Get Up Offa That Thang

With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s hard to take a step back and remember what’s really important. During a recent walk around my neighborhood, I noticed an advertisement for a NYC’s government-initiative charity program, NYCService. This, coupled with the Weight Watchers Lose For Good™ campaign, seemed like a sign from above that I need to get off my bum and start helping others.

Once I decided to dedicate some of my free time, I needed to figure out what commitments would work best for me. As an art school grad, I naturally decided to look for creative programs around the city, particularly ones that would let me share my enthusiasm for art with others. Lo and behold, there were plenty of options to choose from! The biggest,, features a massive compilation of many city programs, cross-listed for easy access to different types of service. I attended the mandatory orientation session this weekend, and am looking forward to my first project. Another,, specializes in bringing educational art programs and mentoring to underserved children. I’ll be going to their orientation tonight, and hopefully joining one of the program’s ongoing commitments when they begin in September. Wish me luck!

Off to find America

Tonight I’m heading to St. Louis and starting off a road trip! As a bit of a Type-A, I’ve made a spreadsheet of the places I want to see, and squished them in to fit the 6 days we have on the road. I’ll post it below.

Listening to some Simon and Garfunkel to start the trip out right.

Vegan isn’t a 4 Letter Word

OK. So I am coping with this no eggs/no dairy/no fun diet. This weekend I cooked rice for the first time (yes, it was Uncle Ben’s boil-in-bag, but it counts!) and have been eating a lot more guacamole and peanut butter. Yum! Here is a list of other things I want to check out that will make me happy:

1. Whole Foods’ organic/vegetarian/vegan departments
2. Baby Cakes NYC — vegan, organic cupcakery in the LES
3. Go to the movies — apparently all major chains have vegan popcorn

Any other suggestions?

The Reluctant Vegan

Found out last night that I’m allergic to cow’s milk (not lactose, but the proteins in milk – whey/casein) as well as egg whites. Not good news for a lactoovopesca vegetarian! I had some blood tests taken after getting hives and feeling sick after eating seafood. Turns out scallops and tuna had nothing to do with it…but I still don’t feel comfortable trying them again.

Anyway, I’m supposed to cut out dairy and eggs for at least a week, and see how I feel. Then I can slowly start re-introducing foods and figure out what I can eat. Can you even imagine living without cheese, ice cream and milk chocolate?

To Do:
1. Buy rice and beans
2. Figure out how to cook rice and beans
3. Check out vegan chocolate, cookies, soymilk
4. Stop pining for a Shamrock Shake


Checked out Balthazar, a downtown bistro, for the first time this past weekend. Dinner was great — I’m still worried about allergies so I opted for vegetarian fair. But the onion tart and house salad (with salted ricotta) didn’t disappoint.

Balthazar. What a great name. Makes me think of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters 2. Also reminds me of my favorite name of all: Hrothgar.

To Do List:
1. Make friends with Danes and ask if there are still any Hrothgars around
2. Rent Ghostbusters
3. Learn how to make an onion and gruyere tart (preferably in toaster oven)