Had my first visit to the Pastry Shop this afternoon and it was a very sweet and pleasant occasion. Four or five blocks south of Columbia University on the Upper West Side's Amsterdam Avenue, this is a natural drop by place for Columbia's faculty and students. The Pastry Shop itself is nothing to write home about as far as decoration goes: very utilitarian in fact and a little dingy as well. But the coffee was excellent and the pastries we had were top class. I got the impression that the management wouldn't turf you out if you wanted to read or use your laptop so this would be a nice place to spend an hour schmoozing or reading.