Jul 28, 2013

125 foot Table

Eunyoung Sebazco, Horticulture Manager and Phyllis Odessey, Director of Horticulture

I goggled farm to fork, farm to table and farm dinner, before I was satisfied that I had covered the topic.  Our decision to hold a farm dinner at our Urban Farm on Randall's Island, coincided with an 8,000 sq. ft. expansion of the farm this year.  We added additional growing space, a mobile kitchen, a gathering space and one more rice paddy.  It was time to "show off" a little.

Setting a table for 125 guests is a daunting task.  I felt a little like Carson in Dowton Abbey.  I resisted the temptation to get out a ruler and line up the glasses, plates and silverware.  Instead we concentrated on the logistics of where to place the bars and how to site the table and kitchen area.  Some people have  a pastoral setting.  At Randall's Island we are surrounded by water and have views of the city skyline.  At the southern end of the island, where the farm dinner took place, is the Hell Gate Strait, the Triborough Bridge and Hell Gate Railroad Bridge.  It's unusual setting, but a great one.

These type of dinners are usually fund raisers.  This was only part of the goal of our farm dinner.  We wanted people to come, who have never been to Randall's Island and are not familiar with the Urban Farm and its programming.  We succeeded.  The dinner was sold out in a couple of days.  We have started planning for next year.  Stay tuned!

I would be remiss if I did not thank some of the people who made the dinner happen.
Chef Mitchell London
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Justin Hamill
Sarah Owens of BK 17 Bakery
Greenport Harbor Brewery
New York Water Taxi

Jul 14, 2013

The Rancher Artist

June 21- September 25, 2013

If strolling down the street in New York this summer feels like walking on hot coals, head for the James Turrell exhibition at the Guggenheim.  It's a cool down for the mind.

Before the guards kicked us off the floor, I had a chance to experience Turrell's piece in the rotunda as I imagine the artist wanted us to.  Full frontal.  Absorbed in the light changes.  Surrounded. The colors change slowly and so does your depth perception.  Opening up and flattening, the rings play with your mind.

On a humid, temperature rising day, go to the Guggenheim and do what they tell you do in yoga class.  Do not look at your neighbor.  Let go it all go.  Focus on the rings.   It's the "OM" moment.


A peculiar benefit of the show is the Frank Lloyd Wright ramp.  We all know it.  It's usually filled with art.  Start at the top and spiral down or walk up the cone.   The railing is always open to the skylight at the top and it's customary to peer down into the lobby.  At the Turrell show, the railing is closed off with a white screen to create the rotunda piece.  There is no art in the spiral.  The additional Turrell pieces and other exhibitions are in the side galleries.  The ramp itself becomes a different kind of light piece.  I don't know if this was on purpose or not, but it really works.

If I lived near the Guggenheim, I would stop in often.  The Turrell piece, Aten Reign, is as refreshing as any Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade.  It's soul food for the mind.

from Wikipedia
Akhenaten (/ˌɑːkəˈnɑːtən/;also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton,and Khuenaten; meaning "living spirit of Aten") known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV (sometimes given its Greek form,Amenophis IV, and meaning Amun is Satisfied), was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. 

He is especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, which is sometimes described as monotheistic orhenotheistic. An early inscription likens the Aten to the sun as compared to stars, and later official language avoids calling the Aten a god, giving the solar deity a status above mere gods.

Jul 10, 2013

Down, down, down...

 “Down, down, down…I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The antipathies, I think -”. Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland.

It's not  often I get the opportunity to give  one of my sisters a shout out!  My sister, Mabel Odessey currently has an exhibition at the Oxford Botanic Garden in the UK. 

Alice in the Garden
July 7 until the end of August
Mabel Odessey
Oxford Botanic Garden
University of Oxford
"This exhibition takes the form of an outdoor installation of 20 pinhole photographs. The photographs will be placed throughout the Garden much like our plant labels. The images will be accompanied by passages from Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. 

The subject of these pinhole photographs are marionnettes made by the English artist Margaret Littleton Cook(1940s). They explore the characters as representations of psycological states and Alice’s dream of wonderland as a spiritual journey. To come upon images in the garden unexpectedly much like Alice was confronted by characters in the books will give her psychological journey a geographic sense. 

The installation considers the qualities of different spaces in the garden and uses the shady places for the darker more mysterious photographs, and more open spaces to echo the images of understanding and clarity. Aligning physical phenomena to metaphor and Carroll’s text, visitors are invited to freshen their own perceptions and experience the Garden with wonder, imagination and curiosity." from Oxford Botanic Garden website