Vegan in the Village

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Last Wednesday, I typed ‘healthy’ into Yelp for a very specific range of streets in the West Village and one of the first choices to pop up was a casual dining place called By Chloe. I’d never heard of it before, but I’m always open to try to occasional vegan restaurant and Kristen, whom I was meeting to see Company XIV’s Snow White with later in the evening, is always down to be casually vegan, so off we went (or met, rather).

This place is obviously incredibly popular among the NYU crowd as the line was to the door when I got there and eventually it went out the door and down the street. I usually really enjoy myself at vegan restaurants if I don’t go too crazy (no fake cheese for me, thank you). I had the spicy Thai salad (it was ginormous) and a small side of butternut/something else soup. They were both delicious. They need to work on their portion control though.

Anyways, it was a really lovely meal and experience. I would maybe go back but not if the line is still out the door. 100% recommended for vegans and non-vegans who like eating vegetables.

I’ve read Skinny Bitch and it was compelling. I know how horrible the dairy industry is. I’ve watched Food Inc, and Forks Over Knives, and Food Matters (was that the name? I don’t remember). The truth is I never buy milk. If it’s in my fridge it’s because I needed it for one very specific recipe and now the rest of it is slowly going bad, or my boyfriend bought it because there’s only so many times he can stomach the coconut milk that I buy. I buy mozzarella occasionally, and eggs maybe once a month from a local place.

The truth is: I like eating meat. Especially chicken, and the occasional burger (I don’t actually like steak). And I also occasionally like dairy. Mozzarella is delicious and whipped cream makes the taste of coffee bearable.

I think the vegan dairy alternatives to cheese are just gross. And they’re also filled with a whole bunch of other shit that is unnecessary to be ingesting if you just eat a piece of natural fucking cheese. Here’s the ingredient list for Daiya dairy-free cheese: “Filtered Water, Tapioca Starch, Palm Fruit Oil, Expeller Pressed non GMO
Canola Oil and/or Expeller Pressed non GMO Safflower Oil, Coconut Oil,
Pea Protein Isolate, Natural Vegan Flavors, Vegetable Glycerine, Brown
Rice Syrup, Sea Salt, Yeast Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid (Vegan,
for flavor), Annatto (for color) Carrageenan, Titanium Dioxide (a
naturally occurring mineral), Vegan Enzyme.”

What? Ew. Give me regular mozzarella cheese or give me death. So, while I totally enjoyed my experience at By Chloe, I’m not going vegan anytime soon.

An Upper West Side Weekend

I spent all weekend in my ‘hood. I really like my ‘hood and I wasn’t seeing a show, so I didn’t have a real reason to leave. Additionally: this weekend was for being lazy. On Friday night I watched Gone Girl (for the millionth time) and colored a page in my “art therapy” coloring book. I basically just vegged. It was the nicest. After pouring myself into bed before 11pm, I woke up at the crack of 8am to head to my 9am yoga class. It’s an advanced class and is always hard but this was by far the hardest class my teacher has ever taught. I was dying and I also set a record for the most calories ever burn in one 90-minute yoga class (478 calories to be exact).

I spent the next couple of hours relaxing (and eventually showering) before Justin came over and we went to get coffee at the Hungarian Pastry Shop (somehow I was still exhausted) and he suggested watching John Adams. (Meh. It’s good, but sort of slow.) We headed out into a rather mild winter evening to The Ellington on 106th and Amsterdam for dinner with my folks. I like brunch at The Ellington better than dinner, but it was good anyways. After saying goodbye, we ended the night at new Amity Hall on 109th and Amsterdam (the location used to be another Pourhouse) to watch some football and have a drink. I fell asleep to another episode of John Adams later in the evening.

It poured all day on Sunday. In the brief break we got in between downpours, I ran out to Absolute Bagel to pick up the freshest bagels ever and we made coffee and started to wake up. Multiple cups of coffee later, we made ourselves semi-presentable and took a long walk to Petco to look at adoptable cats. There was a really sweet one named Grace that seemed really calm. Shortly after, we tried another new bar near my apartment, The Hamilton, which used to be ‘The ‘Dam,’ until it closed suddenly and without notice. The bartender was Scottish with a heavy accent and he was really friendly. They’re still trying to find their way into the neighborhood but with their prices and selection of craft beer, I have no doubt they will. Both of our meals were delicious and our bill came out to $29.

After we finished eating, we took out the chess board that we’d ordered (him, rather – it was really him) and played. I’d never played Chess before and I had a lot of trouble remember which pieces could move which directions and how. I felt like a dope, but he showed me how to beat him and I tried not to let my ego get too down on itself.

Back at my apartment, I worked on something for work in my bedroom while more John Adams was watched in the living room. That show, while interesting, bored me to tears. While perusing Netflix after, we found the documentary “The Nightmare,” about 8 people who suffer from sleep paralysis. It freaked me out, for sure, while my dude just laughed.

It was a good Upper West Side weekend. New places, new experiences, and I definitely remembered to enjoy the day.

PLAY THIS MOVIE REALLY FUCKING LOUD!

Ben and I caught one of the two (or three?) screenings of Heart Like a Hand Grenade, the documentary about the creative process behind Green Day’s American Idiot, last night on the Upper East Side. Our theatre was half-empty but it was nevertheless a good time. 

Heart Like a Hand Grenade was like sitting in your living room and reuniting with old friends for the first time in a while and picking up like no time had passed at all. It was like listening to your favorite high school album for the first time in a decade (even though we all know that we have for sure listened to this album at least a couple times a year for the last 11 years).

The lights went down and onscreen was a notice, “PLAY THIS MOVIE REALLY FUCKING LOUD.” To be honest, they could’ve played it louder, but I’ve been hard-of-hearing from Green Day before so it’s probably best that it wasn’t. Billie Joe and Mike haven’t aged a day in 11 years. They took us through every track on the album, the recording process, the mixing process, and mixed it with cuts from a concert in California, presumably the first time they played through the album (oh, to have been there..). I laughed when Billie Joe was complaining about people on message boards trashing Warning and I wanted to jump up and be like, “Fuck those guys! Warning is the best!” You know, after American Idiot and Dookie

HLAHG was funny, serious, sad, and hilarious. The guys even thanked the fans in the credits: “Thank you to the fans who waited 11 years for this documentary.” You’re welcome, dude. As big fans: we left the theatre happy and sated. If you are in the music business or a Green Day fan, this is definitely worth a watch. 

Uno, Dos, Tre…

I’d bought a ticket a few weeks back for Cuatro! at the CBGB festival and completely forgot what day it was for until about two days ago. Luckily Tanya was also going, so after a long day of work yesterday, and a delicious meal of authentic tacos at a tiny little place called Oaxaca on a street called ‘Extra Place,’ I met up with her at the Anthology Film Center on 2nd and 2nd.

Because the band, and CBGB’s, is awful at planning, they booked the premiere of this film on the same night as Broadway Idiot, and since Broadway Idiot had a talkback afterward, of course everyone went there. There were probably 15 people at Cuatro!, but we didn’t care. We were there to have fun. 

It was a incredibly fun trip down memory lane and made me remember how much fun October 2011 to April 2013 was. It was amazing to see their creative process and how much fun they have while at it.

It also made me want to pick up my guitar (which has been sitting in it’s case for a few weeks now) again. Which is always awesome too.

I look forward to see Broadway Idiot soon, and all the future documentaries to come from Green Day (fingers crossed, right?).