Ecotone NYCSubwayGirl

Bridging The Nature-Cultural Divide Central Park Woodlands Conference

It might appear illogical that NYC SubwayGirl a subway performer was at the Central Park Woodlands Stewardship conference on October 5th amidst architect students, landscape architects and firms representing top minds in the field for a conversation about stewardship.  It actually was as logical as a woodlands thriving deep in the center of an urban environment.

I love NY and I love the Park so I was excited to participate. One of the presenters of the event (Cultural Landscape Foundation) found my sustainability blog (I love search engines), I blogged about the conference. They invited me to come along and see for myself.  It was held at the fantastic Museum of The City of New York.

During breaks and a beautiful walk through the Park, I asked my favorite question to a few participants, What's Your Inspiration? 

As I explained why I was there, I found my description of myself in the context of the conversation about urban parks, not only interesting, but it actually helped me to define myself a bit more completely than just "I sing in the subway."

I love analogies, so I was trying out the thought of the subway musician as an ecotone (definition: the defining geographic transitional line where valley meets mountain, prairie meets forest,  where land meets water), where a stationary musician meets commuters rush, where music meets subway sounds, where my asking "What's your inspiration?" to a stranger meets community.

I learned landscape architecture and stewardship of a public park has to include emotional feeling and experience, something not necessarily associated with riding or commuting in a subway system.  NYC Subway Girl attempts to bring these into the conversation.  Meeting a commuter who pauses to chat and then asking the question about inspiration, brings out an emotional feeling that is deeply poignant and inspirational itself.

Here I thought I was going to the conference to learn about Central Park (and I did), but I left learning more about myself.

Read More on my Sustainability Blog

The clip features inspirations from Charles Birnbaum, founder president Cultural Landscape Foundation and Eric Sanderson, Wildlife Conservation Society, Michael Boland, The Presidio Trust, Alanna Rios, student City College of New York, Christopher Valencia, student City College of New York, Mauro Crestani, EXP US Servces Inc., Joanna Pertz, Landscape Architect, Eddie Krakhmalnikov, University of Minnesota, Margie Ruddick, Landscape Architect, Elizabeth Meyer, Professor Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia.

pups E-Waste trip

On September I7, 2011 I walked to an LES Ecology Center e-waste event in front of Tekserve. With my pups in tow, we brought a box of old cell phones, cameras, a fax machine, transformers and cables to be properly disposed of. It was a true NY moment.

When we arrived I met Development Director, Caroline Kruse who shared with me just how easy it is to recycle electronic waste.

It might take a little of your time, but recycling e-waste is so important. It feels good to know there's something you can do to reduce the massive amount of toxic waste we produce and discard without much thought. The Lower East Side Ecology Center leads the way.

Roberto A. Sanchez talks about Sustainability

I met Roberto Sanchez and his wife Mary Jo who were traveling through LIRR station while I was singing. Inspired to listen to my song Jungle, they stopped and we had a chance to chat. A LEED certified Architect, he gave me a passionate and spontaneous conversation about the environment and his definition of Sustainability.

"Sustainability is the art and science of giving information to matter." Using rain water more efficiently, storing it in cisterns, using it to flush toilets, for golf courses and irrigation. Solar using sun rays to produce electricity and to heat water. 

"A way to be kind to Mother Nature."

 and here's Part 2:

LEED certified Architect Roberto Sanchez gave me a passionate and spontaneous conversation about the environment. The Fukushima Nuclear plants 2 months later are still burning since the earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011

read the latest news from International atomic energy agency

His wife Mary Jo listened intently to her husband rattle off the top of his head the things he is helping to work on to make our world a more sustainable planet:

Waste to energy, garbage to electricity, something he is doing in Costa Rica. Many Florida plants produce 600 kwh's per ton of garbage conversion.

"Land fills are a crime... an ecological crime, flushing toilets with potable water is a crime." "There are so many alternatives that are incredible."

Thank you Roberto.

 check out Roberto's What's Your Inspiration clip on this site


on 2011-06-27 19:19 by NYC Subway Girl

from Robert Sanchez:


I got it, it is great! I love it. You capture the moment.

Have sent it to a few good friends that understand and are aware of "respect and love to Mother Earth" Yes.

I am now working on a project in Chile: A Secondary Road that collects torrential rain water from the shoulder:

I explain: The shoulder is made from shredded rubber made from discarded auto tires (pollutants) . The water filters through into a perforate pipe below and collected at the valleys of the terrain. 

Tanks below grade make it available for irrigation of large vegetable fields,  also it is filtered and purified for  potable water of 3 small villages the road passes by.

Cost of the water: 0

Fiber optic cable under the rubber ( actually a soup of shredder rubber+ glue = paving surface) is energized buy small solar panels during the day, at night a sensor discharges the electricity an illuminates the edge of the road for SAFETY.

Cost of electricity : 0