It’s a pretty established fact that if you’re of the Vegan persuasion, Oregon is the place to go; this truth is what spawned a spur-of-the-moment holiday to visit a friend one February that would eventually lead to starting a new home in Portland, Oregon.
Not two hours south is a quaint hippie town called Eugene, home to some exceptionally stellar natural products established long before it was in fashion. Arguably the best vegan food you can find in Eugene is at Cornbread Cafe. The Food Network’s Guy Fieri’s autograph is found etched above the cash register as you first make your way through the brick hovel. It resonates an uncanny fifties vibe that establishes the home-cooked handiwork to come and sets your salivary glands into motion.
I frequently head down to Eugene for business and I’m not ashamed to say that every time I go, I know that I’ll be vistiing cornbread cafe for a plate of undeniably authentic vegan comfort food that hold its weight with the traditional form. If you don’t believe me take a look at the photo and imagine sinking your teeth into BBQ seitan that bounces back with the chewy consistency of a pork chop. Upon first bite, the savory gravy forming a welcomed pool above a snowball of mashed potatoes gently shocks your taste buds with a kiss of salt that will send you into ecstasy.
If that’s not enough, if you sit at the diner-style bar in front of the short order cook window, there’s a refrigerated box of sweet goodness ranging from coconut cream pie to cheesecake in a jar. I’ve yet to sample the desserts, but that’s what return visits are for!
Be sure to stop by Cornbread Cafe if you’re in Eugene- I’m sure they’ll make a repeat offender out of you to.
Over the last couple of years, my hunger for discovering the best local traditional and non-traditional food wherever I traveled became a natural part of my travels (pun intended). Overnight my Instagram started to have a central focus- health & fitness drove my photography and eventually ended up launching into a career in food marketing.
After a good bit of thinking I came to the conclusion that I’d shift the Gypsy Switch in this direction. I will of course continue to include brick & mortar establishments of the fashion family as well– Music, food, and fashion fit well together. I hope you enjoy my updates from here on out. There s alot of good foor to be had, and I look forward to sharing it with you!
In early February I decided to stretch my wings a bit and travel northwest. I’d never been that far up the coast and I had a hankering for some vegan treats and beautiful scenery. One of my jam buddies had just moved back to Portland and my wanderlust was in full effect, so I booked a flight and set off a couple weeks later.
The next few posts will give you a bit of insight into my experiences and of course I’ll post some tunes to go along with them. I spent five days there but it was love at first sight. Portland is definitely my favorite US city, and I hope my words and music do it justice. Without further adieu…
I arrived around 10 at night and the sky had just cracked open when my friend parked his Subaru. The frigid air made me glad that I brought my heavier, hooded jacket. We were in St. Johns, a laid-back, friendly North Portland suburb and The Baowry was our first stop.
The music was turned down to the perfect volume and the decor was tastefully Asian. Our waitress had Siamese blue eyes and a dress that rose just high enough to make it interesting. It was the calm before the storm and I couldn’t wait to begin.
“People worry about kids playing with guns, and teenagers watching violent videos; we are scared that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands – literally thousands – of songs about broken hearts and rejection and pain and misery and loss.”
― Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
If there is one thing I am familiar with, it is the mindset of the hopeless romantic; therefore it was inevitable that I would construct a playlist of modern themes for the victims of constant pining. This is not your typical compilation– I’ve peppered the mix with songs you’ll hear for the first time and maybe have heard in passing, but didn’t quite catch the title of. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Threads of “dark” chords and folksy break-aways
1. Angel Olsen “The Waiting
2. Anna Calvi “Suzanne And I”
3. Chelsea Wolfe “The Warden”
4. David Lynch & Lykke Li “I’m Waiting Here”
5. Avi Buffalo “Jessica”
6. Nurses “Technicolor”
7. Saint Saviour “Tightrope”
8. Soley “Pretty Face”
9. Cocteau Age “Know Who You Are At Every Age”
10. Son Lux “Pyre”
11. Nurses “You Lookin’ Twice”
12. Tu Fawning “Wager”
13. Polica “Vegas”
14. Tricky “If Only I Knew”
15. Son Lux “Leave the Riches”
If you’re looking for the best of the best branded denim, Metropark USA might just be your heaven. They have all the great brands including MEK, 7 For All Mankind, SIWY, and Henry & Belle. With great tees and tops for both men and women hailing from Obey, Free People, Romeo & Juliet Couture, as well as great accessories from Betsey Johnson and Tarina Tarantino, you can put together a killer outfit for a nighttime excursion to your favorite club.
Metropark USA has the dedication to music and the club that goes all the way to including a turntable for live mixing. Naturally, their song selection is up to date with the best songs that will get you ready to party that very night. I’ve put together a collection of great club songs to set your moves into motion in and out of the shop.
1. Labrinth ft. Tiny Tempah- Earthquake 2. Nero- Promises (Skrillex & Nero Remix) 3. Pendulum- Set Me On Fire 4. Ellie Goulding- Lights (Bassnectar Remix) 5. Calvin Harris- Feel So Close 6. Skrillex- Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites 7. Pitbull ft. Chris Brown- International Love 8. Calvin Harris- You Used To Hold Me 9. Rihanna- Where Have You Been 10. Flo Rida ft. Sia- Wild Ones
LF Stores are a staple for fashion-loving girls in Los Angeles, New York, and Florida. Now, New Orleans residents can find West and East Coast fashion at their doorstep. LF features Europeans brands with many items exclusive to the store. You can also find denim brought in from Los Angeles and Jeffrey Campbell brand shoes.
It took me a long time to finally force myself to exit the store. Their leather jackets are to die for, and their Italian shoes made my ol’ combat boots quite green with envy. On top of leather goods, LF has a variety of jewelry (such as Native American and religious-inspired pieces), as well as knitted scarves, large-brimmed hats, and tastefully-studded belts.
With such killer clothes, you’ll need a killer mix of dark wave and other chilly electronic beats with sexy vocals to accompany your sexy threads. While shopping, you can play this mix that will make it damn hard to leave (see previous paragraph). If you’re not trend-savvy, the expertly-dressed associates are there to help you sort out a stunning ensemble, whether for the street or the stage. Grab a latte from CC’s across the street, and spend a few hours there. You’ll thank me later!
1. Austra- Believe Me
2. Zola Jesus- Vessel
3. Neon Indian- Polish Girl
4. Grimes- Vanessa
5. Blondes- Spanish Fly
6. Glasser- Home
7. Craft Spells- Given The Time
8. Cults- Abducted
9. Class Actress- Journal Of Ardency
A good gypsy always looks for a bargain, and what better way to save money and the environment than gypsy-switching clothing and accessories! Buffalo Exchange had the ground-breaking idea of hosting trades between locals in their stores, which can be found in a wide variety of different states.
With items often averaging about 15 bucks a pop, you can pick out a whole outfit for what might cost much more somewhere else. A little revelation came to me while I was trying on a gently-used top in the Magazine St. store: I’m sharing a bit of someone else’s life while wearing this shirt! Just think! By purchasing a tee, you will be taking a piece of someone’s history home with you. Who knows if what you’re wearing could’ve belonged to some local rockstar or an old friend you haven’t spoken to in ages.
Mother Nature’s best friends have an damn-the-man, eclectic, but tastefully trendy musical taste just like their fashion sense. They don’t like over-glamorous music unless it’s done right. I’ve made a mix that’ll get your indie bones shaking and ready to thrift.
1. Broken Bells- The Ghost Inside
2. Blue Hawaii- Blue Gowns
3. Starfucker- Medicine
4. Future Islands- Balance
5. Active Child, How To Dress Well- Playing House
6. Beach House- Zebra
7. Sea of Bees- Wizbot
8. Chairlift- Take It Out On Me
9. Midlake- Young Bride