Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Fish fish fish on Friday.

Why, yes. It was a long week.

And it seems there's still a work day between now and the weekend. Oof.

And speaking of fish... 
 I am SO ready to start the sailing season. Wasn't a winter for duffers this year, I stuck with the kayak 'cause I'm better with that, but boy, any day now. Not this weekend 'cause we're going TQ's parents' place for Easter dinner & so the boating plans are a paddle in the Norwalk Islands (yay, been a while!) but soon!

And here is an actual fish I saw one time. Just because.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Kids' Art - Seen in Passing, And A FUN upcoming event!

There are days when I could just kick myself for not having a camera with me. Yesterday was one of those. I was stalled out on work projects waiting for an upload to finish, and it was a spectacular day outside, so I decided to cut out a little early (well, 5:30 is very good for me). I got in a 4-mile walk from the office to a subway station in Park Slope; got to my local station to find that a couple of local kids had completely gone to town (ha ha!) with some sidewalk chalk in a less-traveled pass-through in Newkirk Plaza. They'd drawn this huge mural of all sorts of places in New York City - I can't remember everything but they had Newkirk Plaza, and there was a train, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and skyscrapers, and the Statue of Liberty. I just loved it, I swear I stood there gawking at it for at least five minutes (which is a long time to stop and look at something when you're hungry and carrying a bag of Serrano ham and fresh mozzarella). I brought my camera this morning on the off chance any of it was left -  the work was definitely smudged from being walked on but the Statue of Liberty had mostly been spared. This is just a fraction of the whole thing!

Cool seeing kids playing with sidewalk chalk instead of Nintendos.

And speaking of cool art by kids, the Waterfront Museum has an event coming up that sounds just fantastic. Live in the area? Got a kid, or kids, or access to kid or kids who are at least 5 years old and might have fun making and sailing a nifty model ship like this one?

Model ship by Eva Melas

They can try it this April! Ms. Melas will be participating in a FREE Shipbuilding Workshop at Brooklyn's own Waterfront Museum. From the Museum's Event Page: "This family workshop is being organized in cooperation with Proteus Gowanus as part of their Battle Pass project, a series of exhibitions and events that pay homage to the Battle of Brooklyn. Workshop participants ages 5 and up will make miniature boats from found objects and will learn about the important role ships played in the Battle of Brooklyn. April 6 from 1-4pm." For more information, click here to visit the event page.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? H
mmm. 5 and up? I do technically fit that category, now don't I? 

Coming Around

One more political post here then I'll go back to my normal boaty babble. Just put up a Facebook status on my lunch break that I thought was worth putting up here, too.

It's been interesting and encouraging watching this latest round in civil rights gain momentum.

It would seem that even personally I've come around some - back in the early days of my blog I was a bit more political, and I wrote a very long-winded post one day talking about why I supported gay marriage. The funny thing is, when I go back and read it now, I think that it reads like I'm actually trying to convince MYSELF that it's right.

Or it could just be that I'm a crappy political writer and like writing about boats and birds and stuff better.

Anyways - it's a terrible post, I'd meant to clean it up back then and I never did and I'm not going to link to it now, but I AM going to share an excerpt. So much of the buzz around the Supreme Court case has been how much thinking has come around...well, maybe I'm a good example. At this point, my thoughts on the matter are very clear. Seven years ago?

"...when the mayor of San Francisco first started marrying gay couples, my initial reaction was more 'how weird' than 'how cool'. When I think of the word 'marriage', I do definitely picture a man and a woman. That has always been part of my definition of marriage, and I don’t think I ever would have rethought the issue in the way that I have had it not been dragged center-stage first by Mayor Newsome & other officials, then by Bush’s support of an anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment that failed, followed the spate of state constitutional amendments that resulted from those actions. It’s not that I was ever specifically against it – just never thought about it much before. I wonder how many other people have found themselves rethinking things the same way."

Seems like an awful lot of people must indeed have been rethinking things along with me - and the equals signs that all over facebook this says an awful lot of us came to the same conclusion.

PS - It's been amazing watching the equal signs (and other signs of support) flood Facebook. It's also been a lot fun watching the meme-ers go to town on this one! My favorite so far? Well, for this one I just feel wuv, twu wuv:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A word about my Facebook picture today -

Just a quick note about my Facebook profile shot today - usually I stay out of the political end of the social-media pool, but with the Supreme Court talking gay marriage today and a simple way offered to show support, I went for it. I'm seeing the red "equal" sign on many friends' pages. George Takei (yes, Mr. Sulu from Star Trek), who runs a frequently hysterical Facebook page, went serious today with the following explanation:

"For those friends wondering, this special red equality symbol signifies that marriage equality really is all about love. Thanks to the Human Rights Campaign for this effort. Please consider changing your profile today in support--esp if you are a straight ally."

I love living in NY because I can't talk anymore about how unfair it that TQ and I could run out and get ourselves legally partnered up any time we wanted to, but friends who've been in committed relationships for way longer than us, with property, with kids even, are denied that. They aren't anymore, not in this state, and I think that's great.

So - red's not usually my color, but for the next couple of days, it is!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Signs of Spring at Floyd Bennett Field

Loon with some iconic skyscraper (funny thing is that I only noticed the loon while I was taking the picture, saw I'd gotten the Empire State Building in on the way home). Click for a better view.

Would've been a lovely day for a paddle (possibly even the take-the-dog-canoeing day we've been talking about for a while)  if we'd managed an earlier start, but we've both had a lot going on at work, and we ended up deciding to just go out to Floyd Bennett Field instead. Spring's definitely underway out there - we've got the spring overlap with winter birds like the lingering loon above (they should all start north soon), and then the spring birds starting to appear (like the pair of oystercatchers below - same kind as I'd cartoonified last week).   

We didn't see any ospreys yesterday, but I checked when we got back to TQ's place and the tagged osprey called Coley has joined the earlier arrivals. I hope to make a swing past the platform on Canarsie Pol before too long to see if we've got a pair there. 

Lots of little green leaves sprouting in the "Back Forty" hiking area, and where I stopped to take this picture, there was a fine chorus of spring peepers singing their heads off nearby.

One sign of spring we were happy to NOT see - no tick hatch yet!

Of course it all gets snowed on again today.

Note during lunch break - just stumbled across a very interesting article about spring peepers in the Washington Post. Click here to read. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Random Painting Week - Painting #5 - Camp Mokule'ia

Since I seem to be having recycled painting week on Frogma, here's one more. 

Camp Mokule'ia, where my sister and I went when we were little (1970's). Recollections: Sand, salt water, hippy church songs (including, yea, many renditions of Kum Bai Yah), spooky stories, tie-dying, macrame, and Jolly Ranchers in the camp store. Painted this in December 1993 after my first return to the islands after my folks retired there - had gone all over the island visiting places from when we lived there, took a lot of pictures (film camera) - not sure where the original photo this was based on is but I just got a whim to paint it one night.

My problem with painting is that I'm not good at stopping when I get to a good stopping point, and if I start in on something on a work night. This one was pretty much an all-nighter.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spam spam spam

Fried Spam on a bed of seasoned rice, banded with seaweed? A special treat for a gal from Hawai'i. Worth a watercolor and colored-pencil tribute, even (if last week was Random Picture Week, this week ended up being Random Painting Week - at least one of the 4 is new!).

The spam that's been getting through the comments here is NOT so tasty. The way the game works, the spammers are always looking for ways around the Blogger filters, and unfortunately it seems like they've found a good work-around. I've turned on moderation for all comments - hopefully it's just temporary and Google gets the jump back on these guys soon!

Saturday morning update: ICK. 17 comments in moderation this morning. 100% spam, 80% really offensive stuff, plus some shoes and handbags. So depressing.    

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Early Bird

Hadn't painted anything lately - this is just purely silly, but I just couldn't resist taking a crack at the picture I had in my mind of that poor first oystercatcher of Spring sitting in the snow on Monday, wishing he hadn't been in quite such a blasted hurry. 

Click on the picture for a bigger version.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lava Shooters

Astounding. Check 'em out!

Found by a friend who likes her water considerably chillier than that! :D

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dolphins in the East River? Good time to review the Marine Mammal Protection Act code of conduct

With all of the current excitement about the dolphins in the East River, this is a good time for us local recreational boaters to review the viewing code of conduct for mammals protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act - I think I have a link over in the sidebar but local paddler Chris Schiffner posted a summary for us today on NYCKayaker so I'm taking advantage of that to just do a quick little copy-and-paste PSA here on Frogma. It's really wonderful that more and more of these "charismatic megafauna" types are choosing to call our waterways home these days - here's how we can show them the proper respect when we are lucky enough to encounter them.

1. Remain a respectful distance from marine mammals and sea turtles.
   The minimum recommended distances are:
     *dolphins, porpoises, seals = 50 yards
     *sea turtles = 50 yards
     *whales = 100 yards.
   Federal law prohibits all approaches to right whales within 500 yards.

2. Time spent observing marine mammals and sea turtles should be limited to 1/2 hour.

3. Marine mammals and sea turtles should not be encircled or trapped between watercraft, or watercraft and shore.

4. If approached by a marine mammal or sea turtle, put your watercraft's engine in neutral and allow the animal to pass. Any vessel movement should be from the rear of the animal. Pursuit of marine mammals and sea turtles is prohibited by Federal law.

5. Never feed or attempt to feed marine mammals or sea turtles. Federal law prohibits feeding or attempting to feed marine mammals.

Violations can be prosecuted either civilly or criminally and are punishable by up to fines of $100,000 and/or up to a year in jail.

I was happy to look these over again today and I'm passing them along because it's good to have them in mind. It's exciting just knowing that these attractive animals are in the area, and it's all too easy to forget yourself when you spot one! I remember the first time I saw a seal in the upper harbor, a couple of us with cameras got so excited we completely forgot our manners and made a beeline for the poor guy, who was having a nice sunbathe on a little beach on Governor's Island until we interrupted him. I don't think we got within 50 yards (our local seals are very skittish when on land) but I felt very bad for scaring him off.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring is coming - the oystercatcher said so!

Reposting, in honor of my first oystercatcher sighting (and hearing!) of 2013. Around here, these guys are much better harbingers of Spring than robins, which I've seen in Prospect Park in January, with the snow thick on the ground.

I painted this last year in April and had posted it here with the following caption:  

Oystercatchers make me laugh. They go puttering around in little groups and they are constantly hollering at each other. They're really loud and insistent and it seems like whatever it is they are saying to each other, it's Really! Really! Really! Important! They're a summer resident in Jamaica Bay and I think one of the earlier to arrive. I feel like spring is really setting in when I start hearing that unmistakable, impossible to ignore "Wheet! Wheet! Wheeeeeeetweetweetweetweetweet!" mixed in with the wintertime brant's "hrnk, hrnk, hrnk".

Today's spotting was during a paddle out of the club, just off the beach we call "Horse Beach". We only saw one, but they are such sociable little birds, others can't be far behind! It was a colder, windier, winterier day than the forecast had been promising, but boy, when I saw that distinctive shape flash past in the air and heard the confirming "Wheet!", for a minute I could almost feel that warm Spring sunshine that's heading our way. Note to self: time to get some peat moss. 

Oh - and why "Horse Beach"? Because:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Blues (plus a few more walking songs)


Caribbean blues, that is. Possibly the best kind outside of da 'aina! :D Unfortunately I'm not down there right now, just got to looking through some old Buzznet galleries for a picture of a remora that I was pretty sure I had on line somewhere after seeing an excellent shot of one on the fantastic Windtraveler blog. Here's mine (also blue, taken during the same snorkel as the turtle). Gave me a bit of a turn when I first spotted him under our boat, but first I realized that it wasn't big enough to be a threat, and then as I got closer I realized that it wasn't a shark, just a shark impersonator. Pretty cool.
I was having fun looking through those older photos and when I saw the dory one I posted earlier this week. I didn't think I was going to be doing any real posts this week, so I thought it would be fun to just put up a few random favorite photographic blasts from the past. Didn't end up being quite as at a loss for posts as I'd expected, but I did want to do a "Blues" post, because of the above, and also because my blues-lovin' honey had a great addition to my walking songs. He doesn't read my blog but I was telling him about the walking songs I'd put together, and he told me about a perfect blues song to add - Walking the Blues:  
I love the start. "Man, slow down. We'll get there. Take your time." 

There were a couple of other recommendations - Capt. J.P. had two Everything But the Girl songs, Five Fathoms and Walking Wounded (US-viewable version here and here). Buck acknowledged that the stated mileage might be an overly ambitious goal for my monthly miles thing, but I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) is indeed an excellent addition. Michael didn't send me a suggestion but he posted a picture of himself with David Bowie on Facebook. That sent me looking for Bowie songs involving walking - there's Dead Man Walking of course, but possibly more appropriate for this occasionally animation-obsessed blog is a less obvious one - Walking in the Air. Anybody know the Bowie connection without googling? Based on the comments attached to that video I'm thinking this is going to be a total no-brainer for about 10% of this blog's all-time audience according to Blogger stats - the rest of us were more likely to be watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

Thursday, March 14, 2013



And I think that I'm going to celebrate by going to see Life of Pi tonight!

This was jokingly suggesting as a "Pi Day Trifecta" (eat pie, do math, see Life of Pi) on a friend's Facebook page, but seeing it reminded me that I have been meaning to see that movie, and tonight is actually a plausible night to do that! I'm looking forward to it - I loved the book.

Note on 3/15 - Pi-fecta accomplished! I did math (well, that I do every day, that's my job), I ate pie (Hill Country Chicken pecan, not Bubby's but quite tasty and closer to the theater) and I watched Life of Pi in 3D (which is definitely on the "most beautiful movies I've seen" list). There was a bit of a chuckle in the theater when Pi first wrote "3.14" on a chalkboard - I think I may not have been the only person celebrating Pi Day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recreational Kayak Safety Demo at SCSCS (not-so-random pix, hooray!)

And here are some not-so-random photos! Got home early enough that I do have time to put these up - this was a series I took during a very entertaining demonstration of recreational kayak safety at last weekend's Southern Connecticut Small Craft Symposium. This was actually pretty interesting for me to see, I actually don't know much about these funny little boats, except that they can be a lot of fun in the right places - have I ever told my full-moon paddle through a hard-working beaver colony on the Manistee River in Michigan? That was in a recreation kayak like one of these, and it was the perfect no-fuss boat for that paddle. 

Mark from the CT-DEP Boating Division gets ready to make trouble. Phil from ConnYak gets worried. I mentioned on Facebook that both Mark and TQ tried to drown me during 2 separate demos - well, at least Mark tried to drown himself first. Guess what inexpensive but potentially lifesaving piece of safety gear Mark has deliberately left out of his kayak today?

Let the troubles begin. Hmm

 Excuse me, but are you in need of assistance?

No, no, I'm fine, um, got it all under control, yes indeedy...

  See, it's floating back up now - yeah - see, I can get back in now...
Ah, there, I'm back in, I can paddle home like this just fine, yes, yes, just...
 ok maybe I could use a bit of a hand. Since you're here and all. But I would have been fine if you weren't, yeah, honest I would. 

It took a little work (even a small kayak holds a few hundred pounds of water, and this one was FULL) but in the end Phil completed the full t-x manuever and Mark lived to tell the tale. Actually this was interesting - rec boats still require the full "x" part of the "t-x" rescue, where you slide the boat all the way across your deck, doing a little teeter-totter thing to empty both ends of the bulkheadless boat. When I was first learning to paddle (back at the turn of the century! :D) I was taught to do sea kayak rescues this way because back then a lot more sea kayaks didn't have bulkheads - they just used the safety equipment Mark "forgot" for this demo, namely floatbags. These days, most sea kayak do have bulkheads, and the bread-and-butter recovery is a T-rescue  (pick up the bow of the inverted boat, let the water run out of the cockpit, flip it back to rightside up and it's ready for your friend to get back in). Mark's biggest safety point for recreational kayaks was that people buy them because they're looking for an easy & inexpensive toy, and all too often don't want to shell out what they perceive as being "extra money" for float bags and lifejackets. Mark set this situation up - but it doesn't take a capsize to swamp a rec boat, conditions kicking up to where the waves are dumping water into the cockpit could end up the same way. And the lifejacket is not up for debate - these guys fall under CG regs same as any  other canoe or kayak, and although you may have the option of just carrying the lifejacket, it'll do you more good in an unexpected incident if you're wearing it. 

Phil was playing the wise paddler - he had float bags in his boat -
and would you look at that - 
with those in, his boat had enough positive flotation that he was actually able to roll (impressive!) and, even without a sprayskirt, come up ready to just paddle on!

Note next day: And I left it at that because that was all the pictures I took before I ended up getting back in the pool, had brought the Lumix, not the Optio waterproof. However, Phil and I had a little bit of an email chat today and now I think like I'm leaving out a couple more pretty crucial safety points if I don't add a little more. On the off chance anyone EVER stumbles across this looking for safety advice for recreational kayaks, I'm going to write a little bit more. The demo did go on for a good bit after this - rolling this boat was pretty much a fun thing for an experienced paddler to try in a pool, this is NOT going to be a practical, real-world recovery option. Rec boats aren't designed to roll and mostly, when they go over, they stay over.

Once he'd pulled off a roll, he went back over and fell out, which is what would really happened. Getting back in was tricky; he couldn't just climb back in; using a sling he pulled it off, but it didn't look easy. I'm really curious myself now - I think that the next time I find myself in a rec boat on a hot summer day in Michigan (the place where I most frequently end up in rec boats), I might just have to try it myself. 

Anyone who paddles a recreational kayak should try it too. They're stable, but there's no such thing as an unflippable kayak. You might not plan to flip, and you probably won't - but if you do, make sure you know that you can get back in!

Random Pix Week Post 1: Dory Dance

I'm a little swamped here at work this week, so I think that instead of real posts, I'm just going to take the occasional break to go look at some of my older galleries and post whatever catches my eye. Today's pick: Volunteers at Connecticut's Mystic Seaport demonstrate the capabilities of a well-built dory. October 2006. I hope Doryman sees this. More pictures from that same trip here.

Sorry about the obnoxious ads, if you go over there - my Buzznet galleries are a holdover from the earliest days of this blog, when Blogger (pre-Google) recommended that site for photo hosting. Buzznet was a lot less buzzy back then, they went very niche to survive when Yahoo and Google went head to head for photo sharing, now I joke that it's photosharing for the pink-haired emo youth set. The ads do bug me, but at least all my stuff is still there.

(note 3/27 - Sorry, turning off comments for this one, being targeted by spammers.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pie n' pix

These next 2, click on the picture for a better view!

Pie n' pix. Rewarding myself for going to the office today - I didn't get everything done I would've liked to but what I did get done will at least cut down on the likelihood of needing to pull an all-nighter (I'm too danged old for those). 

The pie is Bubby's Michigan sour cherry. This was an excellent Facebook discovery and a very nice instance of the total disregard the world of the internet has for silly things like physical location - I found out about Bubby's when a friend from high school in Hawai'i who now lives in Seattle got very psyched on Facebook because a Seattle friend of his was bringing him one of these (a whole one!) from NYC. Pie not being the most readily transportable food, I figured a pie worth hand-carrying across the country on a plane was worth looking into, and when I did I discovered that the place was less than a mile from where I work and is open 24 hours a day. I didn't go right away but I added it to my list of budget-season late-night comfort food refuges, and now, 'tis the season. Oh yeah. 

 The merry-go-round is Jane's Carousel in the Brooklyn Bridge Park and I'd been thinking it might make a neat night picture. Walked across the Brooklyn Bridge to get there, and then walked a bit more after taking the pictures because we had nice weather tonight. And pie.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A Ti Grows In Brooklyn

This is a ti plant that I started eleven years ago from one of those little ti logs that they sell in the airport gift shops in Hawai'i. It lives in a pot in the sunniest window in the apartment - it's probably a quarter of the size that it would be if it had been lucky enough to get planted in a backyard in Hawai'i, but for Brooklyn, this is a pretty nice ti plant. I took this picture yesterday morning as I was gearing up for a very sloppy commute during what I sincerely hope was winter's last gasp (crossing fingers, knocking wood).

 Speaking of winter storms - I've been a little annoyed by this silly business of the Weather Channel's suddenly deciding that we need MORE forecasting hysteria (a friend cracked me up recently by using the term "forecasms") and coming up with this thing of naming normal winter storms. Nemo? Saturn? Faugh. It doesn't bother me enough to really work up a good rant (on the annoyance scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it about a 3, right around the level I'd also assign to the ridiculous name game played by realtors in which EVERYTHING has to be named with cutesy abbreviations -- DUMBO was cute but then all the real estate people had to jump on the bandwagon, and now it's just dumb), just a comment or two on Facebook. However, I have been enjoying the Atlantic Wire's thoughts on the trend and I thought I'd share their latest before I run off to New Haven: How To Totally, Responsibly Freak Out Over Winter Storm Saturn

Friday, March 08, 2013

Southern CT Small Craft Symposium, Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mark Chanski, CT-DEP, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, Boating Division, 
 talks lifejackets at last year's SCSCS

Argh. Sorry about the last minute notice, I think I put this up on Facebook a couple of times and never remembered to do it here. Anyways - if you happen to be anywhere in the vicinity of New Haven, and you are looking for something fun and paddle-related to do tomorrow, why not put on your boots (or skis or snowshoes or whatever) and walk (or ski or snowshoe or whatever) on over to Wilbur Cross High School to start getting psyched for boating season at the 2nd annual Southern Connecticut Small Craft Symposium. Click here for more information.

Here's my review from last year's SCSCS, which was a little small but a lot of fun - this year's should be a little bigger, and still fun! Sebago is sending a small contigent, come see how bad we are- some of the club's most certifiable members, decades of combined paddling experience, and yet somehow, jeeze, we still can't keep our boats right-side up!

;D />

Walkin' (4 of 4) - Made for Walking?

Dig those crazy go-go dancers! :D Yep, her boots are made for walking. Hm - can't seem to make the same claim for my standard footwear.

I'm afraid I'll jinx my new walking habit if I do anything as committal as shelling out the cash for a pair of sneakers that are actually designed for walking, but these lower-end Nikes really aren't cutting it. Maybe it's just that the sneaks are too old (I think they were new late last summer, but even before I really started doing these post-work hikes, I still walked a good bit, that's just part of how people get around in NYC, tough on shoes), but my feet are definitely defining the range of my post-work walks. I'm good up to around 10 miles. Next couple of miles gradually get to be less and less fun, and somewhere around the 12-mile point the rest of me is fine, but the feet are just going "Ow. Ouch. Ouch. Ow. Ow." with every step. Sort of funny that the walking is what's running me into this limit - I used to run some and I never had problems then, but then again, my usual run was 3 miles (once around Prospect Park). Every now and then I would get ambitious and try to go around again and when I did that I would always end up with an unpleasantly twinge-y knee or ankle and that would be the end of that for a while - but I never ever went far enough that my feet had anything bad to say about the endeavor. I'm going slower these days, but a lot farther.

I have a paddling friend who runs a very nice outfitter shop, with lots of shoes, up in Cold Spring (click here to visit her website). Lovely little town, great hiking, haven't been there for a while, this need for some shoes that are made for walking might be just the excuse I need!

 And I think that's it for this week of walkin' songs. Too slow for you? OK, here a RUNNING song!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Walkin' (3 of...4, I think it'll be) - WALK THIS WAY!

Walk this way!

Or this way, or this way, or maybe this way!

Three of my longer after-work walks - one of the nicer things about living in NYC is that you really can walk out of the office at the end of the day and do this sort of thing.

PS - Aerosmith not your thing? Well, maybe Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo can help you with those walkin' blues.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Walkin' (2 of ?) - Pop Walks!

woohoo! walk like an 80's pop star! :D

Hi! Bubbles here! Actually this is a little out of order but Bonnie's internet was down last night and she didn't have time to do the maps she thought she would have time to do on her lunch hour today. That's, like, sooooo March for her! So, like, she was like, OMG, can anybody do the blog today? and I was like, fer suuuure! Here's some totally awesome 80's walkin' pop! Whoa-ay-oh! Walk, women! Walk, men! Don't forget your headbands!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Walkin' (1 of ?) - Ah, Patsy...

I made an interesting discovery last night as I left the office around 9:00 - with all the walking I've been doing in the last 2 months, suddenly the 2.5 walk from work across the Manhattan Bridge to the DeKalb Avenue station in Brooklyn doesn't seem all that long.

I don't think I'll be taking Patsy's after-midnight example much, but although March is just one of those months when work gets crazy, I may be able to keep from reverting to desk potato (cubicle tuber?) quite as thoroughly as I feared.

Note later: Well, that's just eerie. This post was a lunchtime whim on a busy day, and I chose the song without having the faintest idea that Patsy Cline died fifty years ago today. I only found out because Carol Lois Haywood mentioned it on Facebook.

Monday, March 04, 2013

More on Pier 40

There was a very good article about the situation at Pier 40 in the NY Times last week. Thanks to a friend on the NYCKayaker/HRWA Facebook group for sharing that in response to my posting about the the meeting last week - I had hoped that following that meeting, there would be something in the press that I could pass along. This is a well-written discussion of the issues that were discussed on Thursday night, and the individuals and groups that are involved, and I'm happy to pass it along. Click here to read.

Note later - Another paddling friend weighed in on my Facebook posting of this same article, saying that the probable outcome here is that the two sides keep fighting "long enough for the pier to one wins, not the kids , not the Trust, not the kayak community". Unfortunately, from what I heard last week Thursday, I have to say I agree. I found myself leaning towards the Durst's concept, because it uses what's there and so actually seems like something that could happen much faster, but the Champions group is very set on their idea being the only way that things should possibly proceed.

Makes me glad, once again, to be out of the Hudson River Park - there are politics in the Paerdegat, including occasional border disputes, but as far as I know, we just don't get to the scorched-earth level out there. I feel very badly for my friends at Pier 40 (New York Kayak, the Village Community Boathouse, and to a lesser extent, the Downtown Boathouse, their program there is just a satellite, so loss of Pier 40 isn't quite as bad, but it has allowed them to keep a toehold in an area where they began) - it must be very depressing to be caught in the middle of all of this.    

Saturday, March 02, 2013


Anybody else ready for summer? :D

Friday, March 01, 2013

Farewell, February --

pity you were only 28 days.

Pier 40 meeting - Facebook notes...

Interesting meeting.

It was strange just being there as a curious onlooker. Unlike my politicking days up at Pier 63, I mostly don't know the cast of characters who were presenting concepts; as I mentioned, I'd completely lost track of what happened after Cirque du Soleil so I sort of went in with no idea of what was going to be presented and no preconceived notions beyond something of a personal preference for grassroots efforts.

Personal preferences are subject to change, though.

I don't think I'm going to have time to write up a full report but here were a few impressions I threw out on Facebook when I got home last night (slightly edited):

"I don't know the cast of characters in this section of the park at all, but there's the grassroots-looking set (who I really wanted to like, being a fan of grassroots efforts) and then there's the men in suits, and the men in the suits presented what looked to my uneducated eye like a fairly practical reworking of what's there (including boating), and the grassroots guys were pushing for what appeared (again to my untutored eye) to be a pretty extreme (and expen$ive) redesign, funded by sticking a couple of apartment buildings in on the water's edge, facing the pier. I don't want to rush to judgement when it's not territory I really know, but I found myself leaning towards the proposal of the suits."

"Weirdest moment of tonight's meeting: one of the presenters, dismissively referring to a picture showing the south side of Pier 40 (home to 3 separate and complementary boating organizations) - 'There's nothing you can do with that'. Really? Nothing? What really sort of threw me about that was that it was the group that had styled itself as more of a community, grassroots type. Wasn't expecting them to be so dismissive of the boating, somehow -"

"Maybe I should have submitted my question. I'd written one down about whether the Champions really meant to dismiss the 3 boating groups that call that strip of 'nothing' home as completely as it sounded like they did, but I refrained from submitting because I know so little about that particular community's politics.Refrained from....chickened out...decided to leave to...the...actual residents, really."

"The people at the organizations there (Downtown Boathouse branch, New York Kayak, and Village Community Boathouse) all know what they're doing, who they're dealing with, and I suspect they're already well along with how best to deal with the situation."

I'll be interested to see what develops. The chair of Community Board 2 asked that the concept proposals be made available for posting on the C.B. 2 website - I'll try to keep an eye out for those and link when they're up.

Oh - and what did happen with the Cirque du Soleil? Apparently both proposals that were submitted in response to that RFP were dismissed as economically unfeasible. Pier 40 is in a tough situation - dilapidated and going down fast. Seems like something needs to happen soon, or it'll be too late for anything to happen at all.