Ana Nicole Rodriguez's blog

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Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
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Incorporating elements of the emerging microbrewery scene in New York City and drink traditions from Hong Kong, Brooklyn Soda Works has revolutionized the conventional soda. In this week's installment of Faces Behind the Food, co-owner Caroline Mak tells us about her internationally-inspired flavors like the popular lemongrass and lime. Caroline also shares how working as an installation artist has informed her new food career in helpful ways. For hours and locations of all of our vendors, see High Line Food.

Tell us about yourself and your passion for food and drink, including any fun or unusual facts that we might not know. (Any secret talents, perhaps?)

I’m from Hong Kong, a city with endless food offerings that have inevitably informed my own palette choices. In Hong Kong, many people brine lemons, which gives them a distinct taste. In diners, it's common to get a wedge of brined lemon in your soda. Inspired by this Hong Kong custom, we brine our own lemons every winter, and every spring, we have a salted lemon & ginger sparkling soda. We brew the brined lemons with fresh ginger juice. The result is a salty, gingery, fizzy drink with a hint of sugar.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez

The High Line and Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm recently hosted Honey Day, an annual family-friendly event that educates participants about the important role of the honeybee.

Through fun activities, honey tastings, and an open market featuring local beekeepers’ crafts and honey, participants discovered why the honeybee is our friend and an industrious worker.

Our food vendors also crafted honey-themed menus, from honey-infused beers to wildflower honey-roasted plum paletas.

Participants celebrated the honeybee and left bee-utifully inspired by nature’s wonder.

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm’s Asher Dov teaches curious children the many ways bees are important to our ecosystem using an observational beehive with more than 2,000 bees from their farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
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In this week's installment of Faces Behind the Food, New York City’s friendliest barista, Caitlin McGinn of Blue Bottle Coffee, keeps us wired with fun stories about serving coffee weekly to thousands of people. Caitlin tells us about “life-changing coffees” like the New Orleans, and meaning of coffee for people from different parts of the world who visit the High Line. For hours and locations of all of our vendors, see High Line Food.

Tell us about yourself and your passion for food and drink, including any fun or unusual facts that we might not know. (Any secret talents, perhaps?)

I grew up in New York City, which means I've been exposed to all kinds of amazing cuisine and culture. I have also worked in restaurants since I could walk (sort of!). As such, being around delicious food, drink, and the people who create it is second nature to me. I have found an amazing community in Blue Bottle, and I am proud to represent it on the High Line. We share a common interest and passion for coffee. You can find us tasting new coffees back in our Williamsburg, Brooklyn roastery regularly. We also have education sessions where all the baristas learn about the countries where the coffee comes from, places like Brazil, Mexico, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez

Excited about our new capsule collection by J.Crew for the High Line, we invited a few friends—including neighbors and colleagues—to try on the tees and accessories in the park that inspired them. 100% of the proceeds from the purchase of this J.Crew collection support Friends of the High Line, helping us keep the High Line beautiful and inspiring for millions of visitors.

Shop the High Line and J.Crew Garments for Good collection here.

Photo by Liz Ligon

High Line supporter Stefan Gargiulo and his two daughters came over to beat the heat in the water feature on the High Line's Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck. Stefan is dressed in the classic men’s vintage train tee and his sweet daughters look adorable in the kid’s watercolor map tee and the kid's Curious Garden tee, illustrated by the acclaimed children’s author, Peter Brown.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
Kirsten DavenportKirsten Davenport kitchen manager of Terroir at the Porch smiles inside of the famous shipping container converted into a restaurant. Photo by Armando Rafael Photography
 

From baking five graduation cakes for high school friends to learning the art of a soft-boiled egg, Kirsten Davenport—kitchen manager of Terroir at the Porch—has been perfecting her culinary skills for a long time. In this installment of Faces Behind the Food, Kirsten shares the significance of the High Line in her life and why tasting Terroir’s menu is a must. For hours and locations of all of our vendors, see High Line Food.

Tell us about yourself and your passion for food and drink, including any fun or unusual facts that we might not know. (Any secret talents, perhaps?)

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
Butterfly Weed Tee

The latest apparel and accessories from J.Crew look beautiful—and are helping to keep the High Line gorgeous too.

We are pleased to present a new collection of apparel and accessories designed by J.Crew to benefit the High Line. The collection—which debuts today at the High Line Shop and launches J.Crew’s Garments for Good charitable program—is free-spirited, playful, and fun, with special products that make perfect gifts for the High Line fan in your life.

Follow us after the jump for a look at the tees, totes, bracelets, and more.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
Chase Emmons, managing partner & apiary director of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, stands next to a colorful beehive. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm.
 

In anticipation of next week’s High Line Honey Day, we sat down with one of our favorite beekeepers to talk about honey (what else?). We invite you to join us on Wednesday, July 31, for a fun afternoon with artisanal beekeepers and special honey-infused offerings from the High Line’ s food vendors. Until then, Chase Emmons, managing partner & apiary director at Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm, tells us the “buzz” about urban beekeeping. He shares how he shed his corporate suit—preferring jeans and a tee—to spend his days beekeeping.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
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From her early days of cooking in college to working abroad in a gourmet restaurant, Georgia Flaum of Terroir at the Porch has mastered the art of making people happy through delicious food and friendly service. In this series of Faces Behind the Food, we sit down with Georgia to hear why she loves her work on the High Line. For hours and locations of all of our vendors, see High Line Food.

Tell us about yourself and your passion for food and drink, including any fun or unusual facts that we might not know. Any secret talents, perhaps?

I come from a big foodie family, but I didn't become interested in cooking until I had my own kitchen junior year of college. That year, I started a food blog and decided I’d travel as much as possible to experience new cuisines. When I studied abroad in Israel later in the year, I participated in an internship program in central Jerusalem where I worked in the kitchen of a gourmet restaurant called Eucalyptus. I didn't get paid, and I didn't speak Hebrew (hardly anyone spoke English), but I did learn a lot about the flow of a restaurant.

When I graduated from Wesleyan University two years ago, I knew I wanted to move to New York City and work in the food industry. But I had no idea where to start. I was intimidated to work in a restaurant kitchen with little experience and formal training, so I started as a busser at Hearth—Terroir's flagship restaurant—to experience the city’s restaurant scene. I worked my way up in various customer-facing roles. Now I run Terroir at the Porch on the High Line as general manager.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
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Learning to bake cookies alongside his nurturing mother, Julian Plyter of Melt Bakery unknowingly discovered his life’swork . In this installment of Faces Behind the Food, Julian shares memories from his childhood, when he first learned to roll out cookie dough and used fruit picked ripe for his cookies. This early introduction to baking led Julian to pursue baking professionally and open up the beloved Melt Bakery. For hours and locations of all of our vendors, see High Line Food.

Tell us about yourself and your passion for food and drink, including any fun or unusual facts that we might not know. (Any secret talents, perhaps?)

I have been an avid supporter of local food since I was a kid, picking peaches in my great-grandfather's backyard, picking cherries with my mom from our own tree, and planting and cultivating gardens with my family. I am also a classically trained pianist, although it's been a while; not sure if there's any talent left in that pool! My favorite composer to play was always Chopin. My paternal grandmother was actually my first piano teacher, and she gave me many of my beloved cookie recipes as well.

The earliest memory I have is rolling cookie dough at the age of four using old-fashioned tools like cherry pitters and wooden spoons belonging to my grandmother. We had orange-and-green wallpaper in the kitchen that I can still visualize, too. My mother inspired my love of baking. I’ve spent countless hours beside my mother learning to replicate her recipes, but no one can make better cinnamon buns than she. In our hometown, she also reigns as queen of homemade pies. The classic Melt cookie is a chocolate-chip walnut, adapted from one of my mother’s old recipes.

Author: 
Ana Nicole Rodriguez
Green Corps GraduatesWearing big smiles, this year's Green Corps graduates hold up their certificates.
 

The High Line Green Corps program saw its first graduation on Saturday, June 28, with proud mothers and siblings in attendance. “How can we be better neighbors?” was the thoughtful question leading to the creation of the High Line’s Green Corps program—an intensive six-month paid program for local teens that increases understanding of environmental science and green jobs, while also strengthening the relationship between the High Line and its young community members. This year’s graduating class was especially passionate and lively—a testament to the program’s success.

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The graduates shared highlights of the program in between eating a delicious spread of rice and beans and turkey empanadas cooked by the teens. Graduate Beatrice Ramos—with her young sister listening—spoke about the new sense of responsibility the program instilled in her. “I recycle now and know the benefits of keeping my city clean,” she said. Echoing her sentiment, graduate Raquel Rosado shared, “I’ve learned to love plants. Now it’s my job to care for them.”

The program’s instructors, Gahl Shottan and Jordan Aponte, aim to do precisely that—encourage young teens to see themselves as environmental stewards of the city, whether they are on the High Line or in any other green space. The program focuses on: green infrastructure, urban horticulture, and agricultural sustainability- including the relationship between food and health. Students learn through field trips, presentations with guest speakers, and team hands-on projects. This year's Green Corps weeded the garden at a local elementary school, P.S. 33, planted bulbs in nearby tree pits, and cut back over a quarter-mile of plantings as part of the High Line’s annual Spring Cutback.

Green Corps began last year as a week-long alternative spring break, through generous support from the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Over 60 applicants, many from local NYCHA complexes, applied for the ten spots in this pilot week. Friends of the High Line realized there was a need for this kind of programming. One graduate from last year, Carla Hernandez, went on to enter the Green City Force's Clean Energy Corps. Through support from the Ford Foundation and the Palette Fund, the breadth and scope of this year's program has expanded.

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