by Evgeniya Zolkina
Born in Ghana, international artist, Tafa, opens his Harlem studio and shares his inspirations.
by Evgeniya Zolkina
Born in Ghana, international artist, Tafa, opens his Harlem studio and shares his inspirations.
Upper East Side residents hold up signs in protest of the 91st Marine Transfer Station, the only dump being constructed in a residential neighborhood. Residents fear it will make them sick. Photo By Joanna Bouras
by Joanna Bouras
Students, teachers, residents, and counselors from Harlem, Yorkville, and the New York City Housing Authority, marched through drizzle on the Upper East Side yesterday afternoon. They protested and chanted about the construction of the East 91st St. Marine Transfer Station, a garbage dump they worry will destroy their neighborhood and their health.
“We want safe streets, we don’t want cancer, we don’t want asthma, hey ho de Blasio,” the protestors chanted.
They held signs that read, “I am not invisible #dump the dump.” Some children wore face masks to represent the facility’s risks to their lungs.
“We need to protect our community from air pollution, vermin, and danger from garbage trucks,” said Joy Tutiven, of the Upper East Side. “We already have one of the highest air pollution rates in the city.”
Residents hope that the station can be built farther away so they won’t get sick. They worry the pollution will cause asthma and other health problems.
Frank Baraff, 68, a publicist for the organization Pledge 2 Protect, the organizers of the march, doesn’t think the facility should be built at all.
“It’s an obsolete technology,” said Baraff. “We need something better for going forward, such as a better solution for recycling.
Pledge 2 Protect was originally founded to raise awareness about the dangers of the facility. They have since expanded to protect all New Yorkers from the potential health dangers of waste dumps in residential areas.
The Marine Transfer Station, which is scheduled to open in 2016, is a direct response to the 10,000 tons of trash New Yorkers make everyday. The facility is part of then Mayor Bloomberg’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which proposed cutting back on the use of trucks for transporting garbage and instead have the boroughs deal with their own waste. The facility on East 91st Street would be the only one of its kind in a residential neighborhood.
“Trucks six days a week, 24 hours a day and night,” said Tutiven. “People won’t be able to sleep with these huge dirty commercial trucks.”
There are many schools and after school programs in the area, residents said. Parents said they are worried about their children’s safety as well as elderly residents.
“Trucks go fast someone will get hit,” said Nelma Elsayed, 34, a local resident and mother of 3-year-old.
Baraff said that people assume the Upper East Side is a bunch of “rich white people,” when in reality those who are being directly affected are mostly the minorities who live in public housing.
“We are a very diverse neighborhood,” said Barbara Heyman, 80, of the Upper East Side.
Heyman said she is worried that the station would hurt real estate values.
“Those who are renting real estate are going to leave and brownstone properties aren’t going to sell, she said. “Everyone’s taxes will go up and there will be nothing for us to do.”
But the project is already half constructed and has gone far over budget. The costs ballooned from $44 million to $215 million.
Baraff is unsure of what the outcome of the protests will be. He hopes that money, time and energy will be redirected towards recycling advances that will better benefit the state as a whole.
“If we mandate a higher standard of recycling we can reduce the amount of garbage we have, and the need for a facility like this becomes obsolete,” he said.
A sign supporting the return of the CHARAS community center to the people of the Lower East Side. Photo Credit Raz Robinson
by Raz Robinson
A group of Lower East Side residents celebrated the first victory in the fight for a community’s rights to a building that has remained unoccupied for almost 15 years.
The crowd bellowed, “No lease. No Dorms” as Councilwoman Rosie Mendez took to the steps of the apartment building across from the abandoned CHARAS Cultural Community Center at 605 East Ninth St., yesterday. Mendez then announced that the Department of Buildings (D.O.B) has issued a Stop Work Order stopping land developer Gregg Singer, from turning CHARAS into a 200 bed dorm for Cooper Union and The Joffery Ballet.
“This building should be returned to the people of the Lower East Side and East Village,” said Mendez. “We will continue our struggle to keep that hope alive.”
Community organizers are now looking for a way that the building can be entirely given to the residents.
The building was originally erected as a public school in 1904. In 1977, four year after the school’s closing, various East Village and Lower East Side community organizations re-appropriated the building and turned it into a community center. Hundred of theater groups used the space.
In 1998 the Giuliani administration decided, after 34 years, to close the community center and put the building up for sale. Development was stopped as a result of discoveries made by the DOB regarding discrepancies between building codes and the agreement between Singer and the schools outlined in the lease.
A theme of yesterday’s event was discussing the difficulty of fighting back against the changes that hurt the neighborhood while embracing the ones that help it.
“The site of the former CHARAS facility was always intended for the public,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “We can’t allow developers to do end-runs around agreements put in place to ensure community use.”
Ralliers said the dorms would not contribute anything to the community, but rather open the door for development and further displacement of residents.
“We do not need for this to be a dormitory,” said Christian Valerio, a housing specialist with the Cooper Square Committee. “We don’t need some major institution to open up a center and start something. What we need is a grassroots based community center that’s open to the entire community.”
The CHARAS center for years before its closing served as an open space for the community to come together creatively as well as a space for discussion surrounding problems inside of the community.
“It was such an important part of the community’s vibrance and development,” said Sally Lelong, an artist and more than 30 year resident of the Lower East Side.“ In the 70’s and 80’s the city was in economic collapse, it was about to be torn apart by poverty, and this [CHARAS] created a means for people to sit, find common ground, and resist the destruction.”
Though the recent turn of events has temporarily kept the building from being developed further, Mendez and supporters of the rebuilding of the community center acknowledge that there is still more work to be done.
“We need to capitalize on this moment and ensure that we work even harder to bring a community center back,” said Anthony Feliciano a Lower East Side District Leader. CHARAS is more than just a building, it’s an institution that represents the Loisaida community.”
Too wide to be grasped at once, “Treatise of the Veil” forces the viewer to move literary along its surface, constantly shifting perception. Photo by Maria Panskaya
by Maria Panskaya
Three new exhibitions opened on Friday at the Morgan Library & Museum in Murray Hill, featuring paintings and sketches from private collections, which were never exhibited before in New York City. The first two galleries displayed works of French and American virtuosos of 19th and 20th centuries, while the third gallery was exclusively dedicated to artist and illustrator, Richard McGuire, and his comic book “From Here to Here.”
In spite of the fact that exhibitions presented different styles of painting and were coming out of different art schools, all of them had one aspect in common—an idea of passing time.
“When I first saw the comic strip it was clear that it was something original,” said Joel Smith, curator and contemporary drawings department head. “Before McGuire, I don’t know anybody who systematically has taken apart the way the narrative action works in comic strip and made the experimentation with time the subject of the strip.”
Even the name of McGuire’s book, “From Here to Here,” reflected on the idea of time traveling and people interacting with different time passages. Despite the fact that the book hits bookstore shelves only in December, the exhibition has given an exclusive insight into some of the book pages, as well as has provided visual access to McGuire’s creative process—from petit hand-traced Persian rugs to magazine cutouts of fashionable shoes to bold sketches of his main characters to the 16th century hand-drawn religious manuscripts.
“The subject of the comic strip hardly matters at all. It’s hardly trivial at all and none leads to the other in the systematic way,” said Patrick Milliman, museum administrator and director of communications. “All action occurs in the reader’s head. It is sort of the essence of what its called modernism and fiction writing and that’s what makes the book enjoyable.”
McGuire was well known before he created this groundbreaking comic strip concept. His carrier as an artist started as a children’s book illustrator and continued on in the New Yorker magazine in the 1990s, where his humorous, but complex and layered at the same time, sketches were appearing in every issue and sometimes even on the magazine covers.
While McGuire preferred to experiment with graphic novels, Cy Twombly, an American painter who spent most of his life in Rome, Italy was concentrated more on meditation on time and space.
An enormous canvas painting, which was about two story-building high and 33 feet in length, along with 12 other Twonbly’s creations, was arranged in the middle of a spacious room to create a feeling of freedom and limitless. The creator of “Treatise of the Veil,” Twombly had left clues about how to read and understand his work.
“There is an in sign on the left, and out sign of the right,” said Isabelle Dervaux, the gallery’s curator. “You can see how the density of brush strokes decreases as you walk along the painting; you can instantly visualize the passage of time, from birth to death.”
The last time “Treatise of the Veil” was displayed in New York was in 1985 and it had remained in a private collection until now.
The other French painter whose work illuminated the halls of the Morgan Museum was Theodore Rousseau and his collection of oil paintings “The Untamed Landscape.” Rousseau belonged to the Barbizon School of masters, whose preferred subject was the primeval wooded forest landscape.
“His main focus was never on a subject,” said Amy Kurlander, an expert on the 19th century French painters. “Rousseau has always aimed at capturing a moment, like on wind that powerfully brings the trees down or waterfall and the immediacy of water falling down.”
Rousseau had achieved the at-the-moment effect with use of bold colors, multiple layers and bizarre shapes that some of his views contained.
From Rousseau’s relaxing oil-painting landscapes to Twombly’s charcoal lines to McGuire’s modernistic graphical boards and comic strips, the exhibitions wouldn’t have been possible without generous donations from private collectors as well as city’s active involvement.
“Every specimen here is unique on its own,” said museum goer Elizabeth Sanchez. “You can never get enough or get tired of them. A 15-minute exposure to art per day increases your brain potential and helps to relieve your daily stress. It’s particularly good for college students who are under constant pressure all the time.”
Demonstrators from DRUM gathered to call for immigration reform in front of Senator Chuck Schumer’s Midtown Manhattan office. Photo credit: Megan Jamerson
by Megan Jamerson
A group of undocumented teens undeterred by the rain, stood on a Midtown Manhattan sidewalk performing a mock trial of President Obama yesterday afternoon.
The issue in question was immigration reform. The concern, that President Obama is delaying a statement on administrative relief until after the midterm election for political gain.
“It’s unfair that Obama has continuously postponed this statement and it’s for his party politics,” said Jensine Raihan of Astoria, Queens. “He is prioritizing the Democratic Party over peoples lives and that’s unfair.”
Raihan, 16, is a youth leader for Desis Rising Up and Moving(DRUM), the group responsible for conceiving the idea for the demonstration. DRUM is a grassroots organization representing the interests of low-income South Asian and Muslim immigrants in New York City.
Their demonstration is part of a week of coordinated action across the country to call for the president to produce a statement. An executive order for administrative relief would postpone deportation for undocumented workers and grant them work permits.
A group of over 50 people, made up of mostly young adults, attended the 30-minute demonstration in front of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer’s 3rd Avenue office. They believe Schumer, like Obama, has failed to act with expediency on immigration. They wish to be heard by Washington.
“As immigrants we know what’s best for us, we know what our experiences are, we want to share those experiences and we should be the judge of what’s in our favor, in our benefit” said Fahd Ahmed, 34, of Jackson Heights, Queens.
Ahmed is acting executive director for DRUM, and was overseeing the youth leadership demonstration. He said he was pleased with the turnout.
“We are very happy and very excited,” said Ahmed. “I think the visuals of it are very beautiful.”
While the group remained peaceful, respecting the boundaries of the demonstration line set up by the NYPD, they were not quiet. They chanted, and held vibrantly colored signs with various demands. “Deferred action for all” “Administrative relief now” and “People over politics.”
A courtroom scene was set with handmade cardboard podiums and a gavel. Two DRUM members held masks over their faces with the likeness of Obama and Schumer. They stood by as some came forward to testify and tell their stories.
“It’s a struggle every day to survive,” said Subashish Barua, 25 an undocumented native of India. “Working long hours, paying taxes, and not being paid properly, and still getting abused by employers just because I’m undocumented”.
Barua said he endures low wages and poor working conditions out of a dedication to support his family back home. Being the only son of his family, they depend on his income.
If an executive order for administrative relief was granted Barua could qualify for a work permit, which would allow him to be employed under legal conditions, he said. The DRUM youth leaders feel stories like Barua’s are far too common and action needed to be taken.
“Activism is a way of both defending myself and my family and friends,” said Raihan. “I’ve been affected by policies that promote income inequality.”
Once the week of organized action is over, the youth leadership team at DRUM will work on a plan to reevaluate and decide what steps need to be taken next. Regardless, the plan is to continue to challenge the political leadership.
“The idea is to keep up the pressure, we are not going to wait until after the election,” said Ahmed “We are going to keep up the pressure.”
As the climate march comes to a close, some of those who finished early try and get a picture. Photo Credit: Raz Robinson
by Raz Robinson
A swath of midtown was completely shut down as participants in yesterday’s Peoples Climate March came together for a block party of sorts in Midtown, hours after the march.
The march itself, which was over 400,000 strong, came to a close between 33rd street and 11th avenue, but for the next five blocks marchers and activists who were unable to make it to the march in the morning, joined in an act of solidarity. They told the stories of the communities struggling with the effects of climate change.
Ray West, 63, from Shoreline Wash, and Carmen Gilmore, 46, of Bellingham, Wash. both traveled together as representatives of their 350.org chapters the environmental organization whose aim is to build a global movement for climate solutions and organized the march.
The pair felt that Washington had been hit extremely hard by the consequences of climate change.
“One of the big issues in Washington State is the ocean acidification,” said Gilmore of man made chemical changes that are adding more carbon dioxide into the ocean.“It affects a lot of the wildlife out there, it effects a lot of the things that all of the salmon and orcas feed on.”
West said there is no doubt that the planet is warming.
“The science is out there,” said West. “There’s no doubt about the science that shows us mankind is making a warmer planet, this generation has to stop it.”
Coming from the opposite end of the country Kyle Gibson, 28, Maine of the Beehive Collective, which looks to attack climate change not just with their words, but also with their art.
“It started out as an all women’s stone cut mosaic collective originally,” said Gibson. “Originally they were doing pictures of endangered species, but then started making work about complicated political issues to try and synthesize it into a visual that people could understand.”
The collective had a series of tarps set up on the sidewalk that visualized the history of our planets climate. Visual graphics were used by the group to explain political issues and connect them to economic and ecological problems.
In recent years Machias, Maine, the town the group is based out of, has been devastated by the effects of climate change. They lost their once thriving timber and fishing industry. The collective looks to tell the story of their town to as many people as possible.
“The economy there is deep in the bust end of the boom bust cycle,” said Gibson. “It was a thriving place at one time with a much bigger population because of the timber industry and the fishing industry, but all that’s gone now.”
What left in the town is an aging population with less ability to revitalize the community, as most of the younger people have went elsewhere to find work.
As the gathering came to a close, some of the marchers shared their stories with each other.
Mak Ska Higa, 70, from Black River Falls, Wis., came as a member of an anti-fracking group based out of Madison, Wis. As a Native American, his opposition to fracking comes as a result of a more spiritual connection to the land.
“Most non-natives think of trees as board,” said Higa. “We think of trees as being part of our relation to our fathers and their fathers, our great grandfathers.”
A member of the Ho-Chunk-Wakajexi clan, better known as the Winnebago Tribe has a history of fighting said Higa. His family was one of the families to survive the colonization of the United States.
“Like my family did, we have to keep fighting for a place to live on this planet,” said Higa. “I owe my existence to my ancestors, because they fought. Maybe one day people will owe their existence to us.”
by Stacey Kilpatrick
Dubbed “the largest climate march in history,” more than 400,000 people marched for climate change awareness today, beginning on 86th Street in Central Park and ending on 34th Street near Penn Station.
Protesters of the People’s Climate March wanted their voices heard. They shouted, chanted, screamed, marched, danced and held up signs voicing their opinions. Some read: “Angry Pacifist.” “No to dirty energy! Stop the climate crisis!” “Climate change is a health crisis.” “Our power.” “Keep the oil in the ground.” “Our home flooded in Irene & Sandy.” “We can build the future.” “Respect your mother earth.”
Amy Sholtis, 47, a biology teacher at Plattsburgh High School in Plattsburgh, N.Y., said time has run out. She is worried about our sinking cities.
“We don’t have time because Miami is sinking, New Orleans is sinking, we’re going to have more storms and we’re not prepared,” Sholtis said. “We have no policy and it’s going to cost more money in the long run to ignore this and not to mention all the other problems that go with this climate change.”
Sholtis is also worried about last winter’s “polar vortex” in which many parts of the country felt bitterly cold temperatures that hadn’t been seen for decades and that the government doesn’t have a plan.
“People sometimes don’t put together the fact that we had a bad winter because of climate change, that there’s a drought out west and there’s climate change,” she said. “I think it would help if our government would acknowledge it and then we’d start having a climate policy.”
Video by Thom Friend
Today’s march was held two days prior to when President Obama and other world leaders are slated to attend a Climate Summit at the United Nations hosted by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The meeting is supposed to bring attention to climate changes, including a new global climate treaty that will be finalized in Paris in 2015.
But 2015 is a long ways away for the people who were demanding change on the streets today.
“What do we want?”
“When do we want it?”
“Now!” shouted a large group of Rutgers University students marching near Columbus Circle.
Atid Kimelman, 23, a field organizer with the Energy Action Coalition from Millburn, N.J., also wants action now, especially action taken by government leaders.
“We need our leaders to take action and no longer just use words,” said Kimelman. “The time has passed for words and we want to see an end to the All-of-the-Above energy policy in this country and a move towards 100% renewable energy.”
Lidy Nacpil, 54, from the Philippines, also marched in hope that leaders will hear the pounding of footsteps on the pavement. She said she feels that the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
“We are now experiencing increasing numbers and magnitudes of super-typhoons and it is taking thousands of lives and destroying millions of homes,” Nacpil said. “This is a very urgent issue for us.”
Nacpil added that she wishes people everywhere build movements to address the climate crisis to compel world leaders to fulfill their obligations to citizens. One immediate act that she hopes the government will take is to stop the further expansion of the fossil fuel industry.
Katie Robbins, 33, Executive Director at the Physicians for a National Health Program New York Metro Chapter (PNHP-NY Metro), said that she, too, wants to send a strong message to the UN that they need to move.
“I’m so excited that we have so many groups coming together,” said Robbins, a Manhattan resident. “Over 1,000 groups have endorsed and so many people are really standing up to say, the fancy [rhetoric] is over, we need real action now.”
In addition to marching with the PNHP-NY Metro, Robbins was also with the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), attempting to highlight the connection between climate change and people’s health. Robbins said that heat-related illnesses, asthma, and extreme weather, such as what Hurricane Sandy brought, can bring on stress-related illness and health issues.
Robbins is also eight months pregnant with her first child.
“[I’m] thinking a lot about the kind of world that she’ll be growing up in and we need serious climate action now so this world is safe and healthy for children,” she said. “This isn’t just about polar bears. This is about our health and our lives and so in order to make sure that we keep thriving here on our planet we need to find action now.
Children play chess at the The 14th Annual Chess-in-the-Park Rapid Open. Photo by Evgeniya Zolkina
by Evgeniya Zolkina
Nearly 700 chess tournament players flaunted their brain power at Central Park yesterday as part of an emerging citywide love for the game.
The 14th Annual Chess-in-the-Park Rapid Open tournament was open to people of all ages and skill levels, who were equally puzzled and intrigued by the game. The players held classic thinking poses, fist to jaw and hand on temple. Suddenly, a piece would move forward, followed by a hit on the clock, a satisfied smile, a two-minute break, then all was repeated.
“I think that chess is not only a motivator, but it’s really good for you,” said Ammy Rodriguez, 16, assistant director for the tournament. “It keeps you thinking analytically. It keeps your mind sharp. “Chess isn’t something that is boring. It`s actually something that`s really fun and can be entertaining, because you’re waiting to see what your opponent does.”
This brain fiesta was arranged by a nonprofit organization Chess-in-the-Schools, who believes chess is an important knowledge that can help kids to achieve their goals in the future. The program is in all five boroughs in Title I schools, where more than 60% of the students are eligible for the free or reduced cost federal lunch program.
“It (chess) taught me a lot about patience and goal setting,” said Shaun Smith, director of school programs. “When I was really little, I was playing and lost all the time. I`d go to my father and I’d say, how do I get better at it, and he said, you can’t just expect to go play and get better automatically. You need to go over your games, you need to study, and when you put in the work, you get quick results.”
In 1986, the American Chess Foundation started teaching chess in schools. Since then, the magic of moving pieces opened to more than 400,000 students in New York City public schools. In 1997, the focus had shifted completely and the name of the program changed to Chess-in-the-Schools.
“It gives them (kids) a chance to slow down and think, and they actually like it,” said Marley Kaplan, the president and CEO of Chess-in-the-schools. “It`s a game and kids love games. They don’t get bored at all.”
Kids of all ages can enroll free of charge. Teacher-training programs support any inspired teacher to bring the program to their school. They will learn how to play and teach, plus are given the chess equipment. And the movement grows every day. The main goal is to reach the majority of schools in New York.
“It teaches you resilience,” said Kaplan. “You don’t just give up at chess. You just keep forging ahead, and so all of these things are like non cognitive skills that are necessary for anybody to succeed in school and in life.”
The 21st century biker-pirate, Juan Camacho, on the West Side Highway. Photo by Maria Panskaya
by Maria Panskaya
Members of Biker Entourage gathered together for the third time on Friday night to celebrate the international “Talk Like a Pirate” day and to ride the streets of Manhattan in honor of Captain William Kidd, New York City’s most famous pirate.
The annual parade, or Pirate Ride, stated in downtown and went though all piratey landmarks across the city.
“This ride is not about egos and not about showing off,” said Deme Spy, 48, the founder of Biker Entourage.” “It’s about positive experience and having fun.”
Eye patches, plastic swords, loose fitting flowing pirate shirts and, most important, motorcycles, were all that was needed to participate in the ride. And the desire for the great adventure was welcomed too.
The bike ride started on the West Side Highway, with Spy leading the group under the Jolly Roger Pirate Flag. Back in the days, when New York was New Amsterdam, pirates used to sail the waters alongside the highway; and now the 21st century biker-pirates carried on the time-honored legacy, cruising the roads on the roaring boats.
“Had two-wheeled dragons been invented 300 years ago,” said Spy. “Pirates would be roaring through the streets with them between their legs as sure as a shark loves a chum bucket.”
The Pirate Ride continued on Times Square, where bikers’ sudden appearance triggered all kinds of responses—from friendly similes and laughter to utter confusion.
“Arrrrr! Ye best be talkin’ like a pirate today,” said Jon Levi, 46, gently throwing silver plastic coins and bouncing eyeballs into the amused crowd.
The next piratey destination was Trinity Church, to which Captain Kidd believed to be a benefactor. Spy passionately narrated the tale for those, who participated in the ride for the first time, attracting curios passersby to stop and listen at the same time.
“I love bikes myself and I think I’ll get involved,” said Sherif Sadek, 18. “Looks like what these guys do is different from anything else I’ve seen before in my life. These are not your typical bikers.”
Breaking stereotypes is one of the group’s goals, while simultaneously educating people about biker’s culture, showing that riding a bike can be a positive experience, and that it is all about one’s inner strength and freedom. Spy, like other participants, holds a full-time job and a professional in his field. Levi, for example, is a photographer in regular life and Juan Camacho is an IT expert.
“At the end of the day it’s all about embracing freedom of a motorcycle,” said Camacho. “We want people to know that we are not all Sons of Anarchy type bikers.”
Spy, as a leader of Biker Entourage puts a substantial emphasis on safety. Before bikers leave for a ride, he goes over some of the ground rules like no heavy drinking before getting on bike, no speeding, stay and alert and fully conscious on the road, and don’t be aggressive—respect comes first.
Only after safely sailing the city, playing various pirate games and having a sword fight, with Ducatis, Harley Davidsons and Hondas neatly parked, biker-pirates rest at a bar with a glass of beer or scotch, sharing their after-ride experiences.
Children play with an enormous robot-giraffe at the fair. Photo by Maria Panskaya
by Maria Panskaya
The 5th Annual World Maker Faire took place in New York Hall of Science, Queens, yesterday, where technology and science experts, as well as ambitious startups, gathered to share their ideas and inventions.
The fair brought together more than a hundred inventive makers from across the county. It’s main focus was to educate kids about technological innovations, inspire them to create new things and to motivate the new generation to be curious about the world around them and beyond.
One of the ways the fair engaged children, and anybody who was curious enough, was a NASA Solve challenge. Dr. David Miller, NASA chief technologist, spoke about overcoming space challenges by involving society into the NASA’s creative process.
“Our vision is to reach for new heights and reveal the unknown, so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind,” Dr. Miller said. “If you have an idea that can improve our satellites’ or modules’ functioning, we want you to participate. You are the future and we want your ideas.”
Dr. Miller didn’t forget to mention that the most creative idea would be rewarded with a $20,000 check.
“If you are interested in space exploration, or want to learn more about Mars or other planets, or simply interested in overcoming challenges, then you bring us an idea and we bring the check,” Dr. Miller said.
While NASA Solve challenged middle and high school students, there were other pavilions, workshops and DIYs, like Maker Camp, for younger kids. Children got to take various techno parts apart, like keyboards and radios, with pliers and screwdrivers, creating sculptures or pictures out of those recycled pieces.
“One of my friends is a fan of electronics and robots and I got my interest form him,” said Ellis Retzer, 6, while tediously hot-gluing a keyboard key to his sculpture. “I love building new things after I’ve taken them apart.”
Children like Ellis spent hours uncovering the unknown parts of computers, printers and other techno stuff, while others preferred to hang around the two enormous space rockets installed in the middle of the fair or to pet a five-feet high electronic giraffe.
Vanessa Leung, 13, came to the fair not only to see what other makers had invented but also to present her own invention. Leung, together with several classmates from Simon Baruch Middle School, had built and programmed a Finch, a small electronic pet.
“It can measure the temperature in the room or it can play with you cat,” Leung said. “Finch is a really good tool for beginners to use to pick up on computer programming, since you have to navigate it from your laptop, and it’s fun to play with.”
Matt Trossen, CEO of Trossen Robotics, had also presented his high-performance Jimmy Research Humanoid. A 27-inch robot, which was also available in different designs and colors, would hit the market at the end of the year, presenting interested educators with a functioning high-level robotic platform to develop research on.
“We would love school and college students to have these robots and explore them,” Trossen said. “It would give students a chance to understand robotics without having a high level of education or knowledge in this area.”
The price range for Trossen’s robots would vary from $1,600 to $16,000, depending on the endoskeleton’s structure, computer programming and robot’s build-in features.
The majority of exhibitions on the fair had aimed for children’s educational needs and development, but e-NABLE had different goals. e-NABLE is the global network, which uses a 3D printer for prosthetic hand production for children.
“The bio-prosthetic hand costs a lot of money and as children grow you have to get more prosthetics, which can be quite costly,” said Ryan Brandy, 24. “With a 3D printed prosthetic hand, you can modify it as children grow. Just change the size and print out a new hand, which is less expensive.”
With so many more exhibitions and pavilions to explore, the fair dubbed “The Greatest Show & Tell on Earth”, will be open again today for curios children, educators and anybody who likes to explore the techno world.