Splurge: CuRious Candy by Cynthia Rowley on the Upper East Side
There's certainly no shortage of places to indulge in sweet treats on the Upper East Side, but there's always room for one more, right? Especially a sugar spot as cool and unique as CuRious Candy.
The brainchild of high-end fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, CuRious Candy occupies the second floor of her recently opened four-story boutique, and it's not the place to go if you're just looking to pick up a bag of M&M's. In a way, the candy is almost beside the point. From the intriguing entryway, adorned with brambles, foggy mirrors and giant metallic roses, to the fantastical wall mural as you head up the stairs, to the shop's design centerpiece, a white peacock perched on a leafless tree, CuRious Candy is an immersive experience. A visit here is more about experiencing the atmosphere than the actual eating.
CuRious Candy is not your average candy store and I'm not just talking about the design or the custom-made products, like the piñatas and party decor. There is no self-serve; instead, staff members in smartly tailored outfits doles out the sweets. Loose candy costs $14 per pound. (Considering one of Cynthia Rowley's T-shirts downstairs costs around $155, $14 seems like a relative bargain.)
But really, you don't come here to stock up for Halloween. CuRious Candy is a feast for your eyes. The space itself is small but every nook and cranny has been perfectly planned, each item custom-made or handpicked. In addition to the candy (chocolate, suckers, gummy bears, you name it), there's a cotton candy machine and lots of cute accessories and toys, like sparkly tiaras, monster finger puppets, plastic bugs and frogs, whimsical T-shirts and other fairy-tale-themed knickknacks. The store even delivers if you spend $20 or more (and it's certainly easy to drop that much here). Since the shop has a wonderland feel, my daughter opted to buy a Surprise Ball: a tightly wrapped ball of streamers containing candy and tchotchkes. It cost $13.50 and the surprises were probably worth a total of two bucks, but my daughter had such a blast discovering what was inside I decided to grin and bear it. (An expensive lesson to be sure.)
Even if you only get a little curio, CuRious Candy is worth exploring the next time you're on the Upper East Side. If you spend more time downtown, take note: a second CuRious Candy is set to open up on Bleecker Street a few doors down from Rowley's original NYC boutique.
CuRious Candy by Cynthia Rowley is located on the second floor of her clothing boutique at 43 East 78th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.