Fridays Under $40: Cheap Sweets

Posted on: September 11th, 2020 at 5:07 am by

Photo: Sara Graham

In our Friday column, “Fridays Under $40,” Boogie writer Sara Graham again hits the streets to find cheap eats and affordable things to do during these weird times.

The end of summer always feels like a weird transition, but this month feels stranger than usual. We got news this week from Governor Cuomo that dining will resume indoors at 25% capacity starting September 30. Here’s hoping this will help save some jobs and the restaurants teetering on the edge—it feels like each day brings news of another crying “uncle” and closing permanently. I’m hopeful, but it also begs the question: is anyone eager to go eat, chat and breathe indoors come October? The verdict is out on whether this reporter is brave enough. Stay tuned.

Photo: Sara Graham

In the meantime, I set out to enjoy the remaining days of the September heat, wandering around eating cheap sweets while I did. I began my day at Hester Street Fair, which reopened IRL last month and is here weekends through October. I found I had stumbled upon a Lobster & Beer event and didn’t have reservations, which were required for a socially distanced spot at a table. Instead, I grabbed a cream-filled donut to go by Bong Phia. The sugar-coated treats are inspired by traditional Khmer desserts and they’re, in a word: delightful. You never know what you’ll find at Hester Street Fair.

Hester Street Fair, Hester and Essex Street
Total Cost: $5.00
11 AM-6PM, Saturdays and some Sundays

Photo: Sara Graham

Next, I stopped by Happy Star Bakery (aka Good View Bakery), for a coconut boba shake. They have two small neighboring stores—one that’s for baked goods and drinks, the other for savory things, like sandwiches and noodles. Everything is incredibly inexpensive. Take it to go and walk by the water.

Happy Star Bakery, 160 East Broadway
Total Cost: $3.75
Hours unknown

Photo: Sara Graham

If you’re up for a nice walk into the Financial District, you can find a little Parisian Spot with the best happy hour I’ve seen in COVID times, when happy hours are de rigueur. I meandered to One World Trade Center (hardly anyone was there) and then strolled down dark winding streets to try to find a bathroom. I passed Century 21, which just announced they’re closing all stores after filing for bankruptcy, according to Gothamist. Discount shoppers everywhere will be mourning that for years to come. I eventually stumbled upon a delightful little Parisian cafe (with a bathroom!) and just in time for happy hour, which includes $5 beer and wine every day from 4-6pm.

While I enjoyed a generous pour of sparkling white on an eerily quiet street, devoid of the usual tourists, I did my budget for the next month. Because I’m definitely going to need to hit that Century 21 “everything must go” sale.

La Parisienne, 9 Maiden Lane
9AM-7PM, Monday-Friday
9AM-6PM, Weekends and Holidays

Total cost of walkabout: $14.19

Costs recorded do not include tip, so tip generously. Wear a mask.

Recent Stories

Opposition Mounts Against Public Hotel Garden Revamp on Chrystie Street

The 28-story Public Hotel hopes to reconfigure its garden area along Chrystie Street. Neighbors are not having it. Posters in the immediate vicinity display the opposition to the liquor license modification. Claiming that the new garden format would be an “open air eating and drinking playground for the rich.” According to materials submitted to the […]

Developer to Close Lands End II Parking Lot by Month End for New 700-Foot Towers

Not two months after the Appellate Court overturned community lawsuits stopping the Two Bridges mega-developments, one of said projects is now moving forward. Tenants of the Lands End II housing complex were informed, via letter, that the rear parking lot will close by the end of April to make way for the 700-foot megatowers by […]

An Art Show to Benefit the Educational Alliance

A new art exhibit to support the Educational Alliance and its Manny Cantor Center kicks off this weekend. Drawing inspiration from the recently-deposed Hester Street Fair, “CONTINUE TO BE” is a celebratory show welcoming the warmth and hope of springtime in the city, featuring both new and old work from local photographers who have documented life […]

Clayton’s Corner: Shine a Light on the Dark

Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, nights are especially dark on the streets of the Lower East Side. Fewer businesses, less activity, less overall light. In this latest installment of Clayton’s Corner, the neighborhood documentarian shines a light on the darkness.

City Officially Breaks Ground on $1.45B East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

After an initial delay, the contested $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project is set to break ground in the coming days. All against a backdrop of legal filings and vociferous community opposition. “Building a recovery for all of us means fighting climate change and investing in resilient communities,” Mayor de Blasio stated in a […]