Tunnel People Book

Teun Voeten is an anthropologist and war photographer. He sent me this Tunnel People book which now has become one of my favorite books I have read in years!

Tunnel People

in the 90's New York City was a bit different than it is now. There were many "homeless" people living on the streets, and in the many tunnels of the subway and train system of NYC.

"Mole people (also called tunnel people or tunnel dwellers) are homeless people living under large cities in abandoned subwayrailroadfloodsewage tunnels, and heating shafts.[1][2] The term may also refer to the speculative fiction trope of an entirely subterranean society." - Wikipedia

About the Tunnel People book

Teun Voeten went to explore the tunnels of New York City and befriended a few of the many "tunnel people" living there. He actually ended up living with a few of them for a couple of months, and you can read about his experiences with the "tunnel people" in this book. The tunnel he explored was the Amtrak one running alongside the Hudson River. I love reading non-fiction, to learn about history and experiences of people. That's why this book was a perfect gift! What I also liked was the font and language Teun used, as it very easy-to-read. The book really gave me a good idea of how these people lived. I also love reading about the history of my hometown of New York City!

What I will remember after reading this book

Even though the people living in the tunnel were having a hard time, many of them made the tunnel their home and even built their own shelter spaces. They seemed to have kind of a daily rhythm and were trying to make some money usually by collecting empty bottles with a bottle deposit fee for recycling. This gave them purpose in life and many took it seriously. Also, they seemed to care to find something to enjoy each day. Whether it was a nice "home cooked" meal, or smoking illegal substances. The main characters really came to life.  Bernard, Bob, Ment, Frankie, Tony, Joe & Kathy to name a few formed in my head, and when I was halfway down the book I realized there were photographs in the book as well! It was interesting to see that what I had in my head really matched the people in the photographs.

What happend to the tunnel people

Interesting fact is that eventually Amtrak and the City helped the people out of the tunnel and closed off the tunnel. The reason was that Donald Trump (the current President of the United States of America) was going to develop new construction and a park there, and so the tunnel people had to go. That area has since really developed into a nice place. And while the tunnel people found a new place to live, they did seemed to long for their days in the tunnel.

READ MORE: Helping the homeless on cold days

About Teun Voeten

As I mentioned earlier in this review he contacted me through Twitter. I am very straightforward about different issues on Twitter and maybe he liked that. When he visited NYC recently, we met and we talked about these different topics. What is intriguing is that he travels the World to the most dangerous places to record what is going on. His bio is extensive! He received his doctoral degree in 2018 from the University of Leiden after his PhD research on the drug wars of Mexico. Right now he is focused on mapping global trends in drugs, and especially drug-related crime in Antwerp, Belgium.

Get the book

if you want to read an easy-to-read true story which gives a good idea about life on the streets of NYC in the 90's, this is the book for you:

If you know of other great true story books, please send them to me!

Love, Lonneke

 


5 Reasons to Shop Locally

Shopping is fun for most people. You go shopping and usually you buy what you need or like. It is a fun process for many. Most of the time the criteria to shop are if the items are of good quality, and if they have a price tag you are willing to pay. But there are more criteria for shopping that will be very interesting for you to think about for a moment. For instance, do you know the whole history behind the product or the shop you purchase goods? Do you know where the money you spend goes to? Besides you buying something new and exciting, you spending money at a certain local shop can be life-changing for many people, for many reasons.Let me explain to you.

Some communities make easy guides to their local shops.Some communities have easy guides to their local small businesses and shops 

 

5 reasons to shop locally

1. When you shop at a local shop, you spend your money in a way that helps the shop owner and his or her family directly.

You are not sending your money off to another big corporation. If these small business owners earn money, they can take care of themselves and their family, and keep their business open. Sometimes you even get a better deal than at a big brand store. But most important: you are basically making sure these people, your neighbors, can make a living. Isn't that alone already a really good reason to spend your money in local shops?

Lonneke at AUH20 I love the cute finds and incredible low prices at AUH2O in the East Village! (Still in business!)

2. You get the best service

Small, local business owners care about the goods they sell very much. They have the most know-how of the products they sell, sometimes they make it themselves. In that case you can find out exactly how the products are made, something I always like to know. You just can't get any better advice on these products anywhere else. (Imagine big shops with employees that really don't care about you or the products they sell?) In the case you experience a problem, it is easy to speak directly to the person who owns the shop. These small business-owners exist on giving good service, and will find a product or service that will custom-fit your needs. They also will be helping out when there is a problem. They just want you to be a returning and loyal customer, and will do almost everything to make you, the customer happy with your purchased goods. When shopping locally, you can feel like people really listen to you, and really want to help you.

I did not know what bubble tea I should choose, so the owner of Thirstea NYC made me a custom-made bubble tea.the owner of Thirstea NYC in East Village made me a custom-made bubble tea (unfortunately out of business)

3. You support your local community

When you get out of your house, and see how the streets and shops in your neighborhood look, or how the local children's playground looks, imagine that when you spend your money in a local shop, your money will help care for these important building blocks in a community. Whether through taxes, or through direct payments from local business owners, they all together can make living in your community a pleasure. So putting it simple: when you spend locally, most of your money stays locally, and is spend again locally.

Lonneke Engel at Sustainable NYC

My friend Munemi and I at eco-friendly shop Sustainable NYC in East Village (unfortunately also out of business)

4. Bringing diversity to products offered

If we only buy products from big companies, the diversity in offered products will decrease. That's why it is important to shop with people who offer different products, and maybe even show their true craftsmanship. Also, by giving individuals a chance to make a living, it can pave the way for new ideas to develop into better products than the ones that already offered.

Actress Jennifer Esposito has a gluten free bakery in the East VillageActress Jennifer Esposito opened an 100% gluten-free bakery in East Village NYC: Jennifer's Way. (also out of business)

5. Social contacts

If you shop locally, you get to know who lives in your neighborhood. Your social contacts will become stronger. Remember, a community is build on the people who live in it. The more active the people in a community are working on strengthening their local community, the better and nicer it will be to live in it. And you might even make new friends too!

Vito the Dog, Navy Lamey at Local NYC

Vito the Dog and my nephew Navy Lamey are chilling at Local Cafe NYC in Soho after our trip to the East Village. Local has since become a bar to have drinks at night instead of a café.

What I like the best about shopping locally is the enthusiasm of local business owners. They are passionate about what they sell, they really chose to be in that business. I love all the information I get from them, and I am always excited to return. I hope my 5 reasons to shop locally has inspired you to explore your local community.

Love, Lonneke

First published on July 29th 2015, updated in 2019

p.s. As you can see most businesses I gave as an example have gone out of business. Unfortunately that is what happens if too little people support them so they are financially strong to survive. So if you know of a small business in your hometown, please support them, so they can stay in business and feed their families!

 

 


10 ways to help dogs in need

Did you know many shelters in NYC and in USA have a kill policy?

The Truth about shelters in the USA

Some dogs that come in are euthanized within a few days or a week. They don't get a fair chance to get adopted. Many "mega" shelters get 80 to 100 dogs A DAY to care for, dumped by their owners, found as stray, confiscated by the Police due to abuse, you name it. Many shelter employees experience traumatic situations everyday, but pick themselves up by knowing that they are still helping the majority of the dogs. My first dog Vito - a Bull Terrier - came from a shelter in the Netherlands. When he passed away at an old age, we first fostered and then adopted our dog Bane. He was on Death Row at the NYCACC shelter, and Animal Haven shelter saved him just in time before he was killed...

Lonneke en Bane
My dog Bane

Sweet pitbulls have a bad reputation but are in fact great dogs

In the USA right now there is a big problem with pitbulls, American Staffordshire terriers and American Bull dogs. And any "scary" looking dogs. Not the dogs are the problem, the dogs of these breeds are in fact the most loving and amazing dogs I know, but the owners are the problem. In certain parts of the USA society, and other parts of the World, even in my home country of the Netherlands, people use these dogs for dog fighting. They look ferocious and some people own them only for that reason. These dogs are amazing. Why? They are so loving and so loyal to their owners, they will do everything for them. And even when these dogs are rescued after having experienced the worst they could ever experience, most of them can still get rehabilitated in loving homes. That's how amazing that breed is.The show Pitbulls and Parolees is a good example. People who are involved in any of these scams, should of course be prosecuted for these criminal charges. And never be able to own a dog in their life again.

 

Dogs in need are all around us

Dogs in need suffer all over the World each and every day. People are putting these dogs outside with no food, water, shelter or attention. Leaving your dog alone at home for most of the day is not dog-friendly either. Most dogs that have behavioral problems, are caused by their owners. Dogs have feelings just like we do. They get hungry, they feel pain, they get cold. Caring for a dog is like caring for your child. You should treat them how you treat your children, and how you want to be treated. It is no wonder that families where there is animal abuse, there are usually also other problems within that family. Animal abuse is therefore a good indication that these people might need more help. Sometimes dogs are wandering around as stray dogs. They are not neutered or spayed and therefore start families. Who then again are also homeless. These mutts usually have a hard time getting adopted too.

Must Read: 5 Reasons to adopt a shelter dog

Lonneke, Bane en Dirk
Lonneke, Bane & Dirk

10 ways to help dogs in need

  1. Firstly realize that dogs have feelings just like us. They feel pain, they get cold. Treat them how you want to be treated.
  2. More dogs need to get adopted, EVERYONE can help out.
  3. Think everything out before you get a dog. People should not get a dog if they can't give them a lifetime commitment, or a safe home. Most dogs reach an age between 10-15 years, sometimes even more! And if you do want a commitment for such a long time, getting a senior from a shelter is a good idea; You give him or her a few great years, and he or she gives you unconditional love and attention.
  4. Think about what your dog, or a shelter dog needs. Feed them enough of the right food, and give them the right (medical) care in time. Prevent your dog from getting too cold, too hot, hurt, hungry or depressed. Don't leave dogs unattended,  especially during cold and hot days. Dogs can overheat or cool down quickly and not show signs until it is too late. Make time for your dog. If your dog has behavioral problems it is most likely due to a fault of the owner.
  5. Don't buy a puppy, choose a shelter dog! Shelter dogs are a much better choice for many reasons. You know what you get, they are very well supervised and analyzed for their behavior, and sometimes even trained well! And one fact: When you buy a puppy: a shelter dog get's killed. It is that simple.
  6. Adopt, Foster a dog and/or Donate to your local shelter. You can even give dog food, new toys, blankets and beds. Fostering a dog really saves a dog's lives!
  7. If you see a dog in need, you need to take care of it and bring it to the attention of animal rescue organization in your area. Always think that you are the only one that will do something about it. Most people think; " Someone else will help that animal" and walk on. But in reality most people think like that and therefore many animals suffer!
  8. If you know of or see animal abuse, notify the local police. We need higher criminal charges for animal abuse and more people telling the Police what they have seen or know about.
  9. Become a volunteer at a shelter and walk dogs. A lot of dogs at shelters are 24/7 in their cages because there aren't enough volunteers. Even an hour a week would help out a few dogs!
  10. Use social media to bring awareness to dogs in need. Any like, click, share will help!

Here are a few shelters you can go to right now and help out!

USA:

NYC:

The dogs will thank you even if you help out just 1 of them. If we all do a little bit of work, we can create a big chance for all of them!

Love, Lonneke

Must-read: A Dog is part of the Family

 


Vintage is the original Green Fashion

Really, you can officially call all clothing made before the 80's "vintage", but let's just call all the good, quality and beautiful clothing vintage. Are you with me?  I hope so!

What is vintage

Vintage is really recycling and keeping clothes from going into the landfills, so Vintage is the original Green Fashion!

Vintage is the original Green Fashion - Lonneke Engel

I always feel very happy when I find an item that used to be pricey, is in great shape, and looks beautiful.  And if the price is low now, and it fits me, it's a deal!  Most of the time people compliment me more when I wear something that they don't recognize as something they have seen in recent fashion shows.

Great vintage shops are everywhere!

New York City for instance has many secondhand and vintage stores.  Some focus on the 40's and 50's, others on mainstream brands for extremely cheap. The trick is to really dig in, and really look at each piece of clothing.  Maybe one of them is your gem.

Other places to find vintage

There are many other places to find amazing vintage.  What about your mom's closet?  Maybe your grandmother's closet?  The thing with fashion trends are that they come back every so many years, of course reinvented.  So what is old and ugly right now, you might want to keep in your closet a few years--it might be fashionable again.

Magic closet

Also, I keep a "Magic Closet", where I store all my unwanted clothing.  Coats, dresses, bags, shoes, you name it. I either sell, give clothes away, or donate. I also look into this closet every few months, because you might start liking an item again, maybe because you lost or gained weight and it now fits!  If you do have unwanted clothing, you can do the same. You can donate, sell or swap, or bring it to collection points in your area.  Those clothes will find a good new owner. You can sell it online at many places including RealReal,Letgo, Thredup, Poshmarkand Ebay !

READ MORE: Organize your shoe closet

Swap Party

Organize fun parties with your (girl) friends to swap clothes. Super fun! My friends come whenever they want, and exchange clothes with me.  This way I find something new, and they do as well.  It gives you the same feeling as when you go shopping; but this way it is shopping for free, so it feels even better!

If you are actually looking to expand your wardrobe, ask first if friends have some stuff they want to get rid of.  Most of the time they then suddenly think of that one dress they haven't worn and you might like... Otherwise: go shopping!

Did you know a lot of celebrities get their unique pieces from vintage stores or flea markets?

In the Netherlands my friends of Doortje Vintage (great online vintage webshop) started LENA Library in Amsterdam and they have made it a business for people to borrow vintage (or green fashion) from their fashion library. You become a member and can come get nice pieces all the time! Check them out when you are in Amsterdam.

A few of my favorite vintage stores around NYC

AUH2O

Best prices and cute clothing. I have found many things $3-10 that I wear a lot!

located in the East Village.

www.AUH20.com

Beacon's closet

You can also bring your clothes here to sell! Really nice collection they have of vintage and some more modern day designers.

Great prices.

Multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

www.beaconscloset.com

Stella Dallas

Unfortunately, they just closed my favorite location on Thompson street!

But this is the place to go for 50's & 60's dresses. I found my wedding dress here!

www.stelladallas.com

INA NYC

High-end designer consignment.

www.inanyc.com

What Goes Around Comes Around

More really old pieces, found all over the world, really one of a kind leather belts, antique clothing and more

www.whatgoesaroundnyc.com


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!

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.).

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!

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.

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

 


Shop for a good cause

A trip down memory lane! Founder Lonneke Engel and the other girls that supported Organice Your Life organized many events in New York City over the past decade to bring awareness to different causes. Let's check out this one shop for a cause event!

Shop for a good cause party

April 26th 2011 Fabiola Beracasa, Lonneke Engel and Valentina Zelyaeva hosted a charity event in one of the most beautiful vintage boutiques in New York called“Use Your Head”.  (a great name if you want to become more aware of your choices in life!) The owner of the shop, Henry Buhl (Founder of ACE), was kind enough to let us make this event happen. And of course, charming Brazilian manager of the shop – Carlos Barbosa- was a shining star of the night!

Organizing for the party

Lonneke, Carlos and Valentina spent hours during the week before the party organizing the store. The result? A very beautiful high-end looking boutique with clothes displayed beautifully! We were very proud of it. Lonneke said she is going to volunteer more often to help the store stay in good shape! During the party, we all got together with our friends to shop and/or donate our unwanted and gently used clothes.

Profits going to ACE New York

All the profits made a the store, go 100% to  “ACE” , which is a New York organization that helps homeless off the street and back to work, as well as improve communities and clean the streets of Downtown NYC.

Sponsors

It was a fun night where “Organic Avenue” (unfortunately out of business these days) provided us with fresh alkaline water and samples of freshly made juices for everyone. People could ask questions about the cleanses we were doing together with the other OYL contributors and even sign up for it. People got 20% discount on the LOVEdeep 3-day cleanse by using the code "OYLDEEP" at checkout when buying the 3-day LOVEDEEP cleanse at Organic Avenue , they would get 20% discount!

Also a big Thank you for the girls from Organic Avenue who had a wonderful display at our party! And for those who weren’t doing a juice cleanse, we were serving organic sparkling wine. (provided by Valentina! )

La Perla had donated a few amazing dresses! And top-model Doutzen Kroes donated beautiful high-end designer clothing worth thousands of dollars.

A special Thank You goes out to “NAGO” capoeira academy for their donations and presence.

Win- Win

It feels great to have a party and in the meantime raise money for a good cause!

Here some of the photos from the event! Images made by Josh Wong Photography

From Left to Right: OYL's Kate Dillon, Munemi Imai, Lonneke Engel, Valentina Zelyaeva.
Use Your Head shop manager Carlos Barbosa and friend.
Valentina and friends shopping for a good cause!
Lonneke talking to 2 people from New York Magazine.
Fabiola Beracasa and her crew.
Organic Avenue supplied their signature alkaline water and juice samples.
Valentina & friend.

Models love to shop vintage!

Lonneke & Valentina with The Organic Avenue team!
Fabiola & Lonneke checking out the store for great designer must-haves!

All profits went 100 % to charity and the shop was run by volunteers. Use Your Head was located at 262 Mott street in NYC. They went out of business a few years ago unfortunately :(  But you can still support the homeless people of Soho and beyond by going to ACE New York.

Love, 

Team OYL

First published on April 28th 2011, updated in 2019

 

 


10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants

I love eating healthy food and I prefer to visit affordable restaurants! This is the list of my 10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants in 2019, where you can go and find healthy food any time of the day. I have stated which ones have good gluten-free options, and all restaurants are in different price categories as well as locations on Manhattan (where I live) My first choice would always going for an organic restaurant, and most of them in my list do focus on offering organic food, except for a few. These are easy going restaurants the bring-your-friends-or-family kind ( no reason to overdress), with a good take-out and delivery selections.

MY Top 10 favorite healthy NYC restaurants of the moment:

  1. le Pain Quotidien (LPQ): This is a staple place to visit whenever you need a good breakfast or lunch. As a true dutchie, I love bread. Since I stick to a gluten-free diet, I am so happy that they have THE BEST GLUTENFREE BREAD IN THE WORLD! There, I said it. LPQ also has great salads, breakfast items, many vegan and vegetarian options (a leaf sign on the menu means the dish is plant based), and most of what they serve is organic. This also counts for their coffee and decaf coffee. My favorites are the different tartines, the chia seed pudding, the lentil avocado salad. LPQ is take out and sit down. Multiple locations around the city. $ www.lepainquotidien.com 
  2. HU Kitchen: This is a great place with paleo dishes and take out treats and juices. That means everything is gluten-free, no dairy, and organic. They serve organic meat, chicken and vegetarian plates.  My favorite is the chicken burger. Every weekday they have a special, sometimes that is a vegan and gluten-free pizza (love it!) One location on 5th avenue between 13th and 14th $$ www.hukitchen.com 

    HU Kitchen NYC
    The Paleo Chicken Burger at HU Kitchen
  3. Dr. Smood: a chain with restaurants all over the city, this place calls itself "probably the healthiest cafe in town. They have a philosophy that people should spend their money on organic healthy food (the real healthcare as they say) and not on doctors. I love getting chocolate treats here, and the strawberry shake is delicious. www.drsmood.com
  4. 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. I love their seitan. 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
  5. Spring Natural: Formerly Spring Street Natural restaurant, I order from here a lot as well, as 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. After 40+ years they moved from Spring street to a location just around the corner on Kenmare street. $    www.SpringStreetNatural.com  UPDATE: The location on Kenmare street has recently closed after 47 years of service, and the uptown one has been taken over by the new restaurant Thyme & Tonic. End of an era! Now instead maybe check out the different locations of Jack Wife's Freda!
  6. Bare Burger: Yes it is an organic restaurant and serve juicy and calorie-rich burgers and milkshakes, they also have a big selection of tasty salads and even many vegan and vegetarian options for a burger. I LOVE the black bean burger, and the fava bean falafel. $ www.bareburger.com

    Bare Burger dinner
    turkey burger with gluten free bun and sweet potato fries at Bare Burger
  7. Cafe Clover: This restaurant has a very beautiful look, and I love their out-of-the-box healthy salads and dishes. Sometimes a bit small, and maybe sometimes pricey, it is a nice place to have a nice date with a friend or lover. You can sit outside on the nice terrace too! By the way if you go here, also check out the Clover Grocery next door, as it has delicious organic treats! $$ www.CafeClover.comCafe Clover Salad
  8. Eataly: This inside market across the street from Madison Park gives you a chance to eat the most delicious local dishes. Everything is divided in categories. Of course I like to sit in the vegetable section, and sometimes in the fish section. It is worth a visit even if you don't sit down for food. $$ www.eataly.com
  9. Candle Cafe: 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 .
    Candle Cafe
    2 of the yummy vegan Candle Cafe dishes that change daily.

     

  10. Westville. Probably not organic, but they have the biggest selection of vegetables. I love to order the market vegetables plate with a choice of four vegetables on the market vegetable list. they also have other nice options, I also like the veggie burger. Nice ambiance to hang out with friends.  Multiple locations $ www.westvillenyc.com

Love, Lonneke

All pictures by Organice Your Life®

Curious to know what changed in my list of 10 best healthy NYC restaurants since my last top 10 list? Check out my previous 10 favorite restaurants HERE!

Last tip: If you suffer from celiac disease you should be careful with these restaurants even if I state they have gluten-free options. There is no guarantee that there is no cross-contamination.


That time I did an 1 day juice cleanse

I once did an one day juice cleanse. All the way with the cheesy "I kiss my juice" pictures as proof.  I had a bit hangover from just drinking 2 bellinis at the Operation Smile Ball the day before. So when you don't feel so great, what do you do? Exactly you take care of yourself! Eating really healthy is your own medicine. So I decided to visit Organic Avenue.

About Organic Avenue

Organic Avenue was a vegan and rawfood chain in New York City. It was founded by Denise Mari, and back in the day I did an interview with her. There were so many new Organic Avenue Locations popping up around town at one point. To me it seemed they had a lot of success, but they also seemed to grow too fast. After a few years Denise sold the company, and from what I've read, she came back on board to run the company.  OA incorporated different foods into the menu besides cleanses (the vegan chicken and waffles was great!) but eventually they went out of business :( . Sad story of a vegan health food store I enjoyed so much in NYC! I notice many of my favorite restaurants have gone out of business, it is just part of doing business in New York City.

Organic Avenue Soho location
Organic Avenue Soho location before it closed

Now back to the juice cleanse story: There used to be an Organic Avenue Location in Soho, close to where I live, and I decided to do their one day cleanses.

The 1 day juice cleanse

I received 7 bottles of juice. 1 small one to start the day with chlorophyll, and 6 juices.  You were told to drink water in between..

1 day cleanse from Organic Avenue
1 day cleanse by Organic Avenue

8.30 am

Let's start this juice cleanse! I woke up tired and had my first juice at this time. A chlorophyll shot that made my tongue green! It has a specific taste, but it is not bad. Chlorophyll comes from plants and is an "extremely important bio molecule, critical in photosynthesis, which allows plants to absorb energy from light."- Quote from Wikipedia  

chlorophyll shot
chlorophyll shot

10 am

My first real juice is a nice simple orange juice. A great way to start a morning with some sweet citrus fruit juice.

orange juice
orange juice

12 pm

Green Love juice. Cucumber, celery, chard, spinach, pear, collard greens, kale, romaine, parsley, lemon juice. This one is a bit hard to drink due to the large amount of greens in this juice. So it took me a bit longer to drink this juice!

Green Love juice
Green Love juice

2.30 pm

Turmeric Tonic,  lemon juice, ginger juice, purified alkaline water, coconut sugar, turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, cardamom, himalayan salt. This one was spicy but I actually liked this juice! It tasted a bit like something from the Middle East because of the spices. I drank it quite fast.

Turmeric Tonic
Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic
Lonneke & Turmeric Tonic

4.30pm

Veggie Vibe: carrot, cucumber, beet, celery, chard, spinach, ginger, parsley, lemon. This one is hard again! Took me longer time to drink. But you feel really healthy drinking it.

At this point I felt really energized and fit! Getting so many minerals and vitamins in, plus water is really doing good for your body, right?

6.30 pm

Spicy Avocado Soup: avocado, purified alkaline water, spinach, lime juice, celery, cilantro, garlic, Himalayan salt, jalapeño, cumin. This is my least favorite. maybe because of the garlic and that it is thicker. It took me some effort to drink it.

Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup
Lonneke & Spicy Avocado Soup

8pm

Last juice of the day! Fresh, sweet coconut juice. I love ending a day like this with something super yummy!

Although some people do cleanses a few days in a row, I think it was nice to just do a one day cleanse. This way it does not "shock" your body while still replenishing your body with the essential nutrients. It is also a great that for that day you have a plan, and the 7 juices keep you on track. You don't have to think what you are gonna eat or what's for dinner at night. The cleanse is telling you that already so it relieves stress that way as well!

Why a one day juice cleanse might be good for you

Because you drink the whole day so you are very much hydrated.  And you don't have much time to feel hungry. Right when you feel hungry, you have the thicker Spicy Avocado soup that is filling. I think anyone can do a 1 day cleanse to just feel better and get rid of toxins or indigestion, if you don't get tempted by any food! So do this during a rainy day when you are likely to stay at home, or if you are stuck at the office with no food in sight, that's my recommendation.

You start to appreciate food more while on a cleanse, that is for sure!

Why juicing might not so good for you

You notice there is a lot of parsley added to the juices. This is because parsley contains lots of Vitamin K, a lot of antioxidants, which helps our bones and strengthens our nervous system.(that's good!) But I only learnt later that Parsley, other green leafy vegetables and beets contain a lot of oxalates and goitrogens. I will go into that some other time why that is actually not so good for some people like myself (oxalates can form crystals in your body and can cause kidney stones, goitrogens slow down a thyroid). Not to mention the high sugar intake which research suggests due to the lack of fiber that helps release sugar slowly into the blood system, a juice is causing a sugar spike. And juices that are not pasteurized, can bring harmful bacteria to your gut which can cause a whole other range of issues.

Maybe, just maybe, juice cleansing was a hype from 2006-2016, and now people just have one juice once a while and are onto another fad, like Keto or Paleo?

Related: Why no one does juice cleanses anymore

Organic Avenue used to offer their juices in glass bottles, but they were more expensive as there was a fee for returning the bottles. Now they serve the juices in BPA- free plastic, I thought that was a nice thing! Of course with the demise of Organic Avenue, their bottles are gone too. (I just kept one as a souvenir).

If you want to do a cleanse, there are many places in New York City and beyond to get a juice from, including Juice Press, Pressed Juicery ,Blueprint and Juice Generation

Related: 5 cleanses that get delivered to your door in the USA

p.s. for my readers in the Netherlands: you can order from Sapmeesters.

Final thought on cleanses: You should decide yourself what works for you! I will now enjoy a small juice once a while!

Love, Lonneke

First Published on May 6th 2012, Updated with new insights in 2019

 


Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

My top 10 charities to give to this year

If you don't know to which charities you should give money, here is my top 10 charities to give to this year. Charities that, some big and some small, give focused help. Therefore you get more "use" out of the money you spend on these charities. While there are many organizations that do good, I have listed charities I have experience with/donated to in the past/or have been to their charity events.  Either I have seen it with my own eyes or I just really trust these organizations, these are my favorite 10 charities of 2013/2014:

My top 10 charities to give to this year

1. Animal Haven

Category dogs and cats in NYC, USA. This is a boutique no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. They don't have a big budget, but seem to really be efficient with their funds, and they help a lot of dogs! Many come from the NYCACC kill shelter, but they also take dogs in need from all over the World. My dog BANE came from Animal Haven and we adopted him from there a few years ago! They took care of him for 10 months before he came into our lives. The dogs are extremely happy and well-behaved who come from this shelter. Volunteers and employees really do everything to make their short-term stay (hopefully) as comfortable as possible. Their new location even has airconditioning in the rooms that are spacious for the dogs and cats! My dog Bane loves to visit them. I think that says a lot if a dog likes to return to a shelter!

Dirk, Lonneke and Bane
Dirk, Lonneke and Bane

 

2. Stichting Dimarte

Category: horses, the Netherlands.

Stichting Dimarte is a dutch charity that gives a home to abused and injured horses. Dimarte, led by Hester and her team, rehabilitate the horses both emotionally and physically. Most horses have so much trauma that they can't be ridden ever again, so they stay there until their last breath. Volunteers help with the daily care. This charity is also doing a lot on the social level, helping young kids and teenager who are having troubles rehabilitate too. There is a lot of emphasis on education of care for horses. I had been looking for a nice place for my 2 horses for years (as many of you know my horses were unfortunately abused by the people I paid to care for them, and I am still in a court case about it after almost 6 years!). I was happy when Dimarte helped me find that place. Regularly I receive pictures and videos of U2 and Cooper having a good time. All the other horses seem to be doing well too. If you want to support this cause too, you can go to their website or Facebook page to get more info on how to donate. I know each Euro or dollar will really do a lot of good here at this small charity! www.stichtingdimarte.nl 

horses U2 and Cooper with Hester

U2 (dark bay color) on the left, and Cooper (chestnut color) on the right, with Hester.

3. ASPCA (USA)

Category: dogs, cats, horses USA - The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I have been supporting, donating and going to their charity events for years now. Why? I think the way you treat your animals says a lot about you. In most cases when people find animal abuse, there are other problems in place. Finding animal abuse ism besides helping animals, sometimes also the first step to help the people who own them. I have seen with my own eyes how they take in dogs & cats that are abused, neglected or malnourished, or are on the list to be euthanized in other shelters. They will bring them back to health, and find new forever homes for them. People who can't afford it, can get free veterinary care for their pets. Also, the ASPCA has been doing the same for horses all across the United States. In 1866, this charity was founded by Henry Bergh to primarily help sick, injured or abused horses. in 1902 they were the first to have an ambulance in NYC to take carriage horses of the streets that were injured. (Read more ASPCA history HERE)

lonneke aspcaAttending an ASPCA charity event in NYC, photo by Sonia Moskowitz (?) for ASPCA

3. NYCLASS (USA)

nyclass logoCategory: workhorses NYC - New Yorkers for Clean, Livable And Safe Streets. Although some people think the horse drawn carriages in NYC are so very romantic, the fact is that this is true case of horse abuse. There are many reasons why the 220 carriage horses of NYC should be taken of the streets. First of all: horses don't belong in heavy and loud traffic of one of the busiest metropoles of the World. Horses get into accidents, and every year it seems to be more and more. The horses work too long hours, in extreme cold and extreme heat, 7 days a week. Sometimes doing double shifts if the owner wants to make an extra buck (that's over 16 hour days then) They are never turned out or walked without a carriage so they can just stretch and be a horse. Their living conditions? Appalling. Some horses are stabled even on the second floor of buildings that were obviously not meant to have horses reside there. Ever seen a horse walk up the stairs? Well, some do it every day. Not to mention the small spaces they stay in. Some horses can't even turn around. During Sandy in November 2012, These horses were not allowed to be on the streets. Where were they? Suddenly, after working every day, they stayed INSIDE their stables for the full week! If that is not bad for a horse, I don't know what is! To make a long story short: NYCLASS already has a loving and forever place for each of the 220 NY Carriage horses once the bill is in place to take the horses of the streets of NYC.  There is even a great alternative I wrote about earlier:  the horseless electric carriage. How Smart! These days they focus also on more animal-related issues. Attending a NYCLASS charity event in NYC

4. Pencils of Promise. (USA)

Pencils of Promise logoCategory: children/education/worldwide - Founded by the manager of Justin Bieber, Adam Braun, this charity builds schools worldwide in places where kids otherwise would not go to school. It is that simple. Every penny goes to the schools. They have projects in countries like Laos, Guatamala & Ghana They have a goal of 100 schools by the end of 2012. They already finished about 75 of them. This year I attended the PoP gala where Usher was being honored, and also bid 12000 dollars on a cute labradoodle puppy he called "Poppy". This way more and more is raised for education for kids! So join the movement!

lonneke Pencils of PromiseAttending a Pencils of Promise event in NYC in 2012

5. Ralph Lauren Pink Pony Fund.

Category breast cancer/cancer /research/women's health - A charitable organization originated by Ralph Lauren, which supports breast cancer research and prevention all around the World. You can donate directly, or buy one of their Pink Pony products to show your support and that way donate to this good cause. I also posed for Ralph Lauren Pink Pony once.

Lonneke Pink Pony

6. Washington Square Park Conservancy

Category: parks & recreation

This is my favorite park in NYC, and a favorite of many New Yorkers and tourists alike.  Creative and musical people find this place inspiring. Every day I walk here I feel like I am on vacation. A Mix of all kinds of people are enjoying themselves. My father figure George Vellonakis redesigned the park a few years ago and is now working for the Washington Square Park Conservancy to upkeep the park and it's beautiful plants, trees, history, famous arch and famous fountain. The Conservancy hires many homeless people to do the landscaping of the park. That way they help them get work experience and get them back on their feet.

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park

7. WSPA International.

Category factory animal welfare/food safety

Helping factory farm animals around the World who are raised for consumption. The WSPA protects and helps all animals around the World where help is needed. They bought agree that animals should not be raised in a factory as this is a situation of prolonged suffering for the animals. The practices used to raise these animals are upsetting and make you not want to eat meat again if you see it. Unfortunately a lot of people are closing their eyes for these practices, and keep buying these products, to which the industry continues to use these practices. As the consumer is King, if they would refuse to buy these animal products, the industry would have to change their practice. it is that simple. So you can help these organizations by buying animal friendly products consciously to show your support. Only consumers can truly change the system by asking for better living quality for the food they eat, and not let a few cents make the decision of what animal products you eat or not. The money you save this way short-term will get back to you in health problems the long way, as these animals are treated with hormones, cruel feeding methods, lots of medication, and are just unhappy. You eat that energy and bad energy is never good for you. Think about helping these organizations and think when you buy your food next time in the grocery store. You are what you eat.

wspa logo

8. The Non-GMO project.

non gmoCategory food safety. While most people are becoming more aware of the reasons to choose and eat organic food, just buying products that say "Organic" on it, is not good enough anymore to assure what you eat is truly as nature intended. Big corporations are making "organic" a business and are trying to sit on the fine lines of what is organic and not. A product can get an "organic" seal even if the product is not 100% organic. You can't be totally sure anymore unless you investigate yourself some more of what you and your family eat. It is important to investigate even further what you eat, on a molecular level. Since a few decades some big corporations have invented "GMO" , and they are selling it and you are buying it. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism, and means that the food that you consume, is genetically altered. (You should read my article on GMO to understand what it is.) There are many reasons why one should not consume GMO, and this non profit organization is showing you all the facts. But it is a personal choice if you want to know or not. Now the Non-GMO project is labeling food that is without GMO, it has become much easier to know what is in the food products you buy. I appreciate their work so much! Now I know what to buy or not in the store. As food, together with clean water and clean air are the essentials to live, I think this is something that is important for all people. Your support will help them bring more awareness and better food to you. Keep an eye out for this label!

9. Food & Water Watch, Category air/water/food safety

This organization covers many issues we have these days. Issues that come from water pollution to fracking, from factory fish farming to bottled water and many more that affect everyone. this website is a great resource already to get your info on what's going on in the World these days, so you can make the right decisions on what to support when it comes to the knowning what food you eat and protecting the water you drink.

food water watch

10. Justgiving

Category charity website.  And to conclude my 10 favorite charities to give to this year, I added a website to which you can browse yourself to find your preferred charity to give to. You can search on Just Giving for or a charity you like and donate online. Over 10.000 charities, big and small, are waiting for your donation!

just giving logo

I hope these 10 great organizations have helped you to find out whom you are going to support this year!

Other charities that were brought to my attention on Twitter when I asked my followers which charities should add, but did not make my top 10 are: Net4KidsLendahandGive Directly, Reporters without Borders,  Stichting Vluchteling Artsen zonder grenzen; Warchild; Human Rights Watch; Amnesty International; Greenpeace; Bits of Freedom; Wikileaks; Tess Unlimited, Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij KNMR,  World Wildlife Fund WWF. Plan Nederland, Terre des HommesStichting Hulphond Nederland, ,Inloophuis de Eik ,De Snoezelbus in Rotterdam ,Even a charity to make cannabis legal named VOC  .Thank you followers for sharing these with us!

Forbes also made a list of the top 50 largest USA charities, which can help you make a decision on what charity to support this year too!

What is your top 10 of favorite charities to give to?

Love, Lonneke

all photos courtesy of myself or the charities mentioned.

(if you are a photographer featured please let me know so I can credit you accordingly :) )


Lonneke Talks I'M Back Youtube video

Lonneke Talks: I'm Back!

I have decided to start making videos again! I will post them on my Youtube channel. Hopefully people will enjoy them and if my information can help a few people, that would be great!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqrnGrVrIqI&t=119s

Why I stopped filming for a while

I took a break for a while due to things that happened in my life the past years. I was forced to spend my time focusing on other things. I will address these one by one in the future. I think if I share my story of what happened to me it can help others in the process. I will do the videos in English or Dutch depending on the subject. I do a lot of research for each video, so you can call them "journalistic" pieces if you want to.

Topics of my Lonneke Talks Youtube videos will include:

  • Healthy Living
  • Animal Welfare
  • My life in NYC
  • Living in the USA under President Trump
  • Things happening in the country I was born and raised: the Netherlands

 

You can watch old videos and see what I have been working on selflessly the past years, because I felt strongly about these causes. After 20 years of working as model around the World, I took a sabbatical 7(!) years to focus on my health, and give back to my community and work on causes that I love. In my process of healing from a severe stress disorder (PTSD/Burnout/autoimmune disease) over these past years I decided together with my therapist that I would spend time on causes that made me happy and did not stress me out. I was not able to take on work, but little projects that I could do whenever I felt good enough, would be the best use of my precious time, and only if I had a good day. So I did :)

These projects included:

OrganiceYour Life.com

Giving people tips on healthy and organized living. I noticed a lot of healthy people sharing information online to stay healthy and live an organized life, but what happens if you fall ill like I did? Not many people who are living with a chronic illness or auto immune disease are open about it or share insights on how to get back to health and stay healthy. In the USA alone it is estimated that 50 million people suffer from one or more autoimmune diseases, so it is important that we help each other to feel our best! And it took me 7 (!) years to start feeling a bit normal again, still with some bad days now and then. It is all about managing my health every second of the day. And stress is definitely a big factor so I do everything to avoid it as much as possible as it is bad for my health! Unfortunately sometimes the stress comes from other people and you need to find ways to deal with it so it does not break you.

I share my tips and tricks on this website!

READ MORE: Organize Your Life: Make your House your Home

READ MORE: Managing your High Performance Life

Videos for Organiceyourlife.com

The past I did a few videos about healthy living in NYC for my website organiceyourlife.com. I liked to go to the farmers market, filmed a few recipes and interviewed a few inspiring people as I like having a good conversation with interesting individuals. You can watch all videos on my youtube channel GetOrganiced

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3VijUsmWW4&t=2s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLjPuj_MYUI&t=1s

 

Advising on laws regarding breed specific legislation in the Netherlands

Animal Welfare: We traveled to the Netherlands because we received an invitation of a dutch representative of the House, and met Dutch minister Schouten who was responsible for Laws regarding dogs in the Netherlands. There was a strong lobby to install a ban on certain breeds and having an American Staffordshire Terrier named Bane myself who is a trained service dog and who saved 2 lives so far, I wanted to introduce them to him so they know who they are targeting. I have experience with Pitbull type dogs and rehabilitating them, and have done extensive research on these bans Worldwide . Therefore I know they do not work, and in many cases they work the opposite way: more bite incidents. Because any dog can bite when in the wrong hands. You need to target the cause, not the result. Knowing the devastating deadly and costly effects of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), I urged her to not install a Law discriminating against certain breeds but install laws that are equal to all breeds and owners. I brought Bane to the Dutch House of Representatives and met different representatives and the minister herself. The best is when people see for themselves what they are dealing with. Of course the people who lobby for the ban ran away from us and did not want to get introduced. Scared little puppies they were!

Result of my efforts to stop BSL in the Netherlands

I am happy to say that despite the lobby for BSL and previous Secretary of State van Dam who wanted to instal BSL, this minister was so smart to request a research, and the report basically supported my findings as well. Instead, Minister Schouten installed laws that are equal to all breeds and she got rid of a list of 21 so called "High risk" breeds. Even though it cost me money, time and energy to be involved and I did not get paid for my advice I feel very accomplished and happy that Bane and I could do our bit to stop this madness in the Netherlands all the way from the USA. But people need to always be vigilant as at the next election another minister will enter the scene.

Below are 2 videos regarding this subject, in dutch. The first one is explaining what was happening, and the second explaining my visit to the house of representatives.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMAQ_mZwsAw&t=12s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpE5P0qgsSI&t=34s

 

Dutch Politics

I also shared a few videos explaining the political system in the Netherlands. Because I am interested how the system works and how laws are made. I do a lot of research on it and on the judicial system over there and want to explain it to the Americans over here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wN0nlrziN6c&t=3s

Life in America and the election of President Trump

I predicted Donald Trump to become president and made a few videos about his election and his first weeks. I did these videos in dutch to show the people in the Netherlands what is truly happening here as many Mainstream media outlets did not show the Truth. It seems that not much has changed and I might have to do more videos on this subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F232UIvJ4Ug&t=15s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkCU5TmbXJo&t=26s

And of course I like to talk about supporting good work by people and charitable organizations! This video is one that is special as I went to visit Animal Haven shelter in my neighborhood. They saved my dog Bane from death row and homed him for 10 months before I adopted him.

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

Court case of my abused dressage horse U2

This case has been going on for more than 6 years believe it or not! On May 20th, 2020 we will have to go to Court again in the Netherlands to have this case examined by 3 judges in the Appeal. The issue is that my horses were not treated with respect and care. They were abused. I do not condone any abuse, especially not when you have paid a lot of money for good care and training of your horses. I have found a great place for my horses to retire and spend the rest of their lives in harmony. You will hear more about it all of course!

READ MORE: 10 Charities to Give to this Year

End of my update

That is a little update on the things I have been doing the past years while trying to heal myself and deal with things from the past.

Youtube

I promise you my videos will be different than any other Youtube channel on Youtube, simply because I am not interested in any of the extreme entertainment, celebrity, and showing off mentality that most of them expose. I want to show real stories, and aim for fair and balanced videos to give you a balanced view so you can form your own opinion. I will also write more in-depth articles for organiceyourlife.com based on these videos.

Hope to see you soon on my Youtube Channel!

Love,

Lonneke

 


Carriage horse working in NYC on a hot Summer day

Carriage horses in NYC

You might have heard that there have been a few incidents involving carriage horses in New York City in the past. While on duty, the horses in these accidents either got hit by a car, died while working, or got spooked for one reason or another. this is not right!

Carriage horses in Central Park

If you have ever been to NYC, and especially around Central park/Columbus Circle/5th Avenue, you have seen the carriages and their horses lined up waiting for tourists to go on a "romantic" trip. But do they know what the horses' daily life is like, I wonder? Truth is that they have to work almost every day, and it doesn't matter how hot or how cold, they have to work daily in a noisy and polluted city with dangerous traffic. They breathe in continuously the dirty air from the traffic. The horses live in small stables (sometimes even on the second floor of a building!) that can be fire hazards. There is no space to turn them out in a meadow. They literally can look at the beautiful fields in Central Park but can never stretch their legs there when off-duty. And if there is a weather emergency, the horses are holed up in their stables as there is no indoors to have them relax for a bit.

I think years ago, and I mean decades ago, it was a romantic idea of going around town in a carriage, but reality is that in the meantime the traffic in the city has increased by 1000% or so, and it is just not safe anymore. I am confident we can take all the carriage horses off the streets, by buying the rights from the owners and bringing them to safe pastures somewhere in the countryside. These horses are sweet natured, but don't belong in the city. It is not safe for them, but these horse drawn carriages are also not safe for pedestrians and other people that take part in the traffic everyday.

There is a lot of danger for the carriage horses as well as traffic like cyclists and pedestrians
There is a lot of danger for the carriage horses as well as traffic like cyclists and pedestrians

RELATED: PETA made a list of horse-drawn carriage incidents

One good thing is that Mayor DeBlasio finally made a part of his election promise happen : The waiting line has been moved inside Central Park which makes it a bit safer for the horses and the pedestrians. A judge ordered the carriage horse industry to do so in February 2019. Unfortunately I noticed that the horses are less protected from the Sun in the Summer, as they are further away from the buildings that would shield them from Sun most of the day. And the horses still have to travel far to their stables that are located on the West Side of Manhattan after a long days of work.

 

Carriage horses at Central Park
From the waiting line at the border of Central park in busy traffic...
.. to the waiting line just inside Central Park away from busy traffic
.. to the waiting line just inside Central Park away from busy traffic

Carriage horse Oreo

One of these accidents happend with a 6 year old horse named "Oreo" (love the name) bolted as he got spooked by a car that honked near him.

*6 year old is very young for a horse to let you know. It is logical that he doesn't know everything yet and can get scared. Actually, it does not matter how old or young the horse is, it is a living creature with feelings and emotions and any horse could spook.

On board were the driver and a couple hoping for a nice ride through the park. What they got was a horse that took off and had them falling off and getting hurt. He took off and an onlooker a few blocks down managed to capture Oreo. Of course Oreo was so scared of everything around him (he is a horse and he was in the middle of traffic alone) So when the police came, they had to shoot him with a tranquilizer shot. He fell to the ground and people passing by were watching this in horror. Read what happened exactly here. What I have read is that the injuries of the people were not major. And Oreo? They are giving him another vet check, but the first check showed only some bruises around his mouth. Yeah right, let's not mention the psychological trauma he endured that he has to live with for the rest of his life. This happened in 2012, many accidents have happened after this one. Also, I do not know if Oreo is still working as a carriage horse, retired, sold to someone else, or was sold off to a slaughterhouse. Who knows?

UPDATE: Oreo, now Orion was adopted by the wife of the President of  the NY Yankees, Randy and Mindy Levine.

Well, that video does not look pretty. Ono top of that Oreo's bit is so tight in his mouth it must hurt him a lot!

Carriage horses should be retired

I love horses, and I live in NYC. Therefore  I am excited that we CAN stop this because there is a great alternative! The people of NYCLASS continuously protest the horse drawn carriage industry in NYC, and actually have designed an electrical car or "horseless carriage" to drive tourists around Central Park. This way the transportation of people who want to see the beautiful views of New York City, can be safe and clean too. I love the idea!  I think it is a great solution, very fun and a good looking idea too. And the horses should enjoy a lovely retirement in a large meadow. NYCLASS once said that they already have places for all of these horses to go to! Because most of the time retired carriage horses are send off to slaughter and transported in deplorable conditions. Because in America you cannot slaughter horses, they are sent to Mexico on days long journeys. That is not what they deserve after serving so many tourists!

READ MORE: NYCLASS

We should get these cars all over the City. Do you have any ideas how we can do this? I wish I could adopt a carriage horse like Oreo and find a place upstate... we would only do fun rides in the woods and he would be in the pasture the rest of the day! I hope this will one day be reality instead of a dream.. Horse drawn carriages in NYC are so 1904!

carriage horses walking on Central Park West
carriage horses walking in traffic on Central Park West

p.s You can sign this petition to demand the NYC council to vote for the The Carriage Horse Heat Relief Bill, Intro 1425. This new bill will keep NYC carriage horses OFF the streets when the 'heat index' reaches 90 degrees or above. Sign the petition, or contact your local council members.

UPDATE October 30th 2019: the bill was signed into Law so horses cannot work anymore when the temperature gets too hot.

Carriage horse working in NYC on a hot Summer day
Carriage horse working in NYC on a hot Summer day

 

UPDATE: Christine Hansen, the face of the Carriage industry in NYC only needed a short amount of time to respond to my tweet about this article. Their PR machine is huge. She invited me to the stables, but besides that I have seen their stables before, what use is that of my time? I am sure they can make it look great for that moment in time, I have experienced that with my own horses in the past. It does not say anything about day to day conduct of drivers and the horses, it does not change the horses' daily dangerous work in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the World, the breathing in of toxic fumes every day, and the lack of outdoor space where horses can graze together, rolling and stretch their legs. That last point, together with interaction between horses, is essential in the wellbeing for any horse. By the way, Christine Hansen is the woman that was once in the news by working her horse in extreme hot weather when operation was already suspended by the City. 

Love, Lonneke

Me with one of my horses: Cooper Milo
With one of my horses: Cooper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First published on December 18th 2013, Updated in 2019

 

 


New York City outdoor workout with friends!

When it's Summer in NYC, for me there is n better combination than meeting with friends and doing a New York City outdoor workout! One time, our dear friends Ricardo Baldin and Jeanette Linderberg, joined my love Fabio Nunes and I for a nice week of training and eating good food.  I get to see them only once in a while, so it was another reason to really enjoy our time together.

IMG_3723
Fabio and Ricardo at the Elevated Acre in the financial district NYC.

Ways to work out outdoors in New York City

There are a LOT of ways to do a New York City outdoor workout:  biking, playing ball, skating, running. And there are a lot of places to do it so too!

After a great smoothie in the morning, we all went for a cardio training that takes only 15 minutes of your time! The goal is to keep your heart rate a bit at a certain level that helps you sweat and burn fat. After all is a great way to raise your energy levels for the rest of the day.

We also had a little fun doing Yoga poses ( Asanas ) and helping each other to improve our technique. We went to the Elevated Acre in the Financial District to do this workout.

 

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Eating healthy after a workout

I am proud to say that our post New York City outdoor workout meal was amazing! : Chicken legs, sweet potatoes, spinach egg whites omelet with avocado topping and arugula salad. Every single ingredient was organic and chicken was free range grade 2. All made with love and care by Fabio's talented chef hands. He is a Model Chef after all, who has cooked many delicious dinners for foodlovers around New York City :)

 

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Riding a bike in New York City

The other day, we rode city bikes and took the East River cycling route with destination: Central Park. The ride was just so enjoyable, the temperature during the day was perfect and it really got into my senses the whole experience exercising, and enjoying the view, good weather and company. We even bumped into few Brasilian friends that were doing exactly same thing as we were: two girls on their skates while the third one was running alongside them. The bike ride was about 7 miles , Uptown to Central Park, and back home with a few stops to enjoy our favorites places in the city. Like the Italian meca Eataly on 5th av and 23rd st - were we went to recharge our fuel with great food.

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When at the park it was easy to have a good time!

 

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At Central park - inspired by kids playing around - soft strenght training.

 

Outdoor work outs with friends are fun

Gather a few friends, get inspired by the good weather and push each other to reach your goals! Share your knowledge and experiences - all that, and relieving stress at the same time! Above all Summertime is here to raise our spirits in a positive vibe !! I strongly advice to stay active,  moving your body every chance you get! That's the way I'm gonna spend my next days, what about you guys ?? ;))

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Follow me and Fabio on instagram for more workouts and healthy foods:

@CarolFontaneti & @1FabioNunes

Stay focused,

XoCarol ;)

First published in 2015, updated in 2019