The other night, my friend and I were talking about bakeries. He commented that until recently, it was difficult to get great baked goods in NYC - there were no patisseries. I countered by saying that we had great Italian bakeries as long as I can remember - and long before that.
Coincidentally, my bike club rode to Astoria through yesterday's cold and dreary weather. Normally, I head there and visit Artopolous for some baclava. But the group rode to an old school Italian Bakery that I had never visited before.
La Guli is about as old school as they come. From the sign outside to the smells inside - all may have been the same since its opening in 1937. I had a delicious cannoli and a great cup of coffee. I also had some almond pastry that was just plain sinful. The bakery was also gearing up for Christmas with all sorts of special cookies and cakes.
You often hear visitors asking about Little Italy - as if all things Italian were boxed into one neighborhood. These days, Little Italy is more of a tourist trap than anything else - and great old school Italian is wherever you find it - even in Astoria Queens.