Archive for the ‘brooklyn/nyc’ Category

tomorrow at brooklyn indie market

October 24, 2008

I won’t be able to make it, but maybe you can go and support some local artisans tomorrow from 11am to 7pm at the Brooklyn Indie Market (Smith & Union, Carroll Gardens).

The theme tomorrow is Steampunk, which according to wiki editors at Wikipedia is a “subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s.” Think Victorian England mixed with sci-fi fantasy (Jules Verne, HG Wells).

Two designers of note:

  • Sylvia Holden whose deconstructed fashion is made from recycled materials
  • Wren of Purevile whose often macabre one-of-a-kind jewelry is fashioned from antiques and such (like bones and doll parts)

Looks like I’ll be missing out!

[via Brooklyn Based]

upcoming program explores adaptive reuse

October 20, 2008

The Municipal Art Society of New York City (MASNYC) presents…

A Second (and Green) Career for Industrial Buildings

New York City was once the nation’s power house for manufacturing, and many of the buildings and factories that fueled that industry remain. Preserving these buildings and using them to foster green-collar industries or adapting them to new housing, cultural, and retail uses is the most sustainable action New York could take.

This program will explore two approaches to preserving industrial buildings: keeping them for manufacturing uses (which also means retaining good-paying jobs) or adapting these buildings to new uses.

Panelists include Andrew Kimball, president & chief operating officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, home to traditional maritime uses and new green jobs, Robert Powers, preservation consultant on the tax-certified rehabilitation of the Austin-Nichols Warehouse, Norma Barbacci of the World Monuments Fund, with news of imaginative projects from Latin America, and Lisa Kersavage, MAS director of advocacy and policy. Moderated by Mary Habstritt, president of the Society for Industrial Archaeology.

Recycling New York’s Industrial Past: Inspiration From Home and Abroad
Wednesday, October 22, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Reception to follow.
$15, $12 MAS members/students. Purchase tickets online or call 212-935-2075.

For details of upcoming MAS programs, visit, and for a downloadable version of our fall program calendar in PDF form, click here.

appetizing arts

October 20, 2008

Also at the Red Hook Harvest Festival were Elizabeth Johnson and Ludie Minaya of Conscious Cravers.

At the Harvest, Elizabeth and Ludie were selling some adorable and provocative t-shirts, with messages focused on healthy eating and farm practices.

What is Conscious Cravers all about?

[Conscious Cravers] are performance art food educators who use interactive skits, role plays and visuals to empower people to be conscious about their cravings and gain the skills they need to take responsibility for their health. We travel throughout the New York tri-state area (and beyond) with knives, cutting boards and portable burners in tow bringing the message of sound food for a sound mind and a sound body to anyone who is willing to listen to us.

Check out their workshop offerings.

The Appetizing Arts Exhibit

Be sure to catch this “exploration of food as fuel for artistic expression” on display at The Rising Arts Gallery in Brooklyn. The exhibit will feature photography, painting, and mixed media works by artists who use food as inspiration. Full details below:

Appetizing Arts

The Rising Arts Gallery
35 Claver Place #1
(btwn Fulton and Jefferson)
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Opening reception
Thursday, November 13th, 2008

On view until December 12th, 2008.

Read more about Appetizing Arts here.

red hook harvest

October 20, 2008

This past Saturday my friend Anne and I hopped on our bikes (after the helpful guys at Bicycle Station put Anne’s bike chain back on) and headed down to the Red Hook Harvest Festival hosted by Added Value and Herban Solutions at Red Hook Community Farm.

Truer words were never written

We arrived just in time to get a tutorial from Classie Parker on canning for the leaner months. She showed us how to “put some love into” pickled onions and dilly beans and we sampled some of her delicious canned peaches. Spectators were able to participate by canning their own veggies.

Classie’s puttin’ her love into it

Classie shows them how to can-can

There were all kinds of activities for kids: pumpkin picking and a carving contest, bite the apple on the string, and Halloween costume making from fabric scraps. Families had the opportunity to pet the farm’s chickens (whom, I’d like to add, were extraordinarily handsome).

Pickin’ pumpkins at the pumpkin patch

Here chickie-chickies

That’s one handsome chicken!

Swaying and bobbing for apples

Local restaurants including Applewood, The Good Fork, iCi, and Rice were serving up delicious soups and savories. I was happy to see that Rice sends their compost to the farm in these buckets.

Rice’s compost buckets

Companies like Tri-State Biodiesel, orgs like Brooklyn Greenway Initiative (we rode on part of the new bike path on the way to the fest), and nonprofits like Heifer International were on hand to answer questions and provide information to the public.

Local musicians provided entertainment, local students offered up African dance lessons, and the local farm stand was set up to sell fresh produce and meats.

Some of the entertainment

It was a beautiful, sunny day that brought together an urban community in an agrarian way.

Learn more about canning farm fresh food

bcue: introducing third thursday public forums

October 17, 2008

The Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (BCUE) launched their series of Third Thursday public forums yesterday, October 16th at 6pm. The series will explore the economic challenges facing the borough in greater detail.

I couldn’t make it to yesterday’s forum (and sorry I’m just announcing it now!), but I hope to attend future events. Stay tuned to BCUE’s website, or sign up to receive their announcements.

“Being Your Own Pied Piper: How the Song of Local Business Will Save NYC’s Economy,” will feature leaders in NYC’s local economy and discuss how our locally owned and operated industries are weathering the recent and ongoing storms on Wall Street. From manufacturing and construction to the food and event planning sectors, learn who and what the anchors of the new “local living economy” are —and how they can benefit businesses and local communities. Join us at our first “Third Thursday” forum to learn more about how strong community relations and environmentally responsible practices serve as capital to support and strengthen your portfolio and neighborhood economy.

Panelists include: Carl Hum, President, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce; Max Carey, CEO, CRD Analytics; Jennifer Stokes, Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership; and Catherine Bohne, Owner, Park Slope Community Bookstore.

Check here for details.

happy re-birthday prospect park zoo!

October 7, 2008

Prospect Park Zoo is celebrating its 15th birthday this year, but its history is pretty rich. It started as a menagerie in the late 1800s, housing various animals, probably not in the most humane way.

[Image: Prospect Park, Menagerie c.1900]

In 1935, following the Central Park Zoo’s example, it reopened as a zoo.

Sadly, the Prospect Park Zoo closed in 1987 after a tragic incident.

The zoo reopened in 1993 under the management of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and has been thriving ever since. I’m lucky enough to have the zoo right in my backyard (well, close enough).

So the zoo is celebrating their birthday in some unique ways. Like giving presents to baboons. Maybe it’s a bit ridiculous to give baboons gifts, but they seem mildly entertained. (This video is from last year, but the same shenanigans went on this year for the zoo’s birthday.)

Read more about the 15th birthday here.

Visit the Prospect Park Zoo.

Become a member of the WCS and enjoy access to all of the city’s zoos and aquarium, and more!

this weekend in bklyn…

October 1, 2008

If you’re in Brooklyn this weekend be sure to take advantage of one of these cool eco happenings:

Clean out your closet!

Collecther Clothing Swap
Dig in your closet for some tired old duds (12 of them, to be precise) and bring them to the swap. You’ll get 100 fake bucks to bid on some “new” get-ups. $15 gets you in on all the action.
When: Saturday 10/4 @ 6pm
Where: Franklin btwn Lafayette and Clinton, Bed-Stuy

My So Called Swap
What: One lady’s old sweater is another lady’s treasure. Bring some clothes your willing to part with and mix with fellow swappers while swooning over Jordan Catalano as “My So Called Life” plays in the background. Drink specials, cupcakes, and Tarot readings are also in store.
When: Sunday 10/5 from 4-8pm
Where: K&M Bar, 225 North 8th at Roebling, W’burg, 718-388-3088

Bring out your read!

The Great American Book Drive
What: Dust off those old books you never read and bring them to the drive to support some worthy organizations, like Better World Books.
When: Saturday 10/4 from 10am – 3pm
Where: Brooklyn Central Library, Grand Army Plaza

It’s open, come on in!

NYC Green Buildings Open House
What: GreenhomeNYC’s annual guided tour of green buildings all over NYC. Learn about sustainable building features like energy saving and indoor air quality while touring unique residences and businesses via bus, bike, or your own two feet.
When: Saturday 10/4, times vary
Where: Locations vary, check here for tour details

[Image: Greenbelt]

[via Brooklyn Based]

hot bread kitchen

September 28, 2008

I don’t know how they do it, but this stuff is good. Hot Bread Kitchen, based in Long Island City, bakes up some delicious granola. It’s not too sweet, with crunchy almonds and pepitas, plump raisins, and just the right amount of flavor. I just had some with juicy peaches from the farmer’s market and almond milk. A great way to start a rainy Sunday, or any day really.

Hot Bread Kitchen also makes yummy crispy lavash breads topped with zaatar, sesame, or poppy seeds. They’re great with cheese, hummus, or even naked.

I haven’t tried their focaccia breads or corn tortillas, but I’m guessing they’re just as great as the granola and lavash.

Of course, all of their ingredients are organic and local (or I wouldn’t be telling you about them!).

Where can I get these tasty baked goods?
Hot Bread Kitchen, in keeping with the eat local philosophy, is [mostly] only available in NY. (Sorry to tease all of you outside NY!) You can find the purveyors of their goods on their site.

Hot Bread Kitchen, in addition to being a great bakery, is helping to preserve the culinary traditions of different cultures from around the world. At the heart of their business is support for women who’ve immigrated to the US — empowering them through jobs and providing ESL classes.

foraging with the wildman

September 22, 2008

We gathered a small feast of wild edibles this past Saturday in Prospect Park on our latest foraging tour — this time with “Wildman” Steve Brill. Both the content of his tour and his conduct explain the alias.

Before he even collected our $15 “suggested donation,” he was hocking his wares (field guides, a cookbook, magnifying lenses). From the wadded up piece of paper he pulled from his cargo pants’ pocket, he took attendance. He phoned the stragglers.

He put his daughter, the aptly named Violet, in the care of over 20 patient tour participants as he brought his merchandise back to the car. “Has anyone seen my daughter?” he uttered more than once as we waited in Grand Army Plaza.

After about 25 minutes, he announced the start of the tour. He played us the “Brill-a-phone” — a pseudo wind instrument created by clapping his hands in front of his open, hollowed-out mouth (somewhat akin to blowing on the top of an empty bottle).

Wildman Steve Brill

Despite The Wildman’s idiosyncrasies, it was an enjoyable day. The sun shone warmly, but the shade provided relief. I learned more about the edible plants around me. Sampled some new wild food and took home enough to be able to enhance some meals.

The root vegetable of the burdock plant, known as “gobo” in Japanese cuisine, will be a good addition to some vegetable soup I’m making. As will the goutweed or bishop’s elder, with it’s mostly celery, partly parsley flavor.

Root of burdock (Arctium) on the plant

Root of burdock (Arctium) on my table

Goutweed or bishop’s elder (Aegopodium podagraria)

I’ll make a “lemonade” with the staghorn sumac I picked (with the help of a tall tour mate).

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)

I pulled a sassafras sapling from the ground — its root makes a nice tea.

Pulling sassafras

Sassafras root

The wood sorrel (Oxalis), bright and lemony, will be a tasty addition to a salad or a sandwich. I didn’t pick enough of it, but the lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) would be a nice salad green or spinach alternative (it’s high in vitamins A and C, calcium, folate, fiber, and protein).

I can make a dressing with grated garlic mustard root.

Root of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

We sampled some hackberries — the dried, brown ones taste a bit like the candy coating of an M&M. We also ate some foxtail grass seeds. Just gently twist the head of the grass over your palm for a mild little treat. A word of warning for pet owners: I’ve read that the seeds are toxic for dogs.

Hackberries (Celtis)

Foxtail grass (Alopecurus L.)

I tried a bit of black walnut, and my boyfriend and I came back the next day to collect some. We only found a couple, but the tree is full of them. Maybe in a week they’ll have fallen. When you do collect them, be sure to remove the husk before bringing them home — they tend to become infested with bugs.

Lots of nuts up in that black walnut tree (Juglans nigra)

Black walnut husks

A Monarch butterfly we spied at the end of the tour

While we did collect quite a few wild edibles, I was happy to see many farmer’s market stands still open so late in the afternoon. My dogs were barking at this point, so my boyfriend gathered a few things while I sat on the curb. When we got home, we used the field garlic in an heirloom tomato salad.

Field garlic (Allium oleraceum)

Grand Army Plaza greenmarket

Related reading

The Wild Vegetarian Cookbook by “Wildman” Steve Brill

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steve Brill

Take a tour with the Wildman

Related posts

exploring, gathering
yesterday’s brooklyn foraging tour [with Leda Meredith]
stalking the wild asparagus

park(ing) day this friday!

September 17, 2008

What the heck is Park(ing) Day?

Park(ing) Day is an international event that reclaims over 200 parking spots in 50 cities around the world and transforms them into engaging public spaces for one day a year.

Park(ing) Day NYC is an effort of the New York City Streets Renaissance which offers individuals and groups small grants to turn more than 50 parking spots throughout New York City’s 5 boroughs into human-friendly places for a single day. These small, temporary public spaces provide a breath of relief from the auto-clogged reality of New York City, and aim to spark a dialogue about our valuable public space and how we choose to use it.

There’s a spot not too far from me on the other side of the park at Cortelyou Ave and Argyle Rd. This particular park is hosted by Sustainable Flatbush blogger Anne Pope.

Sound like a good idea to you? Join the fun and find a spot in 4 out of the 5 boroughs.

[Image: Keka Marzagão]

[Park(ing) Day via Brooklyn Based]