I took a three week break towards the end of August to make a solo trip across the Pacific Ocean to the big apple. It is a personal convention of mine to make it there before I hit thirty this year, to fulfil all my longing inquisitions about the place and the country. I have watched Americans and America behind a television screen all my life, and I wanted to see it all in person.
It’s a bustling, non stop city that caters to the thousands of tourists that prong the Manhattan borough. But, what I learned was not everywhere in NYC is busy, loud and bright. Most of my Airbnb accommodations were located in East Village which I am so grateful and so thankful for the experience, and they were a perfect place for me to rest my weary body after all of the long and crazy adventures, every day.
But I also made time for my favourite cake places, and what better way than with the Australian Cake Decorating Network’s maiden NYC Cake Crawl! Me, along with thirty other ladies whom I’ve become friends with, embarked on a three-day tour around the streets of New York City looking at some of the amazing bakeries and teachers Manhattan has to offer.
We were fortunate to have met some amazing cake “celebrities” as I like to call it – Sachiko Windbiel from Mimicafe Union; Rudy Martinez from Man Bakes Cakes; Benny Rivera from City Cakes, Elisa Strauss, and the incomparable Ron Ben-Israel from Ron Ben-Israel Cakes, Lisa Mansour, Colette Peters, and Patti Paige from Baked Ideas. We were so grateful to have Raewyn Read from Raewyn Read Cake Design to have joined us throughout the whole crawl, aaaaaand give us a mini demonstration, on a Celboard, on her lap, in Central Park, on a 37 degree heat. Big kudos to her!!!
I was particularly in awe of Ron Ben-Israel’s studio – his immaculate studio produces some of the most breathtaking cakes. I just wished I had a fraction of his amazing talent. For some of us “crawlers”, we would love to be a fly on the wall of his studio even for a day, if not an intern.
In contrast, we had Sachiko’s incredible talent of giving fondant figurines such expression and her signature style makes it hard to miss. Even in her little studio, it could not contain her talent that was in every corner of her studio!
Apart from seeing all the amazing teachers, we had some amazing shopping experiences and bakery after bakery. Oh, did I mention that some of us headed to Rockefeller Centre for the taping of Ellen’s first show of the season in NYC?
Such personal experiences are few and far in between, and I thank Liz for organising this trip. To have made all of this happen 17,000km away is a feat, and if you are keen to do this, there will be a second crawl happening in 2016!