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You might have noticed that I haven’t posted in some time. It’s because I’ve got something brewin’.
During my two years working on the editorial team of a startup, I have gotten a crash course making great content that people read and love. My job was immensely fulfilling and instructive, but it was all in service of someone else’s goals and dreams. And it left little time to write about what I truly care about, awesomely sustainable stuff in New York City.
So I’m pleased to announced that this Friday is my last day at my job. I’m going to blog full time!
While I love and cherish Clean Hippie, I’ve decided that I want to start afresh, with a new name and aesthetic. This blog will go away (though I will port over some of my favorite posts) and a new one will take its place. The new blog will have daily posts that are crafted with all the love and devotion you would expect from someone who is taking the 50 hours a week they spent working at a startup, and using that time in service of their own project.
In short, it will be awesome.
If you would like to know when this new blog launches, leave your email for me below.
(I will not use your email for anything but informing you of the launch of my new blog. And I certainly won’t give it to anyone else–who do you think I am?)
There are a lot of meal delivery services in NYC. Why not? We like delicious food but we don’t have the time to actually shop for it and then cook it.
Me, I like my food fresh and local, and not prepackaged like a frozen dinner–which is what I imaged most food delivery services to be. But my interest was piqued when I found Greatist’s list of healthy food delivery services.
The one that I settled on to try was Plated, a service that delivers pre-portioned ingredients for chef-designed meals to your door. Nice enough, but here’s where I got excited: they use in-season, local ingredients whenever possible.
It’s actually pretty affordable, coming out to $10 to $15 a plate, depending on how many you order–much lower than other food delivery options, and great if you consider the high-quality ingredients and inventive recipes.
So one night, after drinking wine on an empty stomach and staring dolefully into my sad, empty refrigerator, I went a little crazy and ordered six meals, two each of three recipes.
Knowing that I am a single woman living with just roommate (who eats like a bird and refuses to eat any of my food), I should have held back, but it was too late. I found myself with the makings of three scrumptious meals for two: cornmeal crusted cod with citrus romain and sweet potatoes, seared tuna sushi bowls and pork chops and roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta.
I seriously should have done an unboxing video. The ingredients came packaged in a cardboard box, complete with an icepack and an insulating bag, eco-friendly air packs and those green bags that keep produce fresh for longer. (I’ll save those for later, thank you!)
It includes three beautiful, illustrated recipe cards and a bio of the chefs. And each ingredient is labeled. It’s so freakin’ adorable.
For my first taste, I invited a friend over to help me. (“Please, help me eat this high-brow drunk food I ordered.”)
I showed him the cards, and it turns out he’s a good friend of the chef who designed the sushi bowls. But we decided to do the cod, and worked together to get it crusted and in the skillet, the fries in the oven and the simple salad tossed.
As promised, preparation was simple and fast, at a half hour, and only required basic kitchen tools. (FYI: They don’t include common kitchen ingredients in the package, like olive oil, salt and pepper. Not a big deal if you’re a semi-regular cook.) And as we ate our meal, I kept interrupting my friend who was trying to hold a conversation to exclaim, “Wow, this is so good.”
The sushi bowls I made for myself later: delicious. I threw the pork chops in the freezer but managed to find time to cook them before the produce went bad within the week, and loved them.
Reader, this service is amazing. But to be fair, I will point out the downsides:
- Despite their commitment to sustainability, some ingredients, like apple cider vinegar, come in tiny plastic jars. The others all come in plastic baggies. I’m sure they are aware that this isn’t ideal, but I can’t think of a solution either. Would it be too hard logistically to allow a customer to check a box that says, “I actually already have apple cider vinegar” to cut down on packaging?
- They need a few days’ lead time to assemble, so you have to plan ahead. No last minute ordering–you’ll have to hit up Seamless for that.
If you like what you see, Greatist actually provides a discount. Go get it!
You might have noticed that, twice now, instead of seeing Clean Hippie when you arrive to this URL, you’ve been confronted with a giant read “Caution!!!” redirect.
Thank you, Google. Yes, my blog was infected with malware. I made the mistake, probably more than six months ago now, of believing an email I received purporting to be from a French advertising agency who wanted to place Lacoste ads on my site.
Duh, Alden, of course it’s a hoax. It was a sophisticated one, though. Their grammar was great, especially considering they were French. They were very responsive, with detailed instructions on how to serve the ads. So I followed them.
After I did what the instructions asked, I noticed the ads were showing up with their placement slightly off. I asked my tech-y friend to take a look, and he G-chatted me a website with people talking about how it was a scam. I deleted the plug-in the evil French (?) hackers had asked me to install.
Now the malware just keeps coming back. “Clever little mother-f’ers,” I said to my tech-y friend, as he spend more than three hours pouring over my code, finding new backdoors through which the hackers kept pouring more malware inside my pretty, innocuous, naive little blog, even when we thought it was clean.
I don’t even understand why people do this. Honestly? I get the hacking group Anonymous‘ raison d’etre. They mess with the Man, like banks and news sites they don’t like. But my blog? I don’t really get it.
Anyway, my site should be all cleaned up now. And I’m taking my very smart, very kind tech-y friend to dinner.
If it comes up again, don’t hesitate to tweet me and let me know, like the fabulous @BlondeonaBudget did yesterday.
New Yorkers have a tendency toward superiority. This you know.
We are at the epicenter of culture. We know the latest music because it is born and raised in our venues; we know the latest food trends because we are eating them in the hottest new restaurants; we know the latest fashions because we saw them at Fashion Week and every day on the streets, here, in the Mecca of all that is new and stylish and experimental.
So please excuse us if we become bored and patronizing when we visit elsewhere.
This was me this weekend, when I took the train down to Charlottesville, where a dear sorority sister attends law school. I seriously can’t complain–it was a fun weekend. I met some really nice people, ate some good food (including homemade chili, yum), and just generally relaxed. (Isn’t relaxing the sole purpose of any trip outside of NYC?)
And yet, I had to keep tamping down the voice in my head that was saying, “Alden, you are so over all of this.” That voice nagged at me when a girl at dinner ordered herself a whole bottle of rosé with the intent to drink it herself. I remember that ostentatious self-destructive trait that ran through my college years. It’s a sort of finger to propriety and convention, served with a vicious laugh, challenging anyone to look at you askance. You get over it pretty quickly once you are in the real world, because it’s dumb and not cool at all.
Again, when we pre-gamed at an off-campus house, the voice nagged. We set ourselves up on a beer pong table, and I fought the urge to run over to the laptop where the guy in charge of music was subjecting us to banal rap music from the aughts. He played a rather good remix of Rolling in the Deep, but all the girls grimaced, asking what the hell it was. So much for experimentation.
Then we moved on to the main event, a themed party called Salute Your Jorts. That’s right, everyone was to wear jorts. Some people embraced the theme as a call to looking like a redneck, with booty shorts, cowboy boots and plaid button downs. But my sorority sister and I wore them un-ironically, with black tights, boots, and nice tops. This is an outfit I wear normally in NYC, and I wanted to demonstrate how it could be done and look hot.
It was your run-of-the-mill basement party. We got mud all over our shoes from walking through the back yard to get in, drank crappy beer from a keg, and danced to rap music I hadn’t heard since sophomore year of college. I do remember when I thought parties like this, where students crowded into basements, was the coolest thing ever. No more.
Near the end of the night, I looked to my left and witnessed a girl with her leg wrapped around her dancing partners waist, her jorts barely covering her ass. Then she dropped the leg and turned around to bend over in front of the guy, presenting her ass to him like a raunchy gift. “I just thought …” I said to my friend, “I just thought that law school students would be a little more mature.”
I said this a few times during the weekend, and each time it elicited laughter and a big fat, “Nope.” These students had gone straight from college to law school. When exactly would they have learned to appreciate sitting at a nice bar, drinking a delicious mixed cocktail and sharing debate and excitement over an event, book, magazine article, or career move?
I’m not alone in this sentiment. My friend’s boyfriend has been accused of being too cynical and superior. That’s because he grew up on the Upper East Side.
At around two in the morning, I sat on a couch, waiting for my friend to be done in the bathroom. (A fratty, gross bathroom that was out of toilet paper and had a line of girls waiting outside.) I looked up and was struck by a girl standing in the foyer. She had on jorts and black tights over her long legs, but also a perfect chambray shirt, and flat, ankle-high black suede shoes. Her wrists clanked with bracelets. She had long blond hair with her dark roots showing, that flowed down to her waist in casual waves. In short, she was a New York girl. I could recognize her immediately. She was cool without trying, and I was jealous. I could never do what she does. I’m too short, for one, but I’m also too earnest about what I wear. I like things neat and tidy, fitted, classic and perfect.
I wish I had brought my camera out so I could show you what I mean, but I’ve decided to make it a policy not to bring the big, expensive thing with me when I plan on drinking a lot.
I will say one thing: Virginia law school boys are hot, in their clean-cut way. I’m sure they would be boring to me (I tend to go for the artsy types) but they look so good. Look at these handsome boys!
The next morning we had a late brunch, and by the time we left, fat flakes were falling from the sky.
We retreated to my friend’s apartment to watch bad romantic comedies, eat chili and play cards. Again, I haven’t watched a bad romantic comedy in a while, but why not? Let’s just make my regression into college years complete. The other New Yorker in the room snorted and sighed in derision through the whole thing.
The next morning when I waited on the platform for the train back to NYC, I saw her, the New York girl. She was wearing jeans, brown supple leather boots and a chunky sweater. She was hugging her handsome law school boyfriend goodbye.
Sometimes I think of the experience of immigrants from other countries. They don’t ever feel entirely at home in the U.S., but they can’t go back home either. I feel like that sometimes. I’m not perfect for New York, but I can’t go back home. I would be too bored.
Seventh Generation debuted their new, mostly-recycled-cardboard detergent bottle last week. (re-nest)
Plastic isn’t bad, it’s just how we use it that stinks. (NYT)
Supermodel Lily Cole says “sustainable fashion” is inherently oxymoronic. (Ecouterre)
Organic Chicken carries significantly lower salmonella risk. (Grist)
Bio-plastic isn’t that great. In fact, it kind of sucks. (EcoSalon)
Patagonia launches a playlist for the environment. (Good)
How to clean a burnt pan with vinegar, baking soda, and water. (Re-Nest)
The Republican House voted to bring back styrofoam because other containers are too expensive. You know what else would save money? Ditching bottled water. (MSNBC)
SRSLY? Del Monte is starting to sell bananas in individual plastic bags. No, really though? That’s a joke, yes? (Daily Mail)
Altering clothes is sustainable. Break out those scissors girl. (EcoSalon)
Those of you who follow this blog know how I detest the typical organic clothing. Mainly, because it caters to the hippie, with heady designs in clashing colors, all the name of nature. I love nature, but gazing at a fall tree and wearing said fall tree in the form of orange wool knickers are two different things.
Samantha Pleet does occasionally wander into this territory with her fall designs, which reference her travels through Iceland through starry embroidery and tasseled garments. Cape pants? No thank you. But I was able to find some gems as I flipped through her collection last week at the Capsule show.
Let’s start with what is fast becoming a fall basic: the cloak.
Samantha Pleet does it well in this elegant fitted cloak. Just imagine yourself ice skating in the park or striding down the sidewalk in Soho with the fall wind plucking at your sleeves. Beautiful, right?
If you told me that I would fall for a star-embroidered cropped top a year ago, I would have told you that you were bat-sh** crazy.
But somehow this feels so downtown and fresh. Get some crunches in ladies, because you’ll need some flat abs for this look. Pair it with a high-waisted pencil skirt or seventies flared jeans to complete the look.
Something a little more classic, you ask? Of course:
And finally, a easy and pretty number that will carry you from the office to happy hour:
Samantha Pleet works with 100% natural materials like organic cotton and shell buttons, and her pieces are made right here in NYC. You can find her current collection stocked at NYC boutiques Bird, Court, Duo, Honey in the Rough, Kaight and TG170.
See the rest of her collection here.
So what do you think? Wearable? Tell me in the comments!
Not exactly the calm, zen attitude you would expect in a yoga class, right?
Well, that’s the attitude I wanted to cop last week when a 9-year-old crashed all of my yoga classes. Her fidgeting, sighing, itching, gulping and farting threw me so far off I came away more tense than when I left. Click over to Elephant Journal to read the rest.
Whenever I see a breathless designer bio that starts with “So-and-so designer uses vintage pieces to make her inventive new dresses with flair and creativity,” I peek through my fingers at the result. It’s usually something that looks like your grandma’s crazy quilt – if she made it while tripping on acid at Woodstock.
Not so, with Livia Firth’s Oscar dress. The wife of Academy Award winner Colin Firth rocked the awards in a soft and glamorous blush-pink gown made from 11 vintage dresses sourced from the era of The King’s Speech. The frothy confection is the work of designer Gary Harvey, and it totally works. Bravo!!
Livia Firth completed her look with dazzling fair trade, conflict free, and ecologically certified jewelry. Consider yourself totally outdone, Mrs. Hathaway.
You might be reading this on an RSS feed or Google Reader. If so, take a moment to click through and see my swanky new redesign!
There are perks to dating a digital and graphic designer, one of them being that he would design me a new logo and redo my whole blog, for only the price of “a bajillion kisses.”
Some things you might notice:
1. There is now a “Follow me on Twitter” button. By clicking on it, you can follow the tweets of CleanHippieNY. Do it!
2. Up at the top you’ll see my favorite categories. Click on the tabs, and it will take you to posts about Beauty, Apartment, or NYC. The rest of the categories, like Bicycles and Moments of Hilarity, or down on the right.
3. I have a blogroll, that lists all my favorite blogs. Hover over a link to see a description.
Clearly, it’s still a work in progress. If you have any like, dislikes, suggestions, or see any bugs, let me know in the comments. Happy browsing!