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.

Friday, August 07, 2009

One More Week Left !

The floor’s complete date was August 6, 2009! The last of the varnish was put down and the map is done. The floor has gotten dirty already and could be mopped now. I think it looks amazing. When you walk in here it looks like a completely different office area. Its brighter and more inviting for younger kids. The refridgerator has also been moved. It now sits under the shelf with a diagram of Manhattan for the room. It’s got a really light gray as a background color, blue for the island, and orange to indicate the room. There’s also a compass rose on it that’s traditional that took Alex to do because I was too afraid to mess up >.<
Yesterday was the first day in a week that I been to the garden. Much hasn’t changed though the strawberry plants are flowering. There should be some strawberries this summer; I just hope they don’t rot too quickly. I wonder whatever happened to the eggplants…they were gone when I went to check on the eggplant plants.
Yesterday, we all went to the Sara D. Roosevelt Park for the Hester St. Groundbreaking. It was a lot of fun and it was really interesting. Even though we had to carry a lot of mosaics to the park, when the only entrance was on Grand St. although we came up with a method for carrying a lot of blocks at once, it was a workout. There were a lot of people involved with not on the Parks department but coalitions, organizations, and commisoners. The majority of the crowd is kids from the Y, but the rest were people recognized in the community for their efforts. The speakers did a fine job and Dylan made a really nice speech on Annie’s behalf. Something especially fun was when Mike, a student at NYU was showing George and I the ropes of recording. It was really cute when the kids helped out with the groundbreaking. It was definitely a memorable day.
There are still a lot of loose end projects like taking down lanterns at Columbus Park. The back room still needs a lot of reorganizing, stuff needs to be put back in place.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Week Five of Hester Street Collaborative Internship (:

Projects of interest floor map, t- shirts, and garden.
The floor map is coming along really well! In the beginning of the week we bought paint and mixed it to the shade of gray we decided on last Friday. Then we strategically painted parts of the room. The first of the room to be painted was the chalkboard wall, then into the back rack and shelf and under Jess O’s, up to Annie’s desk, back to Jess P’s desk, and then finally Dylan’s desk after he left for a meeting. The gray on the floor looks really great. Yesterday we started to grid the floor with chalk with Larry’s technique. The floor then got a layer of masking tape to mark off the streets. With just the masking tape it’s shaping up. I like the angel/ice cream cone/exclamation mark like taping that Alex and I worked on towards the end of the day. The real streets are a public plaza. This morning the clutter of stuff in the chalkboard corner got moved and the painting began. The blue looks like an atlas sea blue but it looks really great. I can’t wait till the masking tape (carefully) comes off to reveal the blocks. The map shows from the lower East Village down to the curve of the river at the Cherry St. housing. The curve of the map has a lot of river so that will be painted soon as well. The parks will get a layer of green after the blue dries. The bridges will also be painted another color. The floor map is really turning out well. The sad part is the today is Cassie’s last day and she won’t be able to see the full map completed ):
The surveying t-shirts won’t be screen printed since Sadie is probably the only one attending. But Dylan said we might screen print next week. I would really like to see the design come to life.
We haven’t spent much time at the garden sadly this week. Although there is a lot of rain so the plants aren’t suffering. Yesterday we went for an hour before it started to rain…really hard. We mostly swept the garden clean and George was playing with a cricket. Sadie started a bet about the time it was going to rain; Cassie won with the closest bet of 2:17. It severely thunder stormed that afternoon until about 5o clock.
It was a really great experience to work with you, Cassie. Good luck on your SATs and college stuff ~

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"It's Week Four"by George

Hey it’s George. This is my fourth week here. We finally started to paint the map of the community on the floor, after we decided on a color scheme. The street will be gray, the blocks will be light blue, the parks are light green, and the river will be dark blue. We brought four gallons of white paint and mixed them to create different colors. We painted a light gray as a base coat. Then we use a chalk line and started to grid the whole office. It took one hour just to grid one third of the room. After we finish the grid we will start painting the streets and blocks on the floor for the map.
Last week we carried over fifty mosaic blocks and grouted them. The mosaic blocks will go into the wall of the new playground in the Sara Delano Roosevelt Park. We also started to make the stencil that we will use to silkscreen the t-shirts that everyone in the office will wear on August 2nd for the AAFE Chinatown Summer Street Festival. Sadly I won’t be there because I will be performing at a concert. The t-shirt design is a tree with many different types of leaves. In the middle of the t-shirt it says “Talk to me About Your Park” in English and Chinese. On the back it has the Hester Street Collaborative Logo.
On Friday someone broke into the garden. They threw the water buckets everywhere. They opened the shed and took the shovels out and they dug a hole in the mud pit which is very strange. The kids left a basketball and a baseball. At the office I planted a jasmine plant in the garden bed in front of the office and I water all the plants and then suddenly after I finished watering it started to rain. Today we are suppose to go to the garden but it’s suppose to rain at 1pm so we might not go.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cassie's Fourth Week

Hi, this is Cassie on my fourth and final week at Hester Street Collaborative. We’ve worked on some interesting projects in the past week. We finished grouting the mosaic blocks that will eventually be part of the walls in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Some of them had to be grouted several times, so it took us a few days to finish them. Also, we finalized the design for the t-shirts for surveyors at the AAFE street festival on Sunday in Columbus Park. The surveyors will be there for people to talk to about the parks in Chinatown. These suggestions will hopefully be taken into account when fixing up the parks. Our design for the shirts has a tree with many different types of leaves and says “Talk to me about your parks” in English and Chinese. To make the design we traced leaf images from the computer onto a piece of paper that already had the words printed on it from the computer. We then translated this design onto tracing paper with a dark pen so we could scan it into the computer. Once the design was in the computer, we sized it to the size of the shirts. George traced it onto contact paper which we’ll use for the silk-screening to make the shirts. Larry and Alex, two of the college interns, created a stencil by cutting out the parts of the design where we want the color to be when we silk-screen the design onto the shirts. When we silk-screen it, we’ll use a squeegee to drag the colored ink through the stencil onto the shirts.
Another big project we’ve been working on is painting the map of the Lower East Side on the floor. Last week we chose an orientation and color combinations for the map. The colors we chose are grey for the streets, light blue for the blocks, and green for parks. Yesterday we bought paint, cleared off the floor, and started painting the floor grey. We painted a huge amount of the floor in just a short time in the afternoon, and we’ve continued to paint it grey this morning. We have yet to paint under the desks because we need to finish taping up the wires and edges of the filing cabinets before painting. After we paint everything grey, we’ll tape off the grid for the map and then we’ll paint everything blue. The parts that we tape off will be the streets, so when we remove the tape they’ll still be grey. The floor is going to look very cool when we’re done painting everything.
Hopefully by the end of the week the floor will be done so I can see it before I stop working here. It’s been a really fun and interesting experience working at HSC and I hope to keep in contact with the organization and hopefully help out a few times in the fall.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Second Postings ~

So this is Megan again and my second blog posting. The past week has been pretty busy with many projects going on. The map on the floor has to have the orientation finalized if we were to paint it the week Annie is gone. The t-shirt design for the Summer Street Festival has to be finalized and the shirts have to be made before next Sunday. The garden is in pretty good shape although all the fruit on the trees have disappeared…and the peach tree may be sick): On Wednesday, when we went we saw the lower branches were oozing sap that was a yellow-orange-amber color. The eggplant patch has an eggplant though! And there are more and more cherry tomatoes growing (one is almost red)! According to Jess O. there will be strawberries if the flower growth keeps up…that’s what I’m secretly hoping for the most.
With the floor repainting project, it’s been more difficult. The North/South orientation has to be somewhat accurate, with the East River at the front of the room. Also having to systematically move all the furniture and tape off a grid may be problem. Not only would I like to paint the floor, which I must say is the fun part, I’d also like to learn a bit about large spaces and how organizing such a project is done.
The Summer Street Festival is coming up soon. It’s going to be next Sunday at different locations but mainly Columbus Park on Mulberry St. Since I was little I been going to that park but less and less nowadays. It would be really cool to see something I helped design in the public eye. In the process of making the shirts, I also get a chance to use what I been learning to make a simple phrase in Chinese to go on the shirt. Though I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to go home tonight and double check with my grandparents to see if I used the right words :x
So far this week I have been enjoying laying out the mosaic tiles for the walls along the path in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Carrying the mosaic tiles wasn’t the best part…it was a workout to carry them from the school back to the office, then grouting some of them. I must admit it was nice to do something hands on but the grout really dried out my hands… I’m hoping there won’t be enough tiles and then we could make some. It would be fun to learn one more new artsy thing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

George's Second Blog

Hey it’s George again. This is my second blog. I have been here in Hester Street Collaborative for about 3 weeks. Yesterday we carried about forty mosaic blocks from M.S.131 to the office so we could document them by taking pictures of them and grouting them so they could go into the wall of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park. We also started making patterns for the layout of the mosaics on the brick wall. At the office we’ve been using adobe illustrator which is software that helps make advance sketches. We used adobe illustrator to help make a grid of the office which appears over an aerial picture of the lower east side, so we would have a specific floor plan of what we would paint on the floor of the office. We are also trying to find a good color scheme for the map that is going to go on the floor of the office and we also made a calendar out of the chalkboard using painting tape. Last week we finished hanging the signs and we picked three apples and on Friday we had our first visitor in the P.S.134 garden. I didn’t catch her name but she was a nice person. She helped sweep up all the leaves and branches and throw them into the compost bin. Today we are going to go to the garden to fix the chairs and water the plants and sweep up again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cassie's Third Week

Hi, this is Cassie again on Tuesday of my third week at HSC. Last week we started a few projects. We painted one of the office walls with chalkboard paint, finished hanging the signs at the P.S. 134 community garden, and started working on the “map-on-floor” project. Right now the floor is just grey, so we wanted to paint a map of the lower east side on it. To get started on this project, we took all the measurements of the office and drew a plan. We chose one of the sketches to use and scanned it into the computer and drew a grid over it to create a scale so we would be able to accurately paint the map on the floor. The next step was to put an aerial picture of the lower east side into Adobe Illustrator and put it behind the grid. We had to make sure to get in a few key spots, such as the HSC office, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, and P.S. 134. Yesterday we made different versions of the prospective floor by orienting the map and grid differently, and changing the size of the map. We then chose potential color schemes for the floor by using different paint, mixing colors, and seeing which colors looked best together. In the afternoon yesterday, we went to the garden where we did some maintenance, such as sweeping leaves and bark into the compost bins, picking up trash, watering the plants, and turning the soil. Then we came back to the office and Annie took us across the street to M.S. 131 and showed us to the classroom where a ton of mosaic bricks were being stored. We went back and forth between the school and the office, bringing the bricks to the office so we could document them today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

George's First Blog at HSC

Hi my name is George and I going to become a freshman in Fort Hamilton high school. I’ve been here for about 2 weeks now. I don’t really know what I should write about but I think it goes like this. On the first day everyone went to the P.S.134 garden to help water the plants and sweep the floor and Dylan taught us how to use the watering hose. Days later we started painting the signs with varnish and hanging them up. The other intern and I also created four signs that tell the people in the community when the community garden of P.S.134 is open. To make the signs we had to print stencils and cut them out. I know this sounds like an easy job but it wasn't because the ink on the stencils never really dried. It took about two hours to cut the stencils out and then we use paint and stencil brushes and stenciled the letters into the sign.
Back in the office other interns Megan and Cassie and I helped make step by step sketches and 3D examples for students in the summer school program from NDHS (New Design High School).The purpose of the summer program is that students from NDHS have to make up credits and were trying to make a deal with the community so they could build a boarding school in the parking lot across the street. The students have drawn floor plans and made 3D model showing the plans. When Friday came it was time for the students present they’re structure they had created.
This week we turned one of the walls in the office into a chalkboard, we started to make designs for shirts that we will wear when we ask people questions about they’re parks, and we started to survey the office so we can paint a map on the floor. The map will show all the project sites that Hester Street Collaborative has worked on. Yesterday we finished drilling and hanging up the signs at the P.S.134 garden. The word MUDPIT was the hardest. We had to use a ladder but the signs kept falling onto the ground. It took about 30 minutes just to hang it up.

FiRsT bLoG~ mEgAn~

Hey, this is Megan and this is my first blog entry of the summer. I have been assigned to write an entry on Thursday and so far my mind is full of questions. I’m not entirely sure of how to write this entry except that there’s a lot to talk about in the past week and a half. Even though the time seems short, a lot has been done. On the first day, we jumped into the work after a tour of the workshop. Dylan took us out to the garden and taught us the ropes of the work out there. George started off by watering the plants, Cassie was sweeping, and I was picking up inorganic litter. As simple as that sounds, I was a bit tired by the end of all that. We did a lot in the times we been at the garden including refilling the barrels of water, painting the signs with polyurethane to keep the signs protected from the wind and rain, and much more. With Jess O. George and I started to work on the compost. Although compost breaks down over time, the compost bins had a twigs and branches which didn’t break down as quickly. We watered and broke down the matter more so that decomposition occurred faster. The other day at the garden with Sadie, I found a small apple that had fallen between two branches. It actually tasted like a Granny Smith! I hope by August that the apples will be ready with the weird weather.
Throughout the first week was the second week of the credit recovery program at NDHS (New Design High School). They were working on a project called SPURA which they were proposing ideas for a campus for their school on two current parking lots. The process started out with making models to scale (as much as possible) with an aerial image of the parking lots as a base. George, Sadie, Cassie, and I worked on a sample model the afternoon before. It was interesting to see all the students’ designs and their ideas for the use of the space. After modeling the space, we photographed the models. After all the pictures were uploaded to the computer, they were printed in black and white. Afterwards, trace paper was used to trace out the basic foundation lines of the structures. I chose to draw the space of a fountain that was on Alex and Larry’s model. I pictured it to be a three tier fountain with space for the community and students. I drew a couple of sketches of the area. With one of the trace paper sketches, I made it into a collage with ideas of how the space was going to be used and how it was going to be. With all the color and details, the sketches were scanned into the computer and placed into folders with students’ names. The photographs, sketches, and plans were placed into a template in InDesign, which is the layout program used this time. I learned the basics of the tools. Along with ourselves, the interns, working through the whole process, we helped out the students with their work. It was an interesting experience since they were…unpredictable at times. It was a noisy week but it was full of learning experiences.
I also learned a lot on top of SPURA and the garden. George, Cassie, and I worked on signs for the garden that showed the garden was open for the public. There were color schemes, stenciling and placement involved. It was messy to cut out the letters for the stencil…I had printer ink on my hands for a few days. On Monday, I used a bit of what I learned during the school year to help me draw a scale plan of the workshop. I didn’t think that technical drawing techniques would come helpful. I used a lot of what I learned about dimensioning as well. The plan will be used to help layout an aerial map that will be painted on the floor. I find that ongoing project really interesting since it’s so big and it should be a lot of fun. On top of the heavy lifting and gridding methodically that will need to be done.
So far there’s been a lot done and already a few ongoing projects. Yesterday, we started on t-shirt designs for the Summer Street Festival surveyors. My idea is pretty simple. On the back is a generic phrase that says “Ask me about YOUR PARK” to distinguish the surveyors. The capitalized words are to show some emphasis and importance of a park for people’s needs. Then on the front it says “Park Surveyor” with a hibiscus because it shows that it’s not only summer but its fragile beauty. Even in such a crowded and congested place—there is still beauty to be found.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cassie's First Blog Entry

Hi everyone, I’m Cassie and I’m going to be a senior at Riverdale Country School. I’m interning at Hester Street Collaborative for five weeks this summer. So far we’ve worked on a few projects. Last week the other interns, Megan and George, and I went to the P.S. 134 Community Garden with Dylan and helped clean it up and watered the plants. A few days later we went back to the garden with Sadie; we painted a clear top coat on wooden signs, made by the students at P.S. 134, so they could be hung up on the fences surrounding the garden.
There was also a summer school session last week at HSC. Students from New Design High School, who had to make up credits, were to create their idea of a boarding school. The project would be built on the SPURA (Seward Park Urban Renewal Area) parking lots across from their school. For years, a multitude of community members have been lobbying to build something on this land instead of just using it as a parking lot. The teachers and administrators at New Design High School thought that a boarding school would be a good use of the land, as many of the students who attend NDHS do not have stable home lives. Having a boarding school in the neighborhood would allow students to focus more on their schoolwork than on their living situations.
We helped the students by making examples for each step of their process in designing their buildings. The first step was making a model using cardboard, construction paper, wood figures, and clay. Once the models were done, the students picked an aspect of their design to focus on and then they drew detailed sketches of what the insides/outsides of parts of their schools would look like. They also sketched a plan (a bird’s eye view) of their schools, and a 3-D image as well. Megan, George and I scanned all of their sketches so the students were able to input them into an InDesign layout on the computer. Finally, each student presented his or her work, explaining why they chose to include certain features in their designs. The designs were all different; however there were many recurring features, such as study areas, gardens, basketball courts, and of course housing.

Monday, February 02, 2009

My time at Hester street part 2

Wow I’ve been here for 3 months I think and this is only my second post ha. Well that means this blog is going to be a big one. A lot was done over the course of the past 2 months. We started a new project which involved making lanterns out of re-used materials such as plastic bottles and bags. It was a rather long project which included lots of testing and innovating. Laquin who’s another intern and I help with the testing for the project. We began by cutting plastic bottles to use as a base for the lanterns. We then worked on the plastic bags by ironing them together to see how well they stick, and also to make them easy to fold over the bottle but we soon found out the bottles wasn’t the best base so we went on to look for something more sturdy yet flexible. We then started experimenting with wires which was much easier to play with.
So sticking with the wire as a base we then tried various shapes such as squares, triangles, and small triangles. That ended up being a success and was used as the permanent base of the lanterns. We then continued to iron the plastic bags and iron them onto the wired shapes giving the various sizes and colors. However these completed lanterns where just used for reference for the neighboring school students to use as a guide to building their own. After words our job became to supply the students with pre ironed bags and pre shaped wires. That part wasn’t the most exciting but at least the project was drawing to an end. Finally it was time have them strung on a wire and hung. Sadly I didn’t get to hang any because I was helping Anne string the last batch of lanterns, but I’m positive they look awesome hanging and all I can say is FINALLY hah. Now I’m just curious what project is next. Oh and excuse the lack of enthusiasm I’m just sleepy lol I’m honestly really grateful to be working this internship. This Abdur-Rahman btw Later xD""id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5298251431005964450" />