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The Boot

The Boot

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 56th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots (if any) that didn’t make the cut.

I live above this place called the Vudu Lounge. It is a bit rough around the edges for the Upper East Side, but that’s fine as it gives this part of the hood some character. Reminds me of my Harlem days, nothing wrong with that. Almost ever Friday and Saturday night around 4AM some crazy, drunken fights break out. Big girls in Pink spaghetti strap dresses, snapping that strap while swinging at some dime whose lost one of her pumps high kicking some girl looking at her man earlier that night. Boys swinging at each other who do not have any clue how to fight. People stumbling into First Avenue, cars honking, people screaming, laughing, crying, falling, running until finally 6 to 10 police officers arrive to do the job Vudu’s small fleet of security can’t seem to do. That’s why cops have guns I suppose.

This last Friday there was a few epic fights and so the cops show up to bust things up. While people were trying to figure up from down I noticed there was this one guy pacing under my window who kept chanting, I’m here to make money man… that’s all…not for all of this not all this.. and on and on…and back and forth. He was ranting to himself in this frantic heightened state. It just so happened that during one of the many fights someone lost one of their new Timberlands. They abandoned it on the sidewalk next to some jackets tossed down in the heat of the moment. This particularly upset man, while still chanting, attempted to throw the boot up on the fire escape next door and missed two times till finally on the third try he threw it up three stories and it stayed. I could feel his mood change right then, even with everything else that must have happened to him that night, this time he did not fail. He got that heavy ass boot up there. He stared at it for another second in silence and walked away.

Today’s picture is proof of his success and how one small accomplishment can change everything.

-Cara

Go here for other shots of boots and such.

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MTA

This particular post is New York City Centric, so if your living in the Big Apple or know people who are, please sign or forward this to them as soon as possible…

Hello My Fellow New Yorkers,

The MTA is at it again. On Wednesday, they announced yet another round of fare hikes, including a plan to limit the number of rides on “unlimited” monthly MetroCards and jack up their price to almost $100.

Enough is enough. Transit riders aren’t ATMs, and endless fare hikes can’t be the answer to keeping our subways and buses moving. We need the politicians and the MTA to come up with a real plan for investing in public transportation, and keeping it reliable and affordable.

The first step is to show them New Yorkers won’t take this sitting down. I just signed the Working Families Party’s petition against the latest fare hikes. Will you join me? Just go to:

http://action.workingfamiliesparty.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2155&tag=MTA710

Stop this madness!!!

Cara

[Per: Working Families Party]

Life is better than good.

-Cara

Guess what I am doing tomorrow…

the-human

Human Countdown: Climate Wake Up Call

On Sunday,  September 20th, 2009, people of all walks of life will come together in New York’s Central Park for a bold creative action to tell world leaders that the TIME TO ACT is RUNNING OUT. More than 2,000 people will form a moving human sculpture of our world in a race against time—a massive, living Earth and Hourglass to be picked up by the media worldwide.

On the cusp of the UN climate summit, our Human Countdown will urgently call for a fair, ambitious, and binding new climate treaty, and launch global actions for Climate Week NYC and the Tck Tck Tck Global Climate Wake Up Call.

We will assemble in two groups. The first group forms the living Earth and convenes at 9am in the morning to rehearse the movements. All others come at 1pm to form the hourglass. We will perform the Human Countdown together at mid-afternoon, hear from notable national and international speakers, and conclude by 4pm.

We need a global climate treaty. This is the time, this is the place to make history – we need YOU to join the HUMAN Countdown! All are welcome!

The goal is to show our leaders that time is running out to act on global warming. Video of the image we create will be broadcast the next night at The Age of Stupid global film premiere and delivered to world leaders.

Come to the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park (Southern end of central park by 6th Ave) this Sunday at 12.30pm.

Click here to RSVP [I found all this stuff thanks to AVAAZ:

http://www.avaaz.org/new_york_climate_action

While action on climate is always urgent, this is an especially important moment for public action. This December in Copenhagen, world leaders will meet to negotiate a new global treaty to avert a climate catastrophe.

This is going to be awesome.

-Cara

I dedicate this song to me and my shitty day.

I got hurt feelings.

-Cara

Living in NYC, it is strange to wrap my mind around all that nature and chimpanzees swinging around everywhere. I think any of those jobs would be cool. The coffee sniffing, the chimpanzees studying and the farming, but maybe not on such a large scale. I’m more of a fire escape gardener than coffee farmer.

I love organic coffee, chimpanzees and fair trade!!!

-Cara

Manhattanhenge

Manhattanhenge

In July I wrote an entry about Manhattanhenge. It is a time when the whole of Manhattan becomes its own Stonehenge. You can read more about it here. Marine and I went to check it out on July 11th and I took these pictures around 45th and 6th in Manhattan. A hundred years later, I have finally cleaned up the shots and put them up on my Flickr.  Enjoy the miracle of Manhattanhenge through my eyes.

Look to the sun.

-Cara

I like to do a shout-out to my city every once in awhile. Today, I am taking it to a more local level, my neighborhood health food store. Well, it’s not in my neighborhood of Spanish Harlem, but it is the closest, super-freshest health store to me, Food For Health.

I really like this place and the familiar faces that keep the store running. They have coupons on their web site, which I just discovered and love! If you are around 3rd Avenue and 92nd you should stop by. They have reasonable prices, a juice bar and solid products.

Shop local.

-Cara

Bio Pets

I have written about BioBags before in my 100th post, concerning some composting ideas I had.  I really think their concept is a good one, but I have still not actually tried them. :) Anyway, I came across these Biobag Dog Waste Bags and BioBag Cat Pan Liners and thought they sound like great ideas.

I don’t have a dog, but live in NYC where everyone has to pick up after their dogs. I always think about how many plastic bags these people must go through, just to throw away dog poo. This bag is a great idea. It would also be a great idea in New York City to have by every other garbage can be a compost can. Just for dog owners to throw their dog poo in, instead of throwing it into the regular garbage cans. Then the Parks Department could compost the dog poo and use it as fertilizer in all the City Parks. You’re welcome New York City Department of Parks and Recreation! :)

Here’s some info about the Biobag Dog Waste Bags from the BioBag’s site:

BioBag Dog holds the distinction of being the first biodegradable and compostable “plastic” pooper bag in the world.

[When] pet owners put 100% biodegradable dog waste into plastic bags that can take over 100 years to decompose. (I read on another site that BioBags will degrade within 45 days.)

BioBag dog pooper bags are to help divert all naturally biodegradable waste from entering our landfills.

The best solution for disposal of pet waste has always been to separate it from the bag or paper and flush it down the toilet. Using BioBags…the waste and the bag can be thrown in your backyard compost, where both items can decompose naturally; the waste and bag can be buried, where micro-organisms will quickly eat both; the waste and bag can be set at curbside with other yard waste where communities collect biodegradable waste for composting. Please check with your community for disposal options.

I think the cat liners are another great idea for people who use them. I myself do not as I have scoopable litter and then the litter pan itself gets clean out fully. I guess a bag would make it easier to clean…we will think about it.

Here’s some info about the BioBag Cat Pan Liners from the BioBag’s site:

Cat waste should not be composted, as its composition can be quite toxic (What? Toxic…I had no idea. :P). Cat waste should always be scooped from the litter box and then put in your trash. There are a number of new biodegradable cat litters on the market. We also do not recommend flushing it down the toilet because cat poop may endanger sea otters.

Using these biodegradable cat pan liners to dispose of the remaining biodegradable litter makes good environmental sense.

Biodegradable cat pan liners are non-allergenic. Cats can be allergic to plastic and other known allergens. Allergies usually build up over time from constant contact with the allergen. Calicos, Tortiseshells, Black cats and Siamese cats are more prone to allergies than other breeds.

If you suspect your cat has an allergy (red, itchy rashes), consult your veterinarian to determine the source. It is best to use hard-fired ceramic bowls, instead of molded plastic, for serving your cat food. Using a biodegradable cat litter made naturally from renewable grain crops may protect your cat from certain chemicals. Using BioBag non-allergenic liners is an environmentally safe way to further protect your pet.

Eco-pets rule!

-Cara

Goodbye TV

A couple weeks ago Marine and I were talking about turning off our DirectTV DVR service. There is really nothing worth watching and I, just speaking for myself, am not strong enough to not turn it on and watch if given half a chance. I learned this when we said Tuesdays would be a no TV day and then proceeded to watch TV every Tuesday unless we went out! :) One main reason for no TV Tuesdays is there are millions of other things to do like read, go to the park, walk, create, write, talk, volunteer, make a difference, take a class, etc. instead of watching said TV. Now with no TV at all, who knows I might have time to run for President!

Originally, we got the DirectTV DVR to put an end to channel surfing, only record what we wanted to watch, and to avoid commercials. What I learned from this experience is, yes we stopped channel surfing, but now we show surf off the guide instead, we pretty much only watch crap, and because of TIVO/DVR services, every show has commercials in the actual show. This makes the shows I thought had some standards complete whores for advertisers. I understand it has always been that way, but now it is worse, before, I could walk away from commercials, but now to escape you must walk away from TV…so I am.

Another reaction to the turning off of DirectTV is we will not be using the biggest consumer of electricity in the house, our TV. I don’t know how big our carbon footprint is, but is it much smaller now. I was thinking this morning if our electricity bill will go down as in NYC ConEd averages your bill. They say they do this because 9 out of 10 times they can’t get to the meter. In this day and age the fact that the meter does not communicate with their database is ridiculous. This is something I will look into. I don’t want to pay what the average consumer of electricity pays, because I use way less then that guy! ;)

The Direct TV service was supposed to be turned off on April 6th, so to celebrate, Marine and I and some friends went out on Sunday to raise our glasses to the end of TV in our home [of the two friends, one has no TV and the other has no cable, just a TV for when she wants to watch DVDs.] When we came home the DirectTV was still on. I thought about calling and reminding them, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then the next day it was on and the next till I turned it on today and it was gone, just gone. I don’t know who reading this has a DVR, but there is a list of saved shows you can watch, so Marine and I filled it, that way when they turned off the actual service we could slowly wean ourselves off the boob tube. I thought that even without the service you could still watch the saved shows, but I was incorrect. Now, I am like a drug addict forced to go cold turkey without any warning, but like that drug addict I know that if I stay off the crack, life will only get better.

I am excited to see how it changes me.

Crack is whack!

-Cara

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Fish and shellfish farming, or aquaculture, is no less disruptive to the environment than taking fish from the wild. Shoreline pens replace mangroves, that is, the habitats where wild fish would otherwise reproduce. Some farmed species will not breed in captivity, so fish farmers must steal juveniles, who never get a chance to reproduce, from the wild. There are numerous cases where farmed fish have escaped into the wild, corrupting the genetic purity of native species and spreading disease. Indiscriminate biomass fishing for fishmeal threatens ecosystems. Feed-to-flesh ratios soar in some farmed species to 25 to 1. Nitrogenous waste poisons the seabed floor below cages that hold fish in unnatural densities.

I am always figuring out ways to turn garbage into something. Soon I will start to give away my projects, as there is a lot of garbage in my world and only so much room in my NYC apartment!

Here is a cool project I tried today. I took a million different versions I found online on how to do it, altered them and created my own style…so far it looks cool, once it dries, maybe I will coat the beads with clear nail polish as well for a shinier look. I will let you know and provide photos!

Paper Beads

What tools you’ll need

Scissors
Different types of paper such as pages from old magazines, used wrapping paper or store catalogs
Glue Stick
Toothpicks and/or straws

What to Do

From your paper collection, select one piece that is about the size of a greeting card or larger, no more than 11 inches I would say.

Now cut long, slender triangles from the paper. The longer the strip, the thicker the bead. The base, or large end of the triangle, can range in size from 1/2 to 1 inch. The entire strip should be no longer than 11 inches. [Make beads of different shapes. Rectangular paper makes cylindrical beads. Triangular paper makes rounded beads. If you use a rectangular strip of paper with a triangle cut out of the middle, your bead will be spool-shaped.]

Spread a thin coat of glue over side of the triangle you don’t want to show. Be sure to leave a small area (at the tip of the triangle) without glue.

Place a toothpick or straw on the base of the triangle with the decorated side facing down.

Carefully roll the paper around the toothpick/straw. Keep the paper tight and the edges even.

Just before you finish rolling the paper, place a dab of glue on the triangle’s tip and seal the end in place.

I spin then every once in awhile just to check that they are not stuck to the straw or toothpicks.

When the glue has dried, remove the toothpick from the tightly rolled paper. You have now made your first bead. You can decorate it with paint or apply clear fingernail polish to give it a shiny finish. The ones I did today I dipped in diluted white Elmer’s glue. I just put enough glue in water to look milky.

I will put pictures up of them once dry. I think I made a few mistakes, like not keeping them perfectly even, but we will see.

Watch out friends and family there might be some jewelry coming in your future.

-Cara

UPDATE

I have since painted my first attempt of paper beads with shiny, clear nail polish and it makes a difference for sure. They are still too big for my taste, but shiny = pretty. Some issues I had were, I didn’t spin the beads enough on the straws, so they were stuck to the straw. I just cut them with the straw inside, which turned out fine and made them stronger. I also had to figure out a way to paint them and a place for them to dry, so I just did this…

and here is the end result.

It was a fun experience and I will make more to show different designs going forward. Exciting stuff. :P

—————————————————

Reason 53 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Male chicks are a bothersome expense to the egg producer. Sexers must be hired to pick them out for diversion to expedient deaths. No law protects them as they are dumped in trash bins to die by crushing, suffocation, starvation, and exposure.

I have now found a way to recycle all my technotrash in one day for free in NYC…Well free, if I already happen to have a car, if not Zipcar for a few hours is not too much money to help save the world. These guys seem super fresh. Here is a bit of information on them.

Build It Green! NYC and Lower East Side Ecology Center have teamed up to provide a permanent electronics recycling drop-off at Build It Green! NYC. Electronics can be dropped off any time during Build It Green! NYC’s business hours.”

What can you bring there?

Working and non-working:
Computers (laptop & desktop),
Servers, mainframes
Monitors
Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
Components (hard drives, CD Roms, circuit boards, power supplies, etc,)
TVs,VCR & DVD Players
Audio visual devices
Radios/Stereos
Cell Phones, pagers
PDAs,Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)
Media (floppies, cd’s, zips, VHS tapes)

Next time I have a car I am there.

I love New York!

-Cara

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