Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category

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

apple day, this sunday

October 17, 2008

Eat some apples in the big apple while learning simple ways to go green, this Sunday on the Lower East Side. It’s New York City Apple Day!

Sunday, October 19
11am to 4:30pm
Orchard St btwn Broome and Grand

  • Apple Tastings – Apple Pie to Chicken Apple Sausage to Chocolate Apple Truffles and Apples and Honey for Sukkot

  • Face painting and Family Activities for kids

  • Free giveaways! Toys, 500 Energy Efficient Light Bulbs, T-Shirts

  • Live Entertainment

  • Learn the best way to recycle

  • Learn how to save energy and money

  • Learn the simplest things to do in your home to Go Green

It’s true what they say, “an apple a day…”

I just read this fitting little tidbit from Yoga Journal editor Andrea Kowalski:

According to Ayurvedic medicine, apples help draw out of the body the heat that accumulates over the summer—heat that can dry out and cause digestive distress in the winter season. The pectin in apples also helps to clean and heal digestive mucosa, according to Ayurvedic doctor John Douillard.

Love apples? Share your favorite apple recipes here.

Honeycrisp, one of my favorites

Dr. Michael Oppenheimer on the Colbert Report

October 16, 2008

Okay, it’s from February of last year. But it’s just as relevant today.

learning events @ AMNH

October 16, 2008

Some great opportunities to learn more about the world that’s changing around us are coming up at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), in conjunction with the new Climate Change exhibit.

Future events @ AMNH

The museum plans to host several programs related to the exhibit including:

  • International Polar Weekend celebration (February 7-8, 2009)
  • World Water Day celebration (March 21, 2009)
  • A series of interactive exhibits introducing kids ages 9-12 to the science of climate change and possible solutions to global warming
  • A series of panel discussions bringing together world experts to discuss and debate the implications of climate change for our future (starting in January)
  • Additional programs focusing on the effects of global warming on the wine and coffee industries

Upcoming programs for adults

These selected programs examine both personal and industrial responsibilities regarding sustainability.

FutureFashion: Connecting an Industry to Sustainable Practices
Thursday, October 23, 6:30pm
$15 ($13.50 Members)

Industry experts, Julie Gilhart, Fashion Director of Barneys; Scott Hahn, President of Loomstate; and others, participate in a discussion with Leslie Hoffman, executive director, Earth Pledge, and Greg Loosvelt, Earth Pledge’s carbon footprint assessment expert, about ways the fashion industry is working to reduce its environmental footprint. Learn about Earth Pledge’s FutureFashion initiative, which encourages sustainability by working within the fashion industry to promote renewable, reusable, and nonpolluting materials and processes. On exhibit will be one-of-a-kind creations made as part of this collaboration by a few top designers, including Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein, and Rodarte.

Global Kitchen: Wine and Climate Change
Tuesday, October 28, 6:30 pm

What consequences will global warming have on the wine industry? In this discussion and wine tasting, climatologist Gregory V. Jones, Southern Oregon University; author and blogger Tyler Colman, and Wine Politics; and Evan Spingarn, wine importer and distributor, will address such topics as redrawing the wine map, wines and their cultural identities, and calculating wine’s carbon footprint.

Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival
Friday-Saturday, November 14-16
$10 ($9 Members)

This sidebar to the international documentary film festival will include two sessions on climate change and global culture. Post-screening discussions with filmmakers and specialists will follow these films. Selected works will circulate in the Traveling Film Series domestically and internationally.

Peace with Seals
Saturday, November 15
Directed by Miloslav Novak. Peace with Seals (Mir s Tuleni) tells the story of biologist Emanuele Coppola’s hunt for the Mediterranean monk seal. Conversations with marine biologists and philosophers, as well as the beachgoers on the Mediterranean shores, who have supplanted the seals, lead him to believe that the only monk seals left are those preserved in Coppola’s extensive collection of archival footage. (U.S. Premiere)

Recipes for Disaster
Sunday, November 16
Directed by John Webster. Recipes for Disaster features the filmmaker and his family in a quest to reduce their carbon footprints by going one year without using oil-based byproducts. Their goal of “green living” seems manageable at first, but surviving without everyday essentials, like goods packaged in plastic, becomes increasingly challenging. (U.S. Premiere)

March Point
Sunday, November 16
Filmmaker and producer in person
Directed by Annie Silverstein. Intent on finding solutions to the pollution caused by two oil refineries in their native land, three teenage members of the Swinomish Tribe arm themselves with cameras and travel across the country to meet the politicians who can help. Following the screening will be a discussion with the filmmaker and producer. (NY premiere)
Co-presenter: National Museum of the American Indian

Upcoming programs for kids and families

Adventures In Science: Climate Change Sundays
11 am–12:30 pm
(for 4th and 5th graders)
1:30–3 pm
(for 6th and 7th graders)
$30 each; $75 for all three

In conjunction with our new exhibition, these hands-on workshops introduce young audiences to the science of climate change and potential solutions. Participate in all three sessions and earn a certificate.

What Is the Difference Between Climate and Weather?
Sunday, October 19

When people ask about the weather, we know what they mean: is it sunny, rainy, or hot? But what does climate mean, and how is it different from weather? In this workshop, we’ll use fun activities to compare their differences and similarities and learn why climate is so important.

What Is Climate Change?
Sunday, October 26

Is Earth really getting hotter? Will a polar bear one day be your neighbor? Using the new exhibition Climate Change: The Threat to Life and A New Energy Future, we will examine the elements of climate change, its impact on Earth, and what that means for animals like polar bears, penguins—and us!

What Can We Do about Climate Change?
Sunday, November 2

We know that Earth’s climate is changing—but what can you do about it? Is recycling enough? What exactly are greenhouse gases? Discover just how much energy you use in your daily life, and learn ways you can reduce your personal impact on the planet and help others to do the same.

To register for these programs, call 212-769-5200 or visit

climate change exhibit @ AMNH

October 16, 2008

This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the new exhibit Climate Change: The Threat to Life and a New Energy Future that opens this Saturday, October 18th, at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).

The day started in the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians with opening remarks from the primary contributors,* which in hindsight seems apropos, considering the culture of native people in this region is being threatened by climate change.

From there we were led to the 3rd floor for the big show, on the way passing through the Warburg Hall of New York State Environment (I love the retro decor of wood paneling and white script lettering that surrounds the dioramas — I hope they never renovate!), North American Forests, and the Hall of Biodiversity.

The exhibit

I don’t want to give away the full show, because I think you should all see it for yourselves (it’s in NYC until next August, then it moves on to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Mexico, and South America). To give you a sense of the importance and comprehensiveness of the event, Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, professor of Geosciences at Princeton, basically said that in lieu of his intro to climate change course, his students should just come to the museum to observe the exhibit.

The beginning of the end

The overwhelming theme of the entrance to the exhibit is black, perhaps signifying the dark descent into our addiction with black gold (in this case coal). On the wall, a fiery red LED line overlaid on a black and white collage demonstrates the rise in world population, economic growth, fossil fuel use and correlating atmospheric carbon dioxide.

This image only represents recent history. The line starts well below the knees and during the last century skyrockets to well about your head. ©AMNH/D. Finnin

Back in 1550, the great forest of Europe were vastly diminished, wood being the primary source of energy. Reluctantly, people took to burning coal for energy.

Here’s a comparison between world conditions in 1600 (when coal use was gaining momentum) and 2000 (8 years ago):

In 1600
estimated world population: 545 to 579 million
estimated size of world economy: $77 billion
estimated atmospheric CO2: 274 parts per million

In 2000
estimated world population: 6.07 billion
estimated size of world economy: $41 trillion
estimated atmospheric CO2: 369 parts per million

If my math is correct, in 400 years, the world population increased to about 12 times its size and atmostpheric carbon dioxide increased by 35%! How could anyone refute that humans have greatly contributed to the warming of our planet?

[Click image to read text]

Ellen V. Futter, president, AMNH

Hey kids, coal is not cool!

Theresa Maher, age 9, and Brian Maher, age 11, from Massachusetts, examine a model of one metric ton of coal in the Climate Change exhibition—a dramatic icon of human energy consumption that represents the amount of coal needed to power an average home for two months, emitting about 2.5 metric tons of CO2. ©AMNH/D. Finnin

Goodbye downtown Manhattan

This model of lower Manhattan demonstrates what will happen when sea levels rise. ©AMNH/D. Finnin

Some alarming facts

  • Earth’s average temperature has risen about 1.8°F over the past 100 years and it will rise much more as long as CO2 emissions continue to increase at current rates
  • Even if emissions were to stabilize today, temperature would continue to rise for several decades due to the delayed response of the climate system
  • Sea level has risen about 7 inches over the last 100 years, mostly due to the expansion of water as it warms. Every foot of sea-level rise translates to 100 feet of shoreline loss on the Eastern U.S. coast. Predictions vary, but future sea-level rise could range from 7 inches to more than 40 inches by 2100
  • The primary effects of sea-level rise are increased flooding during storm surges and coastal erosion and submergence. Some of the world’s largest, most densely populated cities are located in these regions; indeed, 634 million people live within 33 vertical feet of sea level

Look on the bright side

The exhibit is only about 88% doom and gloom. Okay, I’m exaggerating — it struck a balance between human contribution to the problem, the science of climate change, the ecosystems affected, and potential solutions to slow down the process.

Cleaner energy options are examined, and each resource (solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal) was allotted a percentage of the full energy pie. Other solutions offered were individual ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. There’s even an interactive pledge wall where you can join others in committing to specific actions to improve your ecological impact.

Visit the exhibit

Timed tickets to the exhibit — which is on view until August 16, 2009 — include museum admission. Prices are $24 for adults, $18 for students and seniors, and $14 for children. Tickets can be reserved in advance by calling 212-769-5200 or visiting (Service charge may apply.)

*Ellen V. Futter, president of AMNH; Michael Novacek, SVP/provost of Science/curator of the Paleontology division; Edmond Mathez, curator of the exhibition; and Michael Oppenheimer, professor of Geosciences and International Affairs (an abbreviated title) at Princeton University

(Thanks again, Andre & Jenni!)

pete seeger, this saturday at BBG

September 24, 2008

[Image: Annie Liebovitz]

Pete Seeger, legendary folk singer, activist, and lover of everyone on the planet, is headlining the Chile Pepper Fiesta this Saturday (9/27) at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He’ll be accompanied by his son, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, and blues guitarist Guy Davis.

There’s also a full day of activities planned, including more musical performances, cooking demonstrations, tastings, and tours. The $8 admission to the garden gets you access to all the fun.

Learn more about the Fiesta at BBG’s site.

Learn more about Clearwater, the environmental advocacy group co-founded by Pete Seeger.

brooklyn harvest

September 22, 2008

It’s the first day of Fall and it’s already feeling a bit cooler. The kids are back in school, people are already donning boots and sweaters, and some are gearing up for harvest.

For those of us in the city, no upstate trip is required to enjoy some good ol’ fashion pumpkin picking and harvest feasting. In Brooklyn, there are two harvest festivals next month.

The Gowanus Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 11 @ The Yard
Advanced tickets $10
Day of Show $12
Children under 5 Free

Brooklyn! Fall! Brews! Bounty! Yes, its that time of year again. The Yard is once again hosting a fall-themed celebration of Gowanus proportions.

Last year was an incredible success – over 1,000 people joined us at the banks of the canal to enjoy farm fresh food, live music, local vendors, pumpkin carving contests, pony rides, delicious brews and other triumphs of sustainable urban living.

This year, proceeds from the Gowanus Harvest Festival will be donated to Just Food.

So join us and enjoy the wonders of Autumn on Brooklyn’s most …charismatic… waterfront.

Red Hook Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 18 @ Added Value Farm
Annual festival featuring foods from local restaurants, live music and performances, kids’ activities, pumpkin patch, raffle & contests, farmers’ market, farm tours.

A bit from last year’s festival description:

Join several thousand New Yorkers, young and old as we gather together to educate, motivate, inspire and create a more sustainable future for Red Hook and all of New York.

Explore the Red Hook Community Farm, New York City’s largest urban agricultural project and take a tour of the facility led by a member of Added Value’s youth leadership team. Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from the Farm, RonnyBrook Dairy, Red Jacket Orchard, and Wilklow Family Orchards.

Enjoy great local, seasonal fair produced by some of the finest restaurants in the City including The Good Fork, Restaurant ICI, Tini, Baked, and Rice. Press New York State apples into fresh cider, check out the livestock, pick a pumpkin and enter into your art into the craving competition, or pickle some string beans with Classie Parker.

Explore the practicality of solar power, harvesting the wind, collecting rain water and making your own bio-fuel by learning from greening organizations such as: Tri-State Bio Diesel, The Cloud Institute, Community Wind, The Water Resources Group, Solar One, and the Brooklyn Greenway, Just Food.

What is a harvest festival?

Experience the harvest near you

2 orgs that offer abundance to those in need

[Event info via Brooklyn Based]

new free rice games

September 18, 2008

I just donated 11,000 grains of rice testing out my Italian language skills. Yep, they added some new games to the mix at Now, in addition to the original free rice vocabulary game, you can test your knowledge of art, science, foreign language, geography, and math. It beats clicking away at Solitaire or Bejeweled because you’re actually helping feed hungry people through the UN World Food Program, thanks to the websites sponsors.

As of yesterday, 43,809,979,770 grains of rice have been donated thanks to bored office workers everywhere. Try it out!

Help end world hunger

[Free Rice via Make]

farm aid 2008

September 12, 2008

What’s wrong with our farm system? It’s unsustainable, unsupportive to family farmers, and unhealthy to us all. But for over 20 years, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young (and since 2001, Dave Matthews) have been striving to change that. As the face of Farm Aid, these musicians have seen their positive impact in the success of family farms, in the spread of the Good Food Movement, and through the development of grants that help farmers in need.

The concert
The Farm Aid concert, held next Saturday (9/20) in Mansfield, Massachusetts, is sold out this year. But you can still join the FarmYard fan club. If you join you get:

  • A Farmers Kick A$$ totebag
  • A chance to get special tickets to the FarmAid Concert
  • Year-round access to the members-only site with exclusive photos and video, including the 2008 concert webcast
  • 10% discount in the online store
  • Quarterly drawings for free autographed items like t-shirts and program books

Who benefits
One of the groups Farm Aid funds is FoodRoutes, a non-profit that provides support to organizations that aim to rebuild local, community-based food systems. One of their efforts is Buy Fresh, Buy Local, which introduces consumers to local produce and the farmers who provide it.

Meet the farmers who’ve benefited from Farm Aid.

Watch this important message from Neil Young

September 7, 2008