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The Daily Plant : Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parks Announces New Specialty Carts At A Taste Of Parks For NYC Press

El Olomega serves up its famous pupusas.
Daniel Avila

Yesterday, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and world-renowned chef and best-selling cookbook author Don Pintabona welcomed almost 20 of Parks’ newest specialty food vendors and their proprietors from around the boroughs to sample their award-winning goods. Members of the press, Parkies, and lucky passersby feasted on pupusas, tacos, BBQ, burgers, organic salads, sandwiches, vegan dishes, pretzels, gelato, cupcakes and more.

“New York City is the noshing capital of the world and now New Yorkers can sample a World’s Fair of tasty treats while visiting parks,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Over the past few years, the Parks Department has worked to diversify its food offerings by expanding beyond the standard hot dog and ice cream carts to include vendors selling tacos, dumplings, organic salads, gourmet cupcakes and more. And people who sate their hunger in our parks have the additional satisfaction of knowing that part of what they pay to eat goes to the City’s coffers.”

Since 2008, the Parks Department has worked to attract an array of high quality, healthy and diverse food vendors to whet New York City’s diverse palate. The goal was to reach vendors with big ideas, a mission to redefine street food and grow businesses from one shop or cart to an army of many.

New specialty carts on-site included Pera Mediterranean Brasserie, possibly the country’s first Turkish taco truck, which served lamb bacon BLTs, tuna nicoise and other Mediterranean favorites. Calexico Carne Asada will combine Mexican and American Southern barbecue flavors in their tacos, burritos and other specialties. Screme Gelato Bar, an Israeli gelato franchise, offered several samples of more than 5,000 flavors they will sell on a rotating basis throughout the year.

Popular favorites including Red Hook’s El Olomega brought its signature pupusas and Salvadoran beverages. Cake & Shake, Otto Gelato, Wafel & Dinges, and many more tempted taste buds with the best food variety found in public parks in the world.


STAY BRIGHT ON PARKS BIKE PATHS

With cycling in New York City at an all-time recorded high, our colleagues at the Department of Transportation are calling on all cyclists to bike safely and responsibly and use legally-required white headlights and red taillights when riding at night. Being seen is a major component of cyclist safety, especially as we move into winter and find that the days are getting shorter. While the overwhelming majority of cyclists ride during daylight hours, 45% of cyclist fatalities occur at night.

This month, DOT has launched the “Can You See Me…Now?” campaign to remind cyclists to use bike lights at night and in low-light conditions. DOT is partnering with bike shops and cycling organizations, including Bike New York, Transportation Alternatives, 5 Boro Bike Club, NYC Cycle Club, Weekday Cyclists, Upper Green Side and Team in Training, to spread the word that bike lights are a bright idea and required by law.

If you want more information on riding right in New York City, check out Bike Smart – DOT’s new guide to urban cycling. The pocket-sized guide contains a handy list of traffic laws pertaining to cyclists, as well as info on safe left turns, how to use the new protected lanes, bike boxes and more. You can download a free copy here. DOT is also distributing the guides at community meetings and bike events throughout the city. The Parks website also has an array of bike maps and safety information for city cyclists. Since 1993, over 100 miles of greenway paths have been installed throughout the five boroughs.

Cyclists are required by NY State law to use white front lights and red tail lights when riding at night or before dawn. You can pick them up at your local bike shop, and keep your eyes peeled for an update on DOT’s annual bike light giveaway, which takes place near Daylights Savings Time.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite.
This is a very comforting thought—particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things.”
Woody Allen
(1935 - )

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