Celebrate Climate Week NYC and learn how climate change has affected Prospect Park and other natural areas in New York City and the projections for the future, including how Prospect Park Alliance and the Natural Areas Conservancy is using the best available science to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and preserve our urban forests. We will again be joined by Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein and Natural Areas Conservancy’s Justin Bowers, program manager for Natural Areas Restoration and the creator of Forest Identification and Restoration Selection Tool (FIRST), which helps forest restoration practitioners manage for and adapt to geographic and climate conditions.
As New Yorkers are riding their bicycles more than ever, new Brooklyn-based nonprofit AdaptAbility is on a mission to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy cycling in the city’s parks and streets. During this virtual program, we will interview Sunset Park entrepreneur Sandra Alfonzo about her journey from being a bicycle shop owner to running a nonprofit that makes and rents adaptive bicycles to children and adults with disabilities. We’ll also go live to Michael Cairl in Prospect Park to see the trike he uses from AdaptAbility in action and to hear about his experience transitioning to adaptive cycling.
Chefs at Thai restaurants across the United States are inspired by the geography, climate, and ingredients from their native towns and regions, from the cool valleys and mountains of Northern Thailand to the tropical seas of the South. This virtual program will welcome chefs who are originally from both the South and North of Thailand and will explore the similarities and differences between these two regional cuisines. We will be joined by Chef Patty Neusom from Chicago’s renowned restaurant Herb, who will cook a dish that is typical to Southern Thailand where she learned to cook with her mother and grandmother. We’ll also go live to Manhattan’s A Plus Thai Place, where Chefs Sanun Nakapat and Aura Piyada have introduced New Yorkers to Sukothai Noodles, a popular dish from their hometown in Northern Thailand. Meet these three amazing chefs, learn about Thai regional flavors and ingredients, and see them cook some of their favorite dishes.
In the height of the pandemic, artist Sean Carroll drew inspiration from his street and neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to create How to Take a Walk in an Era of Social Distancing: A Step-by-Step Guide, a multimedia project aimed at documenting his and his family’s daily activities as a way to approach daily life in this new reality with, “clarity, empathy, and humor.” As a professional photographer and former tour guide, Sean will share stories and insights from this ongoing project and will use the guide as a leaping off point to highlight how Pittsburgh’s geography, topography, and history have affected the development of the region, and ultimately what led him, his wife, and children to live in Pittsburgh and specifically on the block where they live. Sean Carroll is an artist using photography and video raised in coastal Massachusetts, now living in Pittsburgh. He received an MFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he lived for many years, and teaches within the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
The core of Thai cuisine is selecting ingredients that balance flavors – sweet, spicy, sour, and salty. Thanks to the growth in popularity of Thai food in the United States, many staple ingredients are readily available, either imported from Thailand or produced locally. On this program we’ll learn from top chefs about how they obtain the best ingredients for Thai cooking, and we’ll explore the international and domestic supply chains that support Thai chefs and home cooks alike. Our guests will be Chef Pithya Kongthavon from L’Thai Organic Cuisine in Georgia, who uses the highest quality ingredients to showcase the health benefits and balanced flavors of Thai cuisine. And from New York City’s Pinto Garden, Chef Terrawong “Yo” Nanthavatsiri sources seasonal and local ingredients to create his innovative takes on traditional dishes.
Join us for a virtual visit to Bien Hecho, a woodworking business at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that specializes in making furniture, millwork, cabinetry, public street seats, and other custom woodwork from reclaimed and sustainably-sourced wood. We’ll hear the story behind John Randall’s decade-old business, and how he has salvaged and transformed scrap wood, from a Brooklyn water tower to the Coney Island boardwalk, into beautifully-designed pieces of furniture and functional sculptures. This program will also explore Bien Hecho Academy, where classes and workshops take place. We’ll show some of the machinery and tools in the woodworking shop with the Academy’s Director Angie Yang, and we’ll get some insider tips on woodworking you can do at home or that you can also put into practice by joining Bien Hecho Academy’s exciting classes.
Learn about the history of Thai immigration to the United States and where Thai communities and Thai food destinations have popped up across the country. Some restaurants have appeared in neighborhoods to serve the Thai community – places like Elmhurst, Queens and Los Angeles’ Thai Town – while other restaurants have set up shop where very few Thai people live, taking on the challenge of educating diners about their cuisine. Join us for interviews and a cooking demonstration with Chef Sarintip “Jazz” Singsanong, who cooks spicy Southern Thai cuisine at Jitlada in the heart of LA’s Thai Town, and Chef Dee Buizer, who prepares upscale Thai food for an eager new audience at Senae Thai Bistro in Tucson, Arizona.
Like many cities around the world, New York City is facing the reality of climate change and its severe impacts on the urban environment. In Lower Manhattan, high tides with sea level rise are projected to flood multiple city blocks on regular basis in this generation. If we don’t take action, climate threats to this area will put our transit system, critical infrastructure and jobs serving all of New York City and the region at risk. On this virtual walk with the NYCEDC, we’ll explore how the City is taking action by investing over $500 million in climate adaptation projects to protect Lower Manhattan now, as well as planning for long-term climate adaptation to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The program will discuss Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency and the investments happening now, as well as the ongoing planning work to define the right type of infrastructure needed for the Financial District and Seaport neighborhoods and study the potential to extend the existing shoreline. Much work is still left to be done, and public engagement is critical to ensuring a successful plan to adapt these neighborhoods for current and future generations of New Yorkers.
Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong knew little about her father’s past. One day, she found his secret diary, written when he was a POW in a Japanese work camp during World War II. In remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, we will be screening “Every Day Is a Holiday,” followed by a Q&A and discussion about personal storytelling with Theresa. “Every Day Is a Holiday,” is the painful but life-affirming story of Paul Loong’s unlikely journey from Chinese teenager in Malaysia and a prisoner of war in Japan to merchant seaman, Veterans Affairs doctor and naturalized citizen of the country that liberated him: the United States.
How did Thai cuisine become so popular in the United States and across the world? Join us for this live virtual program to learn how Thailand has used “soft power” to raise awareness of its food and culture and transform the country into a prime culinary tourism destination and a leading exporter of food related products. We will meet the owners and chefs of two of the oldest and top-rated Thai restaurants in the United States. Chef Nongkran Daks from Chantilly, Virginia’s Thai Basil and Chef Chai Siriyan from San Francisco’s Marnee Thai will share their stories, discuss how awareness of Thai cuisine in America has changed in the last 20 years, and prepare a special and personal dish with us, including the iconic Pad Thai and the regional specialty Kang Kai Kole (southern yellow chicken curry).