Magnolia Bakery Treats Bleecker Street Bike Lane as Private Parking Lot

Categories: My Rant, Sietsema

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Winter or summer, fair weather or foul, patrons of Magnolia Bakery park their cars in the bike lane in front of the store.


It happens all year long but is particularly noxious for bikers when the pavement is icy: Magnolia Bakery customers park their cars -- often unattended -- in the bike lane in front of the store, forcing bikers to swerve on icy pavement into a rushing and honking lane of traffic. This picture was taken last evening, when there were plenty of actual parking spots across the street, and on West 11th around the corner. It seems that folks in SUVs horny for cupcakes can't be bothered walking 50 feet for them. Cops come by in cars, glance out the window with blasé expressions, and drive on. And why is this Magnolia's problem?

To answer that question, let's look back to the bakery's rocky relationship with the surrounding community. Ever since it was popularized by Sex and the City, Magnolia has brought droves of the cupcake obsessed to the neighborhood; they form long, sometimes unruly lines outside the bakery, impeding pedestrians and -- since the bakery is open until midnight many nights -- disturbing dwellers in the surrounding buildings.

Much worse is the tidal wave of trash these cupcake eaters leave. As Fork in the Road reported last summer, the park diagonally across the street from Magnolia fills with customers every evening. Some simply leave boxes, wrappers, and bags (and, often, unfinished cupcakes) on the tables when they're done. Others throw their trash on the ground, or into trash cans that are already overflowing.

This, of course, attracts rats and pigeons, but also constitutes an eyesore in an otherwise pleasant neighborhood. And the park is virtually unusable for local residents. Moreover, a Sex and the City tour that prominently features the bakery uses Bleecker Park as its staging area. It's as if the bakery has been allowed to annex the park for its own uses.

Presumably responding to Fork in the Road's earlier rant, for a while Magnolia dispatched employees to bag the overflowing trash and clean up. But that only lasted a couple of months, and now the trash flows freely again. We contend that, as a business making money hand over fist partly by appropriating public facilities (i.e., the park and the sidewalks), the bakery has a responsibility to police its patrons. It would cost them so little to do so, and make such sense from a neighborhood-relations (and bicycle-safety) standpoint.


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Even in the snow, Magnolia's trash overflows.


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Flashback to last summer.


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And here's some garbage from October.


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Mmmm, cupcakes!


My Voice Nation Help
16 comments
Jerico
Jerico

As much as I am aware of, Obtaining road bike is definitely a large devotion notably because you'll be travelling right onto a new hobby and leisure activity.

Jhutchins
Jhutchins

First of all, the Sex and the City tour donates money to the park and the neighborhood on an annual basis. Second of all, the tour does not even use Magnolia Bakery for its cupcakes.

villagegal
villagegal

Magnolia, apart from the trash it creates, has never had anycommunity spirit. And no, being in business, does not give you the right to trash the neighborhood. I wonder how many of those tourists know that in its prior incarnation, that storefront was a bird shop and you know you can never really clean between those floorboards. — at least not enough to suit me. Reports from ex-employees, perhaps, misgruntled so take this with a grain of sale, are that rodents are a not infrequent sight when they are mixing up the batters. The Cupcake Stop has opened on Greenwich Avenue — more interesting flavors and good cupcakes. Neighbors who know go there, not Magnolia.

S. J. Parker
S. J. Parker

Boo-hoo, I have to veer my little, cutesy bike because the bike lane is blocked.

Feel sorry for me. I so want the Village to be like my suburban hometown that I whine and bitch about it constantly.

Sadik-Khan, isn't there something you can do about this? After all, you are the traffic diktator.

blinkie
blinkie

Magnolia isn't that great anyway. They are better than average but not worth waiting in line for. There are many bakeries in the city that are just as tasty if not more so that are far less crowded. Hopefully, the whole Sex in the City cache will wear off after awhile.

Goldsteinm
Goldsteinm

As far as the bike lane thing, that is not their responsibility either. It is the responsibility of D.O.T. to enforce the laws NOT Magnolia. BTW, DOWN WITH BIKE LANES IN NYC!!!

Jskifan
Jskifan

Why do they need so much packaging? 'Cause that is what they want. I don't believe you are part of Magnolia, are you? If not, then it should not concern you. Typical NIMBYs thinking that a place of business is responsible for whatever its customers do outside the store. I hope less businesses open in your neighborhood so they can contribute to empty storefronts. Then, maybe, just maybe, you people will quit whining over every god damn thing!

thewestvillager
thewestvillager

Way to call Magnolia out - I am sure they make enough money to help out the neighborhood. They may do some other altruistic things, but I am uninformed of those. Here's a more humorous take on the cupcake crack pushers...

http://thewestvillager.com/201...

Bikeguy
Bikeguy

Aside from the obvious and illegal bike lane transgressions, that trash problem is fucking despicable. I would love to bitch slap every suingle person that is too lazy to find another receptacle. Fucking douchebags!

Asymptote
Asymptote

OKay, it's illegal and rude. But if you can't look back for traffic and then merge into the main traffic lane, you probably should just get off and walk the bike.

Stacy Rosenstock
Stacy Rosenstock

Magnolia is not only a bad neighbor, they don't seem to be a particularly green neighbor either.

DevinG
DevinG

Why is so much wrapping and packaging needed if the customer is just going to eat the stuff outside the store or across the street? Is it necessary to have everything boxed up?

rsietsema
rsietsema

Very cagey reply, Jhutchins. Exactly how much do they donate? And, as I discovered when I took the tour, the tour guides make the participants believe they're eating Magnolia cupcakes even though they aren't, so Magnolia remains the focus of the tour and the reason the bus stops at Bleecker Park.

http://www.villagevoice.com/20...

Severin
Severin

You have no legal or sound reason to defend these motorists who illegally and inconsiderately block the bike lane. You resort to name calling in a childish manner making irrelevant generalizations about bicyclists. Then you attack Sadik Khan who has managed to make NYC streets than they have been for the past couple decades.

Snooze fest! ZzZZzzz...

Exp
Exp

Not the point. The law is the law- I bet that you work for Goldman Sachs.

Asymptote
Asymptote

Cyclists do not always have a use for the law, nor should they be surprised if the law sometimes has no use for them. Fortunately the attentive cyclist does have amazing flexibility to deal with almost any condition. This flexibility is, in fact, cycling's reward.

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