Friday, November 16, 2012

Margaux Charlier's AIA award, pardon me while I brag...

Margaux Meursault Charlier, 14, was awarded the American Institute of Architects WNY Chapter's Friends of Architecture award at a ceremony held Thursday, November 15 at the 20th Century Club in downtown Buffalo.

Past recipients of this award include former State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, philanthropist and Roycroft preservationist Kitty Turgeon, preservationist and architectural tour leader Tim Tielman, and watercolorist Dr. V. Roger Lalli. This year, in addition to Margaux, the award was also given to Chuck LaChiusa of the website, Buffalo as an Architectural Museum.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A walk in the (sculpture) park

This past weekend we went for a hike and picnic at the Griffis Sculpture Park, about 40 minutes south of Buffalo in Ashford Hollow, NY. It's been a few years since we've been down there for a walk around. And I don't think I've ever been there this late in the season, but, thanks to global warming, it was a beautiful 70° day in Western New York state.

Started in the 1960s by sculptor Larry Griffis Sr., Griffis Sculpture park is 450 acres of ponds, paths with around 250 large-scale artworks scattered throughout -- some in fields, some in forests and even some in ponds.

There are groomed paths, mowed paths, stone paths, and, on the fall day we were there, muddy paths. It's also a concert venue. A hillside provides seating for a good-sized stage where concerts are held in season.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Taking garden tourism seriously

Photo by Thomas Herrera-Mishler
The National garden Festival is
going into its fourth year.
Last Monday, around 80 area garden tourism stakeholders met in the WNED-TV studios in downtown Buffalo to discuss the future, viability, and sustainability of garden tourism in Buffalo Niagara. Organized by Visit Buffalo Niagara on behalf of the National Garden Festival, the purpose, ostensibly, was to find ways to make the event financially sustainable and have the people within the community help lead our burgeoning garden tourism trade into the future.

We've brought in speakers like Amy Stewart,
Stephanie Cohan and Kerry Ann Mendez.
This was an unprecedented crowd of people from the diverse fields of marketing, tourism, landscape design,  not-for-profits, law, garden tours, master gardeners, media, publishing, education, garden centers, gardeners and more.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Didn't bag a single leaf this year!

A few years back, I was intrigued by Linda and Mark's post on their "Fall Harvest" over on Each Little World. Their fall harvest each year was mulch and included raking up all their leaves into a pile and chopping them with the mower to make mulch and compost. I did it two years ago and filled my composter plus other bags and had spectacular compost by late spring.

So I did it again this year. We raked all the leaves into a long strip in the driveway and started mowing (chopping). Some of the leaves had been in piles and were wet and took a bit of work to chop and keep the mower from clogging. This was the only weekend we've had to get this done, sometimes you just can't choose your weather or timing. Ideally, dryer leaves would have been better.

This year we filled the composter, and another large garbage can - which will go in the composter once what is in there settles. And then there was a lot left over that just went back into the garden beds as a nice winter mulch.

Happy plants, healthy garden, no bagging, no bending to pick up leaves. Cheap and easy. That's me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

On the stump

Four years. We'd just elected a new president by December 3, 2008 when the photo above was taken. And city workers had stopped by that day to cut down a rotting-from-the-inside horsechestnut tree in the hellstrip (area between road & sidewalk). Then, four years later, they came and took out the stump. That's right. It took four years to take out a tree stump. Next week we'll have a new (or old) president, and I finally have a tree again.

December of 2004
I either called in, or emailed in, five complaints to the mayor's complaint line to request the stump be taken out, citing it as a tripping hazard. I even got pretty snotty in year three. The responses I'd gotten each time was that the situation was resolved -- as far as the mayor's office was concerned -- because they'd done their duty of passing it on to the Forestry Office.

In year four, about five months ago, I called the mayor's office directly. They said it was resolved because it was in the hands of the Forestry Office. Again.


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