Magazine article The Spectator

Baking Hot

Magazine article The Spectator

Baking Hot

Article excerpt

A couple of years ago I was in New York with my arm candy, plus friends and offspring, checking out the Chelsea area and SoHo with its hip residents, rats and meat-packing outlets now converted into eating establishments for people who live in converted lofts. We were watching New Yorkers mooch about the boutiques (boutiques is not a word we use over here any more, is it? ) crammed with geegaws of all kinds, when we couldn't help but notice a mob moving towards Bleecker Street. Most of the crowd were chatting excitedly and licking their lips, but some were silent, strolling and rolling their eyes. All moved as if in a trance. By now I'd become tired of counting the rats who, by the way, are not at all like British rats. Oh no, New York rats have street cred and wear low-cut jeans, if female, with ankle socks and high heels. They're in the media, property, and you can see them on the subway, laughing at cartoons in the New Yorker, roller-blading around the city that never sleeps.

(That's not strictly true; New York goes to bed quite early. ) We wished the rats farewell and tagged along with this madding crowd only to find ourselves at the end of a long, orderly queue which turned out to be for a bakery. …

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