Archive for the ‘outdoors’ Category

stare at the sky

December 9, 2009

…and let the clouds pass you by.

11-15-09 from Kelly DeLay on Vimeo.

More mouth-gaping vapor gazing at Clouds 365 Project.

Einstein says…

December 8, 2009

“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.”

~Albert Einstein


Genius! When was the last time you gazed longingly into nature’s lovely peepers?

obituaries inspire me

December 7, 2009

Reading the Times this morning, I came across two headlines that grabbed my attention. They were both titles of obituaries, summing up a man’s life in four words. To have seemingly led such a focused life, dedicated to a specific environmental cause, intrigues me – a broad generalist. I also feel a mix of emotions for not having heard of these men before their respective deaths. A twinge of sadness, yes, but also a feeling of gratefulness that they graced this earth, leaving a positive impression on it. An impression strong enough to compel the web editor of The New York Times to publish it on the homepage.

Clarence Petty, Protector of the Adirondacks, dies at 104


It wasn’t his age that caught my eye (thought that number is quite impressive, no?). I have fond memories of hiking in the Adirondacks as a high school student, and have recently had the longing to feel those mountains under my feet again. I now know I can thank this man for securing the place for my return visit.

“If things go bad and everything seems to go wrong, the best place to go is right into the remote wilderness, and everything’s in balance there.”

~Clarence Petty

Read about Clarence Petty, how he was commissioned to survey the Adirondack park, how he was integral in protecting millions of acres of land, and how he attracted opposition.

Learn more about Clarence Petty on this dedication page on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC-NY) site.

Malcolm Wells, Champion of ‘Gentle Architecture,’ dies at 83


After recently completing permaculture certification, I’m hyper aware of things like natural building, passive solar design, and earth-friendly structures (like this ‘hobbit home’ I tweeted about last week). As soon as I saw ‘gentle architecture’ in this obit synopsis, I immediately knew what Mr. Wells spent his life championing. He inspired the likes of William McDonough, who called him a ‘hidden jewel.’

“In the world of what has become known as green building,” Mr. McDonough added, “Malcolm Wells was seminal, actually inspirational, for some people, me included.”

Read more about Malcolm Wells, how he designed the RCA pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair, and how that led him down the path to create gentle architecture.

Visit where you can read his autobiographic obituary.

[image 1 credit; image 2 credit]

stuff for pedal pushers

September 24, 2009

Despite the fact that I “fell off” my bike last Saturday (I was cut off & spilled off) and bruised my back & neck up pretty good, I’m still gung ho about biking in this fair city. It’s a great way to get around, it burns calories instead of fuel, and it’s often faster than driving a car. Luckily for those of the pedal-powered persuasion, new bike paths have been established in the last few years, making it a bit safer for riding amongst the mostly apathetic motorists (even tho’ I was in a bike lane when I had my little accident & the guy did stop thankfully).

Groups like Transportation Alternatives, Streets Blog, and Brooklyn Greenway Initiative are fighting for cyclist rights and the establishment of more continuous bike paths or greenways. Resources for cyclists are ever-improving as well.

Here are some great go-to sites for bikers:

Ride the City
Great tool for finding the safest or most direct route to your destination

NYC Bike Maps
Pretty self explanatory

Find bike parking anywhere in the city

The NY Times bicycle news blog

Bike Blog NYC
More bike news

If you like cycling group-style, a la Critical Mass, some events coming up are:

Escape NY
This Saturday the 26th. Get out of town!

Four Corners NYC Bike Tour
Also this Saturday the 26th. Via Hey I’m Walkin’ Here (facebook group)

2009 Tour de Bronx
October 18th

Other cyclist-centric fare:

Biking Rules
It’s a PSA competition run by Transportation Alternatives to improve the public image of city cyclists. Hurray, if you want to enter, the deadline is Monday the 28th! PSA’s will be screened at BAM on Tuesday, November 17th.

Bike Shorts
A cleverly named ongoing short film get-together. Submit a film, you could win $100. Next screening is this Sunday the 27th

Be safe kiddles, where your helmet!

mountains, moose, and more mountains

September 14, 2009

Deep breath in… and out. The smell of pine and sagebrush. The feeling of rock and dirt beneath my boots. Sharp mountain peaks, bright midday sun, glimmering glacial lakes. And the sounds: call of the magpie, chirping of chipmunks, gurgling and whooshing of mountain streams, crackling of moose footsteps. This is the experience of a national park. I am grateful to those who had the foresight to preserve these places. I am thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to visit them.

Here’s some of what I saw on the latest trip – to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

of course, there are the mountains

Didn’t realize at the time that this was about where Ansel Adams snapped a famous photo, I think he was a bit further upstream.

A forest fire burns at the base of Mount Moran. Fires are most often started by lightning and are closely monitored while they are left to burn. They are beneficial to many plants, such as lodgepole pine.

Mount Moran has a distinctive geologic feature — a basalt (molten rock) intrusion.

Cascade Canyon Trail, an 11-mile hike (or 9 if you take the boat across Jenny Lake both ways, 13 if you skip the boat altogether) with breathtaking views.

Glacial till from the last ice age. We looked for marmots among the rocks, but they happen to be hibernating already.

Part of the park’s “sustainable” menu: elk/bison burgers at Jackson Lake Lodge. They were delicious, and so was the view.

This view inspired JD Rockefeller, Jr. to preserve this place as part of the national park.

families of fauna

Mama and baby moose (called cow and calf, respectively), on the appropriately named Moose-Wilson Road.

Papa moose (or bull), seen on the Cascade Canyon trail.

An elk bull and his harem.

One of 5 or 6 bald eagles we encountered on the trip. They like to hang out by waterways, like the Snake River.

A “least” chipmunk. Tiny and adorable.

pollinators aplenty, and maybe some pests

Butterflies abound.

Bees, too.

This may or may not be an Asian longhorn beetle. If it is, I’m sorry I didn’t report the little bugger (I didn’t know they frequented these parts). I was too busy trying to get this shot as he was perched on my shoulder.

lovely flora

Leafy spurge, I think. One of the wanted weeds.

Thistle or spotted knapweed?

This one’s not a weed, it’s a columbine.

Sagebrush bathed in sun.


Hot air balloons launched right near where we are staying (Teton Village).

If we were staying one more day, I think I might have wanted to try paragliding. We watched this guy take off from Rendezvous Mountain.


off to the wilds of wyoming

September 5, 2009

Bison in Yellowstone, the Tetons neighbor to the North.

Howdy y’all!

I’m off to wrassle some dogies out in the wilds of Wyomin’. Well, okay, not really, but a girl can pretend a little, no?

In reality we are heading to Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole area for some fresh air, nature loving, hiking, rafting, and horseback riding. A lot to fit into a 4-day itinerary! I’ll be back in a week to report on all of our adventures.

Happy Labor Day and enjoy the week!

x L

september in the city – UPDATE!

September 3, 2009

I love September in New York. Dry sunny days, crisp clear nights. A perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Yes, we do have great outdoors in NYC. Here are some great ways to experience them this month.

I’ve added a couple things I thought you should see:

Queens County Farm BBQ & Campout
This weekend!
September 6 to 7

Here’s your chance to nosh on some tasty chicken BBQ’d by none other than celebrated butcher Tom Mylan while sipping on some local suds courtesy Brooklyn Brewery. And if that’s not enough, there’ll be delish pie, a DJ spinning tunes, camping, and wake-up bloody Marys! Hello?! Why haven’t you bought your ticket yet? Get ’em here.

Central Park Bird Walks
brought to you by the Nature Conservancy
September 3 to October 26

NYC is a big stopping off point for birds migrating south for winter. Learn the ins & outs of bird watching with Kellye Rosenheim in Central Park. Get the full schedule and details.

Reservations are required. Please contact (212) 381-2194 or for reservations and cancellations.

Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance Events
September 4 to 26

Waterfront walking tours, kayaking Staten Island, tugboat races, and many more activities are on MWA’s calendar this month. Check it out!

Governors Island Art Fair
brought to you by 4heads
Every weekend, September 5 to 27

Over 150 independent artists and galleries from around the world come together on Governors Island – free ferry to and from Manhattan and Brooklyn. Get the details.

Solar Powered Film Series
brought to you by GreenEdge NYC & Solar One
September 10 to 19

Get your fill of sustainable films in this series of serious documentaries – screenings powered by the sun.

Doors open at 7:00 pm each night at Solar One (23rd St. & FDR Drive)
Films start at 7:45 pm, followed by Q&A

September 10: Addicted to Plastic (trailer)
September 11: Who Killed the Electric Car (trailer)
September 12: Flow (trailer)
September 17: A Sea Change (trailer)
September 18: The Garden (trailer)
September 19: Burning the Sun (world premiere!)

Plus, every night of the series features a segment from Brooklyn filmmaker Michelle Vey’s From Elegance to Earthworms. Get more info.

National Parks Week NYC
September 19 to 27

I’m a big fan of National Parks. I’ve only been to 5 of them (soon to be 6!), but I’ve got my sites set on many more. Luckily, this month, the National Parks are coming to me – and everyone else in this fair city. The National Parks Conservation Association is hosting a full line-up of events all over NYC, including coastal clean-ups in Queens, a tour of Grant’s tomb after dark in Morningside Heights, and screenings of clips from Rick Burn’s latest documentary about the parks in Central Park. There are just too many events to list here, so here’s the full schedule.

pimp my dump

July 26, 2009

What happens when a landfill retires? Find out how the city turns buried trash into public treasure — or a park that trumps Central Park in size — in this video from Thirteen’s series, The City Concealed.

The City Concealed: Freshkills Park Project from on Vimeo.

is the gowanus canal really sponge worthy?

July 22, 2009

The Gowanus Canal Issues, dlandstudio

Most New Yorkers, especially Brooklynites, know the beloved Gowanus Canal is teeming with nasty things: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), petroleum, raw sewage, and even gonorrhea. Since the late 1800s, the canal has been an unregulated dumping grounds for industry along its banks.

The canal is finally getting the attention it needs. Whether it ends up being an EPA Superfund site, or – if Bloomie get’s his way – the city cleans it up without the Feds, there is one organization ensuring the clean up and beautification happens – The Gowanus Canal Conservancy.

The Conservancy is working on, among other things, a Sponge Park that will make the Gowanus an inviting place for a leisurely stroll or sit, instead of the putrid, toxified wasteland it currently is. The “sponge” in this case are plants that filter out the nasties (sewage, heavy metals, petrol) that seep into the canal – water which eventually flushes out into the East River and the Atlantic beyond. A tall order indeed, but I’m optimistic that it’ll happen. All government agencies are on board and $300,000 was recently earmarked to help fund the park.

You can help out by donating or by volunteering for on one of their Clean & Green days. There’s one this Saturday, July 25. Sign up via email:
(include your name, phone number and dates you’d like to participate).

upcoming events – food, water, walking, and more

July 16, 2009

Friday, July 17

The Transition Movement Talk
7pm to 8:30pm
(RSVP for location)

The Transition Movement is a method of community organizing and education that builds broad, grassroots support for sustainability while increasing resilience to the climate change, energy and economic crises. The future will be increasingly low carbon and local. Engaging people now in a planned transition will ensure ways of life that are more abundant, fulfilling, equitable, sustainable, and socially connected. Since emerging in Ireland in 2005, the Transition movement has spread virally across the UK and beyond, with hundreds of Transition initiatives now underway. Learn about this rapidly growing global movement. Tina Clarke of the Sustainability Institute has served as director of Greenpeace USA’s citizen action network and as campaign director for Clean Water Action. The Training will show you how to set up a successful Transition Initiative, or to enhance current sustainability projects. Receive imaginative and inspiring tools for community outreach and engagement.

The talk is free, but the subsequent workshop, held over Saturday and Sunday is $250.

More info here

Saturday, July 18

City of Water Day
@ Governor’s Island
10am to 4pm

A FREE day of entertainment, education & adventure for the whole family celebrating the potential of our waterfront!

On July 18th thousands from the Tri-State region will float, ferry, paddle, row, splash, canoe, and kayak their way to beautiful Governors Island for the 2nd Annual City of Water Day Festival.

From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water—yet too many of us are cut off from this tremendous resource. Help us revitalize the waterfront with a festival for the entire family.

More info here and here

Sunday, July 19

Rooftop Farms
Farm Market and more!
9am to 4pm

Rooftop Farms, a 6,000 square foot organic vegetable farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

  • 10am-4pm Farm Market! We’re selling straight from the farm. Help keep us packaging-free by bringing your own favorite bag or basket
  • 9am-4pm Volunteers welcome. Email for details
  • 2pm Free workshop on urban gardening and farming. Troubleshoot, ask, grow!

More info here

[Tip-off thanks to Judy Harper @ GreenEdgeNYC]

GreenEdge NYC & Green Boroughs Walking Tour
12:45pm to 3pm

The tour on July 19 (register now!) begins in the West Village and ends in Soho. It features a wonderful green bakery, two beautiful community gardens, and a couple of charming green boutiques. The last stop will be the new Green Depot store in Soho. The tour on Sunday, October 25 (register now!) is in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It features a couple of charming green boutiques, 3R Living, a wonderful Revolutionary War museum, and a community garden. All tours have plenty of opportunities to stop and rest, buy a beverage, or use bathroom facilities.

Tickets: Special recession pricing $15! (was $25)

More info here

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Farm Stand
@ The James Beard House
167 West 12 Street
6:30 to 8:30pm

The Food Bank For New York City Young Professionals and James Beard Foundation Greens present The Farm Stand. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Food Bank and the James Beard Foundation. Proceeds will go towards purchasing farm shares at Roxbury Farm to help fill the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem with seasonal fruit and vegetables for hungry New Yorkers.

Participating Chefs:

  • Daniel Eardley of Chestnut, Brooklyn
  • Shanna Pacifico of Back Forty, Manhattan
  • Matt Weingarten of Inside Park, Manhattan

Tickets are $85; or $75 for James Beard Foundation Members
For reservations, call 212.627.2308 or 1.800.36.BEARD

More info here

[via Manhattan User’s Guide]

And in the near future…

Let Us Eat Local
Gala & Award Ceremony
brought to you by Just Food

Wednesday, September 16
6pm to 10pm
Tickets available now at the New York Charities website. Early Bird ticket prices available for a limited time only. Click here to buy your tickets now. General Admission: $150 – early bird $125 VIP: $235 – early bird $215 This year, we will offer tastings from more than 30 of NYC’s best restaurants and food producers, including: Angelica Kitchen – Aureole – Blue Hill – Candle 79 – Cookshop / Hundred Acres / Five Points – Da Silvano – Dirt Candy – Gramercy Tavern – Great Performances – The Green Table – Jean Georges – Jimmy’s No. 43 – Marlow & Sons – Mas – Pure Food and Wine – Rose Water – Rouge Tomate – Saul – Telepan – The Tipsy Parson – Join us as we celebrate Just Food’s delicious mission — to connect New York City residents with sensational, seasonal, locally grown food.