What German McDonald’s thinks of New York City

Apparently Germans really like to visit New York City. How else to explain a new Big Apple-inspired menu of cupcakes, now appearing at McDonald’s restaurants across Germany? According to food website Eater, the new German cupcake campaign features sweet desserts named after New York’s “tourist hot-spots,” including Chelsea, Central Park, SoHo and the East Village. The campaign appears to be a tribute to the New York’s never-ending cupcake craze, inspired by famous bakeries like the perpetually crowded Magnolia Bakery.

Each cupcake also comes complete with a trendy description and suitable New York-style “hipster” mascot. Did you know for instance that the East Village is home to all of the city’s most famous artists? Maybe 30 years ago. Even if it’s slightly off the mark, it’s always interesting to catch a glimpse of another culture’s take on your own. In a way, famous cities like New York have become global brands, exporting their cupcakes, t-shirts and grocery stores around the world.

Anybody seen these on the menu on a recent trip to Germany? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Free NYC Dessert Fest

Back in February, Annie mentioned a “recessional special” for a New York City dessert tour, and then in April, Jeremy broke down the cool dessert spots for New York City dwellers. It seems the Big Apple isn’t short on shopping its sweets, and there are plenty of sweets to be had in Manhattan even though summer is coming to a close.

If you’re looking for a cool activity to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’ll be happy to learn that the Free NYC Dessert Fest is still taking place each month. It is a free walking tour, centered solely on succulent desserts. Purchase of desserts are optional & additional.
This month will mark the tour’s 10th consecutive monthly tour of the city’s neighborhood sweet spots. The walk explores the Upper West Side, which has 5 delicious eateries where you can sample everything from cookies and cupcakes to hand-made French chocolates. Or if fruitier fare is more your palatable, mouth-watering apple tart or cheesecake might just satisfy that stomach of yours.

To help support the good work of Food Bank For New York City, a non-profit helping to feed the hungry, Walking Tours Manhattan asks for a $5.00 donation per person. 100% of all donations go to charity. Since December 2008 tour donations have helped feed 39 New Yorkers for a month.

Meet our tour guide with the red ball cap saying Walking Tours Manhattan on Sunday August 23, 2009 at 11:00am at Magnolia Bakery, 200 Columbus Avenue at 69th Street. The dessert tour lasts 1.5 hours, and expect to walk a little over 1 mile.

For additional neighborhood dessert tours, visit http://walkingtoursmanhattan.com

Find a cupcake in New York

Leave it to New Yorkers to be picky and demanding. Whether it’s upscale meals or obscure vodka brands, we want what we want, and if you don’t carry it, you’re somehow “lesser.” Cupcakes are no different. From my window, I can see the Upper West Side‘s Magnolia Bakery (one of three in the city), and there are many others.

In The Atlantic Monthly, a close look is taken at cupcakes, particularly in New York. The balance between cake and frosting is considered crucial, and (thankfully) Corby Kummer gives you a sense of who’s who in the large and growing world of Manhattan cupcake bakeries.

Well, starting with my neighborhood, poor Magnolia is said not to have any flavor in the cake (which I think is a bit harsh). Buttercup’s icing is better, but the cake isn’t. Sugar Sweet Sunshine – which, like Buttercup, comes from former Magnolia talent – is better than both.

Sadly, Kummer missed the latest entry into the Manhattan cupcake market: The Little Pie Company. Known for the most amazing cakes and pies in the city, sex and cupcake blogger Rachel Kramer Bussell tried in vain to get one on Christmas Eve last year. Later, she did succeed, and the cupcake was everything she’d hoped it would be.

[Via The Atlantic Monthly]

[Photo: cupcake from The Little Pie Company, Cupcakes Take the Cake]

Carrie Bradshaw’s Famous Stoop Still Draws Tourists

Sex and the City might be long gone from HBO but its spirit is alive and well in the West Village of New York. At least its less glamorous offspring–Sex and the City tourism–is.

Yes, women from all over the world come here to make a pilgrimage to 66 Perry Street, Carrie’s brownstone apartment (which was actually supposed to be on the Upper East Side), where she used to sit on the stoop and contemplate her love life. They then go around the corner for the infamous Magnolia Bakery cupcake, which–please don’t crucify me for saying so–is completely overrated, especially considering the 100-yard-long line of people waiting to get their hands on one. (They should be selling those things at post offices to make people form lines and wait patiently. They might actually do that if Sarah Jessica Parker tells them that’s what she does.)

NY Times writer Gerri Shanahan was complaining in her article this past Sunday about the busloads of the show fans pulling up at 66 Perry daily to take pictures on the stoop because they are “like so like the characters”, sans the good shoes, of course. Somehow, I don’t feel bad for you, Gerri Shanahan. Perry Street is one of New York’s prettiest and, honestly, I would take it even with the Carrie-wannabes on the stoop.