Thursday, May 22, 2008

Special Report: VegNews in NYC (Day 5)

Who: VN Publisher Joseph Connelly + VN Associate Publisher Colleen Holland
What: Day five of a five-day business trip
Where: New York City
When: May 18, 2008
Why: Farm Sanctuary Gala + Veggie Pride Parade + meetings galore with colleagues, friends, and magazine partners

The Scoop: Our NYC trip was winding down, but we still had a full day of activities ahead. After all, it was the first annual Veggie Pride Parade!

We met friends Paul and Linda Saccone for breakfast at one of our favorite vegetarian cafés, ‘sNice. We were still full from the previous night’s gala banquet, so we ate light: herbal tea and a shared apricot-bar. We never seem to make it to ‘sNice for any meal other than breakfast, but we hear its sandwiches are some of the best in NYC. Both the sesame “chicken” wrap with spicy peanut sauce and Philly-style seitan sandwich with peppers and onions come highly recommended.

We then headed over to the parade’s starting point in Greenwich Village (in the former meatpacking district, to be exact). People came dressed as fruit, vegetables, animals, and oh, rotting colons. Designed and created by VN columnist/comic extraordinaire Dan Piraro, this contraption was actually a mini-float complete with signage to explain the ramifications of meat-eating on one's system (namely “colostomy bag,” “butt cancer,” and “polyps”). We grabbed signs, and the parade began. We should mention that the decaying colon was actually representing the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, a wonderful organization in upstate New York.

Hundreds of us meandered through the streets of New York before ending up at our final destination, Washington Square Park, for a post-parade rally. Hungry from the hike, we munched samosas from Thiru Kumar’s dosa cart, a vegan institution in NYC. VegNews, as a sponsor, distributed complimentary magazines to attendees from our table. We were treated to a concert by The Cheryl Hill Band and a mock-marriage ceremony between parade mascots Penelo Pea Pod and Chris P. Carrot. Unfortunately, the rain was kicking in, which sent most people scrambling for cover. Four of us ducked into nearby Red Bamboo, famous for its faux meats. We shared the Creole Soul Chicken (crispy faux soy meat battered in breadcrumbs and Cajun seasonings), Buffalo Barbecue Wings (spicy soy chicken drumettes with garlicky bleu cheese dip), Dragonfly Dumplings (rice dumplings filled with shredded soy meat, veggie shrimp, carrots, and cabbage), and the Mediterranean salad (seaweed, carrots, sprouts, grilled tofu, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives on mixed greens). We lingered until the rain finally subsided.

It was then time to freshen up and head over to the NYC launch party for Karen Dawn’s Thanking the Monkey. Having received the “Outstanding Activist for Farm Animals Award” from Farm Sanctuary the previous evening, Karen was the belle of her ball (held at the very-fabulous Soho Grand hotel). Guests nibbled chips and guacamole, sipped sangria, and listened to readings by Karen and such luminaries as Paul Watson, Heather Mills, John Schneider, Persia White, and Rory Freedman.

Ahhhh, our trip to New York was coming to an end. We certainly made the most of every day and hope you have enjoyed getting the complete lowdown. Don’t forget to enter our Press Pass giveaway for one very spectacular goodie bag!

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