Art Deco aficionados may look to Manhattan and South Beach for the last vestiges of the fabled style, but our home of the Bronx is a little-known goldmine for these architectural classics. We’ve touched on this subject before, of course. Scouting NY just took it one step further with a jaunt through the surviving Art Deco buildings along the Grand Concourse. And if it weren’t for the pun police suspecting me of bad taste already, I’d tell you that I’m so jazzed about this. —MN
“In an ideal situation, we would have gardens with everyone in the community participating,” Ms. McPherson said. “But in fact, a few die-hard people end up carrying the flag.”
You’re not the first one to walk by a vacant, overgrown lot and think to yourself, “Why haven’t they turned this into a community garden?!” But while the urban gardening movement may be getting truckloads of press as of late, there’s a kink in the green push that isn’t being addressed: a lack of actual gardeners.
I’m not talking about NYBG-certified landscape architects or experienced upstate farmers. Just everyday New Yorkers who are willing to get their hands dirty in cleaning up, planting, and caring for the many spaces in the city that could be supplying food and community to neighborhoods that need it. Or, for that matter, the plots that are already being gardened. This is an interesting read for those who have the aspirations, but maybe not the staying power (yet), to add a true mandate to the gardening movement.
If you’re a Bronxite who wants to make a difference, you can check out our Bronx Green-Up initiative, working to help local New Yorkers with technical assistance, horticultural advice, and the gardening training needed to keep that revitalized plot from sinking back into a sea of weeds. —MN
(Photo credit: Robert Wright)
Yeah, that’s actually New York City. And if going canoeing in this packed metropolis sounds outlandish, it shouldn’t. You’ll have your chance on November 3 and 4 when the Bronx River Alliance leads canoe trips for our Fall Forest Weekend, guiding rowers through the NYBG’s stretch of the river for a rare fall outing. You’ll want to register early to get a spot.
The Alliance also leads canoeing trips along other stretches of the Bronx River throughout the year, so be sure to check out their schedule if you’re game.
(Image source: our very own Pat Gonzalez—volunteer, raptor fiend, and all around cool lady.) —MN
New Yorkers have a talent for the tiny. They owe it to years spent cozying shoebox studios and kitchenettes, opening up spaces with illusory paint schemes and fold-in furniture. It’s the cost of living in metropolis. And, of late, they’re getting just as good with their outdoor spaces, be it a forgotten, tarpaper square of roof or otherwise.
Working a few paint bucket planters out onto the fire escape is one thing, but what about turning it into a functional garden? A place for summer dusks where you can sit and have a drink without folding yourself into an origami crane.
True to form, New Yorkers have tackled the challenge. And they’re seeing success. Click through for the New York Times’ tale of tiny trellises, tables, and tree spaces. —MN
From the Library: Vintage Floral Park, NY
Source: The LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection.
Will the lower Hudson valley soon have its very own High Line? If Supervisor Paul Feiner gets his wish, cyclists and foot traffic may enjoy a new parkland high above the Hudson.
Originally scheduled for demolition while we wait for 2017’s completion of the replacement, a $150 million price tag to knock down the 56-year-old Tappan Zee bridge has Governor Cuomo and others reconsidering Feiner’s proposal; state government had initially deemed the idea “impractical.” But it’s funny how quickly minds change when the prospect of repurposing and beautifying an old structure may actually turn out cheaper than hauling everything to the dump.
Groups have been pushing for the reopening of the bridge as a pedestrian walkway ever since the proposal for its demolition came to light, including urban planner Milagros Lecuona (whose imaginative early rendering you can see above).
More green, less barren concrete? I’m for it. —MN
(Image source: Treehugger)
Mitch Epstein’s botanical photography leans toward a bent unlike that of the average garden shutterbug. Over the last year he has set about documenting the grand, the tortuous, and the strange among the trees of New York City, traveling to each of the five boroughs in an effort to archive our many metropolitan behemoths.
Epstein’s central models range from the scarred bark of the weeping birch at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, covered in the graffiti of vandals and romantics; to the centuries-old tulip tree of Staten Island, hidden behind the younger foliage of its own offspring. It’s a study in history through the simplicity of a lens. —MN
To call this past October’s sudden snow storm a curve ball would be an understatement. Sonia Uyterhoeven, our Gardener for Public Education, talks about the what, how, and why of the damage it caused, and how nature’s resilience shines through.
Our friends over at the Hudson Valley Seed Library are having a monthly photography/arts contest in an effort to illustrate their 2012 seed catalog! Winners receive seeds!
And while you’re in the contest-entering mood, be sure to join our monthly IGPOTY contest, too.