Laurel Street Bakery (5433 Laurel St., 897-0576) seemed like an unlikely target for an armed robbery, but the Uptown breakfast and lunch spot was in the news last week after a pair of teenagers with guns tried to stick the place up.
A parole and probation officer was in the bakery at the time, and a shoot out ensued, leaving one of the would-be robbers critically injured. Police soon apprehended the second teen.
And at Laurel Street Bakery, life goes on. Owner Hillary Guttman reopened the bakery the day after the robbery attempt, to the relief and cheers of her regulars and neighbors.
But something like that doesn't go down under your roof without leaving a mark, literally and emotionally. To help deal with both, the bakery staff decided to decorate tables that took bullet hits with paper purple hearts, which cover up the bullet holes and express tacit gratitude that those bullets hit furniture rather than bystanders.
Then the bakers brought out a tribute cookie, complete with bullet hole and red sprinkles. Guttman polled the first few customers she saw: would they find it offensive if she put these out for sale? On the contrary, she was told, they all wanted one.
The purple hearts and the gunshot cookies both strike me as the same brand of defiant gesture and nervous humor we saw so much of after Katrina. Leave it to a cookie to make you feel better.
-- Ian McNulty