Tag Archives: New York City

How to Impress Your Vegan Valentine

10 Feb

How to Impress Your Vegan Valentine

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. This year don’t wait until the last minute to plan something special for your vegan sweetie. If you want to impress your vegan valentine, here’s some of my top picks on vegan friendly romantic date and gift ideas in the New York City area.

Date Ideas

Pure Food and Wine

Pure Food and Wine

Say you don’t like raw food? Pure Food & Wine will impress die-hard carnivores as well as vegans like me who usually like their food cooked. With their stellar cuisine, extensive wine list and candle-lit ambiance, it’s the perfect location to bring your valentine for a romantic dinner out.

Candle 79

Candle 79Photo: Mimi Giboin

A vegan fine dining establishment in the Upper East Side, Candle 79‘s creative dishes and numerous wine choices make this spot a must visit for a date night, valentine’s day or any day.

Blossom

Blossom NYC

One of my favorite restaurants in NYC, you can’t go wrong with Blossom. With four locations ranging from the West Village all the way up to the Upper East Side, not only is the food to die for, the ambiance is quiet and candle lit. The Chelsea location is in the most romantic turn-of the century building, and if you reserve your table in advance you may have a chance to get one of their private, blocked off tables for two in their window. I can’t think of a more romantic way to spend the evening than watching over the wintry NYC street scene while enjoying a romantic meal with your valentine.

Gift and Treat Ideas

Sweet & Sara
Sweet & Sara

Marshmallows are not very vegan friendly, which makes me sad. Luckily Sweet & Sara, based in Long Island City, figured out how to veganize them and they make a variety of marshmallow based treats, from s’mores to rice crispy treats! You can find them in various stores throughout the city, or can order them direct from their website.

Dunwell Donuts

Dunwell Donuts

Dunwell Donuts has some of the best donuts in the city, nevermind vegan donuts. With fancy pants flavors like Chai Tea and Creme Brule, these sweet treats will bring a smile to your valentine’s face, especially if you get him or her a dozen.

Babycakes

Babycakes Bakery
Photo by Rachel Heller

Does your vegan valentine have any food allergies? If so, thanks to Babycakes that’s no excuse why they shouldn’t be allowed to have a sweet valentine’s day treat! Babycakes Bakery on the Lower East Side offers gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar-free cupcakes, cookies, donuts and even a Valentine’s Day Candy Gram. Oh, and their icing is to die for!

Vaute Couture Apparel and Accessories

Vaute Couture

Thinking of getting your vegan valentine some jewelry? Vaute Couture in Williamsburg offers necklaces, sunglasses, and tees fit for the animal activist in your life. This V Necklace is currently at the top of my valentine’s day wish list.

Whatever you decide to do for your vegan valentine this year, don’t forget… kisses are free!

Free Kisses Pit Bull

On another note, congratulations to Terry for winning the Anjolee Gemstone Pendant Giveaway!

Martin Scorsese is a Fran Lebowitz Fan and So am I

24 Jan

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On January 19th, Jim and I headed over to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for one of the most unique experiences I’ve participated in as of recent.  We were there to see Martin Scorsese interview Fran Lebowitz.

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Unless you’re living under a rock, I think most people around the world nowadays knows who Marty Scorsese is.  Believe it or not, Marty wasn’t the draw at this event, it was Fran.  If you’ve never heard of Fran Lebowitz and you are from New York, you are in for a treat.  I’ll leave summing up who she is to this on-point description from Wikipedia.
“Frances Ann “Fran” Lebowitz is an American author and public speaker. Lebowitz is known for her sardonic social commentary on American life as filtered through her New York City sensibilities.”

She’s mostly known for her public speaking skills, and she is absolutely hilarious.  If you are from New York City and want a good chuckle, try searching YouTube for any of her talks regarding NYU or Michael Bloomburg.  She’s so on point you’ll be falling out of your chair crying.

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There was no better person to interview her for the event than Scorsese, considering the two of them have been friends for so long they can’t even remember how they met.  In response to the question of how they met during the Q&A, the both of them, stumped, assumed they must have met at a party a long time ago.

Scorsese has also featured Fran in his films, including the HBO Documentary about her called Public Speaking, and most recently the Wolf of Wall Street where she played the judge.  Funny enough, she also had a recurring role on Law & Order as Judge Janice Goldberg, though she doesn’t describe herself as an actor.

Just listening to her discuss her experience on filming Wolf of Wall Street was one of my favorite parts of the evening.  For example, she described her first encounter with Leonardo DiCaprio in a scene they were shooting, and thought he was overrated because he kept missing his lines (per her cue card) and they kept having to re-shoot.  Ends up being his lines were noted as being an overdubbed narrative, so she was missing her lines and that’s why they had to keep re-shooting.  I’m not doing the story any justice, the way she told it was just too funny.

The discussion didn’t just include the movie, but subjects as varied from e-cigarettes to New York City’s new mayor, Bill De Blasio.  I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time!

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Even though I was pretty exhausted due to catching a flight home earlier that day from a work trip, I’m really glad Jim and I made the time to attend.  I’m going to try to make it a point to attend more events like this in the upcoming year.  It sure beats watching TV!

Oh, and I have to mention the Peter Jay Sharp building where this event was held had one of the most beautiful theaters I had seen in quite some time.  I mean, look at the detail on the ceiling!  Gorgeous.

A Day at Brooklyn Brewery

17 Jan

 

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Earlier this fall when Rebecca was in town to visit, her sister came to Brooklyn all the way from Boston to spend the day with us in Williamsburg.  We spent part of the morning shopping, but by the afternoon we were ready to grab a few drinks and catch up.

Everyone wanted to grab a beer, and even though it’s in my neighborhood I had never been to Brooklyn Brewery, so we decided to head there.  It ended up being a really fun afternoon.  You not only get to sample all their beers, but they also run tours every hour so you can see how the beers are made.

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After our tour, we were ready to drink!  While Brooklyn Brewery is vegan friendly, if you go there know not all their beers are vegan.  According to their website:

All of our beers are vegan friendly, with just a few exceptions: Brooklyn Local 2, Brooklyn BAMboozle, our past Brewmaster’s Reserve beers Buzz Bomb and The Concoction, Highline Elevated Wheat, and AMA Bionda, all of which contain honey. Our cask beers are filtered with the vegan-friendly Biofine Clear.

It still leaves plenty of beers to choose from!
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All in all it was totally worth me cheating and having gluten.  The beers were delicious, and totally worth the stop.  Also, though I didn’t see any while I was there I hear they are dog friendly.

A Brooklyn Bridal Shower

4 Nov

Nikki's Bridal Shower

My bestie Nikki is getting married! I am over the moon happy for her. The wedding is coming up in the next two weeks and we all can’t wait for her big day.

Being her Maid of Honor, I was tasked with planning both her bridal shower and bachelorette party.  One of Nikki and my favorite places to meet up for drinks is Williamsburg’s own Brooklyn Winery, so I figured it would make a very suitable bridal shower venue.

Nikki loves bright colors, especially yellow.  Her husband-to-be is a big fan of orange.  So for decorations I created these giant fluffy flower pom-poms out of tissue paper in their favorite colors.  They are super easy to make, and you can learn how to make your own here.

Nikki's Bridal Shower

Since Nikki lives in a typical, super tiny Manhattan apartment and most of our guests were coming via mass transit, we had to get creative as far as the gifts go.  It’s not fun cramming all those boxes into the subway.  To solve this problem, we included a note card for the guests to complete with what they got Nikki for her shower, and all the gifts were shipped to her address on the registry.  Nikki still got to open gifts at the shower, they were just envelopes instead of packages.

Nikki's Bridal Shower

In addition to Brooklyn Wineries fantastic wines, we also chowed down on a great Italian antipasto spread.  When playing the host you want to make sure everyone is happy, so there were lots of omni, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Nikki's Bridal Shower

For dessert, Nikki’s sister-in-law (and my fellow bridesmaid) made these adorable mason jar desserts.  She’s a professional pastry chef, and they were amazing.  I helped out by making the flowers for the jar decorations.

Nikki's Bridal Shower

I had so much fun planning this event and it couldn’t be for a person more deserving.  I’m so excited for you Nikki!!

Nikki's Bridal Shower

Museum of the Moving Image

1 Nov

 

Museum of the Moving Image

A few weeks back, Jim and I went for a quick bike ride from Williamsburg to Long Island City, Queens to check out the Museum of the Moving Image.  We’re both self-professed movie and television buffs, and I can’t believe it took us this many years of living in NYC to finally check it out.

Museum of the Moving Image

One thing I was really impressed with is how modern and clean the design of the museum is.  Jim and I LOVE white interiors, and from the second we set foot in the museum we wanted to set up camp and just live there.  The decor was fantastic.

Museum of the Moving Image

So the main reason we decided to check out the museum that day is they had a special exhibit dedicated to our most favorite TV show ever, Breaking Bad.  If you’re not familiar with the show, you should be.  Probably the best show on television EVER.

So it’s safe to say we were both in absolute heaven getting to see a lot of the props used on the actual show.  They even had the pink teddy bear!

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

The rest of the museum is set up with a few permanent exhibitions, including one great one that actually explains what each person on set does, and walks you through a movies production start to finish.  They had tons of sketches and props, from Chewbacca’s makeup to Mork from Ork’s costume.

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

They also had a fair amount of vintage memorabilia.  These magazines were fantastic.  It was a film industry publication.

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

You can’t talk about moving images without addressing gaming.  They had some vintage arcade games on display, including Pong!  Many of them you could actually play granted you had quarters.

Museum of the Moving Image

Another permanent exhibit included the history of both movie and television cameras, as well as television sets.  I find this stuff fascinating especially considering I work in the TV hardware business.  They had several TV sets on display I remembered from my childhood.

Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image

All in all it was a fantastic day.  I’d especially recommend it for kids.  We both agreed if we visited as a child we would have been even more blown away by it.

Have you been to the Museum of the Moving Image? If so what was your favorite exhibit?

Chicago Meets Brooklyn

16 Sep

The weekend before last not only was it absolutely gorgeous outside, but my college BFF Bex came to visit us in Brooklyn all the way from Chicago! Last year I made the trip out to see her, and this year, both her as well as her sister came out to the better borough to see what it’s all about.

With the exception of a day trip into Manhattan to see the Met, we spent the entire time in my neighborhood in Williamsburg.  There’s so much to do!  One thing I learned is I seriously need to get out more.

Here’s some of my favorite snaps from Bex’s visit.

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Us on the roof at the Met.

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Bex giving NYC style bagels a giant thumbs up!

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Exploring the Met.

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Bex being silly (per usual).

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Grabbing sushi and cocktails at Bozu.

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Just part of my haul while thrifting.

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I’ve lived in Williamsburg for over 8 years and had never, ever been to Brooklyn Brewery.  No better time than now!  I made an exception for gluten obviously.

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Learning about beerz.

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Farewell brunch including vegan “Eggs” Benedict at Champs.

Summer Streets

6 Aug

This past Saturday, Jim and I woke up super early at 6 am to participate in Summer Streets.

For select weekend dates this summer, NYC is opening up Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge, all the way up to Central Park to pedestrian and bike traffic only. It was perfect timing being I had just gotten a bike and wanted to take it for a long ride.

We rode from our apartment in Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge, up Park Ave to Central Park where we took a quick break at the Pool prior to looping around the park.  On the way back to Brooklyn we stopped to have a quick glass of wine at a sidewalk cafe in Soho, which we enjoyed outside in the rain.  It was surprisingly refreshing.

Although it was raining, we had so much fun! Can’t wait to do it again another weekend this month.

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Suite Three Oh Six

2 Aug

Suite Three Oh Six Press Event 2

A few weeks back, Jim and I had the opportunity to attend a press only,  food and wine tasting event at Suite Three Oh Six.

Suite Three Oh Six is a vegan supper club and cooking academy run by Chef  Daphne Cheng.  I’ve had the opportunity to try Chef Cheng’s creations at several vegan fundraisers she had catered in the past, so needless to say I was really excited leading up to this event.  Her food is phenomenal.

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Chef Cheng is classically trained, though considers herself mostly self-taught.  After attending UC Berkley for a year, she later decided to pursue her culinary dreams and instead move to New York, where she enrolled in the Natural Gourmet Institute.  She is also certified in Plant Based Nutrition through Cornell University.

Suite Three Oh Six Press Event 1

Attending an event at Suite Three Oh Six is a very unique experience.  It’s a gorgeous, pristine loft space in Tribeca that’s been optimized to hold supper club events and culinary classes.  The kitchen really stood out to me.  You could watch everything being made right before your eyes through its glass wall, separating it from the main dining and event space.

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Supper clubs take place on select Saturdays each month, and feature entirely different and unannounced menus.  Seating is limited to 16 guests, which makes for an intimate group dining experience.

The event I attended was not a supper club demo, but instead a tasting with passed hors d’oeuvres, which were all delicious!  I’m not used to attending an event and getting to try all the passed hor d’oeuvres.  Usually nothing is ever vegan! It was such a pleasure to not have to worry whatever I tried wasn’t veg-friendly.

I’ll most likely be checking out the calendar in the next few months to attend a formal dinner event, I enjoyed it that much.

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Suite Three Oh Six is not just available for their own supper clubs and culinary classes, but it’s also available to rent as an event space.  For more information on rentals, you can click here.

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Suite Three Oh Six Press Event 15

Chef Daphne Cheng

Have you attended a Suite Three Oh Six event?

Exploring the City / With Friends

29 Jul

A few weeks ago my friend Gina and her boyfriend Mark came to visit us for the weekend.  Things have been so crazy this summer I never got around to posting all the photos of everything we got to check out.

We went to MOMA, Times Square, Central Park and the Met all in one day!  While by the end of the day we were all exhausted, looking back at it we got to see so much stuff on this gorgeous May day.  Editing these photos were a great reminder of that.

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Gina and Mark Visit NYC

Come See Me At the Seed This Weekend

15 May

TheSeedAnnouncement

If you are in the New York City area this weekend, be sure to check out the Seed Expo.  I’ll be speaking!

The Seed is a huge vegan event being held from May 18th and 19th here in NYC at 82 Mercer. There will be lots of delicious vegan food, products, services, world-renowned speakers, films, and more. Best part about the Seed is it’s designed around a more “veg-curious” crowd, meaning if you are not currently vegan but are interested in the lifestyle, it’s a great place to come on out and see what it’s all about.

To my surprise, the organizers of the event have invited me to be a featured speaker! I’m on at 4:15 on Saturday, and will be talking about how to successfully transition to a cruelty-free wardrobe.

Will you be attending the Seed? If so I’d love to meet you so let me know!

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