Archive Page 2

Boston Public Market and the Leather District residents trying to make a difference

Yay for the LD!

Such a nice surprise to walk out on a crisp Fall day and find the banners up.

New LD Banners

I believe the LDNA is responsible for negotiating donations from the film crews who temporarily disrupt our lives (and build sets in the alley behind our building all night). The negotiations have succeeded in getting us those “big belly” solar powered trash compacting bins as well as some nifty new banners. WELL DONE!

Recently, news of progress on “our” permanent public market came to my attention. It wasn’t clear to me how we were supposed to be getting this information, only that we hadn’t – despite asking. I asked my contacts among those advocating for the Boston Public Market.

I have received neighborhood queries about what was happening. Everyone during the “Hello Greenway” event who wanted to show me beautiful architect’s renderings got questioned. They seemed to have plans and drawings of everything but the public market. I asked them to tell me anything they could about the promied public market. Not one person could tell me anything. Not one. Only one guy who was pleading his case as “just a volunteer”. He basically said “not my job” ask the conservancy people. Just then, Mumbles himself walked by and said “that’s the man you need to tawk to, he knows everything!”

Expressed my joy at Louisa Kasdon’s piece and my dismay at learning about through the newspaper when I have been (and I know others have as well) asking for progress reports and getting vague “working on it” answers.

(Seems to me a little communication could go a long way. Even if it’s to say “here’s the three things that have to happen next: 1 is scheduled for x date and Sue is handling it, read our blog for updates, or contact Sue…” We are, or should be, in the same boat, rowing in the same direction. I’m here to help and willing to do more than support them at fundraisers. I’ve been asking. I know I’m not alone.)

Here’s the response from Janet Christensen of the BPM Board:

The popularity of the “farmers’ market” on the Greenway October 4th underscored how great it would be to have the market again next summer– and also how wonderful it would be to establish a year round Boston Public Market hall on or near the Greenway! Yes, there is a Boston Public Market Association operating for several years now and while the outdoor market was always a success, our long range goal is the permanent market hall.

[ed note: I specifically asked what residents could do to express support for the year-round public market:]

What fans of a year round Boston Public Market can do is write to Secretary Leslie Kirwan, Office of Administration and Finance. Room 373, State House, Boston, MA 02133  and let her know that you believe  a permanent market hall would be a very important community space!

Currently there are monies designated  in the Environmental Bond Bill which are very important to getting this project off the ground.  While the Legislature passed the Bond Bill and Governor Deval Patrick has signed it,  the Office of Administration and Finance has to authorize the funds.
We are a non-profit association and we need funds to get the public market established!

Yes, the seasonal outdoor market is very popular and we are beginning to work on plans for re-establishing it next summer, but right now we need public support for the permanent market hall.  And the best way Boston residents can help us on that is to write to the State House!

As to location, our fervent hope is that the permanent market will be on or near the Greenway, though it is impossible at this time for us to guarantee any of our wishes.  Also, in answer to a question raised, the expenses of our outdoor market were very high and issues for the farmers and vendors of unloading and parking were difficult to say the least.

We hope that Boston residents will continue to support us in our efforts.  Not only will the public benefit from a local supply of fresh nutritious farm products and specialty foods– but Massachusetts farmers and specialty foods producers from across the state will gain a new and enthusiastic market!

###

Well that’s all I got right now, folks!

What can you do? Write a letter. Now.

  • Secretary Leslie Kirwan, Office of Administration and Finance. Room 373, State House, Boston, MA 02133

Let’s keep the momentum going. We all have to do our part. Hey, maybe Wilkerson can make a donation from that stash she has in her bra? Or maybe she can wield some of that influence…

The Candidates and the Environment

Talk about the stain of sins..okay so it’s maybe a tad less exciting than seeing the virgin mary in your toast, but..we thought it was pretty wild.
Coffee stain in our Cordova Inn, shaped like Alaska

And then there’s this:

Getting the theme? But why take my word for it?

See what Environmenatal Magazine has to say.

Here are a few tidbits:

  • Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

Obama: Opposes drilling in ANWR.
McCain: Has opposed drilling in ANWR, but now says he is “glad to accept new information” about the possibility.

  • Offshore Oil Drilling

Obama: Opposes lifting the ban on offshore oil drilling.
McCain: Reversed his opinion in June and now supports lifting the offshore oil ban.

  • Public Lands

Obama: Does not support rolling back protection to allow drilling in the West. Has stated that he will increase national park funding and will work to conserve more land.
McCain: Cosponsored bill to allow handguns in national parks. Sponsored bill to restrict flights over the Grand Canyon. Has opposed bills on wilderness designation.

So who, exactly is the change guy? Could this explain why the McPalin crew is tanking faster than you can say overblown stylist budget.

Take to placebos and call me in the morning – get me a pirin tablet, pronto!

File this under WTF???!!!

Apparently doctors have routinely prescribed placebos to patients, especially those they deem difficult. Like those with Fibromyalgia. Haven’t we dispensed with the mythology that protected egos – we can’t diagnose it so it must be in her head? Remember women and those heart studies – we didn’t fit the data they had on men, so they just threw the conflicting data out.

This is just outrageous. What about trust in the doctor-patient relationship. How about instead of paying you for your service I just write a pretend check? Think that would fly?

Read about it here, Half of Doctors Routinely Prescribe Placebos. Half.

Remember in The Bird Cage when Nathan Lane was calmed by Hank Azaria with his special “pirin tablets” – aspirin with the “as” rubbed off. I love his character…

Makes the banh mi go down easier

At least for me. This judgment, For $2 – an – Hour Restaurant Deliverymen, a $4.6 Million Judgment in New York for back wages for deliverymen is what I hope will be the crest of a wave of workers’ rights cases. The delivery staff were working crazy hours, and often docked for ridiculous things like letting the door slam. The judge found the defendants’ testimony obviously false.

The restaurant world is rife with stories of such abuse. Little enforcement authority or oversight, coupled with cash business and low wages, often immigrant workers, is a formula for abuse. Now that John Edwards is so discredited, who else will step in to speak for these workers who have so little access to fair wages?

Banh Mi

Read about The Perfect Sandwich, here.

Okay, forget about the Dog Whisperer. I want Pollan for Veep.

Sorry Joe, I know I keep suggesting other people for your job. But here’s the thing: they’re saying or doing what I think needs to be said or done. I was half-joking with the Cesar Millan thing. Though I think he sets a good example. If we reined in Wall St the way he does a pack of dogs. Phew, I wouldn’t have to plan on working till I drop.

But this Michael Pollan essay on the critical issues facing the next president, see Farmer in Chief, is exactly the kind of thinking that’s missing in Washington. People have been led to believe that issues of childhood hunger, or childhood obesity, the epidemic of diabetes, the food contamination problems are all unrelated issues. As Pollan demonstrates, they are all connected to years of bad policy and wrong-headed regulations.

Our food production and food systems are also connected to fossil fuel consumption. It’s just impossible to keep pretending our farm and food policies are isolated things that can be debated, regulated and reviewed in the absence of the systems they support or that support them.

One issue he raises that I’ve only just become aware of is the abattoir or slaughterhouse regs. One of the key challenges to eating more healthfully raised, humanely raised, environmentally better animal protein is our system of slaughterhouse inspection. Current rules are a complete impediment to the more healthy meats they were originally intended to be ensuring.

Everything is skewed in almost a through-the-looking-glass perversion of what works in food production. True costs are not simply how cheap that burger is, honest accounting must include all the attendant environmental distasters embedded in how that cow was raised, fed and slaughtered, the fossil fuels used in production and transportation and so much more.

Absent strong leadership that does what Pollan’s essay does, connects the dots, requires accountabilty, absent these things we are destined for more of what has become too frequent bad news about food contamination, environmental disasters and public health crises.

For some great snippets of innovative food production ideas see this slideshow, New Food Ideas.

Move over Cesar, it’s Pollan time.

Boston Food Culture Examiner: Hey Hubsters, Hipsters, Foodies, Culture-Vultures, Layabouts…

Boston Food Culture Examiner: Hey Hubsters, Hipsters, Foodies, Culture-Vultures, Layabouts…

I’ve begun writing for Examiner.com – covering food and culture. Check it out at Examiner.com clickon the link above and you can subscribe there..

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Fourth Anniversary Fougasse and Flowers

This post is brought to you by the letter F.

The flowers –  calla lillies include the ‘black’ color I carried in our wedding. (The mango ones were added on bonus points.)

The fougasse – my first recipe from our new copy of The Art and Soul of Baking. (See my sidebar bookshelf to order yours from Powells. We don’t buy bread anymore. This will last a lifetime.)

The friends who came over with wine and laughter, priceless.

Fougasse is a bread from the South of France. It can be baked in various styles (flatter, like pita almost) or puffier, and shapes like a leaf or chaff of wheat. You can fold in olives or herbs. This one has sprinkle of olive oil, rosemary, thyme and salt.


A window into what I’m thinking and writing about.

Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing itself...you can find it all through this page. Use this sidebar and the links below to go directly to whatever strikes your fancy. Jacqueline Church's Facebook profile

Where I’ve been seen, published, cited, syndicated…

  • - Tuesday November 11 @6 PM Povo Blogging Panel. Come to 660 Washington Street in Chinatown at the Archstone Building to see what a panel of bloggers have to say about the state of blogging.
  • - Interviewed by Sarah Turner of Suite101 about Using Blogs to Raise Social Awareness
  • - Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times, Austin American Statesman, BBQ Report, Computer Shopper. See clips here.

For Real on the Virtual Gourmet!

Noted food and wine author John Mariani ran my article Salmon and the Sustainability Zeitgest. Click here to read it!

Books make great gifts, for yourself or others.

Click here to see what's on my Powell's Bookshelf.
Powell's Books

Mark Your Calendars

August 22 - Courtney Hunt's acclaimed film Frozen River at the Coolidge Corner. See Diversions for more.

Caught my eye…

  • The Audubon Insectarium opens in New Orleans. See Getting Down with All that Skitters.
  • Copper River Salmon is so hot, even E!online is commenting on the stars who eat it. Taye Diggs was digging it.
  • Vertical farms? Colbert meets Ethicureans...heaven is for those with humor and ethics, yes? Interesting food for thought here....

On Women and Work

Read my contributions to The Glass Hammer a new blog for executive women.

Diversions

  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

What's on my del.iciou.us list?

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