O look! Could it be? A post!

February 5, 2008 at 11:03 pm 9 comments

new yorkYou get the idea.

IT IS! That’s right, It’s Alive, folks. Sort of.

I really should put up an “warning: irregular posting” disclaimer. But that would just give me one more thing to procrastinate, so I better stay put.

If you must know, I had, of course, a perfectly good reason for my absence. I was visiting the distant shores of Uncle Sam. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve been back for 3 weeks now.The truth is, I actually started writing this 2 weeks ago, so at that time I had a perfectly valid excuse for being out of commission – I was jetlagged and had cold. In the meantime, I had to edit and re-edit this paragraph over and over because my old excuse is so outdated now.

First of all, let me tell you people, your toilets SUCK! Seriously. Gross toilet water close that close to my toosh makes me very uncomfortable. And what’s up with the toilet stall gap? You know, if I’m going to use the toilet in a public place, I would really appreciate some privacy! I mean, drop your lipstick and you know all my business. Not cool!

Anyway, where was I… oh right. So on this trip I got to see 2 more states, Michigan and New York. That brings up my total of visited states to a nice round number of …… 3 (Went to Florida Keys last year).

So while I only spent a few days in Michigan, I can say I “saw” it, mostly because  2 of them were spent driving up and down the state, which looking back was kinda stoopid. But yeah, I am not the best planner out there, and notoriously suck at being a tourist. Early starts are definitely not my thing.

After that I spent 2 weeks in New York, waking up late and being a bad tourist all around- I didn’t go ice skating, I didn’t see the statue of Liberty, I didn’t climb the Empire State, and I only made it to one museum (the Guggenheim). It was still pretty awesome, despite the bad-tourist guilt.

I even attempted some shopping. Mostly, failed. All I have to show for is a new red sweater and some thrift store pants. Despite the fact I keep telling myself I have to stop buying red sweaters. Every time I attempt shopping I end up buying a red sweater (and that’s it). It’s my fall back plan, if nothing else, there is always a red sweater I like. I’m really starting to get on my own nerves with this red sweater thing. Is there such a thing as red sweater rehab? If there is, I’ll sign up right now!

But anyway. I tried to be a good vegetarian (but not a perfect one). My slips included some mercury-laced sushi and a Starbucks bacon & egg sammich laced with better-not-think-about-it. I am not proud of it. It think that broke both of my survival rules (that I stick to because the American “food” industry freaks me out).

  1. All animal products must be organic.
  2. All corn and soy must be organic.

But yes, you got me. I was going to Starbucks. I have to admit they won me over with the organic milk. But then they went and burst my bubble by discontinuing it. Bastards. Then I discovered that you can ask for soy milk and soy milk is organic and actually drinkable. Even in cappuccinos.

Then I discovered that the American idea of cappuccino slightly differs from my pre-conceived Euro-notions: espresso, hot milk and milk foam. Starbucks thinks its ALL about the milk foam. Literally. No milk. Just foam. And you guys know I take my cappuccinos very seriously. So I developed a routine where after I deliver the stainless mug, I go over to the barista and ask to ease up on the foam.

That usually coincides with me being annoyed at the fact they are still wasting a disposable cup for my coffee IN SPITE my very specific cup instructions. Although on one occasion I did encounter a barista that was also annoyed at all the cup wasting behavior. Not that that changed anything. I hope she gets promoted and brings on a smackdown on cup-wasting.

On the up side, I was very happy to see I wasn’t the only freak with a mug. Although it seemed much more common and accepted in Michigan. You would think New York is where all the eco-hipsters are.

And you guys would be proud of how good I got refusing plastic bags. I’m an almost professional bag-refuser. The trick is to announce it early and clearly, before they scan your groceries or while they are folding your red sweater er… clothing item.

And well, that’s all for the travel report. Sorry I didn’t post a touristy picture of my self in front of a landmark. In a red sweater. I’m such a lame tourist I didn’t even take any pictures. Although I lugged my camera across an ocean and even got a new lens for Christmas. So Hiro Nakamura will just have to do. How do you guys even put up with me?

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Entry filed under: BYO, environment, food, organic, shopping, travel, waste. Tags: , , , , , .

How to: Get shit-free ground beef Bless google search terms

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Emily  |  February 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I was just wondering where you were.

    I like US toilets better, I must say. They don’t smell as bad after, say, 42 uses and no flush because nothing solid yet.

    But, girl, why would you think NY is where the eco-hipsters are?!

    I am so annoyed about the cup thing. I was hoping it had gotten better in the last two years that I have been abroad.

  • 2. Alina  |  February 6, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I dunno… Cause green is the new black?

  • 3. Wendy Withers  |  February 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    At the stores I go to in Florida, they just started selling Green Bags a few months ago. I have a couple of Green Bags from Target, Publix, and Sweetbay (Publix and Sweetbay are regional grocery stores) as well as a couple of generic Geen Bags that I stash all over the place just so I’ll have them on hand when I got to the store. When I check out I just put them on top of my groceries, and the cashiers and baggers are usually excited to use them; I think it’s fun for them to see how many groceries they can fit into one Green Bag. For some reason, the last cashier I had when I went to Wal Mart with my mom stuffed the green bags into the plastic bags with my groceries.

  • 4. Leslie @ the oko box  |  February 6, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    New York has progressive ideas about being green, but…well…it’s New York, look at it ! It’s the most consuming, non green, crowded, dirty place in the US. I should know, i used to live there. A few good eco stores, amongst overwhelming numbers of slave labor cheap products isn’t really the kind of headway you’d wish for. Glad you should some people about re-using bags !

  • 5. alex  |  February 7, 2008 at 3:01 am

    I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the fact that so few people are talking about presidential candidates and their thoughts on global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

    Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on http://www.EarthLab.com that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

    Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: http://www.earthlab.com/life.aspx. This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do? No matter what your political affiliation is or who you vote for this is an important issue for our environment, our economy and for homeland security.

  • 6. Chile  |  February 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Oh my gosh, you’re alive! I was worried that you’d picked up some shitty beef and croaked in NY. 😉

    Tip for future trip: to get the type of cappucino you are wanting, you have two options. Order it “wet” which will give you less foam and more milk. Or order a latte, foamy, which will be lots of steamed milk with a nice layer of foam on top. Ordering it “free pour” gets you better foam.

    Yes, I used to spend waaaay too much time (and money) in Starbucks trying to get the perfect drink. Now I make it at home for a pittance. No one ever tips me either.

  • 7. mary  |  February 7, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    Yea you are back. I’m all over cloth bags now. Though in Kohls they won’t let me use them. Bastards.

    Starbucks is the worst coffee ever. I don’t know why people go there.

    Thanks to you I have a large steel garbage can full of the most beautiful compost matter ever seen. I’m already on my second trash can.

  • 8. nichole  |  February 18, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Oooh, i could list all the places in Amsterdam I didn’t see when I was there visiting my (now ex-) boyfriend! Although on my last night a local finally took me to the red light district since I was too blind to find it on my own apparently. and then I was unimpressed.

  • 9. Christina  |  March 9, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Ahh…Starbucks can be hopelessly addicting…especially in NYC because it’s everywhere…

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