Morphed Apples and Dead Trees

Both installations are outdoors; when I went neither was particularly crowded. Currently I’m walking outside maskless which is wonderful. Let’s hope conditions continue to improve because, as I’m sure you agree, it’s been a long, tough hall.

Apple Heads, a project by artist Joanne Howard, in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side will be around till November. (Hopefully Halloween apple bobbers won’t be tempted by them.) Howard carved forty-five real apples into human(ish) faces and let them dry so they shriveled. Then they were cast in bronze and attached to fence posts.

apples on Park fenceposts

The artist says the works are “guardians of nature.” I went with a friend and, since there’s no signage the apples aren’t immediately obvious–—as women, we asked. The day we visited the Park was gorgeous with masses of blooms including spectacular iris.


Maya Lin, renowned  artist and  environmental activist,  founded a site called What Is Missing? an “online memorial to what we’ve lost to climate change.” This installation, Ghost Forest, in Madison Square Park on 23rd street, displays forty-nine  already-dead, white cedar trees from New Jersey’s Pine Barrens (Memories of The Sopranos anyone?)

Rising sea levels killed the trees which are ‘planted’ in man-made holes—some are forty feet tall. As they dry out the trees will change so I plan to go back and see the next development. Meanwhile, they are a striking contrast with the surrounding lush plants and spring greenery.

As part of the exhibition, (also open till November—come visit out–of-towners and help bring NYC back), there is an audio background called Soundscape featuring sounds from some of the native species of animals once common in Manhattan.  To hear it, go to Never knew that elks shriek. Maybe it’s a mating call?

Both these free, unusual installations are part of what makes this city wonderful. Yes, NYC isn’t as it was and may not ever return exactly but it’s on the way back and I’m happy to do what I can to support it.

In the spirit of inclusivity, this recipe more or less combines wood (OK, a stretch to smoked) and apples. Herewith:

Apple Chips

2 granny smith apples

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp smoked paprika (smoked=wood, sort of)

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 225 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Using a mandolin or sharp knife cut apples into thin slices—try for consistent thickness and as thin as possible.

Lightly brush both sides of each apple slice with the smoked paprika mixture and place on baking sheets.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours (until slices start to crisp up). Flip over and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes. It will be tempting to keep baking longer because the chips will still feel a little soft while hot, but the chips crisp up once out of the oven for a bit.

Let chips cool for a few minutes before eating.

NB: If you are using a knife and end up with thicker apple slices bake for an extra 10-15 minutes.

Low-calorie, kid-friendly, tasty—what’s not to like? You could always drink apple juice or—gasp—hard cider. And cheer for vaccines and NYC!



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