Sometimes, you just need to escape the cold and run away. . . to California.
For the past few days, I’ve been storming art museums and all manner of eateries in the great city of San Francisco. I could write about Seurat, or about Konstantin Makovsky and his stunning work, The Russian Bride’s Attire, or about the SFMOMA, and how I clearly don’t appreciate “modern” art, but I’m not going to write about any of those (for now). Because what I really miss is the food.
One crisp and cloudy morning near the bay, my travel group and I walked a few blocks from our motel to La Boulange Bakery for breakfast. When I entered under the awning, I was greeted by a glass case filled with golden, flakey pastries. I knew that I was in trouble immediately. I usually can’t make a decision for myself without a committee.
For those of you who have read my short story, The Center of Maple View, you’re going to have a pretty clear picture of what this bakery looked and smelled like. I watched as hot chocolate was served in ceramic bowls, and business people in suits and pencil skirts sipped from the edges of their bowls with their eyes closed. I began to panic as I got closer to the front of the line. The sugar crystals on the baguettes and tarts sparkled in the autumn morning light.
When it was my turn, I blurted that I wanted a chocolate hazelnut croissant. I took my brown paper bag and freshly squeezed orange juice to my table. When I bit into my croissant and had a mouthful of phyllo flakes, warm chocolate, and a hazelnut cream, I knew that I had made an excellent choice. And now, La Boulange is all I can think about. The next time I go to San Francisco, I think I’ll skip the MOMA and spend a little more quality time with the pastries.