Sunday, May 31, 2009

"A poppyseed twist, and two bagels, and do you have any chocolate biscuit cake? Fuck it, I'll have two of those too."

"When did everyone suddenly decide to ditch quality in favour of cheapness and convenience?" I ask thoughtfully, wandering home in the last of the daylight. My question, largely a rhetorical one, might be directed at any one of society's myriad ills (I often wonder if I am life's youngest grumpy old man, until I think of my younger brother), but in this case I am referring to the declining amount of bakeries in Ireland.

She decides to grant me a considered response to my gripe, anyway: "In the 70s and 80s when no-one here had any fucking money. That's when supermarkets opened."

"Kinda like now, then..."

I have become concerned.

We have just moved into a new place that shares a street with a Jewish bakery. It appealed to me so much that I felt the need to sample their wares before we'd even viewed the flat. Half a muffin later I was on board, whether the place boasted goat's blood-spattered walls and neighbours with a penchant for speed metal or not.

Turns out it didn't. It's lovely, it's warm and it's affordable. But I'm now worried that the recession might take my new baker friends away from me. "They must be struggling with the way things are right now. I think it's important that we buy more stuff there." She just grins at me, and no doubt feels glad that they aren't open right now to receive the full financial benefit of my goodwill.

The issue arises again in the morning. "I think I'll go get us some bread for breakfast, will I?"
She laughs. "Are you now determined to save all bakeries from the recession, as well as the taxi-drivers?" That's been my thing for the last six months - a grim determination to take taxis for even the most menial of trips, as those guys must really be feeling the pinch right now too. I take stock of this for a moment: somewhere, at critical stages of this ever-wilting current economic climate, it appears to have occurred to me that the way to alleviate everyone's suffering is for me to eat more baked goods and to never walk anywhere, whilst dramatically gnawing away at my own dwindling funds.

I'm not sure if this makes me the greatest guy in history or a complete fucking idiot.

But I'm plumping, in every sense of the word, for the latter.

17 comment(s):

Sarah Gostrangely said...

Good post!

You've made me dough-hungry now, damn you.

Blazing said...

Looked at the title, and thought 'That's what I used to eat when I was on the weed too'.

Excellent observation. Stick with the baker, drop the taxi drivers.

Andrew said...

Sarah - so come round and visit, then. And bring himself, i spotted him swaggering along handsomely like the handsome young swaggerer he is not all that far from where we live the other day.

Blazing - I permanently have the munchies, the only difference weed makes is to turn my appreciation of food somewhat more audible.

Anonymous said...

Supermarket shite is indeed cheaper, but the real stuff, crusty and still warm just can't be beat.

There's actually quite a few bakeries where I am, and I take advantage of them whenever I can.

B said...

I've been doing the same thing... kinda.


Meadow said...

Guessing it's the Bretzel. Glorious bakery. I lived in the area from around 90 to 00. Business was up and down and they changed ownership during that time, I think. But it's quality was always up. One thing I miss about where I am now.

There was another amazing bakery on the Rathgar Road in Terenure, wonder if that's still there?

catherine said...

What Sarah said, fookin' starvin'. Too hot to do anything about it though.

Rosie said...

still and all, if they don't do tipsy cake...

Andrew said...

Maxi - I'm confused. See, i know where you live, and last time i was rifling through your wheelie bin it was filled with nothing but 'Bundy's Floury Baps' wrappers. You make me sick.

B - So fresh it's famous, obviously.

Meadow - Yup, the very same. That change of ownership thing explains why it's usually a very un-Jewish looking Chinese girl who serves me in there and why they open on the sabbath.

Catherine - Well, like Sarah, consider yourself invited over for muffins. Actually, that invite is extended to all of my readers. As long as you're attractive and don't have a penis, that is.

Rosie - I'll work on them.

Jo said...

I'll make you biscuit cake, Andrew, but I warn you, you'll have to go to biscout cake rehab.

We used to go to the Bretzyl, on sunday mornings sometimes, when I was little. Bagels, Onion Buns (ohhh) and choclate rifles. Truffels.

Good days.

B said...

Andy: Yeah... I live down the road from it, it's generally so fresh that it isn't even fully finished being baked, awful!

Green of Eye, Sharp of Claw said...

Oh man i used to live on Synge Street and that place was a weakness of mine.Mmmmmmm.
Any chance of you sending a lorry load of goodies from there :P

Radge said...

I have to find this place.

There's one around the corner from me on the Cabra Road, Clarke's. I smell it every morning when I leave my flat. Lovely.

the dublinista said...

Welcome to the neighbourhood.
I'm a bridge down from you and instead of a bakery we have a chipper.

Be thankful you're not trying to save them from the recession.

Andrew said...

Jo - Biscuit cake rehab? Biscuit cake addiction is about as dangerous as cuddle addiction.

Green of Eye - Certainly. But I do worry that a parcel full of mouldy muffins and bagels would sully your memory of it somewhat. We'd have been neighbourinos, we live on the corner of Lennox and synge Street.

Radge - It's not that tough, just follow go to the Bernard Shaw and then follow your nose to the more pleasant smells coming from across the road.

Sexy - Why, thank you! Haven't you been busy? All those lovely links on a fuckload of my posts. My vast readership will no doubt have already crashed your server with their eager patronage of your wonderful sites. Keep truckin', friend.

Dublinista - Well, we do have the Aprile just next door to the bakery...

morgor said...

you might find this appropriate :

Elisabet said...

You've moved to my old hoods! And my bakery where I bought my breakfast every morning on my way into college. Keep them alive if you can!