"...breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain."
As my birthday rapidly descends in a few days, putting me firmly in my mid-thirties (oh yes the horror, avert your eyes), T.S. Eliot's line resounds in my head. The month of April is a mixed blessing depending on one's opinion of birthdays which invariably depends on what age you are creeping towards... In this month of April, there are taxes & birthdays to deal with like my own & Booboo's but then there is fun stuff like my vegananniversary. So instead of dwelling on birthday blues, I give you a recap of the last few weeks which were mostly fun indeed.
Most fun visitor in April award goes to: SKO!!
SKO was in NYC for her spring break & to visit colleges. Nothing beats having my sister in town for the camraderie and also I can drag her to try new vegan joints, but first, an SKO/VKO favorite- Gobo which has two locations in the West Village and on the Upper Eastside. We split the roti canai & the sweet & sour protein. yum yum yum yum yum.
Gobo 1426 3rd Avenue (bet 80th & 81st sts) NYC 10028 212.288.5099
And reminding us all that spring is here are the gorgeous daffodils that SKO brought me-
SKO & I doing goofy things on an empty subway car on a Sunday morning. SKO jumps for joy as we head downtown to our favorite yummy veg dim sum at Vegetarian Dim Sum House in Chinatown which I post no pictures because I have a bizillion of the them in other posts.
Vegetarian Dim Sum House 24 Pell Street (at Doyers St) NYC 10013 212.577.7176
Here's a place that I've been wanting to try- Birdie's in the East Village. They serve chicken & veg chik'n. The place is quite small- about 8 can sit at a table and then a few stools at the counter. It's quite cozy and the owner whose grandmother's name was Birdie was super welcoming. My only issue was sitting so close to others that I was surrounded by people chomping into their chicken carcasses, made me a bit ill. I will opt to sit at the counter next time when it's that crowded. SKO's chicken was much undercooked and had to be sent back- it's been awhile since I've had any chicken but I know it shouldn't be that pink. They apologetically took it back & replaced it & took it off our bill & offered us dessert- which was super sweet. SKO has decided to have the veg chik'n next time anyway. I had the Veggie Smoked Jerk BBQ which was good with a side of collard greens. See the cute collage placemats- the owner made those from childhood pics & 70's tv show cutouts.
SKO & even stayed watching a movie for about 45 mins after our meal- the owner is a big fan of old movies, especially those from the 70's and yes, I am a child of the 70's so I loved me some Sinbad movies & Sigmund and The Sea Monsters...here's the genie scene that we had been waiting to see. My only wish for the genie would be that Birdie's had some vegan desserts & vegan versions of biscuits & mac &cheez- that would have made it complete.
Birdie's 149 1st Avenue (bet 9th & 10th sts) NYC 10003 212.529.2512
We were so close to Atlas, I had to bring SKO to see the dessert case of Vegan Treats goodies at Atlas. Yes darlings- all that yumminess is vegan!
I took home a chocolate glazed donut & a slice of peanut butter chocolate "cheesecake".
Atlas 73 2nd Avenue (bet 4th & 5th Sts) NYC 10003 212.539.0966
Another day brought us down to the Lower Eastside to finally check out Moby's cafe, Teany.
The place is absolutely adorable. SKO & I both loved it. She got to order clotted cream (not vegan) and scones. My sister loves scones with clotted cream & tea so much that it makes her smile- I kid you not. Teany has a giant tea selection evidenced in this metal binder...
Ah yes, SKO will do well down here with the Lower Eastside hipsters. She's the cutest.
Here's my chickenless-chicken salad sandwich, which was tasty.
And the yummiest was the rasberry chocolate cupcake courtesy of Vegan Treats- it was pure yum. The frosting was super light & airy and the chocolate cake part really chocolatey.
Teany 90 Rivington St (bet Orchard & Ludlow Sts) NYC 10002 212.475.9190
Then off to check out some vegan shoes & eco-friendly fashion at Moo Shoes & just acrosee the street, Kaight.
Moo Shoes has a few resident kitties- this sleepy one reminds me of Booboo with those giant paws.
And this little elegant one was admiring the sandals that I tried on.
Moo Shoes 78 Orchard Street (bet Broome & Grand Sts) NYC 10002 866.59.VEGAN
83 Orchard Street
The weekend brought the Dean's brunch at the university that was seriously wooing SKO with a full scholarship. I was an awfully proud big sister to see a university pursuing my sister with such ardent financial promises. We were not that excited by the school at first, however our whole outlook changed when we went to visit. We were completely enamored by everything about the school. The small student/professor ratio, the commitment to integrating commuter students into the campus life and just the sincerity that really came across that the school really cared about it's students, not to mention having the advantages of a large university with the class size of a small college and of course having all the internship advantages of going to school in NYC.
While SKO met for individual student tours, Grandma & I headed to Whole Foods at Columbus Circle for lunch. We made a nice little sampler for ourselves & headed to Central Park. I had some dal, chickpea masala, broccoli, edamame salad, couscous just to name a few goodies.
SKO returned from the university tour with a giant shopping bag of goodies- a university mug, a bumper sticker for our dad's car and a stuffed ram, the university mascot. Of course, Booboo was subjected to a series of photos with the ram...I am so thrilled that SKO has found a great school that believes in her and that she is excited to go to. Yay SKO!!
Most fun way to celebrate my 2yr Vegananniversary: Candle 79
Was not that long ago that I went to Candle 79 with Veggie Girl and it was fine but nothing to rave about except the desserts, well it is my firm belief to always give a place that I don't love a second shot. So when Fcat asked me where I would like to go to celebrate, I decided to go to Candle 79 again and on my 2 yr vegan celebration, I am glad that I went with an open mind. I absolutely loved it this time!
Fcat started with a mimosa & I had a homemade ginger ale with crushed mint which was absolutely amazing- super gingery if you like ginger. It was so refreshing- I felt instantly revitalized!
We started with the special salad which was watercress with strawberries, lentils & pistachios and a vanilla infused dressing. Absolutely delectable.
Fcat had the falafel pita sandwich, which I enjoyed- it was surprisingly fresh & light for a deep-fried chickpea ball sandwich.
I had the breakfast burrito which was so tasty- the beans had a delicate smoky flavor and the seitan was so tender, really perfect.
And we had to have the brownie sundae for dessert- the ancho-chile chocolate sauce threw me off until I realized that it was ancho-chile versus some strange tasting chocolate, the brownie decadent and everything was delicious. Candle 79 was a perfect way to celebrate 2 yrs of true cruelty-free living!
154 East 79th St (bet Lex & 3rd Ave)
The whole week that SKO was here, I was also busy getting ready for a big big celebrity shoot. To quell the work anxiety, Fcat and I decided to splurge a bit and go for sushi at one of the best sushi places, Sushi Seki. I started with the seaweed salad which was so mouthwatering-ly tasty.
My favorite is the Three Flowers veggie platter- expensive but so worth it. Love how they delicately slice the tomatoes to resemble sushi and the hijiki roll wrapped in cucumber is my absolute favorite.
1143 1st Avenue (bet 62nd & 63rd sts)
As for work, everything came together pretty well. I found a fabulous location in the Bronx, an old warehouse converted into a studio. There isn't anything like this in the city anymore.
I had great catering from Green - really clean & organic stuff. Here's what I ate- yummy lentil salad and broccoli with eggplant.
Here's what the final wardrobe edit came down to...
And here is Uma Thurman standing on the roof of a dilapidated warehouse in the Bronx- fabulous. I have worked with Uma on many an occasion and she is pretty easy to work with. She is out promoting her new movie and had the most hectic schedule ever- the night before a late movie premiere and then 5am hair/makeup for Good Morning America appearance, then off to the Bronx for our shoot, then off to Letterman. She was in amazing form for running around ragged. I would have been one super cranky you-know-what, but Uma was super professional and great as always. And somewhat interesting tidbit, though not really- Uma & I share the same birthday- okay that's all on that front.
The clients wanted to go to Nobu that evening for dinner. Nobu is still amazing after all these years and they were more than happy to accommodate me, the vegan and the photographer's girlfriend who was vegetarian. We felt like we had extra special service there! Here's a dim pic of the vegetable ceviche- baby corn, edamamde, cucumber & other veggies in a citrus ceviche- absolutely delectable.
Then we had smoked eggplant with miso sauce- yum!
The seared tofu was so delicate- it was so delicious!
There were a few other dishes that I didn't get pics of because I didn't really want to explain to my clients why I had to take pictures of all my food. I had an amazing time at Nobu- it really is great when top top restaurants find innovative ways to accommodate vegan visitors. Nobu is super pricey but oh so worth it...
105 Hudson Street (at Franklin St)
And to round up the week, I had a client lunch at Balthazar which fabulous French bistros usually have little to offer a vegan, but again a top restaurant is happy to accommodate vegan lifestyles. Balthazar is another of those tried & true NYC restaurants which had withstood the test of time.
I had a yummy beet & leek salad with delicious french fries.
And refreshing sorbet for dessert. Ah, I love a client luncheon!
80 Spring St (bet Bway & Crosby St)
I know this post was super long as are most of my posts because I have to recap so much, but there's always so much to share. Next post- chock full of things like my being maid of honor at my BFF's wedding and my birthday dinner and belated Booboo bday pics to round out the month of April.
Have a great week- I hope to visit all my blog friends this week since I have so much catching up to do!