After the presidential election and my time as exec at TNH, I needed a break from writing about politics. For an entire year, I wrote twice-weekly editorials which could have been on anything, but the world was too hard for me to ignore. I had too large of a platform not to bring issues of freedom of speech, women's rights and overall human rights to print. At first, I was so nervous. I never thought that I could form a political opinion in print. But once I started typing, seeing my words in print and interacting with community opinions (good, bad and ugly) I not only realized a passion but a future career. I have missed writing about politics and realized that I need to bring that back to my blog.
Politics is sexy. Being informed is empowering, and there is nothing more attractive than a gal who knows her sh*t. Think of it like pop-culture gossip except for real-life topics that matter and affect your future. I mean, taking in the buzz on Kim Kardashian West's photo shoot posing as Jackie Kennedy and possibly darkening her skin is one thing (...ok, another post for another day -- that could get political) but having knowledge and opinions about the world matters a lot.
So yesterday as I was going through my daily ritual of viewing Twitter Moments (great feature) and started reading an article from the Teen Vogue news and politics section...Aka my absolute favorite section of the web. The article was "Trump Administration Stayed Rule Targeting Ending the Wage Gap," and I thought, "Oh of fuc**ng course! The Trump administration making the world less transparent! I am shocked! Wow!" And I also thought, "Oh wow! this is targeting women, gender, and race equality! I am shocked!"
Really, I'm not shocked if you didn't pick up on the sarcasm. I am shook.
If you haven't heard yet, the White House recently announced it was going to stop Baerack Obama's wage discrimination protections that were supposed to take effect this spring. If you aren't mad about this, we can't be friends.
What I learned from the Teen Vogue article was that according to a study done at the Pew Research center, women earned 83 percent of what men did in 2015. Aka they would need to work an extra 44 days to make up for the gap. But for women of color, the gap is larger. Reading this and now typing it just makes my heart sink.
A great progression to this issue was addressed by Obama by making this transparency rule. Numbers don't lie, people and business can get called out. This decision by Donald Trump is a direct attack on women...again. Trump is telling companies that it is fine to discriminate based on race and gender.
But what really got me in a tizzy was Ivanka Trump's response published in Newsweek: "Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” the statement said. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, [the Office of Management and Budget], Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”
How would transparency not give results? Explain further, I beg it.
Also, what would you propose, Ivanka? This rule was created by Obama and the then chair women of the EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Jenny Yang. So I would really like to understand how a rule that would have required businesses to record and report how much they pay employees of various genders, races, and ethnicities, "would not yield the intended results."
But, the EEOC thought it would so...
Not too far back in April, PBS reported this quote by Ivanka:
“I’m listening, I’m learning, I’m defining the ways in which I think that I’ll be able to have impact,” regarding empowering women in the U.S. economy.
Also, see her Tweet above if you missed it.
For a very, very long time, I have not understood Ivanka Trump. I have wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt so many times. I have a weakness giving people chances even after they blow it, especially when it comes to other powerful women. But I just don't get it anymore. Ivanka could be such a changing force for women but she instead has strings holding her limbs with an orange hand dancing her mouth and body across the stage...Or maybe she actually believes in what she is portraying to the entire world...Which contradicts her entire brand.
Ivanka's website has a great message and the brand has a great meaning. It is supposed to be empowering for working women, how they can run a business, family, how to add style into the workday and live a healthy but fun lifestyle all at the same time. There are definitely parts of her company that I find disheartening, like her lack of staff diversity (insert eye roll here) and OH YEAH, THE FACT THAT SHE DOESN'T LIVE UP TO HER LIFE MESSAGE.
About Ivanka Trump on her blog: "...dedicated to the mission of inspiring and empowering women to create the lives they want to lead."
Um, Ivanka please explain to me how women getting paid less than men in the same job is empowering. Explain how supporting non-transparency is inspiring.
Ok here goes nothing...
An open letter to Ivanka Trump. From one gal to another.
I can see the good message you have held in your heart once before. Your personal brand is pretty cool, a message to empower women in the workplace but also be the boss of the home -- all with great style. Not to mention, the clothes you have in your collection are really cute! The LNDE booty, love that. But I am really confused about what you're doing with your life. Look, if you weren't the president's daughter or a key member of the administration, I wouldn't care about what you do. But you have the power to change a lot for women in the United States.
Do you understand what you can be for us? You can be our advocate that has ties closer to the leader of this country than anyone in the world has. You can speak on behalf of women's rights, gender and race equality directly into your father's ear.
I can sympathize with the fact that family is family. Your devotion to Donald Trump makes complete sense but being family means being honest and I truly do not believe you think this is right.
Look at the millions of Americans who fight for equality every day. See the women's marches, the progression of women's pages, the increasing number of women becoming CEO's and breaking barriers. This is the living example of your personal brand. We want you to help us. I want you on our team.
But supporting the decision to dismiss rules on the prevention of pay discrimination is you simultaneously turning your back and throwing a grenade into the group of millions who are fighting for wage equality.
I am just really disappointed with everything you haven't done. I'm over defending the possibility that you can do something good for women in America. Please stop allowing yourself to be controlled by male power. Feminism isn't a brand, and I'm done with your fake feminism. Oh, and so is everyone else.
Week 2 of the best Açaí search has continued and I have come across what I can tell will be a top contender. Juice Generation is a spot that my cousins, Chloe and Kate, requested after I wrote about my Açaí journey. These are all over the city and have other options of smoothies, juice, bakery items, healthy salads and veggie sushi, juice shots and "Juice Farmacy" which is supposed to fight off illness. You can also do some sort of home delievery where they send you frozen things to pop in your own blender and make at home.
Back to the Açaí though.
Name: Juice Generation
Location: 1486 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
This was the perfect thickness of Açaí to me. It wasn't watery or too frozen and I probably could have eaten the entire thing in 5 seconds but I had to pace myself.
Ok, so they do the option where they have different set bowls and you pick one. What has me shook is the fact that they have 6 options to choose from and most places have 1-3. I chose the PB Açaí because, as you all know, I love peanut butter! This bowl was peanut butter, cacao, banana, strawberry and hemp granola which is exactly what I love in my bowls! I wouldn't have even added anything if I had the option to. If and when I go back, I might try the Aloha Açaí but it will be difficult to choose something else. Honestly, everyone should check out their website and check out their options because it is so cute and well made!
Maybe Açaí in New Hampshire is just bigger in general but so far Juice Generation and the Juice Press have had just about the same size. I just feel like for $10+ it should be bigger than this possible NYC standard.
Price: $11.92 (with tax)
Very cute inside but pretty small. They have one of those standing bars by the window but I wish they would just put in bar seats. I ate at the standing bar but obviously I'd rather sit down. The people were really nice and the place looked very clean. After I ordered it got really busy but it seemed like no one waited very long for their order. I would give it a 5 if it had seats.
Overall tastiness: 5
Ok, I know a 5 is a bit aggressive but they deserve it. I loved this bowl, the strawberries and bananas were super fresh, the granola was really tasty and the Açaí was blended so well. Highly recommend this to anyone visiting or living in NYC! I know they are everywhere but I understand why. Açaí empire? Looks like it...I would like to find a non-chain that is just as good. Maybe this upcoming week! Stay tuned.
Where should I go next? If you have any suggestions please let me know!
Week 1: The Juice Press
Welcome to the new series...Allie's Aaçi? Not nearly a catchy enough or creative name. I'm still thinking about it and suggestions are welcomed. Every week I am going to find a new place to get an Acai bowl and will rate them on this scale:
Thickness: 1-5 1 being watery and 5 being the perfect Açai.
Add ons: 1-5 1 being they have limited to no choices 5 being it was exactly what I wanted.
Size: 1-5 1 being way too small 5 being very happy with the price to size ratio.
Price: I will just list the price here. My standard is around $10.
Location atmosphere: 1-4 1 being it was gross and the people were rude and 5 being super Instagramable and friendly. Also, how the people act when I ask questions. Are they nice? Are they rude?
Overall tastiness: Did I love it? Will I come back? Should you go?
I think maybe I should explain what Açai is, for those of you who have not experienced the tastiness. To be honest, it is a relatively new food to me as well. Açai is, in the easiest of terms, a smoothie bowl. What makes it special and gives it the funky name ("ah-sigh-EE") is the berry it is made from. Açaí palm trees are found in South American rainforests and produce a small berry that is about the size of a grape. These bowls have become somewhat of a superfood craze because they are packed with antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They look and have the consistency of a smoothie and ice cream so because of these two qualities combined, they have become very popular. Acai berries can be bought as a frozen puree in the freezer section of health food stores such as Whole Foods. Açai bowls are almost always paired with fruits, granola, coconut flakes, peanut or almond butter, chopped nuts, goji berries, cocoa nibs and anything relatively healthy that you can think of.
So, let's get started!
Name: Juice Press
Location: 1474 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
It was a little melty, but not too bad.
I have to only give a 3 for add-ons because there was not a ton of options but the options were solid. You could choose three add-ons and I ended up only picking two because those were the only ones that really spoke to me. I loved the coconut flakes they were definitely the best part. I also added on goji berries which were really big and a choice I ended up being happy with. They had almond butter but I was going back home to eat it (only 3 blocks) and knew I was just going to add-on my own PB.
It could have been bigger for the price, but I wasn't disappointed by the size. The circumference is small but the bowl isn't shallow.
It is really small in here and it was very stuffy. There were not many options for sitting but the overall look of the place was earthy. There were fridges with juice in bottles and some healthy foods. The guys working there were nice but I was the only person in there and we had no conversation after I ordered and before I got the bowl.
Overall I really enjoyed this bowl but I've also had better. I wish they had a PB option because I personally really like peanut butter in my bowls. They also didn't have cocoa nibs -- another one of my favorite add ons. The Juice Press is clearly more of a juice place rather than wanting to be known for Açai.
Stay tuned for the next!
So, I made it through an entire week. Lots of walking, mainly because I would walk 3 blocks in the wrong direction before realizing. Iphones have that Health app that tells you how many miles you walk each day and according to the data I walked 45.6 miles! I mean besides the subway walking is the only option. Anyway, I am here to tell you the few hacks and discoveries I have made in 7 days.
Hack 1: WiFi at The Met
For the first few days, I struggled to find a spot I liked working on my computer. Coffee shops are nice, but shockingly enough not all have WiFi and I really wanted to be outside. I soon discovered that The Met has free and strong wifi! There are seats right outside, or you can pull a Blair Waldorf and sit on the steps, but regardless it is such a beautiful area with raw city charm.
Realization 1: Rain sucks
I'm all for a cozy rainy day but if you get caught in the rain here you will get soaked. I think the worst part is waiting to cross and just miserably standing getting soaked. I mean, I guess I could have looked at the weather better but I had previous experience this same week with umbrellas and it wasn't much better. Thought I was gonna poke someone's eye out! Looks like I am in the market for a good rain jacket with a hood.
Fun 1: Broadway Dance Center
I took my first NYC dance class and it was SO FUN! I thought that BDC would be really intense since I always see famous dancers posting Instagram videos dancing there, but I didn't feel out of place at all. I took an all levels burlesque-jazz class and the combo was to Milkshakes by Kelis. If I go back this week I'll take a video. The only downside is dance classes are e x p e n s i v e. If anyone knows of an affordable studio, let me know.
Night adventures 1: PHD and Ethyl's
Sarah visited me this past week and it was the most fun I had all week. It is always better to explore a new place with someone you are close with and we definitely took on the task of night life with our fearless college tendencies. We first went to this funky disco bar called Ethyl's. This was really fun but pretty low-key and we wanted to do something a little crazier. So, I contacted a friend of mine who knows the city and its nightlife well and we went to a club called PHD. This was exactly what we were looking for. The club was on the roof and you could see the entire city skyline, including the Empire State Building. I'm still trying to learn how the whole clubbing scene works, but what I do know is my dance skills are so ready for it.
First blog research: Açai Bowls
I've decided I'm obsessed with Açai bowls #basic. But they are healthy and delicious and really fill you up. I have come to the realization they are about $10 a pop and there are millions around the city. So, I think I can swing getting one a week and posting a short review about each one. Eventually, I will find the best. I will link my first review here.
So, that is just about all I have to say about week one in the big apple. More to come, naturally.
PS - I started Yelping! Check out my reviews --- Allie yelps NYC
With the excitement of a new chapter comes a tinge of sadness as I end another. Really, I feel as if I am starting a new book. The pages of New Hampshire are filled with so many stories that could never possibly repeat themselves in a new place. The most exciting relationship one will ever be in is the one with themselves. With each new place we live a part attaches itself to our souls, it's something we can't shake. So when it comes to Durham and Seacoast areas I can definitely see myself coming back. But for now, I am bursting out of my little piece of Granite State and it is time to say goodbye. So, here are my favorite things about this place. If you happen upon the village of Durham, send my love.
Ok, I know...a lot of this is food...But I ain't sorry (Beyoncé voice)