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Photo: George Embiricos
My friend and I formulated a plan to obtain a Cronut from Dominique Ansel. This day of misery followed.

Back on May 28 we published the story: The First, And Last, Cronut Story You Will Read On Food Republic. Nearly three months later we’ve stuck to our guns. Well, until now, where our editor tells a sad, sad story. 

Armed with a day off from work last Friday, my friend and I formulated a plan to obtain the mythical Cronut of Dominique Ansel. You see, I was too proud to consider tapping into the black market on Craigslist, and too noble to try and use my position as an editor at Food Republic to request a box be sent to the office. So, I conducted some basic research the night before – primarily on Yelp, first red flag – and hit the sack on Thursday night while visions of Cronuts danced in my head.

A day of misery followed:

Friday, August 16
5:40 a.m. Alarm goes off. High on life. Soon to be high on sugar.

6:05 a.m. I pick up my friend in my car. We send out a Snapchat to our entire contact list bragging about our upcoming Cronut conquest, Rebecca Black’s timeless classic “Friday” blaring in the background.

6:06 a.m. Angry texts begin to trickle in from our now-awakened contacts. Hats off to the individual who sends, “YOU’RE MORE ANNOYING THAN 4 A.M. AMBER ALERTS” for keeping her comedic cool at this ungodly hour.

6:10 a.m. Of course, street parking is nowhere to be found. I fork over $27.50 to a garage advertising an “Early Bird Special.” Absolute steal.

6:15 a.m. The line at 189 Spring Street in SoHo wraps around the block and stretches more than halfway down a second. We take our places and count exactly 145 people in front of us (the bakery claims to make 300-350 Cronuts each day, with a limit of two per customer). Shit. Too early for math.

6:18 a.m. We come to the conclusion that we should be safe.

6:20 a.m. A woman begins hitting tennis balls against the wall in a public park next to our line. She seems rattled, clearly not expecting hundreds of attendees at her solo match. We take great pleasure in booing her every bad shot. It’s the little things in life!

6:25 a.m. Sunrise coincides with the first passers-by. Those in the know shake their heads, smirking at our sheer stupidity. Those unaware of the purpose of our lining up pepper us with inevitable questions. We slink into our hooded sweatshirts in shame and let others take the lead.

6:40 a.m. I spill most of my iced latte on my t-shirt. The group of Japanese tourists behind us in line finds this wildly entertaining.

6:41 a.m. I catch one of said tourists posting a mupload of my iced latte-stained shirt on his iPhone.

7:10 a.m. My friend and I debate whom to choose as the lucky beneficiaries of our second Cronuts. He remarks that they should be given to people with whom we wish to “curry favor.” I am unfamiliar with this expression. He explains.

7:15 a.m. We have completed preliminary lists of who should receive the extra pastries. It appears that we both wish to “curry favor” solely with very attractive members of the opposite sex.

7:35 a.m. WTF, this month’s flavor is coconut? I hate coconut.

7:45 a.m. Looking for an opportunity to show off my new vocabulary, I ask the solitary gentleman in front of me with whom he wishes to “curry favor.” He is unfamiliar with the term. Very pleased with myself, I explain it to him.

8:00 a.m. The bakery opens its doors. Cheers erupt from the crowd, which has reached upwards of 250 people. Excitement quickly dies down as word passes that the shop can only let in 10-15 people at a time.

8:20 a.m. A woman in front of us realizes she is going to be late for work and leaves. Amateur. Who even works on Fridays in August in New York City?

8:45 a.m. While handing out free madeleines (a nice touch, we’ll give them that) a bakery employee informs a sizeable portion of the line – around 50 people, of which we’re in the middle – that there is a chance they will run out of Cronuts before reaching us. He notifies others behind us – some of whom had lined up as early as 7 a.m. – that they have virtually no chance of getting one. Widespread panic ensues.

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The employee has become Public Enemy #1. He comes out roughly every 20 minutes to update us. “Possible” becomes “doubtful.” “Doubtful” soon turns to “highly unlikely.” Stunned, we hang on to our spots in line as much of the crowd disperses. What is his job description, anyway? “Customer Repeller”? Bitterness sets in.

11:10 a.m. There are somehow only 15 people behind us now, the majority of whom have entered the queue in the past hour. “Oh, cool, is this the Cronut line? I’ve heard they are, like, really in right now!” Kill. Us. Now.

11:15 a.m. A teenage girl emerges triumphantly from the bakery, two fresh Cronuts in hand. A woman behind us offers $10 for her spare treat, to which the girl replies, “Wait, really? Sure!” Is she kidding? Time in line is worth just $2 an hour to her?

11:16 a.m. “I’ll give you $20,” I proclaim from fourth in line, all moral values suddenly forgotten. The girl looks up and smiles timidly, unsure of what to do. “How about $50!” jokes a construction worker, finding great amusement in watching the bidding process unfold. The girl now believes she is being mocked and completes the initial $10 transaction. FML.

11:25 a.m. We are finally let into Dominique Ansel Bakery, with words of caution that there are “only a couple left.” We run in, just in time to witness the last six Cronuts making their way out to the front cash register.

11:28 a.m. Six Cronuts left. Two per customer. Three people in front of us in line. You do the fucking math. We are officially defeated in our quest.

11:29 a.m. No, we refuse to “try any of your other pastries, which are just as good as Cronuts!”

Cronut Failure Aftermath
We send out a second Snapchat, to the tune of Lana Del Ray’s new hit “Summertime Sadness.” This one is received with much glee. The photo above receives an inordinate amount of likes on Facebook, with the majority of them from our Snapchat recipients and accompanied by eerily sinister comments.

My friend addresses a polite, 370-word email, titled “My Cronut Quandary” to Dominque Ansel, filled with wishful ass-kissing and “constructive criticism.” It receives a largely uniform response from a bakery representative, citing “a margin of error” and “people cutting in line to join their friends” as possible reasons for our failure to obtain a Cronut.

I am no longer “too noble” to receive a box of Cronuts at work. Dear Mr. Ansel, you can reach me at george@foodrepublic.com. Please? :-)

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