As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
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Tag Archives: East Village
Full disclaimer on this work of art. I captured this photo from a sign on the door of my favorite tea shop in the East Village, here in the heart of Manhattan. There was no artist signature, so unfortunately I can’t give credit to where credit is due.
It reminds me of my new found love of tea, and especially my daily ritual with matcha. Matcha? Direct from Japan, the tea leaves are grown in the shade to increase chlorophyll content. The leaves are then handpicked, steamed, dried and ground into a fine green powder. Have you tried it? I’ve never been a green tea drinker. In fact, just within this past year I’ve gone from grocery store tea bags to various loose leaf teas, thanks to my teacher and owner of Physical Graffitea. Who knew how different the flavor could be between loose leaf and bags? Anyway, my tea guru (and others) will tell you that one glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of its nutritional value and antioxidant content.
Everything Ilana (the owner) told me about matcha is true…
You’ll soon not care about your daily coffee, you’ll reach for your matcha instead…
You’ll enjoy the ritual of using the little bamboo whisk while preparing your matcha…
You’ll love a matcha in the afternoon…no more over stimulation, sleep depriving effects that coffee can provide as you enter your evening…
You’ll feel energized and focused with every drink…
There’s probably many ways to fix matcha, but I use my cute little matcha whisk to mix the powder with a little water and then add warm non-fat soy milk with a squirt of agave for sweetening. Oh, and another full disclosure – real matcha is pricey. Make sure you purchase from a reputable tea dealer. Just like so many things in this world…there are knock-offs out there too. I almost look forward to running out of my matcha just to return to her little tea shop. It’s always enjoyable to head to the East Village…not only do I get to learn more about tea, but one never knows who they may run into…well…because it’s New York City!
Cross-posted over at Vision and Verb - where a collaborative group of like-minded women from all over the world share their passion for photography and the written word. If you have a moment, have a look over at our Shoppe. We’re raising funds, through KIVA, in support of men and women around the world looking to start their own small businesses. We’re making a difference and changing lives! You can too!
Just trying to bring some levity to a tense situation!
Let the games begin!
Hmmm…Today’s Elevate the Everyday prompt is my favorite space. Actually I don’t have one particular favorite space, but I do know that whatever space I’m in…and if I’m reading…it becomes my favorite space. So for a hot summer day in the city, window open, no shirt and the daily paper? This gentleman knows how to enjoy his favorite space!
Wow, it’s August already! And I’m in MY city for the entire month! Yeah! So nice to wake up to a little rain shower this morning…windows open…listening to the chirping of NYC with a cup of matcha tea*! As much as I love the desert, the farm and of course travel, I always feel as if I’m going to miss something happening in MY city when I’m gone. Do you ever have that feeling when you’re away?
And speaking of happening…there’s so much going on this month…thought I’d take a cue from Susannah Conway (remember my unravelling class?**) She has an August Break “no-rules community photo project” to use our camera lens as a way to be more present this summer and the gals over at Shutter Sisters have Elevate the Everyday. As they say…what better way to spend the whole month of August than to turn our attention toward all the details of our daily life and elevate them to a photographic art? They’re sharing a daily prompt to spark the inspiration in discovering that special something! (I really love photo prompts and today’s is my morning – how appropriate for my first morning back!) as prompts give me a touch of purpose while I’m out and about on my artist dates*** with MY city!)
So I thought I’d do both, but with a little twist! I’m calling my August…Summer in the City! Remember that song from the Lovin Spoonful? Or am I showing my age…hot town, summer in the city…back of my neck getting dirty and gritty…oh well, if you need a reminder or if you don’t know it…you can click here…but please tell me you know it!! I won’t feel so “advanced” in age!
So there, it’s declared. August will be summer in the city! Besides spending time getting all sweaty, dirty and gritty by walking the streets of NYC… I’m so looking forward to the upcoming Montage class with Miss Vivienne (yep – telling your story with video!) as well as continuing to learn my lightroom photography software. So much to learn! Plus, I’ve gotta get going on my postcards for the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap with Kat! Oh, and did I mention I’m working on another blog called Street Wisdoms? Lots of ideas there…more on the introduction of that later…
* Look for a future post on matcha tea from Physical GraffiTea in the East Village…
** I must be honest and say that Susannah’s book – this i know – spoke to me much more than her Unravelling class…but it’s all good…love, love, love the book…hmm…another future post…
***One day…yes one day…I’m going to really sink my teeth into Julia Cameron’s The Artist Way…one day…
So welcome to August! But what’s most important this month is to have fun, learn, share with others and live in the moment as much as possible! See you tomorrow!
Oh my, the madness of the Howl Festival! So what’s up with HOWL? Well it seems it all started in 2003 and inspired by the epic poem, Howl, by long time East Village resident, Allen Ginsberg. A festival in Tompkins Square Park to celebrate cutting edge art, fantasy, fun and family entertainment – all unique to the East Village and Lower East Side. How can one not be entertained by drag performers and especially the group, Men In Skirts? This is an event that will absolutely remain on the calendar for years to come!
Lots to share from the Howl Festival this past weekend! Many varying performances to celebrate the local art, history, culture and everything unique to the East Village and Lower East Side. Here’s just a taste of howl madness and more to come…so stay tuned!
For those not as familiar with the neighborhoods of Manhattan, in the lower east part of the island is an area called the East Village. To me, and many others, it’s the real New York. Within the East Village is a smaller neighborhood called Alphabet City. (Its name comes from Avenues A, B, C, and D, the only avenues in Manhattan to have single-letter names.) It’s an area that I’ve chosen to get to know at a more intimate level by spending hours walking and discovering the many treasures it has to offer. A little funk, a little grunge, sometimes gritty, but real neighborhoods with diversity galore…and a plethora of beautiful small community gardens, many the oldest in New York City.
It wasn’t until the purchase of Grace Tankersely’s guide book on the Community Gardens of the East Village and my own conversations with garden members did I begin to understand the history and the meaning of these gardens.
Looking back, during the 70′s when NYC was on the verge of bankruptcy, there were budget cuts (police, sanitation, fire departments) and building owners abandoned their properties left and right. By default, these areas became city owned and because of their own financial issues they were unable to care for them. Eventually torn down, these areas attracted the homeless, drug addicts, rats, along with increased violence. But what it also brought was a sense of community with neighbors coming together to clean up these abandoned areas. A neighborhood group, the Green Guerrillas, created their own garden and began helping others who wanted to do the same.
With community gardens on the rise, gardeners worked with the city and in the late 70′s an organization was formed called Operation GreenThumb. One year leases were then drawn up for the gardens on city-owned land. Over the years the gardens brought a sense of community; a place for neighbors to meet, for children to play, for weddings, birthday parties and celebrations.
But then came the 1990′s, real estate boomed and gardens were sold. Neighborhoods exploded with public meetings, movements, lawsuits, and according to Tankersely’s book, even chaining themselves to bulldozers to preserve their gardens. In 1999, 114 community gardens all over New York City were put on the auction block. Imagine the intensity when at the very last minute the gardens were purchased by two groups, the Trust for Public Land and Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project. A few years later an agreement was reached resulting in the Department of Parks and Recreation taking ownership as long as the gardens remained active.
Of course there’s way more to this story and Tankersely does an excellent job providing the details in her book. But the bottom line to keep a garden active requires time, energy and money…all from volunteers. If you’ve been part of a volunteer group you know that brings its own set of problems. People come and go, often leaving a few to do all the work. There’s varying opinions, cultural differences, struggles to raise funds to keep the gardens going…and time needed, lots and lots of time. (If you’ve ever had a backyard or a vegetable garden you know.) I don’t have a full understanding of the leases that are held with these gardens, but I’m sure as I explore and chat with gardeners during the summer months, I’ll walk away with increased knowledge of how these treasures will (hopefully) continue to bring that sense of community for generations to come.
In future posts, I’m excited to share with you my photography and my discussions with the interesting and ever so eclectic group of garden members in this little community of Alphabet City.
Take a big deep breath and think about the aroma from lots of tulips. Perhaps you’re thinking…but tulips don’t really have much of a fragrance! True, but…did I happen to mention 15,000 tulips? Yes, it’s that time of year again for the annual tulip festival at the West Side Community Garden. Beautiful, warm, overcast day…picture perfect for photography and that aroma! Pure heaven!
Tomorrow I head for the farm and by the time I return all of these lovelies will be gone, but quickly followed by irises, bleeding hearts and more peonies. It’s one huge candyland with a never ending supply of beauty all summer long!
This week be looking for a couple of updates…one, my discoveries of some very unique community gardens in the East Village AND two, my adventure to Philly to photograph in the Eastern State Penitentiary! Plus I’m starting a new course this week about becoming best friends…with…guess who? MYSELF! Combined with photography, we’ll be honoring our memories, seeing our own beauty, thinking about our hidden dreams, and seeing where we are in the world. Susannah Conway promises eight weeks of unravelling (and who doesn’t need a bit of unravelling once in a while?) and it would be my pleasure if you’d follow along with me!
In Spanish, de colores simply means “the colors.” It’s also the name of a song that praises the beauty of the diversity and simplicity of God’s creation. How perfect! More to come on these little treasures in the East Village! There’s so much there…not only the plantings, but the art and oh…the people of this community!