Last night I was walking on Bleecker Street in the Village with my friend Jeremy. We had just passed the (infamous, overrated, so-well-past-its-moment, aneurysm-inducing) Magnolia Bakery and were stopped at a corner, waiting for traffic to pass and the light to change. I was caught offguard by a shrill, screamed question - barked out in a thick New Yawk accent - somewhere off to my right:
"WHERE'S MAGNOLIA BAKERY? WHERE IS IT!"
It took a second to figure out where this wail was coming from. I looked around and saw a massive beige sedan with Virginia license plates crawling through the intersection. The driver was a harried middle-aged woman whose appearance was marked by a blur of make-up and an explosion of curly black hair that was, well, in dire need of some sort of conditioning rinse. She continued:
"HEY, YOU! YEAH. WHERE'S THE BAKERY? MAGNOLIA!"
Speechless, Jeremy and I both pointed over our shoulders down the block. The car slowed down in front of us and the woman continued to yell:
"GREAT. THAT'S JUST GREAT. These are all one way streets! How do I get there!"
We both shrugged and Jeremy replied, "Just drive around the block - it's right there."
Despite our directions and help - the woman's aggravation only escalated:
"JESUS! I mean, I know this city like the back of my hand - but this goddamned Greenwich Village! I tell you - it's a MESS!"
With that, the frizz and the make-up and the yelling and the oddly-out-of-place- given-her-accent Virginia license plates were finally gone - off down the street.
I could only think - it's not the lack of a street grid that makes the Village a mess, lady.
It's that goddamned bakery.