GreenNY: Union Square greenmarket

The Union Square greenmarket was a must on my to-do list as soon as I found out about it. On Wednesday I got the chance to visit all the goodness that New York and its’ surroundings have to offer.

I am not sure if the market is bigger on weekends than during the weekdays, or if my expectations were just too high. I intend to visit as many farmer’s markets or ‘greenmarkets’ in Manhattan (and maybe Brooklyn) as possible – which can be a challenge. The organization¬†GrowNYC¬†has put a lot of effort into making the city, and people’s lifestyles, more sustainable.

Sustainable cooking demos are powered with solar energy

The Union Square park was a perfect place to have lunch, even though the stallholders in the market sold mainly fresh produce, baked items such as cupcakes and cookies (with vegan options) meat and cheese. Few stalls had apple cider, honey, condiments or flowers and other plants such as herbs.

Red hot tomatoes
Refreshments for the dehydrated shoppers

I will definitely go to Union Square greenmarket again on a Saturday to see, if there is more on offer – I miss the pita bread and superb spreads that could be sampled in Mountain View Farmers’ Market in California, not to mention all the other spectacular foods that were sold (and available for sampling) there! So far, I think Mountain View has the best farmer’s market I’ve been to. Even the 20 different types of oranges could be tasted before purchase, so you got your favorite kind for sure!

The Union Square Greenmarket is open Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat 8-18 (or 8:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m as they say in here).

Other farmer’s markets on my to-go list include the following: New Amsterdam, Williamsburg Smorgasburg, Hester Street fair, and maybe Botanical Garden Greenmarket. They are not organized by GrowNYC, which has 21 different markets around Manhattan, on different days.

Summer is here – the colors, smells and feeling are energizing even without the taste of raw cabbage!


Campers’ paradise

Last Sunday I got to visit the kids’ camp that starts on Thursday. I found out that when I get on the train and to work, they get to hop on a mini bus that takes them to maybe the most idealistic place to spend the summer! Pictures say more than a thousand words, but I will say that the thousand kids who go to that camp will have more fun than any picture can tell!

Coleman Country Day Camp is perfect for kids as well as parents

The kids go to Coleman every weekday before 9, and they come home after 4. There are special events throughout the summer, and various activities are organized daily. Ice cream is offered daily, and the kids get to eat pizza every week!

During my brief visit I saw canoes, horse stables, different kinds of sports fields etc. In addition to the piggie, there was goats as well as other animals.

Of course this kind of luxury is not free. The summer at Colemans costs over 5,000 dollars per kiddie. The youngest campers are under 3 years old. Of course, every camper must weak camp clothes, which could be purchased on the premises. For the hard-working parents this kind of camps are a good way of making sure their offspring stays out of trouble, gets to socialize, learns new things, gets some fresh air and stays off the computer. Win-win to all.

Nuff said.

I wish I worked here!

Summer in Finland

There are certain things that make Finnish summer outstanding. Those memories of the warm, sweet summer days give us strength to endure the brutal winter and the months of darkness. My Finnish summers are completed with the following:

Tampere view: Laukontori, M-real and Tako factory, Sokos hotel Ilves in the right
Kuopio: Puijo ski jump hills and Puijo tower
Being happy by the water
Being happy by the water
Bright, calm days
Bright, calm nights

Juhannus – Midsummer

Midsummer is a big festival in Finland. The cities are deserted, when people go to their summer cottages to celebrate the long day and non-existent night. After juhannus, the days get shorter and the darkness starts to draw closer and closer.

Traditional midsummer scene: Cottage, outdoor activity and the bonfire

I have never been a big fan of Midsummer. Most of the years I can remember, the weather has been horrible. This year I am glad to miss all the hassle of getting to the supermarket (and Alko liquor store) before they close. No beer and barbecue, or guessing how many drowned this year. In stead…

…I am enjoying the hotness of the New York summer (from yesterday’s 37 degrees C, it has now dropped to just 32). This morning started with an astanga yoga practice on the patio. Later, we will go have dinner at the Meca pool. Not bad alternative, I say. I wonder what the weather is like in Finland…

On my way to work

Still a bit jet lagged, I have been waking up around 5.30 or 6.30 every morning. I don’t mind the long, more relaxed mornings – back home I used to just get up, get dressed and get out. After breakfast with the kids (pancakes for them, cereal and fruit for me), my morning goes like this.

My ride to the train station

The MTA takes about 45 minutes to the city.

The MTA keeps loud noise when passing by

I leave at the last train stop, Penn Station. There, I find my way to the exit to 7th Ave.

(morning) Crowd in Penn station


Typical sight on the street: Food, sun and the yellow cab


7th Avenue, where the office is located

I walk about 3 minutes to number 333. There, to the lift and to 10th floor.

To the office of Big Media and KeepTree

Here I sit for the day, have lunch in one of the dozens of restaurants just down, up or around the block, come back to the office and then around 6 pm the pictured routine is reversed.