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
The Spring/Summer issue of the Freshkills Park newsletter, Fresh Perspectives, is up on the official Parks homepage for Freshkills Park. In this issue are a review of the past year’s expanded tour programs at the Freshkills Park site and a profile of the Department of Sanitation’s compost facility, located just beside the former landfill, in addition to the cover story, which offers a history of the Fresh Kills area before landfilling began in 1948 and an annotated map of historic activities onsite.
We put this newsletter out every six months and distribute hard copies to various parks and cultural institutions throughout the City, in addition to handing them out on our public bus tours of the Freshkills Park site. Digital archives of past newsletters are available on the homepage, under the ‘More Information’ tab.
Marketing and design agency MSLK is mounting a large-scale installation called Take-Less using hundreds of take-out containers as part of the Figment art festival on Governor’s Island in June. Latching onto the statistic that 2629 take-out meals are consumed in the United States every second, the group plans to assemble a large collection of disposable, take-out plasticware into the number 2629 atop a grassy area, reflecting on our constant incidental production of plastic waste. Anyone is invited to contribute their used take-out plasticware or containers to the project—just contact MSLK to participate. Not to reward waste production, let us add that it’s even better if you produce little to nothing that could be contributed to the project, by creating no take-out waste.
Tomorrow evening, Dr. Judith S. Weis, Professor of Biological Sciences at Rutgers University will be talking about and signing copies of her book Salt Marshes: A Natural and Unnatural History at the Greenbelt Nature Center on Staten Island. The book is first a history of American salt marshes, their ecological functions, gradual destruction and several profiles of contemporary restoration projects. Should be a rich and interesting talk.
Special attention is given in the book to the New Jersey Meadowlands and the “250 years of development, drainage, diking, filling, garbage dumping, and sewage pumping” that happened there; the Freshkills Park site met a similar fate. Once primarily salt marsh, hundreds of acres have been filled and denied their ecological function. But considerable marshland still remains onsite, and we are currently developing restoration plans for it.
Friday, May 7th, 2010 @ 7 pm
The Greenbelt Nature Center
700 Rockland Avenue
Staten Island, NY
Suggested donation: $5
Light refreshments served
Two new discoveries that offer podcasted ruminations on landscape architecture practice and projects: LANDCAST is a collaboration between landscape architect and blogger Christian Barnard and documentarian Adrien Sala and positions itself as “the voice of contemporary landscape culture”—an NPR-like program about emerging topics in landscape issues; Terragrams, hosted by landscape architect Craig Verzone, is a series of long-form interviews with prominent landscape architects about their work and the ideas that inform it. One of the early episodes is a 2006 interview with James Corner, principal of James Corner Field Operations, that focuses on the firm’s work on the High Line and Freshkills Park.
Gothamist discovers the Witte Marine Salvage Yard, one of the largest marine scrapyards on the East Coast, along the shore of the Arthur Kill just south of the Freshkills Park site’s West Mound. It’s a pretty spectacular and much photographed sight to see these rusted heaps—mostly tugboats and cargo ships—half sunken in the Arthur Kill, and the various plant and marine life that has made its home there. The Times provided some history on the yard back in 1990, and we’ve included it as an attraction in our Staten Island day-trips for folks visiting the Island to join one of our Freshkills Park tours. This is just one more site that really validates the whole ‘Forgotten Borough’ moniker, in the most compelling way.
If photos of industrial decay excite you, you might be interested to know that photographer Nathan Kensinger will be sharing his photos and stories of this site and others the evening of Tuesday, May 18th at Staten Island’s Cargo Cafe, as part of our Freshkills Park Talks series.
Recent collaborations between architects, artists and landscape architects have begun to blur the boundaries between architecture, art and site. What does it mean to intervene in the environment with these projects? What differentiates or unifies spatial form, sculpture and landscape?
Panelists are Alice Aycock, Sculptor; Signe Nielsen, FASLA, Principal, Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architecture; Dennis Oppenheim, Installation Artist; Christopher Sharples, AIA, Principal, SHoP Architects.
Monday, May 3rd, 2010 | 5:30-8pm
@ The Center for Architecture
536 Laguardia Place, New York, NY
Free for AIA members; $10 for non-members