Simple vanilla with white frosting, they are baked every morning by Amy Sedaris - sister of writer David and a true neighbourhood eccentric. They had to put security staff on the door so that ardent Carrie fans wouldn't shove their way in. She does it for the love, baby.
My new block, though not as pretty, is blessedly quiet and free of rats and television tourists. And now, I've been driven out of my home - not by gangs of rampaging teenagers, or constantly arguing neighbours, but by a purveyor of cupcakes. The first year I moved to New York, into a flat directly opposite, I went into the shop every day for coffee and a breakfast bun, and the staff never once attempted to engage me in conversation. They had to put security staff on the door so that ardent Carrie fans wouldn't shove their way in. Simple vanilla with white frosting, they are baked every morning by Amy Sedaris - sister of writer David and a true neighbourhood eccentric. And whatever you may have heard to the contrary, that's the real New York. Not long after the episode was broadcast, the tourists started to arrive and the bakery started charging them if they wanted to take photographs of Carrie and co's favourite haunt. I felt as if I was living across the road from Studio 54 in its s heyday. With the influx of tourists came the rats, as half-eaten cupcakes were dumped into overflowing bins outside my apartment. There was a quaint little psychic's shop downstairs, a glorious flower shop across the road and the mysterious Moondog ice-cream store a few doors down. When the show ended, I thought the neighbourhood might return to normal. But I hadn't counted on the Sex and the City tour bus industry. On a block considered the prettiest in the West Village, where people really do know all their neighbours and take time to chat in the street, such hauteur set Magnolia apart. Film crews would regularly use our beautiful block as a backdrop, and I watched from my third-floor window as the Sex and the City crew moved in, though it was too gorgeous a summer day to hang around and watch Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon lick cupcake after cupcake. But from that moment, my street would never be the same again. The omens, in retrospect, were not good. She does it for the love, baby. I was kept awake each night by the hoots and hollers coming from the queue that now snakes all the way around the block. Magnolia's owner was always on hand to greet you with a scowl. They aren't even the bakery's best offering, but they are the most va-va-voom. Riding on this extraordinary upturn in its fortunes, Magnolia changed its hours, and stayed open to midnight throughout the summer. But as the years went by, they were forced out of the neighbourhood, one by one, supplanted by big names such as Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs. Its cupcakes are part of the city's folklore. When I moved in to my flat, Magnolia was one of several quirky, idiosyncratic shops that brought colour and personality to the street. When Carrie took her first bite, she left teeth marks in my neighbourhood.
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