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Broadway Barks! NYC Event
Jun23

Broadway Barks! NYC Event

Since my early childhood, I’ve always adored Bernadette Peters. Among the many favorite performances of hers I could mention, I remember her one-woman show that I caught while I was living in Austin, Texas. In addition to the regular showstoppers, she sang “We’re in the Money” from 42nd Street in Pig Latin… in reverse! A voice and a sense of humor. The woman dazzles me every time. When Ms. Peters came out with her children’s book, Broadway Barks, I added extra points to her cool quotient. Not only is it a great little story, but there’s also a CD that comes with it — a song she wrote for her own dog, Kramer. Beyond the book, there’s the Broadway Barks program that she founded with her friend Mary Tyler Moore. The organization brings the Broadway community together each year for an event held in Schubert Alley. Homeless animals from shelters throughout the city — the true stars of the day! — are represented at the adopt-a-thon. Some Broadway actors participating this summer: Edie Falco (The House of Blue Leaves), Nick Adams (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Nina Arianda (Born Yesterday), Kerry Butler (Catch Me If You Can), John Benjamin Hickey (The Normal Heart), Beth Leavel (Baby, It’s You), Judy McLane (Mamma Mia!), Bebe Neuwirth (The Addams Family), Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), and Elizabeth Rodriguez (The Motherfu**er With the Hat). Bernadette Peters and Mary Tyler Moore are legendary talents. It’s particularly inspiring to see how these two women have found such a special way to create awareness and change so many animals’ lives. Definitely worthy of a standing ovation! Mark your calendar! The 13th annual Broadway Barks event will take place at Schubert Alley on July 9th,...

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One Lucky Duck
May11

One Lucky Duck

Some of my NYC friends already may be familiar with the raw vegan restaurant Pure Food & Wine. If you haven’t been there yet, now is the perfect time of year to enjoy a meal at Pure, with its backyard-garden dining — great food and a great vibe!  Among the dishes to try: King Oyster Mushroom Scallops in Lemongrass Coconut Broth,  Sweet Corn & Cashew Tamales with Chili Spiced Portabella, and — dessert! — the Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart: pecan caramel, dark chocolate ganache, sea salt, and vanilla cream. And Pure, staying true to its full name, has a fantastic wine list, all vegan-friendly. But the fabulousness of Pure  is not limited to Irving Place, thanks to their One Lucky Duck Juice & Takeaway locations in Gramercy Park and Chelsea. Also, for those of us not in New York at the moment, there’s a whole host of treats available via the One Lucky Duck online store. Offering so much more than just gastronomical delights, other shopping categories are Glow (cosmetics, bath & body),Wear (hemp hoodies and bamboo baby socks!), Nest (books, kitchen appliances, and… an infrared sauna for $3,395), and Pet (see my purchases below). My recent little online splurge: One Lucky Duck Blonde Macaroons One Lucky Duck Buckwheat & Hemp Granola SkinnySkinny’s “Fetching” Dog Shampoo Biodegradable “Business Bags” by Spike Simply Fido Organic Pup Toy Since I’m in Tucson and it soon will be nearing the usual summertime 100 degrees again, I decided to pass on the sauna for...

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Fun with the Pup: Charitable Events
Mar30

Fun with the Pup: Charitable Events

Good times for a GREAT cause! As a follow up to yesterday’s blog about the FAIR organization, I wanted to tell you all about the Tucson Canine Classic: it’s the city’s largest dogwalk and companion-animal festival, and it’s happening again next month on April 23rd! This will be the third annual Classic, and Galileo and I will be walking for the third time! Part of the proceeds go to FAIR, so it’s become one of our “Mommy & Me” things to do… our way of giving back. In addition to the dogwalk, there are lots of exhibitors on the scene with all kinds of fun stuff. Each time, we’ve made sure to buy some extra special treats to bring home and share with Otis.  Also scheduled for this event, a vaccination station providing free microchips to the first 100 participants. Fantastic! Don’t have a dog but want to share in the fun? Last year, my friend Camille took advantage of the Rent-A-Pet option and had a blast with her new canine friend, Arnold. I encourage all Tucsonans to register today and come walk with us! If you’re not in Tucson, you might want to look into similar events in your own hometown. Local shelters and rescue organizations need all the support they can get. Events like the Classic are a fun way to help out and, at the same time, spend some quality time with a companion animal. For my NYC friends! The American Cancer Society’s Bark for Life takes place each year in Riverside Park. This year it will take place on Sunday, May 1st. I remember the time Pushkin (beloved beagle) and I were on our way to the dog run and found ourselves in a sea of approximately 1500 dogs and humans who were participating in the walk-a-thon that day. WOW! It really is amazing to see so many New Yorkers gathered in support and having some fun together! And, should you decide to venture to the park this year for the event, look for Pushkin’s memorial bench right outside the dog run at 105th Street...

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Yoga NYC
Mar16

Yoga NYC

I credit my yoga practice as an integral part of my “awakening” to a more compassionate lifestyle. Heart chakra, wide open. And it is a practice, which means it’s always evolving: my daily practice reminds me that we need to think about progress rather than perfection, and that each day presents us with opportunities to make choices that affect the world around us. Whenever I’m back home in New York, even if for just a few days, I try to fit in at least one yoga class at one of my favorite NYC yoga havens. Although the move back to the city is still a ways off, you can be sure that proximity to yoga will be high on the priority list! Om Sweet Om. Jivamukti 841 Broadway at 14th St. A class at Jivamukti always leaves me feeling nurtured, peaceful, and empowered. Besides offering a challenging physical practice, Jivamukti puts animal rights and vegetarianism at the heart of its teachings. The studio always has plenty of materials on the subject, which is one of things that immediately appealed to me when I first visited the yoga center. And when I opened Lyric Yoga in Tucson, I took inspiration from this NYC studio: all around Lyric, we have materials related to our relationship with animals — from booklets by Vegan Outreach to information about animal foster care and the adoption of shelter animals. OM Yoga 826 Broadway at 12th St. Founder Cyndi Lee derives much of her inspiration from Tibetan Buddhism.  Since I independently studied Tibetan culture for years (including some studies of Tibetan Buddhism) and have traveled to Tibet, I instantly felt right at home in this studio and with OM Yoga’s integration of Tibetan Buddhist teachings. I even participated in a full-day teacher training immersion there a few years ago and think, if I ever have the chance to do a more extensive advanced yoga teacher training, OM Yoga’s program will be the one for me. Check out Cyndi Lee’s book Yoga Body, Buddha Mind; regardless of your personal religious beliefs, the book is a great exploration of how yoga can help us all become more compassionate beings. Bikram Yoga NYC 143 W. 72nd St. betw. Amsterdam & Columbus Bikram Yoga NYC has four different locations in Manhattan, but it was the Upper West Side studio (then at 72nd & Broadway) that was my yoga home for a long time. I was fortunate enough to have a work-study position, which meant practicing almost daily in exchange for one shift a week behind the front desk.  Many good memories and friends from that time in my life… so it’s always...

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Fave NYC restaurants
Mar14

Fave NYC restaurants

It’s spring break this week, which means I get to fly home and get my NYC fix!  While I’m spending my days squeezing in as many museums, galleries, and just walking around as I can, the nights are all about theater and visiting some of my favorite restaurants.  There are so many of eateries in NYC to choose from, but here are places I’ll be hitting this week and some of my fave dishes they offer. Maybe I’ll see some of you there! Angelica Kitchen 300 E. 12th St. betw. First & Second Ave. I’ll often go for one of the day’s specials, but the Dragon Bowls are always wonderful! Zen Palate 663 Ninth Ave at 46th St. 239 W. 105th St. betw. Broadway and Amsterdam Taro spring rolls, Vegetable Dumplings, “Taste of Curry” The 105th St. location (my old neighborhood!) is new, so I’ll be checking it out for the first time this week; the Ninth Ave. location is a favorite of mine to grab a bite before a Broadway show. Counter 105 First Ave. betw. 6th & 7th St. Almond-crusted Tofu w/spicy bok choy, Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad w/grilled tempeh croutons (also makes a mean martini) Candle 79 154 E. 79th St. at Lexington Caribbean Jerk Grilled Tempeh, Seitan Piccata For a more casual dining experience, Candle Cafe is just blocks away! Cafe Blossom 466 Columbus Ave. betw. 82nd & 83rd St. Warm Spinach Salad w/tempeh bacon and grilled asian pear, Seitan Marsala w/sauteed kale & roasted fennel Blossom restaurant in the Chelsea neighborhood: 187 Ninth Ave. at 23rd St. Not in NYC? You can still enjoy some of these restaurants’ creations with a little work.  Both Candle Cafe and Angelica Kitchen have cookbooks, which I use back in Tucson… to hold me over until my next visit to the Big...

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Fur-Free, Faux, and “Faux”

Fashion You didn’t think I’d let New York Fashion Week go by without a blog post, did you? One of the hot topics this year has been fur-free fashion; designers Chanel and Nina Ricci, among others, had runway models strutting their “faux” stuff. In addition to the fashion models, celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and a certain Kardashian sister have been showing off some high-quality faux fur, too.  Although I don’t have any faux fur in my own wardrobe, I offer you this cruelty-free fashion alternative: Impostor, the creator of ultra-chic, animal-friendly designs. What I especially like about Imposter is that each product has the IM Impostor logo on it, which makes it easily identifiable as faux. Also, partnering with Farm Sanctuary, Impostor has committed to giving a “royalty share” to animals from each Imposter-branded product. The Law It’s a lot easier to wear faux fur these days, thanks to a wonderful piece of federal legislation that was passed in 2010. The Truth in Fur Labeling Act ensures that when you buy something made with faux fur, you’re getting what you think you’re getting. Prior to the Act, any items with a price tag under $150 did not require labeling at all. What’s worse, things labeled as “faux fur” – such as the trim on a winter jacket – often consisted of real fur, from animals such as raccoon dogs who, despite a resemblance to raccoons, actually are members of the dog family. And before 2000, an investigation by the Humane Society of the United States revealed that more than two million dogs and cats each year were being killed in China and other parts of Asia for the fur trade: domestic dog and cat fur was finding its way into the United States on unlabeled clothes items. Advocacy Wanting to learn more about initiatives to promote fur-free designs and the use of faux fur? Check out the Fur-Free Campaign by the HSUS. In addition to its investigations and efforts towards protective legislation, the HSUS works with designers and students to promote fashion-forward, fur-free thinking. With the fur industry killing more than fifty million animals each year, we need to eliminate this market by spending our consumer dollars elsewhere. Lucky for us, many of the fashion world’s top designers and rising stars agree. Finally, a word about seal fur. By now, I think everyone has heard about the annual commercial seal hunt in Canada. Horrific. It was during a 1987  trip to the then-U.S.S.R.  that I first learned about seal fur’s status in the fashion world. Last summer, I had a conversation about that trip with photographer Nigel Barker at the...

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