Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Horticulture Inquiry - Quercus acutissima

I'm a bit "country" meaning I really enjoy the outdoors and everything that comes with it.  Growing up in Ewing Township I spent most of my time outside playing in "The Hole" a location where the municipalities of Trenton and Ewing gathered soil that would be used to reinforce the banks of the Delaware River during a flood.  At least that is what I was told.

"The Hole" was bordered by a cemetery, a creek and two main arteries.  It was full of wildlife and native vegetation.  I remember eating blackberries, raspberries, crab apples and when things were good wild strawberries even though I was told they would make me sick.

"The Hole" was a meeting place and hangout location for my family, their friends and plenty of others.  In this space I learned to ride motorcycles, throw "dirt bombs" learned what bees liked sandy soil, flew kites and more.

So when the 2 trees outside of our 100+ year old row home in Trenton, New Jersey began to drop an over abundance of seeds/nuts, I perked up.

I put a few videos and some images out to my social media network to learn about these trees.  The trees are behaving as they normally do except this year they are dropping a "bumper crop" in the street, on parked cars, the sidewalk and me while cleaning them up.  Within a 24 hour period I've picked up over 80lbs. of nuts, caps, leaves and debris from the crushed droppings.

The local family of squirrels are enjoying themselves however I am also worried that someone may try to capitalize on the "Act of God" and file a slip and fall claim.  I would hate to see these trees planted by the City of Trenton removed since they provide needed shade to the street as well as shelter for the native wildlife and quite frankly I think they are beautiful!

I posted videos and images to my Facebook Friends hoping to learn a few things, mainly if this was normal and if these nuts/seeds were edible.  A few minutes later the replies poured in!  I am thankful for the ability to quickly connect with people who have similar interests and much needed knowledge.

In addition to receiving replies from people who own Tree Service Companies, work for Tree Service Companies, Master Gardeners, a few jokes and more, it has been narrowed down to Quercus acutissima.

Thank you for all of the replies, now to see if I can eat these bad boys!

Timothy J. Mellor was first to nail it.  Thanks to the Master Gardeners of Mercer County NJ as well, Mary, Debbie, Dana and Barbara.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Concert to End Gun Violence Ewing NJ

On Sunday September 25, 2016 throughout the United States simultaneous concerts took place around the subject of gun violence.

"Remember Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016
Artists and activists
will band together for the 
#ConcertAcrossAmerica to 
with a series of live concerts
brought together by social media."

In Ewing Township a suburb of Trenton NJ, Event Coordinator Eric Miller partnered with Trinity United Methodist Church to host the 12-8pm event.

Eric Miller has appeared on the Trenton 365 Show in the past to promote his series of events "Candlelight Concerts for Epilepsy Awareness" of which he started after the sudden passing of his Wife Carolina in 2011.  Those shows began in the living room of his house and moved to the sanctuary of Trinity.  Eric mentioned that he and Senior Pastor Brian Joyce are BFF's and talk regularly.

Have a listen to my chat with Pastor Joyce sharing about Trinity.

Earlier in the week Eric and Regina Thompson-Jenkins of The Tre' Devon Lane Foundation were live in the WIMG1300am Studio to promote the event.  You can hear the interview in it's entirety via this link.

In addition to live music on two stages attendees were able to view an Art Exhibit coordinated by Artworks Trenton.  Artist Addison Vincent who manages installations for Artworks shared a bit about  the visual arts organization.

Carole Stiller of Million Moms March NJ shared information about this national organization and will be a guest on the Trenton 365 Show in the near future, have a listen to our chat.

Dwight Panozzo of Gays Against Guns shared a spoken word piece and chatted with me afterwards about the organization.

There was plenty of live music from a diverse and eclectic group of performers including traditional Indian music, a KISS tribute band Rock N Rollover, Singer Songwriters and more. 

I was particularly moved by a John Richie film I viewed based upon Gun Violence in New Orleans LA, coordinated by Pop Up Anthology.  Katherine Elizabeth Clark one of the Partners was recently a guest on the Trenton 365 Show promoting a viewing of local films that took place in partnership with the Trenton Film Society at the Mill Hill Playhouse.

Here is the link to the interview with Katherine and Filmmaker Adrian Colon.

Refreshments were available for purchase from a number of food-trucks including Tim McRae's WTF-Wheres The Food Truk and others.

You can learn more about the WTF? Food Truk via this link.

Regardless of your stance on guns, the illegal use and the effects on society when a life is taken by one is devastating.

I encourage you to consider how we can communicate our concerns, our "for" and "against" in a safe and open space so that we can build a better community for everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rahway NJ

I appreciate the opportunity social media gives me to stay connected with my past.  I recently reconnected with a college classmate and took her up on a visit to Rahway NJ for a tour.

While attending AIPH-The Art Institute of Philadelphia, Angela "Angie" Pryor and I studied Fashion and lived in the International House located at 37th & Chestnut.  The "I-House" like it's name suggests put us in daily contact with people from all over the world.

My visit took place on a warm Wednesday in September and reminded me of my childhood when the weather is cool in the morning, very warm throughout the day and cool again at night.  It's amazes me how the timing of back to school and the change of season happens simultaneously.

The drive north on Rte. 1 to Rahway started with a visit to the studio of Artist Karey Maurice.  "KAMO" cut his teeth in NYC in the 80's and 90's and developed a following as a "Pop Artist" and can be found in Princeton NJ these days.

Arriving in Rahway I was met with a very specific marketing plan to showcase the art scene.  Pole signage, murals and more make it clear "Art" is a marketplace in Rahway.  Like many post industrial cities, Rahway is a hub with access for mass transit through a rail station, bus terminal, easy access to US Route #1 and the Garden State Parkway.  While chatting with Angela one of the many things I learned was that NJ Transit offers daily bus service from Rahway into NYC that takes ~30mins and train service to the New Jersey Shore.

My walking tour began with a stop at the newly renovated Rahway YMCA that was having a "Health Fair" for the seasoned population.

Angie and I headed over to Bianca's Deli for lunch.  I asked a patron what he was having and he suggested I have the Tortas and I am glad I did.  Thinly sliced beef steak with lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and a dressing similar to mayo with a vinegar taste on a toasted roll that was amazing! Crunchy crust with a light chewy center, the paper wrapper helped to hold everything together and kept the juices from running down my hand.  I'll be back for this!

After lunch we walked several easy blocks throughout the downtown area.  Fellow Community Organizer and Entrepreneur Angela Pryor showed me Rahway from a locals perspective and introduced me to several people including Business Owners, Executive Directors and others who are working to make Rahway be all it can be.

During the tour I observed the diversity in Rahways' downtown area with several businesses owned and operated by African Americans, Latino Hispanics, Asians as well as Irish and Italian immigrants.

In addition to a Transit Station, Municipal Building and Recreation site in the downtown area, Rahway also has multiple thriving Performance Art spaces as well.  One of which is open 7 days a week during "business hours" with offerings through a Cafe!

The City of Rahway has an estimated population of ~30,000 and covers just over 4 sq. miles but it offers so much.  While walking around I gained the feeling of a small city where everyone knows each other and Art in various forms is celebrated.

I am sure efforts like this have many moving parts however, Angela and others who I spoke with were excited about the efforts of Mayor Samson D. Steinman.  Mayor Steinman and I did not connect on this visit but I plan to sit down with him and some Key Leaders of his team to learn of his vision and how I can help.

Thank you Angie for the invite and introduction to Rahway NJ, I look forward to returning and sharing about my experiences!

In the interim I suggest you reach out to Angela "Angie" Pryor and ask for a personal tour of Rahway, she can be found via the following information and consider catching her at the following events.

Usable Art by ABPryor

Harvest Festival
Trailside Nature & Science Center
452 New Providence Rd.
Mountainside, NJ 07092

BarronFest 2016
Parker Press Park
400 Rahway Ave
Woodbridge NJ 07095

Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market
675 South Clinton Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08611