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Notice anything different about me? Until a few minutes ago, the by-line at the header of this blog read: Adventures in Neo-Victorian, Wil...

2006-11-29

That's right, blame the pear trees

Booming commercial construction is sparking demand for ornamental trees, leading to a 44 percent increase in the price of a pear tree, which helped push the price for buying all the items in the "The Twelve Days of Christmas," up 3.1 percent in 2006, according to a recent study.

The satirical study, put out every year by PNC Wealth Management [Warning: Link has irritating music!], said rising labor costs led to an increase in the price of skilled labor, including the nine ladies dancing, 10 lords-a-leaping, 11 pipers piping, and 12 drummers drumming.

- 'Twelve days of Christmas' gets pricier, CNN

For Internet-savvy True Loves, PNC Wealth Management calculates the cost of The Twelve Days gifts purchased on the Web. This year, the trends identified in the traditional index are repeated in the Internet version, with overall growth of 3.4 percent, compared to 3.1 in the traditional index. Wages are up, with the Drummers earning almost 100 percent more when purchased on the Internet in 2006 compared with an Internet purchase in 2005. And, as with the traditional Christmas Price Index, bird prices are even or, in some cases, down a bit from 2005 levels. In general, Internet prices are higher than their non-Internet counterparts because of shipping costs.

- The True Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas...

2006-11-27

Prospect Park Lights: Park Circle

DSC_4275Today was opening day of Prospect Park in Lights, an installation of over a half-million LED lights at four entrances to Prospect Park. Park Circle is one of the four. It's the southwest entrance of the park, at the intersection of Coney Island Avenue and Parkside Avenue. The statues at the entrance are "The Horse Tamers."

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See the lights at The Pergola.

Prospect Park Lights: The Pergola

DSC_4213Today was opening day of Prospect Park in Lights, an installation of over a half-million LED lights at four entrances to Prospect Park. The Pergola is one of the four. It's the southeast entrance of the park, at the intersection of Ocean Avenue and Parkside Avenue.
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See the lights at Park Circle.

2006-11-26

The Daffodil Project: Grief & Gardening #5

DSC_4132Today I planted bulbs in the front yard, including daffodils I received through the Beverly Square West Neighborhood Association, which were donated through The Daffodil Project. With this act, our front yard becomes part of a living memorial to those murdered on September 11, 2001.
The Daffodil Project was originally created to commemorate September 11. ...
The Daffodil Project is made possible in part by the generosity of a Dutch bulb supplier, Hans van Waardenburg of B&K Flowerbulbs, who has pledged to donate 500,000 daffodil bulbs to the project each year as long as there are volunteers willing to plant them. More than 20,000 volunteers have responded to his challenge so far. And thanks to their efforts, nearly 3 million yellow daffodils bloomed in over 1,300 individual sites across the five boroughs in the spring of 2006.
- The Daffodil Project, New Yorkers for Parks
... This act of immense generosity has been coupled with that of Joseph Temeczko, a Minnesotan handyman who willed his entire life-savings of $1.4 million to New York City, $300K of which will pay for the shipping of these precious bulbs for the following 5 years. Temeczko, who is said to have been a Nazi prison camp survivor, entered the U.S. through Ellis Island and lived for a time in New York City where he worked at the Statue of Liberty. Following September 11th, 2001, he redirected his estate "to honor those who perished in the disaster." An avid gardener, himself, he loved to share his garden's harvest with others, and passed away only a month later while working in his own garden.
- My Community Hero: The Daffodil Project, Claudia Herrera Hudson
This Daffodil Project is distinct in that it involves no particular site. All public parks and community gardens are potential sites for the Daffodil Project. After 9/11, New Yorkers turned to their parks as a common ground where they could congregate, debate, memorialize, grieve, and find spiritual and physical renewal. The Daffodil Project is a lasting tribute to the people that died and the heroes that were born that day, it is a symbol of remembrance and rebirth in the heart of what is common ground for all of the citizens of New York: their public parks.
- The Daffodil Project, The Living Memorials Project

Here are some more photos of me in the act this afternoon, graciously taken by my neighbor, Jeff Tolbert. (Since this is my photographic debut on my own blog, I decided not to upload the flattering butt-crack photos.)
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Related Posts

The Daffodil Project

Links

Plans for bequest made by Joseph Temeczko, Press Release, Parks, February 12, 2003

Fall Color along Buckingham Road in Prospect Park South

More fall color from Prospect Park South, this time from Buckingham Road. The planted median which runs down the middle of both this streets and Albemarle Road comprise part of Flatbush Malls, which is managed by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
143 Buckingham Road
Each photo in this post links to its photo page in Flickr, where you can view it at several different resolutions.

The photos are organized so you can take your own walking tour. In the Flickr set, the photos are ordered by descending street address; the street addresses increase going south from Church Avenue to Albemarle Road. All the photos are also geotagged on Flickr, so you can see where each photo was taken. Look for the "map" link on the individual photo pages.

143 Buckingham Road131 Buckingham Road131 Buckingham Road100 Buckingham Road100 Buckingham Road

Architectural Detail, 131 Buckingham Road131 Buckingham RoadOak Tree, Flatbush Malls, Buckingham RoadBuckingham Road and Flatbush Malls

Related content

Buckingham Road, Prospect Park South (Flickr set)

2006-11-25

My Anti-Wish List: The RolyPig Composter

Or the piggy-roll composter, or the roll-the-piggy composter, or ...

You can watch the video.

Guess where you "feed" it your kitchen scraps. And from where you extract the compost.

I really don't want one. Really.

And no, I don't know why it's green.

via Scientific American.

2006-11-24

More Recently Discovered Blogs


Francis Morrone on Victorian Flatbush

[Updated 18:45 EST: Added link to Francis Morrone's personal Web site.]

The third article about Victorian Flatbush in the past two months has caught my eye. They're all by Francis Morrone, who writes about NYC architecture for the The New York Sun:

The railroad that serves Ditmas Park is the Brighton Line, also known as the Q train, which follows the right of way of the old Brooklyn, Flatbush & Coney Island Railroad, a surface steam railroad eventually purchased and rebuilt by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company. The BRT decided to run the Brighton Line in an open cut through Flatbush. This hid the train from view in an area ripe for development as a high-class residential district at the turn of the 20th century.

- The Best Balusters on the Block
When the railroad cut was created, they also went from two track to four. Today the outer tracks serve the local stops on the Q line, while the inner tracks serve the express stops of B train, including Church Avenue and Newkirk Avenue. To icnrease the number of tracks, they needed to take land on both sides. This is why the proeprties backing the tracks on the adjacent streets of Marlborough Road (East 15th Street) and East 16th Street are only 75 feet deep instead of the standard 100 feet: they needed an additional 25 feet from each side for the additional right-of-way.

Links:

2006-11-23

New Q Trains

Several years ago, I participated in a focus group field-trip to a mock-up of the new cars design.

I can't wait.


via Gothamist, via across the park

Buying Indulgences: The Carbon Market

My opinion - based on gut reaction, not any deep analysis - of carbon trading is that it's equivalent to the religious practice of buying indulgences: sin all you like, as long as your pockets are deep enough to buy "penance."

It doesn't work. The problem is that carbon, like sin, is itself a very deep pocket. There's no cap on carbon emissions, at least in this country, the single largest contributor. Without a cap, "supply" is unlimited, and no incentive to reduce emissions. There's a perverse dysfunctional incentive to emit more carbon to create more "product" to sell.

Selling indulgences creates a disincentive to reduce sin.
The business of climate change is heating up -- along with the planet -- so fast that many ordinary folks are left wanting to do right but wondering where their money goes. The emerging carbon-offset industry has little oversight or transparency, so it's difficult for consumers to see if they are really being a "hero" by going "zero" -- as Travelocity preaches on its Web site -- or being suckered.

There's no quick and easy way for consumers to see exactly how the money is spent.
...
Just because someone pays to offset a ton of carbon pollution doesn't mean that a ton is taken out of the atmosphere. Also, offsetting a ton of carbon dioxide doesn't even mean that is the gas being offset. Everything is converted to carbon -- meaning that one molecule of methane, a really bad gas -- is equal to 23 molecules of carbon dioxide -- a somewhat bad gas.

- Feel Less Than Green?
via 3rliving, a local business on 5th Avenue in Park Slope which promotes the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

2006-11-21

Fall Color along Albemarle Road in Prospect Park South

Possibly the most photogenic block in all of Brooklyn. I took most of these photos this season, in September, October and this month.
1203 Albemarle Road
The title of this posting links to the Flickr set of these photos: Albemarle Road, Prospect Park South. Each photo in this post links to its photo page in Flickr, where you can view it at several different resolutions.

The photos are organized so you can take your own walking tour. In the Flickr set, the photos are ordered by street address; the street addresses increase going east from Coney Island Avenue. All the photos are also geotagged on Flickr, so you can see where each photo was taken. Look for the "map" link on the individual photo pages.

Garden in front yard of side house on Albemarle RoadGarden in front yard of side house on Albemarle Road941 Albemarle Road1203 Albemarle Road1314 Albemarle Road1314 Albemarle Road1314 Albemarle RoadHouse on Albemarle Road1406 Albemarle Road1406 Albemarle Road1409 Albemarle Road1409 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road

941 Albemarle Road1203 Albemarle Road1203 Albemarle Road1306 Albemarle Road1314 Albemarle Road1314 Albemarle Road1314 Albemarle Road1314 Albemarle RoadHouse on Albemarle Road1406 Albemarle Road1406 Albemarle Road1406 Albemarle Road1409 Albemarle Road1409 Albemarle Road1409 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road1510 Albemarle Road