Walking Off the Lower Side: Bagels, Rugelach, and Cupcakes

And isn't a great neighborhood half about the bakeries? What's the Lower East Side without these? While out walking along Grand Street and East Broadway on the Lower East Side this morning, I couldn't help myself from wandering into the local bakeries and picking out a little something to take home. Or a few somethings. Another reason why I have to walk so much.

Several of the shopkeepers struck up a conversation with me. They first of all wanted to know where I was from, and after I explained that I was from way yonder west in "the Village," I guess that sufficed for an answer. I must have that unique West Village accent...er...uh, y'all.

Kossar's Bialys, 367 Grand Street. Just to sample, a sesame bagel and a garlic bialy.

Moishe's Bakery, 504 Grand Street. I wanted a little of everything, but I decided to restrain myself by settling on a lone large chocolate pastry that's somewhere between a rugelach and a babka. I was told I made a really good choice.

East Broadway Kosher Bakery, 363 Grand Street. A half dozen cinnamon rugelach, perhaps? These are winners, by the way. Two are already gone.

Golden Carriage Bakery, 162 East Broadway. Maybe the walnut cupcake. Interesting. For a Chinese bakery on the Lower East Side, the cake tastes a lot like my East Texas mother's pound cake.

Seriously, I think neighborhoods come down to these ingredients: children, seniors, libraries, affordable housing, and shops. Not box stores with corporate structures, but neighborhood shops with local shopkeepers, customers, and history. And food, with cultural histories.

Images: Assortment of pastries from the Lower East Side. May 20, 2008, and Moishes Bakery, 504 Grand Street.

Part of a series about the Lower East Side. See related posts.

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