Friday, July 15, 2011

My first week

Julian D. Brown

Hester Street Collaborative

On Monday, July 15 was my first experience at Hester Street Collaborative. Three other interns and myself sat around a table joined by 5 other staff members of the workshop & gave a brief Introduction about ourselves. Then we played a game, more of an ice breaker so that we could get familiar with one another. Each Intern paired up with a staff and told them our interests. After doing that we joined in a together to share about our partner, we told two truths & a lie, and the audience had to guess which were Fact & which was False. Later on that day we were given a tour around the shop & the area of Hester Street as well as all the organizations Hester St works & collaborates with. Later on during the day, we went out with a staff Member to a garden owned by a middle School that Hester St Collaborated with as our first task. We were given a tour around the garden and history facts. We watered plants, cleaned up around the area, Swept, learned names & functions of each plant, & I’m just looking forward to planting some new plants.
On Tuesday, July 16th we worked on the next project which was Silk Screen Printing, coming up with a creation or design that expresses who we are individually. So we worked on just our designs & coming up with a theme for the remainder of the day. We found ideas from things we worked on before in the past & looking into Catalogs, magazines & Graffiti Books. Then we started taking notes on the steps that it takes to get your work on a shirt as seen in store’s & perhaps TV. We then copied our pictures on the computer using Photoshop & adobe Illustrator to perfect & add to our pieces. (How Cool!)
On Wednesday, July 17 we spent all day getting to know & being familiar with using the tools of Silk Screen Printing. After displaying our creations, we chose colors that will reflect our designs. We worked with:
• Lighting Adjustment in Room
• Exposure Light Unit
• Silk Screen(300-200 Grid)
• Emulsion
• Paint
• Squeegee
• Scoop
• Tape
• Dryer
• Water
• T- Shirts
We then processed these steps to the shirts of our requested choice. Completion to us as Artist!
On Thursday, July 18, we took a tour all through the Park of Allen Street to see what works we should fix. We were educated on the past Years of Immigrants that started to come to the United States as well as New York from their countries.
On Friday, July 19th we went to the Hester Street Park to take down a couple of solar panels that were up from the Chinese New Year celebration last year. Now just looking forward for a new project to start & promote.

Sharon's First Blog

Sharon Lee July 15, 2011

Hester Street Collaborative Blog for July 11th Week

On Monday, July 11th, Simon, Vincent, Julian, and I learned about our staff working with us in this organization. We introduced ourselves by names, our schools, and the staff told the four of us what their roles in the organization were. We also learned more about each other with a game called “Two Truths and a Lie.” We continued working on our logos and after lunch, we went with Jess to the garden near P.S. 134. Jess taught us a little bit about the plants growing there; we watered the plants, painted some kind of waterproof oil on the wood of the tables, shoveled compost from the bin to the pit in the middle, and talked about what we could do next time. I learned more about the staff and the organization I was working for. Also, I learned the significance of our roles in beautifying the garden next to the elementary school and what we could do the next time to help this garden that was usually uncared for.
The following day, we decided on what design should represent our logo and started to finalize it. We finalized it by putting the design into the computer, fixed it with the Illustrator program, transferred it to a transparency sheet, and prepared ourselves for the printing process the next day. On that day, I learned how to use Illustrator and how I might be able to use it the next time I might need it for something.
On Wednesday, we put our transparent sheets onto the silk screens that we cleaned and put Emulsion on from the past Friday. We put the screens onto the Exposure Unit while stacking three heavy cement blocks on the screen. After that, we washed it, blow dried it, and put tape on the edges of the frame and silk screen. I started to mix colors to get light purple at first then changed my mind to making light blue instead. The four of us tested out our designs, printed it on our shirts and our notebook covers. TA-DA! That day was the day I learned something interesting and fun that could be pretty useful—printing T-shirt designs.
Yesterday, we went to the garden to continue what we started on Monday like watering the plants again, pulling weeds, moved the compost in the bin into the pit, and watering that pit as well. Later on, we went to the benches on Allen Street where we observed the peeling paint, the deflated tires and recorded what we need to fix. Our actions helped me learn how our community isn’t cared for that much based on our work on the garden and we had to do to fix the benches on Allen Street.
Today, we went to the corner of Hester and Chrystie Street to take down the solar panels used for the lanterns in the past. Today wasn’t really much of a learning experience because all we did was take down solar panels.

Simon's first blog

I’ve just completed a week and a half of working with Hester Street Collaborative (HSC) as an intern. I can already tell and say that I’m going to like the upcoming weeks I have with HSC. The other interns and I are having a great time. We are workers from SYEP and we get paid for what we do, but we are interns for HSC and that’s what makes this different from all the other experiences I’ve gone through for SYEP. This is something on the next level of learning.
On Wednesday, July 6, Vincent (my co-worker) and I took at tour around the office. We learned about the goals and motives of HSC. They want to help the community create a community that is compatible with them. I guess what I mean is that the city wants to help the community but it isn’t working out. The city has created a design and a plan for creating parks but this is their idea, not what the community wants. HSC hears the voice and the ideas of the community and bring it to people who can make it happen. I feel like as if I’m going to be part of something big, maybe not now but I believe that this organization will achieve its goals. Not only because it’s to help others but also because of the kind-hearted people that work here. They truly want to help and make a change for the community, and I feel like I need to help HSC in every way I can while I’m here to bring them even if it’s just a few inches closer to their goals.
Two more co-workers joined us from the SYEP program the following week. On Monday we introduced ourselves formally (not really) to each other, the staff of HSC and the interns. The reason I say not really formally is because the atmosphere was not tense or anything. It was pretty chill and everyone was enjoying the game that Gauri had set up for us. The ice breaker game was “Two Truths and a Lie.” I was paired up with Dylan and we learned about each other. We got a little bit carried away on sticking with one topic and we quickly changed so we could get at least two truths. We met back at the meeting table and played the game. Everyone saw through my lie because it was outrageously ridiculous. But the others were harder to guess. Overall we got a little bit closer to each other and the results were good.
After the introductions we went to the garden next to P.S.134 with Jess to water the plants. We learned briefly about the plants grown in the garden with Mauricio but we went more into detail and the history of the garden with Jess. After discovering the past of the garden, we went to work. We watered the plants, added nutrients to the compost of the garden, and added a new coating to the benches in the garden. We left and just worked on making a logo for ourselves for the rest of the day.
Mauricio, our supervisor and also our teacher, taught us the silk screen process. We needed to learn this so that we can make ourselves logos that would define who we are and how we connect to it. This project was to prepare us to create some sort of logo for HSC that we could put on post cards, gift cards and other things that we can give to our funding partners. I found this project very enjoyable. I was able to create a design using something I grew up with and it means a lot to me. To be able make this design and create a shirt using it, I found this project to be overwhelmingly exciting.
His method of teaching is very unique and effective. Mauricio started from the last step of the silk screen process to the first step. So the steps to the silk screen process goes as the following, well from what I remember. I may be missing some steps so don’t put your trust in me. We first cleaned a screen and applied some emulsion. This prepares the screen for print making. The screens were left in a room for a couple of days to dry up. While they were drying up we came up with our logos over the weekend.
The logo I came up with was very simple and yet attractive according to my co-workers. I bet they were just being nice. It was sunglasses with the word (I made up it when I was younger) on the lenses. It read NAGAROMO. It means something like have fun but make wise decisions too. We finally used Illustrator to add some finishing touches onto the design and we printed it out on the transparency. We then proceeded to execute what we’ve learned from Mauricio and printed our design onto the t-shirts. I was satisfied with the outcome because it was much better than I had expected.
On Thursday, we went to the garden again to water the plants. We finished adding the nutrients-filled soiled into the compost and we watered it. After that we went to Allen Street to check up on the “mallterations” to see what paint and how much paint we needed to fix up the benches made by the previous interns. The benches need a lot of repainting and some of them need new tires. Finally after a long afternoon, we called it a day.

Vincent Zhen Post 1 - SYEP 2011

Vincent Zhen

Blag 1

Hester Street Collaborative is stationed in an office half sub-surface. The small staff of about 5 hinted at a tight community. Mauricio is this year’s SYEP mentor. A day long introduction of how the company works started with past projects, their participants, what it entailed and its outcomes. After this was a briefing on what we as SYEP members would do to assist and participate in HSC’s projects. There was an introduction of all the SYEP members and HSC staff as well.
Our first project was the silk screen project. The first half of the day was dedicated to making personal logos. Before this was a short lesson on typography and alphabet design. The second half was used to take these personal logos and create a final design by taking our raw designs and scanning them into the computer. We used Adobe Illustrator to take these raw designs and creating a smoother version. A 2.0 if you will. Using the Live Trace software in Illustrator, we could sand the rougher edges of our designs which were later transferred into a transparency.
The next day we could put the design into a shirt by process of seriography (Silkscreen). The process is done as follows:
Clean the screen (wash and dry)
Apply emulsion (emulsion is photosensitive)
Use a scoop to apply a thin screen of emulsion onto the screen
Tape transparency onto screen
“Burn” screen (put weight on top of screen for pressure)
Wash screen and dry screen to wash off ‘loose’ emulsion
Tape edges of screen to ward off unwanted splotches of paint
Test screen picture (flood and press ink)
If satisfied, press onto desired medium.

Keep lines in transparency thick enough to allow ink to seep through easily which will reduce faded lines in medium.
Center the picture on the shirt using a piece of tape as reference.
Do not apply pressure when flooding. Just allow a smooth fill.
Apply pressure only when pressing.
Make sure the squeegee is wide enough to press the entire picture.
Make sure the color has enough contrast against medium.
Cover any and all exposed unused emulsion. Most light will harden emulsion or at least reduce photosensitive quality.

We visited the garden about 3 times. The garden is usually tended to by the school right next to it but since school is out during the summer, it is our responsibility to uphold the garden for the children next school year. We learned about several different types of plants the children were growing; grapes, cherries, mint, cabbage, etc… We watered the plants, got rid of some weeds, filled the watering barrels, and moved the compost from a couple basins to a pit. Along the way we found worms and a dead mouse.

This is my design for the personal logo project. This was put onto a shirt and later put on the cover of my notebook.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jonathan's Second Post!

Hey! It’s Jonathan again, posting my 2nd blog post. This is my 4th week here at Hester Street Collaborative; things are getting better and better. These 4 weeks has gone by quickly, and I’m almost finished as a summer intern. We started to work on the neighborhood map on the Allen StreetMalls. We gridded everything at first and it took a lot of time, but after we got everything gridded everything else was fun. We finished painting the map on July 26th. All the hard work paid off after we saw the results of the finished map. The next day, July 27th, we got new shelves! The shelves were used for our library books, and things started to look more organized. We sorted and organized the books into specific categories. After sorting the books, we headed to the garden; we watered the plants, raked the dead leaves, and re-colored the shed. After raking the leaves into a pile, we put the leaves into the compost pile. The compost pile is a place where we put all the dead leaves into. After the dead leaves decomposes it turns into rich soil that we can use for the garden, Today we stenciled the neighborhood names onto Allen Street Malls. The neighborhood names were Nolita, Alphabet City, East Village, Little Italy, Lower East Side, Chinatown, and Two Bridges. After spending the morning, and a little of the afternoon painting the neighborhood cities, we didn’t finish a couple; but I’m looking forward to finishing it tomorrow. We finished the day after going to the garden and watering the plants.

Hey it’s Justin Lui again here with my second blog. For the past weeks my coworkers and I have been painting the map of the lower east side on Allen Street. The project took us about three to four weeks to finish and we finished it on 7/26/10. Now we are using stencils to write down the names of the different places on the Lower East Side. First we measured stencils to see how big each letter was so that we can figure out where to draw it on the white bars so that it was straight. After all the math stuff we traced the letter onto the floor then we started to paint. Also we use the color of the map to correspond to the words so like if Chinatown is painted light green the word Chinatown would be painted with the same color. We manage to finish Little Italy, East Village, Nolita, and Alphabet City Aside from working on the project we have be going to the garden at P.S. 134 to water the plants, repainting the shed and cleaning up the leaves that were all over the garden. Also we set up new shelves in the worksite and the shelves were heavy. When we were done setting up the shelves, we arranged the books in the mini library according too the different category then we placed it on the new shelves. After the past two weeks I was very tired but it was still fun working with new friends. Today we were supposed to go outside to finish the stenciling but it was raining and it keeps raining on and off, so we ended up not going outside and stayed in side cleaning. Right now we are hoping the rain will stop so that the ground can dry and the sooner it dries the sooner we can go outside to paint.

Michelle's Blog #2

Hey, it’s Michelle again. Since my last blog post, the interns and I at Hester Street have gotten a lot done in terms of the Allen Street Mall-terations. We decided that we would use shades of green instead of our original colors (red, yellow, a whacky-looking purple..) and spent one afternoon just mixing different paints to get the shades we wanted. As soon as we got the paints done, we went outside and started gridding the circle using a chalk line and taping off the areas we would paint. The weather’s been on and off lately; unfortunately, it rained the day after we finished gridding so most of the chalk got washed away. Good thing we know how to improvise! We managed to finish the map in about three days and if you ask me, it looks pretty neat –

What we’ve been working on this week is the lettering for the different neighborhoods we’ve incorporated into the map – we’re using stencils to trace and paint the letters on the white tracks near the map (Chinatown, Little Italy, Lower East Side, etc.) There’s a lot of calculating involved (we had to measure a lot to figure out where we would start placing the letters). Our improvisation skills came in handy here a few times, too. The colors we used for the letters correspond with the color that area is on the map. After we finish this, we’re going to work on another map except this time, we’re focusing on streets instead of neighborhoods and using shades of red instead of green.

Aside from the Mall-terations, we’ve done a few smaller things to help around in the office. We’ve recently received a couple of new shelves so we spent a good part of one of our days dedicated to moving them and putting them together. We also sorted through the office library and categorized them to be put onto the shelves, and about an hour ago, we organized the papers and tools underneath the main table in the office and shelved them, too. I think we’re heading out again soon to finish the lettering, and maybe we’ll get started on our second map – that is, if it doesn’t rain again!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Neta's second blog

This week has been really productive. I could not come on Monday, but Michelle, Justin, and Jonathan finished painting the neighborhood map on the sidewalk!!! The map looks amazing! On Tuesday we started to put a finish on the shed in the garden, it will protect the wood from rain and possibly vandalism, but it also shows the real color of the wood, red oak, it’s pretty. In the morning we put together shelves that arrived on Monday and organized all the books. Some of the books were neat; I even found one book that I had read just a few months ago about community-based architecture for a paper I wrote. This morning we organized some of the art supplies, the office is organized now. On Wednesday we spent the morning and part of the afternoon writing the neighborhood names on the white stripes that run between the maps. We painted the neighborhood name the same color we painted the neighborhood on the map; the neighborhoods are Nolita, Alphabet City, East Village, Lower East Side, Little Italy, Chinatown, and Two Bridges. We still have to finish painting some of the names today. The ones we finished yesterday look great. While we were painting a lot of people asked us questions about the pedestrian street malls. It’s exciting to see that people are become interested in them and will hopefully come back and use the street malls.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Justin- Blog #1

July 15, 2010

Hey my name is Justin and I live in Brooklyn New York. I went to Midwood High School and will be going to City Tech for college. I am currently working at HSC. These past few weeks I’ve been cleaning and watering P.S.134 garden. So basically every day if its hot we go water the different vegetables, flowers and trees there. Also my coworkers and I have been thinking up ides to help out the garden, like give it a time schedule so that people in that community can go check out the garden. Also we thought up events so that kids and parents can learn things at the garden, and thought of making brochures so that people can have to learn more about the garden. Also we did a lot of research about the lower east side which is like Chinatown, little Italy, and other places. My topic was on Chinatown and I had to find out how many Chinese people from what area came to the Lower East Side, also I had to find out the different years that they came and how many people came during that year. I also had to find out the population number for the Chinese people that came to the Lower East Side. With the research that we did we will put it together to make a mural on the floor on Allen Street. The mural will be a bunch of circle with different painting on them. The painting will be a map of the Lower East Side with like different colors. Also my coworkers and I had to mix different paint to get a color that will catch people’s eye. Also this will help make the map stand out to people to make them want to look. So that’s about what we did so far and I cant wait to do more things with the new friends that I made.

Jonathan's First Blog!

Hey, it’s Jonathan Li; a summer intern at the Hester Street Collaborative. This is my first blog post. I am 14 years old, and a graduate of Simon Baruch Middle School. It’s been an amazing experience here, for the first two weeks. One thing that has happened during the two weeks was visiting the P.S. 134’s garden. The first time I have gone to the garden many of the plants were dried up, since no one watered the plants, and it hasn’t rain in many days. After a couple of trips to the garden daily, and watering the plants; the plants started to look great again! The plants weren’t drooping anymore, or dried up they were looking very nice. We started to clean up the garden by raking the dried leaves out of the way. Enough about the garden, we started to do other things too. We did a lot of research about the Lower East Side’s history as well. We researched the neighborhoods inside the Lower East Side; one thing that I researched was the amount of immigrants immigrating into the Lower East Side over time. We are using the information to paint the Pike and Allen Street Malls. We will apply the information we researched and paint one of the circles on a mall this Wednesday also, the following Wednesdays! We also started on a mock-up for a painting we would do on one of the malls. The mock-up looked great, our summer interns and I put a lot of effort and time into the mock-up. I just can’t wait to do work on this outside. It is a lot fun here, and I can’t wait for more projects to come. I’m looking forward to spend my summer here at Hester Street Collaborative.

Neta's First Blog Entry

Hey guys, its Neta. I'm from New Jersey, but i had heard of Hester Street Collaborative from my cousin and wanted to volunteer. Before the summer internship started I had no idea what to expect, but after being here for ten days I realized that this is going to be an amazing summer. The first few days we learned about the P.S. 134 Community Garden and the Allen Pike Street Mall-teration project. Since then we have tended to the garden and brainstormed ideas for garden events to draw in community members. I have learned that big projects take a ton of time, planning, and collaborating. We have also progressed far on the preparations for the Allen Street project. We met with the artists twice and made a mock-up map that is over ten feet in diameter to give us a visual aid when we paint the actual maps on the sidewalks of the street malls. This week we started painting the street maps on the sidewalk, I’m so excited:)!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Michelle's Blog #1

Hey, my name’s Michelle, and I’m part of the Citizen Design Internship this summer at Hester Street Collaborative. I was born in the city, and currently live in Brooklyn. I go to Stuyvesant High School in Tribeca, and am going to be a senior (!) once the school year starts. It’s only been a week or two, but so far we’ve done (what feels like) a lot. Today we worked on the mock of one of the maps we’re making on the Allen/Pike Street “Mall-terations”. It was pretty messy working with paint and all, but we managed. The colors were a bit off from what we had on paper, though. I’m sure it’ll be fine. It’s coming along really well but there’s still a lot of work for us to do before we actually start working on concrete. We still have to paint the other half of the map (it’s a circle) and maybe (?) do some more mock-ups for the other circles. Dylan, unfortunately, is sick today but left a very nice, instructive e-mail with Jess so the other interns and I are pretty much supervising ourselves. We went on our lunch break after painting and made our way to the garden when we came back. I feel like those of us who aren’t familiar with Chinatown will eventually know our way around before the summer ends. We’ve been wandering around a lot. We didn’t have to water much at the garden because it’s been pretty rainy the past few days. The plants are growing really quickly; it’ll be exciting once the garden opens up to the public – I’m worried, though, because I don’t want anyone to be careless with or around the plants after all our hard work sprucing it up. Here is a picture of what the garden currently looks like.

At least maybe it’ll give workers/volunteers during the school year something to do. I also still feel like we should eventually fix the plant signs once we have some time off from the Mall-terations because quite frankly, I don’t even know what I’m watering more than half the time. There are so many improvements I think we can make to the garden; it’s just too bad (or good) we’re focusing mainly on the bigger projects right now.

Edit: We've finally finished our mock-up for the Allen Street map! The colors still look sort of awkward to us, but that'll change. Here's a picture of the finished product:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Last Post.

This is my last blog for HSC sadly. This summer was filled with many memorable moments. What started out as a summer job ended being a whole new experience. The many new things that I saw and did were unlike something I would have done on my own. This last week isn’t slowing down at all; there are still a few things to be done. As well as a few things that we didn’t do like building doors for the compost and putting up a gutter to make more use of the rainwater from the roof of the shed.
The floor is done and needs to be mopped already. It brightens up the room more than the old gray that we painted over. The garden is still growing. There isn’t much going on for the most part. The vegetable plants are perhaps triple the size they were when we first started. The egg plant plants are a lot taller but there are no more egg plants growing after the first few that disappeared. The tomatoes are slowly coming in, and the strawberry plants still have flowers and no strawberries. Yesterday, someone came into the garden and make use of the herbs. I helped her pick a rose which proved more painful. The kids that are breaking in left a mess for us to clean, they had spilled a container of red acrylic paint onto the shed floor and we had to use the hose to try and wash it out. Though I think the red sediment will be left behind after all the water evaporates.
We screen printed yesterday! It was really cool and it was the first time I ever did anything like that. Even though my shirt has quite a bit of flaws, it’s good as perfect to me because I helped make it. If I could, I would definitely go home and make more designs for t shirts and make them. Using the hibiscus flower I made, I printed it on the back just as something extra. This is definitely one of the more memorable moments.
Tomorrow is my last day, and I think the last day for the rest of the interns. We are leaving HSC on a happy note with a garden party if it doesn’t rain, although I’ll still be a bit sad that it’s ending. I will definitely try to keep in touch with everyone, and hopefully our floor design will hold up for a few years before it gets repainted. The end to a perfect first summer job.

Monday, August 10, 2009

-R.I.P Grandpa-

Hey it’s George again. Sorry about not posting my blog up last week. The reason why I didn’t post my blog up was because my grandfather was in the hospital and he passed away on Friday morning. I wasn’t in the office most of last week because I was out at the hospital. However, when I was at the office cool stuff happened. On the morning of Thursday everyone in the office went to the Sara D. Roosevelt Park for a groundbreaking ceremony. At the ceremony there was a bunch of different speakers giving speeches. One of the speakers was Dylan House my supervisor. While the speakers were giving they’re speeches a student from NYU named Mike was recording the speakers talk. He offered to let me try recording the speeches if I wanted, so I said ok and I learned how to film. It was pretty exciting and fun. Then I asked him about what type of camcorders are the best to get to film and he gave me his card and he told me that if I wanted to I could go to NYU and he would bring me to the journalist department and let me test out the camcorders. After the groundbreaking ceremony at the Sara D. Roosevelt everyone went to the High Line Park. However, I didn’t go get to go because I got a call and I had to go to the hospital again.
On Monday we finished painting the map of the Lower East Side on the floor of the office. It makes the room look not as dull as before. We decided to paint the door of the fridge too. It looks so cool. The color scheme is Light blue street, little gray blocks, the water is dark blue like purple, the parks are little green, the bridges are dark gray and the project sites that the Hester Street Collaborative has been working on is like a bright orange color. We also moved the fridge into the shelves. It blends right in.
At the garden nothing has really happen. Except that there are a lot of mosquitoes so Larry and I went to CVS and brought bug spray. Sadly it was a little too late. Jess and Larry had already got bitten by the mosquitoes. However, I was lucky and I didn’t get bitten at all. Larry and Jess and I also help build shelves into the side doors of the shed. It took about three hours to finish but it seemed like it had just been only like 20 minutes.