Happy 4th of July weekend to all of our US fans! It's officially summer and travel season, so I'm excited to kick off our vegan travel blog with my recent trip to New York City, my second home. I'd moved to Manhattan this week in 2005 to pursue my career in advertising and design, then I decided to move back to my hometown of Dallas, TX in 2009. I do miss the city and try to visit as often as possible for work and play. NYC is, in my option, the epicenter of the world, the convergence of cultures.
It is my pleasure to share with you my experience at The Seed convention and expo and a few of my favorite NYC vegan foods fashion, and fun in this two part blog! Six days was definitely too short to do everything I wanted to but I'll be back soon. I hope this will inspire you to visit if you haven't or return to check out some new places. New York City is constantly evolving so there is something new to experience every time. I highly recommend visiting in the fall when the weather is cooler and the leaves are changing.
The Seed Experience
I attended The Seed convention and expo for the first time on June 21st at the Brooklyn Expo Center. It was a two day event (20th & 21st) "focusing on living a healthy, compassionate and eco-friendly lifestyle". There were hundreds of vendors selling/sampling vegan food/goods, yoga sessions, speakers, cooking demos, and film screenings of Hungry for Change and PlantPure Nation. I spent a fulfilling day eating, learning, and meeting so many passionate and compassionate folks from across the country.
The Brooklyn Expo Center was nicely filled with natural light from floor to ceiling windows and lined with colorful booths (perfect combos for photos!)
I had these BBQ Seitan Tacos from Blossom Du Jour for lunch.
Discovered this juice brand from Austin, TX!This cheesteak empanada from Freakin' Vegan was definitely their #1 seller!Delicious looking french macarons that I didn't have!I opted for these frozen watermelon popsicles drizzled with "honey" from Whole Foods instead. This is such a great, simple summer dessert idea!
Between all the eating, I thoroughly enjoyed the speakers. My favorite was this panel discussion on vegan fashion (of course!) with moderator Adrienne Borgersen ( Co-Editor, LA Fashionista Compassionista Magazine) on the far left, Joshua Katcher (Founder, Creative Director, BraveGentleMan.com), Veroique Lee (Director of Fashion and Partner, Modavanti.com), and Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart (Founder, VauteCouture). We know that leather/fur/silk/wool are outdated and cruel materials when there are so many options that are cruelty-free, sustainable, and superior in quality. Technology has brought us lab-grown leather, all sorts of recycled materials from plastics to rubber, and organic materials like bamboo and seaweed. I'm happy to see so many designers, large and small, incorporating these sustainable materials in their collections because fashion is one of the most polluting industries.
I also enjoyed hearing Nick Cooney (Director of Education, Mercy For Animals) speak about "How To Be Great At Doing Good For Animals". He talked about how we can be more impactful with our time and money by supporting organizations that utilizes their resources most effectively. http://www.animalcharityevaluators.org is a nonprofit that researches effectiveness of farm animal charities. My go-to resource is http://www.guidestar.org for other types of charities.
My heart and stomach were happy after a full day so I took the East River Ferry back to Manhattan, for the first time ever! Like I said, there's always something new to do in NYC. The views of Manhattan and Brooklyn were spectacular to say the least. Happy 239th birthday America!
Stay tuned for the 2nd part of my blog, where I'll share some of my favorite vegan foods, fashion, and fun in NYC.