Since 2002 midtown’s famous Bryant Park has hosted New York City’s annual holiday bazaar Winter Village, a seasonal outdoor marketplace stuffed to the eyes with cocoa-craving holiday awesomeness, free ice-skating and ample attention paid to plant-based peoples.
If you’ve ever seen the Palisades loom over the Hudson in the late fall bright afternoon sun you’ve seen a living work of art. That view from the window of a Metro-North train instilled both a sense of reverie and adventure as ecoRDN hit the northern rails toward Kingston, NY with hopes of uncovering an abundance of plant-based foods worthy of their stunning backdrop.
ecoRDN caught the D Train in the Bronx and rode it to Manhattan’s Broadway-Lafayette stop for a day of #UrbanHiking and eating, with a little window-shopping on the side. We made our way to the Union Square Greenmarket and it was packed on a perfect day of bright sun and cold-blast Manhattan winds. The veg was amazing! So many colors and varieties, gorgeous! Satisfied with our sightseeing we set out to find lunch in Hell’s Kitchen. Specifically, Two Boots.
Chalk & Cheese is an English expression suggesting two things are quite different from one another. There may be a southern expression meaning the same thing but I don’t know what it is. Downtown Nashville and East Nashville are perfectly illustrated examples of this idiom. Nashville’s Broadway is a tourist haven crammed with cowboy boot stores, gift shops and neon honky-tonk bars, whereas East Nashville is both a vessel for overpriced hipster trinkets (representing the crummier side of gentrification) and a soulful, laid back vegan-friendly oasis.
Eco RDN touched down at Nashville International Airport earlier than anticipated as we forgot about the one-hour time difference between NY and TN. We followed the signs and made our way to ground transportation, where you can grab an express bus via Nashville MTA for a mere buck seventy! In NYC MTA is currently $2.75 for a one-way commute. The bus took us directly to Music City Center where I was able to check in to FNCE and square away registration in no time. I was pleased to discover that this year’s goodie bag was a small canvas tote rather than the enormous plastic totes of previous years that fell apart after one use. The usual 50lb (obvious exaggeration of weight) spiral bound program book was replaced with a simple four-page handout with the schedule of each day’s sessions printed on it. The Academy also made everything available in virtual format for 2014 FNCE and again this year. Damn it, I forgot my highlighter to mark the must do sessions! After registration we checked into the hostel and made plans for lunch.
Back in NYC on a gorgeous fall-esque, big, puffy cloud, blue-sky day and thinking about the trip to Nashville this past weekend. Eco RDN hit the road super early Saturday morning for this year’s FNCE. For those of you that are not dietitians or culinary nerds F-N-C-E stands for Food Nutrition Conference and Expo. FNCE is the annual conference and expo of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is also the world’s largest annual meeting of food and nutrition professionals. Registered dietitians are required to maintain registration by completing continuing education credits (CPEUs), 75 in a five-year period, in order to keep themselves current and relevant in their field (how else can we call ourselves “the nutrition experts”). FNCE provides educational sessions, lectures, briefings and culinary demonstrations that provide a certain number of said CPEUs. This year’s event was in Nashville, Tennessee held at the Music City Center.