Finally a little time to unwind and rewind my week and a half for you as I again play blog catch-up- you know that game where you take tons of pics for your posts and then don't post, resulting in mega-post with way too many pics...
There was brunch at Pastis, which has withstood the fickle New York minute when it comes to hot restaurants and still remains it's quintessential cool factor after all these years (which most of McNally's restaurants like Odeon & Balthazar do- which is so amazing, how does he do it?).
My brunches here consisted of raw oysters, the eggs hussard (which was eggs over ham & toast, drenched in a bordelaise sauce, mesclun salad, french fries, bloody mary & a coke. Nowadays that is easy to adjust vegan-style, I always order a mesclun salad and the fried eggs with beans & tomato on toast minus the fried eggs of course. And I always have half my salad to start & then move it onto my plate when my entree arrives...
and the french fries (such a NY moment with the taxi going by...) that's served with mayo which I put off to side and make my own ketchup & tabasco mix instead.
And animals friends are always welcome at brunch, this little guy was hoping someone would drop something within his radius.
After brunch, we stroll over to Stella McCartney- not buying anything because we have our closing in a few months, but yes, I do so covet a pair of vegan designer boots for the fall. All her shoes have "Suitable for Vegetarians" printed on the sole. Sigh. On another note, it's pretty ironic that what use to be the meat market stands a designer boutique that does not sell any leather goods.
This neighborhood is known as The Meat Packing District because several years ago, most of these cobblestone streets were dripping with blood & animals carcasses. There are still a few wholesale meat distributors in business, but for the most part, they have been overrun by hip bars, restaurants & boutiques.
SKO fits in very easily with this trendy set.
Another day, SKO & I went to Red Bamboo. Finally! I have been meaning to check this place out forever. I had sampled their food at the Farm Sanctuary event not that long ago, so I knew it would be good. I ended up ordering the very thing that freaked me out so much at the event, the buffalo "wings" with the stick in it to resemble bones...I had a craving, got over the bone/stick and it was good.
SKO had the roti. It was good.
We also ordered the bourbon "chicken" (can't we just give it another name damn it). It was good.
And to go with all that wheat "meat", I had a great house salad. It was good.
Am definitely going back to Red Bamboo, there was just so much on the menu that was calling out to be sampled! After gorging ourselves, SKO & I walked over to The Pearl River Mart which is this giant Chinese department store that sells everything from houseware to clothing to food. It's a great place for gifts. You can pickup gorgeous dishes or pretty cloth covered notebooks. We also found some interesting gender specific Japanese snacks- not vegan though. See the Men's flavored Pocky which is bitter chocolate in the manly dark green box. So sexist, but hysterical.
We were on our way home and since we were walking toward the subway in Nolita (the area North of Little Italy), I knew I had to take SKO for a Ciao Bella gelato. There were a few vegan options. I ordered pear. It was delicious- I mean really really decadently good. It was like eating a pear but infintely better. I know my face does not actually convey how really good it was possibly because I was still recovering from the fact that the small cup of gelato/sorbetto was five dollars. Hence the smile, but not real smile on my face?
Here's an upclose shot of what $5 gelato in a small cup looks like:
Then there was the day we grabbed a bite to eat before going to the "Becoming Jane" screening. SKO & absolutely loved this movie- we love Jane Austen too, but besides that it was just surprisingly, achingly good but oh so depressing. The chemistry between Anne Hathaway & her co-star was amazing. The chemistry of this California Pizza Kitchen vegetarian pizza hold the cheese was also amazing.
There was a day of casting on Wednesday and SKO was going to assist me for the first time ever! I had to cast a thirty-something suburban mom for a shoot next week. Of course when I woke up it was pouring rain by the gallon, wasn't sure if anyone would show up at my casting, but we had to trek out to the studio either way. We were armed with fun rain boots & umbrellas. Honestly, it has never rained as hard as it did- the thunder rumbled so violently while we were walking down the avenue that I thought we might possibly be the first ones struck by lightning on 6th Avenue.
We sat at my casting for at least forty minutes before anyone showed up. I had scheduled 67 models that day, a little less than half actually made it. Four hours and twenty-eight "moms" later with the rain finally gone, we were off to a Korean lunch.
If you've never had Korean food in Koreatown, you've got to go hungry. We love Kum Gang San on West 32nd St. First they serve you an array of appetizers that are free! These little dishes are called panchen and most of them are vegan, though they vary.
There were marinated bean sprouts:
Some kind of yummy, marinated vegetable:
Peppery, vinegary raw veggies:
Yummy spicy kimchee (fermented cabbage- & this one specifically fermented vegan style):
This was my giant entree of rice with different veggies & seaweed, which you mix together and look at all the little dishes it comes with & a miso soup! Needless to say, we are always stuffed after a meal here. Oh wait did I tell you that this was a lunch special- yep, all this for about ten bucks. Can't beat it.
Lastly, I want to say that I am a very good sister.
Here's the scenario, SKO declares at 10:00pm on Friday night that she must go to Borders (10 blocks & 3 avenues away) to be there when the final Harry Potter book goes on sale at midnight. I tell her that she is out of her mind & that there is no way we are going to trek out, nor is she alone going to trek out in the middle of the night to stand in line for god know how long to get a book that she can pick up first thing in the morning when the store opens. SKO keeps pushing her luck and I being exhausted, no longer have any patience for this pestering. I walk away from the puppy-eyed girl to take a shower. During my shower, I recall being eighteen and venturing out & sitting on the street all night so that my friend & I could be the first ones on line to buy Depeche Mode tickets (sadly we weren't first because we didn't realize that wristbands had been given out the day before- it was okay, we ended up being in the top twenty). Needless to say, when I got out of the shower, we were headed to Borders.
Here is SKO holding her little purple ticket with our number on it which meant we were the 475th in line. SKO is wearing her little miss lucky shirt because she was lucky that I had a moment where I was out of my mind to agree to this ridiculousness.
At this point, people are sitting all over the store at Borders. It is 12:30am and I am having a coffee with soy milk.
During the Harry Potter book party, there were elixirs to be imbibed. And plenty of kids & adults alike in costumes. It might have been more interesting if I wasn't so tired.
By the time we leave the store, it was 1am- we had spent about an hour & forty-five minutes at the store, which was not as bad as it sounds. We looked at lots of magazines.
Here is Booboo skipping to the end.