- NYC is a great place to have food allergies! There are so many people living there that restaurants/food service businesses can afford to cater to special diets -- so there are lots of choices, and secondly there is so much competition that they need to really deliver on customer service to retain loyalty.
- Manhattanites have a true "live and let live" mentality because, well, everyone is literally in everyone else's face. So as long as you do your own thing and don't bother anyone, no one is bothered by you. So no one really questioned when I asked for things in a certain way. Either that, or everyone is NYC-style high-maintenance ala Meg Ryan's character in "When Harry Met Sally" that they expect it. You decide. :) In LA, I often get asked "Why aren't you eating that? Did you not like it?" which sometimes spurs good education and conversation, and other times bugs because I just don't have the energy to explain AGAIN.
- Sloane is an energetic, passionate yet rational advocate for food allergies. In case you didn't know, in addition to coaching clients for food allergies, she works with the restaurant industry to help set standards for food allergies in professional kitchens to avoid cross-contamination. I am awed by her breadth of talent and skill!
- At the James Beard House, I met also met Heidi, aka Brooklyn Allergy Mom and Jill, founder of Glow #gf cookies and all of a sudden found myself surrounded by my food allergy community -- live and in person! It was both thrilling and surreal, since most of my food allergy life consists of me, at home with my computer. :) Here I was, with people who already "knew" me, and followed me enough to say "oh yeah, I always see you dissecting your sandwiches".
- Divvies, a vendor who caters to food allergy peeps like us, provided snackies at the event. It all seemed so...normal that I was taken aback that it was so smoothly handled.
There's WAY more to tell but I'll get back to this soon, promise. Meanwhile, here are some pics. To be continued....
PS, this template is distorting the images, you can click on them to see them clearly, sorry. My html skills need some work.