Today I put up this picture to honor the cupcake in all its glory, but do not mistake this for a story about cupcakes, I just loved how this one looked and figured it needed to be posted. This particular cupcake was enjoyed yesterday by P.Collins after the strenuous task of her looking at yet another apartment that had potential, but waassssnn’t quite making it to the finish line: tiny kitchen-no counter space (I mean that, literally no counter space, just sink and stove), unfinished wood floors-think Ma sweeping the floors that Pa made in the house/cabin on Little House on the Prairie, a suspiciously easy-access fire escape-as easy as you could get out in a fire, you could just as easily have an uninvited ‘guest’. Now don’t get me wrong the same things that make this apartment questionable are the same things that make it unique. Those easy-access floor-to-ceiling windows by the fire escape are large and look brand new. The wrought-iron fire escape is actually quite charming minus that easy-access Twilight Zone ‘monster on the wing of the plane’ vibe. There has the nerve to be one and a half bathrooms, but the second bathroom is right off the kitchen and I had a distinct feeling that someone put that there to ‘add value’ and took away crucial food prepping space in the kitchen. The rustic floors in the living room mean you can spill anything and the landlord won’t care and they certainly trump the hideous blue industrial-looking carpet in the bedroom. Now the carpet is hideous and perhaps one could request it be pulled up and replaced, but chances are, based off of what I observed of the stairwell (stained and dirty, surprisingly not smelly) that’s not high on the property management company’s priority list. In fact, that’s the next thing, the guy showing the apartment had absolutely no business doing so if the goal of this company is to have tenants. When asked if there was any kind of insect or rodent problem, he said and I quote, “Not in this building, but this is the best building of all the properties we own and we own a lot”. While he launched into an uncomfortable accounting of insects and rodents in other buildings, I thought about how I’m going to be in the market for a new apartment, but I’m starting to wonder if that’s such a good idea. I mean seriously, this guy works for a rental company that has quite a few properties throughout the city and if I didn’t know any better I’d be jammed up moving into one of their spots since they have great rent. Enough about me and back to this apartment; another plus is it’s in Mount Vernon, a gay-friendly neighborhood in the historic epicenter of Baltimore, surrounded by churches and museums. The location drawback, all the nightlife of Mount Vernon is in a one-block radius making parking on the weekdays troublesome and on the weekend’s non-existent. While taking one last cursory glance at the place, knowing that this probably wouldn’t be her next home, P.Collins, L. Daniels and I descended the stairs to hit the pavement, but decided to stop in at the cupcake shop on the first floor of the building. We spied it walking in and decided, as one must always do when confronted with cupcakes, to try them. Clearly a cupcake shop in your apartment building is a blessing and a curse: said you’d bake a birthday cake? order a dozen cupcakes, sugar cravings at that special time of the month-walk downstairs in your pjs and get a cupcake or anxious and hating life, stuff your face with cupcake and pack on the pounds. Mercifully, unlike what we had seen of the rest of the building the cupcake shop was bright, clean and inviting. Each of us picked out a cupcake to award ourselves for the hard job of critiquing an apartment. My comrades eagerly dug into theirs, marveling at the lightness of the cake and the tasty frosting, while I, low on fuel/food felt the need to eat dinner first. I can report that after our impromptu happy hour-because we were happy to be off work in each other’s company, not because of the drink prices-I went home and had my cupcake, plain vanilla with buttercream frosting, although it needed some sprinkles or something for flair, it was yummy. The moral of this story? A cupcake has the power to take you from a dismal day to your happy place, especially if it looks like the one in the picture: a magical crystal-covered pink fairy land.