Category Archives: Shopping

Giving Pop-Zen A Chance

After trying to find mental, physical, and spiritual peace from many traditional literary sources, and failing in the way road-kill failed to adequately cross the highway, I desperately searched in [insert name of large, seemingly-soulless bookstore chain]. I came across a book that I had previously overlooked for its seemingly pop-culture version of Zen Buddhism: Hardcore Zen by Brad Warner. What I failed to realize was, it addressed more issues pertinent to my life than any of the others did, and took itself with a healthy dose of doubt and cynicism.

Perhaps, I am merely a pop-culture whore who cannot recognize spiritual growth when it hits me with a monster truck. However, I would rather think that although this approach is far from conventional, it offers more merits in its ironically down-to-earth style.



Filed under Books, Life, Religion, Shopping, Thoughts




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P.S.  If you’re in Baltimore.

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Gives Frightening New Meaning To “One-Stop Shopping”

Only in New York City.


Filed under Humor, NYC, Photography, Photos, Shopping

Classy, Trashy, or Just Plain Snort-Worthy?

What do you name your ritzy, downtown steak restaurant to get the maximum number of people to abandon any notion of former plans and come in? Answer: Striphouse.


This upscale dining venue grabs the “sex sells” slogan by the balls and runs off with the goods. To belabor the point, I am a staunch vegetarian and have been fascinated by this place which, in truth, provides no meat of the non-animal variety. I am torn between lauding this clever marketing ploy and shunning their blatant chauvinism. Their chutzpah may overreach its bounds by displaying a website logo with mudflap girls, turning a classy pun into a sleazy ploy. However, I do admire the sheer gall. When passing by with friends, an unbridled snort of laughter often escapes from our collegiate noses.


Filed under Food, Nightlife, NYC, Photography, Shopping, Thoughts, Women

Coffee On Wheels

Wheels create a nice pun with the MUD Truck Revolution.  It’s a game of chance at MUD Coffee, but if you’re lucky, your taste buds will undergo a religious experience, possibly ending in conversion.  Their best baristas may have been trained by Siddharta Gautama himself, as many have claimed to reach Nirvana from a particularly delectable Mocha.  However, fate does work in mysterious ways.  Sometimes a barista who can’t spell to save her life will put half-and-half in your soy latte; thus, making this experience, much like life, a game of chance.

The great prices, down-to-earth philosophy, and rave reviews make this a risk one must indulge in.  Plus, getting coffee from a radical, neon-orange van is one of those novelty experiences likely to end up on of those “1001 Things to do Before You Do Something of Seemingly Gargantuan Importance” lists.

MUD Coffee

Pardon the blurry photo taken with my little consumer camera…  much like vampires cannot see their own reflection in a mirror, the true divinity of MUD cannot be captured in sharp focus.


Filed under Coffee, Food, Life, NYC, Photography, Shopping

Gnosh Your Heart Out

When your normal working hours share a time slot with the waking hours of the notorious NYC rats, you become rapidly familiar with the various dining options in the hours before someone tries to shove an AM New York or Metro in your face. I have come to love several East Village establishments that manage to put delicious food on the table with a smile for the residents of a city that only sleeps when it’s not on a deadline.

Veselka (SW Corner of 9th Street and 2nd Ave)

A Ukranian restaurant that will serve you homemade pierogi beside mac and cheese with challah bread and kutya for dessert. Service slows around traditional mealtimes, but at 4am they get delicious food on the table before you have time to hazily squint at the Picasso-esque mural on the back wall. This is by far my favorite way to avoid my kitchen after a long day.

Odessa Café and Restaurant (Below St. Mark’s Place on Avenue A)

A great place to go with raucous friends who want to make noise, gorge themselves, and stay within budget. Food is traditional diner-style and you can try to spot the bread display that looks like ancient, phallic art while you chatter over your drinks.

Café Orlin (just East of 2nd Ave on St. Mark’s Place)

Forget airfare to Italy, their gelato (particularly hazelnut or mint) sends you strait to Venice dining on a gondola. I don’t know if dining on a gondola is possible, but I wouldn’t put anything past this dish. Also try their chocolate cake and espresso drinks for more mouthwatering experiences by flickering candlelight. Unfortuantely, these delicacies are only available 24-hour on Fridays and Saturdays… yeah, you knew there was a catch.
More 24/7 Gnoshings:

Yaffa Café (Between 1st and A on St. Mark’s Place)

7A Cafe (SW Corner of 7th Street and Ave A)

Around the Clock Diner (SE Corner of 9th Street and 3rd Ave)

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Filed under Food, Nightlife, NYC, Shopping

Pink is the New Magenta

This post lauds the amazing curative powers of surrounding one’s self in bright colors to enhance your mood. The potential for this to backfire is extremely high. If one has gone off the cynical deep end, bright colors only provoke thoughts about overripe fruit and American Apparel’s current it-doesn’t-matter-if-it’s-hideous-so-long-as-its-preposterously-shiny trend. (Seriously, check out this and this. Feel free to keep browsing, but be warned, so did Oedipus.)

For mild cases, a shade of pink as bright as the cover of Inga Musico’s Cunt (shameless plug, read it, it’s fantastic) should do the trick.



Filed under Books, Fashion, NYC, Photography, Shopping, Strand