Urban Granny

A Seasoned View of Urban Life

Archive for April, 2009

Apr-30-2009

May Is New York City’s Bicycle Month

 

May is NYC Bike Month

May is NYC Bike Month

The month of May not only brings out the flowers but also all those marvelous recreational bicyclists.

 

Luckily, a top priority of Mayor Bloomberg has been to increase the use and ease of bicycling for city residents and visitors.

New Yorkers can’t help but notice all the great changes that have been made. We have miles of designated bike lanes, beautiful new bicycle shelters and new subway gratings that double as bike racks and benches. BRAVO!

Love these new bike racks

Love these new bike racks

 

In addition there are more city sponsored bicycling safety programs, more street closings, better signage and a continued dedication to opening more and more miles of bike lanes throughout the boroughs.

I am an avid recreational biker and live in lower Manhattan.  On weekends, traffic is considerably thinned and I feel much more comfortable navigating the quieter downtown streets. I make tremendous use of the wonderful bike lanes along the Hudson River from Battery Park to Riverside Park and often follow the wonderful bike routes printed in Timeout and New York Magazine each spring. And yes it is marvelous to do errands on the weekend using your bike.

Contact 311 and ask them to send the FREE NYC Cycling map. It contains all the city’s bicycle routes, bike rental and safety information. You can download the map from the 311 site . Remember to take it with you when you ride.

Sign up for the NYC Government Bicycling newsletter, which gives you constant updates of new lanes and information.

Go to the New York Bike Month for essential information and special event sign up.

Take the New York Water Taxi to Brooklyn, Bikes ride for free, and avoid the treacherous Brooklyn Bridge, too many pedestrians and nonspeaking English visitors. They DO NOT get out of your way, even in the bike lanes.

DO take your bike to Governors Island by ferry and bring the kids. There is Free Bike Fridays throughout the season if you need to borrow.

Do know the most trusted bike shops in your area. Their professionals will help you pick the right bike and help maintain your bicycle with regular tune-ups.  Rent before you buy to see if you like the sport.  Most bike shops rent good reliable bikes and there are numerous bike rental shops scattered throughout the city.

Do know where to get your bike repaired on Sundays and holidays. Not fun to lug a broken bike on the train home. Tip: By the South Street Seaport the rental guys are nice enough to help if you need an emergency repair.

Do buy the best lock possible, a hardened chain and padlock is probably the best. A good bicycle will get stolen.

Chain lock

Chain lock

 

Do carry only essentials and make sure you have ID and emergency numbers with you,

Some helpful things I have picked up over the years besides the very obvious WEAR A HELMET at all times:

  • Learn the rules of the road and follow them.
  • Going against traffic is dangerous. 
  • Beware of opening car doors.  They will cause a serious accident.
  • Beware of Lance Armstrong WANT TO BEs
  •  Never trust a moving vehicle.
  •  And finally never trust a fellow cyclist. 

Do pack a lunch and have a safe and fun Bicycle Season!

http://togabikes.com/index.cfm

http://bicyclehabitat.com/

http://www.metrobicycles.com/

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Posted under Recreation
Apr-28-2009

Made with Love For Mother’s Day

Mother’s day, on Sunday May 10th,is just around the corner. I have been a daughter for over 50 years, a mother for over 35 years and now a grandmother for over 5 years. I have given and received countless gifts over all these years.

The most memorable and probably the least expensive were gifts made for me or by me.

I cherish the ceramic plate with painted stick figures and the names of all my kids.

Painted Pottery

Painted Pottery

 

 

 

Or the afghan I knit for my mother several years ago that she still uses when she watches television

Knit a heirloom

Knit a heirloom

My daughter loves the little photo album I made of her family of the previous year. Now I just do a new one each year.

I am thrilled to have a wonderful playlist that my youngest son burned for me of my favorite music, which I now listen to on my iPod.

This year for all my daughters I made a recipe book of our family’s favorite recipes including those of my dear mother in law, Grandma Gert, who died several years ago but lives on through her wonderful and delicious recipes, which otherwise would have been lost.

Or the gift of time by a son who helped his grandmother learn to use an Apple computer for the first time.

All simple, affordable and preciously made with love.

http://www.colormemine.com/

Favorite Family Recipes

Favorite Family Recipes

 

 

 

http://www.brickhouseny.com/index.html

http://www.lionbrand.com/

http://www.purlsoho.com/purl

http://www.apple.com/itunes/

http://store.apple.com/us

http://www.tastebook.com/

http://www.shutterfly.com/

http://www.kodakgallery.com/

 

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Posted under Observations, Shop
Apr-27-2009

Hands On New York Day, New Yorkers Help Out

 

Hands On New York Day Begins

Hands On New York Day Begins

Saturday April 25th was Hands on New York Day for New York Cares. Thousands of volunteers worked on revitalizing parks and schools throughout New York City.

I was privileged to be a site captain for a project of 70 volunteers representing three teams, American Express led by Allan Sih, EquiLend led by Lisette Martin and Barclays Capital led by Sean Gordon.  We were assigned to the Hudson River Park Trust’s stretch of newly opened park which runs along the Hudson River waterfront from Watts Street to Debrosses Street. We pruned, raked, weeded and bundled from 9:30am until 2pm. The HRPT staff told me that we used over 300 bags for the debris we collected and saved them perhaps two weeks worth of work.

The Hudson River Trust’s most capable and professional Director of Horticulture, Lee White, was our “real” leader for the day. Lee and his staff worked long and hard helping us complete our tasks. They were caring, appreciative and very knowledgeable about all things pertaining to this gem of a park.

Though the HRPT and New York Cares Volunteers were not responsible for the glorious weather and fantastic setting, they were responsible for, in the true sense of citizenship and volunteerism, bringing together people with the purpose of improving the lives of our fellow New Yorkers. New York can be very proud.

 

Registration with the perfect setting

Registration with the perfect setting

 

Work begins

Work begins

 

Raking and Bundling

Raking and Bundling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a Back Drop!

What a Back Drop!

 

300 Bags, Job Well Done

300 Bags, Job Well Done

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted under Volunteering
Apr-23-2009

Eat Smart…Eat Healthy

Everyone is worried about food safety these days. It seems that every evening on the news we hear about a new outbreak of salmonella or a recall of meat from a contaminated processing plant. There are warnings almost monthly, its either pistachio nuts, lettuce or hamburger patties.

But we can be thankful for organizations that are dedicated to educating us to make healthy and safe food choices.  The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program and The Marine Stewardship Council are just such organizations. Seafood Watch

This summer I became poisoned with a little known toxin called Ciguatera. Ciguatera is passed to humans from warm water fish that have fed on toxic plankton. This toxin attaches itself to the nerve endings of the person ingesting the predator species.   In my case it was grouper. It has nothing to do with how the fish is caught or prepared. This toxin occurs naturally but little is know about it. This poisoning is usually not fatal but causes extremely uncomfortable symptoms for months. Doctors know very little about it and hospitals do not know much of diagnosing it or treating it.

 

iPhone App for the Seafood Watch

iPhone App for the Seafood Watch

I am an avid supporter of the Seafood Watch Program. I have their Seafood Watch guides and receive their newsletter. These guides are organized by region. They provide information about ocean issues, and harmful fishing practices.  They also provide information on which fish and seafood are sustainable and healthy. I even have their iPhone app, which rates seafood healthfulness and contains a sushi guide. If you do not have an iPhone you can request their seafood guides on line for free.

 

 

Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch Guides

Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch Guides

 

 

The Monterey Bay Aquarium ‘s Seafood Watch Program has won this year’s TreeHugger best green award for The Best Source of Sustainable Seafood Information. To see all the other winners for other categories visit Treehugger.

Treehugger Best Green Award

Treehugger Best Green Award

 

 

There are many good sources for helping us buy smart and healthy.  Kate McDonough’s The City Cook is a wonderful source of recipes, local specialized markets, local produce and other wonderful urban food insights.

The City Cook

The City Cook

 

 

 

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Posted under Food
Apr-22-2009

Celebrate Earth Day…. Buy Green

 

Babies, Green Depot

Babies, Green Depot

Need a baby gift? Does your home need a good spring cleaning? The  Manhattan Green Depot at 222  Bowery has the perfect solution for you. Newly opened it is a cleanly designed store  filled with “good, green” products for every occasion. I particularly loved the selection for babies.

Can’t get out to the store today to shop  go to the excellent green solution site Green Feet. Look for those marvelous Bamboo plates and you won’t feel so guilty about using disposable.

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Posted under Shop