Discover the secrets of the vegan diet followed by many Rastafarians in a day of travel through New York City. Reggae, veggie curries and friendly faces in Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx.
Photographed by Michael Cooper
Years before I moved to New York City, a friend here told me about a former White Castle “deep in Brooklyn” that had been taken over by Rastafarians and turned into an ital restaurant, serving all vegan Caribbean fare. It was hard to believe that the quintessential Brooklyn fast food chain, at least as far as the Beastie Boys had led me to understand as a 9-year-old in suburban New Jersey wearing out my License to Ill tape, would have forfeited valuable territory to the dietary enemy.
Years later, now living in Brooklyn, I made the surprising discoveries that White Castle is in fact a firmly midwestern enterprise, founded in Kansas and spreading east from there, and that Veggie Castle had abandoned their regal Flatbush flagship but continues to carry the banner at Veggie Castle II, also moving east, about 8 ½ miles, to Little Guyana in Richmond Hill, Queens...