Article by Frank Cierpial
Montclair State University is on Spring Break this week, so at the time when I would normally be in Advanced Spoken Language, I was on a train into New York Penn Station to find one of Paris’s newest most prized treasures, La maison Ladurée.
In New York, you must always be aware of your surroundings, it is too easy to be distracted by a hot pair of shoes or a cute guy. Even though I was raised in Colonia, New Jersey, I am a city boy at heart. We all have our oddities, and this is one of mine : I love going into the city on a normal business day like on Monday at 11 AM and just walk around the city. The subways run more frequently, the streets are less crowded with everybody at work, and this wild beast of a city suddenly becomes tame. It is a New York phenomenon that will never cease to astonish me.
Today at 11:00AM, I exited the 5 AVE subway station and walked up Madison Ave, I window shopped a bit at shops like Belstaff and Tom Ford, and I went to Laduree to eat a piece of 18th Century France. Laduree, for those of you who do not know is a famous French macaron house started in the 18th century by Louis Ernest Ladurée. The bakery that he opened at 16 Rue Royale is still there and is still Laduree. Just to give you guys some perspective on how old Ladurée is, the first brick of the Garnier Opera hosue was laid the year the bakery was open. A lot of Francophiles do not even know that this treasure has now made it’s way to the States, well it has!
When I got to Laduree, I knew immediately that I was going to have an incredible French experience. An incredible window display tells you that right off the bat. Once you walk in, it is decorated elegantly in green, a light violet velvety color, and gray, much like their macaroons. They have a variety of different flavors and make great gifts. As I discovered, they do deliver. I had some macaroons sent to my uncle in Virginia and he said that they arrived and were as delicious as ever.
The staff there is wonderful too. Mikey helped me pick out my selection. He was very knowledgeable and used his sense of humor to make me feel comfortable while my inability to choose held up the line. When I left Ladurée and ventured back into Manhattan, I was so happy that this piece of French Culture was being celebrated and appreciated by New Yorkers.