TAKE MY TRASH, PLEASE!

Posted by on Nov 20, 2013 in Lambertville-New Hope, Local-Sustainable Living | Comments Off on TAKE MY TRASH, PLEASE!

TAKE MY TRASH, PLEASE!

Luckily I bothered to read my recent “Update from the City of Lambertville” email and scroll down because buried at the bottom was a link to a survey asking residents what they thought of having their food scraps composted. This means picked up by the City with the regular trash and recycling.  Turns out, this is only part of the plan.

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Healthcare dot Digital Homework

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Local-Sustainable Living | Comments Off on Healthcare dot Digital Homework

Healthcare dot Digital Homework

You may not be in school anymore but we all do “digital homework”, all the time.

You know what I mean.  It goes a little something like this.

“Hey,  you should really call my friend who can give you a job.  Her name is Sally and her phone number is – “

And before you can finish the person says, “Oh great!  Can you email that to me?”

Its all moving the stuff of pencil and paper, human face-to-face interaction to a redundant digital realm.  Its a time suck, and note stealer.  Often it leads to even more emailing.

I love notes.
Post-its, to-do lists, those old matchbooks with phone numbers on them… the stuff of memories and memory-building, tiny scraps of paper forcing us to recall.
But I love free time even more.
And having to go online to say something I’ve already conveyed, is driving a wedge between all of us and our beloved discretionary hours on earth.

Applying to Healthcare dot gov can’t be done on a Post-it, for sure.

enroll to do listYou gotta write-up a lot of information, and with that information about you they figure out how much, if any “tax credit” you will get, that you can apply as a discount on your monthly payment.

People bellyache about having to establish who they are BEFORE they can shop for a plan.
I’ve heard people say its a hindrance.

 

People should just be allowed to shop, dammit!

But these people don’t get the system, and most of all they don’t understand how it works for poor people.

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Another Flood: What Would You Sacrifice for Global Warming Art?

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Art for Community Engagement, Lambertville-New Hope, Local-Sustainable Living | Comments Off on Another Flood: What Would You Sacrifice for Global Warming Art?

Another Flood: What Would You Sacrifice for Global Warming Art?

Today I read about this art project, by Mary Miss, which in 2007 marked high water spots for various flood stages in Boulder, Colorado.
This was not a city signage project.
This was art.
But at this point in Boulder, where the water “would be” is a reality.  Severe floods have overtaken the city.

Miss-Mary_Boulder_3 Miss-Mary_Boulder_5 DOTS-on-tree

It made me think about doing this in New Hope and Lambertville, but with a twist.  On the anniversary of Sandy, we rope off all the places we could not go then, for one week, with blue tape.  
Absurd?
Annoying?  
Not art?  
You’d take blue dots over this any day to raise awareness of global warming?

The suggestion is not to undermine the value of the blue dot project.  After all, it inspired me to write this.  But I do believe its easier to live normally, side-by-side with art that alludes to real pain, rather than experience the very thing that art is pointing to, through the project.  

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The Unknown Remembered Gate (for Dawn Raia)

Posted by on Aug 25, 2013 in Lambertville-New Hope, Local-Sustainable Living | Comments Off on The Unknown Remembered Gate (for Dawn Raia)

The Unknown Remembered Gate (for Dawn Raia)
Staff clean-up after flood

Staff clean-up after flood

 

Entering the new Caffe Galleria on Bridge Street in Lambertville is a strong reminder that all things do pass, even the worst of times, and with a little hope and a lot of effort, life can rise from the ashes, or in this case, outa deep water.

Summer of 2011 Dawn Raia’s Caffe Galleria Restaurant on Lilly Street, Lambertville was flooded from Hurricane Irene.

While Dawn quickly scrambled to get a new space to employ her team at the Lambertville House, on Bridge Street, getting this spot did not deter Dawn from establishing a permanent home for her restaurant down the street, in the old Church parsonage building, on Union Street.

When the new Caffe Galleria opened November 16, 2012, on Union Street, it was a well-timed encouragement to all of us still reeling after getting hit yet again just months earlier, from hurricane Sandy.  It was a big sign that said, no matter what happens, Dorothy, you will return home.

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Opening of the new Caffe Galleria, Bridge Street, November 2012

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Sustainable Once More, With Style

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Art for Community Engagement, Local-Sustainable Living | Comments Off on Sustainable Once More, With Style

Sustainable Once More, With Style

It never ceases to amaze me, just when I think I have seen them all, I discover yet another inspired Hunterdon-Bucks artist who is making a unique, creative space, born from imagination, from the rubble of where they live.

Here, we are surrounded by beautiful places, and hundreds more people who paint those places.
But how often do you encounter an artist who is actually creating landscape?

You can leave out the developers who have systematically changed our vistas with condo developments and McMansions.  I am referring to someone who is purposefully crafting landscape with living things.

I met one last Sunday, William “Bill” Wyman.  He co-hosted a tour of his personal forest, with Hunterdon Land Trust, at his home in Stockton, NJ, an incredibly gorgeous compound of buildings that once again made me exclaim,

“Damn there’s some hot houses tucked away around this town!”  

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Wyman has designed the house to connect with the native plant forest that surrounds it, which he has cultivated for the past two decades.  

Forest viewing walkway from house.

Viewing walkway from house, spans over forest, with seating area at end.

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NO SHARING! Really.

Posted by on Jun 11, 2013 in ACME Screening Room, Lambertville-New Hope, Local-Sustainable Living | Comments Off on NO SHARING! Really.

NO SHARING!  Really.

salad-barWhen I was in high school I worked in the mall at Souper Salad.  One of our jobs was to bust people who tried to share their order for the all-you-can-eat salad bar.

Hell, they were warned.  The sign said “NO SHARING.”

Our media-technology marketplace has effectively become one big no-sharing-salad-bar.

We no longer share a phone in our home.  We each have one.

I think its been a decade since I have said the phrase, “Hi, is Jim there?” or “Could you please leave him a message?”  You either reach Jim or you don’t.  Its certain and requires no social skills or encountering potential strangers, annoying roommates, or prying parents in the process.  And you don’t have to rely on others to help you, only a machine.

I recently learned that even if I have my very own cell phone, if I get an iPad, I have to get another one for that, to use it like a phone.  What?  What? What!  Another stingy money-grab for these cellular companies.
Again, NO SHARING!

You used to make share-able mix tapes.  Ok, I wont go there.  You’ve heard it before and still you love your iTunes downloads that are only allowed on just a few of your machines.

ONE LOCAL SHARING CENTER NOW CLOSING
Phoenix ClosingA local sign of the end of sharing, is the closing of our beloved bookstore, Phoenix Books, Lambertville, NJ.  This is just years after our video store closed in 2009 (see my 2009 Letter to the Editor on this pasted below).  Phoenix was dusty and kind of a rabbit warren of treasures, but also a place that required all kinds of sharing: of space, books, and conversation with strangers or staff.

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TAKE A HUFF, AND SEE WHO YOU REALLY ARE!

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Lambertville-New Hope, Local-Sustainable Living | Comments Off on TAKE A HUFF, AND SEE WHO YOU REALLY ARE!

TAKE A HUFF, AND SEE WHO YOU REALLY ARE!

 

George Washington at the Battle of Princeton by Charles Willson Peale

George Washington at the Battle of Princeton by Charles Willson Peale

 

Out Magazine just did a story about our, as yet, unwritten New Hope legacies.  It was inspired by the site we created with New Hope Celebrates, Retro-Scope, to preserve New Hope’s LGBT history.  What astounded me was, on this national magazine, the comments about Mother Cavellucci: beloved New Hope drag queen.

I mean ALL the comments.

Every one was about Mother.  Not about the Playhouse or even Pride Week which was also mentioned.  They each lovingly remembered Mother.

OTHER LOCAL LEGACIES: ONCE MORE WITH FEELING
I recently read that the more you use a memory, the more you lose it, I mean, it changes.  I cannot recall where I read that.

Every great country, famous person, every “significant event” stays with us only through repeatedly used memories: certain stories made up of many.  In the “greatest” stories, you know the ones, like the Pilgrims meeting the Indians, or anything about George Washington (river crossings included), the ones you learned about every year in school from grade 1-5, the memory-made-facts are so locked down, ironically all real memory is lost.

You saw Bob Gerenser cross the river as the General.  You drive by the cannon on Main Street in New Hope.  Got feelings?

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