Sandy

My week with Sandy.

Sandy
Sandy from space...

Uptown has no clue what's going on downtown. If you haven't seen it yourself, it is probably hard to believe it. Downtown NYC is a ghost town.- Lonneke Engel.

Sunday night October 28th 8pm. Sandy was coming. I was at home at my cosy apartment in the middle of Soho, New York City, watching the news, lights on, and I just made hot tea for myself. I had taken a nice warm shower an hour before and was just chilling. I had caught a cold a few days before at an event so I was very happy to just stay in for a night. Weather outside was windy and it was raining, but not really that bad I thought. I could hear the wind blow really hard onto my windows. I thought I was safe inside, and just like Irene last year, I actually thought Sandy was gonna be another "hurricane" that was being talked about too much, but would probably be just any other simple storm. I was wrong.

835pm: All power shuts off. It was announced that it could happen, so no shock there. I went to the window and saw ALL of Soho buildings in darkness. It was so quiet. I just thought: well, I guess I am going to go to bed then. Tomorrow a new day.

darkness
in the dark...

I went to bed, and because everything outside was so extremely quiet, I woke up after 10 am when my neighbor knocked on my door. I opened the door and my other neighbors were there as well. "Hey, I just heard from Con Ed it might take 4 to 7 days to have electricity restored" He said. " A transformer station on 14th street exploded I heard"...

My upstairs neighbor decided to stay and "Guard the premises" The other neighbors left including me. I had lost all internet connection, and could not call anyone, so I texted my friend Antoniette, who was so smart to leave the city before to her hometown if I could stay with her. The text went through and I got a response that I could stay there. So I had a place to stay. (I was still thinking it would just be for one or 2 days max). I started packing my backpack. My fridge was turned off but I forgot to throw out the food and the garbage. (I hope when I return I am not in for a surprise). At around 1pm I went to walk up 60 blocks with my heavy backpack. There were not many cabs, and almost no other traffic. It was a weird scene. EVERYTHING was closed. No shops were open. It was very calm and quiet, a simple grey day. Some people walked around with a bag as well as leaving for another place to stay. There were streams of people with bags walking uptown. And a few tourists going downtown to see it with their own eyes. I stopped by my friends to check in on them. Walking 7 flights of stairs in their building in darkness. They also did not know what they wanted to do.. how long was this gonna last? Nobody knew..Subways were closed off as scheduled, and would not start running anytime soon, because some were really badly flooded. Lower Manhattan had many places flooded, and some areas even had cars floating in the streets. It was a big mess. I saw many fallen trees and parks were closed because they were covered in leaves and branches. I heard Staten Island was hit hard, and the New Jersey Shore including the famous boardwalk at Atlantic City with all the rides was destroyed.

Fallen tree Houston street
A fallen tree on Houston street...

I passed one store that was open on University PLace. It was dark inside, but full of people trying to get some kind of food or other necessities. It was the only place open that I saw on my way up until 40th street or so...

I walked up Broadway towards Time Square. Up until around 25th street I noticed nobody had power. Then I started to get phone reception again. Walking, I saw a lot of people gathered around a closed Starbucks to use the wireless internet. I saw people scrambling around an outside electricity outlet to charge their phones. This was just the first day. I have not been back downtown since then so I don't know how bad it gotten, but I heard stories of 2 hour waits to charge your phone for 10 minutes. Ugh.

Around Time Square, which was less crowded as usual, the lights were working like nothing happened. I reached my destination after 1.5 hours of walking. My back aching. I was staying at an amazing place with electricity and hot running  water, and was so thankful that I went ahead and asked for a place to stay right away, because most people just waited until the situation got so bad they had to leave.

This is the situation for people who stayed downtown the past 5 days: no phone reception or internet connection to find out what is going on the World or to find out when power will be back on. No hot water, some people did not even have running water. So they could not shower or even flush the toilet. The homeless look has become very fashionable downtown because of that. No electricity, no heating, no elevators, no working refrigerators. That means some people had to walk up water 25 flights of stairs that they collected from either the city or from a working tap on ground floor. They had to eat canned food and other foods that don't go bad fast. Some people just did not have any other place to go. Some had to walk more than 20 blocks for phone reception or to charge your phone, or to find food or water. I don't think anyone thought it would be this bad....

wifi hoarders
Empty streets but people trying to get wifi from Starbucks...

I think most people stayed home for 1 or 2 nights. But then at some point you really want a hot shower. And it was getting colder without heating. So they all tried to stay with friends or book a hotel. Result? All hotels booked. Some people who tried to survive at home for a few days, realized this was gonna take longer than expected. So they had to find a place to stay, and most friends already had someone staying over... It became a matter of survival. The weird thing is that uptown was getting back to normality one day after Sandy, and you wouldn't know the difference, but downtown is a empty, ghost town. The people who stayed, spend their days collecting water and bringing it up to their floor. Or finding a place to charge their phones. People who work downtown did not have to go to work for a week. They spend their time at the gym uptown (which were sometimes so crowded they had to say "no" to people that wanted to come work out) Or checking the news to see what the latest update was. Bridges were open again after a few days, and cars were only allowed in with a minimum of 3 people per car when crossing the bridge this week. Some subway lines above 34th street started running again, but some subway lines downtown are expected to take months (!) to repair as the ventilation system, electricity and hydraulic systems have all been destroyed due to the salt water.

My friends took pictures of the damages in the streets:

Sandy damages
My friend David Blaine in front of a collapsed facade on 8th avenue. Instagram @DavidBlaine
flooded garage
My friend Mark Birnbaum took a picture of his garage after Sandy...Instagram @MarkBirnbaum

2 hospitals had to evacuate all their patients to other hospitals in safer areas. Both their generators were failing because of salt water damaging either the generator itself or the tanks that keep the fuel for the generators. On the news we saw the premature born babies being transported in the middle of the storm.

The HMS Bounty, the famous 180-foot sailboat that we know from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean" and other big blockbuster movies, is a total loss after Sandy.

hms bounty
HMS Bounty
HMS Bounty after Sandy. picture from US Coast Guard/Reuters

Another problem that came up was that the city, and struck areas on the East Coast, were running out of fuel. Sometimes there were miles and miles of lines in front of gas stations, making people wait for hours to fill up their car or to get gas for their generators. Governor Cuomo asked to get more gas to his state as soon as possible.

Halloween on Wednesday was cancelled. I was supposed to go to Heidi Klum's Annual Halloween party, but now she postponed the party to a "Haunted Christmas" date. Who wanted to party right now anyway? New York was just hit by a disaster.. I did read some notorious partygoers ended up partying at clubs in New York City shortly after Sandy. That's their choice. I rather stay home safe and sound and watch the news, read and work, and try to stay calm in a society around us that is in turmoil.

See a few incredible images of NYC  during and after Sandy to get an idea what it is like.

And more incredible images.

Mayor Bloomberg of New York city was on tv a lot during Sandy and the days after. He decided that the NYC marathon November 3rd should go on as expected, to show "That we bounce back as NYC well after something as bad as Sandy". Some people think it is insane to host such a big event and all efforts should be on rebuilding a city, and all police and fire fighters should be focused on helping people restore their houses and the electricity. I am torn. I love the NY marathon. It is a healthy event and encourages people to work out more. But the timing? Maybe it could be postponed. A lot of hotels where runners are staying are still closed. A lot of areas where they will be running still need to be cleaned... Update: the marathon is cancelled. But unfortunately a lot of runners from all over the world already flew in... it is a good decision but should have been made much sooner so all these people were not coming here for no reason..

What I know is that, whatever happens to New York, New Yorkers can take anything and make it work. So in a week or so, it will be business as usual at most places I know this. We keep going. But it is good to sometimes step back and look at our lives. How lucky we are, and what luxuries we live in. I mean the way most people lived in NYC this week is how half of the world lives everyday. No electricity and no running water. The problem is that we are with millions of people on an island that was cut off from the rest of the world. So we run out of basic needs like water and gas fast. We need to work on that and be prepared more. I hope this hurricane Sandy is a lesson for all of us.

5 million people without power on the East Coast, lots of people lost their homes and the death toll was still rising each day when more information comes to us. This was really the worst storm ever. Climate change cannot be ignored anymore. These storms will probably become the standard instead of a rarity in our future. We need to be prepared in the future. Governor Cuomo of New York State also said that we cannot keep building infrastructure the way we do, and we have to make it resilient to storms like this in future. Because blackouts of over a week are just not right. New York City for instance has over 8 million people living here. the City is even working on getting more people to live here. That is not possible with the amount of power we need to facilitate them, with the power facilities we have now. This has to improve to avoid situations like this in the future.

I wonder when my lights turn back on in my apartment downtown. I am definitely throwing a "Power ON" party for all my friends!

UPDATE NOV 4th: my power went back on 6 days later, Saturday at 4am in the morning. Some people are still without power in lower Manhattan around the financial district, like our OYL contributor Carol Fontaneti, her boyfriend & their cat. Stay strong! We are no collecting clothes for Glam4Good, a charity by stylist Mary Alice Stephenson. The clothes will go to families in need in the Rockaway Beach & Breezy Point area. See my later post.

Sunset NYCSunset NYC


Love, Lonneke

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @LonnekeEngel

 


IMG model prep Lonneke

IMG Model Talk 2012

In August 2012 I spoke at the IMG model Prep 2012, an event organized by IMG models for their young models who will experience New York Fashion Week for the first time. The past years this event has become a solid part of preparation for Fashion Week by IMG, with great speakers, healthy food, nice drinks, and great goodiebags for all the models!

People speaking at the IMG model Prep

* Nian Fish – Producer

* James Scully – Casting Director

* Betsey Selman- Babinecz – Board Certified Clinical Social Worker.

* Lonneke Engel - IMG Model and Certified Health Counselor

*Anne-Marie van Dijk & Amanda Nicole Gilpin – CLEANSE

* Jessica Stam – CFDA Health Initiative Ambassador

Antoniette Costa, who also contributes to Organice Your Life®, also came to watch me speak. Coincidentally me, Antoniette & Jessica Stam went to Jimmy Fallon and Dinner with a friend of ours just last week!

Lonneke, Jessica, Jackie, Antoniette
Lonneke, Jessica, Jackie, Antoniette

IMG Model Prep booklet

they also make a cute booklet for everyone each year with my tips in it, and information for everyone about the people speaking, but also on health stores, doctors, and other important phone numbers.

IMG Model Prep book 2012
IMG Model Prep book 2012

I have done this now I think 4 times in a row, and I really enjoy doing this!

READ MORE: IMG Model Prep 2011

Models listening at IMG model prep 2012
Models listening at IMG model prep 2012

MY IMG model talk 2012

My focus was that the girls should see themselves as a business women, and that they should take care of their bodies as businesses. The better the organize their lives, the more chance they have to have a successful, long lasting career. The most successful girls in this industry, like Gisele & Heidi Klum, are true business women. While you can never know what fashion designers and casting directors want that season (meaning: if you will be picked or not) You can do your part by making sure you are taking care of all the things you do have a say in. Like eating healthy, and being prepared by bringing healthy foods with you. If you don’t eat (cause you think that will help you stay in shape during fashion week) think again: nobody is going to book the girl who looks tired and has no energy. Also important: Make sure you have all the things with you at shows and castings that you need, like a phone charger. Being prepared is key. Jessica Stam, who spoke as well, put emphasis on being on time. And David Cunningham, who initiated these meetings years ago, also said: “If you get 10 shows or not one, it does not matter. We. Don’t. Care.” That’s so nice about IMG models, they think longterm. Any girl that was present yesterday, can depend on the trust of their agents even beyond fashion week. And that they can call them throughout Fashion Week, and anytime, with anything. If they are waiting too long for a casting, or they have to see a doctor, the agents are there for them, and that is nice to know! I wished them a lot of luck in their career!

READ MORE: IMG open to all

Goodie bags

At the end, all models got a personalized goodie bag. and I got one too as a Thank You! What was in it? So many awesome things!

IMG goodie bag
IMG goodie bag!

My favorite was the black skinny Rag & Bone jeans in my size!

Other things: Uggs, Converse All-Stars, Mavi Jeans, Makeup by Covergirl & Lancome, Zumba fitness DVD's, Reebok Easytone top and pants, BR Guest gift card, Calvin Klein nude thong (u need to wear nude underwear as a model going to do shows and castings). This was a very valuable goodie bag!

IMG model prep 2012
Jessica Stam speaking at IMG model prep 2012

Afterwards a few models came to me and thanked me for speaking. And that they felt so much better and less scared about Fashion Week. And that to me is the biggest reward of doing these speaking engagements. Looking forward to more in the future!

Follow IMG Models and New York Fashion Week on Twitter!

Love, Lonneke


Legalize Gay

Gay Pride NYC 2012

rainbow flag 1

Yesterday New York City was full of gay men and lesbians who were partying like their life depended on it. for good reason: It was the annual Gay Pride Parade!


Gay Pride NYC 2012

I love to be in NYC when this parade is happening. Everybody is so happy and smiling! The streets are a big mess (but the City cleans up perfectly at night). For me growing up in a  liberal country like the Netherlands, I do not even see the difference between straight people and gay people as a human being. They are all equal and I don't even think twice. Unfortunately in some places in the world they still think gay people are not equal which I think is insane.  Nobody should tell you who you can or cannot love. The gay people in my life are all in long, lasting, loving relationships. So they are actually a great example of what a good relationship should have to me!

Legalize Gay
American Apparel understands it! "Legalize Gay"

I even have 2 older men in my life who I call my "Gay Dads": George & David. Since my real dad passed away 10 years ago, they are my adopted surrogate parents. They are always there for me. whether it is to talk about my love life, or important decisions I should make, or just to hang out. I love them! And I have to say, the best remedy to get over a heartache as a girl is to hang out with gay men! They cheer you up right away!

George & David
George, David and I.

Some more things at Gay Pride NYC 2012:

A car at Gay Pride 2012
Always safe sex of course! A car is promoting this at Gay Pride 2012
Dress up at Gay Pride 2012
A lot of people did dress up at Gay Pride NYC 2012!

I can't wait for next Gay Pride! Amsterdam Gay Pride is August 2-5 with the big Canal Parade on August 4th. Read more here.

If you want to read a touching story about what it is like to be gay and trying to get accepted, read our OYL contributor Joey Holthaus' story: Proud to be Gay.

Love, Lonneke


Lonneke for SI

My 1 day food diary

May 22nd 2012: I decided I want to get in my best shape for my vacation. I will be going to Ibiza beginning of June! I want to get in best shape possible for my bikini those days of course. So I decided to keep a food diary. Food and work out is a big part of looking great! So I am going to go for as close to 100% eating perfect, and working out every day. Plus I will get some great treatments, to improve my appearance.

This is what I look like right now:

Lonneke by JBC
Lonneke for JBC

Not bad, I did this job in Corsica a few weeks ago, but I am noticing I am not as toned as usual. And a bit pale :s. I have been working too hard on organiceyourlife.com I have not worked out as much! Bad girl...  I want to get back to my Sports Illustrated shape as below!(with the tan preferably ;) ):

Lonneke for SI
Lonneke for Sports Illustrated 2010-2011

That means I have to be tough on myself! No chocolate all the time, eating healthily and also moving my *ss more! You have to work for result... So, I am telling you exactly what I am doing coming weeks. What do I do to get in Top Shape again? I will show you my improvements, and you will also get to see what I eat, and how I change in shape and how my skin will improve! Trust me it will happen, just from one day, you already start having hydrated skin if you drink a lot of water...  We can all look great then coming sunny days!

DAY 1: To start off, I am making it very difficult for myself, as today right away I am taking a flight to across the Atlantic Ocean! But I took the time to wake up (if I get up fast I am tired all day, so I wake up early and take some extra time to just relax in bed before I get up) . I saw all the support tweets and messages and got excited! I started the day with a shot of Chlorophyll on an empty stomach. In the USA it is easy to get, it is the same as in a wheat grass shot, try to find it in your local health store. Chlorophyll is critical in photosynthesis in plants (absorption of energy from light). Then I looked what I still had in my fridge... And made a smoothie! Smoothie: Banana, coconut water, fresh lemon juice, flax seeds.

Banana- coconut -lemonjuice-flaxseeds-smoothie
Banana- coconut -lemonjuice-flaxseeds-smoothie

Workout: 25 min treadmill. I hate doing things for prolonged periods of time. but running while watching something on the iPad is good, and I put my favorite dance music on when I jump on trampoline. I DON'T like work out but I know that every time I start I get in greater shape and feel great after, like I can conquer the world. And feeling sweaty feels good too (release of toxins from your body) It makes your skin soft and nice too! At noon I went to get a nice facial at Tracie Martyn. Getting facials makes your skin glow! Deep cleansing and microdermabrasion. Find a good place close to where you live.

Tracie Martyn 1
Tracie Martyn Salon NYC

For lunch: I was cleaning out my fridge as I am leaving today. So I made soup!

Soup by Lonneke
Soup by Lonneke
Vegetable Soup 1

Author:
Recipe type: soup

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • chopped fresh parsley (lots of it)
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped onions
  • rosemary
  • oregano

Instructions
  1. saute onions in a pan
  2. other stock put add water, salt, pepper, soy sauce, chopped tomatoes, parsley, oregano, rosemary, onions, sesame oil.
  3. After 30 min, when soup is done, serve and let cool off
  4. add cilantro for flavor and as garnish.
  5. enjoy!

I also snacked on a honey glazed nut crunch thingie:

honey glazed nut crunch snack
honey glazed nut crunch snack

and I drank this drink:

Mamma Chia drink
Mamma Chia drink

I made a salad to go to the airport, which I ate: romaine lettuce, walnuts, cucumber, yellow peppers, a few pieces of old Gouda cheese, grapes, olive oil, salt, pepper, cilantro, parsley:

Day 1 Lonneke 2weeks2fitness dinner
Day 1 Lonneke 2weeks2fitness dinner

During the day if I felt hungry I snacked on some cherries, grapes and nuts. I took a flight from NYC to Amsterdam with KLM. Before that I took a 30 min back massage at Express Spa. You know the one where you sit in a chair and they put their elbows in your back. I love it! So I fell asleep easily on the flight and got a few hours of sleep on the way over. Day 2: I landed in Amsterdam at noon. I went to the hotel. When you are running around you sometimes forget to eat, therefore it is always good to have some sort of snacks with you, that you can eat while on the go.  I went for lunch: a nicoise salad with grilled tuna. Then I walked around the "Vondelpark" with my nephew Navy and his father (my brother-in-law Michael Lamey) for a few hours. We were so tired when we got home as it was so sunny and warm too! I also had to carry Navy, on my back or in my arms, so that was a great work out. For dinner I had a couscous salad with grilled shrimp. And a decaf latte (sorry I could not help it it helps my digestion after a flight) I was so busy all day doing fun things that I forgot food. i just made sure that when I ate, it was delicious! Tomorrow I am going vegetarian I think. I hope they have some good options at the shoot... Day 3: Sorry I did not update this day earlier, but I was shooting today for a campaign with Dutch top models Cato van Ee & Sophie Vlaming.

Lonneke & Cato
Lonneke & Cato

in the morning I ate breakfast in the hotel: 1 banana, 1 slice of bread, a few strawberries, fruit yoghurt, green tea, orange juice, 1 hard boiled egg.

Breakfast Lonneke 2weeks2fitness Day 3


Heidi, Lonneke & Antoniette

Operation Smile Ball 2012

In 2012 OYL, Antoniette Costa and myself joined the Trump & Hearst family to support Operation Smile during their 10 year anniversary event at Cipriani Downtown, NYC.

Heidi, Lonneke & Antoniette
Heidi, Lonneke & Antoniette

 

Operation Smile Logo

 

dresses
The dresses that were sent to me and I could choose from....

What to wear

My lovely agents Peter & Emerson from IMG arranged a few beautiful dresses I could pick from, I asked my Instagram/Twitter followers which one to pick, and the most votes went for the golden dress by Kaufman Franco. I felt like old Hollywood glamour wearing it!

dress Operation Smile
.... And the dress I chose to wear by Kaufman Franco!
Lonneke Red Carpet
..and working it on the red carpet!

What kind of Operation Smile foundation?

Operation Smile is a great foundation that has one particular focus: helping kids around the world with facial deformities by giving them proper medical care, so they can function normally physically as well as have a normal social life. Deformities include cleft lip and a cleft palate. This does not only affect a child's appearance, and how other children interact with them, but can cause other health problems such as hearing disabilities, having issues with breathing, swallowing and chewing. Every 3 minutes somewhere in the world a baby is born with a cleft. It is a serious widespread problem. While the Western world has the resources to help affected children,  in many underprivileged countries there is simply no medical help available. The doctors of Operation Smile go to these countries and bring their medical expertise to help as many patients as possible. Usually a child with a cleft requires multiple surgeries, as one mother explained to the full room of 500+ guests during this night, but the results are great with a relatively small amount of money. $240 is good for one child's surgery. That's why I like this charity, as it focuses on one problem that is quite easy to take care of. It does not cost a lot of money and it really helps one child with a very low chance of succeeding in life, to start dreaming again like every child should be able to.

 

Operation Smile
The dinner table at Operation Smile

 

We enjoyed a nice dinner, musical performance, and John Salley was the funny host of the night. Guests included President Donald Trump, who brought his whole family (his son Donald Trump and his wife Vanessa are on the Board of Operation Smile), Including Ivanka, Eric and Melania Trump. Of course there were a lot of beautiful women like Miss Universe Leila Lopes, Miss USA Alyssa Campanella & Miss Teen USA Danielle Doty, (Donald Trump is the owner of these pageants), IMG Models Heidy de la Rosa & Mackenzie, Lydia Hearst (who gave a nice speech about her recent trip to Panama for Operation Smile, Katie Lee & more.
What got me most was when they showed a video of a little girl in South America, who was hiding first behind a stuffed animal to hide her cleft, then she got surgery. They filmed her when she got to see her face for the first time. Her reaction was worth a million bucks, she was so happy!
It was a really nice night to celebrate with all nice people who donated so much to this charity, all the successful operations Operation Smile has done. Kudos to them!

Ambiance Operation Smile
Ambiance Operation Smile
For more information on Operation Smile, go HERE>.
To DONATE directly, go HERE>
 Love, Lonneke

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pure Food and Wine Review

Pure Food & Wine
Pure Food & Wine

One of my favorite restaurants for dinner in NYC is a raw food one!

Pure Food and Wine on Irving Place, serves the most delicious raw food in the city! All the juices are great, the salads too.

One Lucky Duck Logo
One Lucky Duck logo

My friends and I are going there regularly to chat and have amazing food and brainstorm on how to save the Earth too!

Rens & Lonneke
Rens & Lonneke love Pure Food & Wine
Valentina & her bike
Top model & OYL contributor Valentina loves Pure Food & Wine too, she even bikes there.... She uses her bike to go everywhere!

Other dishes you have to try:  The lasagna  (made of ripe tomatoes in different colors, and fresh pesto), The Spicy Thai Lettuce wraps (made with  shredded veggies in a nice sauce), and the daily specials.

Other favorites:

The raw ice creams are really yummy (Did I say raw? Yes indeed it is all cold and raw!)

My favorite Juice is the Hot Pink:

Hot Pink Juice
Hot Pink Juice in the large garden.

My favorite salad is the Spicy Sesame Salad:

Spicy Sesame Salad
Spicy Sesame Salad

My favorite dessert are the Mallomar and Lemon Bar.

Mallomar
Mallomar
Lemon Bar
Lemon Bar

By the way: "Raw" means the ingredients are not heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. It keeps the enzymes intact, and the rawfoodies say therefore it is better for you.

Try it if you are in Manhattan sometime. ( especially in the summer raw food is great, as it is light and refreshing.)

Pure Food & Wine
54 irving Place
New York, NY 10003
2124771010

If you don't want to sit down but just want to take out, go to One Lucky Duck around the corner on 17th street! There is also a location at the Chelsea Market.

One Lucky Duck
One Lucky Duck

www.oneluckyduck.com/purefoodandwine/

Follow Pure Food and Wine on Twitter and  owner Sarma for great tips and news!

UPDATE: This restaurant has since gone out of business.