Mike’s Pastry is a staple of Boston’s North End, a place with cannolis you’d kill a shark with your bare hands for. It is a place I have never been before, and knew I had to go if I was ever going to pass my brutal bi-monthly Metro-Boston-Worthiness and Podiatric Health Test. I was initially scared to go, seeing as Halloween was approaching. A man of mystery like myself never knows quite what to expect around Halloween.
Upon the midnight dreary before my visit to Mike’s, while I pondered weak and weary over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten columns, suddenly there came a tapping as of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“I feel the pressure, under more scrutiny / and what I do, act more stupidly,” the voice said from beyond my door.
“Shut up,” I screamed hysterically, throwing open the door to my room. “What are you doing? I have to get my rest so I can be at the top of my journalistic game when I visit the legendary Mike’s Pastry tomorrow. Stop rapping at my chamber door.”
But there was no one in the hall.
“That’ll be enough of that,” I said, speaking entirely through my nose. I turned back around and returned to my dark and musty room where I soon fell into a fitful and restless sleep, visions of vampiric, Frankensteinian, raven monsters flitting through my dreams.
The next morning I was ready to get off campus and away from the creepy Halloween hijinks that was infiltrating every part of Boston College life.
I hopped on the T and made my way to the North End. I’m always astounded by the fact that people actually drive through those painfully narrow and crowded streets. As I walked toward Mike’s a raven swooped down, cawing loudly and flying over the heads of the many pedestrians.
“Don’t worry folks,” I said. “It’s just a reference, it can’t hurt you.”
I was quickly insulted over 30 times by a crowd who’d had just about enough of my crap.
I lowered my head and kept walking. I reached Mike’s Pastry soon after it opened. A line had already formed inside, a disorganized throng of pastry-loving people. My patience wore thin quickly, but I held out for the sake of journalistic integrity. This is the biggest downside of a visit to Mike’s Pastry, long lines and sheep-like gatherings. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with people, all our mouths agape and dripping saliva over the cannolis in the display cases is not a pleasant time. It’s also a breeding ground for stank.
As I waited, I decided I would get some chocolate chip and Florentine cannoli. Eventually I reached the counter and made my order.
“Would you like to try our pumpkin-spice cannoli?” the server asked. “Halloween special?”
Knowing I would be unable to salvage any remaining self-respect if I started eating anything pumpkin-spice flavored, I shook my head.
“Never,” I said, before pointing at the chocolate cannoli and saying. “More.”
As I left the shop I clutched the string-wrapped box of cannoli to my chest, glancing anxiously left and right, sure that something strange and Halloween-tastic would occur.
“Hey Archer,” someone across the street said.
I looked and saw a man who looked exactly like me except better-groomed, better-dressed, more pleasant, nicer-smelling, and generally more likeable. He smiled that damnably charming smile of his.
“Hey, Evil Archer,” I said. “How ya doin? Got anything going on over Halloween?”
“Nah,” he said. “How was Mike’s Pastry?”
“Scrum-diddly-umptious, my old friend.”
Evil Archer nodded, flashed me a thumbs up, and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. A bat appeared and flew away into the misty October skies.
All in all it was an uneventful Halloween week. But at least I would now finally be able to eat one of the famed Mike’s Pastry cannolis.
Lifting a perfectly-formed Florentine cannoli to my disgusting, drooling mouth, I took a bite and realized why people were willing to wait in line. The things were fantastic. I immediately scarfed down another and within seconds regretted it. Word to the wise: each Mike’s Cannoli is roughly 500 calories, eating more than one within a two minute period is a bad idea. But it was worth it.
From my Halloween-infused time spent at Mike’s, I’ve come to one conclusion: you must just be plain stupid if you live near Boston and never visit Mike’s Pastry. Not only is the cannoli mind-boggling, just being in the North End is exciting. So sometime after Halloween take a Green Line to Haymarket Station and walk over to one of the finest pastry shops in Massachusetts.
Featured Image by Francisco Ruela / Heights Graphic