zoo york city

Today was awesome!

Reason #1: It started with pancakes!

I’m getting really pro at flipping pancakes! I made Chloe Coscarelli‘s recipe again but I subbed banana slices for blueberries. I feasted on these babies whilst listening to Jack Johnson sing about them 🙂

I quit my job at Sox in the City so I finally had a free day to do something fun outside. I have been super antsy lately because of the nice weather but have been too busy with school and work to enjoy it. Unfortunately today was chillier than earlier in the week but I still had a great time exploring Brooklyn with my boyfriend.

I barely ever venture outside of Manhattan so for me Brooklyn is like a completely different world. It’s so much more relaxed and spacious and green! Dan and I packed lunch and went to picnic in Prospect Park, which we both decided was vastly superior to the maze-like overcrowded Central Park. I even saw a group of equestrians on a trail ride! I was insanely jealous and want to figure out how I can do that… it has been way to long since I sat on a horse! I packed Vegan Caesar Salad and some Balthazar Bakery bread with leftover mushroom walnut patĂ© from Monday’s class. I am obsessed with this salad, it is so amazing I want to eat it every single day (and lately I do).

After picnicking and waltzing our way through the park we ended up here:

I love zoos and had a blast at the one in Prospect Park. I think we were the only adults there without kids but who really cares right? Besides, who said we’re not kids…

I saw a bunch of cool animals including porcupines, wallabies, a sea otter, gold lion tamarins (my pic sucks but this one had a baby on her back!), sea lions and red pandas!

The Prospect Park Zoo also has a section called “The Barn” where they have farm animals. I fed some alpacas and sheep 🙂

After the zoo we were wandering around and decided to stop in here since we had time to kill before dinner:

Where I read three issues of this:

I actually really liked it. I am a crazier cat lady than I thought!

After the library we walked over to Maimonide in Brooklyn, a restaurant in Boerum Hill that I really wanted to try for a while now. After the glowing review Chef Elliott at the Natural Gourmet Institute gave it earlier this week I decided I needed to go stat. Plus, the chef is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet! (NGI REPRESENT)

I actually didn’t get to take any pictures of the food since my battery ran out right after I took this picture, but it was really good! First of all, I love this place because they gave us complimentary kale chips which was AWESOME. The menu is given along with a comic book that depicts the adventures of a hip hop vegan superhero, it’s really unique and I’m guessing they print new “episodes” all the time. I ordered the Glowing Skin MOB which was an olive and sunflower seed tapenade, avocado, grilled zucchini and cherry tomatoes on top of a pizza-like crust in the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge. Dan ordered the Brave Heart MOB which is sun-dried tomato, caper and parsley pesto with rosemary grilled portobello mushrooms and lemon. We split half of each and while I liked both I think the Brave Heart was a little better. To go on the side we got olive-oil roasted yucca fries and a Brooklyn brine pickle which were super yummy. I really wish I had gotten pictures because the food was presented so beautifully! I thought the atmosphere of MOB was great and definitely want to go back to try some of the other options, they all sound so delicious. I also really liked that the food was “real” as opposed to a lot of vegan restaurants that have a lot of imitation cheese and meat products. Maimonide is all about vegetables and healthy food that tastes great which is much more appealing to me than vegan “junk food.”

The subway line we needed to get back to Manhattan was in the same building as Target! I haven’t been in Target for so long and I went crazy and bought 2 bras and a $1 hippo-shaped watering can.

BEST SATURDAY EVER

I’m a SkinnyGirl

Thursday afternoon I headed into NYC because Bethenny Frankel was doing a book signing at the Barnes and Nobles Union Square that evening.

I read A Place of Yes over the summer and really enjoyed it. I’m a huge fan of Bethenny from her reality show and her books did not disappoint. I also read Naturally Thin and think it is a great resource for people who want to lose weight without obsessing over food. A Place of Yes really helped me stop stressing out about not having a life plan. One of the chapters is called “All Roads Lead to Rome” and is about how you can always reach where you want to go even if you take a few detours. It was great to hear Bethenny speak in person and get her to sign my copy of her book!

Proof:

After the book signing, Dan met me in the city and we went for dinner. We went to a Vietnamese restaurant L’Annam, where I got a tofu curry.

I loved the presentation and it tasted pretty good but it was way too much food! Dan always makes fun of me because I complain that his dish is better than mine, but it usually is! He got the Vietnamese-style Pad Thai and it was really good and had a unique flavor. Someday I will have a tastier dish… someday.

After dinner we went bowling at the only bowling alley in Manhattan, Bowlmor Lanes. I had been there for mini golf before but never bowled there.

It was fun but so expensive, I guess they have a monopoly on bowling and can charge whatever price they want. It was $12.95 EACH per game! As students we could only afford to bowl one short game (which Dan won) but it was nice to do something different and fun with each other!

I had a nice (short) trip to NYC and it made me eager to be back there full-time at the end of the month!