Went on my annual pilgrimage to the DUMBO Arts Festival yesterday with my friends Erica and Joy in tow. After a quick first hit of contemporary art installation at Smack Mellon, we made a bee line to Jacques Torres for the chocolatier's justly famous Wicked Hot Chocolate. The thick, creamy stuff wasn't as "wicked" as we would have liked, lacking in its usual chile, spice zing, but the heat and chocolate more than made up for it.
We sipped as we made our way through hundreds of open studios, eyeing delights like Amy Bennett's vividly compelling "doll's house" interpretations and Thomas Germano's witty riff on an American icon - the baseball. We all found Kelley Bush's cibachromes evocatively soothing and Jane Walentas' restoration work of the Philadelphia Toboggan Company Carousel #61 enchanting.
As we wove in and out of studios and a few galleries, we noticed other art lovers clasping Torres' signature bright orange cups, drinking in the warmth of his hot chocolate.
Then we started to notice a few of them clasping cups of a different sort - Starbucks cups. Where did they come from? Did they travel all the way from Brooklyn Heights' Montague Street with their double-foam, half-caf lattes?
One turn onto Main Street towards Fulton and we knew that there was no turning back from DUMBO's gentrification. There it was. A bonafide Starbucks firmly planted on the corner.
Now all they need is a chain grocery store and pharmacy. Anybody have the numbers for Key Foods and Rite Aid? That should complete the evil trifecta nicely.