

During the meal, it’s best to keep to light topics. Allow each guest to select a topic for discussion over the course of the afternoon. This makes sure that everyone has a chance to participate in the conversation. It’s equally helpful to listen to your fellow picnickers and provide feedback to their musings.

Stomach churning? Read about the best pizza in New York City.
___________________________________________________________________________________
gennaroeditor.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing a travel article or photograph for publication.

 

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