"I feel like now is the time for our voices to be heard," Cobble Hill resident Jennifer Fragale, 34, tells Patch.
"I think he's in a tough position," Fragale says of Schumer, "but he needs to stand up for his constituents. I would like him to restore some sanity to our government. It's only been eight days, and we've lost it all."
The election spurred an activist streak in me that had long been dormant. It was a few days into Trump's term when a Park Slope Patch reporter interviewed me at a Chuck Schumer protest where fellow Brooklynites loudly urged him to vote down Trump's cabinet nominees. My friend and I were joined by a couple thousand protesters at Grand Army Plaza where we yelled various clever chants as we marched outside Schumer's Brooklyn residence.
It's been quite a few years since art school where I initially had dreams of seeing my photos in print/online. But, I still have the skills in my toolkit! My photo of Grandparents.com CEO Steve Leber was featured in Parade Magazine on Sept 5, 2014 before Grandparent's Day. I sent a few shots over and they picked my favorite one! Steve looks good, wouldn't you agree?
Jennifer Fragale offered on Twitter: “Having to move furniture down from a 4th Fl walk up, around the block, and up a 5th Fl walk up.”
I don't remember when it started, but sometime in the past 10 years I decided that it was my lifelong dream to be quoted in The New York Times. Random, I know, but to me it was a goal on my quest to become a true New Yorker. I thought that, an obituary aside, getting my name printed in the paper of record would cement my presence here.
I had one near run-in when my co-worker and I were interviewed in May 2011 at the Starbucks a block from the NYT building (across the street from the Grandparents.com office). We were questioned about the Anthony Weiner scandal and at the time, asked if we thought the picture of Twitter was planted or was in fact him. A lively conversation ensued and the reporter scribbled down a bunch of my responses but when the article came out, it only included quotes from his constituency in Brooklyn. It made sense, and I decided, lifelong dream aside, I didn't really need my big break to be talking about dick pics and social media scandals.
Years later, when the Metro Desk posed a question about NYC Reverse Bucket List experiences in their City Room article on June 18, 2014 I immediately tweeted at them and shared very truncated versions of my infamous NYC stories. The tweets were like poetry almost and I was thrilled simply when @NYTMetro liked a bunch of them. Little did I suspect what would come!
Over a month later I was asked for my full name because my tweet might be used in an article on the topic. That was when the excitement set in. But nothing can compare to waking up to a friend's post on my Facebook wall of a picture of the Sunday, Aug 3rd print edition showing AND telling me I was quoted in it. My heart started racing, my hands holding my phone were shaking, and tears of indescribable joy began falling. The very thing I wanted for so long actually happened! And I am quoted telling such a New York story. There is no bitter taste to it—that April move in 2010 was a hilarious, albeit exhausting day, but one I will always remember fondly.
Now the 95 character count story of moving into my apartment will be framed and hung in the very 5th Fl walk up it describes.
Jennifer Fragale, director of alliance partnerships at Grandparents.com, described "Timeless You" as this: "It takes a comprehensive approach to what you can do to feel your best, and includes advice and tips for creating healthy relationships, exercise, eating well and lowering stress."
Timeless You: The Biology of Youth & The Wisdom of Experience, is a revolutionary online program created collaboratively between Deepak Chopra and Grandparents.com. It's a program I helped create and market during the first quarter of 2014.
Over 10,000 people have signed up and started feeling younger through the instruction in the program. Deepak was invited as a guest on Bloomberg TV and CNN and write ups appeared in The Wall Street Journal and on the Huffington Post, in which I was quoted.
I was proud to be spreading a message about changing your perception and habits in order to regain control and change your life. Through the six courses filled with engaging actives and exclusive video, participants learned how to adjust their daily routine to reverse aging, eliminate stress & calm their mind, maximize their energy, and find joy & fulfillment in every day. Information on the program can be found at: grandparents.com/timelessyou/
It also took only one class for Jennifer Fragale to take a more critical look at the tree outside her building in Chelsea.
“I was horrified,” Fragale said. “Some branches were hanging too low, others were reaching too far out. This is a glaringly obvious tree in need of pruning!”
Every time you get quoted there is a chance, you'll really not like the way it sounds (reads?) in print. That was the case with the Tribeca Trib's June 2013 coverage of my tree pruning class which I participated in through Trees New York. Luckily now, as a certified citizen pruner, I can deal with the "horror" myself and just prune it away!
The class itself was a pure joy in which to participate. The students in my session formed a motley crew of conscientious New Yorkers of all ages, from many backgrounds. I often found myself stifling back laugher, dare I say shaking like a leaf, throughout the classes which were both informative and fun!
Since I graduated and have been hitting the street (trees!), I've had people approach me as I wield my 5' long extending pole saw and ask me if I am cutting down the tree. I laugh and explain that it's the opposite in fact. I am helping the tree grow up, not out—allowing it to become a beautiful street tree that no one needs to duck under when walking by.
That being said, tall individuals, if you have a tree that forces you to do a little dance to get around/under, let me know. I am more than happy to travel and prune away your problem.
That Fragale joined The Daffodil Project, one of the largest volunteer efforts in the city’s history, was only fitting: volunteerism – whether teaching seniors or beautifying her neighborhood – has been a near-constant in her life since becoming a New Yorker.
After volunteering for the Daffodil Project in 2011, I graced the homepage of New Yorkers for Parks website in October. A little more about the Daffodil Project—it was founded in 2001 as a living memorial to September 11th. Nearly five million free bulbs have been planted citywide by school kids, parks and gardening groups, civic organizations, corporate volunteers and other New Yorkers. Only rule for collecting bulbs—pledge to plant them in a public place!
In Sept 2012, I was included in New Yorkers for Parks monthly email as their featured "New Yorker for Parks". You can read a very apropos story of my experience distributing bulbs in Brooklyn in the profile here. If anyone is interested in joining in the Daffodil Project, you can learn more and sign up to volunteer here.
“I’ll never forget when we were planting, and a woman came up to us and said ‘you’re adding a piece of heaven to a warzone!’ That’s something that made me realize how much the community appreciated what we were doing,” Fragale said.
In July 2012, Chelsea Now covered the Chelsea Garden Club and our activities in the bike lane pits on 8th and 9th Avenues in the neighborhood.
The Club started in spring 2011 when members of the 300 West Block Association decided we needed a formal organization to plant and cultivate the plots of land that lay barren except for their young trees. Fast forward a few years and the blocks are bursting with color—pleasing pedestrians, bikers and drivers alike!
On May 27, 2011 The Brian Lehrer Show quoted me as I described my first and only bike ticketing experience which happened back in Oct 2010. Listen at the 13:00 min mark as they butcher my last name (oh well!) in their telling of my story...
I was ticketed at the corner of 2nd Ave and East 25th St for "failure to use bike lane when one was provided" at 8:30am on Sunday 10/16/10. The cops refused to hear any of my pleas, specifically that the bike lane wasn't present when I entered 2nd Ave. The ticket was for approximately $130. I went to court to fight it with the law highlighted where it says, "--34 RCNY 4-12(p)(1) states that bicyclists should ride in usable bike lanes, unless they are preparing to turn, or are avoiding unsafe conditions (including but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, pushcarts, animals, surface hazards)." I went to court with maps, the law, and more, and I didn't have to say a word because while the law is on the state books, the judge immediately said, "This law is not applicable in the city. Case dismissed."
Jennifer Fragale, a Chelsea resident who hauls her out-of-use electronics on the subway to city-run collection programs, likes the proposed law for its convenience to city residents. "I've used the electronic drop off sites but it's always a production to plan your schedule around them, and I don't think most people care enough to lug their keyboards, CPUs, and TVs downtown to have them disposed of properly," she said.
I'm quoted in the Gotham Gazette's February 2010 story: Pioneering E-Waste Bill Remains Stuck in Legal Limbo. Glad we've passed the bill and made multiple strides since this was written. Always more work to be done, but progress is being made!