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.

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.

Last Friday I was invited to see Sinking Ships Production of Powerhouse, a new work based on the life of Raymond Scott. Powerhouse played to sold out crowds at the 2009 Fringe Festival, was extended, and won an award for Outstanding Ensemble.

Powerhouse is comprised of seven incredibly talented performers. The story of Scott and his family is extremely compelling, and even heartbreaking at times, as we follow him on his journey to basically start the electronic music genre. This oftentimes forgotten musical genius contributed so much to swing and electric music and it’s nice to see him getting recognition, even if it’s just in a small theatre downtown.

While I didn’t love it, I certainly thought it was worth a viewing if you like things like indie theatre and swing music.Powerhouse is playing now through November 23rd at the New Ohio Theater on Christopher Street. More information can be found here.

MacDougal Alley

I strolled up Broadway and west to Sixth Avenue last Thursday night after Obliterati because the the weather was so gorgeous.  On my way I stumbled upon MacDougal Alley.  I’m sure there are at least a handful more streets exactly like this but I’ve only seen one and the Washing Mews, just a bit further east in the village.  I can only imagine how long these houses (yes, they’re houses) have been passed down from owner to owner, or how much they’re worth.  Here are a few pictures that I took, and to be clear, the gate was open.

How cute?

I’m not sure how you get your car in and out then….

On Friday night, Matt gathered a group of people like he usually does and we headed to the 7:30 show at Comix on 14th and 9th.  The show was great, and afterward Paul said he knew of a bar nearby that we should go to.  I was almost ready to jump ship at 14th and 8th, but I’m glad I didn’t.  After lots of u-turns and iPhone consulting, we finally found our way to Orient Express on West 11th Street.  

We grabbed the three tables-for-two in the front window and gazed at the menu.  The drinks were expensive but potent so they were well worth it.  We kept insisting, “This is our last one!” Famous. last. words.  So, then we ordered more.  "I’m going to spend all of my money on alcohol tonight!“ were other famous last words spoken multiple times.  There were lots of showtunes sung, laughter was abundant, and friends were made.  

The bar never got too crowded, as so many others are on Friday nights, so it was a relaxing night.  We finally decided to leave at 2am (probably because of our dwindling bank accounts).  I would definitely go back next time I’m with a group of people who don’t mind spending more than $5 on a drink.

All in all, a perfect Friday night.

Orient Express is located at 325 West 11th Street.