I had a client meeting in New York City this week and couldn't resist getting new shoes from ModCloth to mark the occasion.
I rode the train from Boston, and as we made our way south I saw lakes, beaches, and less and less snow. Trains have always been productive places for me. I can write, work and read without worrying about anything else that needs to get done. Other passengers act like blinders to distractions and keep me focused. This trip was no exception, though I couldn't write the whole time. I had to review notes and prepare for my meeting.
I love traveling, but traveling as a vegan can be a challenge. Traveling as a whole foods, organic, health nut, vegan can be impossible. Usually, I pack a lot of food with me, but New York City is full of options and I had a list of places near my hotel that I wanted try. First, after getting off the train I stopped at Terri. They have ready-made salads, wraps, baked goods and juices without additives. I grabbed their Lady in Red juice for breakfast the next day. The ingredients are beets, pineapple, carrots, and oranges. Nothing else. I took that and my Kale Superfood Salad back to my hotel.
When I got there, I was instantly confused.
The lobby is ultra modern and I couldn't locate the front desk. People were all over, just hanging out. Carrying drinks from the bar. Everything is grey, white and black. I now have a better understanding of Katniss's experience when she goes to the Capitol for the first time.
Far more like a night club than a hotel, but I found my way after a few minutes of wandering around. Of course once I found it, it seemed obvious. You know, sometimes when you enter a new setting nothing makes sense at first? I'm sure it's not me who experiences that disorientation but I still felt like a bumpkin for not figuring it out.
Between the frustration of locating the front desk and walking through the city with my bags, I was more than ready for dinner. The salad and juice were both delicious. Terri has a wide selection of vegan baked goods. I even saw a vegan, gluten-free cupcake, but I had packed my last chocolate chip cookie from a homemade batch and didn't try any of their desserts.
The meeting went well, I won't bore you with the details. Afterwards, everyone left for the airport. I was the only one from my company taking the train and was free to walk around the city and enjoy the warm day. It was 65 degrees and sunny. New York is more crowded than Boston, but the real difference to me isn't noticeable until I look up. Boston has few skyscrapers, and the tallest one is only 60 stories. In New York that's nothing. Looking up has an overwhelming dizzying effect. It's astounding to me when I think about what we're capable of creating. Even with the weirdos in Times Square dressed up like superheros and speaking to me in Spanish, I kind of didn't want to leave the crowds or sunshine and I definitely wanted to stay for the 65 degrees!
Until my feet started to object to all my walking in cute shoes, then I was ready to head home. I grabbed dinner at The Loving Hut for the train ride. I had been looking forward to it, but was disappointed. It was tofu, rice and vegetables in their chile pasilla sauce. Pretty standard vegan take out, but the tofu was uncooked and hadn't been marinated. I would expect that from a conventional restaurant offering one or two vegan options, but not from a vegan restaurant in Manhattan.
The journey home was dedicated to writing since my brain would melt if I tried to work more. All around it was a productive trip, but it did make my week feel longer than usual so I'm especially happy it's Friday and it's Pi Day!
Don't forget to enjoy some pie to celebrate.