My partner, Esther, likes to say that she bought our financial district apartment right after 9/11 with the idea that someone would come along and make the terrace work. When I moved in a few years later, I was ecstatic. “I’ll make a garden,” I thought at the time. “What could go wrong?”
A lot, it turns out. The 800-square-foot parapet, which sits 10 floors above Broadway, cater-corner from ground zero, is a surprisingly inhospitable place. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York just east of us robs us of the morning sun while a 54-story building clad in Darth Vader black sucks the daylight out of our afternoons.
And though its 800 square feet seems like it could accommodate a lot of salad, only the easterly side gets enough light to underwrite a crop of significance. This is also the side that is most exposed to what my neighbor Mark Bower liked to call “a harsh, Siberian wind” — a distinctly un-zephyrus gustiness that punishes anything that dares to sprout. On top of that, whenever a New York sports team wins a championship, the ensuing parade down the Canyon of Heroes blankets us in ticker tape. For years I pulled strips out of the compost from when the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2012.
“The Climate Diet — 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint.”
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