Meow Parlour (Lower East Side, NYC)

As I mentioned in a previous post, my dude and I went to Meow Parlour, the new cafe full of fully adoptable cats on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I really want to adopt a cat soon but I haven’t met the right one yet and I thought that maybe this was the right low-stress environment to find my future pet. 

We arrived and were immediately put on a list and told it’d be a 45-60 minute wait and we were welcome to wait in their actual cafe around the corner. We walked in and when the only other people in there had already been to the Parlour, I knew that the 60 minute wait would be much shorter. 

It was. As soon as we sat down and started sipping our lattes, the manager of the cafe let us know that we could go over after we signed the waiver. We walked in, took off our shoes, purelle-ed our hands, and went to chill with the cats. They have a generously sized play area full of wooden boxes that they can run in to if they feel like they need to hide (not pictured in any of the photos below). There are a handful of clear-topped boxes that cats can sleep or relax in, too. 

The assistant manager started telling us about some of the cats, what shelters they came from, their backstory of where they were found, etc. We were told that we could pet the cats, take their photos (sans flashes), but not to pick them up. They see a lot of people every day and they’re still getting used to routine. 

The front of the store. The cats hang out where ever they damn well please. One even spent a fair amount of time sitting on the managers’ laptop.

This cat on the floor walked over to these humans and literally rolled over to get scratched. It made an audible thump as it hit the ground.

This is Matt. He wasn’t super friendly but he let me pet him for a few minutes when he was sitting in a basket in the front window. 

There was one cat, Stovetop, that did not like the other cats at all. It would regularly walk up to other cats and start swatting at them. Stovetop claimed a human, sat on her lap, and when another cat sauntered over to join in the fun, Stovetop saw this other cat approaching and hissed until the cat retreated. It was also an obese cat at about 25 pounds. It liked humans enough, it just hated other cats.

It was totally worth the price of two lattes and $5/person/30 minutes. I’d suggest making a reservation before going, but even if you don’t, the wait probably won’t be very long. 

Totally follow them on Instagram. Cutest Instagram ever? Yup. 

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.

Meditation Master Class with Alan Finger

Last month I was lucky enough to be able to attend a master class in meditation with Alan Finger at Ishta Yoga in the East Village. I hadn’t heard of him before but one of my friends told me she had studied with him and that he was ace.

He teaches the master class on the first Saturday of every month and the class costs $35. There’s very light movement involved (handful of cat/cows, some downdogs) but it’s a lot sitting (duh).

Each master class focuses on something different and that Saturday we focused on the breath and at which points it flowed into and out of in the nostrils. You’re probably thinking what I thought when I heard him teach this: I only have two nostrils to breathe through. What’s he talking about?

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The above picture is what he drew in my notebook after the class was over. Inside one side of the nose there are different points to access – earth (center of the note), air (top), space (top inner), fire (upper outer), and water (lower outer).

It’s kind of confusing and I’m not doing the best job explaining it now but maybe Google could help – if you’re interested.

Taking a master class with one of the greats was an awesome experience. I would definitely recommend hitting up ISHTA Yoga if you’re interested in deepening your practice. 

Sunday in the Hall with Meatballs

On Sunday, my dude and I went with a couple of our friends to Houston Hall in SoHo (the edge of SoHo? i don’t know) for Time Out New York’s Meatball and Beer Chowdown. I’d seen an advertisement for it in the magazine and thought, “beer and meatballs? Sounds awesome!” And it was.

We each got two free beers with our ticket and as many mini-meatballs as we could eat. I was a little sad that there were only four restaurants competing, but what can you do? The Ainsworth ended up winning and rightly so. They were meatballs with a bit of Asian flare and they were delicious.

After a while, we moved next door to The Brooklyneer for another pint and some nachos before I had to say goodbye to walk over to NYTW to see Lazarus (review to come). 

For $35, this was a good time for sure. 

When Hamlet in Bed, a newest work currently being performed at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, got a great write up in Time Out New York, I decided, what the hell, and I went to see it. Time Out is pretty much where I go for all of my off-Broadway recs (besides friends). I thought it would be a reinterpretation of Hamlet but I was completely off base. 

Hamlet in Bed was about a mother and son who didn’t know it. Michael Laurence, the star and playwright, played Michael, an actor and orphan, who has an obsession with Hamlet (the play) and is sold the journal of a woman, Ana (played by Annette O’Toole), who Ophelia in 1975. The journal ends with an entry saying that her son was born on the day that happens to be his birthday and she gave him up for adoption.

He finds her and casts her as Gertrude, Hamlet’s mother, in his adaptation of Hamlet called Hamlet in Bed. The play is dark and twisted, and a bit confusing. Ana has a hallucination (of sorts) once Michael tells her who he is after three weeks of deceiving her.

Hamlet in Bed is a quick 90 minutes and it’s interesting and eerie, especially if you know Hamlet. If you like off the beaten path theatre, head downtown and check it out.

Empanada Loca – Labyrinth Theater Company

First show since I got back into the country. Wow. It’s been way too long. Going to see this tonight at the Labyrinth Theater down on Bank Street. I originally picked up the tickets because Daphne Rubin-Vega is in it and I don’t know the last time I saw her onstage (oh, wait, it was Les Miserables but I’ve tried as hard as possible to forget that production). 

After a quick Google search to figure out what the hell this is about, I come to find out that this is a one-woman-show. To say I’m excited doesn’t cut it. 

(Bonus: there’s no intermission.)

Empanada Loca – Labyrinth Theater Company

Tonight is The BE Society’s second meet-up since their summer hiatus and I’m actually going to be able to get downtown to join in and be. I’m so excited. I missed this so much during the summer. 

This photo is from a gathering in the winter. It feels like so long ago. I’m definitely glad the summer is over.

Last weekend I was invited to see a performance of You on the Moors Now by Jaclyn Backhaus and produced by the Theatre Reconstruction Ensemble. I read that it was about 19th century literary heroins but knew nothing else. It was staged down at HERE Arts Center in SoHo. 

I like to think of You On the Moors as the straight-play version of Into the Woods, except with 19th century literary characters. Moors brought together characters from Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, and Pride & Prejudice to converse about their suiters and novels all at once. I think, at least. I’m not really familiar with any of these novels (except maybe Little Women but it’s been so long that I basically don’t remember the plot), so I felt a little lost the entire time. I didn’t understand the inside jokes relating to the novels.

This was no fault of the actors or the playwright, just mine for not be familiar with these books. The ensemble cast was fantastic and included Harlan Alford, Michael Barringer, Nathaniel Basch-Gould, Sam Corbin, Eben Hoffer, Lena Hudson, Emily Marro, Preston Martin, Anastasia Olowin, Jon Riddleberger, Kelly rogers, Claire Rothrock, Patrick Scheid, and Lauren Swan-Portras. Each played multiple roles easily and never missed a beat.

I enjoyed You on the Moors Now as much as I could, but I would say to review the plots to these novels before you go. And if you love these novels, go NOW (it plays through February 28th). 

More information can be found here

Colt Coeur’s “Dry Land”

Over two years ago I saw Colt Coeur’sRecall” at The Wild Project downtown. It was interesting premise (kids who get “recalled” for bad behavior and such) and I had high hopes for “Dry Land,” by Ruby Rae Spiegel.

Unfortunately Dry Land had no point. I’m still not even sure what it was really about. It focused on two high school girls on a swim team, one is pregnant and needs not to be, then she accuses the other girl of being in love with her, and then the other girl gets recruited for college, and the originally accusatory girl is upset. Sound incoherent? It was.

The cast including Sarah Mezzanotte, Tina Ivlev, Alice Kremelberg, Matthew Stadelmann, and Jim Ireland all gave it their best shots to make sense of the script.

I don’t like to be unfairly harsh on shows, but I really have no idea why this play was staged. If you like avant garde though, this might be for you. 

Last night I was invited to see The Qualification of Douglas Evans, by Derek Ahonen, the second play currently playing in rep with Enter on Forest Lane, both produced by The Amoralists. I hadn’t noticed the tag line on their logo when I saw Forest Lane last weekend, but it says, “a two play repertory exploring man’s vicious cycles.” Well, Douglas Evans was definitely about a man in a vicious cycle of codependence and alcoholism.

Douglas starts out an innocent college freshmen in New York City who is soon corrupted by a harlot from his college and soon after he’s introduced to booze and everything is down hill from there. A wanna-be actor, he soon turns into a wanna-be playwright who jumps from one codependent relationship with a quirky female to the next.

To say it was depressing is an understatement. But it was also really interesting. I kind of want to see it again to analyze it a bit more.

Derek Ahonen, who starred as Douglas in addition to writing the piece, was impeccable and highly impressive. The girlfriends played by Kelley Swindall, Mandy Nicole Moore, Samantha Strelitz, and Agatha Nowicki, were each convincing and endearing. Penny Bittone and Barbara Weetman as Douglas’ father and mother, in addition to a few other characters each, were also impressive.  

Clocking in at two and a half hours, this is definitely not a RomCom, but it’s a worthy play nevertheless.