Bunnies and babka

A rabbit proof fence would not stand a chance against the art – or the Australian artists, that are bringing new perspectives to Manhattan. At Brookfield Place on the lower West Side, Amanda Parer’s installation of giant bunnies presents the contradiction of fairy tail and feral in an exhibition appropriately called Intrude. Not that the rabbits appear anything except completely comfortable in their grand Gotham surroundings. Standing 7 meters tall, they are luminous in the midday sun, and at night from over the river on the Jersey Shore, they would glow in the spot lights. Having hopped from London to Canada to the USA, these pests have a full passport before they even leave for Portugal. But until then, they will flag the entrance to the biggest French eatery in the city.

When Le District opened about a year ago the salad bar that transformed into a mousse bar in the late afternoon was the main attraction. But now the competition is tougher. Like Eatily there is the freshest seafood, an aromatic rotisserie, and steak grilled a la minute as you sit barside with a smooth sauvignon. The cheese plates look life-giving, and the prosciutto would have been worth ordering just for the performance of the carving. But the promise of a new bakery hidden in the entrance of an old building down the street lured us on…

The Arcade Bakery is not immediately obvious when you swing through the revolving doors at the Church Street entrance. Tables fold out from the walls and sit flush with the line of the foyer, as does the bakery, which is more art than artisanal. Only one sweet is showcased at a time, so that arriving late in the day (the bakery is open from 8 – 4 Monday to Friday) you could be forgiven for thinking there was almost nothing left. But as we ordered the lemon brioche another one magically appeared, and the generous slice of chocolate walnut babka seemed not to diminish the loaf. The sparsity of the location is completely contrary to the lushness of the product. The brioche was an unchartered flavour, outstanding, and the babka now holds the crown. Breads Bakery is in trouble. It was light, flavoursome and delicious. Crispy on the outside and stretchy in the middle. Just like the bagette, made with croissant dough on the outside to give crunchy flakiness, and bread dough inside. Whoa. The coffee is American drip, but on a hot afternoon, ginger beer was the trick. And it seemed refreshing to find new and have different. So if you find yourself in need of refreshment after visiting Ground Zero, just turn right at the rabbits….


Processed with VSCO with a2 preset

babkabakeryPop bakery outside

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6 Responses to Bunnies and babka

  1. Helen Keane says:

    Hi Gabrielle I am sure these are the same rabbits that recently appeared in Canberra at the Enlighten festival – the annual Canberra light show – they were quite amazing to see at night time. I love reading your posts from New York. Best wishes from Canberra. Helen

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thank you Helen – yes I think these are very well traveled rabbits and all kudos to the artist. And the Canberra light show looks amazing – luminous botanicus – that would have been fun too…

  2. Irene Rofe says:

    We saw rabbits like this in the Park in Launceston Tassie last year. They were so beautiful and soft in the night light!! Lovely to share experiences with you irene R

    • Absolutely Irene. I believe the artist lives in Tasmania now, so you probably get to see all her works first. I really must try to get back to the west side and see the rabbits at night before they leave…

  3. Leigh Toohey says:

    We had tha Bunnies at the Canberra Enlighten Festival. They were very popular

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