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The 5 Stages of Waiting in Line for an NYC Food Fad

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If you haven’t opened your Instagram in the past months, you probably are just now learning of Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer’s famous milkshakes. The gravity defying dairy dreamlands include such luscious adornments from cake slices, to cotton candy, to entire ice cream cookie sandwiches, basically every dessert your kid heart may desire in one awesome cup.

The milkshakes were added to Black Tap’s menu in November and have since taken over Instagram feeds, Snapchat stories, and our hearts. And like any NYC food fad— hey ramen burger, cronut, and rainbow bagel— lines out the block are simply going to happen. But these $15 milkshakes have been on my To-Be-Eaten list for while, and despite the 1,600 calorie count, I was more than willing to bite the bullet and just wait with the other sugar fiends out there.

Bargaining

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I did do some cursory research before I went to Black Tap. By this, I mean that I asked a lot of my friends if they knew how long the wait was, and the worst I heard was two hours. Two whole hours? Frodo couldn’t even get the ring to Mount Doom in that amount of time. I told myself that if I got there and the line was bad, that I would just go to Doughnut Plant instead to eat my sorrows. And I would never speak of this failed adventure again.

Optimism

I left right after work on a gorgeously warm Friday to get on line for these beauties. While the logical part of me berated myself for choosing a day where more New Yorkers would want to be outside, eat al fresco, and possibly wait in a two-hour line for a fancy milkshake, I chose to be optimistic and smile a lot at the people drinking at the outdoor seating. I figured this was good. Those people wouldn’t be in my way then.

Denial

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The line double backed at one point, but it wasn’t that bad. Not two hours bad. My friend who was waiting with me also said this. We said it a few more times shortly within the next few minutes, which made me wonder if we were really bothered by it or if we truly believed what we were saying.

Anger

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At one point, the bouncer— because all food lines need order— came over and asked if the next party of two would mind eating at the bar. I wouldn’t mind! I wouldn’t mind at all! But he picked a different set of girls. I was annoyed, but my friend had to point out that they were waiting before us. That didn’t matter to me. I only ate a bag of pretzels for lunch. I was going to get Hulk on someone soon. It didn’t matter that a majority of the line had parents and children.

Acceptance

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At one point, I thought it was going to rain. The clouds were coming in and my phone app had a small dark grey cumulus nimbus emoji, so I prepared for the worse. This was life now. It was going to rain and I would stay in this line, committed, determined, strong. I deserved that milkshake. I already chose the one I wanted (the one with the cookies). I could wait in line for even more hours if need be.

Oh. The bouncer was asking for the next party of two to sit at the bar. That was us. It was our turn. It was like the wait never, ever happened.

Leap Day Doesn’t Count as Far as Diets Right? Right.

We never really got over the magic of Leap Day. Sure it’s a normal set of 24 hours that lacks a big meal, a pimped out tree, or maybe an egg hunt, but Leap Day has a magic of it’s own. For one, it’s a day that peaces out of the calendar every four years— because Leap Day apparently doesn’t need to be at the party all the time. It’s that cool— and like all things rare, we still freak out when it comes around. Babies born on this day will technically age slowly. Ladies in Ireland will propose to men. Ten lords will be a leapin’— actually, no that isn’t what Leap Day is, but we’re excited nonetheless. We’re especially stoked because the calorie minded part of us are looking at it as an opportunity to gain an extra cheat day. Today doesn’t always happen, so of course none of these calories count, right? We’ll take that chance or leap, if you will. Here’s how you can do it the right way.

Spend the Day at a Bakery

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A photo posted by ChikaLiciousNYC (@chikaliciousnyc) on Nov 8, 2014 at 9:21am PST

Or dessert bar? According to science and health (so health science) it’s good for us to turn off our phones and take time to ourselves to relax. Maybe you find reading in a nice sunny bay window relaxing. Or maybe you find fishing in the deep, creepily quiet wilderness relaxing. Or maybe, just maybe, you find spending a few hours at the counter of Chikalicious while you savor delectable, after delectable treat your jam. (Also, mmm jam.) Do yourself a favor: park a seat and wear your stretchy pants. Also, don’t forget to turn off all technology, like your Fitbit.

Make It A Crawl

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A photo posted by Montana B. (@donutdivany) on Oct 2, 2015 at 8:52am PDT

This works best as a group, which makes Leap Day feel more like a holiday come to think of it, so round up your fellow sweet-minded individuals and hit up the best places around the city for a specific type of dessert. Be it chocolate chip cookies, or buttercream frosted cupcakes, or even pimped out doughnuts like from Queens Comfort, take your samples, hug everyone, and celebrate. The walking and travel times will also count as your daily exercise, sort of. That’s a double win.

Have It All in One

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A photo posted by Black Tap (@blacktapnyc) on Feb 10, 2016 at 3:28pm PST

Go for the Black Tap milkshakes that’s making us go all wide and crazy-eyed. Who knew milkshakes would evolve from two straws after school with you and your steady boo at the soda shoppe to a Goliath of gluttony, rivaled only by the towering poufs sported by Marie Antoinette? For those unsure of exactly where to leap, this is a good go-to. It’s pretty much got it all: lollipops, slices of cake, sometimes fire, depending on the occasion. Sit down and take your time to enjoy each sugary bit of it, because we’re sure it’ll take you a while. Just no guilt OK? It’s not like you eat this way everyday. You’ll just do it when Leap Day comes around again in the next four years. And that’s perfectly OK by us.

An Argument for Cold Desserts in Cold Weather

It’s safe to say that we’re all done with winter and its temperamental days of temperature. First it’s cold, then it’s warm, then it’s Jon Snow north of the Wall cold? How are we supposed to cope with these mixed messages? Personally, we like to go down the stuffing our faces with Morgenstern’s ice cream route— which is also the route you take for bad break-ups and Friday happy hours come to think of it. Despite the thirty degrees and the insane wind chill factor, we’re perfectly happy with our frozen faces munching on frozen novelties, because seriously you guys: cold desserts in cold weather is the best idea since sliced bread.

No Lines to Get Your Favorites

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Or at least a shorter line. As New Yorkers, we’re expert level line waiters (be it for cronuts or to get into that new club) but let’s be honest: we won’t wait in a line wrapping around the block for ice cream during a snowstorm. That would just be nuts… well technically nuts. Nuts for most people, at least, which is why it would be an ideal time to go wait for, say, the $15 milkshake monsters at Black Tap. Because who would want to wait for an hour and a half outside while it’s freezing? Not many. Not many except you of course.

Your Seat for the Picking

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Have you ever gone into Sprinkles ice cream during the summer when everyone’s crowded around the counter trying to decide and there are lots of kids bouncing everywhere and you just wanted to sit and eat your cone in peace? Winter gets rid of most of those hurdles, freeing up seating while those dessert noobs are back in their cozy homes binge-watching Netflix. They don’t know what they’re missing out on.

You’re Probably Sweating Under Those Layers

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You’re probably sweating in your down coat and your layers of heat tech, which was all well and good during your chilly walk to the subway this morning but is now slowly melting five pounds off your body in a very unattractive way. It especially stinks because your office has the heat on so high that it rivals Hades and your skin feels like you just ran a 5K under all those layers. So of course you should treat yourself to a cool, soothing scoop (or five) of gelato at the nearest parlor. You already sweated off most of the calories anyway.

No Melting

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Eating an ice cream out while it’s in the low thirties sounds like a bad idea in theory, but is a brilliant idea in practice. Understandably, we eat ice cream cones and sundaes during summer to keep ourselves cool, but when we eat frozen treats when it’s freezing outside, we can take our time to really savor the experience. Think about it: there’s no time limit (ie: melting)! When you take a delicious ice cream cone outside, you don’t have to worry about the ice cream slowly dripping down your hand. You don’t have to eat it in a hurry. You don’t have to worry about a mess. No, instead, you can leisurely lick your cones as the frosty air nips at your nose and keeps those tasty scoops whole.

To Trick Ourselves that We’re Hot

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Think of it as reverse psychology. Don’t repeatedly remind yourself of your poor, cold feet and your frozen faces. Instead, imagine walking down the avenue during a bad summer heatwave when the sun is beating down your back. You’re sweaty and sticky, and all you want is a cup of shaved ice to cool you off. You have to trick your brain as much as you can with this one— yes, even if you are still in a heavy puffy coat— and the best way to trick yourself is to treat yourself with that cup of shaved ice held by your wool mittened hand. Bonus: your mittens protect you from the frost bite you might get while holding a cold drink in the middle of winter. In our book that is a win-win.