New York

EMPOWERED: No power plant required!

Article: EMPOWERED: No power plant required!

Trailer for “Empowered: Power from the People” from Shira Golding Evergreen on Vimeo.

Sure, you’d love to power at least part of your home on renewable energy, but the local infrastructure isn’t there yet: no nearby wind farm, no solar or geothermal installers. And, besides, it really isn’t that windy where you live.

That’s the kind of mindset that fossil fuels have given us: we really can’t go out and drill our own oil and gas, or mine our own coal, so we’ve assumed largely that energy is something that others have to provide for us. But part of the beauty of renewables is their availability: we all get some sun, wind, or geothermal heat, and with a little elbow grease, we can harvest that energy – no power company or massive centralized plant needed.

A (food) forest takes root in a (food) desert

Article: A (food) forest takes root in a (food) desert

How do you make a food desert bloom? The range of solutions to these urban areas without ready access to fresh food has included full-service grocery stores, farmers markets, and even small urban farms. All of these answers, of course, require someone (usually from outside the community) to make produce available. What if there was a way for food desert residents to just gather their own fresh food?

Sometimes NIMBY is good: ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA

Article: Sometimes NIMBY is good: ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA

“Not in my backyard” – it’s an attitude environmentalists frequently encounter when proposed renewable energy installations move closer to becoming real ones. The Cape Wind project, for instance, has encountered stiff resistance from wealthy part-time residents of Cape Cop who, while supporting renewable energy in general, don’t want their view spoiled. That’s a fairly easy example of the NIMBY attitude to dismiss, as are those involving resistance to most wind projects.

But what if a coal or nuclear plant was planned for nearby? Would you want to be “downstream” from either of those? Would the label NIMBY seem fair for those who protested such development? If you think so, you may want to check out ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA, which premieres on January 23rd at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Woodstock Jews mark Hanukkah with solar-powered menorah

Article: Woodstock Jews mark Hanukkah with solar-powered menorah

No winter holiday lends itself to environmental discussions quite as well as Hanukkah: getting eight days’ use out of one day of oil (the miracle on which the celebration is based) inevitably leads to discussions of efficiency and conservation. Numerous Jewish organizations have recognized this connection, and organized a variety of “green Hanukkah” celebrations in recent years involving everything from CFLs to recycled menorahs.

Green tech finds, 10/20/11

Article: Green tech finds, 10/20/11

Underground skyscrapers, smart windows and more problems with natural gas drilling: Your green tech finds for the week.

Charge your car with your phone: Well, not exactly, but a new app developed by IBM and Swiss utility EKZ allows for better management of when your electric vehicle is charged and what sources of energy are used to charge it. Find out more in the video above. (via @greeneconpost)

The grain silo hotel: While not as green as it could be (because the structures used were built for the project), Silo Stay, a nine-unit New Zealand hotel built from grain silos…

The "Low-Line," an underground park for NYC

Article: The "Low-Line," an underground park for NYC

Okay, I’ll admit it. Whenever someone from out of town starts asking me about the Highline and whether or not it’s really as cool as it looks, I feel very proud to live in New York. Because yes, it’s exactly as cool as it looks (actually, it’s cooler, because they sell gourmet popsicles now, and I love me some popsicles), and it’s pretty neat to live in a place that would invest millions of dollars in a beautifully designed piece of urban revitalization. I mean, just look at it: it’s a park suspended over New York City. The future is now!

New York's changing face

Article: New York's changing face

James and Karla Murray’s New York City storefronts project is now a book. It took them 10 years to complete the project and in that time 1/3 of all the shops photographed have shuttered. It’s a visual documentation of the loss of Mom and Pop stores across NYC. From the couple: STORE FRONT is a…

Origins of I Heart New York

Article: Origins of I Heart New York

I sat down with Milton Glaser last week. Not only am I working with Milton at my day job, I also recorded our conversation for Dwell too. Meeting legends typically don’t phase me. I’ve met them all from design icons to rock gods. But Milton is the quintessential New Yorker. It was quite a joyous event for me. The below statement about “I Love New York/I Heart New York” was particularly fascinating for me as he not only explained it’s design inspiration, something I’d never heard, but also explained how ubiquitous the statement had become. It’s a fun read:

I am sure you have answered this about a million times, but I have to ask about “I Love New York” or “I Heart New York.” I don’t even know what to call it! Love or heart?
What you may not realize that is that the heart, a symbol used as a verb, has now entered into the Oxford English Dictionary. This happened a couple of weeks ago. So heart is now a verb. It entered with an acknowledgement that “I Love New York” was the manifestation that did it, the first symbol ever to enter the Oxford Dictionary. You can call it either one as both are correct.

Student music video trains peers on recycling

Article: Student music video trains peers on recycling


Ever get frustrated when you see someone throwing away a recyclable item… right next to a recycling bin? Or throw a recyclable item in the wrong container? High school junior CJ Joseph certainly has, and has played the role of “recycling police” (or “recycling nazi” if you prefer) at Queens’ The Renaissance Charter School: “If I see somebody I’m like, ‘You’re throwing that out in the wrong bin. Follow the signs people! I know you’ve heard it: Papers go in the blue (bins), and bottles in the green.”

But as many of us have learned, badgering only gets you so far… so CJ decided to apply her other passion, music, to her recycling fervor, and wrote the song “R to the E to the Cycle.” If you read the lyrics, you’ll see they’re not much different from her “recycling police” instructions… but definitely more catchy!

Only in New York

Article: Only in New York

Only in New York do people live in apartments covered in tape, covered in yarn, and covered in crazy wallpapers. Eclectic people flock to this city and New York Magazine‘s new issue features some extreme decor proves that. Included are six apartments of various size and extremity. Featured are Agata Oleksiak (now known solely as…

Vimeo of the Week: N.Y. Adorned "Tradition"

Article: Vimeo of the Week: N.Y. Adorned "Tradition"

N.Y. Adorned “Tradition” from Evan Owen Dennis on Vimeo. Evan Owen Davis‘ film N.Y. Adorned “Tradition” is a short black and white portrait of tattoo artistry and New York City. The tattoo studios, not unlike the art studios of New York, are filled with people from all over the world. Images of New York City…

"New York Magazine" peeks into the lives of others/ourselves

Article: "New York Magazine" peeks into the lives of others/ourselves

New York Magazine’s latest feature gives readers the full REAR WINDOW treatment
To celebrate its 43rd birthday, New York Magazine ran a nearly cover-spanning story on the one topic that New Yorkers never seem to tire of: their apartments. From tales of the city’s most notorious starving artists to those living comfortably on the other end of economic spectrum, I heartily salute “The New York Apartment: A Biography” for its breadth of scope, surprising anecdotes and collection of historical photographs.

Attention Seekers

Article: Attention Seekers

I love this New York Magazine slideshow of NYC apartments from over the years. Documenting the scariest, the noisiest, and even the gaudiest, the slideshow shows a broad array of apartments in New York. I love the smallest, a 55 square foot studio! And the noisiest, seen above, nestled against a roller coaster, would be…

NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell

Article: NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell

Discos29 – NY77 – The Coolest Year In Hell from Veintinueve on Vimeo.

Watch this film if you love New York or music. It’s eye-opening.

Many music genres emerged from NYC in the late 1970s: dance, hip-hop, punk. This wonderful film dissects the politics of 1977 and the emergence of those music genres, which, to this day, shape and inspire most popular music. Also thrown in is a history of being a minority, race and sexuality, in Manhattan during the time.

Vimeo of the Week: Manhattan 4:33PM

Article: Vimeo of the Week: Manhattan 4:33PM

Manhattan 4.33pm from Lizzie Oxby on Vimeo. Manhattan 4.33pm, a very short film by Lizzie Oxby, is a real treat. Clocking in at 36 seconds I promise it won’t distract you too much from your day job. It will however make you smile. Taking three still images of Manhattan’s southern skyline, the filmmaker turns the…

New York to designate organic yard care providers

Article: New York to designate organic yard care providers

While the term “organic” must meet strict guidelines for use with food, other products and services can pretty much use the term indiscriminately. So, if you’re thinking about hiring “green” yard care services this year, you still have to ask a lot of questions and otherwise do your homework.

That’s changing in New York, however: this year, the state is rolling out its Be Green Organic Yards NY program. When fully up and running, the program will provide New Yorkers with a list of businesses that have been approved to display a service mark demonstrating their knowledge of organic practices. To receive the designation, businesses must not only agree to avoid synthetic chemicals, but also take a training course that educates employees in a full range of organic considerations: from chemical-free pest control and fertilization to soil health and structure, proper plant and lawn maintenance, and environmentally-sensitive plant selection. The program also requires continuing education by service providers.

Paris versus New York: a tally of two cities

Article: Paris versus New York: a tally of two cities

Paris versus New York is a series of fantastic simplistic graphics by Vahram Muratyan which presents “a friendly visual match” comparing the greatest city in the world and Paris.

The Animazing Stan Lee

Article: The Animazing Stan Lee

Photo Credit: Fabrizio Fante/Sundance Channel On Saturday October 9th, comic book legend Stan Lee, creator of thousands of heroes and villains in the Marvel Comics universe, held a signing at New York’s Animazing Gallery in SoHo to benefit the Stan Lee Foundation.  Fans were able to purchase prints, original paintings, and original published comic art…

Woody Allen Meets A Tall Dark Stranger

Article: Woody Allen Meets A Tall Dark Stranger

Woody Allen Talks About His Latest Film Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics Woody Allen’s latest film “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” starring an ensemble that includes Gemma Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, and Josh Brolin, opens in U.S. theaters tomorrow,  September 22nd. On September 8th,  Kultur Kritic excitedly attended a press screening…

Amanda Wachob's tattoos

Article: Amanda Wachob's tattoos

I am sort of obsessed with Amanda Wachob‘s artwork. Not only does the New Yorker paint unique canvasses, but she also decorates bodies. Most tattoo artists seem to be men. Wachob’s tattoo work is quite feminine. It’s not for everyone and does not speak to the history of the tattoo art form directly, but it…

Cazwell's Ice Cream Truck

Article: Cazwell's Ice Cream Truck

If you’re like me, with a hankering for ice cream, primary colors, and Latino go-go boys, then you’re going to love, love, love the above video. It is almost safe for work. I said almost. Cazwell is a gay white rapper and a NYC-nightlife fixture. Typically he’s seen running around town with Amanda Lepore. But…

New York's first passive house

Article: New York's first passive house

For the last two years architect Dennis Wedlick has been redesigning the cave. A cave, Wedlick explains, is the perfect metaphor for building a passive house: “One continuous material provides super insulation with only one energy-leaking opening.”

Just over a month ago, Wedlick raised the frame of his cave-inspired design, a 3-bedroom house on the Hudson, which, when completed, will be New York’s very first passive house. That’s kind of a startling figure, but “there are only about 10 certified passive projects in the entire country,” Wedlick says, “but something like 10,000 in Germany. That really tells you how far behind we are on sustainability.”

Green tech finds (7/15/10)

Article: Green tech finds (7/15/10)

Fishy iPhone apps, soy car parts, and another solar Air Force base… this week’s green tech finds.

Sustainable seafood and wine? There’s an app for that… The Blue Ocean Institute and Brancott have launched the free Fishphone iPhone app, which not only provides sustainable seafood information on the go, but also suggest wine pairings.
The eco-travel planner: The Rainforest Alliance has beta launched its new sustainable travel guide and planner, SustainableTrip.org. Currently focused on south of the border destinations, the site features tour operators, hotels, restaurants and other amenities that have been certified by reputable NGOs.

Is Bowling Finally Not Uncool?

Article: Is Bowling Finally Not Uncool?

“Let’s go bowling,” a friend actually blurted at a get-together recently as the entire room fell into a stunned hush. We didn’t go bowling, as it turned out, but still, the realization that such a cornball thing could even be an option suggested that bowling might finally be slithering back into a spot on the collective radar, as the cognoscenti cringe.

Boobs and BP at Coney Island's 2010 Mermaid Parade

Article: Boobs and BP at Coney Island's 2010 Mermaid Parade

In case you missed it, last Saturday was Coney Island’s 28th (if we did our math right) annual Mermaid Parade. It’s usually one great big, silly, public, burlesque parade of skimpy costumes, garish mardi-gras art and mer-related merriment. But this year had a political vibe to it like no other: protests against BP and the…