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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

trashintree

Speaking of “urban tumbleweeds,” a.k.a. plastic bags and other trash blown through the city, I began to notice back in early spring just how many street trees have some kind of trash caught in them. It’s probably not so apparent now that the trees have grown their full summer coat of foliage, but back then the number was astonishing. Nearly every tree I passed had some kind of plastic bag, ragged rag, bit of orange construction mesh, or other scrap adorning its bare branches, as if this were some kind of fashion trend for trees.

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Grand_Concourse_looking_north_from_161st_Street
Photo courtesy Katie Holten on treemuseum.ning.com

Folks, I cannot tell you how excited I was to discover that a tree museum is opening June 21 along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx! 100 trees along the historic boulevard will each be linked to an audio excerpt (via a number you call on your phone) containing the voice of an individual talking about life in the Bronx.

This public art project was created by Katie Holten to celebrate the centennial of the Concourse, which she realized should incorporate the trees as much as the neighbors. I like that she pointed out that “the Concourse has always been tree-lined, even before it was paved.” in the New York Times article about this piece. Follow the link to the article for sample audio clips.

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Excited that the topic of discussion had turned to the tree of heaven, I went out yesterday to photograph (in the rain) my favorite specimen of ailanthus altissima so far: a couple of trees growing in a tiny city park that borders the Prospect Highway. Well, actually, describing them as “in” the park isn’t really correct because, typical of this strand of misfit tree, the trunks actually sprout from the ground just beyond the park fence, squished up between it and the wall of the highway! You can see them against the ivy-covered back of the park in the right half of the picture above.

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Portrait of parks commissioner Adrian Benepe courtesy NY Times

I liked today’s New York Times portrait of Adrian Benepe, the Parks and Recreation Commissioner for all of New York City. The piece focuses a lot on how he relates to the parks outside of work, reminding me of my asking park maintenance workers in Berlin whether they still visit the parks in their personal time.

It sounds like Mr. Benepe loves the parks to bits, but that for him, the line between being in the parks as a private citizen and as a professional is more than blurry. (more…)

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Another note related to Earth Day and environmentalism: vertical farming! Farms may soon exist in the middle of Manhattan in the shape of skyscrapers. Watch the intriguing video on YouTube from Discovery-News.com:



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snowynightscape

I must preface this post with an apology for uploading monochromatic, thick-of-winter photographs when it is clearly now spring. Spring! The city is bursting with new leaves and flowers which I have been excitedly documenting. But for now, I will use the excuse that it snowed last week – a brief, desperate flurry – to share some winter urban landscapes before moving on to spring.

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