Gemüsings—Vegan Musings

Musings on food, friends, furries and family

NYC Part One: Writing Weekend/Le Pain Quotidien

on May 5, 2010

Three weeks ago on a Friday afternoon, I boarded the Bolt Bus for yet another adventure in NYC. Unfortunately, my sister was out of town so I was on my own. Well, to be exact, my sister is quite a bit more than “out of town” as she has taken a job with UNICEF in Haiti where she is very much needed. My trip was planned before she took the job and although I was disappointed that she wouldn’t be there, I had a mission for this trip and nothing would discourage me. Lucky for me, she decided to keep her apartment and I was able to stay there for the entire weekend..hurray!

So what is this “mysterious” mission? Well I just go “nuts” if I don’t tell you! Friends of my blog may recall that I’ve mentioned wanting to write a book about Squirrelly for quite a while. Now is the time–I really believe I can make this happen this year..well, at least the securing of an agent and hopefully a publisher. So when an author friend/personal cheerleader/book coach forwarded an email to me about a writing conference in NYC for people who are writing a memoir, I thought, okay Amanda, just take a breath and do it. So I signed up. The first day of the two day conference would be working on the framework for the memoir. An autobiography covers your entire life whereas a memoir covers just certain parts of it. Honestly, I feel a little silly telling people that I’m writing a memoir. After all, isn’t that reserved for those who have done the fabulous and the extreme? I humbly do not think I fall in that category! However, since the book is about me and Squirrelly it 100% qualifies as a memoir.

The first morning I arrived after nervously navigating the NYC subway on my own. I had to ask a few strangers for directions outside Union Square. I find that New Yorkers, despite their reputation as brass, are very helpful if you are unsure where to go. I quickly found the National Club for the Arts with is located right across from Gramercy Park.

Writing weekend at the National Club for the Arts

Writing weekend at the National Club for the Arts

The building itself is a Victorian wonder! Not at all like the Victorians that we have in Boston but what I’d call “urban Victorian.” It was incredible to explore with room after room all filled with couches and places to sit and chat.

Inside the National Club for the Arts

Inside the National Club for the Arts

Victorian everywhere

Victorian everywhere


Stained glass ceiling...

Stained glass ceiling...

Framing your "window" of your memoir

Framing your "window" of your memoir--authors speak about their experiences.

Near Gramercy Park

Near Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park

Gramercy Park

Gargoyle

Gargoyle

Gargoyle Two

Gargoyle Two

After the workshop, I decided to take a little walk around Union Square. It was too late for the famous Union Square farmer’s market (I’ve heard there is a vegan baking company there) but not too late to wander around. Of course, no trip to NYC is complete for me without a trip to Brooklyn Industries, my favorite clothing store. Check out the Chipmunk tee! Of course, I had to get it (or rather my sister got it for me..love ya sis!).

Bling bling chippie

Bling bling chippie

Now next to Brooklyn Industries in Union Square, is Le Pain Quotidien, a restaurant which I guess belongs to an international chain although we do not have one here in Boston. After a full day of writing/chatting/navigating subways/surviving a not too vegan friendly buffet lunch I was STARVING! But I wanted something healthy and light. Being in NYC, I obviously could walk to just about any neighborhood and find a vegan restaurant but I was tired and needed some peace and quiet. Le Pain Quotidien was perfect! When I saw the Pineapple Tofu Tartine on the menu, I plunked myself down at a table.

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien

The wait staff were very friendly and could tell me all their vegan items without hesitation. I decided on an elderberry lemonade to start with.

Inside Le Pain Quotidien

Inside Le Pain Quotidien

Pineapple and Tofu Tartine

Pineapple and Tofu Tartine

Closeup Pineapple and Tofu Tartine

Closeup Pineapple and Tofu Tartine

I ate my tartine with a knife and fork..whoops..however, if i saw this sign before, I’d probably still use a fork and knife. I mean I even eat pizza that way! Just one of my quirky dirks.

How to eat tartine

How to eat tartine

I was looking for something chocolately but they didn’t have a vegan chocolate dessert option so I thought I’d give the rice pudding a try. Delicious!

Vegan brown rice pudding

Vegan brown rice pudding

They also sell very cute jams and teas..way too expensive for me right now but nice to look at.

Jams

Jams

Teas

Teas

Somehow I managed to find my way back to my sister’s apartment in Harlem to get a good night’s sleep and to do it all over again on Sunday. To be continued!

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2 responses to “NYC Part One: Writing Weekend/Le Pain Quotidien

  1. shellyfish says:

    Amanda!!! I’m so excited for you – what a wonderful way to help make your dreams reality. I know I will love reading your book when it’s published. It takes a lot of courage to get that close to your dreams – and you can do it!
    Can’t wait to see the next installment.

  2. Jes says:

    Don’t feel weird about writing a memoir–it’s actually the best genre to be in these days! And I think a memoir about squirrelly sounds awesome. 🙂 Writing conferences are so much fun, as is NYC, and I can’t wait to hear about the rest of the weekend!

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