Pulling up to this majestic 1823 Federal-Style townhouse on a cobblestone street in an Uber seemed a travesty. My daughter Kristina and I felt what we really needed was a horse and buggy. Listed as a New York City landmark, 488 Greenwich Street, site of Joanne Hendricks Cookbooks, deserves as much.
Had we not seen the cookbook sign, we might have thought we were in the wrong place.
And that door. How do I begin to describe The Door?
The photo hardly does it justice. It’s like a living, breathing entity. You just have to see it. You almost expect it to talk and tell stories. You want it to. It’s the best door in the city.
After standing in awe of the building and the door for a few minutes, Kristina and I decided to open the magic door to explore what was inside. The door almost hits the first shelf of cookbooks.
The store itself is tiny, fascinating, charming, darkish, and a little intimidating and mysterious.
As you can see, there are treasures to be found in every nook and cranny. Like the sign says outside, antiquarian and unusual, and also more than a little exciting to explore. Be prepared to find every kind of book in the tiny space, along with piles of vintage Gourmet magazines next to an antique child’s play stove.
Business cards with the brass plate of the door, of course.
The wall of cookbooks by the door.
I loved this. It reminded me of my card catalog at home.
I love tiny cookbooks.
If I had money to spare, I would have bought this in a heartbeat. It’s a page of Julia Child recipes from her “L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes” (The School of the Three Hearty Eaters), the informal cooking school she started in Paris in 1952 with Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. The patch they displayed on their aprons is like the red stamp on the recipe page. Julia’s husband designed the logo. Believe me, I hated leaving this behind. I still think about it. How I would love to display it in my kitchen.
Instead of the expensive Julia treasure, I found a couple of those adorable tiny books with wonderful recipes and adorable artwork. I love these!
It was finally time to leave and I took one last look at Julia’s recipes before exiting out that fabulous door. Hopefully one of these days I will be writing to you that I once again entered the door and bought Julia’s recipes. I will cross my fingers as I exit the door and maybe it will work some magic.