It’s been several months since I’ve last posted anything on LUCMG, though this has a lot to do with the fact that life in NYC does not leave much time for small talk.
Last Spring I began the massive undertaking of getting my neighbors interested once more in the dilapidated desert that is my apartment building’s roof-deck. It’s clear that perhaps when it was new, it was quite pleasant to spent time on, but after 20 years of neglect, it began to resemble something more akin to a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Being from the lush green Caribbean island of St. Lucia, and having grown up in what many people tell me sounds like a spin off of The Jungle Book, it is not in my nature to be without green space. So I started a planting campaign.
Within the first couple of months of throwing seeds into the accumulation of dead plant pots, and weeding, pruning and, watering; the roof started taking on a resemblance to New York’s famous elevated park, The High Line.
Little by little, I noticed more and more of my neighbors bringing their children to learn about varieties of herbs or to have a family dinner at sunset. I saw the building come together in a way it hadn’t before. We started learning each other’s names, sharing stories, meeting for a glass of wine on a cool evening. It was astonishing!
The more I realized the impact, the more seeds I threw in the dirt. Before I knew it, there were nearly 30 varieties of plants reaching for the sky, sending out foliage, flowers, and fruit. As the weather too continued to improve, I began taking my easel and paints upstairs for a bit of sunlight and change of scenery.
I had been commissioned by Compost Gardening Store in Easton, Pennsylvania, whom I had worked with several times in the past, to create a couple of decorative garden panels for sale at their Summer Equinox Spectacular. Here are a few photos of the progression of that project and the final products, both sold almost immediately after the gates opened to the crowd who had gathered in the street outside.
With the sudden spike in popularity of the roof-deck, I’ve been able to build enough interest to create what we call “The Rooftop Committee,” composed of two neighbors and myself. We’ve now contracted with Queens Gardens to design and build the below renderings for us, expected to be done by July 2018.
With the help of the Co-Op Board, we’re all eagerly looking forward to seeing what can be done to rejuvenate the “desert” into an urban oasis where I can continue to make art. Fingers crossed we can throw in a water feature!
Here are some photos of the finished rooftop!