Archive for the ‘Only in New York’ Category

Whole Foods Attacks Photographers

My friend Carolyn is a dedicated journalist/blogger.When she turns vegan and does a post on all the non-nasty tasting vegan cheeses, she means business. So what does she do? Goes to Whole Foods to take a bunch of photos.

After a few minutes of snapping away at the non-dairy/dairy aisle, she’s yelled at for taking pickchas.

This is the truth! Union Square Whole Foods – 2 days ago.

Now while I understand that Whole Foods doesn’t want its competitors having photographic evidence of what they do right or wrong, the same can be done via a hidden camera or sharp catlike photographic memory.

So, come on Whole Foods, let a lotus bloom in full! The photos in question are included in her detailed study of vegan cheeses.

The only time I got yelled at while taking a photo was in Paris, France where a bookstore owner literally took me by my arms and threw me onto the sidewalk. She was a mean one.

Art on the Free

Museum Mile is happening tonight. Do not miss it, whatever it is you do.

  • FREE ACCESS 6pm – 9pm
    to all the museums along the mile
  • 23 car-free blocks
    5th Avenue between 82nd & 105th

Click here for more details. Actually all the details you need are right above – click there if you want to browse their Website.

Best Vegan and Jain friendly Spots in NYC

This post courtesy of Yummy Vegan which I contribute to:

The following list contains vegan spots that I have eaten at and recommend strongly. I know that others exist but as of right now, either I’ve not been to them or they are way too pricey or uninteresting for me to honestly suggest them to you folks in these tough economic times.

Please note that *Jain indicates that the food is free of any animal byproducts and it contains no root vegetables in its preparation. Ginger may be an exception in a few of the cases below. Enjoy.

Pukk – Thai cuisine

Request that the food be made without certain ingredients; most commonly used non-Jain ingredients include carrots, shallots, green onions, garlic, ginger and mushrooms.

They will let you know if it’s possible or not. Delicious food.

*note, though it’s a fully vegan menu – they do have options of adding eggs to meals which is weird. avoid them!

Cafe Viva Natural Pizza – Pizza

Their only Jain sauce is their pesto. How ironic. They use Teese cheese on their pies. For major orders, like say probably over 10 pies, they may make a batch of onion/garlic free sauce.

Artichoke Basille Pizzeria – Pizza

Their establishment is not vegan. Though, they may make you a pie without the cheese. Their tomato sauce is 100% Jain and OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Kate’s Joint – Vegan, various

Their only Jain option is their angel hair pasta but you have to specify that it be prepared without onions and garlic. They will oblige. Also, don’t eat their oil they put on table – it is made with garlic. There are no other Jain options on their long menu which is sad because I’d go there a lot more if they did.

Abraco Espresso – Coffee

My friend Jamie owns this place; he’s the nicest espresso scientist on the planet. The infusion of love, knowledge of espresso and an excellent space has made Abraco the most popular espresso joint in NYC. Elizabeth & Jamie both know the Jain + Vegan diet. All the coffee is great and they do offer almond milk upon vegan request. They kind of only save it for true vegans, which is nice.

Teany – Tea, vegan food

Try the teanychino. For food, vegan grilled cheese with tomto. Do not try the ploughmann’s pickle that comes along with it – it is NON-JAIN. Over 100 types of teas. Almond/soy milk and agave nectar. Most of their desserts contain POTATO starch so avoid that.

I may have to continue this list later as I explore more options. The best bet is to always ask what the ingredients are. For great Indian food, try Tiffin Wallah – they do have amazing Jain + Vegan options.

Buddha Bodai – all their hundred plus authentic Chinese food items are vegan and prepared without onions or garlic. Even if their menu states “broccoli with garlic” – even the garlic is FAUX! How hot is that! Just specify no mushrooms and no carrots when ordering.

Tien Garden offers delicious Vietnamese cuisine – all vegan and you can finally find out what Banh-Ma is all about without having to eat animals. They *do* use garlic and onions in some dishes, so make it clear that your dish does not have it, if your’e Jain.

For vegan desserts, I strongly recommend heading over to Earth Matters which creates these amazing ‘sweet loaves’ of breads using amazing flavor combinations like chocolate chip + orange or coconut and chocolate or banana and walnut and a few more. They all are vegan friendly plus don’t use any gross ingredients like potato starch.

Obviously the other vegan dessert choice is Lula’s Sweet Apothecary for a brand new flavor of delicious vegan ice creams and soft serve. Their sundaes are spectacular, their hot chocolate is divine, their understanding of individual palettes is right on target and have everything you or your friends could desire. Follow them on Twitter to get an update of new ice cream flavors.

Several places in NYC offer vegan cheesecakes that are prepared by a company out in Philadelphia. Most of these are non-Jain. Buddha Bodai carries a vegan cheesecake and Whole Foods on Bowery usually has freshly prepared pineapple upside down cakes and other indulgent vegan treats. And the Green Market at Union Square on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays will also have a variety of vegan desserts available for you to enjoy.

So that’s the list for now. Do you have any recommendations for vegan + jain food? Let me know!

The Bowery Hotel

Bowery Hotel

Bowery Hotel

I had a meeting tonight at The Bowery Hotel. I was floored at how gorgeous it was inside. Though it’s not my scene (lounge filled with tourists or residents that were quite old) sipping on champagne and wine and beer, the interior decorations were enough to keep me in awe the entire time.

It was as though I had been transported back to an age I only can recall via watching period pieces. A dark and lush New York City from the 50s or even earlier era. Plush sofas and neat tables. A very professional wait staff and the best grapefruit juice I’ve had ever.

And to top it all off, some out of towner decided to smoke in the area which while disturbing only added to the film noir setting.

Photo courtesy:

Give my regards to Broadway

Starting today, the city has begun closing down several blocks of Broadway in midtown to vehicular traffic. This is part of the mayor’s plan to try and ease midtown traffic congestion. Broadway will be closed to vehicles and open to pedestrians and bicycles only from 42nd-47th Streets and 33rd-35th Streets. Permanently.

As one might imagine, the change has been met with mixed reactions. Honestly, I had no idea about it until a few days ago when I read about the closure at Curbed – and as evidenced by the NY Times article about the closure, apparently some pedicab drivers were unaware as well. I expect cab drivers to be pissy about it, especially the ones I’ve had lately who complain about the traffic (which requires its own blog post entirely), and I expect the tourist masses to embrace it.

It seems as though the city is approaching this cautiously, blocking off the closed blocks of Broadway with orange barrels instead of installing concrete or other more permanent barriers and gauging how the closure will be received by the public. I’d imagine that it will be difficult for some businesses on the closed blocks to get deliveries, but they’re still working all of the kinks out.

What I really want to see is what Broadway, 7th Ave, 47th Street, and 35th Street look like on Tuesday morning, when all the people who are crazy enough to drive to work return from the Memorial Day holiday. Anyone want to volunteer to take photos? Post photo links in the comments. Best angry cab driver photo wins a freakin’ awesome Metroblogging t-shirt.

New Yorkers are friendly!

When I was at a tradeshow in Long Island recently, our booth exhibitor neighbors expressed interest in visiting the city. They were from Canada and this was their first ever trip to the U.S. and to NYC. As soon as any native New Yorker found out about this, they started drawing up maps, recommending places to eat, visit, setting up a timeline and even handing out their cell phone numbers, in case Canadians get lost.

This is what NYC is about. Offering that extra hand, being super friendly and reminding these Canadians of “the Ottawa hospitality” that they are used to at home. None of the stereotypes that they had about NYC came true when they actually visited it.

Sure, someone attacked the Westbury LIRR station yesterday apparently screaming “give me all your f**ing money” and then running away after the mugging – and the Canadians witnessed it – but besides that, their experience in NYC had been a really awesome one.


Butterfly Conservatory at the Natural History Museum


This past weekend I took my mother to see the butterflies at the AMNH. This young boy couldn’t get rid of this little orange butterfly. It stayed on his shoulder as he and his father tried to get more to land on them. What a magical place. The Butterfly Conservtory is only open through May 25th! Get there while you can.

Bocce in Bryant Park

Bocce, the sport for the non-athletic

Bocce, the sport for the non-athletic

If you happen by Bryant Park on a nicer day, be sure to visit its NorthEast corner for some Bocce ball action. Amidst the benches, free reading, free wifi and countless sandwich shops there lies a gravel pit of your fate. If you choose to you can partake in some pro Bocce with the folks who seem to always be entangled in a game.

I don’t really know if they’re part of a league or just people who own professional Bocce balls, but this game is of patience and concentration. Not something to do just for kicks, but something to help you jolt out of your deskjob and into the real world. All while not really requiring much physical prowess. In other words, bocce is the perfect sport for those who don’t want to get in shape to play a game.

Maybe you can ask one of those nice people in the park to let you in on the game next time you’re there. For more information on Bocce, clicketh hereth.

Fung Wah? Fung You!

We’re all familiar with the Fung Wah bus service. And if not, we should be. They are the buses that run for really cheap between Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City. The buses are often called “Chinatown” buses as their primary stops are in the China town section of each city they travel in.

But in addition to being cheap, Fung Wah buses also have a tendency of being shady. What do I mean by that?

Well, the list of offenses is shocking and pretty ridiculous, discrimination (blind couple denied access to bus),fatal Accident and the latest addition, bullying by the bus driver.

My friend shared this story with me of last weekend (May 2-3). She took the Fung Wah to Boston on Saturday. AT the bus’ pitstop, someone noticed that a passenger was missing. The driver turned around and picked up the girl who was sobbing on the sidewalk as she had missed the bus.

The bus driver got off the bus. She apologized profusely while still in tears saying her food had taken too long to be made. The bus driver forced her to throw the meal out. She pleaded as she had not eaten anything and was starving. But he made her throw the meal out and she was admitted onto the bus. Hungry, teary-eyed and probably a little psychologically devastated.

If you’re out there reading this and you’re the girl I’m writing about, please contact me and I will gladly work with you to ensure that what happened to you does not happen to hundreds of people every weekend.

Definitely never riding a Fung Wah bus again. We have enough trouble in the world without worrying about being bullied by a bus driver.

Best Buy Gets its Own Rat

Spotted the friendly neighborhood “rat” outside of the Chelsea Best Buy yesterday. And today too !

However no protestors outside with placards and slogans and stuff.

I have no love for Best Buy and therefore dont mind their new “fan” outside their store.


However what is really interesting with this inflated balloon is that it is a perfectly Mobile Dissenting Machine (MDM….patented yo !)

Sitting on a truck, it can be driven to the next dissent site in a jiffy. If you want one outside your (or rather your employers place) just dial 1800-MOBILErat.

OK, I just so made that up. Slow news day and weather suck, so….

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