Monday, February 9, 2015

Eat&Evaluate : A Weekend in NYC (Tips for a Traveling Vegan)

The Big Apple. How was it, people asked me? Well, let's just say I fell in love with this city very quickly. This place that never sleeps, the port destination for the hopeful immigrants, the streets of marquees and the city of dreams. How could I want to spend my future anywhere else?

Before I embark, on any travel where I know that there will be inconvenience possible in the pursuit of a vegan filled belly, I bring a trusty box of dates. This was a short trip, though. Leave early, early, early Friday morning, come back Sunday night. But beware, whenever there is an Eat&Evaluate, Travel Edition, these pictures are always fairly bad. *,* But that's just a realistic aspect of being on-the-run as a vegan!

Dates, though? Perfect for snacking along the plane rides and if the carb cravings got real. Also great for filling in as meal replacements should the need come.

Smoothies after Performance
Now let me tell you, landing in New York, as I saw the city grow larger form my window seat on the plane, it was pure magic. It was snowing, can we talk about that? I'm coming from Georgia, where it snows two inches every four years. We touchdown in a pure white skyscraper city, and then we sing in a revered cathedral. (Pictured Above) I played piano. It was kind of a fantastic experience.

Lunch. Smoothies at a pita place across from the cathedral, and that day they just happened to be at half price. $3 each. Which was good because they were small, and I had two.

And hear me on something. Friday, we had a chance to workshop with the very Carlotta currently on Broadway in the Phantom of Opera, Michele McConnell. She taught our chorus the song Masquerade, along with the very Broadway choreography that goes along with it! Then, afterwards I talked with the accompanist that came along with her, and she talked about her journey with the piano. How she ended up in the midst of a forty page application to the NYU grad program, and found her life's calling in writing musicals. This girl even got her new musical workshopped with the very Stephen Schwartz!

HB Burger - "Fruit for dessert!"
Dinner. Why I politely let them know I was vegan, it was a simple "no problem." I ate a lot of pasta on this trip. That's the go-to meal for a northern city vegan. But they had fruit for dessert! Very accommodating options at a burger joint, of all places. This was HB Burger.

Then, we went to the top of the Rockefeller Building. NBC Headquarters, yessiree. A top-class view of the skyline and the very Empire State Building.

Ever need something hclf vegan friendly versus what the hotel can provide for dinner? Stop by a Walgreen's on the way home. $9 box of fruit? This was breakfast the next day. With some dates. I know. New York is SO EXPENSIVE.

So much money spent. $9 breakfast.
Can I just emphasize the fact that it was -3°F come Saturday? With a wind chill of -7°, because in New York the days where it snows are the warmest. Then comes the chilly, windy days afterwards that prevent the snow from melting away. Frostbite is a very real threat. And I'm already naturally a snowman. But I love NYC so much I will get over being cold for this city. As if to remind me of that,

Lunch. Under the Rockefeller Center. Just Salad. Seriously overpriced. $15 for a green smoothie and a falafel salad with tahini dressing. Good, though. The first I've ever had tahini. I've really got to find a jar of that stuff around where I'm at.

Delicious, but so overpriced. Just Salad.

Dinner. Pictured below. Italian. And Italian food is known for being FATTY. But they were so nice about being vegan. I just peeped a request about my EatStyle and they replied, "So separate salad, the marinara is vegan, a side of steamed veggies, and fruit for dessert?" YES!! But the veggie pasta, while delicious, was drenched in oil. I ate some, but since high carb, low fat, is where I thrive, I couldn't possibly eat much of it without feeling lethargic and weighed down. Rather, I ate more marinara. Still delicious. (:
"A side of vegetables?"
"A separate salad because the group one is not vegan."

And then we saw the Phantom of the Opera. With Norm Lewis as the self-conflicted ghost-man himself. It was purely amazing. The effects were stunning. The entire show captivating from start to finish. The emotions enrapturing. Norm Lewis is basically who I wish I had the talent to be.

"And we'll bring you fruit for dessert."

Breakfast. Unbelievably unphotogenic, my apologies. The last of my dates with some water.

Then, before we were doomed to leave this beauty of a city, we had a riverside cruise. Cruise is applied loosely. The boat was a tad too small, and a tad too slow. Let's just say the seasickness hit heavily within the first hour. But it was all worth it, with a visit to the very Lady Liberty.

Lunch at Met Museum. SERIOUSLY $30 for sushi and salad. I mean, I was eating in preparation for flight. But the Metropolitan Museum touched a special strand of my heart, if you will. Simply walking around and marveling at every single painting, adoring every single genius behind the brushstrokes and sculpting and the photography. Once I live there, this will be the place I resort to for a walk of inspiration.

This was literally $30 at the Met. *sighs*

*tastes good* *remembers wallet* *savors food*
"Dinner." At airport each orange was $1.40. Why would I even bother to picture that? I was so done with these prices I kind of... Paid for two oranges with change. As in, counted out every coin. I know, I know. I'm just really glad to be back where the prices are a little more normal.

Ah well.

So, I come home and detox. With love. Until graduation, New York. I'll be coming for you. <3

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