City Pulse

By Amber Roniger

THE SLICE GIRLS
By Amber Roniger

This is a warning. This warning is being issued for your own good and the good of all womankind who love pizza. I hope you trust me enough by now to just go with it… there are two of them! Yes, there are two Xerox copies of the same fearless female running SLICE, my fav secret spot for slices on the UES (actually on the whole island). Two identical twins who even I, very savvy in the telling-apart-of-twins-department, have a devil of a time discerning. Why am I bothering with such a lengthy preamble-warning, you find yourself pondering? Because Miki and Radha are so ultra-friendly (and on the premises a lot) that you’re sure to leave after only one visit convinced that you’re BFF. And this can be dangerous. I myself made the predictable mistake of garbling their identities and nobody bothered to clue me in on the twin-scam. And Miki seamlessly picked up on a conversation I’d started with Radha the previous week without even blinking an eye. So be forewarned!

But enough of these peripherals and onto the saucy, crusty content. Slice is a brilliantly simple concept in pizza: healthy organic ‘za that tastes amazing. Easy, right? Not so much. Sufficed to say, I’ve tried just about every purportedly healthy pizza in NYC and some of it tastes like mutilated cardboard topped with rubberized soy crumblies, no friend of this picky palette. Slice refers to itself as the perfect food and I must concur. Each slice at Slice is freshly prepared as you order and you can customize the toppings in any which way (including soy & rice cheese…my personal version of veggie-hog heaven). And they have organic meats as well for the carne connoisseur (see, I’m liberal like that). Although I don’t know why you’d mess with perfection… they have truly terrific pre-fab combinations on their menu, like the Simpleton: honey whole wheat crust, marinara sauce and organic mozzarella (the basic of the basics), the Intermediate: honey whole wheat crust, marinara sauce, caramelized onions, arugula and goat cheese (you cannot imagine how good fresh greens slide over the tongue), and the Wizard: the basics topped with bruschetta (omg, so, so beyond). And don’t be fooled by the apparent gradations of the slices’ names, all are delectable and delicate, suitable to any discerningly fierce palette (which of course, you have).

I was constantly harassing the twins to hike it just one block up 74th Street to check out my faithful raw food friend, BlueGreen. You know how I love to follow the Yellow Brick Road of yummy healthy foods and see where it leads. So I was so pleased to learn that Slice’s slices were going to be available for eats at JIVAMUKTI YOGA CENTER’s new café in Union Square, run by, you guessed it, BlueGreen. Small foodie world, hu? Delicious!

JIVAMUKTEA CAFE is totally vegan, but not raw, which is why Slice’s ‘za fits in so flawlessly. I made a visit to the Jiva café this weekend and it’s absolutely stunning, and hidden away ever so cleverly from the rif-raf and street fray of the Square. There, I was unwittingly coerced into staying for a free lecture by Shivarudra Balayogi, this yogi-guru man wrapped in a red sheet (and yes of course I kept wondering what he was wearing under there… who could resist?). Jiva’s yoga/meditation space is huge and airy and their roster of events is really extraordinary (for yogi-heads… I know deep down you are). And afterward, you can drop on by the café for a fab fresh green juice and leefy salad. And of course a heavenly slice from Slice. The twins told me the center’s opening party was a real bash. (Sting, I’m still awaiting my invitation… it ‘musta gotten lost in the mail. But I forgive you.)

But please indulge me one moment more by allowing me to plug an up-coming event at BlueGreen (the one in my ‘hood at 74th St.) that will be ever so delicious and not to miss: SUMMER DINNER led by chef, Matthew Kenney, is an entire raw food meal served up fresh to you (every two weeks) this Thursday. If you’ve never done raw, you will be floored by the creative concoctions and spellbinding desserts that you’d never in a million years guess were indeed raw.

So indulge yourself in pizza, drown yourself in raw ice cream and feel self-satisfied that you’re eating the healthiest foodie-food out there (and sssshhh…nobody has to know how damn delicious it really is!). And beware of those sneaky Slice twins (see, I got your back).

Slice The Perfect Food
1413 2nd Avenue @ 74th Street
(212) 249-4353
www.sliceperfect.com

Jivamukti Yoga School
841 Broadway, 2nd Floor
(212) 353-0214
www.jivamuktiyoga.com

GLAMOUR IN THE CITY
By Lauren Baccus

Don’t be sad be glad that it’s time for a bit of nostalgia: whenever I visited my grandmother as a little girl, two things were guaranteed. #1: At some point I would be thoroughly interrogated as to the whereabouts of a slice of baloney (or some other equally-unimportant processed meat) that went unaccounted for in her daily tally (yes, for real). #2: For at least three blissful hours, I would have unabated reign over her extensive grandma collection of makeup and jewelry. As I applied and combined colors with abandon, she would sit and watch, chuckling at my excitement.

My grandmother was quite the diva, but more importantly, she was a lady. To me, she will always define an inextricable combination of grace, glamour and beauty that is ever so rare to come by. It was like she had some magical ability to tap into a certain radiant power source within herself. It’s that same source that all of us women share and also that which drives and inspires so many really terrific femmy organizations like GLAMOUR GALS.

When I first met Glamour Gals’ founder RACHEL DOYLE at their GLAMOUR IN THE CITY event this month, I was immediately struck by her genuine passionate for her organization’s work. Glamour Gals connects high school student volunteers with nursing home residents for complimentary facials and makeovers. (Uh, hi, where do I sign up? Oh yah, I’m neither a teenager, nor a senior, but still…) GG began six years ago as a young girl’s initiative to foster meaningful connections between the generations and has now blossomed into a nationally recognized, non-profit organization sponsored by MAYBELLINE and boasting quite an impressive collection of fans, advisors and supporters (me = #a1-fan!).

The Glamour in the City event featured key note speakers Tim Gunn of Project Runway (Mr. Tight-lips himself), and Dr. Sheila Johnson, co-founder of BET and CEO of Salamander Hospitality (yah, how badly do you wanna be her?). Also on board to lend support were Nathaniel Hawkins of Treseme and reps from Maybelline. Their collective presence is a powerful testament to the tremendous impact the organization has had on so many lives.

Throughout the evening, guests were hooked-up with complimentary makeovers and hair styling tips. But the special treat was Glamour Gal’s first ever “GLAMMIES” award ceremony recognizing their outstanding volunteers. With 30 chapters throughout 7 states, Rachel is quick to acknowledge the dedication and work of the high school volunteers who could just as easily spend their time in the mall or chatting online with their peers (too kewl for skool). For these girls (hailing from Irvington High School in NJ and Thomas Edison High School in Queens, among others), the Glamour Gals appeal is a unique opportunity to exercise their strength as leaders in a way that positively impacts them, at least as much as the amazing and beautiful women they dote their attention on.

Rachel, who travels to high schools and speaks on numerous panels, continues the good work of hyping interest in Glamour Gals. And as the glam members enter into college, many establish chapters on their new campuses, further spreading the word to the world beyond high school (as if!). And even if your days of mid-terms and dorm rooms are (thankfully) in the past, there are still tremendous opportunities to participate in Glamour Gals. Contributions can be made through their website at www.glamourgals.org or simply by using the internet search engine “Goodsearch.” And fabulously, once Glamour Gals is established as your preferred charity, the website donates one penny for every search (and your thoughts). So keep those good pennies from heaven raining down on Glamour Gals and keep the all-important connection between the female generations alive and strong for years to come.

Originally published June 2006
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