The Center for Urban Pedagogy‘s (CUP) playful and informative 2006 video The Water Underground is now available in full online at Places. The 24-minute piece examines and explores New York City’s water supply, treatment and waste infrastructure, its history and prevailing controversies—the students interviewed engineers, plant superintendents, construction workers, marine biologists, urban divers, educators, and environmental justice advocates. Working in partnership with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, CUP worked with students at City-as-School and through the Parks Department’s RECYouth program to research and produce the video.
(via Urban Omnibus)
Working with public art commissioning organization Creative Time, artist Paul Ramírez Jonas has assembled a project called Key to the City that will be taking place throughout New York City this summer. 35,000 specially crafted keys will be given away at daily ‘bestowal ceremonies’ at a kiosk in Times Square from June 3rd to 27th. The keys unlock 25 unique sites across the city for any keyholder. Locks will be operable through the end of the summer.
The Key to the City reinvents the civic honor of bestowing keys on luminaries as a master key able to unlock more than 20 sites across New York City’s five boroughs—such as locks within the Brooklyn Museum, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Tortilleria Nixtamal, Conference House Park, Rincon Crillo Cultural Center, and many more. Members of the public will award thousands of these custom-made keys to each other in one-to-one ceremonies.
Yes, Freshkills Park is among the sites with a lock that can be opened with the Key to the City. Recipients of the key (all 35,000) will also receive a map and guide to wielding it which will indicate how to make use of the key on the Freshkills Park site tour.
Times Square Key to the City Kiosk
open Mon–Fri 2–8pm, Sat–Sun 12–8pm
from June 3rd to 27th
The excellent “Fast Trash” exhibit—featuring Roosevelt Island‘s signature pneumatic vacuum tube garbage disposal system—closed this past weekend. A series of public programs including screenings, walking tours and even musical theater helped to make the exhibit, curated by architect Juliette Spertus, into a real must-see. The video above, which featured at Gallery RIVAA, doesn’t provide the larger international and infrastructural context of the full exhibit, but does provide a look at the history and operation of the pneumatic tube system. It also offers the reminder that no matter how elegantly designed the disposal system, garbage is not pretty.
Quick on the heels of our terrific if rainy lecture this past Tuesday, we’re thrilled to host another lecture in our Freshkills Park Talks series this upcoming Wednesday evening, May 26th—this time at the Arsenal, on Central Park. We’ll be joined by Tatiana Choulika, Senior Associate at landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations, who will be presenting and discussing the design for the first phase of the Southern quadrant of Freshkills Park. This area of the site hosts some of the most beautiful overlooks and variations of landscape of anywhere onsite, and the design that FO has developed for it is really dynamic and exciting, meeting a host of community-expressed priorities as well as accommodating some of the particular challenges of developing on a former landfill site.
This first phase comprises 20 acres of the full 425 acre-buildout of this quadrant of the park, and it has been designed as a connected series of overlooks, meadows and recreational facilities including walking and biking paths, softball fields, play areas and event spaces. It will also be the first project allowing public access to the top of one of the site’s mounds, with expansive views of Staten Island and beyond. We’re excited about this project and hope you’ll join us to learn more about it and FO’s process in designing it.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | 6:30-8pm
The Arsenal, Central Park, 3rd floor gallery
830 Fifth Ave, Manhattan
An illustrative lecture by William Reed AIA, an architect at the Integrative Design Collaborative as well as Regenesis, Inc. and Delving Deeper who is a nati0nally recognized expert on the practice of sustainable design, delivered in March as part of the Boston Society of Architects lecture series. Reed speaks about the need for “whole-systems design,” the design of built projects that aims for both integration and co-evolution of built structures and natural systems in given development site, community or region.
Yes, its official name is Mount Trashmore Park. Virginia Beach is home to one of the earliest conversions of a contemporary sanitary landfill to parkland in the US. The 165-acre site operated for many years as a landfill for waste originating from all over the east coast. High costs of filling and limited capacity led to the landfill’s closure by 1971. Guided by the vision of the director of Virginia’s Department of Health, conversion to parkland proceeded until 1973, when the site was opened to the public. The park now boasts 1.5 miles of trails, picnic grounds, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, two man-made lakes for fishing and a 24,000-square-foot skate park. It is one of Virginia’s most popular parks, attracting approximately 1 million visitors annually.
Groundwater testing at the site has shown no impact from landfill operations. Landfill gas is collected by underground infrastructure–but unlike the Freshkills Park site, the gas at Mount Trashmore is not harvested for energy; it is released at synchronized intervals.
This coming Tuesday, we’re happy to have photographer Nathan Kensinger joining us for a Staten-Island-centered follow-up to his March talk and slideshow on New York’s post-industrial waterfront. Nathan will be presenting photos from around Staten Island, including an abandoned chewing gum factory, a partially demolished color works, rotting train stations, empty hospitals and boat graveyards. His work has been described in the Staten Island Advance as documenting “places that even the forgotten have forgotten.”
This talk will be co-hosted by the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island. Should be a fun one.
Tuesday, May 18, 6:30 p.m. @ Cargo Cafe
120 Bay Street, Staten Island (a short walk from the St. George Ferry Terminal)
FREE| No RSVP necessary
Our second annual Freshkills Park Haiku Contest came to a close at the end of April, and now our esteemed judges have weighed in with their verdicts. The winners of this year’s contest are:
Buried discards of past years
Support vibrant hills
– Stephen Knowles
Now green and growing
This upside-down museum
Forms new paths of hope
– Leona Egan
Tall thousand grasses
rub hollow elbows to the
chopstick cricket legs
– Robin Locke Monda
Looking at the mounds,
you are rolling down the past.
Future brings us new
– Lauren Seaquist, age 14
Congratulations! And thanks to everyone who participated over the course of National Poetry Month. We received some terrific entries. Thanks, too, our our judges:
Melissa Broder is the author of When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother (Ampersand Books, February 2010). She is the chief editor of La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series. By day, she is a publicity manager at Penguin. She lives in Brooklyn.
Nancy Hechinger is a professor at NYU in the Interactive Telecommunications Program, where she has been teaching an experimental course called Writing and Reading Poetry in the Digital Age. Her poetry has been published in the Red Wheelbarrow, Salamander, Pirene’s Fountain, & in the next issue of The New York Quarterly.
Donna Masini is the author of two books of poems—Turning to Fiction (W.W. Norton and Co. 2004), and That Kind of Danger (Beacon Press, 1994), and a novel, About Yvonne (WW Norton and Co.1998.) Her work has appeared in many journals and anthologies. A recipient of an NEA, NYFA, a Pushcart Prize, et al, she is an Associate Professor of English at Hunter College and teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program.
The “Fast Trash” exhibit is a gift that keeps on giving: two excellent organizations are holding awesome-sounding garbage-focused events at Gallery RIVAA on Roosevelt Island this weekend, piggybacking on the last week of “Fast Trash”‘s run. On Saturday, May 15th, the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) will screen two documentaries on New York City waste disposal: the rare and intriguing-sounding 1979 documentary Collection and Disposal, a Job for the Birds, and CUP’s own 2002 Garbage Problems.
Focused on New York’s garbage glut, Robert Machover and Catherine Pozzo Di Borgo’s “Collection and Disposal” asks where NYC garbage will go when the landfills reach capacity. Through informal interviews with the sanitation workers who each lug 6,000 pounds of trash every day, the documentary gives a glimpse into the challenges of hauling and planning for the future, and reveals some insider garbage slang on the side.
Picking up where “Collection and Disposal” left off, 2002’s “Garbage Problems” finds that three decades later there’s still no clear solution to the city’s garbage crisis. The documentary, CUP’s first-ever Urban Investigation, uncovers some of the dirty politics of putting together a comprehensive waste plan for the city.
The screening will be followed by a presentation from garbage historian and environmental planner Benjamin Miller on the prospects and challenges of implementing a citywide pneumatic garbage transport system.
And on Sunday, Urban Omnibus hosts a meet-up on Roosevelt Island to explore the Island on foot with landscape architect Donald Richardson, who worked on the its 1969 master plan. The walk will be followed by a guided tour of the “Fast Trash” show with its curator, architect Juliette Spertus. Both of these events sound incredibly interesting to us. Two great days to spend on/learning about “The Island Nobody Knows.”
Saturday, May 15, 5 – 7pm
527 Main Street, Roosevelt Island
F train to Roosevelt Island
FREE | Seats very limited, RVSP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Urban Omnibus Meet-up
Sunday, May 16th, 2010, 2pm
Roosevelt Island, meet outside the F train stop
The Architectural League of New York has just mounted an exhibit called ‘The City We Imagined/The City We Made: New New York 2001-2010‘ about architecture, planning, and development in New York City since 2001.
This installment chronicles the transformation the physical city in light of the convergence of an array of powerful forces: the events of 9/11, the policies and priorities of the Bloomberg Administration, the volatility of global and local economies, advances in material and construction technologies, and a new interest among the public in contemporary architecture.
The exhibit consists of design proposals from the last ten years, a large collection of photos gathered from design professionals citywide, interviews and original video. New York Magazine offers a sort-of-review—more a reflection on stasis and change in the City’s landscape—in its most recent issue.
May 8-June 26, 2010
Location: 250 Hudson Street (Enter on Dominick Street)
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, Noon-7pm