Wednesday, May 20, 2009

April in Paris? I Wish...May in New York

A day in the life of a New York City commuter can frighteningly start to resemble Bill Murray's in Groundhog Day. I sit on the same seat on the bus. I grab my free copy of amNewYork from the same person handing it out. But my "Phil Connors" moment really arrives when I pass the same red-headed, bearded man walking in the opposite direction as I near my office almost the exact same time each day. Spooky!

To break the monotony, I treated myself to breakfast instead of eating at home while perusing The New York Times online edition and checking various environmental and animal rights action centers (PETA's Action Center has new opportunities for armchair activism almost daily).

I'm always looking to recreate a bit of Paris in New York: tartine with strawberry preserves and a soy cafe au lait, $6.50, at Macaron Cafe. Extra points scored for the Counter Culture Coffee that is brewed here.

Seating is limited in this charming (but small) French cafe. On the morning most are on the go, so I was lucky enough to get a seat by the door. There's a similar seating area in the back.

If you come at lunch, expect long lines with many Frenchies. But that's a good sign...the French know good food! Well, except for some food. You can veganize their vegetarian sandwich, $6.50 (avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and lettuce on a baguette) by leaving off the egg and mayo and adding olive oil. Pair with a lemonade, $2.25.

Crepes (not vegan) are on the menu. The Urban Vegan takes the cruelty out of this classic French treat. Veganize simple fare such as onion soup, quiche, and pain au chocolat (which I always make when craving a chocolate croissant).

Visit Macaron Cafe, 161 West 36th Street (between Seventh and Sixth Ave.), NYC.

My latest Frenchie find: Emily Loizeau, whose music I discovered on a compilation at one of my favorite places, my local library. Although that better be faux fur on her album cover (wishful thinking). The beauty of spring is I no longer have to see any more horrid fur fashions on my walk to the office.

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