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Owner, "MAP Wellness" - a culinary nutrition and wellness company. Writer. Passionate cook, raw food chef, reiki practitioner, yoga teacher, and LIVE WELL educator. ​do yoga. enjoy good food. run. plant food. cook. savour wine. read books. buy good food. love. grow your energy. find peace. enjoy food. have passion. skip. eat food. do yoga. listen to jazz. have presence. be present. bike. read. see. hear. be. live. love.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York, New York,
New York

Love that song.  I felt it, and played it over and over in my head whilst whiling away the time on my recent solo adventure into Manhattan, a certain affair to remember.

I am blessed to have been able to make this trip happen, as I am definitely not flush with money these days, with my various class and course fees  draining my back account.  But as luck would have it, I booked just earlier enough to snag a crazy good deal on round trip bus fare, and I was able to arrange superior accommodations in Washington Heights with a friend.  More on that later...

I left late on a Thursday, via the overnight Greyhound, beet and carrot juice in hand.  After a slick and quick trip across the border (yay, no illegal travelers on board!), I managed to squeeze in a few hours of solid shut-eye before awakening at 6:15am, just as the sun was rising over the Manhattan skyline, and and we were soon to enter the tunnel to the island.  Wow, what a view.  I knew at that instant, that this was going to be a weekend to remember. 

After our on-time arrival at the Port Authority terminal, it was only a quick jaunt up to Columbus circle followed by a short walk to ABC studios, where I had a VIP ticket to see "Live with Kelly".  Thanks to Kieran, one of the stellar producers at my TV show for hooking a sister up!  A perfect way to kick of my adventure.

Maggie Q with Kelly and co-host & hubster Mark

So how did I spend the rest of my trip, you ask?  Really? Well if you really do want  scoop, then keep on reading, friends!

First stop post-Live with Kelly: "Organic Avenue"- the BEST veggie juice joint in the city!

Lunch was the Aztec salad at Candle Cafe: Upper West Side.  Impeccable service, great atmosphere, outstanding food!  Funnily enough, as I jotted down notes in my scratchpad, glanced around the room engagingly, and just really "took it all in", I became pretty convinced the staff thought I was a food critic.  Half way through the meal, I had far more servers attend to me than necessary (with gushingly kind treatment), and my every move was observed until they pretty much followed out the door upon my exit!  Super fun; new career perhaps??

That evening, I was lucky enough to have scored complimentary admission to hear one of my inspirations speak live at "Spirit Junkie Church".  Okay, so it was actually Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village, but the huge crowd that assembled to hear Gabrielle Bernstein lecture on the topic of "Manifesting Desires", sure appeared a faithful following.  I love hearing her speak, and each time I do, I feel immense passion about all she inspires, and I always leave fueled for positive change.  She is a true sweetheart to meet, and a real smart cookie. 

My religious experience ended shortly after 9pm, and good thing too, as I had a hot date at "Pure Food & Wine" for 9:30pm with my long lost (cue the violins - no don't) cousin, Grace.  Grace is my father's-cousins-daughter, whom I met previously way back when I was in grade ten.  We had immediately bonded on that visit, getting all boozed up on rum and cokes on a boat in the neighbouring town (you'll recall, I had a very intimate relationship with alcohol at very young age).  I had not seen Grace since that time, but she was gracious enough to offer up her living room to me as my home away from home for the entire time I was in NYC.  So grateful. 

Hen of the Woods Tacos al Pastor - smoked guacamole, hearts of palm, chayote squash, guajillo crema fresca, pickled onions

Sweet Corn and Cashew Tamales with Chili Spiced Portabella - salsa verde, cashew coconut sour cream, avocado, raw cacao mole

Saturday morn!  What a glorious morning it was!  What better way to start off the day, than with a brisk ride into the Heights to hit up the local farmer's market!

Grace, with her hot tamales in hand.

That afternoon, I ventured out solo, and walked...and walked...and walked.  Here, just a few yummy moments from my day:

Lunch: Angelica's Kitchen, East Village

Mid-day, I met up with a fellow Torontonian and media professional, that I have known for, what, maybe ten years?  She and I met ages ago at CityTV, but have never had the chance to get together one on one while at home.  So what better time to meet up for drinks then when we both just so happen to be chilling in NYC?  Natalie was in town on business, but was able to free up a few (4) hours to meet for a therapeutic glass (or several) of bubbly at the Central Park Boathouse, the sight of my now irrelevant engagement proposal two years ago.  It was divine and full of wine, and a gorgeous day to enjoy the sunshine on the packed and pretty patio! 

Prettiness at Bryant park...

Last stop on Saturday, was my much anticipated dinner at "Candle 79", the grand-daddy home of vegan cuisines.  This comfy, cozy, classy resto is located in the Upper East side and was everything I had imagined.    I enjoyed a table for one in the upper level of the dining room, sandwiched in between two lovey-dovey couples.  That was just fine by me, as I had my city, my dress, and my glass of wine as my date, and was feeling just sublime.  I decided on an entree of their LIVE lasagna, a plate that served far superior to my delish version of the raw "pasta" dish from home.  I savoured this plate for well over 40 minutes, absorbing all the brilliant flavours and textures, eating every morsel with gratitude.  By 10pm I was ready for dessert, another glass of wine, and then I was off.  

A long walk towards home via Central Park, passing the classic carriage ride circle at the foot of the green-space, and I was ready to call it a night.  A weekend.  A milestone.  

That was my New York after all, a whole new round of memories, each one my own, each one a gift.  

It was a hot date indeed, and I am already planning my next rendezvous with my American lover come July.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you're enjoying NYC! As a resident here, I loooove to meander around the Union Square Greenmarket as well and get my loads of bread and veggies there, :P


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