The Brooklyn Blogade visits the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Sunday, October 12

Crape-Myrtles in full fall regalia in November 2006 at the Lily Pool Terrace of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Lily Pool Terrace, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, November 2006

On Sunday, October 12, 2008, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) welcomes the Brooklyn Blogade!

The Blogade is a "traveling roadshow" that meets each month in a different location in Brooklyn. It's a way for bloggers who live or work in Brooklyn to visit different parts of Brooklyn and meet each other, and for residents of the communities we visit to connect with Brooklyn's online world.

Inspired by the out-of-doors experience of the July Blogade in Prospect Park, I contacted Dave Allen, BBG's Web Manager, about the possibility of hosting a Blogade. Dave is responsible for some of BBG's Web content you may have already enjoyed, such as the timelapse videos of this year's Hanami, the Cranford Rose Garden, and the Lily Pool Terrace. He and I have spoken informally in the past about how to foster greater connections between BBG and the online world. This seemed like a good fit, and October is a great time to experience some of our beautiful fall color at BBG.

Schedule of Events:
  • 11am to 12noon: Food on your own at BBG's al fresco Terrace Cafe. Blogade attendees can sign in and get their name tags at the Blogade registration table near the Bonsai House.
  • 12noon to 2pm: Main program in the Member's Room of the recently landmarked Laboratory and Administration Building. Meet Dave Allen, BBG's Web Manager! There will be some brief presentations, time for Q&A, and of course, the shout-out.
  • 2pm to 3:30pm: Continue schmoozing as you explore the gardens on a guided tour of BBG just for those attending the Blogade!
  • BBG is offering free admission - and parking - to those attending the Blogade.
  • Space in the Member's Room is limited.
  • For free admission, please provide your real name.
  • RSVPs will be fulfilled first-come, first-served.
  • RSVP to blogade.rsvp@gmail.com

Related Content

A Picnic at Prospect Park (the Brooklyn Blogade), July 28, 2008
Blogade (Blog posts)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Blog posts)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Flickr photo collection)


BBG has several different online resources and personae which you can explore:

Web site. Be sure to explore the Visit section for directions, maps, what's in bloom, special exhibits, and so on.

Vimeo (High-def Video)
YouTube (Video)
Flickr (Photos)
Facebook (Social networking)
MySpace (Social networking)

Final NYC Compost Giveback

The Fresh Kills Composting Site in Staten Island
Compost Pickup, Fresh Kills Composting Site, Staten Island

The very last ever, until something changes, NYC Compost Giveback takes place this weekend in the Bronx, and in two weeks in Staten Island. Since there's no funding in the budget for fall leaf pickup, there will be no more leaves, and no more givebacks, after this.

Saturday & Sunday, OCTOBER 4 & 5, 8am to 2pm (rain or shine)
Soundview DSNY Composting Site (at the end of Randall Ave. close to the Bruckner

Saturday & Sunday, OCTOBER 18 & 19, 8am to 2pm (rain or shine)
Fresh Kills DSNY Composting Site (off West Service Rd. near exit 7 of Rt. 440)

NYC residents and community groups from any borough can get unlimited amounts of
free compost at these events. This high-quality, natural soil enhancer is made out
of leaves that DSNY collected from City residents and institutions.

At the Compost Givebacks, NYC residents can also purchase discounted compost bins
for $20 (subsidized by DSNY-BWPRR) to make their own compost.

Related Posts



Fall 2008 Compost Givebacks and Bin Sales
Sanitation Announces Plan to Collect Fallen Leaves [as garbage, not for composting], Press release, Department of Sanitation, New York City, 2008-09-22
NYC Compost Project


Daffodil Project Reservation Deadline is Monday, September 29

A Daffodil blooming on Cortelyou Road this past Spring
Cortelyou Daffodils

This Monday, September 29 is the deadline for reserving Daffodils from the 2008 Daffodil Project. The Brooklyn pickup will be Saturday, October 18 at Grand Army Plaza.

This year, I requested 1,000 bulbs on behalf of the Flatbush Community Garden. Neighbor Stacey, who kicked off last year's planting, has requested another 1,000. We're targeting the first two weekends in November - the 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th - for planting on Beverley Road, Cortelyou Road, Newkirk Avenue, and P.S. 139. These dates are listed in my Google calendar in the sidebar as "Flatbush Daffodil Project." If you'd like to help, watch for announcements as the dates approach.

Related Posts

Daffodil Project


2008 Daffodil Bulb Reservation, online form
Sustainable Flatbush


Tour Bed-Stuy Community Gardens, Saturday, October 4

Round 3 of the 2008 Green With Envy Tours visits community gardens in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Saturday, October 4, from 10am to 2pm. This tour is organized by the Brooklyn Community Gardens Coalition with support from NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation, GreenThumb, GreenGuerillas and BBG'S GreenBridge.

Click for map biggeremization
Map of the green With Envy III 2008 Tour of Community Gardens in Bedford-Stuyvesant

Gardens on the tour:
  1. Madison Street Block Association Garden, 88-90 Madison Street, between Bedford Ave & Franklin Ave
  2. Cedar Tree Garden, 305 Greene Avenue, between Classon & Franklin
  3. Jane Bailey Memorial Garden, 327-329 Greene Avenue, between Classon & Franklin
  4. Greene Acres Community Garden, 324 Franklin Avenue, corner of Greene Avenue
  5. Target Community Garden, 931-933 Bedford Avenue, between Willoughby & DeKalb
  6. Spencer Street Block Association Community Garden, 230 Spencer Street, between Willoughby & DeKalb
  7. Hattie Carthan Community Garden, 654 Lafayette Ave, 363-365 Clifton Place, on Marcy Ave between Clifton Place and Lafayette Ave
  8. NYCHA Garden Womens Mural, Nostrand at Greene
  9. Greene Avenue Neighbors Association Garden, 490 Greene Avenue, corner of Nostrand
  10. Clifton Place Memorial Park and Garden, 1031-1039 Bedford Ave, at Clifton Place
Join us for this guided tour, visiting Community Gardens in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The tour begins with a 10am breakfast at the Madison Street Block Assn. Garden between Franklin & Bedford, then walk, bike, or ride the bus to visit some AMAZING Brooklyn Gardens.

Special THANKS to the Parks Department for generously providing bus transport for this tour!!! Space is limited... RSVP joncrow [at] earthlink [dot] net.

To get to the start of the tour, take the G to Classon, the C to Franklin, or from Downtown Bklyn, take the B52 or B26 to Franklin and walk to the Madison Garden.

Related Posts

Green With Envy


Green Guerillas
GreenBridge, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Bed-Stuy Garden Tour, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation


Flatbush Neighborhood History Guide published by Brooklyn Historical Society

MUST HAVE! Flatbush joins the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Red Hook/Gowanus, DUMBO/Vinegar Hill, Bay Ridge/Fort Hamilton:
The Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) has just released a history of Brooklyn’s fabled Flatbush neighborhood. As one of the original six townships of Kings County, Flatbush has 400 years of recorded history, in which time it transformed from a rural Dutch hamlet of farmers into the “layered, complex, endlessly fascinating place” that the book’s co-author Francis Morrone described at the booklaunch last Thursday evening.
- Brooklyn Historical Society Releases New History of Flatbush, Phoebe Neidl, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 23, 2008
The book provides yet another response to the question, "Where is Flatbush, anyway?!"
The neighborhood is geographically defined in the book as being bound on the north by Parkside Avenue, on the south by Avenue H, on the east by Rogers Avenue and on the west by Coney Island Avenue. Flatbush encompasses several smaller communities, such as Ditmas Park, Prospect Park South, Beverly Square, Fisk Terrace, Midwood, Caton Park, and Albemarle-Kenmore Terraces.
Credit for this new history is largely due to the late Adina Back, a public historian who specialized in the civil rights movement, community activism and education here in Brooklyn. She passed away last month from cancer as the book was going to print.

With both anecdotal and statistical accounts, Back traces Flatbush’s evolution into the diverse urban area it now is with the help of documents and photos preserved by the Flatbush Historical Society, which closed its doors in 2002 and donated its collection to BHS.

Related Posts

Where is Flatbush, anyway?!, December 1, 2007


Brooklyn Historical Society Releases New History of Flatbush, Phoebe Neidl, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 23, 2008
BHS Celebrates Publication of New Flatbush Neighborhood History Guide [PDF], Press Release, September 9, 2008

Riding out the Harvest, BQLT Bike/Van Tour, Saturday, September 27

UPDATE Friday, 2008-09-26: CANCELLED. The announcement came at 10am from the tour's organizers:
Intrepid gardeners,

With a forecast of some serious rain, we've come to a decision to cancel this Saturday's (9/27/08) bqlt "Riding out the Harvest" bike/van tour.

Save your energy for next week's (10/4/08) "Green(e) with Envy," another great opportunity to explore the world of community gardening.
I'm disappointed, but I'll admit I wasn't looking forward to slogging through the rain with my camera. I am looking forward to the Green With Envy Tour of Bed-Stuy Community Gardens next Saturday, October 4.

Classon Ful-Gate Block Association Community Garden, one of nine Brooklyn community gardens on this Saturday's tour.
Classon FulGate Block Association Community Garden

The Brooklyn-Queens Land Trust (BQLT) is hosting its Second Annual Bike and Van Tour this Saturday, September 27th:

Jump in the van or hop on a bike - we're visiting a sampling of BQLT gardens - saying hello, having some snacks along the way. It all begins at 9:30am with a coffee reception at Hollenback Community Garden (Washington Ave between Gates and Green Avenue ). The harvest ride will culminate in a cookout beginning at 3:00pm at Euclid / Pine Street Block Association.

MEETING TIME/COFFEE: 9:30am @ Hollenback Garden
DEPARTURE TIME: 10:00am Sharp!
TOUR’S END/COOKOUT: 3:00pm @ Euclid-Pine Garden

This is a BIKE & VAN TOUR:
Bicyclists will be led by Isak Mendes - RSVP/Info: eaglemendes [at] yahoo [dot]com
Seats in the Van are limited! Reserve yours by contacting Brothel Dean: strechdean [at] msn [dot] com

Suggested donation: $5/person

The gardens on the tour are:

  • Hollenback Community Garden, Washington Ave. between Gates & Greene Aves.
  • Classon/Ful-Gate Block Association, Classon Ave. between Putnam & Madison Aves.
  • St. Mark’s Ave./Prospect Heights, St. Marks between Vanderbilt & Carlton Aves.
  • Mama Dee’s Garden, St. Mark’s Avenue between Bedford and Rogers Aves.
  • Westbrook Memorial Garden, Pacific St. between Bedford & Nostrand Aves.
  • United Herkimer Garden Club, Herkimer St. between Bedfor & Nostrand Aves.
  • Rogers/Tilden/Veronica Place Garden, Corner of Tilden Ave. and Veronica Place
  • Sheffield Garden, Sheffield Ave between New Lots and Hegeman Aves.
  • Euclid-Pine Block Association Garden, Corner of Dumont Ave. & Pine St.

View Larger Map

Related Posts

Classon FulGate Block Association Garden, Green With Envy Tour, II.6, August 10, 2008
Hollenback Community Garden, Clinton Hill, Green With Envy Tour, II.5, August 8, 2008
St. Mark's Avenue Community Garden, Prospect Heights, Green With Envy Tour, II.2, August 2, 2008


Riding out the Harvest, BQLT Bike/Van Tour
Google map


Happy September Equinox 2008

Persephone with her pomegranate. Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Proserpine (Oil on canvas, 1874) - Tate Gallery, London

Related Posts



Wikipedia: Equinox


Cortelyou Road Park, Park(ing) Day NYC 2008

Cortelyou Road Park, Park(ing) Day 2008
Cortelyou Road Park, Park(ing)Day NYC 2008

For the second year, Sustainable Flatbush created Cortelyou Road Park, a mini-park-for-the-day on Cortelyou Road in Flatbush that was one of 50 such sites across New York City.

For our park, I loaned furniture and container plants from my garden to recreate a garden room on Cortelyou Road. The grass was sod donated by Transportation Alternatives (T.A.). The Flatbush Food Co-op donated a gift basket to be raffled off, and kept us stocked in popcorn and chips. Vox Pop donated urns of coffee.

Setting up
Setting up
Setting up

Cortelyou Road Park, Park(ing)Day NYC 2008


Finger painting
Finger Painting
Finger Paints


Bounty donated by the Flatbush Food Coop
Bounty donated by the Flatbush Food Coop


Related Content

Flickr photo set


Park(ing) Day 2008, Sustainable Flatbush
Flatbush Food Co-op
Vox Pop

Park(ing) Day NYC
Park(ing) Day
Transportation Alternatives (T.A.)
The Open Planning Project (TOPP)
The Trust for Public Land
Cortelyou Branch, Brooklyn Public Library, 1305 Cortelyou Rd. at Argyle Road


Visit Cortelyou Road Park on Park(ing) Day, Friday, September 19

Cortelyou Road Park, Park(ing) Day 2007. Photo: Keka Marzag√£o
Park(ing) Day 2007 : Cortelyou Rd. Park, Brooklyn!

On Friday, September 19th, Sustainable Flatbush will transform a parking spot on Cortelyou Road in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn into a park, complete with grass, plants, and seating. "Cortelyou Road Park", located on the corner of Cortelyou and Argyle Roads [GMAP], is one of 50 sites around New York City – twice as many as last year – participating in Park(ing) Day, an international event.

"Park(ing) Day is an opportunity to create a community gathering space, and to make a statement about how we allocate public space," says Anne Pope, Founder/Director of Sustainable Flatbush. "In this neighborhood, despite all the beautiful homes and lawns and gardens, the amount of public green space per person is much lower than the city average."

Cortelyou Road Park will be open from 9AM to dusk and include activities for children and adults – a school and several day care centers are located nearby – and an art exhibition in the adjacent plaza of the local Brooklyn Public Library branch. "Using 160 square feet of concrete for temporary storage of an automobile benefits only its owner. If we can take that area and transform it into something magical that is enjoyed by dozens of people, maybe that's a better use of the space," says Pope. "I hope it gets people thinking about how public space can be allocated for the maximum benefit."

This year, park builders are putting new emphasis on site-specific designs that will reflect the social, cultural, and architectural contexts in which they're situated. This approach will also generate innovative proof-of-concept designs for permanent public space reclamation. Seating areas, art installations, and community engagement will all make the case for a more sensible and human-friendly distribution of available urban public space.

Also new is Park(ing) Day Redux, taking place on October 18th. This capstone exhibit will feature a rebuild of selected parking spots on a closed street in front of Eyebeam Art and Technology Center on West 21st Street, photos and media from the September event, and a mixer with the city's most imaginative public space interventionists.

Sustainable Flatbush
brings neighbors together to discuss, educate, and advocate for sustainable living in our Brooklyn neighborhood and beyond. Their vision of a sustainable neighborhood includes equal access to healthy food and open spaces; preserving affordable housing (and the diverse population it enables) through innovative energy practices; and high-quality, resource-efficient transportation options (including cycling). As residents of one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in the nation, they strive to learn from each other and emulate global best practices in sustainability, whether that translates into cutting-edge technology or just living more simply.


Sustainable Flatbush
Park(ing) Day NYC
Park(ing) Day
Transportation Alternatives (T.A.)
The Open Planning Project (TOPP)
The Trust for Public Land
Cortelyou Branch, Brooklyn Public Library, 1305 Cortelyou Rd. at Argyle Road

The Flatbush CommUNITY Garden, Brooklyn's (and NYC's!) newest community garden

Completed raised bed frames, ready for filling and planting, on August 24, 2008
Frames in place

Brooklyn's newest community garden broke ground at the beginning of July. We planted for the first time two weeks ago. Planning for the garden began at least as early as the Winter of 2007, when I first became involved.

The Flatbush CommUNITY Garden is a project of Sustainable Flatbush. The Garden is located at 1522 Albemarle Road, at the intersection of Buckingham Road, on property generously loaned to the Garden by the owner.

All 16 plots are already allocated for this season. As Brooklyn's newest community garden, we are still working out our membership procedures. We hope to have these finalized by the end of the year. Announcements for future meetings, and procedures for new members to join, will be posted on the Sustainable Flatbush Web site when they are available.

Site visit, Sunday, June 1, 1008
Site Visit, Flatbush Unity Garden
The mission of the Flatbush CommUNITY Garden is to create space for a diverse group of neighbors to establish a community-led organic garden; to grow fruits, vegetable, herbs, and flowers, and create a multi-cultural, interactive, empowering space that fosters unity and pride within the community while supporting healthy eating and local sustainable agriculture. An additional goal of this program is to promote sustainable gardening and farming practices throughout the neighborhood, especially on publicly accessible land that is currently underutilized. Our gardens will serve as visible examples of sustainability practices such as rainwater harvesting, water-efficient landscaping, composting, and permaculture.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Say "Weeeeds!"
Say "Weeeeds!"

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Building the frame
Say "Weeds!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cutting, Filling, and Levelling
Work Crew

Friday, August 29, 2008

Picking up compost from the Fresh Kills Composting Site on Staten Island
Compost Pickup, Fesh Kills Composting Site, Staten Island

Related Content

Other posts
My photos of this garden (Flickr set)


Sustainable Flatbush: Community Garden, Projects 2008, and Flickr photo set



Potted plants and gardening tchotkes on display at Sycamore
Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

Not the tree, but a new flower shop/bar that opened last week around the corner from me. During the day, it will operate as a flower shop, evenings, as a bar. This new venture from the owners of The Farm on Adderley, Gary Jonas and Allison McDowell, replaces Cortelyou Vintage at 1118 Cortelyou Road in my neighborhood of Flatbush.

When the street front was renovated, they discovered the original stained and leaded glass lights of the store windows. They had been painted over, but were in otherwise good condition; they were restored with lots of cleaning, plus some replacements and repairs. The flower shop occupies just the front of the space, visible from the street.

Storefront, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road
Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

Succulents, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

Cut Flowers, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

Green Tea Roses, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

Variegated Rose, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

The bar occupies the rest of the space.

Bar, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

The garden theme continues to the shelves behind the bar.

Pots on the Top Shelf, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

A backyard deck extends the space to the outdoors, likely to the dismay of the neighbors.

Backyard, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road

A wall of Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Every new business on Cortelyou Road is examined under the collective microscope of the community, sometimes on blogs, but mostly on email discussion groups and in casual conversation. This block of Cortelyou, in particular, has seen a lot of change in the 3-1/2 years I've lived in the neighborhood. As in other neighborhoods of Brooklyn, change highlights tensions between "old" and "new" Flatbush, especially around the issues of economic sustainability and neighborhood and cultural stability. With specialty roses at $2 a stem, not to mention beers at up to $8 and $10, Sycamore will amplify those concerns.

That said, this is, at least, a neighborhood enterprise. Gary and Allison live just two blocks away in Flatbush. The architect, Ole Sondresen, who also designed The Farm on Adderley, is also a neighbor of mine. They are investing their energy and creativity into the neighborhood where they live. That, I think, is a good thing.

Related Content

Flickr photo set
Cortelyou Road


Ole Sondresen
Flatbush Vegan
Ditmas Park Blog
Brooklyn Paper


Seven years


This morning I went to Battery Park to sign my name on a beam which will be used in the construction of the National September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero. This beam-signing opportunity runs through 6pm today, and again tomorrow, September 11, from 10am to 6pm.

I went alone. The collective spirit of those assembled felt strange to me. People waiting to enter were talking with each other, laughing, catching up. For many of these people, it seemed to be a reunion, or even more causal, like a ride in the elevator.

Strength and Honor

Those of us who arrived before 10am had to wait nearly two hours to sign. Everything had to wait for the arrival - and departure - of Mayor Bloomberg. He played the role of the bad dinner guest, who arrives late, so everyone else's food is cold, and lingers far too long, straining the patience of even the most gracious hosts.



While I was waiting, reporters trolled through the crowd. Shortly after I arrived, I was interviewed briefly by 1010WINS, a local radio station. They asked my name, asked me to spell it out, asked me where I worked. Then they asked me, something like: When you think about that day, what comes to mind? I looked up at the sky, as blue this morning as it was that morning. My eyes filled with tears. I choked out a response: It's an atrocity. For anyone to do that in the name of their god is an atrocity.

Ground Zero, September 27, 2001
Ground Zero, September 27, 2001

They also asked what I was going to write. I told them I was going to write the name of the Memorial Cobblestone Campaign I started: Gardeners for Recovery.

Eventually we got to actually wait in line, instead of muddling about in the cattle pen on the sidewalk. Some of this drudgery was relieved by the company of a bulldog. His name was 6, the number. With his underbite and watery eyes, he reminded me of a deep-sea anglerfish. He was very sweet and affectionate. His person said he hated to get his picture taken, but we seemed to have developed a rapport. Perhaps it was the butt-rubbing and ear-fluffing that won him over.

Bulldog 6

Each of us was given a commemorative marker with which to sign. A magnetic template on the beam constrained the area in which we could write. I had hoped to write the statement of the cobblestone campaign I started:

Gardeners for Recovery recognize the importance of gardens and gardening for individual, community, and global healing and recovery.
Reflections card

There wasn't enough room for that, so I simply signed it with my name and that of the campaign.

My signature

At that point, I had waited so long, I didn't know what to do next. I was actually shaking a little, so I sat down on a park bench just outside the signing area. I half-collapsed when I sat down. Each beam weighs 4 tons. I was feeling the symbolic weight of what we were all doing there this morning, why each of us felt, in our own way, we wanted to do this.

Beam Signing

When I left the beam-signing area, I walked over to The Sphere. Battered and bent, it was relocated from the plaza of the World Trade Center to Battery Park. It will eventually be returned to the site when construction is completed.

The Sphere, Battery Park, September 2003
The Sphere, Battery Park, September 2003

The radio guys had asked me if signing the beam would make a difference. I don't really believe it does, certainly not one signature. I told them, "it's a gesture," an expression of the hope for recovery. Maybe the collective weight of all those signatures can have an impact, can make a difference on someone. Maybe we can reflect on our own collective responsibilities as a people, as a nation.

The Sphere, yesterday
The Sphere

Flags, flags, flags ... flags waving everywhere. I understand the impulse, yet I don't feel it as a defiant gesture. It feels like a concession to me. That we have no greater symbol than our nation's flag makes me sad. What evil has been committed in the name of that flag? How is it any different from the evil committed against us seven years ago?

Anti-war graffiti on the base of a statue of George Washington in Union Square Park, September 24, 2001
Anti-war graffiti on base of statue, Union Square Park, September 24, 2001

It has taken far too long to reclaim that void. It will be several more years, and billions of dollars, before we can really reclaim it. I am comforted that the vision for the memorial is essentially a garden: a plaza filled with oak trees, waterfalls plunging into the earth where the towers stood, stairs to lead us down into the earth, where we can be surrounded by emptiness and the white noise of the leaves of the trees and the rushing waters, where we can be alone together, and reflect.


Related Posts

Gardeners for Recovery


National September 11 Memorial
The Sphere