This was a busy weekend. This past Friday, I met up with my friend Tara to go see the I.C.P.-Bard Open Studios event out in Long Island City. Getting there was a bit of a hassle….not due to length of the train ride at all but due to…. traffic patterns! Seriously people, are they trying to kill all the pedestrians in Long Island City as a means of preserving hipster cred?!
The Open Studios, once we were both there, were pretty interesting… some hits….um, a number of misses….There was one I.C.P. photographer who had a show of photographs he did where he and a friend work together. The original I.C.P. person stands in the middle of a crowded area – Grand Central Station In the main hall area was one location – while the other person stands a distance away (and above in the GCS shot) the other. Once the flash of a tourist in Grand Central Station goes off, it triggers the shutter of the original photographer’s camera. So you end up getting a shot of both (1) the location with the I.C.P. photographer in it, captured in slow shutter release, and (2) the view from the I.C.P. photographer’s vantage point.
After the Open Studios, we headed over to Tara’s burg to both get some grub and relax back at her new(ish) apt. We stopped in at Martha’s Country Bakery along the way.
I thought these cakes looked like a Wayne Thiebaud composition. Check out those glazed strawberries sitting perfectly on top.
These too. (I love the glass turnstyle display case for the cakes!):
Of course, now Thiebaud is doing a lot of street scenes of San Francisco. I remember seeing the Thiebaud one person show at the Whitney back in 2001 (or 02?). It was a retrospective of his career up until that point. The good first half (possibly more) of the rooms were filled with images of pies and cakes and pastries….outlined in blues and yellows…..then in the final rooms there were a couple paintings of just strictly San Francisco street views – morphed into the lush style Thiebaud is so famous for of course. He used to work in advertising which you can see the evolution of that into his paintings with the crisp edges and radiating halos of thick paint around the outlines of each painted object.
More, more , more….. Cupcakes in plenitude. One of our Art History professors used to say that abundence is appealing; you never want to pick the last shirt on the rack at the Gap, you want the shirt that’s on the top of a huge pile of neatly folded shirts at the Gap.
I want that cupcake. There are plenty of them. They all have flowers on top of them. Just one wouldn’t hurt. And it makes me feel happy. …..such is the psychology behind the cupcake display.
Those are cupcakes along the third shelf down. The ones with the little carrots on top are carrot cake cupcakes….the others, I can’t remember what flavors they were:
Its amazing how many different styles of desserts and sweets Martha’s turns out. The whole bakery had this wonderful smell; and the warmth was so welcome on such a cold night outside!
I love the glazes on the tarts and the way they capture the light in the photographs. This was Martha’s apple tart:
…and their kiwi and strawberry cheescake tart (I think?):
I ended up having the blueberry scone which was delicious! There was a basket of fresh baked scones sitting up on top of the main row of glass display cases full of desserts.
It was a good thing I ordered the scone b/c by the time I made it back up to the Upper West Side, it was almost time for my NYRR 4 mile race & therefore almost time for breakfast again!
Amazingly, this was my first trip out to Queens on any sort of food quest. I’ve been here since October 0f 2004 but just never made it out to sample the gustatory delights of any of the Queens highlights: Flushing, Astoria, Jackson Heights…. Though I’m sure I will be back to sample food in Queens again soon!
36-21 Ditmars Blvd.
Astoria, NY 11105