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Kiku at the New York Botanical Garden

A few photos from the annual Kiku exhibition at New York Botanical Garden earlier this year. This is the third or fourth year I have visited the exhibition and it was far and away the best one yet. The patience and skill required to grow these plants using traditional Japanese techniques is rather awe-inspiring.

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What’s on in September

September in New York means three things: Back to school, Fashion Week and the United Nations General Assembly in session.

United Nations

The 69th Session of the UN General Assembly will convene at UN Headquarters in NYC September 16 – October 1, 2014.

Guided tours of the UN Headquarters are held daily Monday through Friday from 9:15 am to 4:15 pm and include Security Council Chamber, the Trusteeship Council Chamber, and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Chamber (note tours are likely to be closed from 18 September until 6 October due to the UN General Debate). The UN tours department also launched a weekly Children’s Tour for elementary school children in February 2013.  The tour is tailored for children aged 5 to 12 years and is held at 4.15 pm every Thursday.

While you are visiting the UN,  head over to the Delegates Dining Room where you can dine like a diplomat. The Delegates Dining room offers a prix fixe buffet luncheon for $34.99 which is available to the public. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance. Please call 1-917-367-3314 or 1-212-963-7626. Continue reading

Farmers Markets in New York City

AWNY | Australian Women in New York

by Nicole Smith

Summer is the season for fresh produce and you can find a cornucopia of produce, flowers, fish, meat, cheese and wine amongst the city’s Greenmarkets.

The New York City Greenmarket organisation began in 1976 with 12 farmers in a parking lot on 59th Street and 2nd Ave and has now grown to become the largest and most diverse outdoor urban farmers market network in the country, currently with 54 markets  and over 230 family farms and fisherman participating.

Listed below is a selection of Farmers Markets around the city, but for more information or to find a market near you, search the Greenmarket database.

Union Square Farmer’s Market
Where: Union Square West from 15th to 17th Streets, E17th Street from Broadway to Park Avenue South
When: Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays & Saturdays, 8am – 6pm

Known as the most famous Greenmarket in NYC, Union Square offers two acres of greenmarket with…

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Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm Tour

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On a chilly spring day at the end of May, I was very fortunate to join Indira Naidoo and five others on a tour of Brooklyn Grange as part of her “Rooftop Farm and Food Tour of New York.”

Brooklyn Grange is a 65,000 sq foot rooftop farm located in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. We were privileged to be led by one of the founding partners, Anastasia Plakias, who peppered us with an incredible amount of information while taking us around the rooftop farm. One of the many facts that stuck with me was about the rainwater management aspect of the rooftop farm.

Brooklyn Grange was largely funded by a grant from the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) Green Infrastructure Stormwater Management Initiative. Apparently, only after around 20 min of steady rain, New York’s antiquated sewerage system overflows and untreated wastewater and sewerage is released into New York’s waterways (this is why you should always check the status of NYC’s beaches before heading out). Rooftop gardens and farms help to ease the burden of storm water management and reduce the amount of pollution in New York’s water ways.

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David Loftus Food Photography Masterclasses

I really loved David Loftus’s recent Food Photography Masterclass series on Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube. So much useful information and handy tips on improving your photography, creating your own reflectors and food styling. As well as information on lighting, depth of field and other ‘basics’ for DSLR photography.

I made this handy playlist of them all so I would have them all in one handy place.

If you want to improve your photography, I highly recommend this series.