Thursday, July 31, 2008
Yesterday we started to brainstorm about our research projects. We split up into two groups. Melissa and Vivian went to SDR to take pictures of the part to build a stage for the performances. We, Angela and Helen, went to SDR to take notes of everything that takes place in the park, like the different activities that difference ages groups do. The park was long! It was about 6 blocks long. While walking from the beginning to the end of the park we noticed a lot of things we didn't know about the park. Theres a community garden that is taken care of by communtiy workers. We also learned that the houses from Grand going down to Delancy, the 6 blocks, there are different types of people living on each block. While we were exploring around the park, we saw people performing in front of the kids and the parks are open for everybody. We also saw a huge garden; which took up a whole section of the parks. But no one really takes care of it. And Helen thought of an idea to write her research project on the community gardens that no one takes care of. And as of Angela, she took notes on the different activites and different age groups in the park. Now we should get started on the project. We only have 2 more weeeks!! :(
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Perhaps halfway through the meeting, the guest speaker showed up. Christian DiPalermo from New Yorkers for Parks. He orally presented some of the history behind what Parks has done until now. The agency grades parks and beaches in the five boroughs and assesses safety, cleanness, and the condition of facilities. He brought up the issue of tracking crime that takes place within parks, as this is a fairly recent development. Some people presented ideas they had for there own parks in order to lower the crime rate, but it was merely brainstorming.
I found the meeting insightful. I was in a unique position because I came into the meeting knowing very little about the topics of the conversation. As someone who grew up going to many of the parks that were addressed, I found it very interesting to hear what the politics behind them are. So little is concrete because of the complications of working with the city. It was not exactly comforting to learn how much crime still exists in New York's parks, but at the same time, the rate has decreased due to all of the work that organizations for parks have done over the past decade and more.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Currently, we are working to make the garden more community friendly. We are trying our best to develop ideas to make the garden much more noticeable. One suggestion is to make signs. The signs will bring attention to the people walking by the garden. Some thoughts are
the use of colorful and seasonal signs. We also want these signs to be kid friendly yet are still appealing to adults. Another idea of attraction is to make tracks leading into the garden so it would lead curious children who follow it right to it. Hopefully these signs and attractions will bring the community to visit the garden more frequently.
Keep in mind that none of our current ideas are final, and that we will continue to work to improve this garden.
Friday, July 18, 2008
One of the projects we are in the middle of is renovating the Allen Street Malls. Funding for this project began in 1996 and planning began in 2003. This past Wednesday, HSC hosted a scope meeting to get suggestions from people who live in the neighborhood and find out what they would like to see in the new malls. Those who came to the meeting were split into groups and given line drawings of panoramas of different malls on Allen Street. They could draw all over them to give visual aid to their suggestions about how to renovate specific blocks.
For the local residents’ benefits, there were ideas of creating a peaceful area for relaxation or an area for events such as dance performances, holiday festivals, etc. To make living in the area more comfortable, local markets would benefit from their long walks to buy groceries. As for residents that walk their dogs in the morning or daily joggers, their own greenway would really benefit them. Families would be able to go to the malls and take a stroll.
There is a safety issue around the Allen Street Pedestrian Malls. On each side of the malls are wide roads which can cause a hazard to pedestrians. People hope that there will be a way to decrease the amount of traffic and lessen the pollution. In effect, it can also minimize potential accidents. There is also an idea of putting bike lanes around the malls, which can also minimize the traffic. However, it might not happen because by law, all bike lanes have to be on the right of the road.
There was a scope meeting with people from the DOT and Parks Department to discuss ideas about renovating the malls. Representatives from each group shared their ideas.
Monday, July 14, 2008
We have referred to the other interns for ideas on what to do with students on a class trip to the exhibit. We have played with the idea of having students respond to a drawing or writing prompt. As far as the drawings go, we came up with ideas such as the students drawing what they think the space might have used to look like, drawing an imaginary instrument that they think could produce a certain sound they hear, or designing some sort of basic design inspired by the clean lines of the room. A writing activity would allow the students to pay more attention to the sounds they hear, rather than the visuals. Prompts included the question of whether what they hear is music and what they believe music to be. Another prompt questioned whether they consider the exhibit to be art. We also like the idea of students simply listening to the sounds. If they spread out and sit alone in different parts of the room, they will be able to better appreciate what they hear. If students are not with their friends, they will listen to the sounds rather than talking, and there will be less miscellaneous noise that may distract people from hearing the clanks, rings, and whistles of the installation.