Tatiana Choulika—Project Design Manager at James Corner Field Operations for our upcoming project in the southern portion of the Freshkills Park site—gave a great presentation on that design two weeks back at the Arsenal. Our thanks go to her and to the large crowd that came out to learn about South Park. We’re very excited about this section of the park and FO’s design for it, which responds to a variety of expressed local and regional needs and desires while carrying through the principles set out by the 2006 Freshkills Park Draft Master Plan.
It seems like no New York City site has truly been inaugurated as a public space until it has hosted an avant-garde dance performance. Our time has come! A group of artists and performers organized by choreographer Kathy Westwater has developed a movement-based project responding to their research and on-site study of the Freshkills Park site over several visits this spring. PARK, as the project is called, isn’t a traditional dance performance—more a combination of movement, writing, and game playing. It is “concerned with our construction and consumption of nature.”
Kathy and her dancers have previously performed PARK in locations as varied as Yosemite Park and Dance Theater Workshop in Chelsea. This incarnation of the project, which will take place on June 26th, will follow an abridged tour of the Freshkills Park site and will involve audience participation for its duration (45 minutes to one hour), on the top of the scenic North Mound.
Parks Department buses will provide all attending guests transportation from the St. George Ferry Terminal at 9:30 am to the Freshkills Park site and return attendees to the terminal by 1 pm. This event is free, but space is limited, and registration is required. To RSVP please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (212) 788-8277.
Saturday, June 26, 2010 | 9:30 am-1pm
We received our beautiful, custom Key to the City yesterday from the folks at Creative Time. Feeling empowered and ready to open up that hidden door in the Brooklyn Museum. We also installed and verified the locked box inside the Freshkills Park tour bus. Tour attendees who hold the Key to the City: just let the tour guide know, and he/she will present the box and its exciting contents to you. We think this will be a really fun and enriching complement to the tours. (A note on this: we’ve reserved a limited number of seats on every public bus tour this summer for holders of the Key to the City. If you’re interested in joining a 10am or 1pm tour on 6/5, 6/19, 7/10, 7/24, 8/7 or 8/21 and you’ve got the Key, email email@example.com with the subject line Key to the City, to check availability.)
You can participate in Paul Ramirez Jonas’ summer-long project by being bestowed a key at the Times Square kiosk for the project, which opens today at 6pm and will start operating daily tomorrow through June 27th. You can also volunteer to be an official “key master,” distributing keys in the heart of Times Square.
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
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
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 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.
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.