Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Passaic River

In the summer of 1991 I worked for a week with a Habitat for Humanity affliate in Paterson, New Jersey. I was struck by the ethnic diversity of this post-industrial city and by the awesome natural setting of the falls that gave birth America's first planned industrial development.

Unfortunately the Passaic River flows out of the most rugged mountains in the state, and in the case of Hurricane Irene can cause tremendous destruction to lives and property. Check out jag 9889 for more of the shocking evidence.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

reflections over an early morning cup of jo

Via Flickr:
Location: Bagels "N" a Hole Lot More
650 Patchogue Road, Port Jefferson Station, New York

This was our family's first major tropical storm. Carla, my wife, has been on service at the Stony Brook Medical Center all week. She came in early to help out with storm preparation.

And now that the storm has moved through we are dealing with some of the impacts of shifted activity patterns. Carla expects to see influx of patients to the hospital over the next week or so - folks who stayed away during the hurricane are now coming into Emergency with a wide variety of complaints and challenges.

Our neighborhood was largely spared - we live in Port Jefferson Station where the power went out early (5:00 am) but the few trees and limbs that went down were quickly removed. At this point it is anyone's guess how long it is going to take for LIPA to get a handle on things.

I went out to Bagels "N" A Hole Lot More in Port Jefferson Station for breakfast (excellent as always) and was treated to some pathetic stories of crossed lines of authority snarling response to downed wires in Stony Brook. Finally, this DOT employee had to turn to an emergency response team that had come up from Louisiana to take care of things. We of course could use more assistance of this sort, but communities upstate and in New England are facing much more dire circumstances.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Visitor from the Tropics

Last year Carla and I visited Jamaica's Southeast Coast over the U.S. Labor Day Weekend. We were lucky to make it down to celebrate out 10th anniversary in a country we have grown to love, since Air Jamaica canceled the flight we were originally booked on. Earl turned out to be a disappointment last year. Long Island Power Authority laid out millions of dollars stationing advance teams for cleanup, but the storm dissipated before reaching New York.

This year we have another visitor from the tropics. Carla and I will be on the ground - Carla working at Stony Brook University Medical Center and Mike acting as an amateur videographer. Follow the latest news on our flickr stream.
image note:
Category 1 Hurricane Irene off the East Coast as of Saturday, August 27, 2011 at around 3:15 p.m.

Image via Google Earth Weather Satellite.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Litter Free Philadelphia Campaign

imagine these sidewals as the art of our hands
envision these blocks as our sacred land.
one man's trash scars another person's treasure
but one thoughtful action makes a community better
this is our Earth with its beautiful body
this is our city with its beautiful face

Via Flickr:
Thoughtful campaign to present a cleaner, litter free environment for visitors to Philadelphia. These shots were taken at the SEPTA trolley station near City Hall.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reconnecting to place

Working at Stony Brook University's Health Sciences Center is both a joy and a challenge. My office is a windowless bunker in the bowels of the complex, but only a few steps away one finds this wonderful expanse of roof terrace gardens. Unfortulately, few of hospital employees take responsibility for these exterior spaces. Their experience is more abstract - what we need to promote is an ethos of appreciation as well as a variety of practices of care. One small example that could be built upon is the small garden I discovered (visible from this same location if you were to rotate 180 degrees). I would love to know who started this garden and to what purpose its produce is directed.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Advertisement for Bluepoints Company, Inc.

Though originally named for Blue Point, Long Island, where this oyster is said to have been first found, "bluepoint oyster" is now used as a general term referring to any of many small Atlantic oysters from 2 to 4 inches long. They are considered the best for eating on the half shell.

Read more: