A Different Take On Mainstream


China Town NYC

This post was sponsored* by the AVG app

I have been oscillating upon whether to start this extremely randomly, as I usually do—or to pay attention to boring stuff—like SEO. I’ve decided I’m gonna do both. Ahem: Welcome to my blog, Cynical Duchess, where I will be discussing my favorite products, places and events this past month of May. Right. Now that that’s over: GREEN SOCKS. PIKACHU. YOUR LEFT NOSTRIL.

No but like seriously, I’ve said and done a lot of interesting things this past month— some of which I can discuss on the internets, and others of which shall remain forever buried within the depths of my soul. That sounds way more sinister than it actually was. Whatever. ONWARD!


The House Bibimbap

I do not say this lightly, but I’m saying it now– this is my absolute favorite vegan restaurant in New York City. The service is amazing–they are so attentive, so sweet, and so talkative as well. The food is literally scrumptious– and while that may be quite an overused word to describe food, I have no other word for it that better describes the fare here. Wild Ginger is a vegan, pan asian restaurant– meaning that they serve vegan dishes from all over the Asian continent– from India to Malaysia. I got the House Bibimbap Bowl, which consists of rice, avocado, seaweed, chickpeas, beats, seitan, kimchi, mango salad–and some other stuff I don’t remember right now. I honestly cannot rave more about this place–the whole ambiance is so cozy and intimate, and every single dish is simply so healthy, colorful and creative. They mix the most awesome ingredients together so that the taste is always new and unexpected, and the presentation is simply beautiful. Also, the portions are large and IT’S REALLY CHEAP. A main, a drink and a dessert cost me all of $20-$25.

Bibimbap came with a side of a savory, earthy pumpkin soup.

Thai Iced Tea

Surprisingly, Wild Ginger’s desserts were completely Western. It was like one minute you were eating spring rolls and kimchi, then the next second they were asking you whether you preferred banana walnut ice-cream, or pumpkin cheesecake. I really wanted that banana walnut ice-cream, but RH doesn’t like bananas. Hmph. So we got the vegan pumpkin cheesecake. IT WAS AMAZING. I mean, you try to make a vegan cheesecake that tastes exactly like cheese and tell me how it goes. But honestly, the best part of Wild Ginger, apart from the awesome food, would really have to be the service. The servers are not only polite, but genuinely friendly–one of the waitresses even DM’ed me on Instagram so I would be able to find the place on social media. Although I will admit, one of the waiters was really really flirty. Stop trying to tease me when I’m single AL dude. It isn’t nice.



So I didn’t really discuss it much on this blog, but my move to New York City was pretty much a gap year to Figure Things Out. I don’t really want to discuss what brought along this gap year, as the details, though so very juicy, are quite personal. However, at the beginning of this year, I was a disgruntled English Lit. major, who thought she was going to end up in somewhere like Bard, or Sarah Lawrence. Little did I know that in just a few short months, I would realize how much I hate performing surgery on the words of other people, and how much I really just wanted to, well, blog. So I made the rational choice and switched to journalism. And with that came a slew of completely different schools to apply to. Boston University had never been on my radar before this, but now that I had to apply to J-schools— it kept popping up everywhere, right at #7 in the country. I also got into Emerson College, which is #1 for journalism, but BU gave me a better scholarship. SO HERE I AM! Let the next adventure commence.



Go Ask Alice

I honestly think everyone should read this book at least once in their life. For those who have never heard of Go Ask Alice, it is a first hand diary of an American teenage girl growing up in the ’70s, who accidentally drinks an LSD laced soda at a party, and soon spirals into a downward slope of addiction and drug abuse. While the debate still fires on, almost 50 years later, about whether this was a real girl’s diary, or whether it was fabricated simply for the sake of the story–it is entirely irrelevant to the absolute importance of this narrative. Go Ask Alice depicts a completely middle class, run of the mill, American girl. She has a white picket fence, two cars in the garage, and teenage worries compiled of homework and homecoming. There is no rational reason for her to turn to drugs. Which is why this tale is so frightening to read– because any of us could potentially be an “Alice”.

Like any addiction, we don’t realize that we are sucked in, until we are groveling at the bottom of a muddy hole, desperately licking the remnants of a substance we thought we could consume “recreationally”. Indeed, Alice serves as the archetype for the Average American Teenager, as we watch her experiment with cocaine within the comforts of her middle class bedroom–until we don’t anymore, and we watch as she falls into the streets of San Francisco to support her need for heroin. Some people may call this book reactionary propaganda, but this book had a profound impact on me when I first read it in 10th grade–and the impact still stands as I reread it at 21. I can only speak for myself in this matter, but I know how easy it can be to fall into behaviors that I personally don’t agree with. It starts with a whisper of rationalization, and a few “it’s only’s”, and it doesn’t take much else for you to forget what you fought so long to stand for. And that is terrifying. People, please read this book.



Hopefully, none of us have ever been the victim of a phone hack or theft–but even if we haven’t, I’m sure an annoying younger sibling, friend or nephew, has at some point tried to hack into your phone and look at your pictures. This app was only brought to my attention a few weeks ago, but even so, It is definitely an app that I strongly believe every blogger should look into. First of all, for those who have never heard of the AVG antivirus software, it is a system that works with all forms of computers and phones to thoroughly clean and protect devices from thievery and malicious malware. If you work on a mac, it can work to clean up to 14 gigs of space, simply by removing buildups of unwanted cookies and useless files. Furthermore, AVG software has customized protection systems for almost any kind of device, from a PC to an android.

In fact, AVG just launched a free app for android phones, that resiliently works to clean and protect your phone in the most efficient way possible. I think the coolest bit about the app is their camera trap software; anyone who unsuccessfully tries to enter your password three times into your phone, the AVG app will secretly take a picture of them on the camera phone, and email you the photo–so you’ll know who has your phone, whether its your annoying cousin Sam, or some creepy dude named Andre. (No offense to any Andres). Furthermore, the AVG app installs an anti theft tracker into the phone, so if your android gets lost or stolen, you can visit their anti theft website from another device, and track exactly where your phone is. Moreover, you can remotely lock the phone from a different device, as well as install an extremely loud alarm–just to freak out Andre. And if you really think that your phone is gone forever, you can remotely wipe all information from the phone so that Andre doesn’t get a good look at your sensitive information. Unfortunately, I have an iPhone. Even so, I’m really thinking of installing this software into my Mac, just so that I’ll feel safer.


Well, that is all I have to say on the subject. My eyelids are drooping and I no longer know what I am writing, so I am going to stop now.

Peace out,

Cynical Duchess

What was the best thing that happened to you this May?

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