I know I said last week that I was giving up my Wednesdays to guest bloggers, but I’ve got something really important to talk about so we’re going to have to bump that back a bit. Note that I said REALLY IMPORTANT, so you may want to make sure you’ve had a cup of coffee or a sack full of rock candy so that you’re fully attentive while you read this. Go ahead and go get that right now if you need to.
A few years ago, we were asked to sponsor the welcome center for the New York City Food and Wine Festival (which we’re a part of again this year! Go buy tickets!). Matt brought the cupcakes to the meeting point and was ushered into a building that he said felt very familiar, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. It was a long, narrow open room. Hanging from the ceiling were giant banners of the smiling faces of various Food Network celebrities. Bright lights everywhere. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he’d been there before, but was pretty sure he’d remember any place that would put Paula Deen’s face on a 15 foot banner.
Then he asked to use the bathroom. And that was the moment where he realized that he didn’t recognize the place because it had been gutted, and he’d never actually seen the room with the lights on. The bathrooms, however, were exactly the same.
Ladies and Gentlemen of New York City- there was a 15 foot banner of Paula Deen’s head inside THE MOTHERFREAKING TUNNEL.
For all of you who only moved to New York after Disney bought most most of it, the Tunnel was someplace a sixteen year old should never, EVER be. What Matt was doing there in the unisex bathrooms I have no idea. I was home studying. The few times I was there with friends I don’t remember at all, more than likely because I was so stunned and repulsed by the debauchery that I had to have blacked it out. Really the only possible explanation.
Never in my life did I think that the excess being served in The Tunnel would be butter. Never.
If that story has accomplished anything, it’s made me realize that I should probably go back and look up what happened in 1996, because I think I missed that whole year (because I was studying so hard). And for YOU, hopefully it will make you understand why what I’m about to talk to you about is so important:
Remember a month of so back when I was talking about Cake Shop? Many of you may know them as our retail outpost on the Lower East Side, and one of our oldest retail partners. Many more of you may know them as one of the last clubs in Manhattan to continually feature new music from exciting, brilliant developing bands.
Most clubs book bands that already have a following- bands that can guarantee them a certain number of ticket sales. If you’re starting out, or you’re trying to grow, or if every single fan you have comes down with the stomach flu the night of your show, chances are you don’t get to play. And without those shows, you can’t build fans. Cake Shop has differed in that they’ve always been a champion of the little guy. Little guys like Vampire Weekend. Little guys like MGMT. Little guys like, well, US.
They’ve done a lot for the little guys. And now, us little guys from all walks of life need to pool together to help them.
When you let bands with no following take your stage, you don’t always make a fortune to cover your bills. Yes, it’s good for music, it’s good for the aesthetic of the LES, but it’s not good for the bottom line. And now with a new real estate tax on their space, they need help. Which is why I’m asking everyone to check out their campaign on Pledge Music to help save Cake Shop. And the incentives are pretty sweet:
-Got $25 to chip in? That gets you on the guest list for a show plus two drink tickets. I think that’s actually a discount!
-Fifty bucks gets you a punch card for 10 drinks. And they’re open from 9am on, so you can invest in a whole day of sitting in their cafe reading a book while getting crapfaced on Amaretto Sours.
-You get to guest DJ a show for $75! How rad is that! I might do that, put on my old JNCOs and a trucker hat, show up and play Air Supply songs all freaking night! (this is why people don’t invite me to parties anymore)
Then there’s like 500 other incentives as well. Or maybe it’s 20. Whatever- it’s 1am and I can’t count.
Want me to put this in more blatant terms for you guys?
Or how about this one…….
New York, we don’t get a lot of chances to save New York. No matter how much we complain, a store that sells nothing but water will open up on St. Mark’s Place, and no doubt more stores selling things like “air” and “the concept of a lost dream” will soon replace everything we love.
This campaign? This isn’t just a shot to keep Cake Shop around. This is a shot to keep Cake Shop from becoming a store that sells $600 sunglasses.
Fight for New York! Fight for independent music and the spirit of the Lower East Side! Visit Pledge Music and keep Cake Shop alive! Then use whatever money you have left to buy cupcakes and brownies and whatnot! We can’t be saving New York on an empty stomach, you know.
Clockwise from front: Odessa, Key Lime Cheesecake, Root Beer Float, Peach Melba
Odessa: Vanilla cake, sour cream buttercream, sugared sour cherries
Key Lime Cheesecake: Graham cracker cake, key lime curd, key lime cheesecake buttercream, graham cracker crumbs, lime zest
Root Beer Float: Root beer cake, root beer custard, vanilla buttercream, maraschino cherry
Peach Melba: Brown sugar cake, vanilla buttercream, raspberry jam, brown sugar peaches