Kingston’s Looking for a “Big Jump”

If you’ve been following along as our work on the Kingston Greenline has progressed, you might have heard us talk about the Green Lane Project. Starting in 2012, the Green Lane Project was PeopleForBikes‘ campaign to build the sort of bike lanes that everyone would want to use – protected bike lanes.

An example of a two-way protected bike lane, with plastic flex-posts, in Columbus, OH.

An example of a two-way protected bike lane, with plastic flex-posts, in Columbus, OH.

Here in Kingston, we took the successes of the Green Lane Project to heart. Research has shown that protected bike lanes are the best way to increase ridership, particularly among groups that are less likely to ride without them: women, senior citizens, and families.

So, as part of the project to redesign Broadway, we joined with others to push for a protected bike lane along Kingston’s main transportation artery.

That design is still working its way through the necessary approvals, but just last week the City of Kingston took another major step in the march toward a fully-connected bike system with its application to PeopleForBikes’ next initiative, the Big Jump Project.

The Big Jump Project is a three-year effort to help 10 places achieve a big jump in biking – a doubling or tripling of people riding – by building a network of safe and comfortable places to ride and engaging the community. The goal is also to validate a core concept: that if a city does all the right things, more people will ride and the community will be a better place to live, work and play.

Turns out that Kingston was one of 80 cities across the nation (1:8 odds are pretty good!), and one of only 13 cities with populations under 50,000 to apply. The 10 winners will be publicly announced in January — but that won’t be the end of the line for the other 70 or for the rest of the United States. Instead, PeopleForBikes sees this as the beginning of a nationwide focus on finally connecting the all-ages biking networks that can make our communities significantly better for millions of people.

So cross your fingers for Kingston, and let’s keep working to make our great city an equally great place to bike…for everyone!

FALL FEAST’ivities: S. Pine Street City Farm Stand

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collards

There’s a lot of autumn entertaining and feasting to get on with this season, and the South Pine Street City Farm Stand is ready to supply you with fresh, naturally grown herbs and vegetables (using organic soil and seeds with no pesticides) to make all your fall dishes divine. Located at 27 S. Pine St in Kingston (map it), the stand’s hours are 3PM – 6PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays… Now through November 23rd!

Farmers Trish Hawkins and Joel Zenie would like to share with you this letter they recently penned to some local flora and fauna:

Dear Dr. Kale, the Collards, and Miss Mustard Greens,

Thank you, loyal friends. You’ve been with us from the start and now, it being Fall, you’ve caught some beneficial chill and will provide your good green leaves to human customers until our season’s end.

Dear Human Friends, come one come all to get your healthy Autumn greens (and root crops) at the Farm. We’ll be open Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 3 to 6 pm until November 23.

Hearty thanks to all,
Trish and Joel

P.S. Don’t come if there’s a blizzard! In any case, we’ll reunite in Spring.

Trish and a carrot

Trish and a carrot

peppered in deliciousness

peppered in deliciousness

garden chard

horseradish root

horseradish root

turnip

carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stand’s fall harvest consists of: kale, collards, mustard greens, arugula, dill, cilantro, parsley, horseradish root, lettuce, turnips and carrots.

O+ Festival: all abO+ut it

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Fall in the Catskills means cooler temperatures, changing leaves and the return of the O+ Festival of art, music and wellness in Kingston. Now in its seventh year, O+ has become a must-do on the cultural calendars of both loyal fans and those who are just starting to discover all that Kingston has to offer.

The three-day O+ Festival weekend (Oct. 7-9) features more than 60 bands, 30 artists (murals, performance, installation, interactive and exhibition), Literary SALO+N and CO+LLAGE Café, unlimited classes in yoga, sound healing, dance and meditation, Wellness EXPO+ and CO+NFERENCE, and cycling events for all interests and skill levels — including a bicycle tour of the proposed Kingston Greenline and the O+ murals.

A wristband is your all-access ticket to as much art, music and wellness you can handle.

Projectej.com Photography

Projectej.com Photography

Take the time to pore over our digital schedule — you’ll get a beautiful printed version when you pick up you wristband at the MO+THERSHIP (patio at Wall and North Front streets) — and make a plan that suits your interests. But be sure to pace yourself. There’s A LOT to see, hear and experience.

For your inspiration, here’s a peek at my itinerary for festival day No.1 (Friday, Oct. 7):

5:30PM Parade: I’ll kick things off Friday with the New Orleans-style parade, which winds its way through uptown and midtown, passing by O+ murals from years past and 2016 murals in-the-making. I can’t wait to see how Lady Pink, the “first lady of graffiti,” responds to this year’s Mothers of Invention theme at Express Latinos on Broadway.

7PM Kirtan at The Kirkland: Then you can catch me stepping out of my comfort zone and into a kirtan (chanting) concert led by Lee Mirabai Harrington. “Through the recitation of ancient divine names, sacred mantras and sacred syllables, we can align ourselves with divine energies and achieve a state of unity, oneness, transformation and inner peace.” Yes, please.

9PM Uni Ika Ai at BSP: After experiencing the healing vibrations of collective chanting, I’m headed to BSP Kingston for my first of many concerts of the weekend: Uni Ika Ai, a Brooklyn-based dreampop / artpop band.

10PM Drawing Extravaganza at Broadway Arts: Unlike many of my fellow O+ volunteers, I’m no artist, but that won’t stop me from experiencing Anna Hafner’s interactive drawing class. Each of Hafner’s sculptural shrines will house models dressed as different incarnations of the divine feminine for you and me to sketch. LO+VE it!

10:30PM PMS & The Mood Swings at The Anchor: From Broadway Arts, it’s a quick walk to The Anchor for PMS & The Mood Swings, who will “serve up sticky pop candy with a classic Bowery punk beat, Coney Island surf guitars, and that uptown sax sound!”

I would love to know what O+ events are on your must-do list!

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And The Kids performed during the 2015 O+ Festival at Seven21 Media Center — photo by Rachel Brennecke

While attendees are experiencing all that the festival has to offer, volunteer health and wellness providers in a pop-up clinic at Old Dutch Church are treating the underinsured artists and musicians who donate their talent as well as the many volunteers who work the weekend. We call this exchange “the art of medicine for the medicine of art.”

O+ is pay-what-you-think-it’s-worth to make the festival affordable to all while raising much-needed funds for the Kingston-based national nonprofit that powers it.

We have some great thank-you gifts for wristband donations of $50, $75 and $100, including gifts for cycling enthusiasts and a limited-edition Mothers of Invention T-shirt designed by New Yorker cartoonist and O+ alumna Carolita Johnson.

What’s It Worth to YO+U?

Kathleen (Wereszynski) Murray is a Kingston native and chief storyteller at O+ Festival.

Walk Bike NY Symposium: How to Make Communities Safer

“800 bicyclists died nationally in 2015.”

“36 bicyclists were killed in NY in 2015.”

“17 pedestrians die nationally, every day, many of these deaths are preventable.”

These were just a few of the facts learned at the Walk-Bike New York Symposium this September 13 & 14th, held in Syracuse. The Symposium pulled together people from many different areas who are working to create safer communities for pedestrians and bicyclists in the State of New York. People such as Department of Transportation engineers, city planners, health and safety practitioners and pedestrian and bicycle advocates.

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All the presentations at the Symposium were about making New York a safer place to walk and bike. One very special presentation, “Lessons for Bicycle Infrastructure Planners and Advocates from Kingston NY,” was presented by two Bike-Friendly Kingston members, Kristen Wilson, Grants Manager, City of Kingston, and Strategic Liaison to the Live Well Kingston Coalition, and Rose Quinn, Traffic Safety Assistant, SUNY Ulster Mid-Hudson Health and Safety Institute, and Chair of the Live Well Kingston Coalition. The presentation walked viewers through the development of the recent “Building a Better Broadway” project as a way to give perspective and advice to other planners as they craft pedestrian and bicycle improvements in their own communities.

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Another inspiring presentation was from Mark Fenton, National Public Health, Planning and Transportation Consultant. He asked the audience to close their eyes and remember their favorite outside activities as kids. Then he asked: was it organized play? Was an adult involved? Most answers were recollections of what we would now called “free range” play.

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Mr. Fenton showed the astronomical rates of increased diabetes in children in the United States from 1960 – 2000. He then showed the changes in walking and cycling to school from 1969 to 2001. The two inverse lines were so dramatic and clearly linked. He argued that diabetes is a bigger detriment to children than the dangers of walking to school.

He encouraged attendees to build a world where kids can be active again. He made the point that If our communities are built so that children can move through them safely, then older people will be able to as well.

He had 4 main suggestions on how to make our communities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly:

1. Design compact neighborhoods, with open spaces and mixed use development.

2. Create networks of sidewalks, trails, and mass transit. 60% of people polled are interested in biking, but are concerned about safety. Creating separated bicycle infrastructure allows those 60% to feel comfortable enough to use their bikes for everyday trips.

3. Create inviting destinations. Create complete streets (streets that are built for everyone: they are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work.) Build bike parking under overhangs. Put parking in back of buildings and screen them.

4. Create safe and accessible pedestrian streetscapes. Use “road diets” or reclaim space to be used for other uses, such as turn lanes, bus lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bike lanes, sidewalks, bus shelters, parking or landscaping. Create pedestrian walkways that your mother would feel comfortable using.

Mr. Fenton then went on to list many other suggestions and projects that could be done in any community. He encouraged the audience to test out things in a non-permanent way to see how behavior changes and what works, using cheap materials like paint, planters or other temporary measures.

Other presentations during the symposium included: Building Health through Community Design, A Deep Look at Bicycle Commuting and Bicycling as Transportation in Syracuse and Rochester, Erie Canalway Trail – Syracuse Connector Route, and many other presentations. All had great ideas on how to increase and encourage safer walking and biking in New York.

The symposium was very successful and accomplished the goals of networking, sharing ideas, inspiring advocates and spreading information. With this information and tools, attendees have gone back to their communities and will continue to work to reduce some of those preventable injuries and deaths to pedestrians and cyclists.

Emily Flynn is the leader of Bike-Friendly Kingston, NY. She is a bicycle commuter who has become an advocate for all the different reasons people ride on two wheels. Professionally, she is a Sr. Graphic Designer at Gilday Creative, a boutique graphic design company based in Kingston.

My Trip to Amsterdam, Where Bikes Rule the Land

img_4569This summer I was fortunate to have the chance to spend a few days in Amsterdam – the OTHER Amsterdam to us Upstate New Yorkers. I promised myself that I’d take the chance to learn all that the bike capital of the world has to teach about creating a bike-friendly city. What I learned surprised me. In Amsterdam, what makes biking so great isn’t all the cool infrastructure, it’s the unspoken understanding that bikes rule.

Let’s set the stage: Cheryl and I got off the train at Amsterdam’s Central Station and almost immediately got hit by bikes. They were everywhere. Mixing and weaving around cars. And trams. And pedestrians. For the first half-hour of walking, we were in constant fear that we were going to either cause an accident or be the victims of one. I’m a confident cyclist, but I started to wonder if I would survive on two wheels in this mayhem.

img_4445After unpacking at the hotel, we immediately headed off to rent our granny bikes, or Omafiets – the traditional upright, step-through bikes that are ubiquitous in the City. My first challenge was immediate; steering a heavy cruiser isn’t like my normal hybrid trail/road bike. But despite some awkward swerving as I got used to the new ride, we were off.

Back home in Kingston, I’m usually a super-aware, rules-abiding cyclist. In Amsterdam, I was out of place. Stop sign? What stop sign? Forget staying to the right – the cars will just have to wait! I began to realize that all the dedicated bike lanes and bike paths aren’t so much to keep the cyclists safe; they’re the only way to contain them! Otherwise, they’d just take over the whole road!

Slowly over the course of the next two days, as I grew more and more comfortable in the fact that bikes – not cars – are the king of the road, I started to go with the flow. Remember the feeling that first time you rode your bike on your own? That feeling of unfettered mobility? That’s how it felt again. Sort of like putting on an old shoe – so comfortable and natural.img_4511

Now that I’m back in Kingston, I have a new appreciation for the work we have ahead of us. I’m still a zealous advocate for better bike infrastructure. But that’s not enough. Over time we need to work to create a culture that accepts people on bikes, even encourages them. We all should feel safe and comfortable using our public streets, whether on foot, in a car, in a bus, or on a bike. And when that dream comes true, you’ll find me cruising on my Omafiet, sans helmet, with a smile plastered on my face. Until then, though, I’ll be wearing a helmet; it’s a tough world for a cyclist.

instaGREEN

The Kingston Greenline has been greenifying Instagram since early May… And it’s been going FAB! We’re getting tons of new followers daily and people are tagging and hashtagging us constantly – THANK YOU! It’s been a terrific way to show you the existing Greenline trails, the parts that are under construction, the South Pine Street City Farm and other great locations in and around Kingston.

We hope this will encourage you to get out and about in Kingston, on its trails and share your awesome photos. We’d love to see you! Please FOLLOW us… @kingstongreenline

#kltgreenline #kingstongreenline #kingston #kingstonisbeautiful

Kingston Greenline

Interview with Rail Trail Café owners: Tara Johannessen & Brian Farmer

Rail Trail Cafe

Perhaps the last thing you’d expect to find while hiking or biking on a wilderness trail is an adorable organic microgreens-growing cafe. But take a trip down the Wallkill Valley rail trail and that’s exactly what you’ll find. We’re thrilled to talk with Tara Johannessen & Brian Farmer, the owners of the renowned Rail Trail Café, to hear all about this hidden gem. And don’t forget to join us on September 24th when our monthly Weekend Wander series takes to the wheels with a group ride from Kingston to the Rail Trail Café and back (We’re gonna earn that slice)!!!

What made you decide to open the Rail Trail Café?
We wanted to be able to work from home. There seemed to be a need when foot and bike traffic increased with the new extended trail via the trestle bridge. We wanted to create a greater sense of community by creating a local economy. And last, but not least we wanted to sell our organic food and produce.

What was your initial vision when you designed the menu?
Simple nutritious, organic, vegetarian. Something for everyone. A place where kids could come from around the neighborhood and be able to buy a goodie for cheap.

Do you grow much of the food yourselves?
We grow maybe 30 or 40% of the produce. All the kale, tomatoes, herbs, microgreens. And we have sourced some of the micro-greens from Big Little Farm as well.

What are your best sellers at the café?
Rosewater lemonade, salads, and pizza.

What are some of the challenges of serving food in the great outdoors?
The greatest challenges are the rain and severe heat.

Do you do special events?
We’ve had weddings, fundraisers and there’s music every weekend.

What’s your favorite trail in Ulster County?
We really love the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail because its flat, shady and crosses both the Rondout and the Wallkill rivers.

What part of the Kingston Greenline are you most excited about?
All of it.

SPEED ROUND:
Fave Color: The whole spectrum of colors is magnificent!!
Fave Movie: Magnolia
Fave Song: Chenrezig Mantra Song
Fave Food: Micro-greens
Fave Book: “The Red Book” by Carl Jung

For more info on the Rail Trail Cafe, visit their site and like them on Facebook.

Tara and Brian serving up deliciousness

Tara and Brian serving up deliciousness

Live music plays every weekend.

Live music plays every weekend.

The pizzas... ARE NOT TO BE MISSED!

The pizzas… ARE NOT TO BE MISSED!

The Rail Trail Cafe in it's element.

The Rail Trail Café in it’s element.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Smorgasburg Upstate in review

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On breezy and sunny days in the warmer months, everyone aches to be outside. They look out their office windows or homes and then gather in sculpture parks or have picnics. Visit swimming holes or dine in a friend’s backyard. In the Hudson Valley, we are lucky enough to have endless outdoor options any given day. But now Saturdays are a special day for Kingston. Saturdays mean the Farmer’s Market, and right now, Saturdays mean Smorgasburg: UPSTATE.

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I came in to the food industry by way of the fashion industry, where I traveled almost constantly around the world, shopping and designing for a living, and eating some of the most amazing food on the planet. There was nothing better than a good market. ESPECIALLY if it was open air. You’re tired, and you want to maximize your day. Whenever I hit a market, I have a routine. This is my Smorgasburg routine

  • Get at least 3 other people to meet me there. Preferably more, that way each person can get in a different food line and procure something hot and yummy, the more unique the better.
  • Set up shop at a picnic table, marvel in the sun, and get comfy discussing the previous evening and future events.
  • Settle in for the food! Photograph, take a bite and pass it on, so you can try a little bit of everything and decide on your favorites.

Hillbilly Banh Mi from PAKT in midtown, Scrapple and Country Ham!

Raclette and goat cheese sourdough pizza from ITSA Mobile Pizza Oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Full and happy, its time to grab a beer and hit the flea market section. I like to pick up unique versions of things that I need or procure gifts for future birthdays and holidays that I will admittedly forget about and then be glad I already shopped for them. Plus you get to meet people from various different industries and connect for future projects.
  • Now back to the food. But packaged food this time. You have a full week ahead of you and you want to be ready. Maybe some pastries and coffee for the morning, or hot sauces to keep the fridge stocked.

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At the end of the day, you’re outside. You’re supporting your community. You are voting with your money, the most influential vote there is. You are so lucky. WE are so lucky!

“Vendor, Customer” Photo by Elke Wong

“Vendor, Customer” Photo by Elke Wong

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Eryn Stutts, Mouth of Madness, Filler of Bellies and Dream Wrangler at PAKT Kingston, an eclectic southern restaurant. She is also known for her alter ego, SweaterMeat, and UglyFoodTastesBetter.com

GARDEN WORDS: South Pine Street City Farm

Trish and Joel in front of the stand with yellow crookneck and white pattypan squash.

Trish and Joel in front of the stand with yellow crookneck and white pattypan squash.

A little friendly reminder… The South Pine Street City Farm Stand has been selling fresh, naturally grown herbs and vegetables (using organic soil and seeds with no pesticides) to Kingston residents and visitors for the past 5 years. Located at 27 S. Pine St in Kingston (map it), the stand’s hours are 3PM – 7PM on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (now through Thanksgiving)

Farmers Trish Hawkins and Joel Zenie would like to share with you this heartfelt poem, titled Garden Words by Anne Lamott:

“The garden is one of two great metaphors for humanity. The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things. The garden is about feeding your children and providing food for the tribe. It’s part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food. It’s a competing display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses. It’s about winning. About providing society with superior things, and about proving that you have taste and good values and you work hard. And what a wonderful relief every so often to know who the enemy is – because in the garden the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time. And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth and growth and beauty and danger and triumph – and then everything dies anyway, right? But you just keep doing it.”

Now, enjoy this mini photo tour of what’s growing at the South Pine Street City Farm!

Farmer Trish and the Cosmos

farmer Trish enjoys strolling in the Cosmos and Queen Anne’s Lace.

Did you know cucumbers are the 4th most widely cultivated "vegetable" in the world

Did you know cucumbers are the 4th most widely cultivated “vegetable” in the world

Tomatoes... An extra table holds the overflow.

An extra table holds the overflow of tomatoes.

 

Garlic... Say no more!!!

Garlic… Say no more!!!

Cabbages...

Cabbages…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel and Barbara Stempke with turnips and kale.

Joel and Barbara Stempke with turnips and kale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trish Hawkins and Joel Zenie are close companions. Trish is a former actress and longtime member of the Circle Rep Theater company in NYC. Joel used to work at the Kingston Library. He volunteered at South Pine Street City Farm three years ago when Kaycee Wimbish was the farmer. Then he spent a summer learning from and working for Oleh Maczaj at Rusty Plough Farm near Ellenville. Two years ago, Trish noticed that the South Pine Street City Farm looked a bit abandoned, so she called Jess Clark, who had founded the farm, to inquire. Jess contacted the Kingston Land Trust and it so happened  there was an opening for farmers! Trish and Joel met with Diane Davenport, who most kindly donates both the land and the water. Diane agreed to Trish and Joel becoming the farmers. This is Trish and Joel’s second year at South Pine. They are very grateful and feel blessed to be able to grow vegetables for the community and keep learning about the art of farming.

Crown Street Planter Readopted

KLT planter

After sitting unclaimed for nearly two years, the Crown Street planter has been readopted by the Kingston Land Trust; and to think it only took one person an hour and a hundred dollars to get it back in action! When it was brought to the Kingston Land Trust’s attention that this KUBA (Kingston Uptown Business Association) planter had not been matched with another organization since we cared for it in 2014, I volunteered to take it back on.

I wanted to demonstrate that it does not have to be a huge commitment to spruce up a small public space. Having studied landscape architecture, I followed the basic plant selection criteria for low maintenance public plantings that I absorbed at the New York City Parks Department: perennial and minimal watering needs.

Sedum fit the bill and I knew they would be available and affordable at Adams, so I headed out to see how many plants I could get with the allocated money. Staying in the succulent palette, I chose a range of forms: upright, spreading and cascading, to fill in around base of the lonely tree. With the plants in tow, plus three bags of organic potting soil (to supplement the existing soil) and my hand shovel and fork, I headed to Crown Street.

Planting was a breeze and I felt proud as people walked by, knowing that I was supporting their experience of this city as pedestrians, especially in this spot that could use a little beautification, since it is in front of a lackluster parking lot.

I am now considering how I can further embellish the planter without further expense. I intend to collect river stones and ask for transplants from friends’ gardens. In fact, with enough creativity and dedication, anyone in our community could do a public planting without cost. I would welcome the opportunity to work with others on stewarding additional installations around Kingston, especially on land that is neglected, as well as planting something more impactful, like edibles that could be harvested by passersby, or native plants to support pollinators.

Julia has been a Kingston resident for less than three years, but she’s decided to put down roots. She is looking forward to applying her background in urban design to the enhancement of a public and green spaces by serving on the board of the Kingston Land Trust.