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You might not know New Yorker Liz Dee by name, but you're probably familiar with Smarties, those diminutive rolls of sweet, tart candy her family has been producing at its New Jersey factory for more than 65 years.
Besides being co-owner of her very own candy company, Liz--a vegan yogini who radiates health and vitality--is an active advocate for compassionate living. This autumn, she served on the host committee of Mercy For Animals’ Art of Compassion event, and she’s on the advisory board at Our Hen House, a multimedia powerhouse using creative broadcasting strategies to better the lives of animals.
We're inspired not only by Liz's positive approach to life, but by her commitment to making the world a better place, which is why we asked her to share some of her favorite things about one of our favorite places: New York City. Here, Liz gives us an insider's look into her wonderful world, and fuels us with great ideas for our next visit to The Big Apple.
Favorite restaurant: There are so many sensational restaurants in New York City, it’s challenging to choose just one favorite! I love visiting Pure Food and Wine or any Candle restaurant for special occasions, and Souen, Angelica Kitchen, Caravan of Dreams or Peacefood Café for less formal meals out.
Favorite yoga studio: Jivamukti Yoga School NYC is my home base, and I’m lucky enough to have Integral Yoga around the corner. They offer beautiful restorative classes.
Favorite exercise spot: There’s nothing like watching the sunset during a run at Hudson River Park, but as far as classes go, my favorite studio is Circuit of Change. Their zen bootcamp keeps me centered and kicks my butt.
Favorite juice bar: I like to juice at home, but for a quick option (and plenty of choices), there’s a Juice Press close to us that I visit pretty regularly. I’m drinking their “mother earth” juice as I write this, actually! Also, their “black label” drink is insanely delicious.
Favorite bar: I rarely drink, but I want to give a shout out to Pine Box Rock Shop, where I can visit with our rescue pup, Sandy. They are vegan, dog- friendly, and host the fantastic Vegan Shop-Up.
Favorite weekend escape: The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, is an incredibly special place. When I go for a weekend of R&R, I come home so relaxed, it feels as if I’ve been on a two-week vacation.
Favorite way to relax: Meditation is the easiest way for me to relax. Whether it’s guided or unguided, walking or seated, meditation always helps me de-stress. As a resource, I highly recommend reading anything (and everything) by Thich Nhat Hanh. His work profoundly influenced my life.
In addition to meditation, writing is essential for me to mitigate stress. I make an effort to write every day as part of my commitment to myself. I take a class (in NYC!), Autonomy and Life, which helps me maintain a purpose-driven perspective to live a life of my own design.
Favorite place to write: I wish I could say my favorite place to write is at home, but I have to admit that I prefer to be at the library or a café. A couple of my beloved haunts right now are the Jefferson Market Library and Jivamuktea Café.
Favorite urban green space: We live very close to the gorgeous Hudson River Park. I like to go there to run, bike, or ride my longboard. I’d also like to mention a little garden that is a true gem. It is a part of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields on Hudson Street and open to the public. Strolling in its paths, you can forget you’re in a city.
Favorite place to shop for leather-free shoes: MooShoes is a vegan shoe oasis. What’s better than shopping for vegan shoes (and bags, wallets, belts, apparel, etc.) in the company of rescued cats? Oh, and my husband swears by his Brave GentleMan footwear (which can be found at Mooshoes and online)!
Keep up with Liz Dee as she celebrates life in New York and beyond on Twitter and Instagram.
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Swell! Autumn Edition