Day: May 5th, 2007

A Grand view

Saturday, May 5th, 2007 | All Things, Friends

AH generously offered to host JL‘s birthday festivities at her penthouse-floor apartment in the Seward Park Houses on Grand. This complex of a dozen brown-brick highrises sits in an area south of the the Williamsburg Bridge and west of FDR Drive. The cooperatives were sponsored and financed by textile/garment trade unions and the United Housing Foundation, in a drive to create moderately-priced housing for union members; in 1959, initial offerings were priced at about $3,000(!) per unit. The lobbies still feature original Hugo Gellert murals of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Albert Einstein; the upper-level balconies, some outstanding views of Lower Manhattan.

Grand Street view

Grand Street view

I was last here in September for another birthday, the highlight of which was AH’s home-baked carrot cake. This time, though, in deference to JL’s strict dietary regimen, the cupcakes were brought in from Babycakes. The Lower East Side bakery touts products that are certified Kosher, Parve and vegan, and fully — almost improbably — organic, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, nut-free and egg-free. How do they do it? Short answer: spelt flour or garbanzo/fava bean flour mix instead of wheat flour; agave nectar or unrefined, unprocessed cane juice instead of white sugar; and soy milk instead of dairy. All of which sounds potentially taste-free, but which is actually far more palatable than one would have any right to expect. In fact, New York magazine caused quite a stir when they declared Babycakes the best cupcakes in the city — that’s best overall! — in 2006.

Happy 30th, JL!

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