Thursday, September 23, 2010

Green Day in NYC: Part 2


......there I was at Dickson's Farmstand and remembered my poring spouts. I walked towards the Tenth Avenue entrance of the Market and found what appeared to be a not so large storefront stacked with glassware. I felt a pang of disappointment thinking this was an outlet store for cheap glassware and dishes. How wrong I was. Beyond the glassware, the store opened up into a beehive of customers and kitchenware.

Bowery Kitchen Supplies, for both professionals and home cooks, is an orgy of cookware and utensils. I found not just one, but four choices of pouring spouts for my olive oil tasting and managed to get out of there with only my six spouts - it was close though, as every aisle and shelf had either a useful, beautiful or intriguing item calling my name.

By this time I had worked up a hunger and while there were numerous choices I opted for The Green Table specializing in organic and local foods from area farmers. They serve organic meat as well as organic vegetables and beverages. The farms they purchase from include Hawthorne Valley Farm, a biodynamic farm in upstate New York, Flying Pigs Farm, Old Chatham Sheepherding, and many others. For people such as myself that must regrettably steer clear of caffeine, The Green Table offers a refreshing Iced Upaya, which is spiced Rooibos (pronounced roy-bus), a South African legume tea.

Satiated, I left the Market and headed east on 15th street passing The Rudolf Steiner Bookstore offering the largest selection of Steiner-inspired books in New York City, and The Tibet House, an educational center promoting Tibetan culture including a lending library, art gallery, and courses.

Fifteenth Street dead-ends into Union Square Park which seems to have perpetual green market stalls as well as craft and gift vendors. Consider Bardwell Farms makes especially fine raw milk goat cheese from goats fed on pesticide-free pastures in Vermont and you will find their stand towards the north end of the park.

On this fresh September day their was a two-day open air exhibit, Sukkah City 2010, with twelve unusual and creative Sukkahs. Sukkahs are temporary structures built as part of the seven-day Jewish agricultural and harvest festival Sukkot. Traditionally Sukkah’s must be constructed using natural materials especially on the roof, and celebrants eat meals and sometimes sleep in the Sukkah for the duration of the festival. View the Union Square Sukkahs here.

One last stop before making my way back to my lodging was to Astor Wines & Spirits, south and east of Union Square. On my way I stopped to quench my thirst at Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgium chain of restaurants serving natural and organic foods with locations all over Manhattan. This one, at Fifth Avenue and 8th Street, was right on my route and I could get a take-out Mint-Lemonade made with organic agave nectar instead of sugar.

Astor Wines is a large store stocked with a huge assortment of wines and liquors, including organic varieties. I was on the search for organic gin to go with my just purchased organic Q-Tonic. I was in luck. Midwest organic grain farmers are getting into the specialty liquor market and there were multiple brands of organic gin as well as vodka.

I opted to try Farmer's Gin, since they serve it at The Green Table. It is made in the United States with certified organic grains as well as Juniper, Elderflower, Lemongrass, Coriander, and Angelica Root.

As soon as I am home I will rustle up some organic limes so I can  mix up a fully organic gin and tonic - results to follow....

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