Miss Ginsu: About/Bio

 

Black Eyes, Green Thumbs: Roller Derby Gardening

I'm convinced that if there's ever an apocalypse, you really want a roller derby girl on your side. Not only do they have rough and tumble skills and mighty muscles for fighting off the zombie hordes, derby girls tend to be some of the most ambitious, multi-talented people I know.

Case in point: Suzy Hotrod — talented photographer, guitarist in a punk band, speed demon on a flat track, horchata aficionado... and urban gardener.

Out Standing in her Field

Suzy recently took me out to her little plot in the Two Coves Community Garden in Queens.

Community Toolshed

Assisting with weeding and vine tending tasks before Suzy's Gotham Girls practice, I'm surprised to see that Two Coves is surprisingly roomy for a city garden.

Suzy's plot stretches out about 8 foot by 6 foot (roughly the size of a Manhattan apartment) and is home to cucumbers, sunflowers, tomatoes, watermelons, mint, basil, Swiss chard, kale, beans, pink flamingoes and jolly garden gnomes.

"I always forget to bring something to put the vegetables in, so I end up putting them in my helmet." She says, passing me a stack of kale leaves as she piles up a haul of godzilla-sized cucumbers and fat tomatoes.

Suzy's Helmet/Basket

But Suzy's not the only GGRD girl on the block. On the way back from the compost pit, she shows off the a neatly rowed plot maintained by Bonnie Thunders, the first derby girl to roost in Two Coves.

One of the garden locals helps diagnose an unfortunate case of low water pressure and invites us to take some fresh-picked green beans, cherry tomatoes and zucchini.

"I had two cute little pumpkins. You should've seen them," he tells me, shaking his head. "But they're gone. Stolen. Well — maybe next year..."

Suzy nods. "That happened to me, too. One of my gnomes disappeared."

Jolly Garden Gnome

Ah, and there's the downside of community living. The wounds inflicted by contact sports heal, but what's to be done with the pain dealt by squash-snatchers and gnome grabbers?

Well, there's always next year. Luckily, derby girls are also pretty great at shrugging off bruises.

Go see more of Suzy's urban gardening in the flickr set here.

Yours in Veggie Worship,
Miss Ginsu

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8.07.2009

Beer. Garden. Sausage. What more could you want?

A sausage in Astoria

For the few New Yorkers not heading out of the city for the weekend, the City conspires to treat you to its richest display of hospitality. Stinky piles of garbage? Gone. Stuffy, crowded subways? Fuggetaboutit. Stifling heat and humidity wafting up from the asphalt? A fuzzy memory.

The weather promises unparalleled beauty, the streets will be uncharacteristically quiet, parks and restaurants will be joyfully unpopulated and Czech beer will flow in a big backyard in Queens.

Sit under the trees, observe the rich cross-section of humanity at nearby tables, eat a juicy sausage, drink a cold beer and offer up a toast to yourself. You've had the foresight to realize that zipping around on the subway is superior to sitting in a hot metal box on the L.I.E.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
29-19 24th Ave
Astoria, Queens
718-274-4925
bohemianhall.com

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9.02.2005