Clean Out Your Closet and Make Room for Meaning: The 12x12 Project Starts Today!

Dearest Poopers, I do so hope you'll find time this week for...

WHAT: The 12×12 Project. Sit, drink tea, and join me in transforming NYC's used clothing into a communal work of art. Clean out your closet or just come for the craft! WHERE: First Park, 33 East 1st Street (at the corner of Houston and 2nd Ave) WHEN: Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 12-7pm. Rain or shine!

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WHY: In his preface to Twelve by Twelve, the inspiration for this project, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow and author William Powers asks: “How could humanity transition to gentler, more responsible ways of living by replacing attachment to things with deeper relationships to people, nature, and self?” This project is an opportunity to answer that question through action. For the next six days, the 12x12 will be a donation site for unused clothing, a model of consumption-less repurposing, and a space for crafting and community cohesion. (Read more about it in the original post.)

Craft, you say? Why, yes. To be specific, LATCH HOOK!

I gotta be honest with you now. The most exciting part of this entire thing might actually be the opportunity to latch hook. It's something I grew up doing with my parents, who used to do it together in the early days of their marriage. Talk about community, right? This goes waaaaay back...

Wait...you don't know how to latch hook? Don't let that stop you. It's easy, see?

So come on down! I can't wait to see you there.

Yours in balance,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

OUR PARTNERS

The World Policy Institute

The World Policy Institute is a center for global thought leadership focused on emerging challenges, thinkers, and solutions. World Policy Journal, fellows, events, policy development and media outreach, provide a forum for solution-directed policy analysis and debate from a global perspective.

https://fabnyc.org/images/fab4home.pngFourth Arts Block

Fourth Arts Block (FAB) is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by cultural and community groups to establish and advance the East 4th Street Cultural District, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery. FABnyc is partnering on the 12×12 exhibition at First Park as part of their SUSTAIN project, with generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund: www.fabnyc.org/sustainability.php

wc_logo(clothing recycling)Wearable Collections

Wearable Collections creates hubs of collections that make it as easy for New Yorkers to recycle textiles as it is to recycle cans, bottles and papers. We keep clothing out of landfills while raising money for charitable organizations.

Trash to Treasure in a 12x12

Dearest Poopers, Are old clothes cluttering up your closets? Make room for meaning Aug. 27-Sept 1!

Here's the skinny...

WHAT: The 12x12 Project WHERE: First Park, 33 East 1st Street (at the corner of Houston and 2nd Ave) WHEN: Aug. 27-Sept. 1, 12-7pm. Rain or shine! WHY: We all need more room, right? Especially in our tiny NYC apartments, and especially for FASHION! But even Oprah knows that we're already making do with less, wearing 20% of our wardrobes 80% of the time.

If there's one thing poop can teach us, it's that when we let stuff go, we create space for something new to come in. So come out of the closet, get it off your chest, and bring The Puru your unused clothes! Sit in the shade of the 12x12. Take a rest, drink some sun tea, and we'll make something new.

I'll be turning old t-shirts into yarn strips, and inviting you and passersby to join me in latch hooking small patches of rug. It's super easy! Each patch is just 12 squares across by 12 squares up and down, so it doesn't take long. I'll spend the last day hooking all the patches together in a colorful expression of community cohesion. And we'll party that Sunday (9/1) from 5-7pm!

All clothes and textiles not turned into yarn will be donated to Wearable Collections for resale or re-purposing.

How did this all happen?!

In 2010, World Policy Institute Senior Fellow William Powers wrote a book called Twelve by Twelve: A One-Room Cabin Off the Grid & Beyond the American Dream, inspired by the story of a North Carolina pediatrician who renounced modern luxury to live on the land and off the grid. This tiny cottage got people asking: how much is enough? (More about the project's development and future plans HERE.)

The 12x12

Soon artists Simon Draper (from Habitat for Artists) and Betsy Damon, among others, were brought in to design and build a simple structure that could live in New York City. Throughout July, a swarm of artists created installations amongst the bees at the Queens Botanical Garden. Now the 12x12's come to roost in Manhattan until Sept. 1, in beautiful First Park.

See below for a full description of the artists, curated by WPI and Fourth Arts Block. Check back here for updates on the latch hook project as it evolves, and then come check it out in person! I look forward to seeing you there.

Yours in balance,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

OUR PARTNERS

The World Policy Institute

The World Policy Institute is a center for global thought leadership focused on emerging challenges, thinkers, and solutions. World Policy Journal, fellows, events, policy development and media outreach, provide a forum for solution-directed policy analysis and debate from a global perspective.

https://fabnyc.org/images/fab4home.pngFourth Arts Block

Fourth Arts Block (FAB) is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by cultural and community groups to establish and advance the East 4th Street Cultural District, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery. FABnyc is partnering on the 12×12 exhibition at First Park as part of their SUSTAIN project, with generous support from the Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund: www.fabnyc.org/sustainability.php

wc_logo(clothing recycling)Wearable Collections

Wearable Collections creates hubs of collections that make it as easy for New Yorkers to recycle textiles as it is to recycle cans, bottles and papers. We keep clothing out of landfills while raising money for charitable organizations.

AUGUST SCHEDULE

August 6 -11, 2013: Presented by WPI, NYC-based artist Ivy Haldeman will use the 12 x 12 as a space to reflect on the aesthetics of darkness as an indirect means of living sustainably. In opposition to a mentality of 24/7 activity, Ivy will make the 12 x 12 into a place for napping and rest.

August 13 – 18, 2013: Presented by FABnyc, Mario Chamorro, Catalina Parra, and Pablo Gnecco of The Happiness Lab will create social experiments through art within the 12×12 space in order to explore and visualize how people use their own happiness to develop sustainable communities.

August 20 – 25, 2013: Presented by WPI, musician Jonathan Koh will compose music in the 12×12 space, using a combination of classical techniques and synthesizers. His work will contemplate how music can help the listener engage with space and reflect on smart consumption in a small space.

August 27 – September 1, 2013: Presented by FABnyc, NYC-based performance artist Shawn Shafner invites visitors to create their own square patch of latch hook rug, 12 rows across and 12 columns up and down. The last day of the project, the squares will be sewn together, creating a vibrant patchwork and an expression of community collaboration.

Poop on the Street

Dearest Poopers, Looking forward to seeing you at the Visitor's Center for tomorrow's panel conversation, "Digesting the Design Behind Newtown Creek."  It's good to bring things inside, but lately I've also been scooping the poop on the street. Check out what some of the $h*t my fellow New Yorkers say in our newest video!

And peaceful pooping, whatever you doo.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

A Ballerina's Bowels

Dearest Poopers, There's much big news! The POOP Project is excited to be participating in the NY Green Festival this April 21 and 22 at the Javits Center. It's going to be HUGE, packed to the gills with green goodies.  And tickets are cheapish!

What's more (What is, Puru? What is more?), we've been officially accepted to premiere Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save the World at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival.  It's a fantastic opportunity to make feces the focus at the world's largest arts festival. We're working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready, bringing in partners, designing, scripting, all that and a bag of poo-tato chips.  More info on how you can help coming soon...

In the meantime, maybe you'll join me in taking in some tasteful, highbrow entertainment? A ballet perhaps? Oh! This one sounds nice!

"A satirical ballet designed to confront one of the last taboos of man, shit. In this nightmarish dreamscape, we follow a very refined lady as she battles her darkest fear, her own excrement. Horror, humor, wild theatrics, silent movie era kitsch, you truly don't want to miss this one. Remember, behind even the nastiest crap is a good man or woman- or at the very-very least, a great show."

YES!

I'm going this Thursday at 8pm to Bowel Movement by Jamie Benson (it was pictured in the preceding post). It's also playing Fri April 13 as part of the Comedy in Dance festival at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn.

Peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Salty Stool

Dearest Poopers,

The POOP Project is proud to invite you to our final event of the year, in partnership with The Salt Salon.

Join Shawn “The Puru” Shafner this Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5:00pm for a journey through the bowels of history, from the fall of Rome to the modern day, as we unearth the rise of “civilized” man over that most uncivilized of actions. A communal Mediterranean meal by chef Marina Berger will be served in a casual, home setting (togas optional, Bacchanalian revelry and lounging expected). Guests are encouraged to bring your own bottle of wine. $10, Brooklyn locale off the Church Ave. 2/5. More information on The Salt Salon invite.

Why Mediterranean? Why togas? Why revel in Bacchanalian fashion?

For most of us, the holiday season means making time to pop in the ol' Mr. Hankey DVD, light your alternative energy menorah, or beat that wooden log until it poops out candy and nuts. When the days are getting dark, it sure is nice to feel that maybe--just maybe--everything is right with the world.

For our ancient Roman brethren, December was the time when everything was wrong, and society turned upside down. After spending the Autumn planting and sowing, December 17th began a 7-day festival generally known as Saturnalia. The most popular holiday of the year, Saturnalia was a time of reflection and celebration in honor of Saturn (Kronos in Greek), the God of agriculture and the harvest, as well as his wife, Ops, Goddess of bounty, and Consus, the God of Storage. Because all that grain isn't gonna put itself away.

Saturnalia was the Roman equivalent of the RESET button. The celebrated God had presided over Earth's most prosperous time until his son, Jupiter (Zeus), deposed him. But for seven cold days each year, the ropes binding Saturn's feet were loosened and so were the rules of everyday life.

Gambling was allowed in public. Slaves were permitted to use dice and did not have to work. Instead of the toga, less formal dinner clothes (synthesis) were permitted, as was the pileus, a felt cap normally worn by the manumitted slave that symbolized the freedom of the season. Within the family, a Lord of Misrule was chosen. Slaves were treated as equals, allowed to wear their masters' clothing, and be waited on at meal time in remembrance of an earlier golden age thought to have been ushered in by the god. (Encyclopaedia Romana)

Saturn is of particular interest to the POOP because he (or his son, depending on who you consult) was sometimes known as Stercutius, the demigod of manure ("Stercus" means poop; you might also find him called Sterquilinus and Sterculius, as he is referred to in the Beavis and Butthead episode below.). Saturn was the grain--the life, growth, and nourishment. But he was also the scythe--the death, decay and, in his role as Stercutius, the doody. Because you can't have one without the other.

During the medieval Feast of Fools, inspired by and adapted from Saturnalia,

[Excrement] was used in place of incense during the serious service, and later the clergy rode in dung-flled carts 'tossing it at the crowd (147)' (Janik and Bakhtin)

Sure makes you wistful for the old days, doesn't it?

This Salt Salon, the second night of our glorious holiday, I'm hoping we can turn things upside down by bringing a little potty talk into our dinner conversation. It's like a revival of the communal baths, but different. Io, Saturnalia!

Wishing you a wonderful season, and a new year full of peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Fall Speaker Series Starts Tuesday

Dearest Poopers, Thank you to all those who came out to Club Make and Do's show this past Thursday. It was a smash! And I got a chance to show off my new hat.

But that's old news now. And I know you crave more. More!  MORE!!!

So get your calendars out, because here's what's coming up:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 20: panel conversation about urban farming at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek
  • Saturday, Sept. 24: performance lecture on the history if shit at the Vent Festival
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: tabling at the NEW New York D-I-Y Block Party
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4: The Clap is featured as part of Adult Education
  • Wednesday, Oct. 19: the premiere of Eat $h*t: How Our Waste Can Save the World at Dixon Place
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25: panel conversation about technology for green communities at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1: panel conversation about composting at (you guessed it!) the Visitor Center

But it's a Saturday, so for now here's details on just the first two.

The POOP Project is proud to once again play moderator for a series of panel events at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, the city's largest wastewater treatment plant. Join us this Tuesday, September 20th from 6:30-8:30pm for presentations and conversations all about urban farming!

Featuring guest speakers:

Annie Novak, who feeds Greenpoint from the Eagle Street Rooftop Farms and teaches urbanites where their food comes from.

Dr. Dickson Despommier whose vision, The Vertical Farms, would enable cities to feed themselves from skyscrapers.

Inger Staggs Yancey from Brooklyn Greenroof, using thirsty plants to transform city roofs into ecological mega-machines.

For more information about and directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, CLICK HERE or on the poster above.

Now if you've got something to say (and who doesn't?), consider joining me next Saturday for the Vent Festival at Gowanus Studio Space!

The POOP Project is pleased to join the Vent Festival from 6-9pm to fume about The Agony and the Excrement, a humorous performance lecture about the history of sanitation and the social factors that lead to "shameful shitting." If you missed this lecture at Adult Education earlier this year, now's your chance! The line-up will also include Damali AbramsDanielle AbramsAisha Cousins, D'LuxeJason Gaspar and the Rant Van.

PLUS come early (from 3-6pm) to make your own cider with Atom Cianfarani, encounter Nurit Bar-Shai's growing organisms, witness Coral Short's 1000 Sighs and more!

THEN come back the next day for a 1pm performance workshop with veteran performance artist Rob Andrews and a 4pm artist's conversation  featuring Danielle Abrams, Rob Andrews, Coral Short, Aisha Cousins and D'Luxe. Moderated by Maya Suess, the beautiful, brainy and benevolent curator of the whole darned thing.

As a bonus, I'd like to leave you with a video from another project I'm involved in that generates applause for the public good. We call it The Clap because the joy's contagious. You can learn more on the Facebook page.

Wishing you a great weekend and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

 

Getting Gassy and All Fueled Up!

Dearest Poopers,

In nature, there is no such thing as waste. To have an ecosystem means that all the organisms present are balancing each other out, providing for one another so that every problem has an equal and opposite solution.

There's a gallon of rotting cabbage on my kitchen counter right now--a little delicacy called Sauerkraut. Guided by Sandor Ellix Katz' Wild Fermentation, I bravely chopped up a mess of cabbage, green onion, carrots and their tops, added water and salt, shoved the whole thing in a crock with a another one on top. That was last Monday night.

Click the pic for a Scientific American article about the dangers of antibiotics and bacterial extinction.

Now I've got a little ecosystem going in my kitchen, thriving with healthy bacteria that are predigesting the cabbage for me, freeing up nutrients my body couldn't otherwise access. The healthy Lactobacilli that came from somewhere in my kitchen will become a part of my body, an ecosystem (officially called the human microbiome) that already contains approximately 100 trillion bacteria living symbiotically with my 10 trillion cells--that's a 10:1 bacteria to human ratio. The approximately 500 species in my gut are so helpful in the digestive process that, according to a nicely footnoted Wikipedia article, "the metabolic activity performed by these bacteria is equal to that of a virtual organ, leading to gut bacteria being termed a forgotten' organ.[24]"

For more information check out this great Science Daily article about how decoding the microbiome might play a role in health and illness. You can also read the latest news from The Human Microbiome Project, a federal initiative to map the microbiome.

These ecosystems just go to show that for every problem there's an equal and opposite solution. To that end, I am pleased to announce two news items in this fashion!

PROBLEM A

New York's Riverkeeper released an important report yesterday revealing that, though the Hudson is getting healthier, there's still has a long way to go. In the words of Riverkeeper Boat Captain John Lipscomb, "We still have a significant problem with sewage contamination. The recent 200+ million gallon sewage spill in New York City is only a minor part of widespread contamination that regularly occurs in the Hudson.” I encourage you to check out the Riverkeeper website to read more about this eye-opening report, or listen to the audio explanation.

      SOLUTION A

The ultimate solution will mean that what goes down NYC's pipes during a rainstorm doesn't flow back unchecked into the river. In the meantime, it might be nice for swimmers, kayakers and river walkers to at least know when it's happening. You can help make this so! Sign this petition to join Riverkeeper, New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat and New York State Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti in calling for a Sewage Right to Know Law for New York so that the public can be  properly informed about where and when it is safe to get in the water.

PROBLEM B

I've recently been going to protests and meetings about the dangers of hyrdraulic fracturing, or "fracking." While there's tons of natural gas lying underneath the ground, current fracking technology is unsafe, requires millions of gallons of water that must be dumped after, and has the potential to contaminate the water we depend on for drinking (and flushing, but that wasteful practice is a whole other post). When I go to these events, I've been struck by the inherent dilemma--yes, fracking is a bad way to get energy and, yes, our energy consumption is out of control. So if we're going to say "No!" to fracking, but can we say "Yes!" to?

SOLUTION B

Sunday, 8/14, at 2pm The MORE Project presents a FREE screening of Josh Fox's Gasland, an expose on fracking, followed  at 4pm by Fuel the Film, all about exciting new possibilities for energy. A discussion with The Puru will follow and the beer will surely flow over at Pour George on 8th btwn 5th and 6th Aves, because there's nothing like alcohol and documentary films! Full details just below.

Now I've gotta go. It's sauerkraut hour.

Peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

2 Great FREE films – Sunday 14-Aug-2011 at 2 PM in NYC

The M.O.R.E. project is proud to present a ‘fair use’ screening of TWO outstanding films on Sunday 14-Aug-2011. There is NO admission fee! A ‘fair use’ screening must be FREE!

The two award winning films are “Gasland” at 2 PM, and “Fuel” around 4 PM. They will be shown in the back room of a great bar in Greenwich Village called “Pour George” at 35 West 8th St, New York, NY 10011 / (212) 253-2999. That's just East of 6th Ave.  Take the N/R to 8th Street, the 6 to Astor Place, or the A/C/E to West 4th St.

“Gasland” by Josh Fox explores the truly deadly consequences of extracting natural gas by the process called hydraulic fracturing aka “fracking”. This process has reportedly already contaminated drinking water in 34 states and unless we block it, fracking will soon start in areas whose water feeds New York City.

People are being sickened and killed by fracking all over the country, but the laws that are supposed to protect us have been bypassed by Halliburton and other large companies.

Josh F’s courageous film digs deep into what fracking is, what it does, how it kills, and who profits from (literally) ‘making a killing’…

“Fuel” is the story of Josh Tickell, filmmaker and eco-evangelist, who spent eleven years exploring real-world energy alternatives to oil, coal, and natural gas. He put his findings into his film along with his brave spirit (as did Josh Fox).

Josh T found that there ARE real ways to create power that do not poison the Earth and all the living beings who share it.  In his film, he explores energy creation from wind, solar, tidal and biofuel power sources.  He also makes a fantastic case for biodiesel fuel created by algae from sewage and industrial waste. 

If you are coming to the event, please RSVP, John Hechtman at jhecht410@gmail.com. You don’t have to do this – as long as we have space to seat you, no one will be turned away. But Pour George is not a large place – it would be very helpful to have a rough idea of how many people are coming.  For more info call  212 586 4633.

Pooping Is Not a Crime

Dearest Poopers, First off, there's still room for YOU to join us this Saturday, 7/30 at 7:30pm for a rooftop screening of Gasland! Read the original post to learn more or just go express track and and RSVP here! And now for the news...

Pooping is not a crime. Dumping poo in the river is. So said your trusty Puru via cardboard and marker yesterday at the rally held by New York Senator Adriano Espaillat. While there have been many individuals and organization (like Riverkeeper and the SWIM Coalition) hounding the city and state for years to provide adequate signage in the event of a CSO, perhaps the Senator's rallying cry will put a stop to this heel-dragging on the part of those responsible, and get this thing moving. (By the way, you can see a cool video showing how scientists think the spilled sewage was moving through New York's waters from the fantastic SeaAndSkyNY.)

In case you missed it, you can learn more about yesterday's rally in this great article at DNAinfo (in which the above picture and some of my own comments are featured), or take in a short video about it from NY1 (in which I am not featured).

All the best, and peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

One Gas That's Not Okay to Pass

Dearest Poopers, Here at The POOP Project, we agree with Ben Franklin that natural gas is okey-dokey (see "Not Everyone's Against Gas"), and that us humans should be able to pass it without scrutiny. But one place where methane is definitely not welcome is in our drinking water. Unfortunately, with a new process for getting methane out of rock shale, called hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), this is precisely what might happen.

The Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland: A Film by Josh Fox is helping to inform people all over the country about this critical issue. If you haven't seen it yet, I encourage you to rent this film and share a movie night with other people who like drinking clean water. You can watch the trailer below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8

If you're in New York, I welcome you to join me this Saturday, 7/30 at 7:30pm for a rooftop screening! This potluck evening is graciously hosted by Heather Brown and the Brooklyn Food Coalition on a rooftop at 17th Street & 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. You can learn more and RSVP here!

Wishing you, as always, peaceful pooping, but also fracking-free farting.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Opening the Gates to Sanitation

Dearest Poopers, The Gates have gotten into the game--Bill and Melinda, that is. In fact, their foundation has announced $42 million to address global sanitation issues and "Reinvent the Toilet". Check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdwvuTrycYU&feature=youtu.be

So what's your idea?

Peaceful pooping,

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

POOPing on City of Water Day TOMORROW

Dearest Poopers, I do so hope to see you tomorrow, Saturday 7/16, for the City of Water Day Festival on Governor's Island. It's a free all-day affair (10am-4pm) celebrating the potential of our NYC/NJ waterfront and full of entertainment, education & adventure--including a POOP table manned by The Puru himself.

But first, a pew pictures from BOB the Pavilion that I snagged on Wednesday night, before/after PERFORMANCY FORUM XIV. If you didn't know, BOB is a composting toilet and inflated platform for performance and more located on the Columbia campus and supported by a grant from Columbia University School of the Arts (SOA) and Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP).

2011-07-13 19.08.47.jpg2011-07-13 22.03.51.jpg

A night and day shot of the toilet, as taken from my rather pixelated camera phone. The two tube-ish things you see above it contain the air that actually inflates the platform. According to a source I spoke with at the event, the idea is to reference the gases that come from the toilet itself and its users as being the material that inflates the overhanging white cloud.

Unfortunately, the toilet--while being a functioning composting toilet--is not to be used, as indicated by the plastic sheet covering its opening. Hence the reflection of the camera flash in the picture on the right below.

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2011-07-13 19.10.26.jpg

 

 

Though the toilet is unusable, there is something very exciting about approaching this toilet that is exposed on two sides and thinking about using it. To do so in reality will have to be a part of the next project.

For now, perhaps the most effective part is the stage itself, flanked by a Greco-style well type structure, as seen in the picture below with the beautiful and amazingly talented Gelsey Bell in the corner.

 

 

And now, or something completely different...

July 16: City of Water Day Festival in NY & NJ From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water. Spread the word and come to the waterfront on July 16, City of Water Day! On this day, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance gathers many partners to showcase the potential of the New York/New Jersey Harbor. Come, enjoy, and help us revitalize the waterfront with this annual, one-of-a-kind festival for the entire family!

This year, festivities will take place at Governors Island and Liberty State Park. Free ferries will get you to Governors Island from Manhattan and Brooklyn (click here for the schedules) and to Liberty State Park. (Click here for the schedule of free transportation between Governors Island and Liberty State Park, and here for information about other ways to get to Liberty State Park.)

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • FREE boat tours for thousands on historic and educational vessels. Click here for more information
  • FREE kayaking, rowing and fishing opportunities
  • Dozens of FREE arts, crafts, games and activities for kids
  • FREE ferries between Governors Island & Liberty State Park
  • An amazing range of demonstrations, hands-on projects, free merchandise and water-related literature at the Waterfront Activity Fair--INCLUDING THE POOP PROJECT TABLE!
  • Car-free waterfront bicycling
  • Delicious food from award-winning vendors
  • Live music, and much more!!!

If you can't make it to Liberty State Park or Governors Island on July 16, enjoy City of Water Day festivities at other waterfronts around the metropolitan region, including Harlem River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Staten Island, Bronx River Park, Battery Park City and Hudson River Park. Click here for information about City of Water Day in Your Neighborhood.

Hope to see you there and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

A Sustainable Future TONIGHT!

Dearest Poopers, I've just arrived back from exploring the deep, dark Northwoods of Wisconsin. While technically not a poop-themed trip, I did come across an fascinating artifact while sifting through a local thrift shop. I believe it is none other than Mary Poppins' plunger!

I hope that, in between your Merry Poopin', you'll have a chance to check out tonight's panel conversation, "A Sustainable Future: Green Innovations" hosted by the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek. I'm incredibly excited to pick the brilliant brains of permaculture expert Andrew Faust (Center for Bioregional Living), green designer Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D. (The Gaia Institute) and ecologist Kaled Alamarie (Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, DEP--filling in for John McLaughlin). Seriously folks, this is top caliber talent. If you don't believe me, check out their bios following the poster below.

Looking forward to seeing you there, and peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Click the picture above to see the full flyer, or click HERE to get complete directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek.

Kaled Alamarie, graduated from Hunter College in 1997 a degree in Geology and a duel masters in both urban studies and Geology from Queens College. Kaled has been working for the NYCDEP for 11 years. During his tenure with the DEP he worked on the ecological restoration of Pennsylvania & Fountain Avenue landfill, Alley Creek wetland/upland restoration, Thrusby Basin Restoration, and most recently he is supervising the design and construction of the Jamaica Bay Watershed Green Infrastructure pilot studies.

Andrew Faust is one of the premier Permaculture teachers and designers in North America with nearly two decades of experience in the field. His passionate and visionary presentation and curriculum has been inspiring and motivating students since his days as an alternative school teacher at Upattinas in Glenmoore, PA. Andrew lived off the grid in West Virginia for 8 years where he designed and built a Permaculture inspired homestead including a 1600 sq ft strawbale house. He moved to Brooklyn in 2007 and has been applying his knowledge to the urban landscape culminating in a Permaculture Design Certification course many consider life changing. He is developing The Center for Bioregional Living in Ellenville, NY with his partner Adriana Magaña as a pilot campus for his students, clients and baby daughter Juniper.

Dr. Paul S. Mankiewicz, Executive Director of the Gaia Institute, received his Ph.D. from the City University of New York/New York Botanical Garden Joint Program in Plant Sciences. He holds patents on a modular, in-vessel composting system, an ultralightweight green roof plant growth medium, and a biogeochemical reactor to breakdown dioxins and PCBs. Past president of the Torrey Botanical Society & board member of the NYC Soil & Water Conservation District, he is also a past member of the Citywide Recyling Advisory Board and formerly chair of the Solid Waste Advisory Board of the Bronx. Dr. Mankiewicz has designed and built natural landscapes to provide ecosystems services including ecological filters to treat water, capture carbon, and lower energy costs in urban centers. A number of working models have been constructed, including the first green roof in the Bronx, the first industrial-scale stormwater treatment meadow and green wall on a six acre truck-to-barge material handling site at SIMS recycling facility on the Bronx River, and the first process water/greywater treatment green roof on the Linda Tool Corporation in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the first ten of the Mayors PlaNYC 2030 enhanced tree pits for street-side storm water capture.

Discover A Sustainable Future, July 12!

Dearest Poopers, Please forgive my delay in updating the site of late. I've been deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin traveling, camping, and pooping in holes. Meanwhile, there's so much excitement happening back in New York, with two POOP events coming up next week, and one special event I know you'll enjoy.

The POOPs!

1. Tues, 7/12, 6:30pm, "A Sustainable Future: Green Innovations." A panel conversation with Andrew Faust (Center for Bioregional Living), Paul S. Mankiewicz, Ph.D. (The Gaia Institute) and John McLaughlin (Bureau of Environmental Planning and Analysis, DEP). Hosted by the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by The Puru.

2. Sat, 7/16, 10am-4pm, City of Water Day Festival. Stop by the POOP table during this FREE day of entertainment, education & adventure on Governor's Island celebrating the potential of our NYC/NJ waterfront!

The Special Event!

3. Wed, 7/13, 7-10pm, Panoply Performancy Forum XIV at BOB the Pavilion.  Featuring theatre, music and dance at a composting toilet and inflated platform on the Columbia University campus.

DETAILS!!

1.

Click the picture above to see the full flyer, or click HERE to get complete directions to the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek.

2.

July 16: City of Water Day Festival in NY & NJ From the upper Hudson to Raritan Bay, we are a City of Water. Spread the word and come to the waterfront on July 16, City of Water Day! On this day, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance gathers many partners to showcase the potential of the New York/New Jersey Harbor. Come, enjoy, and help us revitalize the waterfront with this annual, one-of-a-kind festival for the entire family!

This year, festivities will take place at Governors Island and Liberty State Park. Free ferries will get you to Governors Island from Manhattan and Brooklyn (click here for the schedules) and to Liberty State Park. (Click here for the schedule of free transportation between Governors Island and Liberty State Park, and here for information about other ways to get to Liberty State Park.)

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • FREE boat tours for thousands on historic and educational vessels. Click here for more information
  • FREE kayaking, rowing and fishing opportunities
  • Dozens of FREE arts, crafts, games and activities for kids
  • FREE ferries between Governors Island & Liberty State Park
  • An amazing range of demonstrations, hands-on projects, free merchandise and water-related literature at the Waterfront Activity Fair--INCLUDING THE POOP PROJECT TABLE!
  • Car-free waterfront bicycling
  • Delicious food from award-winning vendors
  • Live music, and much more!!!

If you can't make it to Liberty State Park or Governors Island on July 16, enjoy City of Water Day festivities at other waterfronts around the metropolitan region, including Harlem River Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Staten Island, Bronx River Park, Battery Park City and Hudson River Park. Click here for information about City of Water Day in Your Neighborhood.

3.

PERFORMANCY FORUM XIV organized by PPL AT BOB THE PAVILION

Wednesday, July 13, 7-10:00 PM

TESS DWORMAN performing an intimate, solo dance piece

PAUL PINTO AND JEFFREY YOUNG (OF THINGNY) performing a mini opera tentatively entitled Jeffrey Young and Paul Pinto Run for Office with the Help of Paul Pinto as his Wingman.

ANYA LIFTIG * performance art * performance art *

BEN SPATZ/MAXIMILIAN BALDUZZI/URBAN RESEARCH THEATER 

MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH an excerpt from A Gathering of Very Articulate Individuals 

CHRISTY WALSH performing her I had a dream of an endless string of beautiful days in the desert, a dance/video work

and

PPL composer BRIAN MCCORKLE, performing an excerpt from the work-in-progress Institute_Institut concert-style with MEGAN COOPER, GREG LOEWER JR, DANIELLA FISCHETTI, AND MATTHEW STEPHEN SMITH

Bob the Pavilion is a composting toilet and inflated platform for performance and more http://www.bobthepavilion.com/

Bob The Pavilion was supported by a grant from Columbia University School of the Arts (SOA) and Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning (GSAPP).

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Very much looking forward to seeing everyone there and wishing you, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

A Day for Pee-On-Earth

Dearest Poopers, While we normally extol the virtues of that brown stuff from behind, today we're turning around to wish you a very happy Pee-On-Earth Day!

But, please, hold it for just one more minute, and mark your calendars for Newtown Creek: Past, Present, and Future, a panel conversation happening this Thursday, June 23, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by The Puru.  Join experts Michael Heimbinder (HabitatMap), Kate Zidar (SWIM Coalition, Newtown Creek Alliance) and Paul Parkhill (Place in History) for an enlightening and engaging conversation about one of New York's most polluted water bodies--and what we can do about it.

And now...

It's always been good to be Number 1, but did you know that the yellow stuff flowing out of your urethra is actually liquid GOLD?  That's right!  Your very own urine is brimming with the nitrogen and phosphorous that plants crave to make them green and healthy. And today is the day to start spreading the love. (Unless you started last year like The Puru...)

Carol Steinfeld, wastewater expert and founder of the holiday, tells you how to do it:

PEECYCLE either directly or by depositing your contribution in a container you take outside and apply to: - Soil, wood chips or the forest floor (not pavement) - Your composter or compost pile (makes brown leaves and woodchips compost faster)

Or dilute it with 9 parts water to 1 part urine, and pour around plants! (Dilute or distribute widely: Lots of urine deposited in one spot on your lawn can result in nitrogen burn!)

She's even created this delightful decal to help you remember:

Now go out there and spread the love!!

Wishing you purposeful peeing and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Cruising At the Creek

Dearest Poopers, While we're waiting for Bob's ship to come in, can I interest you in doing something forbidden this weekend? Something casual and exciting? Maybe with someone you've never met before?

Well, dear friend, you've got to go cruising down Newtown Creek.

***Newtown Creek Cruise***

When: Saturday, May 21st, Departs 10:00am sharp, Returns 1:00pm Where: Pier 17 South Street Seaport  [directions] Price: $60, to purchase tickets visit the Working Harbor Committee website.

Join us for a special water tour of Newtown Creek with expert narration from historical and environmental guest speakers. There are limited tickets available on the MV American Princess for a very rare tour of Newtown Creek. Guest narrators will cover points of industrial and historical interest as well as environmental and conservation issues during your three-hour exploration. New York’s forgotten history will be revealed - as well as bright plans for the Creek's future.  MV American Princess is a large comfortable vessel with indoor and outdoor seating. Complimentary soft drinks and a tour brochure are included.  Cruise runs rain or shine.  Queries? Contact Tour Chairman Mitch Waxman: waxmanstudio@gmail.com

Hosted by Hidden Harbor Tours ® in association with the Newtown Creek Alliance.

 

But there's MORE!

The POOP Project is proud to announce the second in DEP's Summer Speaker Series on June 1, 2011: Art and Sustainability.  With presenting artists George Trakas and Mary Mattingly, and a panel discussion moderated by yours truly.

SWEET BUDDHA!  There's still more!!

New York City enjoys public curbside programs that sweep our bottles, cans and cardboards swiftly away to be recycled. But due to lack of access to recycling facilities, not every piece of plastic or paper is actually recyclable in NYC, and a host of other cities. Google your municipality or call the local environmental department to learn more, and if you're in New York, check out this event tomorrow night (recycling information also at the NYCWasteLess website).

 

Well, I'm exhausted.  How about you?

Looking forward to seeing you cruising 'round Newtown Creek sometime soon. Just be careful who you wink at and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

 

What About Bob?

Darling poopers, It is with great sadness that I announce Bob's delay (Bob is a communal, composting toilet soon to be in the midst of Manhattan). I received this from Bob late yesterday:

Yes, rush over to the pavilion on the Columbia University campus to see what's happening, but know that Bob has not yet arrived.  Know, also, that I will alert you as soon as Bob does.

In the meantime, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Bob is Coming...

Happy Friday everyone! First off, a big thank you to our friends over at Superhero Clubhouse, and congratulations on last night's work-in-progress reading of URANUS (a play about waste).  Be sure to check out the full production this June 10-12 at the Figment Festival on Governor's Island.

But what are you going to do until then?  Why not spend some time with Bob?

So, wait...what?

It turns out, Bob is part of an end-of-year project by students of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and School of the Arts (SoA). Starting tomorrow, May 14, the pubic is welcome to check out a whole pavilion's worth of interesting projects.  But the real star, I'm sure, will be Bob.

Bob's press release states:

The pavilion will be open from May 14th until July 25th, and features a centralized public restroom with a composting toilet, a projection wall, twelve student-designed double seats and a bar flanked by an inflatable canopy. The inclusion of a composting restroom facility is integral to the concept of the installation, and emerged from the studio mantra concept that “a society that does not provide public restrooms does not deserve public art.” The single-occupancy bathroom intentionally forces a correlation between public space and a societal responsibility to provide and ensure basic necessities. The canopy will serve as temporary rain cover and shading throughout the summer months. The projection wall, a shared wall between the bathroom and open public space, will regularly feature evening film series.

There's an opening party tomorrow from 5-7pm, and you know the Puru will be in attendance.  I hope you'll join me!

Wishing you peaceful (and possibly public) pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Because Mother's Know Poop

First off, thank you to all those who made it out to see The POOP Project in action at Adult Education this past Tuesday, and the Water for Cities panel on Wed!  The lectures were hilarious, the panel speakers were incredibly insightful, and the the beer was both delicious, and made it clear how important a good bathroom can be.  Clips of both events will be up soon (along with info about a special sneak preview of URANUS), but for now, just a quick reminder for Sunday's show--now featuring even more fabulous performers!--and a special DISCOUNT CODE for friends of The POOP Project!

MOTHER, MAY I?

The Delancey, downstairs 168 Delancey St (btw Clinton and Attorney) Sunday, May 8th | 6pm doors, 7pm show Monologues, Music, and 2 for 1 Drinks! CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS and use the code ILUVMOM to get in for just a dozen clams!

Forget brunch this Mother’s Day. Take your mama, your baby mama or just your totally grown up, independent self to celebrate (or commiserate) with stories, songs and two for one drinks at The Delancey on Sunday, May 8. Whether your mother was a goddess of love and support or a smothering bitch, your inner child will laugh, cry and try not to poop y...our pants at MOTHER, MAY I?, a night of performances by writers, actors and singers in honor of mothers. There’s a woman somewhere who you owe your life to, and we want to thank her. Join us for stories, lullabies and comedy. We won’t judge your outfit or your date.

Hosted by warner | shaw co-founders Franny Silverman and Annie Levy.

Featuring drink specials and hysterical and heart-warming performances by: Gabrielle Stravelli (Bistro Award Winner)Glenn Marla (reigning Mr. Coney Island and Miss LES 2006) | Sarah Graalman (Mamma Rice N’ Friends) | Shelly Oria (McSweeney’s, 2008 Indiana Review Fiction Prize) | Zhenesse Heinemann (Into the Neon) | Tara Hyman (Mamma Rice N’ Friends) | Elana Bell (2011 Walt Whitman Award) | David Wolkin (Inner Monologues, Speakeasy Stories) | Christine Siracusa (Brave New World Rep) | Galeet Dardashti (Six Points Fellow ’07-’09, Le Poisson Rouge) | Shawn Shafner (Joe’s Pub, POOP Project) | Naomi Less (Jewish Chicks Rock) | Lisa Lewis (1000 nights at The Creek)| Anni Bruno | Mara Leventhal | Brian Gelfand and other special guests…

Looking forward to seeing you there and, as always, peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

Poop all over the place

The People's Own Organic Power Project is more than pleased to announce no less than three--that's right THREE!--opportunities to see The Puru in action the first week in May. SUMMARY:

1. Tues, May 3, 8pm, Adult Education presents: "Social Anxiety" at Union Hall in Park Slope, Brooklyn.  I'll be presenting on "The Agony and the Excrement."

2. Wed, May 4, 6:30pm, "Water for Cities: The Urban Challenge." The first in a summer series of environmental panels with the Visitor Center at Newtown Creek, and moderated by yours poo-ly.

3. Sun, May 8, 7pm, "Mother May I?" An evening of performances at The Delancey honoring mothers everywhere, and benefiting SIX SEEDS: The Persephone Project, a theater piece by warner|shaw opening in June at The Tank.

FULL DETAILS:

1.

ADULT EDUCATION PRESENTS: "SOCIAL ANXIETY" Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 8 pm (doors at 7:30) Union Hall in Park Slope 702 Union St. @ 5th Ave $5 cover (buy tickets online here)

BEN DOLNICK: "First Base and Beyond" Dolnick will teach you how to have a girlfriend in middle school and how to write about it when you grow up.

CAISSIE ST.ONGE: "This is Your Parents on Drugs" St.Onge discusses survival tactics for the moment you're old enough to realize that dad's not going out for milk.

SHAWN SHAFNER: "The Agony and the Excrement" In the 1500s, someone actually had to write a book on manners including instructions not to, "foul the staircases, corridors, or closets with urine or other filth." Shafner will explain what happened to the good old days, and how the potty has trained us.

JILL STODDARD: "The Body: Tales of a Traitor" No matter how hard we try to make our bodies into ornaments of how sophisticated and cultured we are, they still will confound us with their own rogue agenda. Stoddard discusses the lengths we go to hide our body's expressions, and the ways we still fail at it.

With YOUR host, Charles Star

2.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection presents the first event in our Summer Speaker Series:

Water for Cities: Responding to the Urban Challenge (The United Nations World Water Day Theme)

Wednesday, May 4th 2011 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Visitor Center at Newtown Creek 329 Greenpoint Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11222

Talks followed by a panel discussion moderated by Shawn Shafner of The People’s Own Organic Power Project (www.thePOOPproject.org)

Featuring:

Frederik Pischke Interagency Water Advisor UN-Water

Vyjayanthi Rao Assistant Professor of Anthropology New School for Social Research, New York

Jennifer Farmwald Project Manager Water Supply Infrastructure & Watershed Assessment NYC Environmental Protection

Directions to the Newtown Creek Visitors Center: Subway: G train to Greenpoint Avenue Station (Walk east on Greenpoint Avenue, cross McGuinnes Boulevard and Provost Street. Walk to traffic light. Entrance will be on left.) Bus: B24 Car: • Take the Long Island Exp. I-495 W toward MIDTOWN TUNNEL (RT-25 W) • Take exit #15/VAN DAM ST onto QUEENS MIDTOWN EXPY • Continue straight on BORDEN AVE • Make a U-Turn at 31ST PL onto BORDEN AVE • Turn Right on VAN DAM ST • Bear Right on GREENPOINT AVE • Go over JJ Byrne Memorial Bridge and continue on GREENPOINT AVENUE • Entrance is on the right on GREENPOINT AVE & HUMBOLDT ST. Parking is not available on site.

3.

MOTHER MAY I The Delancey, downstairs 168 Delancey St (btw Clinton and Attorney) Sunday, May 8th | 6pm doors, 7pm show Monologues, Music, and 2 for 1 Drinks! CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

Forget brunch this Mother’s Day. Take your mama, your baby mama or just your totally grown up, independent self to celebrate (or commiserate) with stories, songs and two for one drinks at The Delancey on Sunday, May 8. Whether your mother was a goddess of love and support or a smothering bitch, your inner child will laugh, cry and try not to poop y...our pants at MOTHER, MAY I?, a night of performances by writers, actors and singers in honor of mothers. There’s a woman somewhere who you owe your life to, and we want to thank her. Join us for stories, lullabies and comedy. We won’t judge your outfit or your date.

Hosted by warner | shaw co-founders Franny Silverman and Annie Levy.

Featuring:

Glenn Marla (reigning Mr. Coney Island and Miss LES 2006, glennmarla.com) | Sarah Graalman (Mama Rice N’ Friends, mammaandfriends.com) | Shelly Oria (McSweeney’s, 2008 Indiana Review Fiction Prize) | Lisa Lewis (1000 nights at The Creek, lisalewiswriting.com) | Tara Hyman (Mama Rice N’ Friends, tarahyman.com) | David Wolkin (Inner Monologues, Speakeasy Stories, wolkin.com) | Christine Siracusa (Brave New World Rep) | Galeet Dardashti (Six Points Fellow ’07-’09, Le Poisson Rouge, galeetdardashti.com) | Shawn Shafner (Joe’s Pub, POOP Project, thepoopproject.org) | Naomi Less (Jewish Chicks Rock, naomiless.com) | Anni Bruno | Mara Leventhal | Brian Gelfand and other special guests.

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Looking forward to seeing you there!  And peaceful Spring pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner

 

Food+water=poop

It's a simple fact of life: put food and water together, mix it inside the human stomach for 12-72 hours, and voila!  Poop. As a Puru, I spend much of my time on the product, but this week I'm heading to a few cool NYC events that highlight the process.  This Thursday, April 14, I'll be at Cooper Union's Great Hall from 7-9pm for the Service to Sustainability Awards, and the launch of Water-Aid, USA: "a new initiative to ensure the purity of America's waters."   It's like two events for the price of one!  There'll be celebrities like Yoko Ono, Olympia Dukakis and Sabrina Artel of Trailer Talk, plus a lot of important people whose names we don't know!

Then, Saturday evening, I'm headed to Brooklyn for Sowing the Seeds, an event held in partnership with Food & Water Watch to get people involved in the upcoming Farm Bill .  We're going to be sprouting and fermenting with Barry Schwartz, learning 'bout the Bill (see Simple, Good and Tasty's primer here), and feeling ironic as we eat popcorn and watch King Corn, a documentary film about how corn has come to be the cream of all our crops.

Wishing you all the best of food and water, and may you enjoy peaceful pooping.

Shawn "The Puru" Shafner