It’s pretty rare here on the west coast to see an out spoken style driven “G” guy. I would say most of the guys on the west coast who lean green, tend to take their style cues from actor Charlton Heston, in the Planet of The Ape movies and not so much so from Brad Pitt. I don’t know what it is about living in L.A. compared to New York City, but style just doesn’t seem to be important. This is why when I came across Joshua Katcher and his site The Discerning Brute, I secretly thought to myself, there maybe hope yet for the vegan / G man. Come on, how in the world, are we ever going to have a “G” James Bond, if we don’t have any out spoken men pointing the way to green fashion alternatives.
The women in the green movement have it made, relatively that is, compared to us guys, the start-up green fashion brands, such as Stewart+Brown, exclusively focus on women. Now I completely understand why, (green guys are cheap) but it just makes the transition from toxic to organic incredibly hard for potential newbie green guys. For example, try buying a suit or some dress shoes which don’t include leather, wool or some other non vegan, organic, cruelty free materials and actually looks good. You will find out quickly you have about 2 options and non of them are in a store near you. Your only real option is to basically gamble by going online and buying from the three or four site that actually exist. But to make it even harder and more expensive, it turns out most of the cooler stuff you might find comes from England, which means higher prices and major shipping issues. Or your second option is to give up and buy some organic T-Shirts and jeans.
This is where Joshua steps in. On his blog Discerning Brute, he does the hard part for us guys. He finds what is cool out there, who are the hot new designers and even breaks down how green this stuff really is. On top of that, he sits down with designers, fashion leaders and even does the occasional street interview in an effort to bring home a little fashion reality to his fellow New Yorkers. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
It’s 4:30 in the morning and I just finished watching a version of the movie 1984 (The Love of Big Brother) by director Michael Radford, which I had never seen. The film, which is based on George Orwells novel 1984, came out ironically enough, in … 1984. I was only 16 at the time, and I somehow missed it. I guess the big brains here in Hollywood, thought this was a nice bit of marketing genius and a scary look backwards at what could have been, if the world had actually gone Red. We would all be living in a world which required us to chant things like “We love big brother” and “Drill Baby Drill”. The population would have also freely given up their personal rights to keep themselves safe from the Axis of Evil in East Asia. And of course we would trust completely in our leader the decider! Good thing that never happened.
I am only bringing this up because for years I have owned both the DVD of the film 1984 and a CD by the Eurythmics called 1984. The CD’s 9 songs are based on the book and have been hardwired in my mind as sort of a personal soundtrack, along with songs by the Clash of course. In all this time, I had no clue why the music was never part of the film. The music in the film is this dull grey sounding stuff which it turns out the director wanted and the financiers didn’t. The company funding the movie turned out to be the Virgin Group and I guess they got their way for the theater release and the director got his way for the DVD. So for all these years, I had no idea a Eurythmics version of the film even existed. Kind of strange, since in the book, the main theme is about not knowing what existed or what will be. The government had total control of all memories, by constantly altering the history of what was. I have always thought that was spooky and a little too close to reality, because who is to say we really know what happened at any given time. Our only knowledge is what we are told. For the most part, we have very little first hand knowledge of any major events in the world that happen during our lives.
As someone who’s lived in Hell’s Kitchen, worked in the fashion district and spent every Sunday in Central Park, I understand the need to see grass whenever possible… but in New York’s lower Westside or on top of some rundown railroad tracks? No way. I’ve walked to the Piers a million times, but never in a million years would I have believed there was a field of grass growing 20 feet above my head that will soon be turned into a luscious green park. Then again, I’d walked all over the Meat Packing District as it transitioned from loading docks to the latest NYC hot spot for art, fashion, and food, so anything’s possible.
For decades, the grass and wildflowers have been collecting dust while sucking carbon dioxide out of the dirty air and spewing out oxygen as a waste product. The idea of developing a park in the lower Westside is much needed, perfectly located and environmentally viable. Planting more trees and adding more plants will only help convert more carbon dioxide to oxygen, not to mention bring friends and families together to see a little bit of history on the tracks.
The artist lifestyle is alive and seems to be thriving in the rougher side of New York City. Ad Hoc Art covers the Bushwick art scene. A scene exploding around the Morgan Avenue subway stop. Ad Hoc Art was the first of nearly a dozen innovative new spaces exhibiting both local and international artists working outside the Chelsea establishment.
Relocating to Los Angeles called my attention to the daily routines of New York living I once took for granted. Red brick sidewalks, seasons, and the ubiquitous round-the-clock subway system has now dissolved into freeways, studio lots and a coastline sunset.
Another staple routine I continue to miss is my Thursday night bellydance class on Lafayette Street – both because I enjoyed the class and because afterwards meant a post-shimmy meal at Zen Palate.
Established in 1990 by a group of Buddhist vegetarians, Zen Palate is gourmet “G” at its finest, and the ordering options are legion. Sometimes it was the delicately textured seaweed and soy crepes I craved after ninety minutes of veils and zills.
Last weekend, I flew to the Empire State to visit my home town of Cortland, New York, and no, I didn’t carbon offset my airfare. (Call the Ecorazzi!) I did see my grandmother, all 94 years and 6 months of her. In between hugs, kisses and yelling four inches Continue Reading / See Additional Photos