I've got a funny accent, a hybrid New Zealand-English affair that has caused great amusement amongst my family and friends whenever I've been home ("Say plum. Oh my goodness say it again! Okay now say cabinet. Tee hee hee!"). You get the idea. I've never really got why it's so humorous - I lived in London for four years and had as my friends a group of the most English English people you can imagine, it would be more unusual if I still sounded like Lyn of Tawa* - but it's never worried me, not the accent or the amusement. That is, it never used to worry me. It's a different story since I moved to America.
When I came here, it was with the proviso that I would not develop an American accent. I have nothing against them, but American accents are like hydrangeas - fine for other people, but not for me. And for over a year, that was no problem. But, it turns out American accents are insidious, a bit like hydrangeas. And I'm very susceptible to accents. So for the last six months or so, I've noticed a few small changes - the occasional 'r' rolling when I'm used to treating them as if they weren't there, the odd vowel being drawn out for longer than strictly necessary. And every time I hear it it makes me sad, because even though this place is a fantastic home, I have another home too, and it's a really long way away.
The bright side is that this place is positively teeming with Kiwis, clever, witty, sarcastic, enthusiastic Kiwis, most of whom have managed to hold onto their accents, and their cultural references, and their food preferences. And a few of them have decided to do the rest of us a favor and cater to that. And this is where DUB Pies comes in.
DUB Pies (stands for Down Under Bakery - they're nice to Australians too but we know the truth) is a special place, an almost holy little corner shop where you can order a pie safe in the knowledge that nobody's going to offer you something fruity**. Sadly, it's not on my corner, but resides in Brooklyn, close to Prospect Park. Yes, that Brooklyn, the one over a bridge***.
Because we had fellow Kiwis in town visiting, and because we all had the day off, and because we all like eating, we decided it would be a swell idea to make our way there for a pie - something I've been trying to do for, ooh, about a year and a half now, but something that's proved to be really hard, because I pretty much never go to Brooklyn****. And because it was a beautiful day, and that bridge that it's over is quite the stunner, we decided to walk the bridge part of it. And because we hadn't eaten, we went for brunch first, and because we were then so full, we decided to walk the bit to the bridge as well, and because we were all still really full, and wanted to make sure the pies would be appreciated to the degree they deserve, and were quite keen to get out of a relatively scary looking part of Downtown Brooklyn as quickly as possible, we decided to walk the rest of the way to the pie shop as well.
And that is why I walked six miles for a pie.
It was worth it.
Although I do still have the remnants of a blister on my foot. I was not wearing sensible walking shoes*****.
Yep...still worth it.
I haven't been back since, but I know I will be, probably when it's warmed up a little and I can go and eat my pie in the park it's right next to. I'll buy a flat white****** and a custard slice******* also, and I'll lie in the sun and close my eyes and tune out all the funny accents and pretend I'm in New Zealand.
*Non-Kiwis, click the link and all will be explained. Then all non-Kiwis and Kiwis alike, please be reassured that I never actually sounded like that.
**Not some sort of awful slur - all American pies are fruit-based, or fruity, if you like, whereas Kiwi pies are full of delicious delicious meat.
***For the record, there are three bridges that go there and multiple subways. It's not that hard to get to. I'm just lazy.
****Nothing personal, it's just the Manhattan bubble, making it hard to remember there are other boroughs/cities/states/countries.
*****Full disclosure: I don't own sensible walking shoes.
*******Like a mille-feuille, only not posh.