|This is not a Cronut, but it will make sense. Later.|
So, while the idea of waking up in the middle of the night to travel downtown for a chance to get something that I might not actually enjoy, should have caused immediate second thoughts, I actually thought “yes, I’m doing that.”
And that’s how I ended up waiting in line for a mythical and infamous cronut.
Truth be told, the seeds were actually planted on Thursday afternoon. I was just hanging out in my apartment in the boogie down and I had a craving for a baked good. I didn’t know if I wanted a cookie or a donut, but I wanted something sweet.
There’s a Dunkin’ Donuts in my local grocery store and I genuinely thought about going to get some donuts. But then it hit me; why not put it off, let that fire build up and use it to motivate me into getting a cronut.
I mapped out a plan, found out what time I had to arrive in order to have the best liklihood of getting a cronut, and what time I’d have to leave the Bronx to get there at that time.
I took three-hour nap and left the crib at 5am. For some reason, probably lack of sleep, I had no problem wandering the streets at that time.
It was interesting to see a different variety of people on the train at such an early hour. When I’m usually on the train, people just happen to be going somewhere. But at such an early hour everyone is traveling with a purpose.
The train ride took longer than I expected. My aim was to get to (the line outside) Dominique Ansel Bakery at 6am. I got there closer to a quarter after. I was shook. I cursed myself for not leaving earlier, for not playing it safe. Maybe if I’d just left five minutes earlier, the cronuts could have been mine.
Of course it was only 6:13. The bakery wouldn’t even be open for another hour and forty-five minutes.
From there I mostly just listened music. It was a cool Autumn morning, so I was glad that I had my hoodie. The young woman right in front of me was wearing shorts and shivering. It was actually painful to watch.
A couple times, before the line even began moving, some bakers came out and passed out bite size madeleines to people in line. It would have been really dope if they’d lasted long enough for me to get one.
Dog walkers passed by. Joggers jogged by. People practiced tennis on the courts next to the line. Some people behind me in line, walked to the front and counted back in an attempt to figure out how many people were ahead of them. Time progressed even though the line didn’t.
I still wasn’t really confident I was going to get a cronut. I knew that a look back to see how many people were behind me would probably boost my confidence, but I really didn’t want to be one of those people. There were a ton of people who keep looking back or taking pictures of how long the line was, I didn’t want to be one of them.
Eventually the doors of the bakery opened and groups of twenty were let in to purchase their cronuts. Once I got around the corner, I felt a few things. First I felt warmer because a) it was later and actually warmer and b) I could actually feel sun rays.
It gets to the point when I’m at most, two groups away from cronuts. I’m feeling ok, but still sort of nervous. A young woman comes out and she lets the group directly ahead of us know that cronuts are running low, but that they should be fine. Then she spoke to me and the people in my immediate area and said that cronuts were running low and that we might not get some. Sobering.
So at this point, myself and the four people in front of me start pondering the future. The guy diretly in front of me (the girl who had the position vacated it for the shorter non-cronut line) was actually just getting a cronut for his girlfriend for her birthday. In front of us was a mother, with her son and his boyfriend, though I didn’t really know which was which.
She was funny. She was in full tourist mode, completely excited that Blue Bloods was filming down the block. She was positively adorable.
We plotted a game plan. We floated the possibility that we might only get one cronut apiece. The mom promised that if she was getting the last two cronuts, best boyfriend ever would get one. And I accepted the fact that I’d have no problem with the best boyfriend ever’s blood on my hand if he ended up standing between me and a cronut.
And then they began to let the next group in.
A burly guy came out, counted back from the front of the line and handed me a faux baguette. He told me it was a placeholder. Then he directed the them to go inside. I resigned myself to the fact my odds were 50/50. I bid my newfound cronut buddies farewell.
And then the dude told me to go in as well. I was the cutoff guy.
Once inside we were giddy. Not only were we so close to cronuts, but we were out of the elements. It was warm in there and we were grateful for it. And the awesome thing about the baguette was that it gave us all confidence. They were confident that they were going to get cronuts because they were ahead of me and I figured that I was pretty safe as well.
The bakery is fantastic looking. The displays are tantalizing and everyone working there was polite and seemed in good spirits. I even saw Dominique Ansel working in the back. It was very cool.
And then more people from the cronut line were let in, which let us know that we were indeed getting cronuts. There was a definite sense of relief. The anxiety of “will we or won’t we” was passed to the group behind us.
While I was intrigued about the Magic Soufflé and had planned on picking up one, but they were sold out. Fortunately they did still have cronuts. And I got mine.
Getting that little golden box felt amazing. Even though I had my backpack, I definitely walked out of the bakery and down a few blocks with the cronut package in my hand, so everyone could see that I braved the cronut line and triumphed.
It was an interesting experience. I’m not mad that I did it. It wasn’t the most pleasurable thing ever, but it is a badge I wear with honor. I’m glad I did it. And maybe I’ll do it again.