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.