Mulchfest 2013

This weekend our parks department sponsored Mulchfest. Different parks in various neighborhoods across the city serve as drop off points for Christmas trees. They have a chipper on site and make short work of the trees.

We’ve done this for years. In fact, when Lindsay was small, she was so torn up over the loss of our Christmas tree, that we had to hide the fact that it was about to be shredded into a zillion pieces. She still didn’t want to stay for the chipping this year, but we didn’t have to watch her hug our tree with tears running down her face.

We try and pick up as many trees as our wonderful cart can carry. We were able to bring 3 additional trees to be mulched. I suggested making a second trip, but didn’t rally any interest with my family. Maybe next year…

The city makes mulch for their parks (or for pick up by the community), and there are fewer trees going to the landfill. I feel really good not to be one of the people who leaves their tree blowing around the street.

No Pants Subway Ride

Today we went to the Guggenheim to see the Maurizio Cattelan show. The show was interesting and I think it’s worth seeing. But it is the subway ride home that I’m writing about. We were riding home and there was a very conservative young woman wearing a pea coat and scarf. And that seemed to be it. Her legs were completely bare and we kind of subtly craned our peripheral vision (this is a very New York maneuver) to see if she had anything on under her coat. It turns out she had bright pink panties. Our first thought was that she was a dancer and was just clueless to the look she was presenting to the public. We were kind of snickering to ourselves saying things like, “I know I forgot something. Let’s see…I have my purse, keys, phone…what could it be? Oh yes, my PANTS!”

Then another young woman came onto our subway car with no pants on. We were openly smiling at this point and the woman next to Neil said that it was No Pants day today. We had to get off our train to switch trains and in the 14th Street station we saw about 8 more men and women walking around without their pants. It brought surprise and smiles to everyone around them.

It’s organized by Improv Everywhere. They describes themselves as a New York City-based prank collective that cause scenes of chaos and joy in public places. You should definitely take a peek at some of their videos on their site. I particularly love the shirtless men shopping in Abercrombie and Fitch and the frozen Grand Central. You can subscribe to be alerted of their upcoming missions.

Oh yes, and I have a total New Yorker for a daughter. She was sitting reading on the train when I pointed out the first pantsless woman. She looked up at her, agreed that she had no pants on, smiled, and just went back to reading. It takes a whole lot more than that to surprise her I guess.

Happy Earth Day

Yesterday I brought our chickens to my daughter’s school for their Earth Day celebration. We were representing backyard chickens. This is one of many school visits we’ve done with them, so they are seasoned pros. We have a dog crate, which is the perfect size for an afternoon. Many factory hens live their entire lives in cages many times smaller than this, but that’s another discussion.

Last year I picked ivy from our garden for the kids to feed them. With the winter being so long, we don’t have ivy leaves yet, so I bought a tub of spinach leaves. The kids had a blast feeding the hens and the piggy little girls wolfed down almost every leaf presented to them.

There was another table with worm composting, and towards the end of the day, kids were bringing worms over to feed our girls. They wolfed those down as well, enjoying the change from spinach. They even ate the feed I brought them. It was really kind of amazing how much they ate in those 2 hours.

By 5pm, they were tired and ready to get home. I was afraid Lulu was having a mini nervous breakdown because she was continuously making a noise I had never heard before. Kind of like a donkey bray with a hiccup at the end. But this morning she’s good as new and even laid an egg. It’s probably so rich with beta-carotene from all yesterday’s spinach!

Happy Earth Day to everyone. How are you celebrating?

Hands Across The Sand – Saturday June 26th

On June 26th join hands with others to protest offshore oil drilling. This is an international peaceful protest. At 11am, go to your beach and at 12, join hands with others. Here’s the website that can help connect you with others in your area and give you more information about Hands Across the Sand.

Green Screens at Lincoln Center Present Fowl Play

On Thursday, May 13th at 6:30pm, Green Screens film society of Lincoln Center will screen Fowl Play by Adam Durand, 2009, USA; 50m

Most Americans are opposed to the inhumane treatment of animals—which is why the egg industry is so secretive about the operations that yield food for our breakfast tables. Fowl Play investigates hen abuse in the industry, drawing on the dedicated documentation of activists. Interviews with rescuers, veterinarians, and animal behaviorists challenge us to consider the politics of ethical eating.


Cows Are Nice (Kor ar Fina), Stephan Jarl, 2007, Sweden; 13m

A gentle look at the last day at a small Swedish dairy unable to compete with EU factory farms. While local farms shut down, Sweden is now importing milk.

Following the screening there will be a Q&A with Matt Rice, Mercy for Animals; Jenny Brown, Founder, Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary; Martha Lazar, chicken keeper and blogger (  and Elizabeth Ayer, BK Farmyard’s farmer /consultant, Farm Director and Caretaker at Wyckoff Community Garden and Farmers Market.  Followed by a reception in the Furman Gallery.

Walter Reade Theater, 165 W 65th Street, upper level

Tickets available at the box office or online here.

The Film Society’s Green Screens program addresses through film the vital environmental concerns of global warming, the safety of our food supply, sustainable living, and more. Programmed by Isa Cucinotta and Marian Masone.

Coastal Cleanup Sat. 9/19

Tomorrow is the 24th annual international coastal clean up. You can join millions of volunteers to pick up trash you see along the ocean’s edge. Spending a day at the beach and feeling good about helping the planet – what could be better??

Sign up for the 24th annual international coastal clean up here.

PARK(ing) Day NYC

Sustainable Flatbush's space from 2008. photo © Sustainable Flatbush

Sustainable Flatbush's space from 2008. photo © Sustainable Flatbush

Tomorrow is the 3rd annual Park(ing) Day in NYC. It’s a day when people take over parking spots in creative ways to raise awareness to the extra public space that is normally hogged by cars. People play music, lay down sod, have kid’s activities, hold environmental workshops, etc.

Sustainable Flatbush will have a space on Cortelyou & Argyle this year with a puppet show, worm composting demo, a solar-powered cell phone charging station, etc. To find a Park(ing) Day space near you, visit the Park(ing) Day NYC site and look at their map.

It’s too late to register for this year, but I’m dying to make a park next year!!

Gowanus Scavenger Hunt and BBQ

Littlefield is hosting its 1st annual Super Festive 4th of July Gowanus Scavenger Hunt and BBQ. They start the fun at 2pm (622 degraw, brooklyn, ny 718-855-3388) with bbq, djs, free booze and prizes. Your team (sign up at can earn 100 points if you are the first to drag out an old tire from the Gowanus Canal. Yikes. You might be glowing brighter than the fireworks after wading in the water!