sunday meanderings

usually, i prefer to go in the direction of prospect park on our sunday walks. but today, we went west through gowanus. the walk looks different time every time i take it - there are new businesses popping up constantly. and root hill cafe is back! so. glad.

the corner of union and nevins.

the corner of union and nevins.

ample hills opened this location over the summer...dangerously close to my apt.

ample hills opened this location over the summer...dangerously close to my apt.

love this seafoam green subway tile.

love this seafoam green subway tile.

the substation at union street bridge.

the substation at union street bridge.

walking along union.

walking along union.

the gowanus canal.

the gowanus canal.

black mountain winehouse ...i dont' know why i don't come here more often.

black mountain winehouse...i dont' know why i don't come here more often.

we also stopped into a shop with antiques and thrifted goods along a french theme.

we also stopped into a shop with antiques and thrifted goods along a french theme.

schoolhouse chairs at the thrift store...they looked like they were in great shape. 

schoolhouse chairs at the thrift store...they looked like they were in great shape. 

the inside of the store.

the inside of the store.

farmacy , in carroll gardens.

farmacy, in carroll gardens.

along henry street.

along henry street.

these gorgeous fall days. perfect for long walks...i hope i get to go on more of them before it gets too blustery. have a great week! xoxo

rooftop farming in long island city

last weekend, i finally visited brooklyn grange, a farm that sits atop a sprawling office building in long island city, queens. it's actually not too far from where i used to live in astoria! too bad i didn't know about it then...volunteer farming would have been a good way to spend weekends. 

brooklyn-grange-wide

there's something really incredible about all that produce growing in an industrial landscape. they have tomatoes (dozens of varieties!), eggplants, peppers, okra (which have lovely yellow blooms, did you know?), and big ol' sunflowers at the end of every bed. 

rubys-tomatoes
grange-city

they keep chickens in this coop, as well as a bee apiary down at the edge of roof. i also learned that it's nyc honey week soon! looks like there are some fun events, including a honey-themed dinner at the giant 50-ft long picnic table at the grange.  

chicken-coop.jpg

there are open visiting and volunteer hours every saturday from 11am to 4pm, and you can buy their vegetables and honey. we were big fans of the ground cherries, which are related to tomatoes. totally delicious. 

grange-market
grange-peppers

and there was this little guy, who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying his visit. 

niko-grange

brooklyn grange now has a location at the brooklyn navy yard. there's a pretty cool video of that space by christopher st. john. you can check it out below.

summer city weekend

i suppose it's not technically summer, but it felt like it this weekend. it was the best! i visited a friend i hadn't seen in a while, repotted some plants, and went on two long walks. i saw prospect park lake from a new angle, there was a street fair on fifth.... plus, hhh made brunch AND dinner. to more of the same, all summer long. 

a view of the williamsburg bridge from greenpoint.

a view of the williamsburg bridge from greenpoint.

midtown manhattan is across the water.

midtown manhattan is across the water.

i'd never come to this part of the lake before. 

i'd never come to this part of the lake before. 

an apartment building in prospect lefferts gardens. 

an apartment building in prospect lefferts gardens. 

grass in a basketweave parquet pattern, outside prospect park on ocean parkway.

grass in a basketweave parquet pattern, outside prospect park on ocean parkway.

have a great week! xoxo

a garden in gowanus

on the corner of carroll street and denton place, there is a small community garden with a hot pink tree. although i've now lived for over a decade in cities that experience all four seasons, it's still pretty incredible to see the transformations - especially in trees. (you might know this already from the way that i've marveled at my japanese maple.)  

gil-hodges-hot-pink-tree

 the garden didn't used to look like much, but got a makeover last year by bette midler. or to be more precise, her non-profit conservancy organization, the new york restoration project. apparently bette is very concerned about this sort of thing. who knew? architectural digest recently featured several of nyrp's green spaces throughout new york city, which is when i realized the background to our neighborhood garden. nyrp manages 52 gardens throughout the five boroughs, and cooperates with nyc's parks & rec department, as well as with americorp

it's now a nice place to have lunch (which you can pick up at root hill, just across the street) or read a book. on my last visit, there was a composition book on a table, soaked from the recent downpour, so i guess kids do homework there as well. 

gil-hodges-vines-post

plant-wise, there's a lot to see. in addition to that gorgeous tree (is it a redbud? crab apple? update: garden compass told me it was an eastern redbud), there is also birch and what i think is a maple tree. there's also a "fragrance walk" with azaleas, mint, sweetbay magnolia, and ruby spice summersweet. schoolchildren from p.s. 372 next door tend to the edible garden, which included parsley, mint, rosemary, and lettuces the last time i check. (hhh and i often wonder if we are allowed to pick them? have not yet done so.) design-wise, it's actually pretty hard core. there is a "high performance storm water infrastructure," which helps to keep the area around it from flooding. one of the plaques in the garden shows the history of gowanus and why flooding occurs, and explains how the fancy-schmancy technology underneath the park (i don't understand terms like "bioswale" and won't pretend to) diverts/absorbs 150,000 gallons of floodwater a year, preventing it from overwhelming the city sewers. (nice for me, since we live just across fourth avenue.) 

urban gardening is the best.

urban gardening is the best.

aesthetically, it's a basic palette of unvarnished wood and brick, laid diagonally. the planners also reused some benches and concrete from the previous iteration of the space. it's modern and simple, and i wish so hard that bette midler would do the exact same thing to our yard.

speaking of our yard, it's still in an unusable state but progress is being made. a man came into our apartment today with a thermal gun (which is not for violent temperature-taking but spotting water inside walls and under floors, apparently) and told me that water is no longer going where it should not. (whew!) but it's still a long way from looking like this. 

the "fragrance walk." 

the "fragrance walk." 

edible gardening in raised beds.

edible gardening in raised beds.

mesh to keep the bugs out. 

mesh to keep the bugs out. 

looking towards carroll street. 

looking towards carroll street. 

that shade of magenta! 

that shade of magenta! 

stop by if you're in the neighborhood! and if you want to learn more about the gil hodges community garden, you can