New York City’s Best Food On Four Wheels

Wafels and Dinges

Street vendors and gourmet food trucks have revolutionized the way that people eat in New York City, and New Yorkers are eating very, very well. You no longer have to call weeks in advance to reserve a spot in one of NYC’s best restaurants. Instead, look no further than to one of the city’s hundreds of food trucks for delicious culinary offerings.

Food trucks, like restaurants, come in all shapes and sizes, and food truck cooks, like restaurant cooks, want to please their customers with creative, tasty, and relatively inexpensive dishes. In just about every nook and cranny in New York City there’s a food truck parked, just waiting for you to walk up and order a snack, a meal, or a beverage…

Here are some of New York City’s most notable food trucks du jour, and how to find them:

 

Wafels and Dinges. This beloved New York-based company sends out a fleet of trucks daily, specializing in creating delicious Belgian waffles and offering a selection of sweet and savory “dinges” (toppings), such as pulled pork and strawberries. They even have their own GPS satellite feed to help you find a nearby truck at any time.

$2-$10, locations change daily.

 

Coolhaus

Chicken and waffles ice cream between two hotcake cookies.
Photo: Emma Story via Flickr CC

Coolhaus. This sweet food truck is absolutely incredible. Choose from nearly twenty rotating cookies and almost 100 artisanal ice cream flavors to create the ultimate ice cream cookie sandwich. Candied bacon ice cream scooped between two hotcake cookies? Um, yes please! Fried chicken and waffles ice cream complemented by carrot cake cookies? Seriously? Yes! Visit Coolhaus and you’ll never look at an ice cream sandwich the same way again.

$6, locations change daily.

Luke’s Lobster on the “Nauti” Truck. If you ever want to find a simple, scrumptious lobster roll in NYC, look no further than Luke’s Lobster. A company with a philosophy rooted in sustainability, they make their lobster rolls in the classic Maine style, with a little mayo, a touch of lemon butter, and their secret seasonings. It’s a bit pricey for a food truck, but if fresh seafood is your thing, it’s worth every penny.

$8-$40, Midtown, the Flatiron Dist., locations change daily.  

Though some food trucks can be harder than others to find, apps and GPS tracking services are making it easier than ever to discover new mobile food! Check out this NYC Food Truck Tracker to find a food truck near you!

Cover Photo: Peter Dutton / Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr CC

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The Purge – A Libertarian Nightmare?

A new film called The Purge opens this weekend to mixed reviews.  Star Ethan Hawke calls it a fun, old style popcorn thriller where people can think without an agenda.  The premise of The Purge is that society is able to extraordinarily lower crime and unemployment rates by having an annual event the movie is titled after, where all law enforcement is suspended for 12 hours.  In this time anyone with a will to murder, rob or assault is free to do so, and thus eliminates many would-be criminals from the system.

The Metascore of the film has it landing in the low fifties, indicating on the surface that it is simply mediocre, but it actually appears that the film has struck a political nerve.  While most agree the movie as a horror flick alone is not very good due to the weak plot and absurdly overblown premise, conservatives and liberal critics alike are focusing on the underlying message of what a Libertarian Utopia might look like if things went sour.

In the film, the country is governed by a conglomerate of corporations, and it is clear that the affluent population at large does not participate in the purge, but rather chooses to hole up in what would be considered a military fortress in today’s security standards.  The villains of the film are a gang of clean-cut, well dressed twenty-somethings that are hunting a man they claim does not contribute to society.  So while the purge is touted as a way to let people release their inherent violent urges, the film suggests that it is actually a way for the upper level socioeconomic class to erase anyone they deem as a drain on taxpayer dollars.

Conservatives call it a ridiculous attack on the National Rifle Association, pointing out the irony that a film making money on violent scenes is criticizing the idea of violence from the millions of law-abiding gun owners.  Film makers insist that while the premise was constructed out of an idea of where the country could be heading, the overall message that the privileged are cut off from the struggles of the poor is not such a stretch.

This Summer, Beat the NYC Heat with Treats

BB Likes Popsicles

Summertime in New York City is definitely one of the most beautiful times of year, and indisputably the hottest. Every summer, New Yorkers are faced with the daunting task of staying cool in a city that is often as much as 10 degrees warmer than surrounding areas because of its primarily asphalt and metal surfaces. The city literally locks in sweltering temperatures, which forces its residents to pursue creative, innovative methods of beating the heat.

This summer, whether you’re just visiting, or live in NYC, know that there are tasty tricks to cooling off that can be found just around every corner. Time Out New York offers a list of “Eight New Frozen Desserts to Beat the Heat in NYC,” and here are some of the highlights:

-Popsicles at ABC Cocina. For only $3 a pop, you can try seasonal-inspired house-made treats like the “herbal cooler,” which elevates the classic Popsicle into something both kids and adults will love. 38 E 19th St between Broadway and Park Ave South.

-The Fernet Branca Ice Cream Sandwich at Pearl and Ash. Wow, this could be the greatest combination of flavors ever attempted in an ice cream sandwich. This nostalgic dessert is prepared like you’ve never seen it before with the addition of a very of-the-moment liqueur and dark chocolate. You’ve got to try this adult treat this summer! $6. 220 Bowery between Prince and Spring St.

-Ice Cream pops at Itizy. Itizy is revolutionizing the possibilities for ice cream trucks. This traveling food truck features a selection of handcrafted ice cream, as well as their specialty ice cream pops, with flavors like “Smore’s,” made from Belgium dark chocolate ice cream, a chocolate shell, graham cracker crumbs and mini marshmallows, making it the sweetest thing you’ll eat on a stick all summer. $3.75. Location changes daily.

If your mouth isn’t watering yet, visit Time Out New York’s complete list of must-have frozen treats for the summer, and beat the heat this season with the best of NYC’s sweet offerings.

Cover Image: Yamanize via Flickr CC

Southampton’s Meadow “Billionaire” Lane

Meadow Lane in Southampton
Calvin Klein is neighbors with Leon Black, Ian Schrager, and Henry Kravis.

Calvin Klein is neighbors with Leon Black, Ian Schrager, and Henry Kravis.
Image: neontommy.com

If you’re a top dog on Wall Street or a successful entrepreneur and you’re looking for a home in the Hamptons, chances are you’ll want to take a gander at Meadow Lane. The road is just five miles long, but it houses an impressive number of billionaires—who all apparently live next door to one another.

Taking a stroll down the lane will reveal a number of beautiful homes, ranging in value from about $18 million all the way up to $43 million apiece. Now that’s a house!

Moving onto Meadow Lane could make you neighbors with some of the biggest names on Wall Street and beyond. Leon Black, head of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, has a 4-lot compound there worth nearly $43 million. Oh, and Calvin Klein has the house next door, his home complete with a 7-car garage, guesthouse, and private screening room.

Rachel Ray has a home in Southampton. Image: Food Network

Rachel Ray has a home in Southampton.
Image: Food Network

Hotelier, entrepreneur, and real estate developer Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame also lives on Meadow Lane. Two doors down is Henry Kravis of KKR & Co., and next door to him is Gerald J. Ford of Ford Financial. Oh, and let’s not leave out Alejandro Santo Domingo Davila, who purchased his home there in 2012.

Outside of Meadow Lane, there are many other successful New York businesspeople who have homes in the Hamptons. In Southampton, this includes the likes of George Soros, Rachel Ray, Howard Stern, Kelly Ripa, and David Koch. Over in Easthampton, you’ll find celebrities like Sean “P Diddy” Combs, Jerry Seinfeld, Martha Stewart, and more.

The New Gmail Will Ruin or Streamline Your Life

E-mail, just like paperwork, can get out of hand easily. Image: SF Weekly

Google announced a new version of Gmail this week, one that is trailing away from the beautiful simplicity it was built on to a page that will include different tabs for messages, promotions, social updates, page checks and discussion.  The Andriod version of the new email look is set to launch in a few short weeks, with the web version following shortly after.  The application is clearly designed for touch screens and mobile devices and is aimed to make it easier to organize your email messages.

Of course, it just looks like an easier way for Google to encourage use of their many services, such as Google+ and YouTube, with their own special “social” tab.

The new Gmail layout could help users stay organized... or drive them crazy.

The new Gmail layout could help users stay organized… or drive them crazy.

On the other hand, email inboxes these days can certainly get crowded.  In a world where nearly a third of our work time is spent sending and receiving email, it might be better for Google to try and make it more organized.  Bills, confirmations and flight information go to one tab, mailing list emails go to another, and personal messages to your main inbox.  Still, it is up to the user to make sure Google knows where to send what, and having to hop from tab to tab to check your messages could be maddening.

The new layout is definitely dependent on what kind of online user you are.  The good news is that you are able to switch between the new and the old Gmail layouts in case you aren’t a fan of the new one.  What do you think of the new Gmail tabs?

Carpooling of the Future, at Your Fingertips

Taxi Cab NYC

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting in the back of a taxicab in New York City traffic, you’re probably familiar with that lurking anxiousness that seems to sit next to you on that sticky leather seat. You look nervously at the meter, thinking, How much is this going to cost me? as the car creeps on, covering a couple of blocks in what feels like an eternity. You try and make small talk with your cabby, but they’re disinterested. You try to pay the costly fare with your debit or credit card, and the driver isn’t having it. You stomp out of the cab and regret not riding the subway, while vowing never to take a cab again.

Lyft is available in Seattle and San Francisco. Image: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

Lyft is available in Seattle and San Francisco.
Image: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

You may not have to take a cab again. Smartphone apps are revolutionizing transportation in major cities, and it’s never been easier to hitch a ride, for less. Currently, some of the leading downloadable applications in this new industry are Lyft, which offers transportation services in west coast cities such as Seattle and San Francisco, and SideCar, offering rides in dozens of cities nationwide, including New York, Washington D.C., Boston, and Los Angeles.

These services are not only convenient, with finding a ride as easy as pressing a button on your phone, but better on your wallet too. SideCar instantly connects people in need of a ride with local drivers who are willing to provide transportation, on an entirely by-donation basis. That’s right, by donation. If you’re headed downtown and want a lift, just connect with a safe, approved driver going in the same direction, and give them whatever you can. Never before has carpooling been so innovative and affordable.

Rideshare walks a fine line between carpooling and taxi services. Image: Michale Macor, The Chronicle

Rideshare walks a fine line between carpooling and taxi services.
Image: Michale Macor, The Chronicle

While these new apps may feel like the future of transportation, there are a few downsides. Some cities are questioning the legality of rideshare applications, and taxicab drivers are outraged because of how this technology detracts from their business. The apps face lawsuits in some cities filed by preexisting car services whose livelihood is threatened, although with the anticipated and well-received arrival of this innovation in transportation, it’s hard to imagine such technology going anywhere anytime soon.

You can weigh in yourself by downloading a carpooling app today and testing it out.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Equal pay for equal work.

There is nothing more frustrating than learning you earned less money for doing the same work as someone else.  Unfortunately, for women, that is often the case.  As much as we want to believe the world has changed, equal pay for equal work is not yet the norm.

On average, women only earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.  The wage gap is even larger for women of color.  The gap exists in every state and in the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.  Why is this type problem so prevalent?

Some say that women simply elect to take lower-paying jobs.  Maybe more of them end up as teachers or nurses.  Hmm…that’s only a tiny percentage of women.  That can’t be the answer.

Pay should not depend on gender.

Pay should not depend on gender.

Some say women earn less because they are likely to go on maternity leave when a child is born.  However, these days, men are assuming that role in record numbers.  That also doesn’t address the fact that she did not earn equal pay before having a baby.

On April 9, 2013, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, signed by former President John F. Kenedy.  Upon signing it, he remarked that it would be the end of “the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job.”

We are still waiting for that to come true.  In the past few years, the Paycheck Fairness Act, meant to expand the Equal Pay Act, has failed to pass three times.  What could be holding back the reigns of progress?  In a word: sexism.