Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 12-13 Street Art and Baseball Bike Tours in NYC - More Fancation Experiences

I’m addicted to street art and baseball. I'm on a mission to visit as many key street art sites as I can before they disappear (note what happened to 5Pointz last year) and to visit all MLB stadiums (which I depict in my Fancations series). The two tours happening this weekend in New York City have my name all over them, and I hope they’ll interest you, too.

Collage artist and founder of Gotham SideWalks tours, Rich Garr, spent this winter creating itineraries that blend specific cultural history with the fabric of rapidly evolving neighborhoods. These mash-ups of art, history and architecture utilize local characters and props that are both new and old. The tours are similar to his art process: a visual representation of surroundings. But while his studio art is two-dimensional, the tours offer something for all senses. Sights, sounds, and smells of New York City mix with music (yes, there’s music on these tours) and voices from past and present. www.GothamSideWalks.com. For more details or to book, call 718-938-1400.

BIKE BROOKLYN BASEBALL: a history of baseball and Brooklyn 
Saturday 7/12, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm, $40
Biking in Prospect Park
100 years of baseball in 10 miles and three hours of biking. Whether you're from Brooklyn or not, you've probably heard about the great local ball clubs of the 1950s. The Yankees, Dodgers, and Giants battled in New York to rule the major leagues. In fact, 14 of the 20 pennants from the 50's belonged to a NYC team. But there's so much more. Brooklyn alone holds an unprecedented place in baseball history. Far beyond Jackie Robinson and the color barrier, the quirks of Ebbets Field, or the meteoric rise of Brooklyn's own Sandy Koufax lie the roots of our nation's pastime. The tour trips back in time into the mid-1800s and gentleman club "base ball" and explores into the modern era and the exodus of the Dodgers in 1957... all the while traversing one of the finest circuits of urban bike paths in the country. Neighborhoods visited include Park Slope, Flatbush, Prospect Heights, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Cobble Hill, and Brooklyn Heights. The rolling greenery of Prospect Park is also in the mix.

STREET / ART, Lower East Side
Sunday 7/13, 1-3 pm, $30
King Bee Mural
Discover how the chaos of the Lower East Side has shaped—and continues to shape—the destiny of the art world. There’s an amazing amount of street art in New York City whether Banksy (English) or Invader (French) have “residencies” there or not. See and learn who and what inspired today’s fascinating mix of paste-ups, stencils, memorials, tags and throws. Get the context behind Banksy’s October street art blitz in the streets where hip hop and graffiti began. Besides the latest street art, the tour will also explore earlier art in and about the streets by talking about early photography and painting. The tour stops at a half dozen art galleries along the way, comparing and contrasting street art and graffiti techniques with art on the gallery walls. In the areas visited, historic tenements mix with bold architectural innovation in this eclectic and ever-evolving neighborhood. The morning ends at the edge of the East Village between two of NYC's most famous street art sites. No tour is ever the same. In addition to the aforementioned street artists and samplings from contemporary art stars, the tour typically finds Shepard Fairey, Stikman, LEE, Kenny Scharf, Nick Walker, Hanksy, and COPE pieces along the route.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Arthritis and Food While Traveling: How to Manage

Many of you know that my years of dance and hiking, combined with a family history of arthritis have led to my ongoing quest to ignore the effects that arthritis can have on your life. In particular, arthritis and travel (or food) don't have to be mutually exclusive, but you need to make some simple modifications to "acknowledge" it, particularly if you don't want to give up your lifestyle as an explorer of the world.

I've summoned the guidance of an expert, Brenda Schnable, to provide some insights about not letting arthritis get in your way. Brenda is a senior yoga therapist, certified in Qigong, and author of Qi Infused Yoga and Access Your Inner Power: Awakening Your Health and Vitality, 2014 International Book Award Best Cover Design Non-Fiction category and 2014 International Book Award Finalist in the Health: Alternative Medicine category. You can find out more at www.myinnerpoweryoga.com.

Ayurveda can keep you moving.

We foodies know that dining out is fun while on vacation. What you may not know, however, is that food may be contributing to your arthritic pain. There are many factors responsible for arthritis. Injury and overuse of the joints are two factors, but according to the Eastern wisdom of Ayurveda, food and a sluggish digestion can add to and possibly be a root cause of your arthritis.

Ayurveda is a sister discipline to yoga. It may surprise you to know that according to Ayurveda, one of the main causes for and worsening of arthritis is food. The old adage, “You are what you eat” is a founding principle of Ayurveda. Importantly, your digestion is thought to be  the origin of most common ailments, including arthritis. When digestion is sluggish, toxic build-up occurs, and when undigested food is not eliminated, toxins settle in the joints contributing to arthritis.

What should you do to boost digestion and get yourself ready for travel (where you may be eating very differently from your home menu)?  Before you leave for vacation, consider a detoxification program. A three-day detox is a quick fix that may do the trick for a long weekend away. Longer is more beneficial as the body can really flush itself out. Talk to your doctor and pick one that fits with your lifestyle and needs. Plan accordingly so that you have completed the program by the start of your trip.

To manage your arthritis while you're off exploring India, Central America or other destinations with foreign and enticing foods, Ayurveda suggests these dining tips so you can enjoy the local cuisine but minimize toxic build-up:
* Trade in salads and other cold and rough foods for warm dishes.
* Switch out raw veggies for lightly steamed or sautéed ones.
* Avoid foods known to cause gas such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower
* Enjoy warm oatmeal instead of granola and dried cereal.
* Spice up your meals with foods seasoned with herbs and spices such as basil and oregano for Italian fare; cardamom, cumin, and ginger for Asian cuisine; and cilantro in Mexican dishes. Other spices that help calm the system are cinnamon, salt, cloves, mustard seed, fennel, sage, tarragon, thyme and black pepper.
* Avoid iced beverages as much as possible, as cold drinks stimulate and can result in arthritic flare-ups. Drink warm tea instead. Ginger tea, in particular, is conducive to pacifying aching joints.
* Enhance the efficiency of anti-rheumatic medication by taking vitamin C and drinking orange or sweet lime juice.