Peony Play

Just playing around in Photoshop. The lines are created by converting the flower to outlines then I took that black and white “sketch” into a kalasioscope app and twirled it fo the background. A few effects later and this is the result.

1. Peony (Paeoniaceae), NYC 5/26/2016
Peony (Paeoniaceae), NYC 5/26/2016
2. Peony (Paeoniaceae), NYC 5/26/2016

Boats – June’s One Photo Focus

In David Croker’s lovely origianl didnt need much. I changed the time of day and mood first by casting a golden glow and then adding a sky with a soft lightning bolt which I refected in the  water.

Created for Stacy Fisher’s June 3 One Photo Focus

Boats donated for June 1PF – original by David Croker
June 1PF edited by Sherry Felix
Boats For June 1PF edited by Sherry Felix
PS Layers used


17 Barrow Street

I had a romantic dinner at One if by Land, Two if by Sea restaurant not too long ago with my husband.

These doors are for Norm’s Thursday Doors, May 26.

One if by Land, Two if by Sea, 17 Barrow Street
One if by Land, Two if by Sea, 17 Barrow Street

History (click History to see more):

The carriage house with accompanying barn, now known as One if by Land, Two if by Sea, has history tied to one of the most controversial figures in early American history, Aaron Burr, who was Attorney General of the State of New York. During the 1790’s he housed his coach and horses in the carriage house at 17 Barrow Street, New York City.

Aaron Burr, a member of local and federal government, was competing with Alexander Hamilton for the Presidency after Thomas Jefferson’s term. Some comments made by Hamilton at a dinner party and were published in an Albany newspaper, which quoted Hamilton as saying that Burr was “a dangerous man … who ought not to be trusted with the reins of government.” Aaron Burr was infuriated, demanded a retraction or apology from Hamilton, if not then satisfaction on the field of honor.

On July 11, 1804 Burr met Hamilton in a duel on a ledge of the Palisades over the Hudson river in Weehawken, New Jersey ending in the death of General Alexander Hamilton, a Revolutionary War hero and the first American Secretary of the Treasury. The killing of Hamilton, the most popular personality in America at the that time led to the political downfall of Aaron Burr, then Vice President of the United States. He also lost most of his New York property, including the carriage house 17 Barrow Street.

There is a tunnel to the building cut in a straight line from Hudson Street, formerly the shore of the river. It is a barrel-vaulted passageway similar to 18th century military construction. It is stone-lined, brick-roofed with the same brick and stone as the carriage house and barn. It is not known if the tunnel was for smuggling or for use during the Revolutionary War. The tunnel was almost certainly used later by the “underground railway” for fugitive slaves to get to the carriage house as one stop on the road to Canada and freedom.

17 Barrow Street was in a mews with carriage houses on both sides of the street, vegetable carts and stalls between the carriage house doors, and hogs freely patrolling the garbage. A Fire House was eventually built next door and the carriage house was used as a stable and engine house. The rooms above housed firemen. At this time vegetable carts were banned from the street by city ordinance, so as not to block the fire engines. The hogs were banned shortly after that for health reasons during the cholera pandemics. In the late 1890’s the city sold the carriage house at 17 Barrow Street. The owner turned it into a somewhat more discreet house of ill-repute than those in the “Tenderloin District” above Madison Square.

In 1910 to 1969 17 Barrow Street became a silent movie house., then a bar, a restaurant, a bar again, and again a restaurant. In 1970 it was purchased by its current owners who restored the carriage house, finding numerous bits and pieces of earlier life in New York including old coins, hand-made horseshoes and antique bottles dating to the early 1800’s. An original hitching post was uncovered, which is still visible in the present bar area.

E Village Gardens 5

This is the fifth and last in a series on a selection of some of the many community gardens in the East Village in Manhattan, New York. Some of the gardens I photographed are gone or may be soon. Some of the gardens are not so pretty and are only used as places to socialize. The majority of the gardens that I photographed in this series still exist and are lovely tranquil gardens (captions are dated beginning by year month and day).

Lower East Side neighborhoods once had close to 60 registered community gardens but many were bulldozed as the area gentrified, supporters said. Although about 46 gardens remain, the area has the highest concentration of community gardens in the city.

Most of the gardens however, sit on city-owned land, leaving them vulnerable to development, the gardeners said. City-owned community gardens are still documented in city records as vacant lots and are subject to revocation at any time.

If the gardens are designated as parkland the law would require the state legislature to weigh in before the gardens could be removed. According to the Parks Department — which runs the city’s GreenThumb community gardening program — “the interim nature of the garden” is made clear when a group wins approval to start a community garden, a spokesman said. Once a garden is approved by the city gardeners must write a letter to the community board indicating that it understands that the garden is not permanent and that will not hinder development plans.

Hope Garden 193 East 2nd Street between Avenues A & B in Noho. Owned by DPR listed inain GreenThumb. The 1,987 square foot garden was founded in 1993. Open Hours Sunday: 10a-5p and Tuesday: 6p-9p.

20110604 Hope Gdn 2 St A-B 139
20110604 Hope Gdn 2 St A-B 139

Peach Tree 236-238 East 2nd Street, between Avenues B & C. Peachtree Community Garden was founded originally in 1982 as The East 2nd Street Block Association Garden, an official Greenthumb garden by Scott Bart on, Benito Claudio and Jill London. Together, they planted the original peach tree which now lends its name to the garden. Since then, it has been used for gardening and to hold regular community meetings. The original members of Peachtree Community Garden were instrumental in forcing the drug dens off our block.

Le Petit Versailles 346 East Houston between Avenues B & C. Le Petit Versailles is a unique marriage of a verdant oasis and an electrifying arts organization, offering a range of quirky performances and screenings to the public.

East Houston areas of interest.

Clinton Garden and Committee of Poor People of the Lower East Side 171 Stanton St, New York, NY 10002. A small Green Thumb garden created in 1993. With places to sit and read or listen to music. Often there are barbeques on weekends and special occasions.

Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Garden 174 Suffolk. Established in 1980 and originally named Iglesia Pentacostal Arca de Salvacion. This 2385 Square foot garden was cleaned up in 2002 by volunteers from “Ground Force” – a BBC America television production – and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) staff.

The garden is cared for by community residents, many of whom grow tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables there, including peppers and eggplant. Featuring a casita – a garden structure common to Puerto Rican gardens that includes a small porch for community activities and storage space – this shared green space provides a picturesque setting for barbecues and many other gatherings. In addition, the neighborhood hosts street fairs, with the garden providing a focal point for these celebrations.

The Dorothy Strelsin Memorial Community Garden received a generous grant from the Dorothy Strelsin Foundation to add a performance area – which includes seating and a bluestone patio – and storage space, both located at the back of the property. Commissioned by NYRP, photographer and furniture designer Eric Slayton, in collaboration with Susannah Drake of dlandstudio and Annette Wilkus of SiteWorks, LLC, worked with community members and NYRP staff to create a versatile design to accommodate both performance and community needs.

Children’s Magical Garden (CMG) on the corner of Norfolk & Stanton Streets has been used continuously for over 30 years providing food, education and soul-nourishment to the neighborhood’s children and people of all ages. In May 2013 a developer tore the garden in two by putting up a fence in the middle.

EV gdns 5

Green Spaces
East Village Parks Conservancy
NYC East Village Community Gardens on Opengreenmap
NYC Parks Green Thumb
American Community Garden Association

E Village Gardens 4

This is the fourth in a series on a selection of some of the many community gardens in the East Village in Manhattan, New York.

Winner’s Circle is now gone.

Generation X Cultural Garden at 270 East 4th Street. South side of East 4th Street between Avenues B & C was created in 1971. This Lower East Side space includes Geoblock paving and has a viewing area for multi-media performances. It has a masonry retaining wall created for planting areas where blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries grow in season. Nectarine, pear, peach and apple trees form a mini urban orchard. All garden furniture and planters are made from recycled materials. Events featuring Greenmarket farmers, Youth market displays, TAiNO arts and crafts, and healthy eating and tasting sessions with international foods saw more than 2,000 local school children from the neighborhood participate. Volunteers do weeding, watering, planting and mulching. This open plot is used for community gatherings. It also has an arbor built with unique hand-carved posts.

20110604 Generation X Gdn 122
20110604 Generation X Gdn 122

Secret Garden 293-297 East 4th Street at Avenue C. Founded 1983. The garden produces food and has flowers, shade trees and seating. Garden Size: 2,209 square feet. Created with the help of a Community Development Block Grant. Open Hours Sunday: 12p-5p Saturday: 12p-5p.

El Jarden Del Paraiso (El-Jardin-del-Paraiso-NYC on Facebook) El Jardin del Paraiso is a community garden located on 5th Street between Avenues C & D in New York City. A goal of El Jardin del Paraiso is to be a model eco park teaching sustainability and Earth stewardship. We will include permaculture principles, diverse habitats, stormwater resource usage and water purification, soil restoration, renewable energy, preservation of endangered plants, seed saving, cold climate growing techniques, and composting.

This garden received a planning grant from GreenAcre for a complete rehabilitation. A landscape architect was hired to redesign the plot and the park has since received an additional GreenAcre grant to implement the plan. Numerous awards and achievements have been bestowed upon El Jardin del Paraiso, including The National Wildlife Award, Molly Parnis Dress Up Your Neighborhood Award and a Youth Garden Grant from the National Gardening Association for the Children’s Garden. Cultural events have included a sculpture exhibition, mask making, children’s films, jazz concerts, puppet making and performances, bicycle workshops, Halloween, Festival of Lights, the Holy Cross Festival, Fathers’ and Mothers’ Day celebrations, and a cook off.

Parque De Tranquilidad at 314-318 East 4th Street between Avenues C & D and founded in 2/1/1979. Open Hours are T-F 11 am – 1:30 pm Sunday 10 am – 6 pm Tuesday. Meditation 6:30 pm – 8 pm. Parque de Tranquilidad has a strong connection to this history – one third of it sits upon the former site of the Synagogue Chevra Bikur Cholim B’nai Israel Anshei Baranov (built in 1887), which collapsed during demolition of nearby fire-damaged buildings during the economic plight of the 1970’s.

This lovely garden shaded by mature trees, winding stone-dust paths and numerous seating opportunities. In 2004, GrowNYC worked with gardeners modify pathways for wheelchairs. The garden got a new tool shed, wood fencing, birdhouse, and flagstone entry. The garden also received extensive plantings donated by Chelsea Garden Center. The garden displays lace-cap hydrangeas, antique roses, Rose of Sharon, daylilies, etc. Transferred to the Manhattan Land Trust by TPL, which provided the garden with a permanent water supply.

Orchard Alley Stretches the full width of the block bet. E. 3rd & 4th Streets between Avenues C & D. This park occupies the width of the block on a large open lot with the entrance on 4th Street. It has undergone a lot of recent rehabilitation. As one of the last gardens created in an extremely large lot, there was not a lot of initial optimism that it would survive the onslaught of the city’s bulldozers. Fortunately, it has survived as one of the premier horticultural gardens in the neighborhood. It has fruit trees, flowers such as alliums and tiger lilies, herbs, and winding paths. Its lot reaches East 3rd Street, but the entrance is only through East 4th.

All People’s Garden 295 East 3rd Street on the north side between Avenues C & D. This garden is a Manhattan Land Trust property, and is maintained by neighborhood volunteer members. All People’s Garden, as so many others in the city was carved out of two vacant NYC owned garbage strewn, drug infested lots. This beautiful urban garden is botanical in nature, and connects the community both environmentally and culturally.

By 1980 these vacant sites became a thriving green space. In 1999 under a court order secure by Eliot Spitzer the then NYS Attorney General, the garden was saved through and agreement between the City of New York and the Trust for Public Land. Through a grant from the Frankel Foundation and partnership with the Coalition on the Environment (GROWnyc) the garden was completely redeveloped in 2003. In 2004 All People’s Garden, Inc. working with TPL formed a coalition with thirteen (13) other community gardens located in Manhattan to form The Manhattan Land Trust. All People’s Garden is a private space, staff by volunteers and held in trust for the benefit of the entire community in perpetuity.

Brisas Del Caribe North side of E. 3rd Street between Avenues B & C. This garden is decorated with eclectic collectables and has white picket fences along its walks and flower beds.

20110604 Brisas Del Caribe 3 St B-C 120
20110604 Brisas Del Caribe 3 St B-C 120

Jardin Los Amigos Garden North side of E. 3rd Street between Avenues B & C. This garden is known for its changing seasonal and holiday installations.

20110604 Los Amigos 3 St B-C 123
20110604 Los Amigos 3 St B-C 123

Kenkeleba House Garden Stretches the full width of the block between East 2nd & 3rd Streets between Avenues B & C. This park has a large outdoor sculpture yard on its north side which you can get to from East 3rd Street. Kenkeleba House Garden is the outdoor sculpture area of Kenkeleba House, an art gallery in the East Village. Entry to both the museum and the sculpture garden is free—the garden is accessible to the public whenever the gate is open (the official hours are Thursday and Friday, 10:30am–6:30pm; Saturday, 10am–4pm). The sculptures include pieces from local artists and, on occasion, visitors can catch live music in the garden.

Kenkeleba Garden, named for an African healing plant. Densely forested greenery around to the back leads to a sculpture garden, which is only visible from 3rd Street. Large African sculptures and collections of scraps or bricolage, a specialty of the Lower East Side art scene, occupy the garden. Joe Overstreet and his wife, Corinne Jennings oversee Kenkeleba House gallery.

Miracle Garden at 194-196 East 3rd Street between Avenues A & B was begun in 1983. It is a beautiful garden with a variety of plantings. The rear area of the garden is obscured from the street and is a calm, cool respite on a hot summer day. For access to the garden inquire next door at Mama’s Restaurant. A winding path leads visitors past with a variety of plantings, a picnic table, benches, and ornamentals, and opens into a meeting area obscured from the street, making it a calm, cool respite on a hot summer day. The rear part of the garden also includes a gazebo/stage area, a tool shed, rainwater harvesting system, and plenty of seating.


EV Gdns 4Information:
Green Spaces
East Village Parks Conservancy
NYC East Village Community Gardens on Opengreenmap
NYC Parks Green Thumb
American Community Garden Association


E Village Gardens 3

This is the third in a series on a selection of some of the many community gardens in the East Village in Manhattan, New York.

The Creative Little Garden at 530 E 6th Street between Avenue A and B is an example of how New Yorkers can make the most out of any space. Opened in 1982 on the site of a former tenement building that burned down, this 24-by-100-foot garden, with 40 to 80 members at any one time, features a winding birch-chip path, eight sculptures, a waterfall, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and a collection of birdhouses. The path winds past azaleas, tulips, hydrangeas, ferns, rose bushes and bleeding hearts, ending at a slate patio under a willow tree. The Creative Little Garden is open every day.

6 & B Garden is a 17,813 square foot. lush, green oasis offering beauty, peace, education and entertainment to local residents and visitors of all ages. The Garden contains fruiting trees, flowering shrubs and innumerable herbs, flowers and vegetables. Members cultivate raised beds of soil (plots) and stage programs of crafts, horticultural/science workshops, culinary events, films, multicultural festivals, and musical and theatrical performances from around the world. The Garden serves as an anchor and working model of preservation for the City’s network of community gardens which have transformed the environment of the East Village / Lower East Side.

The Garden is operated by 6th Street and Avenue B Garden, Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for- profit corporation and operates under the name “6th & B Garden”. 6th & B Garden is licensed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation as a GreenThumb Garden. GreenThumb provides programming and material support to over 600 community gardens in all five boroughs of New York City. Click to read the history of the garden.

Liz Christie Bowery-Houston Garden was the First Community Garden in New York City founded in 1973; it is located on the northeast corner of Bowery and Houston Streets in Manhattan. The garden has a 2.5-foot-deep pond and the fish and red-eared slider turtles live there year round. The garden also has wildflowers, wooden furniture, a grape arbor, a grove of weeping birch trees, fruit trees, a dawn redwood, vegetable gardens, berries, herbs and hundreds of varieties of flowering perennials. Sections are designed and tended by the garden members; general maintenance is shared. This natural place can be enjoyed in every season during the weekly open hours.

During the 17th Century at the corner of Bouwerie and North Street was the southern tip of a large farm owned by Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Governor of New Amsterdam.

In 1973 a local resident named Liz Christy and a group of gardening activists known as the Green Guerillas were planting window boxes, vacant lots with ‘seed bombs’ and tree pits in the neighborhood. In December went to the City to find a way to gain official use of the land. Volunteers hauled the garbage and rubble out, spread donated topsoil, installed a fence and began planting.

On April 23, 1974, the City’s office of Housing Preservation and Development approved the site for rental as the “Bowery Houston Community Farm and Garden” for $1 a month. Sixty raised beds were planted with vegetables, and then trees and herbaceous borders were added. In their second year this forerunner of today’s urban community gardens won its first Mollie Parnis Dress Up Your Neighborhood Award. The Green Guerillas ran workshops and planted experimental plots to learn how a wide range of plants could be grown in hostile conditions.

In 1986 the Garden was dedicated Liz Christy’s Bowery-Houston Garden, in memory of its founder. In 1990, after years of uncertainty and a ground swell of support, the local development group, the Cooper Square Committee, pledged to preserve the garden in its entirety in its renovation plans for our neighborhood. The 2002 agreement between the City of New York and the NYS Attorney General calls for the preservation of the Liz Christy Garden.

Albert’s Garden on the north side of 2nd Street between Bowery and 2nd Ave. A quiet shade garden with a goldfish pond framed against the south stone wall of The New York Marble Cemetery. Albert’s Garden is a Manhattan Land Trust property, and is maintained by neighborhood volunteer members.

E Village Gdns 3

Green Spaces
East Village Parks Conservancy
NYC East Village Community Gardens on Opengreenmap
NYC Parks Green Thumb
American Community Garden Association