The Greenmarket episode was a small milestone. The idea came from simply going there one day, walking around, and thinking that this was the sort of thing that really does reflect the culture of New York, and that I would be delinquent in my duties as host if I didn’t have a show about this key part of New York City. I figured a few of my listeners may know about the so-called “Farmers Market” but they may not have ever had the chance, interest or inking to go. And it was kind of cool.
In past episodes, such as the trade shows, there was an official press procedure, so getting clearance to this would be a challenge. My audience is minuscule in the world of podcasts and I’m a nobody’s nobody. In addition, although the Greenmarket did have a liaison for the press, it isn’t really a critical part of their operation. In fact, they’re very picky about this kind of thing. So I was very thankful to get clearance to do the episode.
I was hoping to get Rui and Preeti both involved but Rui was offered a very good job in Shanghi working on a promotional campaign for Ford motors; and Preeti had just gotten a new job writing for the Atlantic, and was off to Europe for the summer. I, on the other hand, had just lost a job and had nothing on the distant horizon. So it seemed like I was going to do it alone. At the last minute, however, Preeti was able to squeeze in some time before meeting her parents for her trip across the pond. She only had a couple of hours so it was going to be tight.
When I met Preeti at the Starbucks I had a list of vendors to interview from the show management, and a map I printed out from their website. We started at about 9AM, which was a little late perhaps, but I didn’t want to bother the vendors as they set-up or get in the way of their customers. Very quickly we discovered that the list and map wasn’t going to work, and the first vendors we tried to talk to were very suspicious of our credentials right out of the gate. So we located the on-site management, and after a few phone calls were cleared.
I should point out that I did not give Preeti any coaching, guidance or directions whatsoever. I simply gave her a microphone and told her to ask questions. I let Preeti be Preeti. It didn’t always go as smooth as organic butter either. Many of the vendors didn’t want to talk to us. And in fact, I believe we got everyone that did. But I do think we captured an authentic slice of what initially peaked my interest in the first place, and hopefully the listeners now know enough about the GrowNYC’s greenmarket to want to check it out themselves.
In the life our parents wanted for us, we would go to the Farmer’s Market every week, and have a kitchen pantry with wine from Chateau Renaissance, apple cider from Breezy Hill, Tonjes Farm Cheese and tiny bread, some Homestead Maple Syrup, and some Pale Ale from From the Ground Brewery. But in my tiny kitchen, as perhaps in yours, these luxuries can be savored during special occasions only. Be comforted to know that now you know how to make those special occasions a little more special. Maybe not once a week like the famous chefs of New York; maybe only once a month. Maybe once a year. But you owe it to yourself, and the people not to unlike you, nurturing this food, to savor it.
Maybe, that special occasion is now. Now is life, bon appetit.
Check out the links if you want to connect to the farmers and vendors or stop by the Greenmarket in New York City’s Union Square when you get the chance. I did, by the way, buy some socks from the Blue Feet Foundation and I must admit they’re a lot better than I thought they’d be, and more fun too.
Finally, I’d like to mention the gear. Although there is a lot of information out there on the gear to use, and a lot of “How To” videos on You Tube, it’s mostly an echo chamber of what’s popular. I’m not sure how or why that is. I do respect the advice and opinion of professionals, but I’m not convinced that this is what we are getting on You Tube. And I haven’t found the podcasts on podcasting particularly enlightening once I put everything into practice. Perhaps it’s me. Perhaps I can find an expert and do a podcast on it in the future.
I believe many of the other podcasts out there are formed and financed as businesses or branches of existing radio or media companies. So they have a certain way of operating. I don’t know. That’s not me. As of October 2017 the UnCommonCore Podcast is a solo operation of yours truly — throwing caution to the wind and hoping for the best. So perhaps my perspectives on gear purchase with hard earned money at the sacrifice of food and shelter – gives me a different perspective. Please let me know if you find it useful.
In the Greenmarket episode I used a used and discontinued Fostex FR2le with an Ode Brothers mod. Previously I used Tascam and Zoom. I found the Tascam had good sounding pre-amps for the money but the menu made it difficult to use under field conditions. Even when recording in a studio the menus were a pain. I found the sound of the Fostex just as good if not better. But you do have to keep an eye and ear on the levels.
I had the Fostex wrapped in a Porta Brace Bag and this in another bag for discretion. I gave Preeti a standard Elecro-Voice EV 50, which I subsequently lost, and I held a Sennheiser ME66/K6 with a pistol grip and dead cat (I had from film work). Mogami cables.
The EV 50 worked like a champ but the Sennheiser was useless. I actually originally published the episode with the Sennheiser for ambiance, but upon listening to the episode after publishing it, I quickly removed it and remixed it with only the EV 50 track and republished. This is why I sound like I’m off in the background when I speak. I had no mic. The Sennheiser created phase distortion and had a high ambient noise floor under these conditions, and it sounded better if I just stuck to the EV 50. Perhaps an ME67 would be better but I can’t afford it. If anyone wants to loan me theirs, I’ll give it a try. Going foreword after the Reef-A-Palooza episode, I’ll stick with the handheld and a lav. In the end, I was ok with being off mic a bit. It made Preeti more of the focus – which is better. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please leave them in the blog section and I’ll get back to you.
Thanks for listening,