SUNDAY ROUNDUP: Weekly Favorites

Blue Oyster Cultivation

If you're a mushroom nerd (a mycophile) like myself and you live in NYC, do yourself a favor before it gets too cold and go visit the 'Blue Oyster Cultivation' booth at the Union Square Greenmarket. They're a small family business based out of Ithaca, NY. They also run a program at Cornell. If the name isn't enough to spike your fancy, 'don't fear the reaper' and start up a conversation with the owner, Joe Rizzo. His spread of mushrooms is almost too pretty to eat. Some are edible, some are just beautiful mantle pieces, and some are medicinally potent. The wood block displays of semi dried reishi caught my eye and then his whole world of funghi - some living, some dried out, are laid out on a white table like ancient artifacts. Mushrooms have always intrigued me. The fact that one mushroom, indistinguishable by color and size, could be food, a lethal poison or send you down the psychedelic gravy train is fascinating to me. I think we all have an evolutionary acquired mind for that "forager mentality" rooted in our brains that even the mention of hunting for our food on the forest floor can strike up curiosity within us. 

Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812 Book is in stores now!

Ok, aside from the shameless promotion, this special show I've been in and out of since the fall of 2012, had it's magical Broadway debut last week. That evening as the cast, crew, and creatives danced like gypsies into the late hours at the most Gatsby-worthy ball you could ever imagine at the Plaza Hotel, Isherwoods (glowing) review in the Times came out and it sent us into happiness overdrive! The minute I walked through the doors of the after party, I was already sad that it would eventually come to an end. Our music director and one of my great friends, Or Matias, put the newly released Great Comet book into my hands. "It's us! It's our book!" he said in his signature grin. "It'll be at Barnes and Noble across the country tomorrow!" The book is beautiful and perfectly and elegantly captures what the arc of this Great Comet has been like since it's humble beginnings at Ars Nova, where it first premiered in a room with black bread and vodka, no ensemble, no understudies, and no roving musicians. It tells the whole story of the ride we've all been on. Order it today or stop by your neighborhood Barnes and Noble and take a look for yourself. Hint: for a chance to win a pair of tickets, instagram or tweet yourself with the book and tag @greatcometbroadway!

Dig Inn

On a mission to find tasty food that I could grab, eat quickly and affordably in midtown before heading to work, my friend Lee recommended I try this place out. 'It's better than The Little Beet', he says, which up until now, has been the only place I could find good food anywhere in the vicinity. As midtown mostly caters toward the theatre going tourist, it's difficult to find solid places like this that are delicious, healthy, and filling, and that heavily support the local farmer economy. Their suppliers (all within 300 miles, mostly in NY) practice crop rotation, polyculture, and all the great things that keep us strong and healthy when we feed our bodies. Other than their 12 other locations, their midtown spot is perfectly situated. Besides the daytime business crowd, it's virtually dead after 5pm so its been a pre-show life-saver, especially on 2 show days. My favorites are the fennel and lemon charred chicken, the maple-siracha brussels sprouts, and the kale curry and delicata squash over their warm farro salad (that has little hints of orange and cinnamon). Mmmm.

Native Deodorant

Many things that we put on our body daily are just not very good for us, they're toxic actually. Since our bodies are porous sponges, especially under our arms where our sweat glands live, covering up the funk through the long day can be tricky when you want to keep it natural and let your sweat glands breathe without synthetics like aluminum or parabens. Trying to find a non-toxic deodorant that really, truly works hasn't been easy. While the health problems associated with anti-perspirants has been common knowledge for a while, its been hard to find alternatives that weren't too oily, smelly, or that would lose their pleasing aroma after applying. Alicia discovered this cool start-up company called Native. She ordered the coconut and vanilla scent. Although she liked the scent, she wasn't as big of a fan as I am and handed it off to me. I really enjoy it and love that it's made with arrowroot, shea butter, and coconut oil. They have free shipping and returns, so it's worth a shot to give it a try. 

Ok Go - 'The One Moment' 

I love this group. My brother Patrick is old college buds with one of the guys (Tim Nordwind - on bass and vocals). Their music, which is awesome by the way, always takes a back seat to the real spectacle here - the video. What they create and come up with is visually stunning. This song which just premiered on Facebook using about 4.2 seconds to prove its point, is their latest in beautiful and vivid camera mastery. When those few seconds are slowed down, by 20,000% from real time, the result is pure candy for the senses.