Thursday, May 31, 2007

Who Works Hard on Memorial Day?

People who work in marinas with rack storage, that's who.

Ever think about that?

I watched for a while. I was impressed. This gives you the general idea if you just pretend it's different boats, not the same one over and over again, with the owners all sitting around waiting to get going on their holiday fun. I didn't time it but it was a matter of minutes for each boat.

myspace graphics

On the same day, where did not one single boat get launched (or burger get grilled, or cold drinks get sipped, or river breezes get savored)?

At the boathouse or the barge at Pier 66 in the Hudson River Park, that's where.

More on that when I have a little more time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Oh Schist!

I'm TERRIBLE. I promise I will never ever ever joke about sparkly rocks on this blog again. You are all so nice. Here's my sparkly rock, which is schist, and I'm very happy because I think it makes my raised bed look pretty even though I kill everything I plant in it (well, actually that's less and less true). It's around in Jamaica Bay, but you have to hunt for it, but the beaches of the Norwalk Island are positively paved with the stuff, so when we paddled on Monday (and we had a 3rd person along on the paddle, so it was more fun than romantic - picnic lunch, a little rolling in some still-chilly water, some lounging on the beach, the proverbial good time was had by all; dinner was the date part of the day with just the 2 of us) I decided to pick up as much as I could conveniently carry. And I thought it would be funny to say I got sparkly rock and...what a maroon. What an oxymoron.

TQ and I are getting along great here at the 1-year mark. Think we've got something that works pretty well - but I think part of the reason that it works is because neither of us is rushing things to any particular conclusion - more just seeing where things go.

It was a perfectly lovely Memorial Day weekend just the way it was and I'm SO sorry I misled people with my silly jokes. Promise, never again!

At least I let my parents in on the joke. I'm not ENTIRELY thoughtless.

Another milestone...

Well, as of yesterday TQ and I have managed to tolerate each other's foibles for a whole year (fortunately having a ton of fun together in the process). We celebrated by going for a paddle (surprise surprise) and then going out for sushi.

And I came back with sparkly rock!

Pictures & more details tonight!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Compare & Contrast 2

Or: My Goodness, The Novice Urban Gardener's Learning Curve Is A Steep One:

Kabocha & Cherry Tomatoes, May 5th:

Kabocha, May 26th.

Sigh. So what happened there was that I simply picked a horrible time to plant these guys. First I got swamped in finishing budget at work & getting ready to go to Hawaii. Then, while I was in Hawaii, I was reading some alarming posts about a mini-heat-wave going on. Then our flight back was bad (think it took 17 hours to get home, but I'm not going to say it was anything worse than "bad" because it could have been a lot worse quite easily) and it turned out that the cause of much of the delay was a really bad storm that was punishing Brooklyn with gusts of up to 70 mph...well, I was sitting in the cab listening to the news radio reporting on the mayhem & thinking "Everything I planted is dead." The nice thing about a group of people gardening together is that everybody watches out for everyone else, and people had mentioned that they were watering mine, but the plants hadn't looked one bit happy about the transplant & I just figured the extreme weather just had to have admistered the coup de grace. Well, nearly. There was one tough little cherry tomato plant, and if you look veeeeerrry closely at this you will see that there are some tiny little leaves poking out of that dessicated looking stalk. I'm going to see what happens to it, but I don't expect to be eating any squash off the poor thing.

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes. 40's been awesome so far. Started out by meeting the newest member of the Kayak Family. Yes, Kayak Girl - aka DiWriter on the blogroll - and Kayak Boy have had a very healthy Kayak Baby, and since I'd been way too busy to bother with throwing any sort of over-the-hill shindig for myself, the evening was free to go to the hospital to say hello to the young lady, all of one day old! OK, honestly she wasn't a bit happy to see me, KB & KG offered to let me hold her - she was contentedly sleeping in Kayak Daddy's arms, the minute the handoff happened, all contentness & peace was gone. I hope I don't always have this effect on her! Fortunately her parents were much happier to see me. They looked tired, but really, really happy.

Yesterday, out to garden a bit more (although I'm thinking perhaps I should not use the verb form of "garden" in reference to what I do with my little plot until I actually manage to plant something without nearly killing it - actually I have done quite a bit better since I came back, have some reasonably happy-looking peas, basil, thyme, and a lot of other little things coming up), then...

what a paddle. Didn't get out 'til about 7:00. I'm happy to report that the water's finally up to wetsuit temperatures instead of drysuits - I've moved from the big dead-of-winter backpack to the midsized spring/fall backpack & it makes the trek out there nicer. I had a long-sleeved top and this spiffy little Kokatat splashguard I won at the New York Kayak Polo fundraiser, but I never felt the need to put them on, was perfectly comfortable in a farmer jane the whole trip. In fact I was high-bracing to cool down at the start - and sooth the bites on my arms, the no-see-em's are enjoying the weather too. I could not get off that dock fast enough. The evening was warm, I had my lights, if I hadn't had a reason to get up at a reasonable time I think I would be showing you pictures of Coney Island. As it was, I went out just past the Gil Hodges Bridge, turning back only because I knew I couldn't make too late a night of it. Fishermen were out all over the bay, glorying in the warm evening as much as I was; people were all over the beaches; I like having the place to myself in the winter but it was also marvelous to see all these people out enjoying the Bay. I was definitely being more cautious about where I was, really hugged the shore to stay out of the motorboats' way.

Saw a lot of herons and sandpipers that way, too.

Paddled around 9 miles out & back, and then who knows how many literally paddling in circles, playing with edging & control strokes & listening to the geese calling each other in the dark...

and today I went to CPR class.

Meeting day old baby, gardening, paddling, and CPR class...yep, 40's going ok so far.

Here's a couple of pictures from the paddle:

Floyd Bennett Field

Pilings just beyond the Gil Hodges Bridge. Just to show how quiet it was.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Compare & Contrast

(aka...hmm what can I post while I pack up my bag to go paddling?)


Back in Brooklyn...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

That's not usually worth an announcement but heck, I'm 40!

And dang, would I ever like to play hooky & go paddling. It is a GORGEOUS day out there & here I am stuck in my cube.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

More Poetry

I'm afraid I'm a little stalled out on the Ballad of the Schooner Anne, just a little short on time for the other 73 verses. Actually there was a commenter who I was tempted to pass that project on to anyways - if they're reading, they know who they are - which is good 'cause I don't, they were anonymous, but I was pretty darned impressed with their version, which was already longer than mine.

But I did come up with a new poem that I thought I'd inflict on you tonight. It's just a little poem, 'cause the subject isn't very big. Enjoy.

A Poem:

I am a baby
With very cute feet.
If you'd like to see them
I'll show you, tout de suite!

Tow, Tow, Tow Your Boat

I believe I've mentioned that although the currents aren't so strong in Jamaica Bay that they determine your trip plans quite as inarguably as the 3 knot currents on the Hudson do, one does still need to be aware of the tides so as not to paddle to somewhere while the water is dropping & then find the way back blocked by surfacing sandbars? Well, here's a demonstration.

Have to say that I've towed a fair number of boats, but this is the first time I've ever towed my OWN boat!

This was actually somewhat intentional. I did go paddling on Sunday, but although the day started out gorgeous, I didn't manage to get on the water until 4 or so and by then the weather was deteriorating & in fact looking like it could turn worse pretty fast. Add to that that I was feeling sort of lazy and I decided to try to recapture that vacation feeling by going and sitting on a sandy beach on an island, watching shorebirds. Canarsie Pol being the nearest available island, and me being totally fascinated with the ospreys, that was the island of choice.

OK. It's just not the same when you're wearing a drysuit, and the wind is feeling small-craft-advisorial, and it's drizzly.

But the birds were great, and although not quite as tame as the Hawaiian ones, once I'd sat quietly for a while they proceeded to go about their business.

Oystercatchers. These have been back from their migration for a while. At first, seeing the red beaks, I'd mistaken them for skimmers. However, skimmers skim, and oystercatchers potter around the beach poking their beaks into the sand and going "wheet, wheet!" - when you're paddling in their area, you can always hear them coming when they're on the wing, the call precedes them by quite a ways. The skimmers haven't returned yet.

Frogma word problem of the day: An osprey and a 747 take off from Jamaica Bay at the same time, both heading NW. The osprey has a maximum flight speed of 28 kts. The 747 has a maximum cruising speed of 507 kts. At that speed, how long will it be before the osprey gets bored & decides to go fishing.

Based on my observations, about 30 seconds. It was actually interesting watching an osprey fish in such shallow water - I've seen them do the hover-and-dive routine, but this guy didn't seem inclined to go far from his mate, who looks to be incubating, which meant that any fishing had to be done in the shallows around the Pol. He did this by flying very low along the surface of the water, with his feet actually skimming the surface of the water. He didn't catch anything that I could see from the distance I was sitting, but there was one trip back to the nest when it looked like he may have been dropping off a fish. There's a convenient piling that he spent a lot of time perched on, keeping an eye on the gulls. The plane/osprey moment (SO Jamaica Bay...) actually happened right after keeping an eye on the gulls finally turned into running them off - after that he fished for a bit.

Eventually I decided to head on around the island - wanted a bit longer of a paddle than just heading back would've given, plus with the wind being from the northwest, going around meant being in the lee of the island, then paddling straight into the wind for the last leg. I probably could've clawed/ooched my way across the shallow bit, but why sand the bottom of my boat when it doesn't need sanding & it was faster & easier to tow it?

Saw one motorboat out there. Boy do I bet they wonder what that nut-job kay-whacker was doing! Fortunately they did not report me as a boater in distress (that's happened more than once to clubmates since I joined in October - I try very hard not to do anything that could be interpreted as distress where people can see me, it's actually quite good that people ARE alert enough to call, but it's also not really great to have the harbor police getting all sorts of false alarms over kayakers). Anyways, less than five minutes & I was over the shallowest bit & back in my boat.

I was relating this bit of silliness to TQ tonight, and he brought up something that had actually crossed my mind - what about quicksand? I've actually never heard anyone who paddles the NYC area refer to quicksand as a hazard (although there is that really awful, stinky mudflat up by Edgewater, but that's not quite considered a hazard, just something that's really nice to avoid), and the sand seemed solid enough. Figured if the footing did get to feeling treacherous, I'd go from towing my boat to walking, straddling it, hands on the coaming (have done that for soft mud with a little water over it, lets you benefit from the boat's flotation & not sink in so far). However I wasn't terribly concerned because of the aforementioned fact that I have never heard one mention of quicksand from anyone at Sebago. Quite the contrary, I've heard someone say "We're spoiled safety-wise, 80 percent of the bay, if anything goes wrong you can just stand up & walk to shore". Seems like if quicksand were a hazard, that wouldn't be the conventional wisdom.

But I was curious enough, after TQ was a little worried about it, to do a little Google checking. Found the following reassuring & also quite interesting answer, emailed it to TQ, and now I thought I'd share it with you!

And speaking of keeping track of tides, and sandbars, and water's nothing new...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Panorama

Want to see a little more of that view?

I tend to ignore the video function of the Optio except for when I use it as a tool to help teach rolling. When the issue is something as simple as the person genuinely believes they are "dinking" (dropping their head as they right their boat, tough to roll if you don't), and they aren't, I find it can be most effective to just show 'em what's up (that needs to be down). Beyond that, I just don't think of it much.

Happily, though, TQ is a little more adventurous. I have some lovely pictures but this is better:

I was supposed to be at the Hudson Valley Kayak Symposium, but unfortunately they didn't have the turnout they did in the last couple of years, so they had to cut down the staff. Not kidding when I say unfortunate, it's a nice weekend - frankly, though, we had a slightly long & grueling flight back from Hawaii, with weather complications, and now I'm fighting a little bit of jetlag, and I'm just as happy to be a little closer to home this weekend. I helped out at the Sebago Open House today - it was a lot of fun, despite uninviting weather. Did some assistant trip leading taking some very nice folks out on the water, then got out the surfski for the first time since I left the Hudson. One of my clubmates actually tried it out & did quite well, didn't swim unintentionally once, and pulled off a very nice remount. That was pretty cool.

And tomorrow, a whole unscheduled day. Marvelous.

Might go paddling.

I'm such a bore...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters, Moku Nui (plus other wildlife)

Back in Brooklyn now. Big sigh. Tuesday was our last day there; we had enough time during the day to squeeze in one last paddle.

Lanikai public access. Nice, yeah? Every now & then I'll wax nostalgic over Hawaiian-style "PROW"s, Public Right of Ways - this is the perfect example. Just a little sandy lane between two homes. You carry your boats down & off you go. That's Moku Iki off in the background, one of the 2 islets that make up the Mokulua Islands, commonly known as "the Mokes". The other islet is Moku Nui. The former is reserved entirely as a wildlife preserve. Moku Nui has a small beach that you can land on, but is primarily a nesting ground for the Wedge-Tailed Shearwater. There was a lovely picture of one in Bob Twogood's shop (he runs Twogood Kayaks, my favorite kayak place in Hawaii) - TQ and I had both noticed it & thought it was using a wonderful telephoto lens.

Well, here's my version:

Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, nesting. Did I patiently stalk my quarry? Did I sit in a blind for 4 hours in the blazing sun? No. This nest burrow was about 2 feet off the very start of the trail to Shark's Cove, a lovely secluded little beach you can only get to on the quietest of days (we didn't make it).

Here are a few more, from the exact same spot. You'd look in a bush and there'd be a couple more. Somehow I've never been out here at nesting time. I'd say I don't know how we never came out here to see this but I actually know - the H3 highway just hadn't been built when I was a kid & getting to Kailua was a lot harder than it is now. We tended to go to Bellows, or Ft. DeRussy, and I guess the few trips I've made back since then haven't been at nesting season. This was my first time seeing thes.

TQ and I were absolutely astonished by the sheer fearlessness of both the shearwaters and the albatrosses we'd seen earlier in the trip. It's an amazing contrast with the skittishness of most of the waterfowl I see in Jamaica Bay. These birds are perfectly confident that their nesting ground is theirs, and people will respect the lines that have been put up to keep us on the path.

In fact, believe it or not...

this little representative of the standard non-domestic fauna of the average island household was infinitely more difficult to capture!

Tonight's final sample of Island fauna...

the Moku Nui beach is also a favored haul-out for the elusive & lovely Variegated Beach Cat.

In closing - by sheer coincidence, as I was trying to verify the nesting seabirds, I stumbled across an article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin about an eco-tour run by, you guessed it, Twogood Kayaks. No, I'm NOT being paid for this! Just think he runs a really good shop, that's all!

And really in closing - here is some interesting seabird trivia I just learned.

Shearwaters are of the genus Puffinus.

Puffins are not.

Strange but true. Perhaps a puffin of the Peconic variety will be kind enough to expound. Me, I need to fight the jetlag & go to sleep!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

You don't say.

Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Trail Sign.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Laysan Albatross Chick

Albatross nesting season mostly over but there are a few big, fluffy youngsters left at the Kaena Point nesting grounds. This one had parked himself right next to the trail.

Also saw monk seals, and a big pod of dolphins in Waimea Bay, and a pair of Hawaiian stilts fishing in one of the Kahuku shrimp farm ponds. This is more endemic species than I have ever seen. Plus we had a fantastic surf workshop yesterday - lovely 2-foot waves, warm water, couldn't ask for nicer conditions for a surfing practice/de-rusting situation.

It's very entertaining to say "49 degree water" in a surfing context to residents here. They wince.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Fishing Tournament that Wasn't.

I do believe that yesterday's New York Times had the best article about an event that didn't happen that I've ever read. Enjoy!

Plus Schooner Anne update - well, looks like they're going to try to keep going. Acclimatization time's over for Soanya, she's clearly pulling her own weight now - in fact, she's pulling Reid's weight, hoisting him up the mast to do the work he has to do. Winches were a really good invention - but still, Go Soanya! The main thing is re-rigging the headstay so the mast will stay solid in bad weather. Good luck out there!

Monday, May 07, 2007

High Speed Monday Post

5 million things to do today. Quick lunch break post to say:

My friend Marcus is awesome. Go check out what he's doing. This is somehow really particularly wonderful because if I'm remembering correctly, one of the things that really inspired him to do the kind of paddling he's doing was reading Chris Duff's On Celtic Tides. There's a nice symmetry to this, somehow. He's so low-key about it too. Good guy doing a good paddle for a good cause. Go Marcus. I'm honored to call you a friend.

Not so good news: Unfortunately it seems I'm going to have to work a verse about banging into a freighter into my Ballad of the Schooner Anne. Obviously everyone's ok (I say obvious because I wouldn't have mentioned the ballad if anyone was hurt) - but I don't much like being anywhere close to a moving freighter & this has to have been really scary. There is some damage, badly bent bowsprit, no more roller-furling jib. You can read about that here, and the next post is a discussion with Reid that I don't have time to listen to right now. I was rooting for them to at least have a respectible go at it - will be interesting to see how they deal with it.

I guess I have to say that if it was me, I'd probably say "Well, we've only been gone 15 days, let's put into port, fix the damage, and then try again". But I'm pretty well known among my friends as being a bit of a stick-in-the-mud.

Plus I do wonder if there are pressures on Reid & Soanya that might weight their decisions - I found myself thinking of the Hokule'a's inaugural voyage (which was when Eddie Aikau died) when they left, for reasons I don't have time to get into & don't even know if I consider it my business to talk about, not being big into armchair quarterbacking (almost said Monday-morning QB'ing, but nobody's called the game here). Not the same setup, but the problem with attracting the public eye is that then the public eye expects a certain performance & if they don't get it...yikes.

I do know that we lost the bobstay on the Adirondack one September in a starting-line collision with the schooner Pioneer aone year, and continued to sail with no jib for the rest of the season, but when a boat's designed to carry a certain set of sails & then loses the ability to use one, the balance won't be what it's supposed to be. For 2 hour trips to the Statue of Liberty, that wasn't a big deal. Open ocean? Dunno.

At any rate, I wish Reid & Soanya luck & the courage to make the right decisions now.

I'm not a good enough sailor, and I don't know the Anne, or Reid, or Soanya, well enough to claim to know what those are. Whatever keeps them safe, mostly.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

So long Kabocha!

Oh, kabocha that I started from the seed of a squash that I bought for dinner one day at the grocery store. Look what a fine & lovely thing you've grown to be. Think you're ready to move outside, you and your cherry-tomato sillmates.

Housework today, and packing, and maybe a haircut (once a year whether I need it or not), and prep for the Hudson Valley Kayak Symposium (yay!) tomorrow, I'll reward myself with good day of gardening & paddling with friends.

Wait. I'm confused. Where do I live again? Kerhonksen? No, wait, Brooklyn. I live in Brooklyn.

EVENTS! Much going on! A quick sampling:

Tomorrow, May 6th - 4th Annual Jamaica Bay Fishing Tournament

Stevie's been practicing all winter!

Hey! Do YOU live in Brooklyn (or within driving distance? Curious about my fab new club where the towers of Manhattan are the farthest backdrop? Like to check out J-Bay for yourself? Come to the Sebago Canoe Club Open House! Saturday, May 19th, 10 am - 5 pm, rain or shine. Come on by, meet the gang, it'll be fun!

Unfortunately I won't be there because I'll be teaching at the Hudson Valley Kayak Symposium. It's rough timing for me - I will have JUST been in Hawaii & after a week of swimsuits-and-board-shorts temperature water even the wunderdrysuit that wunderTQ floored me with at Christmas is going to be hard to put on. It's a great weekend though - can't pass on my annual spring trip up to a lovely quiet lake far from the city, teaching with original G-mentor Jack Gilman, and a lot of other people. Love this symposium.

Not going in calendrical order here, this is my blog so I started with the stuff I'm doing - but next weekend, May 12th, the Downtown Boathouse starts their summer paddling programs. Free of charge to walk-up participants as always, it's all supported by donations of goods, money, and (most importantly) many many many hours of volunteers' time.

Also on May 12th - Hui Wa'a will be holding a surf clinic at Maunalua Bay, meeting at the Hawaii Kai boatramp (on Oahu).

Bwahahahaaaa. Guess which one of those two May 12th events I'm going to be going to? Hint: I'm getting NERVOUS!

And to close, here are a few items of local water news, gleaned from the NYCKayaker list:

Where Not to Swim For the Moment:
Yonkers sewage spill - YUCK! My poor friends at the Yonkers Paddling & Rolling er Rowing Club!. Hope they clean that up SOON.

Possibly Cool Place to Swim Starting July 4th
In a swimming pool on a barge in Brooklyn Heights!


I believe I referred to the last Tribeca Waterfrom Meeting as being the last one of the Tribeca Boathouse Redesign Group. That was a mistake. Connie & Noreen (President & EVP of the Trust) came, they listened, they spoke, and although there seemed to be some hedging, they've agreed to the request to work with the CB1 Group. There's another good writeup by Skye McFarlane, who's attended all of these, in the Villager, I'll link to that as soon as it gets into the online version. Anyhow, the Trust agreeing to the request means more meetings. I'm afraid I'm going to have to pull out of these ones at this point - there's a perfectly fine group of paddlers from the area involved, I've been feeling like I've had myself very overstretched lately balancing work, private life & political stuff, and as the Sebago season gets going I expect I'll have more than enough to do out there. I'm glad to have been involved as far as I have been though, and I will keep posting here whenever I hear of progress.

Meeting notice from Julie Nadel -

THE MEETING TO REVIEW AND REVISE THE PLANS FOR PIER 26 IS RESCHEDULED FOR 4pm, WEDNESDAY, MAY 9th (same day, different time). Please tell others of the change in time. This meeting will be held at Trust Offices at Pier 40 at Houston Street, 2nd floor

This meeting will primarily focus upon (1) reviewing the entire plan for the Tribeca segment of Hudson River Park, and (2) beginning to revise the plans for the boathouse. At a subsequent meeting (date TBA), we will begin to plan for the estuarium.

We will also continue the discussion at the next meeting of CB1's Waterfront Committee on May 21 at 6pm. The two documents produced by the Pier 26 Task Force, on boathouse design and defining the elements of an estuarium, will form the basis of our review and discussion. These two documents are available at the offices of Community Board One.

thanks for volunteering your time on this,

Julie Nadel

additional note from Villager article;
Wednesday’s meeting is open to the public, but those who wish to attend should R.S.V.P. with the community board at 212-442-5050.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

NYTimes article on Pier 40

Another article on Pier 40, this time in the New York Times. Definitely can't make it & will be submitting what I said the other day by email, but boy, I'm almost starting to wish I could go just to see how exciting it gets. This sounds like one of those public meetings where there's potential for some fur to fly.

Unfortunately, while meetings that devolve into fracases or grandstanding can be more entertaining than the more Roberts-Rules abiding sorts, they also tend to be less productive than the quieter kind. Hope things stay orderly enough for opinions to be heard properly.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Child's Restaurant

Childs Restaurant, Coney Island Boardwalk. One of my favorite old New York City buildings. I'm posting these photos today because Tugster Will did a post entitled Stone Ships , which showed a range of nautically-themed architectural ornamention, closing by asking for readers' favorite stone ships. Well, there's a lovely galley on one of those medallions on the front. The day I took these, I rather liked the way it looked like Neptune was holding off that pigeon with his trident, so I did not actually have a picture of that galley here at home - but I'd found one to link to in my comment over there.

I love the decorations on this building so much, I just had to put them up again. It's funny, too - it's landmarked, but no one's found a use for it yet, and it's down past the busier part of the boardwalk - but it's generally the far end of my walks on the boardwalk, because I enjoy looking at it so much.

BTW, I'd actually recommend clicking on these pictures to see the full-sized original versions - you'll get a better idea of just how rich the detail is that way. I'm so glad this building got landmarked.

Excerpt from a New York Times article by Diane Caldwell posted at Wired New York:

Childs, which started in Lower Manhattan, grew to become one of the largest restaurant chains in the country and pioneered the self-service cafeteria.

The restaurants were outfitted with white-tiled walls and floors and white marble countertops, and the employees dressed in starched white uniforms to convey a sense of cleanliness, the designation report said. A Childs menu from 1900 featured wheat cakes with maple syrup for 10 cents, creamed oyster on toast for 15 cents and roast beef hash with mashed potatoes for 20 cents.

The chain ran into some financial trouble in 1927 when William Childs began serving only vegetarian meals, but the meatless policy was eventually reversed.

A kind of early take on fast-food restaurants, they became icons of elegance and quality at reasonable prices, and Childs was awarded the food service contract for the 1939 World's Fair (more than 16 million hot dogs sold).

The rest of the article can be read here.

Pier 40 updates

Oops, I did not include a link to the details on that Pier 40 meeting notice, which is on the home page of the Hudson River Park. Details here.

And I can't quite believe I'm posting a link to a New York Post article here, that is definitely my least favorite NYC paper (although their headlines can be amusing), but last night during my subway ride home, I was sitting next to a guy who was leafing through a copy & the headline "Pier Pre$$ure" caught my eye - scanning for the moment he was on that page, I saw the words "Pier 40" and "Hudson River Park Trust" & of course went looking for it & found it & it turned out to be pretty interesting. You can read it here.

I probably won't be able to make it but will probably send a comment(they are taking those at suggesting that it would be really great if the Trust would take a proactive approach & work with the people & groups currently storing boats there to try to minimize the impact on those people whenever their current storage gets shut down for whatever ends up being constructed there. I'm not saying that the Trust somehow has an obligation to make sure that for every single boat that's stored in the Park, they need to ensure that if that boat's storage gets closed for improvements, the owner has a place to move it, because I don't think that's the case at all. That's the mindset I referred to as community gardenitis (described in the last part of the linked post). However, they've just had a vivid demonstration how disruptive & distressing even a temporary shutdown can be - it would be really nice if they learned from that & if it's at all possible, maybe make some alternative arrangements in advance. That business of move your boats in two weeks or you won't see them again until whenever the barge is reopened in the spring? That was rough. Worked out fine for me of course, but in general, a little more notice and/or a place where we could at least have moved our boats into some interim storage arrangement if we needed a little more time to make arrangements would have been really nice. As far as I was concerned, even one without water access would've been OK as a stopgap.