Posts Tagged ‘new york’


Photo: CBSLocal
New York City hopes that donating reusable water bottles to high school students will make some advocates for reducing waste. The campaign is part of the city’s ultimate goal of sending zero waste to landfills by the year 2030.

After reading an inspiring book called Climate Justice, I signed up at the website 1 Million Women to get ideas for reducing my carbon footprint. One thing the site suggests is to boycott fruits and vegetables that have unnecessary packaging. You know, like those Japanese pears in plastic foam holders. Such gestures are small, but they add up if a lot of people pursue them.

In New York, meanwhile, schools are trying to wean students from plastic water bottles by giving them nice reusable ones.

CBSLocal reports, “After a recent push to ban plastic bags, straws, and bottles in New York, some local leaders are working to get the city’s high school students involved. …

” ‘When you think about it, you’re not gonna be wasting all that plastic,’ [student] Daisy Palaguachi said.

“More than 320,000 bottles made by S’well were donated to all New York City high schools throughout all five boroughs [in September].

” ‘The goal is really to extend our mission to rid the world of plastic bottles and we couldn’t help but think the best way to do that is to tap into the city’s future leaders,’ S’well Vice President Kendra Peavy said.

“The company partnered with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Sustainability for the new ‘Bring It’ campaign. They’re asking students to ditch the plastic and spread the word to their families and friends.

“ ‘To empower them with actual tools that they can bring and take to make better and more informed decisions,’ Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, said.

“The city says its goal in doing this is to try and get rid of 54 million single-use plastic bottles.

“ ‘About 167 water bottles are used by the average American every year, and so it’s important to say by using a reusable water bottle we could displace that many from going into the waste stream every year,’ Chambers said. …

“ ‘Knowing that you’re making a small change can turn into something bigger in the future,’ student Alexandra Capistran said. ‘You don’t have to spend all your money buying water bottles every day.’

“Sunset Park High School now also has a newly installed water bottle filler for that very purpose. … The bottles donated [would have cost] $19 to $35, and the campaign is part of the city’s ultimate goal of sending zero waste to landfills by the year 2030.”

More at CBS, here.

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Photo: Welling Court Mural Project
New York City recently sought proposals from qualified nonprofit organizations to install artwork on an ugly sidewalk shed or fence.

There’s a lot of construction and renovation going on in New York City these days, and many otherwise interesting buildings are obscured by scaffolding and green plywood fences. Fortunately, the city is always looking for ways to bring culture to unlikely places and to engage artists.

Michelle Cohen writes at the website 6sqft, “On September 12, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs announced a search for applicants for a new pilot program called City Canvas, Archpaper reports. The program was designed to beautify New York City’s visual landscape by installing large-scale–and temporary artwork on its endless construction fences and 270 miles of sidewalk sheds. The protective construction structures are an everyday eyesore for New Yorkers, but current building codes prohibit altering them. The City Canvas program circumvents that ban by allowing select artists and cultural institutions to add visual art to the visual affronts.

“There are two main objectives for the new initiative. First, to improve the experience of strolling through the city’s streets for residents and tourists alike by turning the ubiquitous fences into beautiful works of art, and second, to increase opportunities for artists and cultural institutions to get recognized for their work and to create art that represents the surrounding community. …

“During the pilot period, which will run for the next 24 months, the city is seeking proposals from at least one qualified nonprofit organization to install artwork on at least one ugly sidewalk shed/fence.” More.

The winning applications were announced November 28 at the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) website: “DCLA, in partnership with the NYC Department of Buildings and the NYC Mayor’s Office, is excited to announce two cultural organizations selected for the City Canvas pilot. ArtBridge and Studio Museum in Harlem will each work with local communities to transform protective construction structures into spaces for temporary art installations. First installations are anticipated in Spring 2019.”

Well, it’s a drop in the bucket, but I can’t wait to see what emerges.

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110518-amazing-shade-of-red-on-Japanese-mapleDid you read The Hobbit? Do you remember the thrilling moment when an ancient prophecy comes true as a “thrush knocks” and the sun briefly beams at a tiny spot on the wall of the Iron Mountain, revealing the forgotten keyhole to the dragon’s backdoor? No? Well, check it out.

I mention this ability of the sun to shine at a certain place only at a certain time because the photo below represents one of my attempts to run outside in a mad rush and capture how a particular solar angle projects the squares of the gate on the stone wall. It only happens a couple times a year because the sun keeps moving. (That is, the Earth keeps moving in relation to the sun.) In a few minutes the projection would be on the grass, not the wall. The following week, it wouldn’t happen at all. I totally lost out last spring, but managed to get this much in the fall. Stonehenge.

The first sculpture was by a grateful patient of Mass General Hospital in Boston. Next come sculptures seen from the cafe balcony at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. And, typical of the City That Never Sleeps, Insomnia Cookies will deliver until 3 a.m. The port-a-potty confirms Asakiyume’s contention that these ubiquitous accommodations are as creatively named as hair salons.

Then, I give you Central Park the Beautiful. What city would ever build something this magnificent today?

Finally, another of my favorite topics: the wonder of lichen.










112118-NYC bridge-detail-in-shadow


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New York is the no. 1 Thanksgiving destination — four years in a row now. Crowds of all ages were ebullient despite the coldest Thanksgiving weather in 117 years. I really hadn’t taken in what a humongous block party the city would be.

I managed to get a few photos of Macy’s Parade participants getting ready and a Brunhilde dressing up just because. But it was impossible to get near enough to the actual parade to see the bands or anything not floating way high up. Folks in the know brought ladders. Next time, maybe.

The police, first responders, and other security experts seemed to anticipate every eventuality and the parade went smoothly. Besides huge sanitation trucks blocking streets, there were trash cans and mailboxes locked to prevent dangerous deposits. That’s what we’ve come to, Dears. Let’s just be grateful that human ingenuity continues to find ways to let us carry on.








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OK, New York is not a beautiful city in the sense of the traditional song (Dave Van Ronk sings “Oh, What a Beautiful City!” here), but that spiritual has been playing in my head today because I really like New York.

It’s definitely not a clean city. Every day of the week there are so many trash bags on the sidewalk that the garbage trucks often leave half behind for a later pass, and not-civic-minded New Yorkers toss last night’s take-out on the heap as they walk their children to school.

The electronic kiosks that I love featured a relevant quote by Fran Lebowitz this week: “When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough.”

Speaking of clean, Asakiyume once pointed out that the business that attracts almost as much creative naming as beauty salons is the porta-potty business, so the first photo below is for her collection.

Next I have two indoor photos, followed by several from beautiful Central Park. Having been warned never to go near the park when I walked the Corgi in the morning decades ago, I’m always astonished that today one can walk there early in the morning and join many other people — runners, bikers, dog walkers, children headed to school, sometimes a solitary practitioner of tai chi chuan.

I love the shadows at that time of day and the greenery, the park’s architectural touches, the benches with thoughtful quotes, the paths that beckon. It’s pretty magical.

Riffing off a Lawrence Block quote, another kiosk asked what was “the thing about New York, if you loved it, if it worked for you, it ruined you for anyplace else in the world”? New York doesn’t ruin anywhere for me, but I feel challenged to answer what is the main thing I like about New York: it’s just that it’s always interesting.

(More quotations about New York City here.)













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Yesterday was beautiful in New York, and my sister was feeling fine, having been off chemo and radiation a month. New treatments start today.

We took the subway from the Upper West Side down to Chelsea, which she says feels like a whole different city to her. We went to a very avant garde museum, walked around, met up with childhood friends, had tea at an indy bookstore, and admired several subway mosaics.

In the first photo below, a New York crowd is watching a cameraman who is making a movie of the woman in the second photo. Then there are several shots of a long city-life mural. I was especially struck by the man in the red tie, who seems to be riveted by a miracle that only he can see.

Next come New Year’s Eve revelers. The added sticker is a sign of how very eager New Yorkers are to vote right now, longing for a miracle.

Next come two unusual church signs. The first is in the graveyard of the Basilica of St. Patrick on Prince Street. I’m guessing they wanted the sheep for mowing the grass. The second is from a Greek Orthodox church on West End Avenue that has a service called the Falling Asleep of St. John the Theologian.

Finally, someone’s tortoise is running like a hare from paparazzi.

That’s New York for you.











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Photo: Nathaniel Brooks for the New York Times
Jodi Mulvaney and Sean Mulvaney watch as their son Brendan Mulvaney, 7, served lemonade to a customer in Ballston Spa, N.Y. When the health department shut down the lemonade stand in July, an uproar ensued.

Pity the poor bureaucrat just trying to do a job! Nobody is glad to see you. But here’s a tip for for state health inspectors everywhere: Never mess with a kid’s lemonade stand.

As Tyler Pager reported at the New York Times in August, “When a 7-year-old boy’s lemonade stand was shut down by a health inspector [in Ballston, NY] last month, it became the talk of the town … and the roadside drink entrepreneur’s photo was splashed across newspapers around the country.

“But, at the end of the day, Brendan Mulvaney just wanted to sell lemonade. So, on [August 18th] Brendan and his family reopened the lemonade stand for one more day. Instead of raising money for a trip to Disney, as Brendan had planned to do the first time around, he and his family sought to capitalize on his newfound fame to raise money for a local family in need.

“Last month, Brendan set up his lemonade stand on the side porch of his house, just as he had done for the past two years during the Saratoga County Fair. This year, Brendan hung new signs, printed by a family friend, and with the help of his parents, added water and snow cones to the stand’s menu.

“But an inspector with the state Department of Health soon told the Mulvaneys that they needed a permit because their venture was similar to those of permitted vendors at the fair, said Jill Montag, a health department spokeswoman. … Brendan’s lemonade stand closed.

“But after Brendan’s dad, Sean Mulvaney, posted on Facebook about the interaction with the health inspector, the news spread quickly, leading [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo to issue a statement that he would personally pay the fee for any necessary permit. The Department of Health later clarified that Brendan would not need a permit if he wanted to sell only lemonade. …

“On Saturday, Brendan’s lemonade stand was back in business. Coinciding with the World’s Largest Yard Sale at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds, Brendan raised $946 for Maddy Moore, a 12-year-old battling Blount’s Disease, a growth disorder affecting bones in her lower leg. …

“By noon, as elected officials and media outlets descended on the Mulvaney’s porch, Mr. Mulvaney said he was worried the attention was distracting from the ultimate goal. … Mr. Mulvaney said, ‘My son’s loving it. But now we just got to get back to selling lemonade and try to raise as much money for Maddy.’ …

“State Senator James Tedisco introduced ‘Brendan’s Lemon-Aid Law,’ which would exempt people under the age of 16 who have lemonade stands from the health department’s permit requirements.

“ ‘When I was kid, probably half the people here had lemonade stands in front of their homes,’ he said. ‘Nobody ever complained.’ … The mayor of Ballston Spa also visited and presented Brendan with a key to the city.

“The buzz around Brendan’s stand achieved the goal the Mulvaneys had hoped for: customers. … As for next year, Brendan plans to resume operations for a fourth year. But, next time, he will return to a simple menu. Just lemonade.”

More at the New York Times, here.


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