Family

Urban Agriculture

Too chicken: Why and how to raise chickens in the city

No matter how broke you are, chickens can help you keep some dignity about you.Photo: Stu MayhewWhen last we fetched up, babydolls, Broke-Ass was waxing pedantic about the primacy of stocking the pantry as nutritiously and cheaply as possible. One alert soul commented: “Where are the eggs? Nature’s most perfect food with as many ways to fix them as your imagination can accommodate.” A flawless observation, “jjfahl“! As it happens, Broke-Ass has so many damn eggs that, at times, she feels that she might prefer to shove bamboo shoots underneath her fingernails than to sup upon another oeuf. This is …

Family

Stocking the Broke-Ass pantry, and the magical three-day chicken

Making great meals from bubkes is easy when you do it the Broke-Ass way!Broke-Ass has often been asked how she feeds her family of five on bubkes. The answer is: Shop as little as possible, and buy what only what you must, as cheaply as possible. Cutting down on marketing means you not only have more time to earn a damn living, but it also compels you to make — or grow — the stuff that you would have bought pre-made or -grown when you did make a damn living. DIY saves money. Back when Broke-Ass was unconcerned with saving …

Urbanism

Walk this way: How to get a crosswalk on your street

Too many American streets and roads are missing something.Photo: Nicholas_TCreating an environment where people can get across the street without being killed by a driver should be a top priority for the people who design our streets and roads, don’t you think? Sad to say, it isn’t always so. You only have to take a look at Charles Marohn’s enlightening “Confessions of a recovering engineer” to learn that. Here’s what Marohn wrote: [T]he engineer first assumes that all traffic must travel at speed. Given that speed, all roads and streets are then designed to handle a projected volume. Once those …

Biking

Hundreds ride to support Brooklyn bike lane [VIDEO]

Well, if supporters of the Prospect Park West bike lane in Brooklyn are a bunch of terrorists (as some bike-lane opponents might have it), they are very effectively disguised as cute little kids and their parents. Streetfilms has the evidence. Yesterday, hundreds of bike lane supporters showed up to ride the controversial lane, which has become the target of a lawsuit filed by neighbors seeking to have it removed. (Full disclosure: some of the material filed as part of the suit consists of nasty comments from Streetsblog, a website where I used to work.) The lane’s opponents say it is …

Urban family values

The sane person’s guide to bringing kids on public transit

Kids on the bus can be fun for everyone. Really.Photo: Roar PettersonRiding public transportation, as I’ve said before, is good for kids. And the presence of children on transit can enrich the experience for all riders. (Settle down, people! I said can.) So it’s unfortunate that the reality of taking little ones on buses and trains often proves so challenging — both for the folks bringing them and for those along for the ride. Parents complain about the hassle. There’s the rushing and waiting in all kinds of weather. There’s the occasional exposure to PG-13 language and behavior. And then …

trips up homes down

Wanna green your ride? Ditch the Prius, hop on a train

Chart: EPA Here’s one to piss off the yuppies: Driving your hybrid car from your Energy Star home to the food co-op is not as green as hopping on the subway from your apartment. A new EPA study says that moving from a car-oriented to a transit-oriented community has the biggest impact on your energy usage — more than green buildings or green cars. Of course, doing something is better than nothing. Not everyone can move to multi-family building in a transit-oriented city, which the study found is the greenest way to go (besides, of course, moving to a multi-family …

Urban family values

Seven ways to live in a small space with kids and not go crazy

Whee! Living small is fun!Photo: Anna MSo you want to raise your family in a city but can’t afford much square footage? Never fear. Despite the challenges, it’s possible to live in a small space — with kids — without sacrificing your sanity. First, let’s define small, since our idea of an acceptable amount of space has changed dramatically in the past several decades. In 1950, the average American home was 983 square feet, and the average household size was 3.54 people. Today’s “average” home is close to 2,500 square feet, even while average household size has decreased to 2.67 …

Will to Refill

Ask Umbra on refillable cleaning supplies

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I’m trying to cut back on plastic waste and am wondering if you know of places that offer things like cleaning supplies in bulk, so that I can refill and reuse my old containers? Thanks!Lyda L.Harlem, NY A bottle walks into a bar and asks for a refill …Photo: Dave PinterA. Dearest Lyda, I like the way you think. What better way to clean up our acts than with cleaning supplies? The message in the bottle in this case: It’s practical and saves resources. The reusable bottle goes back to the days …

The road to success

Do you live in one of the nation’s ‘smartest regions for transportation’?

You might not see much similarity between More people walk to work in Boston than in any other city in the country.Photo: Steve MinorYolo County, Calif., with its open farmland and small cities, and the densely packed streets of New York City. But both are on the Natural Resource Defense Council’s list of “America’s Smartest Regions for Transportation.” The list is a result of a study done by the NRDC’s Smarter Cities Project, in collaboration with the Center for Neighborhood Technology: The study… compares and profiles U.S. cities based on public transit availability and use; household automobile ownership and use; …