Thursday, August 14, 2008

Noo Yawk Rawks, or: I pound the streets, eat the food, buy the shopping, and can't find any Internet cafes

Ahoy from Noo Yawk, where the streets have no name and apparently no Internet cafes either. Due to this unforeseen technical hitch (and the fact that I am sitting in the crappiest, most bizarre little cafe in Chinatown with a total hobo next to me who is kicking chairs around) there will be no picture posting until I get home, or maybe to London.

The culinary and shopping delights so far have been swoon-worthy. As I am paying by the minute here, I'll summarise in telegraph-ese bullets ...

  • Moo Shoes. Two pairs of vegan J-41s purchased and fallen in love with. Like little squidgy bliss on your feet. One pair olive and pistacchio Aquarius, one pair black and grey maryjanes. Shop has five cats residing - and was tickled to see that the clothes on display were covered in their hair. Lots of great pamphlets and a Vegan Restaurant Guide to NYC which does not leave my side.
  • Te Casan - Natalie Portman vegan range. The joy of holding high-quality, beautifully made vegan shoes in hand... I suspect that it's something like holding your firstborn in your arms ... kinda. Two gorgeous pairs purchased - one pair of 'snakeskin' flat shoes with toe holder and ankle wrap strap; one pair goldiegold going out heels. Made sure to extol virtues of high quality vegan shoes to shop lady to help ensure future buying. Pricey but definitely worth it.

  • WholeFoods. Am obsessed and in love. Just so so many things labelled vegan, including curries at the buffet bar (US$7.99 per pound. Today I paid $22.65 inc tax for my lunch. You do the maths. It was 2.61 pounds. I just couldn't resist trying everything! Curries, salads, tofu galore, endamame, quinoa ... ). I also bought two types of soy cheese not available in Aus - disappointing but so exciting to see so many varieties. Going to try Tofurkey. Also fantastic range of makeup (including No Miss nailpolish and Zuzu Luxe) and blue chips! Woah Nellie! Pictures of levels 1 and 2 of my buffet food-mountain.

  • Candle 79 - fine dining organic vegan. And boy, fine dining. Have left carefully copied out list of what we had at hotel, but suffice it to say that we both left stuffed and sugar rushing. Service and ambience just perfect. We had a friendly, informative and just plain ol' nice waiter, and no one commented that we turned up in Havaianas, shorts, t-shirts, and all tired and dirty from a long day pounding the streets of New York City and getting caught in a downpour. The food was exquisite and I was greatly satisfied that Buzz really enjoyed it too. I had to get on the bandwagon and explain to him (as he patiently listened yet again to me drone on about veganism) that when you know that food like this exists, to see the paltry offerings normally available, to constantly order chips'n'salad, to have people assume that you aren't interested in food, is supremely frustrating. I am vegan because I am interested in food, and I am interested in food because I am vegan.

So to sign out .. Noo Yawk rawks. It just needs more Internet Cafes (and signage for the subway.

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