David Haskell from Kings County Distillery

David Haskell from Kings County Distillery

Makalé Faber Cullen

Makalé Faber Cullen

Naa Oyo A. Kwate

Naa Oyo A. Kwate

Jonathan Bogarin

Jonathan Bogarin

Planet Chocko attended an interesting panel discussion at Studio X on Varick St. just below Houston called “Foodprints NYC” which is a free series of conversations with invited special guests to speak on food in our city regarding topics like clustering of bodegas, analysis of fast food & alcohol advertising in the inner city, slow foods, zoning for street vendors, green markets & sustainability, & many other topics regarding the foodscapes in NYC. I walked into the middle of a discussion with the guests talking about the irony & lunacy of more strict regulations being set on families applying & receiving foodstamps when the actual corruption of welfare aid from the government is laden with guilty hands from the puppets that actually create these amendments to begin with. The conversation then turned the page to talking about the poisoning of fast food culture into our psyche. One ‘conservative’ guest talked about putting an extra tax on fried chicken. Fried chicken, cigarettes, & booze are poisoning our bodies, he says! My tongue & heart dropped when I heard this. No!, not fried chicken! Thoughts of Sylvia’s, Charles’ country fried pan chicken, Pluck U, & Bon Chon quickly raced through my mind! The next panel discussion encompassed guests Jonathan Bogarin, Makalé Faber Cullen, David Haskell, & Naa Oyo A. Kwate. Jonathan Bogarin was born & raised in New York as an artist & educator. His palate of works include paintings & a recent film called “Bodega Down Bronx” ,a 29-minute video that investigates New York City’s bodegas in terms of their owners, suppliers, inventory, clientele, and more. He talked about the thriving culture of the NYC bodega despite having floods of similar stores in the same neighborhood & more than not, on the same block. Every bodega has their own rash followings of convenience whether patrons erupt from a certain housing project, a school, being located close to a subway or bus stop or perhaps having special products such as plantains, goya products, and herbs specific to a certain ethnicity. The majority of owners of NYC bodegas are of Dominican, Middle Eastern, & Puerto Rican descent. Next to speak was Makalé Faber Cullen. She is a cultural anthropologist and contributor to Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods. She discussed the rise & support of the green markets in NYC including the thriving farmers market in Greenpoint, Bronx, & Queens. The main objective in Makale’s soliloquy was about educating the masses with slow foods, sustainability, & support of the local farmers to make it worth their while to make the trek from upstate NY to the urban thralls of NYC. Next on deck was David Haskell. He is a Senior Editor of New York Magazine & is a co-founder of the East Williamsburg, Brooklyn based distillery called Kings County Distillery. Kings County churns out country style moonshine, bourbon, & whiskey similar to the tradition of Kentucky. Yeehaw & don’t forget to tip that cow! Kings County Distillery is located in the heart of hipster infected East Williamsburg, Brooklyn! David discusses how backwards thinking the local laws & regulations of NYC are with erecting his distillery business. The City of New York seems to be more obsessed about the locale of the distillery, zoning location away from schools, & ferociously rabid about the particular locks that his distillery should be infested with. Apparently, the city of New York cares less of what is in the spirits. Man!, this would make Uncle Jessie, Boss Hog, & Cooter one happy sons of Boar’s nest! Rocket fuel, rubbing alcohol, everclear, Kings County Distillery, we have lift off! The final guest to the podium was Naa Oyo Kwate. She is an assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. She led an interesting discussion about the strategic locations of fast food restaurants & billboards. Her research led to the results that NYC is one of the most segregated cities in the nation. Naa Oyo, also came to the conclusion that black & latino neighborhoods, no matter poor, middle class, or affluent would always contain the most franchised fast food enclaves than their white counterparts. Billboard advertisements of the alcohol & fast food nation variety would also come to the same conclusion.

All in all, Foodprints NYC provided an excellent forum in discussing the food escapades of our City & how we can sustain it for the future by educating ourselves. Planet Chocko hopes that we, martians & earthlings alike will open up our minds to settle our differences so that we can bridge the gap to achieve one goal, to live in a more healthy, natural environment both mentally & physically.

–Mr. C

Foodprints NYC @ Studio X
180 Varick St. Suite 1610 NY, NY

Kings County Distillery
35 Meadow Street
East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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