applicious

October 1, 2012

IMG-20120930-01521Yes, Microsoft, please do add this ‘word’ to my dictionary because after picking 21.5 pounds of apples this weekend, I have a feeling the next few weeks will be very ‘applicious”.

The last weekend of September may have been the busiest of the month, if you can believe it. Between the Critical Mass Bike ride and the Akron Marathon, everyone but me was doing something athletic (Although I did go swimming. Twice. And when I swim next to floaters, my speed feels fast). 

Instead, I ate A LOT at the first annual “Potluck in the Park” hosted by Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI). Stephen used to work for the org and invited me to go (and make our lions share of  acorn bread) and the event was simply fantastic. As a registration table volunteer, I was in aIMG-20120929-01509we of the sheer number of people who came and how many amazing “chefs” live in Cleveland.

Nearly everyone brought food that was locally sourced, even though that wasn’t a ‘requirement’ and while I’m not either, it was great  to see an array of vegetarian and vegan dishes. And there was a great showing of educational tables offering tips on gardening, crafts and free non-disposable water bottles. If you missed out, man o’ man, you missed out on one of best events Edgewater Park has ever seen.

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Prior to eating two giant plates of the best homemade veggie lasagna and jambalaya ever, I spent the afternoon in Ohio City and Tremont, picking out a gorgeous reclaimed wood farm table from the Dredger’s Union closing sale and watching an episode of the 1961 show “Route 66” in the basement of a church. I don’t think I neeIMG-20120930-01526d to explain the awesomeness of the first activity, so on to the bizarre church experience: A friend sent an email earlier in the week announcing the episode that would show Tremont as it was in the early 60’s. Always interested in the history of place, I signed up for the free event.  Stephen and I were the youngest people by 50 years, except for the Pastor who was convinced he knew me since we’ve both lived in South Jersey and Pittsburgh! We had to leave early, because the film started late, but I cannot wait to see the end. Why doesn’t programming like this exist on TV nowadays?Oh, and Tremont was cool back then, too 🙂

IMG-20120930-01520On Saturday, I wished I lived on the West Side, because after spending the day there, we returned to Tremont and resided at Lava Lounge for hours, celebrating Juliana’s 29th birthday. On Sunday, I was happy to be an EastSider, as we awoke early to roadtrip to Eddy’s farm on Caves Rd for Pick-Your-Own-Apples. Amazingly, this is one of the few area farms with apples still left to pick after the severe weather we had earlier this year. There, we picked four different types of apples and sampled grapes straight from the vines. I had never done this before and it was an enlightening experience for sure. I have ever ever ever tasted grapes so, well, grapey! Amazing. I think I need to start growing grape vines. Not even for wine. Just for grapes. YUM.IMG-20120930-01524

IMG-20120930-01527As usual, Sagree was prepared with a thermos of tea, a book and plenty of blankets to lay on under the shade of the apple trees. One of the greatest things about living in Cleveland is that in minutes you can be in the heart of the city, out in the country where the landscape is stunning, or on a beach!

We tried to make a quick stop at Patterson’s for apples fritters, but that was impossible as the line to the counter was 40 people deep. Luckily, Ivy and Danny were kind enough to pick up some for us as we dashed off to pick out carving pumpkins and then ran off to Euclid Beach.

IMG-20120930-01518Prior to May, I had no clue Euclid Beach existing. Since May, I’ve been there practically once a week! It’s a fantastic city resource and used to be even better prior to 1969 when an amusement park sat on the site. Unfortunately, the Humphrey family’s park stopped being profitable in the mid-60’s and so it closed down just as nearby parks like Cedar Point were gaining traction (the advent of the interstate and Cleveland’s race riots helped shut down the  Euclid Beach amusement park as well).

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This weekend, the annual event remembering and celebrating the park occurred and once again Stephen and I were one of the youngest people by decades. I took a walking  tour of the grounds and it was so wonderful to hear anecdotes from people who remembered certain rides from their childhood. And of course, being a design freak, I loved the old postcards and token’s from big band shows and arcade games.

IMG-20120930-01515In between all of these things, I of course studied, feel asleep while studying, did laundry, shopped online, painted my nails a yummy fall color from Zoya and made the first apple dish of the season!

The super easy recipe prompted me to start last night after moving my table into the kitchen and rescuing an antique Singer sewing machine from the curb. I got it from the Glucose Design Group, an organization that is putting together a website and documentaryIMG-20121001-01542 on the impact packing your own lunch can have on your health. I found them at the Potluck and tasted this yummy concoction of apples, cinnamon, honey and orange juice and was in love.

I’ve eaten about half of it between dessert, breakfast and lunch. That’s probably not the “bring your own lunch” impact they were hoping for! 🙂

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glbf-map We all know the story of the Little Engine that Could, despite his unfounded fears that he was an inadequate fella’, but this weekend, our little raft for the Lake Erie Boat Float really couldn’t.

stephen battling lake erie Not that it was the heap of recyclables’ fault (because we tested it and it really did remain buoyant!). No, it was Hurricane Isaac’s remnants that damned our mission to set sail a pile of pool noodles, five gallon water jugs, old kiddie pools and mounds of plastic grocery bags – ironed into a sail and braided into rope – into Lake Erie (pictured above).

IMG-20120829-01245 The three year old event designed to help raise awareness about the impact of plastic on our environment held a permit to launch rafts made of entirely post-consumer recyclable material at 10am on Saturday. IMG-20120829-01243Unfortunately, raging winds and rains moved into the area overnight at by sunrise, Edgewater Beach was being pounded by waves I thought were only possible in the ocean!

IMG-20120906-01329 Over the course of the past two weeks, Craft+Wine Club’s regularly scheduled programming had been transformed to include boat building, including two off-site events at Euclid Beach where we tested the rafts (take one and take two, at right), fully confident our little guy would safely take Nidhi out to Canada and back again.

We christened the boat, shown below, something Bridget said she had always wanted to do. Meanwhile, Nick signed his name, Nidhi said “what are you doing?” (I presume, because she asks this of Nick a lot) and Stephen said “you know, I just checked the radar for the tenth time in twenty minutes and there are going to be 8 foot waves”.

IMG-20120906-01332 Nidhi was significantly less confident at 8:30am on Saturday, and so while she was overjoyed that she would not become part of the many sunken ships and IMG-20120906-01331 perished crew lurking in the bottom of the Great Lakes (like she also would have been if she had ridden the noodle cluster pictured at left and below!), Stephen was inversely irritated to learn that this lovely contraption would remain in his van (at the event, PolyFlow wouldIMG-20120905-01326 have been available for us to re-recycle our creation!).

However, having a liking for organization, the float didn’t last in the back of the van long;  but before Stephen banished it to its current resting place on a hook in the garage, we had to put the good fella’ to use and simulate the act of rowing. In the driveway. In raincoats. You didn’t think these were Photoshopped, right?!

ali battling lake erie

Thanks to everyone on team CrAFT: Nidhi, Bridget, Tiffany, Julie, Juliana, Laei, Nick, Stephen, Ricky and Ariel! We’ll get ‘em next year!

it was a BLAST!

August 5, 2012

431990_4435760100356_679252226_n Today, north winds brought waves crashing over the rocks that line Euclid Beach in North Collinwood, and despite the noise, created an atmosphere of serenity.

Yesterday, southern winds ushered in hundreds of people from all over greater Cleveland to join a rocking party on the beach, aptly titled Euclid Beach Blast.

Both scenarios demonstrate why the shore point, former home to the Euclid Beach Amusement park, is a great destination in North East Ohio. And with the combined efforts of the Sewer District, the local CDC and groups like Alliance for the Great Lakes in support of the newly launched Urban Beach Ambassador’s program, the water quality of Lake Erie is on its way to healthy levels, even after a rainfall event. 

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The second annual Beach Blast truly was a blast, combining the creativity of neighboring artists with locals’ passion for one of the region’s best resource. The Blast is Stephen’s creation, a way for him to express his love for and belief in the greatness of the north coast shore in a way that people of all ages can enjoy.

BeachLab, an interactive aspect of the Blast and brainchild of Collinwood artist Ivana and CIA employee Ivy, demonstrated to Blast goers the varied potential of the park’s vast property while a masterplanning proposal from MKSK (out of Columbus) and Land Studio (in Ohio City) generated conversation about linking Wildwood, Villa Angela and the Recreation Center to the beach.

557032_4435758300311_277440116_nMy recycled paper roses, manufactured for sale at this summer’s Collective Upcycle pop-up, made a return appearance in the “Recycled Rose Garden”, suggesting that plantings could spruce up patches of under-utilized lawn (above).

561415_483538204992590_203958145_n As a volunteer, I was awarded a t-shirt, a food truck voucher (which I redeemed for a Po Boy at B&M BBQ) and a voucher for a free burrito to Chili Peppers on E.185th (which we redeemed today, and the burrito was sensational. FYI: all Beach Clean-Up attendees at Euclid will be given a burrito voucher in the future, and this fact alone should be motivation enough!).

578848_4435761900401_1629504070_nIn addition to installing my artwork and assisting in the creation of the children’s playground on the plinth of a former amusement park ride, I spent the evening crafting trash mobiles with Nicole of Plenty Underfoot. 

304554_483538488325895_1344259188_n A crew of us made samples at Nicole’s studio last week and tirelessly scrubbed recyclable trash for beach goers to string onto mobiles of their own. You can read about our craft night on the Detroit Shoreway, hereMy mobile is pictured above and is resplendent with bottle caps, plastic toy pieces and a tampon applicator – all found by clean-up crews on the shores of Lake Erie! GROSS! GROSS! GROSS!

219633_482016545144756_1465801136_oFunded by the generous support of backers on Kickstarter, in addition to raising awareness, the Blast provided a safe, fun atmosphere for people of all ages to dance, craft and dine at Cleveland’s Famous Food Trucks! Other activities included games, face painting and of course, music!

In addition to the after-party at the nearby Beachland Ballroom, three bands performed with Lake Erie in the background including The Hesitations singing covers from the ‘50s and ‘60s and Son Gitano, Stephen’s band, performing original Latin fusion jams.

412419_482926978387046_1968983587_o Sad you missed it? I bet you are! Well, never fear, the Euclid Beach Adopt-A-Beach team is always looking for volunteers and clean-up events happen through the Fall with Ivana leading the occasional free yoga class as a cool down to lugging around pounds of recyclable trash!  Planning for the Blast 2013 will likely start soon, so stay tuned to the FB page for details!

Also, the next Urban Beach Ambassador’s training will be held at Edgewater this Thursday at 6:30pm-8:30pm.

556280_451652438181167_2029691742_n Sources:

https://www.facebook.com/euclidbeachblast

http://www.freshwatercleveland.com/forgood/euclidbeachblast080212.aspx