A Catalogue Of Sustainable Achievements
You are falling from the sky.
The bad news is
you have no parachute.
The good news is
there is no ground.
- Chögyam Trungpa
Oh, Dear Beloved SuperForest,
It has been too long.
Transition is like a window to your heart. Everyone sees you blown apart. And, friends, I am being blown apart once again, as in a week’s time I will be setting down by traveler’s pack for what might be a long while, to pursue a writing career in the great city of New York.
I have shared with you, my fair and precious readers, snapshots of my life on the road, and perhaps I should have shared more; it was difficult to gauge how much I needed to withdraw from the world in order to find myself or whatever it was I went looking for. I’ll be regaling you with some of the best stories from my travels soon, but in the meantime, I think we’re due for a heart to heart.
As of one month ago—that is, the end of January—I was planning to be returning to South Korea to have another tour of teaching English, and, to me, more importantly, to immerse myself in the Zen Buddhist culture there, before wending my way up South America to New York in a year and a half to get into journalism. Ant though this narrative sounded good to me, an I would have time to write and take part in other project publications, it did not release a sense of yearning and dread, a dressing more tart than balsamic vinaigrette that the salad of my soul needed to be rid of. And so I felt haunted, in a way, walking lonesome on snowy Turkish mountains and longing through the second deck of a London bus – and a close friend asked, Why not go to New York now? why not go?
I gurgled back I’m just not ready! and I don’t have the money! and, to myself, AHHHH! But the challenge of that fabled metropolis, and the adventure of forging my career, filled me with a mixture of excitement and fear. With a lingering question in my head, and a fork in the road approaching, I boarded a flight to JFK, to visit friends I hand’t seen in years, and to dip a toe into electric waters.
On the other side of the Atlantic, I was greeted by a third-grade classmate who’s already gone to LA and now to NY and is well on her way to her dreams, and, standing in the Strand Bookshop near Union Square, sisterly asked, Are you going to come here? and I thought Y..yes? and I said mrmrmrmrmaybe? In Manhattan that night, and on the subway to Brooklyn, I took in the young and hardworking swirling about, and thought, these are my people.
A week went by in the city: Warm weather. A Super Bowl victory. Friendship renewal. A phone, a charger. The fluttering bird inside my chest: perching, roosting, possible nesting. A decision made. One very disappointed school in Korea, and some very happy parents in America.
So, next week, on the day of the leap (that’s the 29th), I will land in New York, one-way. Two bags. Friend’s couches to as-yet-unknown-sublet to one-day-a-lease. Freelancing to as-yet-unknown-internship to one-day-a-full-time-job. And a lot of what I need to do to get to what I want to do, somewhere in the thought-and-word industry. Known and unknown.
A great leap in the great leap year of the water dragon.
And if you’re in New York, you are always welcome with me.
(p.s.: This replugging means that this SuperForest is about get real energetic. This is going to be fun.
After reading SuperForester Patricia’s excellent post the other day on SEGlet’s push toward facilitating the creation of green rooftops, I was reminded of a green rooftop movement of another sort; a green rooftop movement that actually moves.
Created by Marco Cosio as an attempt to reconnect urban communities in a playful and practical way, Bus Roots is a project that reclaims forgotten space by creating green rooftop gardens on public city buses. As the project posits…
A public transit bus has a surface of 340 ft2. The MTA fleet has around 4,500 buses.
If we grew a garden on the roof of every one of the 4,500 buses in the MTA bus fleet, we would have 35 acres of new rolling green space in the city.
The equivalent to Four Bryant Parks.
It’s an incredible idea, and although my first thoughts were something along the lines of, “wouldn’t that be a lot of weight to put on the top of a bus?!”, it seems like the project has been working swimmingly! The prototype has been installed on a BioBus in New York and has been growing for five months, traveling distances as far as Ohio!
What a win! For more information, please be sure to check out it’s website, here.
Hope you are all having an excellent day,
A little over a year ago (…or maybe two), I crafted myself a lovely little pinhole camera. A project, which sadly went unfinished for I have yet to purchase film and actually use it. It’s sitting in a box on my bookshelf, collecting dust, perhaps waiting patiently for me to experience ultimate inspiration. And though I’ve never used it, the building process of the camera, itself, was all that was needed for me fall in love with the art form and be a complete sucker for it ever since.
In the past, we’ve seen the artwork of Mr. Michel Bayard and explored the wondrous solargraphy project of Tarja Trygg, but the photograph above was taken by the legendary Michael Wesley. Working with New York’s Museum of Modern Art to photograph the destruction and new construction of their building, this German artist was also able to capture 34 months of New York Life. It’s being referred to as the longest pinhole exposure ever. And with its ghostly time-capsule-like features, it’s arguably one of the most beautiful.
Here are more of the photographs in this collection:
And you can find more on his website!
Hello there. During summer I visited San Francisco, the second major city I’ve visited, the first being Portland. I know it’s no New York, but the height of the buildings was vastly overwhelming to me when I took a moment now and then to just look up.
Yowza. It stands at an impressive 818 meters (2,684 feet). I’m not sure who photoshopped this picture so well, but here’s an ‘artist’s depiction’ of what the B.D. (Am I the first to abbreviate?) would look like in New York’s sky scape:
SuperForester Baloo and myself on our way to the Michael Jackson Birthday celebration in Prospect Park.
I had cobbled together a rather crude (but hilarious) MJ outfit, and found myself waiting for a friend in Union Square. If you’ve never dressed as Michael Jackson and walked down the street, I highly recommend it. It’s a great exercise in compassion.
Sitting with my dog, dressed like MJ, I couldn’t not get up and dance a bit. A couple crotch grabs, finger snaps, and hat tilts later, my friend showed up and off we went.
So if you were also sitting in Union Square yesterday and were amused by the shoddy dancing of a bearded white guy with a chihuahua, wearing genuine “crazy person” brand Michael Jackson attire, you’re welcome.
(I’m terribly sorry to say that I did not get a picture of the full outfit, only my lil’ footsies.)
The video will be up shortly.
Good morning, SuperForest.
Oh man… Last night was something special.
Last night I took two pounds of cherries and a subway ride out to MakerBot Industries in Brooklyn. There, Bre Pettis his very own self printed me out this epic ring, right in front of my eyepieces, using his customized MakerBot CNC machine. Goo.
I brought my flip and shot amazing footage of MakerBot’s open house… Which will be up NEXT WEEK! Huzzah!
Walking into the MakerBot workshop, seeing the boxes of MakerBots all ready to be shipped around the world was a moment I’ll never forget… This was like walking into Steve Job’s garage. Or the Wright brothers bicycle shop. The magnitude of rapid 3-D printing’s effect on our lives cannot be overstated, and right now MakerBot are in the lead.
I’m a fan for life of what Bre, Adam, and Zach are doing.
With this ring I thee wed, MakerBot.
Video tour coming up next week!
Read SuperForest every day for strong bones and whiter teeth!
We love, love, love No Impact Man!
From the looks of the trailer, No Impact Fam might be a more apt description as the film follows Colin Beavan, his wife, and their infant daughter as they attempt to live a year in Manhattan with no net-environmental impact.
I love how the trailer pulls no punches. It makes the No Impact Year experiment look appropriately grueling and stressful, but the flip-side of the stress and effort seems to be a closer family, healthy weight loss, and spending waaaay less. Plus the all-local food diet looks really tasty.
If a lot of folks see and talk about this movie, and the No Impact ethos spreads awareness the way An Inconvenient Truth did, Colin Beavan will have to change his name to Massive Impact Man.
I can’t wait to see this. Here’s a piece about Mr. Beavan from SuperForest ’08.
SuperForester Spoon has been out for a visit this past week and we’ve been slang tanging all over town, riding the Strida bikes and looking for kicks.
Wacky kicks like!…
Chillin’ with Ghandi. What up, G-man?
Stone cold compost drop off. Drop that compost off, Master Spoonington.
Look at that technique. Perfection. His first day on the job and he’s making the old guys look bad.
Here, James Michael is just begining work on his custom SuperForest shirt.
You’ll notice that he’s a southpaw, as are quite a few other SuperForesters! Interesting.
I makey one too. Good times!
Then we made this gif of us wearing our shirts:
Look at us throbbing with SuperForesty vitality! Throb! Throb!
Having houseguests is great fun, and the one and only Spoon as a houseguest is a treat beyond measure.
Want us to go somewhere specific and take a photo or something? Send us an email.
Good Morning all!
“Tap’dNY is a New York City bottled water company with a local twist and knack for honesty. We don’t travel the world from Fiji to France seeking water or offer the usual bottled water gimmicks. We work with NYC’s public water system to source the world’s best tasting tap water, purify it through reverse osmosis and bottle it locally, leaving out ludicrous transportation miles.”
Of course, at the beginning this sounded a little cookoo to me, but there are times when you are on the go and realize you have forgotten your Sigg Bottle and your dying for a drink. So, in times like that…go local!
Here’s a link to their manifesto.
Here’s a link to the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) NY Water Quality Report.
And here’s a link to the Wiki for the Ashokan Reservoir. It is in the beautiful Catskills and is one of the 19 reservoirs and 3 lakes that supply NYC with water.
Happy Hump Day Y’all!
I discovered an amazing photographer today, in a Boston article courtesy of Ffffound!
The man’s name is Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and he specializes in aerial photography. Next spring, Yann will be in New York City to display his latest exhibit, Earth From Above. Even better, the Boston article claims that Yann’s goal is to “inspire people to think globally about sustainable living.” Rock on Yann!
Here are a few samples of his amazing work:
Here is the link to the main page of the exhibit: Earth From Above
So if your in the Big Apple come spring, be sure to check it out!
And make sure to tell Team SuperForest all about it!
I realized how oblivious I have been to the great toys out there for kids, to show them the power of the sun. It is one thing to explain the idea of alternative energy to kids, but how fun would it be to build things that actually work.
I just came across this, which looks like a rad gift if you have an older child, niece, nephew or friend (it is for kids 12+):
“The Power House Experiment Manual is organized around the story of a group of island dwellers who must learn to live sustainably using the resources available to them on their small island. As you read their journal entries and learn of their projects and experiments, you build models of the same projects and conduct the same experiments alongside them.”
These are all the things the kit includes:
“The Heat Trap: Construct and experiment with a greenhouse
The Sun Collector: Collect the sun’s rays to heat water
The Sun Burners: Make a solar cooker while learning about the principles of light before you cook rice and bake bread
The Water Vampire: Desalinate water, plant watercress, produce sauerkraut and make chewing gum
The Heat Absorbers: Learn how heat of evaporation provides cooling, conduct experiments about air humidity, build a hygrometer and test a refrigerator
Power Plants: Grow beans, make a potted plant feed a candle, harvest sunflower energy, build an oil press, and assemble an oil lamp
The Energy Converters: Extract electric current from sunlight and metals in acid, build a light telephone, galvanize a nail and split water into hydrogen and oxygen
The Forces of Magnetism: Generate electric current with magnetic fields. Build a current indicator, electric and solar motors, a transfer switch, and a crane. Lift pencils with the sun and learn about levers. Build an electric car
Wings in the Wind: Build a sail car and learn how wings and sails transform energy. Learn to sail with the wind, by the wind, and against the wind and examine a mixed energy vehicle”
Fat Brain Toys has a bunch of neat toys in the Solar Powered/Alternative Energy category.
Check them out…