A New Cookie for a New Pope’s Followers

At Artuso Pastry shop in the Bronx, the demand was there, but over on the supply side in the Vatican, the cardinals were not immediately obliging.

“So many people were calling for pope cookies and we didn’t know who the new pope would be,” said Natalie Corridori, a manager at the bakery.

So on Wednesday, under lingering black-smoke conditions, the bakers at Artuso, famed for their Pope Benedict XVI cookies, jumped the gun and started making papal cookies with a question mark for a face.

The timing was rotten. Just before the question mark could be printed out on sheets of sugar paper to apply to the cookies – stop the presses! — Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

But it did not take long for bakery workers to download a photo of the new pope. Soon his confectionery likeness adorned the first batch of Pope Francis cookies.

Ms. Corridori, an Argentine-born Catholic of Italian descent, just like His Holiness, could not have been more pleased by the selection.

“When It was announced, I called my parents, and they sounded like we just won the World Cup,” she said. With a little luck, the cookies could be a crossover hit for Artuso, a holdover Italian-owned business in the Belmont neighborhood, where Latinos (and Albanians) have moved in great numbers in recent years.

Artuso’s papal cookies are made from the same recipe as a standard bakery black-and-white, but with the pope’s photo printed with food-coloring ink and layered onto the icing.

By Thursday morning, the bakery had made so many Pope Francis cookies – pope in white, with an orange background – that the main printer broke. The bakers switched to a backup printer, turned out a few batches and put them on the shelves with the sfingi and zeppole (for St. Joseph’s Day on Tuesday), the Easter candy and the St. Patrick’s-themed pastries.

By midday, Artuso had sold nearly 100 of the cookies, as several customers tasted and debated the religious implications of eating them.

“I don’t think it’s a sin – it’s a blessing,” said Yada Santos, a native of Puerto Rico who hailed the selection of Pope Francis. She decided to buy a cookie even though she had come for a cheesecake, which she also bought. “Hopefully it’s a blessing that will keep the calorie count down, too.”

Ms. Corridori decided to also make a final batch of Pope Benedict XVI cookies, for old time’s sake, and for anyone who might buy one as a collector’s item.

“Last chance to get Pope Benedict the 16th cookies,” she called out from behind the counter.

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Dolphin’s Still in East River. What’s Up With That?

The dolphin that turned up Wednesday morning in the East River has yet to return to sea, and while rescue experts are growing more concerned, they say that the animal, while “on the thin side,” does not appear to have any obvious health issues and is still swimming well.

The dolphin appears to be an offshore bottlenose, which is “a little bit more of a concern because these animals typically are open-ocean animals” compared to their cousins the coastal bottlenoses, said Kimberly Durham, rescue program manager for the Riverhead Foundation. Dolphin also usually travel in groups, not alone.

The dolphin in the East River is only a few miles from Long Island Sound and open water, but as on Wednesday, it was spending Thursday in an area bounded roughly by the East 90s in Manhattan, Randalls Island and Astoria, Queens.

“We don’t understand why it’s staying in that area,” Robert DiGiovanni Jr., executive director of the Riverhead Foundation, said on Thursday. Mr. DiGiovanni said he got within 50 feet of it on Wednesday evening and said the dolphin knew to stay clear of his boat. He said someone reported seeing the dolphin eating a fish.

In the absence of any clear indicators that the dolphin is in trouble, he said his organization would just continue to monitor it.

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A Deal on Chicken Sandwiches

Dear Diary:

The other day, I bought two chicken sandwiches – a childhood favorite – having been talked into a two-for-one deal by the cashier. Ate one for lunch; saved the other for later.

On my way home I phoned my sister, excitedly reliving my lunchtime bonanza for her. She recalled clipping coupons back in the day – two chicken sandwiches for $1. We agreed that after all these years, though the sandwiches were smaller than we remembered, and tasted different – probably all that filler, she sighed – they were nonetheless a standup choice. Then Sandwich No. 2 and I hopped on a Manhattan-bound N train.

A homeless gentleman entered my car and quietly began his spiel. When he passed me, I asked if he was hungry and he said yes. I fished Sandwich No. 2 out of my bag and handed it to him. He took one look and announced:

“Ooh, a chicken sandwich, right?”


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One Last Block Party for ‘Broken Angel’ House in Brooklyn

With the foreclosure process over, and an order of eviction waiting to be executed on Friday, the only thing left to do for Arthur Wood, the owner — or rather, former owner — of the Broken Angel art house, was to celebrate his departure with a block party.

Hundreds of Mr. Wood’s neighbors and friends in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, are indeed expected to show up on the street outside his house Friday afternoon for a salutatory shindig likely to include bands, barbecue, mutant bicycles and Dadaist piñatas.

“We aim to throw a kid-friendly block party, Brooklyn D.I.Y. style, to give back the love and devotion that Arthur put into his life’s work,” read the Facebook invitation that went out to almost 3,000 people earlier this week. “This will be a day to remember and one full of the love of community and the unique flavor of D.I.Y.”

Mr. Wood is an accomplished painter, but the life’s work referred to in the invitation is Broken Angel, a Surrealist ziggurat of sorts that he and his late wife, Cynthia, bought in 1979 when the structure, at 4 Downing Street, was an abandoned four-story brick townhouse.

Employing mostly locally-sourced junk, Mr. Wood, now 81, built asymmetrical, glassy sculptures on the building’s roof, inadvertently creating a landmark on the Brooklyn D.I.Y. artscape. It attracted wider notice when it served as the backdrop for Dave Chappelle’s 2006 film, “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.”

In 2006, a fire at the building led to a series of city investigations that revealed that Mr. Wood had not built his structure according to code. The Department of Buildings ordered the removal of some of the building’s key design features and, under order to make expensive renovations, Mr. Wood arranged a partnership in 2007 with a real estate developer, Shahn Anderson. Together they took out a $4 million mortgage from Madison Realty Capital with plans to construct condominiums on the site, and also next door.

That plan was never realized, and in 2009, under complicated — and disputed — circumstances, Mr. Wood and his partner defaulted on the mortgage. The bank moved in to foreclose and bought the building at auction last April after no other bidders emerged.

Thus, the block party Friday afternoon. By midweek, more than 400 people — artists, musicians, bookstore owners, brewers and photographers — had signaled their intention online to attend the event. It is scheduled to run from 4 to 8 p.m. and revelers are encouraged to dress warmly and bring something for the barbecue.

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After Art House Eviction, Time for a Block Party in Clinton Hill

With the foreclosure process over, and an order of eviction waiting to be executed on Friday, the only thing left to do for Arthur Wood, the owner — or rather, former owner — of the Broken Angel art house, was to celebrate his departure with a block party.

Hundreds of Mr. Wood’s neighbors and friends in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, are indeed expected to show up on the street outside his house Friday afternoon for a salutatory shindig likely to include bands, barbecue, mutant bicycles and Dadaist piñatas.

“We aim to throw a kid-friendly block party, Brooklyn D.I.Y. style, to give back the love and devotion that Arthur put into his life’s work,” read the Facebook invitation that went out to almost 3,000 people earlier this week. “This will be a day to remember and one full of the love of community and the unique flavor of D.I.Y.”

Mr. Wood is an accomplished painter, but the life’s work referred to in the invitation is Broken Angel, a Surrealist ziggurat of sorts that he and his late wife, Cynthia, bought in 1979 when the structure, at 4 Downing Street, was an abandoned four-story brick townhouse.

Employing mostly locally-sourced junk, Mr. Wood, now 81, built asymmetrical, glassy sculptures on the building’s roof, inadvertently creating a landmark on the Brooklyn D.I.Y. artscape. It attracted wider notice when it served as the backdrop for Dave Chappelle’s 2006 film, “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party.”

In 2006, a fire at the building led to a series of city investigations that revealed that Mr. Wood had not built his structure according to code. The Department of Buildings ordered the removal of some of the building’s key design features and, under order to make expensive renovations, Mr. Wood arranged a partnership in 2007 with a real estate developer, Shahn Anderson. Together they took out a $4 million mortgage from Madison Realty Capital with plans to construct condominiums on the site, and also next door.

That plan was never realized, and in 2009, under complicated — and disputed — circumstances, Mr. Wood and his partner defaulted on the mortgage. The bank moved in to foreclose and bought the building at auction last April after no other bidders emerged.

Thus, the block party Friday afternoon. By midweek, more than 400 people — artists, musicians, bookstore owners, brewers and photographers — had signaled their intention online to attend the event. It is scheduled to run from 4 to 8 p.m. and revelers are encouraged to dress warmly and bring something for the barbecue.

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