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Last weekend for Bryant Park Skating!!
Friday and Saturday, noon to midnight
Sunday, noon to 10 pm
The outdoor skating rink at Bryant Park comes to a close this Sunday, and I can say from personal experience that you don’t want to miss out. The rink is no smaller than the one at Rockefeller Center, but it’s less crowded and – in my opinion – more picturesque. Instead of being sunk down into a basement-like area surrounded by skyscrapers, this rink is centered within a pedestrian square. As you sail around the rink, people lean over the fence to watch the fun with a smile.
After you’re done skating (which might be sooner than you wish – the skates aren’t the most comfortable thing) you can relax with a cocktail and nibble on some food at Celsius, the pop-up, two story restaurant flanking the rink. The food is yummy enough, though not organic or sustainable. But the food isn’t the point. What you really need is one of the expertly mixed, top-shelf cocktails while you lounge on the luxurious, white leather booths, either indoors or out – your choice. Try the Peppermint Storm, which is like a minty White Russian.
Mike and I went on Valentine’s Day, and if you remember, it was balmy in the upper-fifties. We ended up stripping off our coats for the laps around the rink, and then actually seeking shade for our cocktails. It kind of felt like we were on vacation!
You can go during the day to get some vitamin D, or go at night to get more clubby vibe. Either way you’ll get some fresh air in your lungs, some fun exercise, and you won’t be wasting a lot of resources to do so, as long as you can ignore the gratuitous advertising everywhere….
Admission is free, and skate rental is $13. Here’s a tip: bring a lock and you won’t have to pay to check your bag or shoes while you’re there.
North side of Bryant Park between 40th and 42nd street, and between 5th and 6th Avenues
What Happens When You Put Kosher and Eco-Friendly Together? A green yarmulke?
Saturday, February 27th
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Eco Products: Environmentally Safe Kosher Household Cleaners Demonstration and Give Aways.
The beloved Zabar’s on the Upper West Side will be demonstrating and giving away environmentally safe products. While you’re there, you might as well try a homemade knish or two.
Zabar’s 2245 Broadway (at 80th Street)
2011 Post-Holiday Stop ‘N’ Swaps
Clear out all your unwanted, reusable items and bring them to the Stop ‘N’ Swap, where you can peruse items left by others and take home things that you can use. Free! Clean, working, portable items only, please (no furniture or other large items).
The NYT review wasn’t exactly fawning, but it still might be worth a browse if you’re in the area, or if you want to take your old stuff someplace less depressing than Goodwill.
300 Adelphi Street b/t DeKalb and Lafayette, Brooklyn
Critical Mass Bike Ride
Want to find like-minded cyclists in the city? Or maybe you just want an excuse to ride aimlessly and joyfully around the city protected from car doors and angry cab drivers by hordes of other people on bikes. If so, this is your event.
I love living on the West Side, a mere block from Riverside Park. When I want to go somewhere on the west side of Manhattan, or even Brooklyn, I can hop on my bike, avoid the traffic, and shoot down a pleasant, shrub-lined, paved path.
It’s a huge relief to not have buses roaring by a couple feet from my head. But things aren’t perfect. I often peevishly use my bell or shout at pedestrians veering into the center, or four people walking in a line, blithely clogging the whole path.
On the flip side, when I’m jogging on the same path, I always make sure to swivel my head and check before I ever cross. You never know when a bike will be shooting up from behind.
One jogger on a similar bike path in Dallas, for whatever reason, did not do that. She was struck by a bike, hit her head on the ground, and died a few days later.
Whose fault was the accident? Was it hers for wearing headphones and making a sharp turn? Was it the cyclists for speeding and not paying attention?
It seems like many times when there is an accident involving a cyclist, the blame gets placed everywhere except for where it belongs: the infrastructure.
When The New York Times reported on the wealthy financial manager who escaped a felony charge in a hit-and-run that left a cyclist seriously injured and in chronic pain, one commenter said:
Bicycles have no safety lighting , horns or directional signals. They routinely violate basic traffic rules such as passing on the right and stopping for red lights. The operators are unlicensed and there is no requirement for insurance despite the number of accidents that bicycles are involved in. Until these problems and others are corrected the bicycles will get no sympathy from me.
Meanwhile, a man who hit and killed a 14-year-old boy on a bike is suing the parents for failing to make him wear a helmet. This is a man who had previously been arrested for drunk driving four times.
And in New York a battle is brewing, pitting pedestrians against “rogue cyclists.” One one side are those who claims cyclists are “out of control,” hitting and killing innocent pedestrians who are just minding their business on city sidewalks.
On the other side are cyclists who say:
1. Please don’t confuse us with delivery boys. They are insane. And…
2. Maybe if you would look both ways before you stood four feet away from the curb so you can scamper across the street, we wouldn’t have to swerve around you.
Oh wait, there’s a third side. Car drivers resent having their driving space taken away for bike lanes.
There’s even a community of Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn who successfully lobbied to have a new bike lane painted over, saying they were offended by the scantily clad hipster girls rolling through.
We can argue all day about who has the moral high ground here. I would prefer to say cyclists since we are using our own muscles to power us through the city, deftly maneuvering to avoid death from giant metal boxes with 250 horsepower under the hood. I know from experience how often bike lanes are blocked by idling delivery trucks and big sedans. But then again, I’ve salmoned my way down more than one block instead of looping back around to find a two way street. I’ve also run red lights (after looking both ways of course). I’ve even been almost run over by a delivery guy as I crossed the street. I stared him down as he ran that red light, waiting for him to swerve and feeling his plastic poncho slap my face he was so close.
What I’m trying to say is that no one can really claim the moral high ground here. We are all guilty of cutting corners, wandering into bike lanes while we chat on our cell phones, forgetting to look for both cars and bikes when checking the intersection, salmoning, running red lights, and wearing headphones while jogging.
The only way to resolve this problem is by taking the blame off of cyclists and pedestrians and even, stay with me here, car drivers, and placing it squarely where it belongs: poor infrastructure.
Not only do we need bike lanes and paths with concrete dividers to keep out car interlopers, we need jogging paths that are separate from commuter bike lanes. We need clearly marked routes that will take a cyclist from point A to point B without dangerous guess work and lane switching. I would never defend the money manager who never bothered to call the police after he mowed down that cyclist, but we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if there had been a protected bike path, maybe with some bushes and a median?
Better infrastructure benefits everyone, no matter what the protesters will tell you. When a car lane was eliminated in Brooklyn and replaced with a bike lane, pedestrian injuries dropped 54 percent.
When these things happen – when a pedestrian gets struck by a cyclist while walking in the bike lane, when a cyclist gets doored and killed, when you swerve to go around a “rogue cyclist,” remember to avoid blaming the driver, the pedestrian, or the cyclist. We are all doing the best we can, and we all make mistakes. Instead, demand that the city get going on safe, protected bike lanes that keep cyclists away from pedestrians, and vehicles away from cyclists. Then everyone will be happy.
I really wish I could attend this event, but I have drawing class on Tuesdays. So will you go for me??
Book release of Amanda Hesser’s “The Essential New York Times Cookbook” and Melissa Clark’s “In The Kitchen With A Good Appetite.”
Twenty of the city’s top chefs will be preparing their favorite New York Times recipe while Sustainable Party will be making sure that the event is as green as possible (recycling glass, plastic, and paper, and composting biodegradable corn cups and food and bringing the compost to an upstate farm, etc.).
Proceeds of the event will be donated to “Wellness In The Schools” A NYC community based organization founded by local chefs to improve the environment, nutrition, and fitness in NYC public schools.
Tuesday, November 2nd at Chelsea Market
You really should check this out. Learning to forage is high on my list of things to do. (What you can find just in Central Park is pictured at the top) And if the apocalypse ever comes to NYC, you’ll be well equipped:
Urban Herb Walk
Realize the wealth of the medicinal plants of Prospect Park with two guides who have more than a decade of experience! This urban plant walk will focus on learning how to identify medicinals growing within an urban setting, while discussing how these plants contribute to our health and well-being. Bring a notebook and wear appropriate clothing for being outdoors for 2 hours.
Meet at Grand Army Plaza entrance to Prospect Park.
November 6, 12-2 pm
This is part 1 of a three-part series.
“FIND” Your Way to the Greenway…for BGI’s Fall Party!
They will also be acknowledging Council Members Brad Lander and Steve Levin for securing BGI’s first City Council funding, and Waste Management for supporting BGI’s stewardship programs!
Join fellow greenway supporters for great food, drink, music and raffle prizes this
There will be plenty of room to spread out and raise spirits and funds over drinks & food from local restaurants, including 5 Burro, Lilla Cafe, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Rocky Sullivan’s, Union Market, Fort Defiance, Six Point Craft Ales, Alma, Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies and Nine Cakes, along with live jazz music from Hot Johnsons in FIND’s expansive showroom at 9th Street and the Gowanus Canal.
Don’t miss your chance to win one of many raffle items from FIND, Brooklyn Winery, RICE, Rolling Orange Bikes, Massage Therapy by Gerald Pulis, Ground Up Designers, Urban Oyster, Red Hook Lobster Pound, Bar Tano, New York Water Taxi, Circle Line Downtown, Water Taxi Beach, and more!
Tickets are $25, or two for $40. Get your tickets today!
This landed in my inbox, and I think I’m going to buy a ticket. Liz and I were just tasting some of Jimmy 43’s delicious soup at the New Amsterdam market. “We have to go!” I declared. “Jimmy’s 43 is like the flagship farm to table restaurant.” :
Jimmy’s No. 43 Chowder Benefit
I hope you will join us – and even enter your own chowder – for a benefit for NAMA at Jimmy’s No. 43 in New York City. Come here first hand report from Brett Tolley, our community organizer, of Slow Food’s Terra Madre in Torino, Italy and the discussions/plans around Slow Fish, Slow Food’s new campaign. We were glad to have been there to help shape its direction.
November 6, 2010
Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 E 7th Street, NY, NY
$10 donation gets you in to taste all the chowders, vote on the best in show and hear about the events in Torino.
More information here.
Ahh, the Farmers Market. Beautiful, bountiful, and bucolic, it’s a wonderful place to spend a summer hour. But it’s a whole lot different than going to the grocery store, so I’ve put together a little guide to help you navigate this bold, delicious new world. Enjoy!
1. Do an inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer. See what you already have on hand, so you don’t end up buying what you don’t need, and can use up what you already have stocked. I call it rummage-and-cook, but you can just call it common sense.
2. Make a meal plan. As much fun as it is to just show up to the market and grab what looks good, if you’re a nouveau chef like me you might be overwhelmed. I have a couple different strategies. I might put in a couple ingredients I already have in Epicurious and see what pops up. Yesterday I came up with couscous salad with peppers, olives, and pine nuts. I had everything already stocked except for red bell peppers, parsley, and an onion. I also found a savory gouda, bacon, and leek pancake recipe. With the flour and other essentials in jars on my shelf, I would just need the leeks and bacon.
You can also keep a good seasonal cook book in the house. I have a couple on my shelf: Sustainably Delicious and Simply Organic both group their recipes by season, so you won’t have to go on a treasure hunt in Whole Foods. I also have Earth to Table, Lucid Food, Eating Local, and Farm to Fork on my Amazon wish list. Obviously, local food is a hot topic in the cooking world.
I usually pick two recipes. One recipe will keep me for three or four meals, depending on if I’m sharing. I find myself eating out spontaneously with friends quite often so I don’t want to overstock.
4. Look up which markets are open where. Maybe you knew this, but farmers markets aren’t plunked down in one location, open 24/7. You’ll need to do some research. This handy site lets you look up NYC Greenmarkets and filter by the day. But a Google search of your location and “farmers markets” will probably do the trick if you are elsewhere. I found only one market open on Monday, and that was the trusty old Union Square market. It’s an hour round trip from me, but I decided it would be worth it.
4. Bring some reusable bags. Farmers will have plastic bags there if you are in a pinch, but we all know plastic bags are the devil’s invention. Bring reusable produce bags too if you have ‘em.
5. Be flexible. You might not find exactly what you’re looking for. I’ve found delicious bacon at the Union Square market before, but there was none to be had on Monday. Oh no, recipe ruined? Nope! I decided to substitute a similarly rich duck prosciutto instead. That brings me to my next point…
6. Get advice from the farmers. You won’t find specialized service like this, even in your fancy Whole Foods. When I couldn’t find bacon, I had a long conversation with the girl at the duck tent. She gave me a couple samples, (“this has a smoky, more ham-like flavor…”) and we discussed the ins and outs of using duck prosciutto over fresh duck. As I slipped my mouth-watering duck breast into my bag, she also said to try it with goat cheese and arugula. That’s what I call service.
7. Try something new. I know I said to meal plan, but really, the best thing about the farmers market is picking up something you’ve never seen before. If grocery stores are for uniform, tasteless tomatoes, the farmers market is for heirloom varieties that spark the imagination. I picked up an odd green vegetable called kiwi squash, which the sign said had a rich nutty flavor, and would be good sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper.
8. Indulge. You should feel guilty about picking up those cupcakes from the grocery store with an inch of icing shaped into a clown face. But the treats at the Farmers Market were made with love and care, are free of preservatives and other artificial ingredients, and taste delicious. I bought a roasted peach popsicle from People’s Pops, and then a pack of three sticky and sweet cider donuts. I also indulged in some mild flirtation with the hot guy selling me the donuts. I only felt a little guilty. After all, he started it. (Note: You would never catch me flirting with a grocery store cashier. Farmers? A different story.)
9. Get creative. As I wandered about, licking my delicious popsicle, I saw piles of fresh berries everywhere. “Hmmmmm” I thought, “Why not make my own icy treat?” I piled blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries in my bag.
10. Supplement from the grocery store. You can’t get every single thing you need from the grocery store. Although food advocates recommend saving the leafy greens for the spring, and the apples for the late summer and fall, even the most stringent locavores cave to shipped-in salt, sugar, flour, and olive oil, all of which don’t have local replacements. After I was done filling my bags with produce, I stopped in the Whole Foods market next door to restock on olive oil and granola.
11. Get cooking. Another reason to meal plan? Fresh produce doesn’t look kindly upon being crammed in the back of your pantry for months on end like granola bars and boxed cereal. When I got home I quickly unpacked everything and got it into the pantry, and a couple hours later got started on dinner.
12. Enjoy! I can now say that frying duck smells just as good – if not better – than frying bacon. Vicki loved the savory pancake with melted gouda on top, and the popsicles were a snap to make. They were just what I needed this afternoon to keep cool!
I hope I’ve answered some of your questions about shopping at the farmers market. If you have any more, leave them in the comments. Now get out there and shop!