Oh Hai, Hunters!
It’s me, Jamie! We don’t know each other, but I wanted to drop a line anyway. You see, as a non-hunter (a vegan, actually), I realize that we’re never going to get along, but I do have one question I want to throw your way:
I don’t understand the way you folks dress. I see that you’re wearing camouflage because you’re in the woods and you want to blend in, but you’re also wearing orange jackets so other hunters don’t shoot you, so… wait, let me start over.
The purpose of wearing camouflage is to blend in with the environment. Since you’re in the woods, you’re wearing that classic green, brown, black whatever print… but wait, who are you trying to avoid? Not the other hunters – because the orange vest is the official “Don’t shoot me, I’m a person” uniform of the woods, so why not just wear all orange? Because then Tommy Lee Jones would shoot you, I guess. But the vest breaks up your camo… this is like some kind of broken logic loop. I don’t get it.
But then, deer aren’t exactly the most elusive of creatures (I mean, come on, where’s the challenge in that? These guys can’t even figure out how to cross the street!), so I guess fashion sense is just the least of our misunderstandings.
We visited Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom this past weekend – this was my first time there and for the most part, my observations are based on a comparison with Six Flags Great Adventure. Let’s dive in: Read the rest of this entry
I have a problem with Animal Kingdom in concept (which I’m sure I’ll address when I do my Things to Improve Animal Kingdom piece) as essentially, it’s a zoo, and I don’t care for zoos. On the other hand, I do like Thrill Rides, and as anyone whose been on it knows, Expedition Everest is a lot of fun, so I can’t bypass the park all together, and a brotha’s gotta eat. Let’s take a look at what a vegan can have at the Kingdom! Read the rest of this entry
I’ve been to Downtown Disney maybe three or four times in its existence and I’m not sure if I’ve ever given it a fair shake and spent more than a few hours there, but, to be frank, I’m not sure it deserves one.
My biggest problem with Downtown Disney is the design: it’s a long strip rather than a location with a heart, which creates a lot of unnecessary walking on a vacation that is already walk heavy. For me, the stores are small and don’t feature many items and there is a serious lack of bars. The bars we found were small or outdoors, and when it’s a million degrees out in Orlando, you’ll find yourself making a deal with the devil for an air conditioned bar. The restaurants are nothing special (mostly chain restaurants, if not entirely chains) and if you’re vegan, you’re pretty much screwed if you want an actual meal. We were lucky to stumble upon a felafel burger, which was available in the same building as Baby Cakes, the vegan bakery. (Like wanderers in the desert who’d come upon fresh water, we must have purchased a dozen or so assorted donuts, cakes and breads. It was glorious!) Even though there didn’t seem to be many people around, it always felt crowded – some of the walkways are very narrow.
AMC Dine-In Theatres at Downtown Disney
We saw The Great Gatsby in 3D at the AMC Theater, which was a satisfactory viewing experience. The image was bright, the screen was crisp and the seats were comfortable. There is a table in front of you, but it seems a bit too high to eat off of, but since there was nothing vegan on the menu, all we had was popcorn and booze, which was brought to us by a server. Last call was a bit earlier in the film than I’d expect, but maybe they were on to something as it was a race to the bathroom after the flick was over. The room wasn’t half full, so I can imagine that if it was sold out, all of the servers and activity could be distracting, but overall, we enjoyed the experience, despite the lack of food selection.
Important tip: there are two bus stops!
If you’re coming to Downtown Disney via a Disney bus, it’s important to remember that there are two bus stops. If you have a destination in mind, just ask your bus driver at which stop you should disembark. Otherwise, you’ll have to walk the full length of Downtown Disney, which isn’t that long, but again, Disney is a walk intensive vacation, and any walking you can avoid is a good thing. In any case, you’re going to end up trudging across the parking lot to get back to the bus stop, which is entirely too far from the strip.
Is Downtown Disney a must see during your Disney World vacation? No, not by any stretch of the imagination. But, if you need a down day away from the parks, it might be worth checking out.
Or, you could just hang at your hotel pool – that’s probably a better idea.
We recently visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios (aka The Artist Formerly Known as MGM) and perused the vegan dining options. Here’s what we found:
The Brown Derby
Though pricey, TheBrown Derby had an excellent vegan option in a noodle bowl that was topped with a piece of coconut incrusted tofu. I could have used a bigger piece of tofu (the tofu was really excellent, and I wouldn’t call myself a guy who loves tofu), but the noodles and the sauce that accompanied them were great, so I had no trouble eating that. Our waiter was knowledgeable and understood what we meant by ‘vegan’ to the point that he even brought us oil and balsamic vinegar rather than butter when the bread showed up. Again, two entrees and two beers cost us a small fortune, but the food was great.
Miscellaneous Veggie Burger
Although we did not try it, several locations apparently offer a veggie burger (although it looked like the ABC Commissary did not, but the outdoor spots by The Tower of Terror do as does one of the other sit down restaurants… the one with the cars, I think… Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant?), and the veggie burger comes with cheese, so you’ll have to ask them to leave that off. Again, we’ve never tried this, so we don’t know all the ins and outs – for example, if you get a veggie burger at the magic kingdom, you have to ask for a vegan bun or forgo the bun all together.
Outside of Popcorn and Pretzels…
That’s about it. You can get also get a pickle as well as fresh fruit in several spots, and there are some all fruit frozen options (or so the sign says), but that’s about it. Ultimately, you don’t go to MGM to eat, but instead, for the few attractions they offer that are worth checking out: Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours (new version) and maybe The Muppets 3D, but they’ve been running that same movie since the park opened, and I’ve seen it a zillion times, so we skipped it on our last trip. The rest of the park is a dud – just get there in the morning, get a Fast Pass for Toy Story, hit the other aforementioned attractions, maybe have lunch in between if you have to (or just want to spend the crazy fortune that the Brown Derby costs), but don’t waste your time on anything else. And if you’re really hungry for vegan food, have a meal at one of the other parks!
I’ve tried a few different Vegan Buffalo Chicken brands, and if you ask me, they’re all about the same. This one is ok, but none of them come with sauce, and they report should. They’re not dry, and they are spicy, but they’re missing something, and I’m pretty sure it’s sauce.
A while back, you may recall that I was sad after Taco Bell discontinued their Fire Roasted sauce. It was my favorite of their condiments and a real loss for the people of earth in general. I still have their Hot sauce, so that’s something, but life will never be the same. Now, in an effort to make each day even more unbearable than the one before it, the folks who encourage us to run for the border have discontinued their Spanish Rice and have left us this pathetic Caucasian substitute.
This new cilantro white rice is some boring ass shit. I know I sound like a ranting old man who rejects change, but fuck that stupid cilantro rice! I don’t want it! They can take this new product and shove it up their Border Bowl!
And, just to rub Cinnamon Twists in the wound, they are still printing dumb shit on the sauce packets. CreativeJamie.com contributor Nurse Becky asked me, “Do yours down there say stupid shit too??” and I must let you know that, yes, double fuckness yes, they most certainly do – both Canada AND the United States must deal with this nonsense. The photo she provided is a fine example.
Still, I can’t be too mad at Taco Bell. They always let me substitute whatever it is they mean by “meat” for beans and they have locations all over the place, so they’ve saved my ass on multiple occasions. We’re just having a spat right now, the Bell and me. It’s not like I’m going to stop going there – I’m just going to curse under my breath a lot as I drive back home.
As someone who pursues a vegan lifestyle and diet, I don’t tend to think of myself as as the sort of person that does what I’m about to do – tell someone that what they’re doing is wrong based on my beliefs. I’m sure I do this every once in a while, but I’ve never tried to convert someone, I don’t give the guy at NYY Steak dirty looks when I walk by, and I’ve never been to a protest in my life… but I’m thinking about starting. Writing today about Ann Hamilton’s installation at the Park Avenue Armory might be the first step.
When I first started reading about Hamilton’s art project and the idea of audience as art, I was intrigued. Then, I saw the photos of the giant swing along with the giant curtain and I was getting ready to check this out first hand. I was getting excited about art (which is tough for me), excited about leaving the house when not going to the movies or a bar (tougher still) and then I saw the photo of the pigeon below.
I’m sorry, but if you can’t make art without putting animals in tiny cages, then fuck you. I don’t care what you’re trying to express or what you’re trying to say – putting a pigeon in a cage is not art, it’s bullshit. That’s why the only person in the photo is part of the exhibit – nobody else wants to go over there. Maybe because animals in tiny cages is depressing, maybe because they don’t like that lady’s singing… I don’t know for sure, but art (any kind of art) is supposed to be about making people feel something, and if the only way you can accomplish that is by putting birds in tiny cages, then I say fuck your exhibit – I’m not coming.