New York Communities

Pouring on the pounds

Foodnotes and Anecdotes

It is no secret that we are experiencing an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. A major contributor is the large amount of calories we are consuming in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and even those enhanced water products with healthy claims. The typical 20 ounce cola drink contains 250 calories of simple carbohydrates. Read On

Justifying Cupcakes

Foodnotes & Anecdotes

A trend food I’ve bought into in a major way is the cupcake. At least they are somewhat portion controlled… But, oh who am I kidding? Refined sugar and carbohydrates topped with more refined sugar and saturated fat is not exactly a nutritious treat. But I have a massive sweet tooth and it is definitely true in my case that denying yourself treats only leads to binges later on, so I treat myself. My inner nutritionist answer is to take everything in moderation!

Brooklyn Maize Fields

Food Looped In

[Updated: Now with Photos!] Boerum Hill, Brooklyn used to be a Native American maize field. Our urban sprawl has left no evidence of its existence. We joke that New York neighborhoods are in constant flux, but rarely do we examine the extent of the words, “This neighborhood has changed.” Gowanus artist and resident, Christina Kelly, critiqued and challenged this phrase by planting urban corn gardens in Canarsie and Boerum Hill, namely at the intersection of Smith and Bergen. Christina cites that this particular area was cultivated by the Marechkawick Indians, as mentioned in a 1640 land grant to the Dutch citizen Frederick Lubbersen. The gardens are a nod to the historical resilience of New York City living.

Unicycling

One Wheel Circus

The unicycle has long been a family member of the circus. Though it may have played the funny-looking little sibling to the shining star of the trapeze, everyone from the early to mid-20th century Valla Bertini Troupe to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus has had unicyclists.

Go Loco for Agua de Coco

Foodnotes and Anecdotes

I found my salvation in a coconut! Coconut water to be exact, the liquid from young coconuts (not to be confused with coconut milk which is expressed from the flesh of mature coconuts) is one of the world’s most nutritious beverages. With the perfect balance of electrolytes and carbohydrates to replenish fluids lost during exercise, coconut water makes an excellent replacement for artificially flavored sports drinks, like Gatorade, and can be easily found at your corner Bodega!

Revisiting Sunnyside

Our NYC Roots

I was a Sunnysider for 14 months, my first year in the city. For a Northern Californian, Queens was an alien landscape where just about everything is organized differently: better public transportation, transparent but approachable personalities and a true melting pot society where you can literally hear six different languages crossing the street (and not be in a tourist spot). Though I enjoyed Sunnyside, my eventual exposure to Brooklyn called me away and I soon left to re-engage my youth and a growing sense of superficiality. While I’d stepped foot back in the neighborhood a handful of times since moving, after two-years away I went back to Sunnyside from my home in Bushwick to see how the neighborhood had changed.

Project Parlor

Food Looped In

Project Parlor carries absinthe, homemade hibiscus punch, simple syrup and ginger beer; cans of Pabst are $2 which are “good for for the everyman” with free bar peanuts all night long. A brightly chalked A-frame outside drew me in shortly after the spot had opened back in October 2009. Florence’s number one priority is to offer a broad range of potent potables to accommodate an eclectic clientele.

Star-gazing with the Webb Telescope

Science Works!

The New York City skies makes gazing at the starry night a near impossible challenge. Light pollution, cloudy skies, anything can ruin a good night for you. I noticed how difficult it was when I tried to watch the moon on World Moon Bounce Day and failed to get a clear view of the moon. Convinced my apartment wasn’t providing an ideal moongazing spot, I even strolled outside and soon realized that cloud cover had ruined my night.

Pucker Up to Pickles

Foodnotes and Anecdotes

Unlike commercially-produced pickles-in-a-jar, New York-style Kosher pickles are made by curing fresh cucumbers in brine and spices such as peppercorns, dill and mustard seed (mine were especially garlicky).

BYO–BBQ?

Food Looped In

I’m not much of a sports fan but I do like to gather with friends at a bar after a hard day’s work, bringing home the bacon, so to speak. I can get my weekday fix of charred flesh with the self-service grills on the patio of East River Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.