Union Square Farmers Market NYC

NYC farmers market

I love to go to the local NYC farmers market. I have written stories about it many times in the past, but now I am writing an update!

Union Square Farmers Market

What I get at the local farmers market

  • Fresh local fish from fishermen based in Long Island who fish in the Atlantic Ocean like from Pura Vida fisheries. The scallops are always super flavorful and with a great texture when I prepare them.
  • Grass fed beef from small farms upstate that work on increasing the biodiversity of nature.
  • Local honey by Andrew's honey. He has beehives all over town and so you can even get Soho or Brooklyn honey!
  • Vegetables and fruits at different stands like Norwich Meadows farm
  • organic breads from different vendors, including this delicious Moroccon bread called msmen
  • homemade jams and cheese
  • lavender and flowers

All the farmers are super nice, and it is great to see who has been taking care of your produce, fish and meats. They can also give you tips on how to prepare the meat, fish or vegetables.

READ MORE: All the many (organic) farmers at Union Square Farmers Market.

One of the great farmers at the Union Square Farmers Market is Norwich Meadows Farm which I am going to spotlight. They have organic seasonal vegetables and sometimes fruits. I don't know why, but their Middle Eastern cucumbers, tomatoes and watermelons from Norwich Meadows Farm are out of this world! They are juicy, flavorful and on top of that they smell so nice. They even have wonderful artichokes. Proof again that there is no other way to grow vegetables but ORGANIC! You should browse their website for more information on their products. I went last week, and this time I got cute mini vegetables and watermelon. We got a good deal because they gave a discount as their truck apparently had broken down, and they could not bring the vegetables back upstate. I hope they fixed their truck!

farmers vegetables

Different vegetables at their stand at different times of the year:

Peppers colored 2Peppers colored 1

Vegetables in my Fridge

I make things like this Tomato-Cucumber-Basil salad with it:

Tomato Cucumber Basil salad

Thank you farmers for my fresh and delicious produce each week! Also check out this video of me visiting the farmers market that I shot for Modelinia a few years back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOHf85nN17g

Love, Lonneke

First published on August 20th 2011 , updated in 2019


9/11 MEMORIAL MUSEUM

9/11 Memorial Museum

That one day in September 2001. Everybody remembers where they were at that exact time. Where were you? 

My experience of Nine Eleven

The Netherlands, September 11th 2001. I just had helped by cleaning the stables and feeding the horses and went inside my family's home. It was about 3.15 pm and I turn on the TV, just to unwind for a bit after some hard work. Then I see the news coming on, there is an extra news broadcast. I see the Twin towers of the World Trade Center, and one is burning. What has happened? At that moment the second tower got hit by a plane and there was chaos everywhere in the World. What the h*ll was going on? I called up my father who was terminally ill with cancer, and who was in bed upstairs. I told him: "Rob, look at the news! What's this?". He couldn't believe it either. We had just visite the top of the tower only a few months ago, even before my father got sick. We went because my father wanted to do something "touristy" this time  in New York City. I got many great pictures from that visit, including one of my father on top of the World Trade Center.  So that September 11th, we watched the news together all day. It was beyond anything that we could wrap our head around. The towers collapsed and the Pentagon got hit too. There even was a plane that went down in Pennsylvania. Air traffic in the USA was shut down and everyone was in shock. "You probably would have never thought you would live longer than the Twin Towers, right" I told my dad that day. 4 weeks later he passed away. That's why to my that moment of 9/11 has extra meaning, as it was one of the last things I did with my father when he was still able to participate in a conversation with me. I miss him more the more time has passed. And I do miss the Twin Towers too.

911 Quilt

Nine Eleven in today's World

Nowadays people still talk about 9/11. Where they were at that moment, and what the true story is, because many stories are still going around. We all know that many people were killed, and many people have been emotionally suffering ever since. The rules have changed. Some wounds have not even healed yet. And maybe they will never. There had to be a place created for people to come together and remember it all. And after years of work, it is here.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum

Exactly in the location where the towers stood, there are now 2 square black pools with on each side waterfalls that end up in a hole in the middle in the shape of a square. You don't see where the water is going. It is very impressive. On the sides you can read all the names of the people who lost their lives. These pools can be visited daily from 7.30pm to 9pm and is free of charge.

911 Water Wall

Underneath the pools is where the 9/11 Memorial Museum sits. You have to pay for admission and I recommend buying the tickets online, and choose the time you want to go. When you enter, you go down the stairs and end up in a large space with very nice modern architecture, and with walls as much as 30 feet high or so. It is very impressive. Walking through the different rooms, you see remains of the towers. A fire truck that got smashed. One window of a tower that was the only one of all the tens of thousands of windows that survived the impact.  The last standing concrete pole of 9/11 full of personal notes from fire fighters and other people who worked on the 9/11 disaster. (see picture above) The wall that keeps the Hudson river from flowing into downtown NYC. (also in picture above) A wall with the unrecognizable remains of the people who vanished behind it. (picture below) A room where you can ask to have an In Memoriam of someone who has died on 9/11 to be displayed. You see many, many things that were found on 9/11. And you are able to see, and hear different videos and audio of news broadcasts, and personal stories in the different spaces of the museum. The collection is ever growing. There is even a box of tissues, because I am sure many people won't keep it dry hearing a flight attendant call home who was on one of the hijacked flights, or someone in one of the towers who describes what she saw...

911 Memorial Wall

My visit to the 9/11 Museum

My new family and I went the second week of opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. They work with hours of entrance, and there is a lot of security of course. There is a lot to see, and what stood out was that everyone was quiet. The museum was quiet. People were in awe and shock of everything they saw. Everyone remembers 9/11. Everyone has a story to tell, of their recollection of 9/11. And if you think your story adds to the story of 9/11 you can even tape your story and it is put into the collection of the museum. This way the collection is ever growing.

When visiting New York City, I definitely recommend visiting this Museum, it will make you remember it all, and will make you not forget.

9/11 Memorial Museum

Love, Lonneke

First published on June 27th 2014, updated in 2019


Candle Cafe

Lonneke's favorite 10 vegan friendly NYC restaurants

I always loved to eat fruits and vegetables. I always loved vegan food. These are my favorite 10 vegan friendly NYC restaurants, which offer a nice selection of vegan food. Keeping a restaurant or take-out place open in New York City is very difficult, especially if it is a speciality restaurant like vegan friendly NYC restaurants. Another reason to support local restaurants so they have more chance of staying open for you and other vegan friendly people!

Candle79-2

1. Candle Cafe

. Together with the sister restaurants Candle Cafe West and Candle 79, I am always amazed by the warm filling nurturing delicious dishes they come up with. Full of many veggies, they are a treat and I keep coming back. The restaurants are completely vegan restaurants and located uptown in the Upper East and Upper West side.  Favorites: anything really. I am drooling just thinking about it. And especially the dishes with seitan. www.Candlecafe.com

2. Juice Press

Juice Press has juices, salads and other vegan rawfood dishes and soups. They have many different locations throughout New York City. A lot of people like their foods to do a detox. www.juicepress.com

3. Dr. Smood

Has many vegan options for juices, salads and sandwiches for lunch or to take out for dinner. I like their pastries for dessert as they are chocolate based! They call themselves "probably the Healthiest Cafe in the City", and there are many locations in NYC. www.drsmood.com

4. Quartino

This cute & romantic Italian restaurant serves delicate homemade healthy pasta and offers many vegan and even gluten free dishes. They also serve a fish of the day. They have a delicious selection of wine, and their extra virgin olive oil is lovely. Located on Bleecker street in NOHO. Favorites: shaved artichoke salad, fresh-made gnocchi and spelt dishes.  www.quartino.com

5. Caravan of Dreams.

A hole in the wall, this eclectic restaurant is dark and cosy, and a perfect place to take your friends for a vegan meal. Everything is vegan, organic and even kosher. They also serve a lot of raw food dishes. They have live music almost every night of the week. Favorites: all salads are amazing! I like the house salad dressing a lot, and the mediterranean salad. Also the smoothies are great, and i like the ravioli of the day with sautéed greens, garlic tomato sauce and avocado. The raw brownie for desert is delicious. www.CaravanofDreams.net

6. Peace food Cafe

the menu needs a bit of help navigating, but this mostly raw and vegan cafe has delicious meals. I like to take the plate with 3 kinds of sautéed vegetables of your choice. Also delicious are the desserts. www.peacefoodcafe.com

Peacefood Cafe 2

7. Mamoun's Falafel

Falafel is made of chickpeas, so it is a good vegan choice. This place is known for great take-out falafel salads and wraps. Not expensive, which is great too! Also many locations in NYC, I like the one on St. Marks Place. www.Mamouns.com

8.Bare Burger NYC

This restaurant has made 50% of their menu vegan! That means there are so many options for burgers, sandwiches and salads for you to choose from! www.BareBurger.com

Bare Burger dinner
turkey burger with gluten free bun and sweet potato fries at Bare Burger

9. Spring Natural

They have daily changing menus, with a lot of vegan and vegetarian options. On top of that they try to get organic and local ingredients where they can. Think of this place as an American healthy diner. The salads are huge and their stir fry with veggies and rice can never go wrong. Located at the corner of Lafayette and Spring street. www.SpringStreetNatural.com

10. Chipotle

The restaurants of Chipotle are literally all over the city. It is cheap and delicious and!  Even though they don't advertise it, their motto is to have everything organic, and you can taste it. They have the best guacamole. I order a simple bowl with different beans, rice, vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, and guacamole and you have delicious vegan meal on the go! www.chipotle.com

Chipotle

Love, Lonneke

First published in 2014, updated in 2019


Sunset NYC

Climate Change?!

The Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations is happening this week in New York City. Many leaders from all over the World are coming together to talk about climate change. 

What about Climate Change

Let me start with going back about 10-12 years in time. In 2007 I went to school to become a Certified Health Counselor. I started Organice Your Life a bit later, and I was super focused on green living and doing good for the environment. I remember presidential candidate Al Gore made a documentary called "An Inconvenient Truth, and preach for the protection of the Earth, with something he called "Global Warming".

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu6SE5TYrCM

 

He said that in a few years ice would melt, and places like New York City would be under water. Of course I did not want that to happen so I started buying eco-friendly products instead of regular ones, eliminating plastic bags and using a sturdy reusable shopping bag, using a bike instead of a taxi, even offsetting flights. Then I became chronically ill and I had to use all my energy towards my healing. I missed a few years about what was going on.  Now in 2019, I kind of woke up in a different World. Well actually, the World is still here like it was in 2007. New York City is still doing fine (so far). There is still ice in the places Al Gore warned us there wouldn't be "in a decade from now". The only big difference is that we don't talk about Global Warming that much anymore, it has become "Climate Change". Al Gore is not the Spokesperson anymore, Greta Thunberg is.

Greta Thunberg, 16 year old Climate Activist

It is impossible to not have seen this 16 year old girl on the news this past year. Instead of going to school, she  was basically on TV daily urging politicians for more actions against the change of the climate, whether it was with her sailboat sailing to New York City instead of going on a flight (because the carbon footprint of her flying on an airplane is "bad"), or the many protests that she has attended.  She gave a passionate speech at the UN today:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRKMyIwINe4

Activists & Deniers

There now seem to be 2 groups: "the Activists", and the "Deniers" who think it is one big "climate hoax". I consider myself a person that uses common sense to analyze an issue. What I learned about the Global Warming warnings from 2006-2007 is that some have turned out not to be the Truth. I was a bit disappointed because I had been so worried before! What I learned is that Scientists do not know everything, they can not 100% claim to know what is going to happen in the future. They can look back in history to see a trend, but you never know if that trend is going to continue. And at this moment there are  different scientists who claim different things on WHY the climate is changing and what needs to be done about it. 

When I speak to people who were born decades before I was born, they mention that there was a time they even warned us for a cooling of the Earth. In the 50's people were worried about nuclear wars and they built shelters. It seems that at any moment in time in our history, people are worried (or made to think they should worry) about something that could happen. Luckily most of these catastrophic events did not happen. The truth is we never know what tomorrow will bring. We could be hit by a meteorite, or aliens could invade us (maybe they already did!).

My position on climate change in 2019

Too many people are focused on stopping or reversing climate change with questionable measures that could end up being very counterproductive in the end. Spending trillions of money, killing good economies along the way. I believe Climate change IS happening. It has happened for millions of years. We have had ice ages (some scientists actually say that we are due for another one if you believe the trends from the past). We have had periods of drought, and periods of extreme weather. We have even had catastrophic events happen that wiped out whole civilizations (AND even dinosaurs!) .

Who thinks we can stop the climate change of Mother Earth? I don't think so. Mother Earth is too powerful. We do need to be prepared though. And that is something that I totally miss from the current discussion: climate change is real. What are people going to do when certain places become inhabitable? what are we going to do to be self-sustaining, how are we going to build homes? Maybe we need to build homes more in the ground instead of on top. Maybe we need to fly less due to more heavy storms, or build different airplanes, Maybe we need to focus on technology to make drinking water out of sea water. Just some ideas. I do not think the discussion between the activists and the "deniers" is that there is climate change happening, I think the difference is that one side thinks they can do something to stop it, while the other doesn't think so and thinks we should just be prepared as it comes.

The hypocrisy of climate activists

Climate activists say we should change to different energy sources, we should stop flying, we should eat less meat. But while the things they propose sound good, sometimes they are again counterproductive, and sometimes they are themselves complete hypocrites. I mean, remember when Prince Harry started an initiative to offset emissions from flights while flying private 4 times in 11 days?  Or all the "big shots" who flew 1500 private jets to Davos to discuss climate change.? And while each child adds enormously to your carbon footprint on this Earth, it is still very weird to me when politicians and celebrities wanting climate change action are at the same time happy when they welcome a child, let alone a second, third or even a fourth one. Having one fewer child will save 58.6 tonnes (!!!) of CO2-equivalent per year. This is an enormous impact if you, for instance, compare it to what you will save if you eat a plant-based diet. That will save you "only" 0.82 tonnes. (source: Wynes & Nicholas, Environmental Research Letters) What I am trying to say is: STOP BEING HYPOCRITES. Don't tell others what to do when you don't do it yourself. Walk. The. Talk. or just shut up.

 

At moments, Climate Change Activism seems to me a total propaganda machine, even using vulnerable children to scare other children and their parents like I was scared back in 2006. A tactic to get the regular people to spend their hard earned cash on measures for lowering emitted greenhouse gasses, that might not even make that much of a difference in the total climate change that is happening. All while the Elitists who campaign for it keep enjoying their privileges.

 

RELATED: How environment-friendly is an electrical car really?

A clean environment

While we talk about climate change, one topic has completely lost your attention: The environment. You see, climate and environment are 2 different things. You have enormous impact on your environment. How clean the streets are, how clean the water and air is, how fertile the soil is where you live, how many trees you have in your community. I like to focus on things and activities with a big impact. I mean, protesting during a Global Climate Strike is great, but can you imagine the impact if all those millions of people  putting on gloves, and picked up a shovel and a garbage bag? The neighborhoods would be so clean and nice!

Luckily there are some people who do go to neighborhoods and clean up. We know that especially Los Angeles and San Francisco are suffering from waste all scattered on the streets. Medieval diseases have made a comeback like Typhus. Rodents haven taken over whole neighborhoods. Since politicians haven't done anything about it for decades, Scott Presler  AKA The Persistence decided to start the Cleanup Movement. He first went to clean up Baltimore, and other cities, and on September 21st he went to Los Angeles and cleaned up more than 50 tonnes of garbage with 200+ volunteers. Amazing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgiMeGcXGjo

You see it is easy to start a movement within your own community by inspiring others to come help clean up and make your community green, clean and a place to be proud of!

RELATED: 5 tips for a Green World: how to live a sustainable life

Love, Lonneke

 


New York City Winter Movies tour

Whether you are visiting New York City during the Winter or Christmas, or are just at home and want to see some nice family movies during the Holidays, here are my 5 favorite movies to watch in the Winter time. And maybe you can go visit the film locations in New York City! Check my New York City Winter Movies Tour, starting with no. 1 on top:

1. Home Alone 2 Lost in New York

This is the all-time favorite, not-to-miss movie starring Macaulay Culkin as Kevin, who by accident gets on the wrong plane and flies to New York City by himself, instead of Florida with his family. While the Plaza hotel does exist (it is now half a residential building and half a hotel) The toy store in the movie does not really exist -the movie's toystore "Duncan's Chest" was filmed in Chicago - this is the movie's version of FAO Swarz, a toy store a few blocks to the East of Plaza Hotel, on 5th Avenue. You can go there and enjoy the toys. Go see the movie, and go see the Plaza hotel from Central Park. You can also book a room here and order room service just like Kevin did in the movie. I also love the Home Alone 2 trivia, as there are more interesting facts to this movie and film locations.

The Trailer of Home Alone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0kJieJ1k6k

2. Serendipity

Probably one of my favorite romantic movies ever made. A lot is filmed around New York City in the Winter. It is a very nice movie for the Winter nights, with lots of love, Winter season activities and snowflakes. The story is about how Jonathan (John Cusack) and Sara (Kate Beckinsale) meet at a kiosk at Bloomingdale's to buy gloves. Sara decides it should be faith if they should meet again,and she writes her phone number and name in a book. Jonathan writes his number on a dollar bill. The whole movie you see them trying to find each other's phone number and hoping destiny will bring them together.There is actually a restaurant in New York City named Serendipity 3 (225 E 60th street, between 2nd & 3rd avenue), and that's where a few scenes in the movie are filmed. Jonathan and Sara share a Frozen Hot Chocolate here, a famous drink from Serendipity they even trademarked. It is not so healthy but so fun to go and have one yourself!

Serendipity frozen hot chocolate
This is the scene filmed at Serendipity 3 when Sara (Kate Beckinsale) and Jonathan (John Cusack) share a Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, a specialty of Serendipity 3.

The trailer of Serendipity

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePU2Ux9JIMM

Other places you should visit are Bloomingdale's (1000 3rd avenue & E 59th street) where Sara and Jonathan meet, The Waldorf Astoria hotel (301 Park Avenue between 49th & 50th) where Jonathan's wedding takes place, Wollman Rink in Central park where Jonathan and Sara are going ice skating and where they reunite. More locations of this movie you can find HERE>, as they also were filming in my neighborhood, as well as some unknown trivia questions HERE>

3. A night at the Museum

A fun movie with Ben Stiller, who plays Larry who becomes a guard in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (Central Park West & 79th street)  He is supposed to " not let anything in, and not let anything out". He later finds out what that means when he is by himself at night at the museum. (This movie was also directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed Home Alone 1 and 2.).

A night at the Museum

 

The Trailer of A Night at the Museum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2G-8raHvOU

 

4. Elf

A true Christmas movie. Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) is an adult human who was raised by elves. He is going to New York City to meet his real father Walter Hobbs (James Caan) who is on Santa's naughty list. If you watch this movie you want to go visit the Empire State Building (350 5th Avenue at 34th street) and you want to go see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (5th Avenue between 49th & 50th street). A joyful funny movie for the whole family!Elf movie

The trailer of Elf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW9wRNqQ_P8

5. Noel

They want us to believe it is all filmed in New York City, but most of it was in fact filmed in Canada. So it should not really be on this list. You do see Rockefeller center and other nice shots of New York City in Winter/Christmas time. But as Paul Walker has a lead roll in it next to Susan Sarandon and Penelope Cruz,  I thought it was a nice gesture to include this movie in my top 5 list in his memory.Noel movie

The trailer of Noel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLjj5EwviQY

 

p.s. I found a great website with more New York City film locations of all your favorite New York City movies in one place: On the set of New York

 


Christmas in New York City top 5 things to do

When you are in New York City in December, there is a lot to do for grownups and kids. And they are not all pricey. In fact, some are for free! Here is my top 5 activity for Christmas in New York City.

NYC snow

1. Go see the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes at Radio City Hall

I have been many times and I still get mesmerized by the wonderful performance and Christmas theme of this show. If you are in NYC in November or December, you must try to get tickets to see the show. It will definitely give you the Christmas spirit. In the busy Holiday season the Rockettes have up to 6 (!) shows a day! (price depends on date and time) They are performing until the end of December/beginning of January.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OURaHfpKE6Q

 

 

2. Watch Home Alone 2 and go see the Plaza hotel

When in Central Park, go ice skating at Wollman rink, and then walk over to the Plaza hotel. You can also go into the Plaza for a Breakfast buffet in the morning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h9VDUNtoto

 

3. Take a trip to Rockefeller Plaza

You can see the biggest Christmas tree you will ever see! You can  go iceskating there too. And if you turn around, across the street of 5th Avenue, you can see the 3D show at Saks Fifth Avenue at night!

Home Alone Christmas Tree

During the Holiday season, Saks Fifth Avenue always had huge snow flakes ornaments on their building that would light up with a musical show,  but in 2013 they unveiled their 3D show on the building that they perform every night from 5pm to 11pm. You just have to wait and see when the show starts! (free)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QofG21QwMw

 

4. Go drink frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3

The best Frrrozen Hot Chocolate in the World you find at Serendipity 3, a great place for kids and adults alike to go to after ice skating at Wollman Rink, just like Sara and Jonathan in the movie Serendipity did. Don't count the calories... it is a Holiday after all, right?

serendipity frozen hot chocolate

5. Go shopping for gifts at the Holiday Market at Columbus Circle at the South West corner of Central park, or  Union Square South.

Union-Square-Holiday-Market-4

These  above attractions are all uptown around Central Park South except Union Square Holiday market.

If you want more inspiration read my post on the NEW YORK CITY WINTER MOVIES TOUR where you can find more NYC places you can visit!

Happy Holidays!

Love, Lonneke


Bare Burger NYC review

In NYC we can find a lot of restaurants. A lot of fast-food restaurants, as well as high-end cuisine. Any kind of cuisine you can find here as well. And organic versions of these fast food & high end restaurants are here too. I really like Bare Burger NYC.

Bare Burger NYC started with I believe just one place downtown NYC close to the NYU area, and quickly expanded, maybe also because of their franchise system. Loved by students and locals who appreciate good, simple comfort food with a low price tag, this place becomes such a success fast that new Bare Burger NYC restaurants are opening all over town. There are over 15 restaurants also outside of NYC.

We go quite a lot as it is easy and very close to where we live. And the choices of salads and burgers give you plenty of different choices to choose from each time! Their menu includes big healthy salads, healthier versions of burgers with organic ingredients, organic fries, organic milkshakes & beer: Check their MENU.

I have been going here from the beginning. Their restaurant has a nice vibe and the terrace as well. Bare Burger NYC now has made 50% of the menu all vegan and even offer gluten-free options!

George & DavidBareburger La Guardia place Terrace ( usually the terrace is full of tables) with my best friends George & David

Lonneke eating Portabella mushroom burger

Love a burger? Bare Burger has a great system for you to choose your ideal burger! Pick your bun, patty, toppings, sauces and sides. Ever heard of an elk or bison burger? or a black bean burger? They got them here! And all organic of course.

Veggie quinoa burger

Love fries? I love the sweet potato fries! And they fry them in peanut oil (they say it is healthier) And they come with 4 Bare Burger original dips.. still deciding which one is my favorite....

Love a milkshake? They got a milkshake made for you from scratch! Fresh ice cream, organic fruits, a bit of organic cane sugar and shake it baby!

Oh, and if you really want to eat healthy: they have a few nice salads and you can add just a patty without the bun to it. Problem solved.

Mexican SaladThe Mexican Salad at Bare Burger

Bare Burger LogoEven the interior is from reclaimed materials, and the ambiance is relaxed, cosy and a great place to bring your friends, or go to with people who are difficult eaters. (hey, everyone likes fries and burgers right?)

Click the Button for all Bare Burger locations in NYC  and enjoy the food!

Love, Lonneke