When I mentioned my upcoming trip to New York City in June of 2017, my former-New-Yorker friend said – “Best place to be vegan!” I was excited. The city did not disappoint. I’ve been wanting to do a “New York Vegan Friendly Restaurants” article since our return. Here are 5 of the spots where we feasted on vegan fare. Some are exclusively vegan while others had some terrific options:
While it’s best known as a food truck, we visited their location at The Pennsy food court. I got two vegan donuts – toasted coconut and strawberry. Plus the Beastmode Burger. How can you pass up a burger with a name like that?
What We Ate: Beastmode Burger Deluxe
Ancho chili seitan burger grilled in maple hickory bbq sauce with jalapeno mac n cheese, arugula, smoked chili coconut bacon, and chipotle mayo on a grilled pretzel bun.
100% plant based sushi and Asian fusion food? Um, yes please! Unbeknownst to us, we were visiting Beyond Sushi’s newest location on W. 37th St. The hardest part of the meal was deciding what the meal would be.
What We Ate: Assortment of Four Pieces, ‘The Badge’ Dumplings, The Red Miso, and the ” Sunny Side” roll
Happy to see our friend Clare Trapasso AND be eating vegan Thai food in NYC.
May Kaidee has cooking schools and restaurants all over Thailand, but just one location in New York City. The New York location serves 100% vegan Thai food. This was impressed upon me by the snarky waitress when I asked what on the menu was vegan. “Um, all of it. We’re a vegan restaurant.” Oops! (An aside: My husband enjoyed the bonafide New York snark.)
We were too busy catching up with an old friend, one Ms. Clare Trapasso, to really look over the menu. We were just about to see “The Great Comet” and had limited time to order, talk, and eat. So, we stuck to the basics. All was delicious. I didn’t have the wherewithal to get decent shots of the food – but you kind know what Thai food looks like, right? If you really want images of the food: go here.
What We Ate: Panang Curry, Pad Thai, Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables and Tofu (Pad Pak Ruam To-hu)
This was an accidental find when the Indian food place we’d walked to was closed – on a Thursday at noon(?) Luckily right around the corner stood Taco Mahal. I love the tag line this very cute eatery has on its website: “Where ‘East Eats’ meets ‘West Zest’ La Casa meets the Masala’.
They stuffed some chana masala into a fresh (and vegan) naan and then put diced onions and cilantro on top. It was fresh and delicious!
What We Ate: Chana Masala Taco with a side of papadam chips with cilantro-mint chutney
After so much decadence a cold pressed juice sounded really good. So, after a quick search, we went to Little Beet for the juice but stayed for the healthy food. Little Beet has several locations around New York and one in Washington D.C. Looking at their menu online – I’m very pleased to see that if you click on the ‘vegan’ button, everything that is not vegan is crossed out. I’m not so pleased to say that when I did that the option I picked while in the restaurant (which the register guy said was vegan) is also crossed out :n/ Aside from that, the food was fresh and juice rejuvenating.
What We Ate: (apparently not vegan?!) CARDINI SALADaka healthy Caesar Salad: romaine, kale, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, watermelon radish, avocado & garlic chickpea dressing – Head over here to see the vegan options.
There you have it! 5 Vegan Friendly Restaurants in New York City, New York!
There is a surprisingly short connection between the science fiction novel I’m working on and the 1998 comedy “There’s Something About Mary” staring Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller. If you haven’t seen it – you should. It’s a silly, slapstick, goofy-good time (including the credits).
Have you ever realized what you thought was an obscure gem you’d found in the landscape of culture is in reality a common popular thing – not a secret treasure but a side-show or theme park? This happened to me while watching “There’s Something About Mary”. My all-time favorite movie was, and is, “Harold and Maude”. The movie was created in 1971 with a beautiful soundtrack by Cat Stephens. It’s about love, age, death, war, activism, identity, parents, children… Well, I could gush on and on. Such an old film and, what I thought, quirky and obscure. Then…
If you haven’t seen “Harold and Maude” – what’s wrong with you?! Just kidding – but really, put that on your list right now. Do it for me. Do it for 1998 Cameron Diaz!
Happy Death Day
“Harold and Maude” had a profound effect on me. So much so that two of the characters in this novel I’m working on are directly based on the characters from that film. Concepts of aging and death and assisted death and suicide and love were all steeped in the scenes between these two lovers. Mix that with my love of technology and science fiction – and you get Happy Death Day. It’s the novel manuscript and concept I’m most jazzed about. I’ve two chapters of this book that I’m proud of and nothing else. Not yet.
Enter the 1st of July and Camp NanoWrimo – the less pushy twin-sister to the official NanoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) which occurs in November. With Camp NanoWrimo you can select your own goal as opposed to to given 50,000 words in NanoWrimo. It can even be a time goal which is what I’ll be doing. 50 hours of writing in July. (I’m counting this time right here, by the way.)
The 50 hours will be writing blog posts like this as well as working on Happy Death Day. I’ve got the Scrivener all fired up. I’ve got a long holiday weekend ahead, and another next weekend. I’m ready! Wish me luck!
On Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Phoenix were happy to host the education advocacy organizations AZ ED101 and Save Our Schools Arizona. SoS AZ representatives Miryam Lerma and Jimmy Arwood gave the RPCV Phoenix a run-down on the nitty-gritty of petition circulation, signing, and turning in. (It’s been made unnecessarily tricky – but now we know! Say it with me now: “Near and Complete!”). We were also extremely fortunate to have Anne K. Ellsworth and Sarah Richardson from AZED 101 walks us through the how, what, and when of Arizona’s current dumpster fire of an education budget. (Notice I didn’t put ‘why’, because – WHYYYYY?!??!?!?! would people deny our children and grandchildren the opportunity to get a decent education?! But, I digress.)
There were two goals of this meeting:
Understand the history and current state of education in Arizona including the effects of vouchers on public education
Get the proper training and materials to circulate petitions that will refer SB1431 — the ESA voucher expansion bill — to the voters of Arizona in 2018 so they can vote NO on expansion of vouchers.<
AZED 101 Presentation about the Arizona Education
Ms. Richardson (she’s a business professor, after-all, so I’ll call her Ms!) led our group through the long history of very terrible choices that have put Arizona schools at the totally unenviable position of last, dead last, in education in the country. We went through the following information.
Overall state budget
State education budget
Issues in AZ education
Public school protections
What can you do
The best way to solve a problem is to understand its origin and current state. This brilliant presentation did just that. It was as informative as it was infuriating. It was also based purely on fact and completely non-partisan. They want to show it to every person in Arizona and I hope they do. You can find out how to get this presentation in front of your organization by going here: http://azed101.org/presentation/ .
Save Our Schools Arizona: Petition Training
The goal: We are seeking to refer SB1431 — the ESA voucher expansion bill — to the voters of Arizona in 2018 so they can vote NO on expansion of vouchers.
To refer SB1431 to the voters – we must petition to get it on the 2018 ballot. There must be 76,000 valid signatures. The key word there is valid. Rules have been put in place to make the use of petitions to get the voice of the people hear – very difficult. There are many rules and if they aren’t followed the entire petition page can be thrown out! Since this is the case, the goal is to get 150,000 signatures to cover our bases. We can do this!
Check out the training video below to get the exact details what to do when getting signatures and turning in ballots.
Education Activism – What’s Next?
If you are an RPCV Phoenix member and couldn’t make it – no worries! Contact Skye Lucking and I will help you get some petitions to start circulating!
If you got some petitions at the event – get those puppies signed and notarized as soon as you can. Then pick up some more!
If you’re interested in volunteering for either of these organizations, go to their websites to learn more:
A few days ago I went to sleep with an iPhone 6 Plus on my bedside table but woke up with a shiny, metal shingle. The screen was black. I tried plugging it in and charging it for an hour. I tried removing and re-adding the sim card. The screen remained black. I thought – “How much more black could this be? And, the answer is none – none more black.”
So began the chorus of realization composed of groans and grunts. Along with this were very mild twinges and tingles of dreaded “Nomophobia”.
I’m both fascinated and frightened by the relationship our society and each individual has with electronic devices. The most so with my own dependency on that shiny ‘second-soul’ never very far away.
It was less than 72 hours before I had another, newer, version (plus another, newer, payment plan – ugh). During the in-between I could still communicate via my MacBook – which alleviated some of that nomophobia. However, I still felt the un-ease.I use that phone to meditate, cook, exercise, be ‘at’ work (always), coordinate a goodly amount of real-life meetings, and Instagram more than I likely should (but it’s for my business – I justify). Our phones have become part of us – who we want to be, who we are, and perhaps who we shouldn’t be.
I struggle to grasp how much of my cell phone usage is making me better, wiser, and healthier versus how much of it is making me less sane, calm, and aware of the world. How much of the time I spend following strangers could be spent actually catching up with people I love?
Side note: I’ve another blog post I’d like to write titled “I have the most amazing friends. We’ve just never met.” – which speaks to the way people are building relationships with those they follow and are followed by (but that’s for another time).
This dynamic we have with our devices is always on my mind. It crops up in so many of the science fiction plots and stories I’ve been dreaming up and thinking about. It will always be at play in my psyche. Also, I will continue to struggle to ‘put that thing down’ when my loves are near me. Unless…ya know, I’m ‘gramming their picture.
Lastly (and possibly shamefully?) ~ If I’m enslaved by this digital master called the iPhone 7 Plus – I would like it well adorned. My next choice – – – which phone case?! (I see what she did there.) These are my top 3 picks…
Skye is writing 100 blog posts. Maybe in 100 days. Maybe not. But, she’s starting with this one and hopes you enjoy forthcoming commentary on life, art, food, momming, and miscellany.
My Scrivener collection of Nanowrimo manuscripts.
I used to write – a lot. I did slam poetry for a time. I started my first novel in 2003. I was a travel writer when we lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina…. But now – all of the writing I do in a year is packed in to the frenzy of National Novel Writing Month – a wackadoo creative adventure which has so many merits and is likely a very good way to produce a decent novel, in the time after November 30th has passed. Maybe. If you’re not me.
While I do love me some NanoWriMo – it has not been satisfying to burst out 50K words and then slink back to a non-writing existence. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a creative person. So, creation is happening. However, it’s been art and product and…business. Also cooking and crafting for and with my boy…all of it good and great. But, the writing. I’ve suddenly really missed the writing.
So – I am writing 100 blog posts. Some will be short. Some will be long. Some will, I’m warning you now, be vegan-y. Some will be about amazing organizations helping people around Arizona. Some will be about momming. Some will be about how danged hard it is to be an artist trying to rub two paintbrushes together to spark up a living. Some will seem like an over-excited commercial to buy my artstuff and designthings – because they will be just that. This acknowledgment will be as close to an apology as you get for that one.
Some will be about people, places, events, or exchanges – real and imagined. Some will just be videos! Some will be sad. No, just kidding, they’ll all probably be happy. Too happy. Really annoyingly happy. (See comment about apology for commercials about my art – that applies to this as well.) Some might be about you. Yes, you. If I know you. Do I know you?
A blog seems so 2003, doesn’t it? However, 2003 was a pretty awesome year!
Notable (Nasty) Women: Founders of Black Lives Matter, Ilhan Omar, and Faith Spotted Eagle – artwork done by Skye Lucking for the ‘Nasty Women” exhibits around the country.
I knew the moment I saw the call for art by the Grand Art Haus (@grandarthaus) in downtown Phoenix for the “Nasty Women: Phoenix Unite” show, I had a project on my hands. Here was the description:
We are the Phoenix sisters of the Nasty Women Exhibition in Queens, NYC, Nashville, TN, Lubbock, TX, Minneapolis, MN, Lexington, KY, Lubbock, TX, Leverett, MA, San Diego, Ca, Melbourne, Australia, Brussels, Belgium and other cities. Our simultaneous group exhibitions will demonstrate solidarity among artists who identify as Nasty Woman in the face of threats to roll back women’s rights, individual rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and immigrant rights. The exhibition will also serve as a fundraiser to support Planned Parenthood. As we approach doomsday (January 20) we want to serve as a platform for community and coalition building to push back against the Trump Presidency.
There were a lot of angles I mulled over. I could go full rage against the machinations of our modern day monster. I could laser in on one or many of the injustices ongoing or predicted. I could just make a really, really ugly depiction of that bozo guy…
In the end, my distaste for the word ‘nasty’ (it kinda makes my skin crawl) and the reality that I’d be obsessing, living, painting with the subjects at hand – I decided to seek out some notable women of 2016. Women who were fighting social justice battles long before there was a big boogey clown crowned for power. Women who would give me hope. Women who would inspire me to do and be good. Of the many social justice warriors out there, these were the ones I chose.
Faith Spotted Eagle: Faith Spotted Eagle is a Native American activist. She is a member of the Yankton Sioux Nation who helped block development of the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline. She is the first Native American to ever receive a presidential electoral college vote.
Ilhan Omar is the newly elected, Minnesota House Representative for District 60B. She is the first Somali-American, Muslim woman in the nation to hold an office at this level. After the start of the Somali civil war in 1991, she and her family left the country and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya.
With her initial post as a ‘love letter to black people’ Alicia Garza kicked off what has now become the Black Lives Matter movement. Her note said: ““Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter.” Her friend and fellow organizer, Patrisse Cullors, reposted this with the hashtag #blacklivesmatter.
The opening night for the “Nasty Women: Phoenix Unite” show raised over $11K dollars for Planned Parenthood Arizona!!! I am so happy, humbled, and excited to participate in a first of, I hope, many art and social justice charged events!