I just received word an interview I did for Scott Fussell of Command Your Business is live and ready to go. Check it out by going to Command Your Business.
I am very happy to announce that I won a scholarship to Facebook’s Vets In Tech Hackathon to be held at their headquarters in a few weeks. Thank you to theInstitute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University and VWISE for this opportunity. The event will give me the opportunity to pitch, once again, but this time it will be the app that will be pitched. If my project is chosen, a team will be formed to create the app or at least a prototype. I am very excited and humbled at this opportunity and look forward to your feedback. Would you use an app to find the nearest pocket park and get some information about it?
Second, I put up my first Etsy.com store with notecards with images of some of the parks in my book. They have a watercolor filter on them and look really beautiful. I am selling them on a trial basis to see how they do, but I would appreciate it if you took a look and sent your friends. Just click on the images below.
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting this venture. I hope to make you proud!
I am very excited to announce the the New York Public Library has added me to their catalogue! I hope this means they will let me read at the libraries especially the Chatham Library. It is the library branch in Chinatown near the Kim Lau Gate. Keep an eye out for more activity from Pocket Parks Publishing!
Tiny oases of greenery in the concrete jungle are celebrated in this sprightly guidebook, the first of a planned series.
Recalling her salad days as an actress searching for that most precious of New York commodities—a place where you can sit down without paying—novelist O’Brien (First Saturday, 2012, etc.) offers this compendium of 56 “privately owned public spaces” and city parks in Manhattan, from Midtown on south. It doesn’t take much to make a park in those environs: Take a vacant lot or a recess bordering a sidewalk, add a few planters with shrubs, some chairs and furniture—you’ve got Gotham’s answer to Yellowstone. Some of these are little more than places to rest one’s feet during a shopping binge after grabbing a bite from a sidewalk vendor, but many manage to conjure a sheltering, distinctive space from cramped dimensions. O’Brien seeks out those that feature verdant foliage and clever landscaping, sculpture and artworks that add visual interest, dramatic views of the cityscape, a glimmer of a reflecting pool or a waterfall to mask the roar of city noise.
Read more at Kirkus Reviews.
No, this is NOT an April Fool's prank! The Kindle ebook version of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC is available for FREE today on Amazon.com. Help boost those rankings by downloading your Kindle copy today. Here's how it goes:
1. Download your FREE Kindle copy of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC
through midnight Pacific time tonight,
2. Leave a review on Amazon.com (hopefully a glowing review),
3. Tell all of your friends who may visit New York City about
BEST Pocket Parks of NYC.
Are you ready for the spring? Please join me on Tuesday, 2/25 from 6-7pm at Cafe Atlantique for an hour of signing books and talking about pocket parks and get ready for springtime in NYC! I'll be there to sell, sign and talk about this project that is near and dear to my heart just like the city that inspired it.
Cafe Atlantique is located at 33 River Street, Milford, CT. It has the best coffee ('sorry, Dunkin), excellent food and various events such as wine tastings and musical guests. My friend, Zack, introduced me to it a few years ago and it's been my favorite place to take my friends or meet clients. Join me on Tuesday evening and see for yourself. While you're there, consider supporting an author by purchasing your own signed copy of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC.
The next stop was nearby Chatham Square. Kimlau Memorial Arch was erected in 1962 to honor LT Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, a World War II hero of Chinese decent, but the square, Chatham Square, has been there forever and previously hosted the site of the Second and Third Avenue Elevated Lines before their demolition in the mid-20th century. It is a short distance from there to Columbus Park. Though it isn’t a pocket park, I had to take my son there to enjoy the Asian musicians, impromptu singers and Mahjong games. It was a hive of activity as we stopped to listen and took a few pictures of our new-found obsession: Bubble Tea.
The schlepp to Bennett Park about ten blocks away was worth my son’s reaction to the Helix, a sculpture by Rudolph de Harak erected in 1969. It is a series of one-inch stainless steel strips fashioned into a helix that fascinated my future engineer. This was where I discovered what a wonderful photographer he is. I handed over the camera and he became my official photographer for the rest of the day.
New York City is a vibrant culture populated by pocket parks. It is a guide I was privileged to write and an experience I was privileged to share with my son if only for one day.
Thank you to Seeking Sanctuary at world's End blog for the lovely post about the book.
When I was a young actress in New York City, I frequently ducked into a pocket park in between work or auditions. I have always loved the concept of public space, little more than the space between buildings sometimes, with seating, greenery and the occasional waterfall or art installation. It took me three years of research and site visits to find, photograph and catalogue the pocket parks and public spaces that would be included in my guide, BEST Pocket Parks of NYC. On one of my site visits, I took my then 12-year-old son with me. It was an excellent decision that led to a day of discovery.
We headed into Manhattan on Metro North. Our first stop was actually an indoor pocket park located directly across the street from Grand Central Terminal. In fact, the Philip Morris Atrium was the first pocket park I ever visited when a friend took me there during my first weeks in the city. I was gratified to see that my son was as in awe as I was many years ago. We entered on the Park Avenue side right past 42nd Street where you get the best view of the space from the top of the stairs. He loved the built-in granite seating and four stories of glass on two sides, and thought the sculptures and art were interesting. They, in fact, are rotated in from the Whitney Museum’s permanent collection.
Next, we took the subway to Chinatown to grab an early lunch before the crowds. Jing Fong Restaurant at 20 Elizabeth Street is a favorite restaurant of my family. It’s a large banquet room at the top of an escalator and serves the best dumplings. Our entire family has stuffed ourselves there for under $35. The servers come around with steam carts from which you pick your favorites. We don’t always know what we’re eating, but we choose and take our chances and it is always delicious.
Next I'll take you downtown into Chinatown and the Wall Street area.
Thank you to On The Set of New York for the interview of Rosemary O'Brien. Read it by clicking the image to the left.
On the Set of New York (otsoNY) is a website purely dedicated to showcasing movies that have been filmed in the state of New York. otsoNY is a non-profit making website.
Pocket Parks Publishing
is excited to announce
BEST Pocket Parks of NYC
is available in paperback
in advance of the official
January 15, 2014
This guide to the location and history of pocket parks is the culmination of three years of research to find and document the best pocket parks and public spaces in New York City. There are roughly 530 POPS (privately owned public spaces) on the city's roster with roughly 230 that have seating, but little else. I have chosen 56 of THE BEST spaces that host seating, greenery and amenities such as waterfalls, sculpture or art - things that make them special. Where possible, I have included the history of the space or some interesting tidbit of information about the creation of the space. This is by no means an all-inclusive list, so future revisions are planned.
If you are an adventurous traveler who likes to learn different things about the cities you visit, or a curious local who passes these spaces every day and always wondered about them, please visit Amazon.com and order your copy of BEST Pocket Parks of NYC. Also be on the lookout for future guides to future cities' pocket parks and public green spaces.
NOTE: Kindle version available soon.
Order your copy in advance of the official January 15, 2014 publication date and make note of your favorites. When spring arrives, you will be ready to hit the ground running to see these 'little green spaces in the middle of the city.'