Urban Rooftop Farms, Hens & Bees

a very beautiful chicken

I remember my first “rooftop garden,” in a walk-up on Avenue D in Manhattan. I attempted to grow some tomatoes in five gallon buckets, nothing fancy, and certainly not pretty. I quickly discovered that on hot summer days tomatoes drink a lot of water, and over a long weekend vacation, get destroyed. Hauling water up three flights of stairs and hanging out on a hot rooftop was no fun.

A Chocolatier in Our Midst

Maribel Lieberman, once a fashion designer, in her Dobbin Street (Greenpoint) chocolate factory. Photo by William Hereford

If anyone can sell luxury chocolate in a recession, it’s Maribel of MarieBelle Chocolates, with her deep-dimpled smile, her effervescent charm, and the inspiring story of a young woman who came to New York from Honduras to study fashion design, but ended up owning one of the most stylish chocolate companies in the big city.

The Dedicated Swimmers of the Met Pool

Members of a 25-year long tradition of morning swims at the Met Pool (the Met Swim Team). 1st Row (l-r): David Hildebrand, Tamara Rosenberg, Doug Safranek, Margie Neuhaus, Ethan Herschenfeld. 2nd Row: Linda Daniels, Rob Herschenfeld, Penelope Coe, James Sheehan, Barbara Campisi; 3rd Row: Pete Heatley, Jen Kuipers, Matt Kebbekus, Shannan Shaughnessy, Lewanne Jones. Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson

There’s something about the Metropolitan Pool that attracts swimming talent. Maybe it’s the stunning pool with its skylit gabled ceiling. Or maybe it’s the neighborhood’s creative energy that generates good swimmers.

Ai Weiwei Recognized by an American Scholar 25 Years Ago

Artist and political activist Ai WeiWei in meditation. Photo via aartlife.com

“… it was Gould who’d given the now infamously incarcerated Chinese artist Ai Weiwei his first-ever U.S. group show. To my reporter’s mind, interviewing him while sitting somewhere between the bronze rooster and bronze dog’s head of Ai Weiwei’s newest public sculpture …”