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Cake Hopping On My Birthday

Eating cake all day at some of the best bakeries in New York City.

It was my birthday on Saturday and I normally don't celebrate my birthday. It's usually a sad time for me. It's a combination of my childhood, my uncle passing on my 21st birthday and how I always felt alone. I don't share often and I try not to dwell on the past but my birthday feels like a reminder of sad moments in my life. I can't tell you how many years I faked celebrations with my friends but when it was over I actually felt sad. Last year was my saddest year. I was extremely emotional and we were in the beginning stages of New York being on shut down. The city was quiet, there were no tourist and I was at work. The day dragged and there was an hourly conversation if we were going to leave early and if we were going to shut down or not. It wasn't until a few days later on March 16th that New York went on lockdown. Almost a year into quarantine and my birthday is about to arrive. So much has changed since last year. From working at home, to going back a few months later, my department being eliminated to finally creating my dream with my blog. I decided that I will no longer be sad on my birthday. 2020 has taught me and reminded me that nothing is guaranteed. I needed to live each moment no matter how big or small.

For years I would daydream about the perfect birthday. I remember sitting at my desk at my job all the time my birthday was close by. I would write down what I wanted. I planned a huge party with a table filled with different cakes from the best bakeries in New York City. The cakes would be different sizes and I would get one huge cake to put the candle on. So here we are 2021 and I told myself, okay I won't have a huge party since we are still in a pandemic but I will buy myself a few cakes. One of my closest friends text me and asked if I have any plans for my birthday. She was the first and only person I told about my cake dream. My friend messaged me back and said we should go to different bakeries in the city and buy/taste each cake. It was perfect! I really don't need the party but I definitely wanted different cakes. I made my list of places I wanted to visit.

I started with a few place that I've been to before and some I wanted to try. I thought I could just buy slices of cakes, walk in the city then at the end the day we can go to Hugo Rooftop Bar with one mini cake and have a cocktail. I would celebrate my life and indulge a little. I created the list for my friend and decided to start Uptown and work my way Downtown. I picked Lady M, Milk Bar, Magnolia Bakery, Dominque Ansel, Flour Shop, and Ring Ding Bar. I know Lady M, Magnolia Bakery and Dominque Ansel very well but I had to treat myself.

We started with Lady M's crepe cake that just melts in your mouth layer by layer. My friend took some pictures of me on the steps of a beautiful townhouse in the Upper East Side, I offered her a slice even though she said she was only with me to take pictures. She took a bite and we had to go back to buy her a slice. She didn't listen to me. We headed down to Milk Bar and I have to say I was only curious about it and was not too excited. I know it extremely popular but I had to get it out of my system and try their popular naked birthday cake. I ordered in advance and when I arrived there was a line. I waited about 10 minutes and I finally got my slice of cake. It was almost frozen and when I took a bite it was a huge sugar rush. It wasn't horrible but it was extremely sweet. I will just say it is very colorful and fun.

As we ran towards the train in my heels I couldn't find my metrocard so we missed the train. Hello New Yorker, why are you acting like a rookie? We walked to Magnolia Bakery, it's a New York Classic and still extremely popular. The line was wrapped around the corner and unfortunately it was the only spot I didn't pre-order. We waited online and I told my friend that I am going to order their banana pudding too. If you go to Magnolia Bakery you have to get the banana pudding. She didn't believe me again and I reminded her what happened at Lady M. I got my slice and a small pudding and she got herself a medium. We sat at the bench across the street and when she took a bite of the pudding it was as though she was celebrating her birthday. She was so happy! It was so funny because there was a couple and the husband was telling his wife he didn't know what to get and my friend began to shout to get the banana pudding. He didn't hear her but it was too funny.

We started to walk to our next destination, Dominque Ansel. However, before we got there we did a quick stop for a late lunch. We arrived at Dominque Ansel around 5PM and there was a long line. I looked at my friend in shock. I know there is usually a line but at this time? We stood in line and it was moving slowly. There was a couple in front of us then suddenly a friend came and stood with them. Then four more of their friends came and stood in front of us. It was so rude, I looked at my friend and said let's go. I was trying to be a good person and not my typical New Yorker self where I called you out. It was my birthday and I will be nice. I had to tell myself that a few times. They were lucky I've been to Dominque Ansel hundreds of times. I had to pick up my mini unicorn cake that I ordered from Flour Shop and we were slightly behind schedule. When we arrive to Flour Shop it was closed. I was in disbelief. I looked at my email to make sure I didn't mess up. The store hours on the door said they closed at 8pm, my email confirmation and reminder did not say they closed early. I looked at the email 5 more times. I was really disappointed and I started to get emotional.

I looked at my friend and she asked me what I wanted to do, I was devastated. I know it's only a cake but it was like all those emotions I use to get about my horrible birthday rushed in. I told her that it was over and went home. No Ring Ding Bar and no rooftop. I didn't tell my friend but I had one of the sparkle candles in my bag. I was going to light it up the bar and finally say goodbye to all the negative feelings about my birthday past. We walked to the train and we went our separate ways. My friend tried to comfort me and texted me all the pictures she took. I put on my headphones and looked at the pictures. I tried not to cry, I know it may sound silly but the emotions were creeping in again. She texted me again and told me to try to think about the fun we had during the day. I did have a great time and being with her was the best. We got to catch up since we haven't spent one on one time together in a long time. I also was not alone on my birthday for the first time in a long time.

I got home and decided to post a few pictures on my instagram and share the fun part of my day with my instafam. I popped open a bottle of wine that my friend gave me and turned on my tv. I went from smiling and looking at the picture to sad and thinking about the bakery that closed early with my birthday cake still inside. Overall I did get to do what I wanted and had a great day with my friend. It was a fun idea and I still have to take a trip to Ring Ding Bar and Hugo Rooftop Bar. Perhaps I will do a special day and do a taste test of all their fun flavors. I've never been so it will be something to look forward to in the future. Oh and the next day I went to Dominque Ansel and got myself a mini me cake that is chocolate mousse with mini meringue. Yum!


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