everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Village oasis

On Friday, I met my lovely friend Sophie for lunch in NYC. Soph and I used to work together, joining our professional services firm on the same day around six years ago. Fortunately, we have remained friends long after our interesting challenges at that place were over. (But those days will be a chapter in my book one day: the working title for that section, “Mon Dieu! Surviving the GFC and a crazy French Canadian boss”.)

Anyways, Soph is now living and working in New York, so it was great to get the chance to catch up while I’m in town. We met at a great little restaurant, Rosemary’s, near Soph’s home in the West Village. (Not that this is a food blog, but I definitely recommend Rosemary’s for a casual meal – they even have a rooftop garden that supplies some of their delicious fresh ingredients.)

[Image from rosemarysnyc.com]

 
I arrived early, so spent time wandering around the Village and discovered an amazing oasis amidst the bustle of the busy city, where sounds of sirens, car horns and construction can be kinda overwhelming. This magical place was filled with the sounds of birds, insects and quiet chatter (plus one man talking loudly on his phone for a loooong time). Turns out it’s also the site of Miranda and Steve’s wedding in Sex and the City. And normal people can get married there too, just fyi.    

    
    
    
 Jefferson Market Garden. An amazing place, staffed by volunteers, and well worth a visit if you’re in town – a perfect spot to take a break, take a breath, and enjoy this oasis in the Village.

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Battles with Nature

Please don’t get me wrong – I really do love Nature. Flora and fauna and all that good stuff. However, lately a couple of things have happened that make me question whether Nature really loves me. To be honest, I probably started wondering about that back on the Camino last year, during the festival of insect bites.

This week has seen two main conflicts between Nature and me. The battleground is my own home. And the local fauna has been the winner.

Let’s start with birds. We have a lot of very pretty, colourful and interesting birds around here. Delightful creatures. Except when it’s, say, 3.55am on a Tuesday and a gang of kookaburras are preparing for a talent show with repeated (very loud, very long-lasting) laughing sessions.

NOT SO FUNNY, FELLAS.

Don't be fooled by their cute looks. These guys are merciless torturers of happily sleeping humans.  NB, this image is from Pixabay, so I can't be sure that these two in particular are quite as evil. But I wouldn't be surprised.

Don’t be fooled by their cute looks. These guys are merciless torturers of happily sleeping humans.
NB, this image is from Pixabay, so I can’t be sure that these two in particular are quite as evil. But I wouldn’t be surprised.

Then there’s my small veggie and herb garden (where ‘garden’ means a few small pots on my balcony). I find it pretty exciting to plant things and watch them grow, and this farmer’s crop has been thriving with all of the rain that we’ve been having in Sydney lately. Lettuce, chives, spinach and parsley are on the grow.

I can't pick any lettuce because I don't want to disturb the pretty arrangement of leaves.

I can’t actually pick any lettuce because I don’t want to disturb the pretty arrangement of leaves.

Looking good, spinach.

Looking good, spinach.

Parsley. The scene of the crime.

Parsley. The scene of the crime.

The problem is with the parsley. Apparently, possums love parsley. The naked stalks in this pot seem to suggest that they’ve been helping themselves to quite the feast. It’s hard to see in the picture, but these possums meant business. Clearly not interested in any of the other crops, the bandits snuck in during the night and chomped away.

Problem is, I like parsley too. And I was actually growing it for me, not for the local possums. So I came up with a Macgyver-style solution: a strainer thingy from the kitchen fit perfectly over the pot.

Parsley prison.

Parsley prison.

HAHAHAHAHAHA, POSSUMS. That’s what I thought as I laughed (like a kookaburra) at my cleverness. Until I looked out this morning and saw that the strainer has been moved and more parsley has been stripped away. They’ve also found the other secret parsley stash next to the lettuce.

Back to the drawing board, Macgyver.

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Green sleeves

The Ecouterre website is all devoted to the future of sustainable fashion design. And there are some very interesting things there. I tend to use the word ‘interesting’ a lot when I am not sure of the right word to use to properly articulate my thoughts. And so I present to you this interesting fashion innovation: Egle Cekanaviciute’s Plant-Filled Couture Doubles As Wearable Planters. Uh huh. There are so many puns that I could insert here, but I’ll limit it to one true thought: I wasn’t sure at first, but the idea is growing on me.

I have previously written about wearable planters as necklaces in the early days of this blog, here. So I’m not opposed to the idea. I mean, why shouldn’t we use our empty pockets and otherwise pointless jacket sleeves to grow plants?

Peckish on the bus? Break off some basil from the herb garden at your elbow, whip out the tomato slices in your shoe & the mozarella in your handbag – hello, Caprese salad on the go! Or if the person next to you in a meeting has not-so-fresh breath, you could offer them a mint leave from the patch at the back of your frock.

And every bride wants to look her best from all angles – why not have a bouquet at the front and an ivy plant climbing up your back? Not sure how you’d sit down or avoid birds and bugs getting up close and personal with you on your special day, but I just put the ideas out there – you can work out the details.

You can see more of the Lithuanian designer’s wares here. Just in time for planting bulbs if you’re in the southern hemisphere…keep an eye out for me around Sydney in a few months in my daffodil jacket and hyacinth trousers…

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Baby love

I love New York – pretty much everything about it, in it, from it, around it. But I don’t know that I really love these Porcelain Baby doll head planter / candy dishes from Brooklyn designer, Danielle. They’re kind of creepy, in fact. And I don’t know that I could be friends with someone who has a garden full of these little baby heads. Although – and yes, I know I can be shallow – if they had a house full of these stuffed with candy, I would probably be ok with that.

And as much as I love fake pets, I’m not sure that fake babies hold quite the same appeal, although Danielle tries to tempt visitors to her site: Always wanted twins or triplets, or more?… You can be an “Octo-mom” (or octo-dad) too – get multiples!

If you’d like to stock up on baby heads, check out Danielle’s etsy store, reshapestudio.

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