Tag Archives: nyc

Vendy Awards 2016

[Warning, this post is image heavy!]

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This past weekend was the Vendy Awards on Governer’s Island in NY. I love the Vendy’s. I went for the first time in 2014 when I won VIP tickets, and I’ve been going (VIP style) ever since. The Vendy Awards celebrate, support, and bring awareness to street vendors and their struggles.

I highly recommend attending the Vendy’s, and really suggest getting early bird VIP tickets. Perks of the VIP tickets include, getting in an hour before general admission opens, a swag bag full of goodies, open bar, and shaded seating area. Getting in as early as possible is essential because the lines get LONG.

Get VIP tickets so you can walk around like this before the lines get long.

The  first thing I tried was Raindrop Cake. The black cane sugar and blueberry lavender were vegan. I was excited about trying it since it’s described as a ‘raindrop made for your mouth’. It was really interesting – in a good way. It was sweet and melted in your mouth. Both syrups were good, and I liked the black can sugar the best.

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Next up was Monk’s Meats and the best word to describe their sliders is “wow”. Their seitan is absolutely incredible. I can’t even put into words how good their food was and I’m more than a little upset that I can’t eat it on a regular basis. The  Bulgogi was my favorite since it had a spicy Gochujang mayo that was out of this world, but they were all so delicious. I would give just about anything to get my hands on their seitan recipe.dsc_0708dsc_0709monksmeats
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dsc_0710 Next stop was Yeah Dawg, another all vegan vendor that I was super excited about. I got the Viva Dawg and my mom got the Bulldawg. The coconut bacon and chipotle mayo were perfect.We loved them, and my only regret was not going back for seconds to try the other kinds.

The dogs were really, really good. They’re made out of normal ingredients, root veggies, sunflower seeds, gluten free flour, and herbs and spices. These tasted better than any “real” hot dog I’ve ever had.
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At this point, I was already started to feel a tiny bit stuffed, and there were still so many vendors to try. Sweetface Snoballs was next to Yeah Dawg and serves up New Orleans style snoballs. Only one of the three flavors they had didn’t have dairy in it, so I went with that one, the Nola Voodoo. It was really rich and sweet. There was a always a huge line through out the day and I can understand why, it was a perfect delicious treat on a beautiful day. For some reason I didn’t snap a photo of my snoball – probably because I was too busy eating it. dsc_0723 dsc_0726

The Jerk Shack was right next to the snoballs, so my mom and I each got a plate of their offerings. They offered very generous portions of their authentic Caribbean cuisine and they were both delicious.
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There was a mixture of types of trucks that I could eat at, some were 100% vegan, others were in the vegan category that normally serve both vegan and non vegan food, then there were non vegan trucks that specially made some vegan dishes even though it wasn’t their norm.

Los Viojeros had a veggie option, and they were nice enough to make me a special dish that didn’t have the cheese or aioli. The plantains, peppers and onions were a nice combo, and I thought it was really nice of them to make me something separate. dsc_0734img_20160917_121107

Bamboo Bites was another vendor in the vegan category. They had two sticky rice options, one with mango and the other with tofu in a peanut sauce.  They were both really good. I always love mango sticky rice, and the tofu in peanut sauce was really tasty. Again, I kind of failed on the photo front here. Too busy stuffing things in my mouth to get a good photo I guess!

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There’s a general admission bar (above) and a VIP bar (below).dsc_0738

I got a Mediterranean Mule – Figenza Fig Vodka, Ginger Beer, and Lime Juice. I can’t even remember the last time I had vodka or any kind of hard liquor (seriously like 2 or 3 years ago on New Years Eve), but I love figs, so I got one and wow, was it good. dsc_0740 I tried the whiskey and learned that I’m not a whiskey person. They also had gin and tonics, but since I don’t like gin, I just got a tonic water.
dsc_0786 dsc_0789 Another vegetarian vendor that went out of their way to be vegan friendly was Matzahbrei. I loved their sign “All Vegetarian – *Make it vegan (Just ask the guy)”. I asked for a vegan Yannis, and waited with a few other vegans for them to make it fresh. I was a little unsure of the beets, mint, and tahini combo, but it was REALLY good. At this point I was starting to really feel the mass amounts of food I had eaten, but I would’ve gone back and asked for more if I had the stamina.  Also major thanks for making a special vegan option!
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A sponsor, Casper, had nap pods with their mattresses. I didn’t try it out, but it looked…interesting.
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Another sponsor was Uprooted. I got a pretty silk flower crown. From now on, I will only be referred to as Sunflower Moon Goddess whenever I wear it!dsc_0765 dsc_0766 When I first walked through, I missed Mysttik Masaala, which was was very unfortunate because their food was incredible. I know I’ve pretty much said that about everyone, but all of these guys are the best of the best. I tried the red bean, potatoes, and spinach dishes. At this point I was taking a couple bites, walking around, taking a few more bites…because I was so full. But it was SO good.  And spicy. And I could really go for more right now.dsc_0768 dsc_0770
dsc_0778 dsc_0780The coveted Vendy Cup!

dsc_0775I picked up a tshirt.
dsc_0798 We had skipped over Tuson Sate originally because we wanted to try all the vegan stuff first and got pretty full pretty fast. Towards the end of the day I noticed they had a tempeh option and gave it a try. They asked if I wanted it vegan (seriously blows my mind when someone asks without me saying it first) and they had separate tempeh that they served up. It was good and some of the best tempeh I’ve had.
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A few hours in, they were all out of water … and soda … and seltzer, so I got a beer.
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There was a huge crowd for the awards ceremony. There were two guest vegan judges, Adam Sobel of the Cinnamon Snail and Chloe Coscarelli – basically my two celebrity vegan idols.  I really wanted to get photos with them, but I didn’t see them walking around.

Monk’s Meats won the People’s Choice award, and Mysttik Masaala won Judge’s choice in the vegan category. In past years, there was usually one stray vegan vendor in each category, so it was easy to know who to vote for, but this year having a devoted category it was so hard! Each of them were incredible and it was great having different kinds of foods.
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After stuffing my face as much as possible, I walked around the island a little bit (but apparently not far enough because somehow I missed The Hills). I LOVE Governer’s Island. I love the architecture of the historic buildings, I love the views of Manhattan, I love all of the art exhibits.

On the day of the Vendy’s, it was also World War I Doughboy Day. I was lucky enough to catch the last performance of ‘Eugene Bullard, America’s first black fighter pilot’ portrayed by actor Chadd Gray. It was informative and captivating. The actor did such a wonderful job of really honoring Bullard and bringing his legend to life.

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Overall, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful event. Everything was organized really well (except for running out of water), and I cannot wait for next year. Please have a vegan category always!!img_20160917_170555smaller

My Raw Vegan Pilgrimage to Pure Food and Wine

Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine

I’ve been a fan of One Lucky Duck and Pure Food and Wine for years, ever since I discovered raw food-ism. There is a high-end, gourmet feel to their brand, and I think it’s well deserved. I’ve ordered from the site and visited the takeout bar a bunch of times, but I finally made it to PF&W this past weekend.

I always had an excuse for not going, it was too expensive or I didn’t plan well enough to make a reservation in time, but after their brief hiatus earlier this year, I made it a point to get there ASAP.

Pure Food and Wine Garden
Pure Food and Wine Garden

It was a bit chilly when I got there, but I asked if I could sit in the garden. The hostess was super nice and said of course, and gave me a choice of seats. It was just after 2pm and there were a few tables of people, but it was very quiet and peaceful.

Pure Food and Wine Corner Seat
My Corner Seat

The garden area was beautiful. The plants and trees were a nice little oasis in the city and I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be at night with the lighting they have.

Pure Food and Wine
Pure Food and Wine

I was glad it wasn’t crowded because I had the opportunity to take pictures without disturbing anyone and really got to enjoy the atmosphere. The wait staff were really helpful and attentive. Right away my server asked if I had any questions about the food.  I asked for tea mid-meal and they brought me a menu and tea within minutes. I also added some to-go items which my server helped pick.

Tea - Indian White
Tea – Indian White
Spicy Sesame Salad
Spicy Sesame Salad

I ordered the Spicy Sesame Salad (shredded cabbage, beets, jicama, daikon, cashew, sesame crunch, wasabi aioli), Mint Sundae
(chocolate, fresh mint, and mint chip ice creams, mint chocolate cookies, chocolate sauce, vanilla cream), a pot of Indian White tea, and a Mallomar (chocolate coated pecan cookie with vanilla cream) and Moon Pie (chocolate brownie vanilla cream sandwich) to go.

Honestly, I came for the mint sundae. Pictures don’t do it justice. I almost didn’t order it because I read a yelp review that said it wasn’t that great, but I’m glad I didn’t listen. It was amazing.

Mint Sundae
Mint Sundae

The spicy sesame salad was also really good. I got a salad because I was pretty hungry and I knew how filling the salads were. I was afraid if I got one of the smaller entrees I’d still be hungry, but now I’m kind of regretting not trying something more fun. I did like the Mediterranean Salad (arugula, kale, kalamata olives, tomatoes, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, balsamic vinaigrette) that I got another time at the take out bar a little bit better than the Spicy Sesame because of the kalamata olives and the parmesan, but both were huge and really filling.

Mediterranean Salad
Mediterranean Salad

I ordered a Mallomar to go because they are incredible, but I should’ve just eaten it while I was there because it was crushed by the time I got on the train. I still ate every single drop. To be fair, the server recommended the Chocolate Caramel Bar (chocolate dipped pecan caramel bar) because it would hold up better, bit I’m a sucker for the Mallomar. The Moon Pie held up perfectly. I got it for my mom and she raved about it. They look pretty small, but they’re really rich and it is the perfect amount.

Smushed Mallomar
Smushed Mallomar
Mallomar
Mallomar Not Smushed
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Moon Pie
Chocolate Caramel Bar
Chocolate Caramel Bar
Pure Food and Wine Garden
Pure Food and Wine Garden

I can’t wait to go back!

New York Comic Con 2014

This was my first year at the New York Comic Con and I took a depressingly small amount of pictures. It was jam packed, hot, and a little confusing, but it was a lot of fun. We went with a plan, which didn’t really work out, but we were okay with that. I got to talk to Gillian Anderson for a minute so basically my day/weekend/life was made. I only wish I had taken more pictures because there was some really incredible cosplay.

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It was raining in the morning and the shuttle to the Javits center wasn’t where it was listed on the website, so after standing in the rain for 20 minutes or so, we got on the correct bus and went on our way. It was confusing for a lot of people because we were all standing where it was supposed to be, but the fact that there was even a free shuttle offered pretty much made up for it.

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We got to the Javits center around 10:30 and pretty much walked right in. We went downstairs first because we were getting our picture with Gillian Anderson at 11:45 and wanted to scope out the area. It was actually not very crowed at all and the lines for autographing were basically nonexistent. This didn’t last long, so I’m guessing the rain held people off. Alex Kingston (Doctor Who – River Song) and Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who – Rory Williams) were there doing autographing and photos  too. I only got out picture with Gillian because the prices were crazy. I know they were probably typical for cons, but it’s hard to justify $100+ for a photo with someone. It was $150 (after taxes and fees) for the Doctor Who team up, so we skipped it but I saw some posted online and they looked pretty neat.
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The floor was so packed we really didn’t get a chance to look at everything.  The Doctor Who Store table had some really cool stuff, including this life size Dalek. There was a 9th Doctor cosplayer and I got his picture attacking the Dalek with his Sonic Screwdriver….unfortunately I only took it with his phone.NYCC 2014 Dalek NYCC 2014

We walked out to a falafel stand for lunch. There were a bunch of food trucks outside but the lines were long and it was still drizzling out. My falafel was delicious and so filling. NYCC 2014 Falafel

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I *almost* bought a book and then paid $60 to have her sign it, but I stopped by the publisher’s table and asked if they had any signed copies and…they did! It was kind of weird that they didn’t advertise them, at least that I could find, but the guy working looked through the books and pulled out a signed one for me. I read half of it on the drive home from NY and now (a week later) I only have a few pages left. It’s surprisingly good. Not that I thought it wasn’t going to be good, but I’m really picky about reading and it takes me a while to get into books. This reminds me of an X-Files episode (monster of the week type story) with a strong heroine. The writing is really great, it’s so descriptive, it’s easy to see the scenes play out in your mind. The next book in the saga is supposed to come out next year, I feel like I’m back in my Harry Potter days waiting for my next fix.
A Vision of Fire

I joked to my husband that I should have her sign my arm, or a piece of paper or something and then I could get a tattoo of it. I was only half serious because as awesome as I think it would be, I also think it’s just a little bit creepy. Turns out, someone did that exact thing and got it tattooed that night. They got “I don’t want realism I want magic!” and there was a link on reddit but it looks like it’s been removed since then. I’m kind of kicking myself for not doing it now.

Gillian Anderson Autographing
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