►Diligent, competent, equal-handed service, attention to detail, time and budgetary commitments, a versatile skill set, mediating standpoint and common sense judgment have been hallmarks of over 25 years in the planning profession.  


  • A wide range of environmental, land use planning, permitting, environmental and development advisory capabilities.  
  • Learn more about the practice in the Resume, and Services and Projects pages.
  • NYC, Westchester, Hudson Valley, Long Island and New Jersey


►Since 1987.


►An approach that seeks to provide value to every client and add value to every project.  


►Take a look at the list of municipal and private-sector clients on the Clients and Municipalities page. 


►Whether you are an attorney, architect or engineer, consultant or consulting firm, municipal official, developer or development professional, call us to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.


►Can we do any of the following for you, your organization or agency?  


We can:

  • Work with applicants, property-owners, municipal officials, review boards & government agencies to address development issues. 
  • Prepare and review environmental and regulatory documents.
  • Perform reliable fiscal and economic analyses.
  • Coordinate the activities of other professionals.
  • Work with regulatory agencies to obtain permits and licenses, and changes to resource mapping.
  • Provide thoughtful, informative guidance for planning and development projects.  Focus efforts and make efficient use of limited resources. Develop thoughts and vet ideas.  Understand and articulate competing viewpoints.
  • Meet your time and budgetary commitments. 
  • Reduce the time needed to become familiar with NYS's new SEQRA forms.
  • Advocate for good planning, sound development, a greater range of options for current and future generations, and conservation of land and energy.
  • Evaluate a proposal or a plan.  
  • Identify needs, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats.  
  • Research, organize, evaluate and present complex information.


►For agency clients specifically, we can:

  • Assist with grant applications and administration
  • Work with and back up staff for planning & zoning administration
  • Free up staff time for other tasks
  • Organize and manage information and department activities
  • Review environmental documents such as EISs
  • Draft ordinances and code amendments
  • Preare, edit and revise policy documents
  • Prepare background studies and opportunities analyses
  • Meet with applicants and citizen committees
  • Work effectively with municipal staff and other consulting professionals
  • Mediate the interests of applicants, municipal and agency departments and staff, and board members
  • Develop the record for projects under review to support prudent, timely and substantiated decision-making.  


►Want to see what else we can do for you? Detailed information is in the Statement of Qualifications below.  See the Services and Projects pages for information on specific services and projects.  


►A quick snapshot of John Lynch's core competencies is provided in the skills-oriented resume below.  See the resume web-page for other resumes and additional information.  

Skills and Experience
John Lynch AICP Skills Resume.docx
Microsoft Word document [22.8 KB]
Statement of Qualifications
J Lynch Statement of Qualifications, Jul[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [2.4 MB]
View John Lynch's profile on LinkedIn

See below and the Interesting Ideas page for blogs, ideas and things that I like.

Westchester Municipal Planning Federation

INRIX Traffic Scorecard

Scenic Hudson's Sea Level Rise Mapper

"Bronx Irish at the Ramparts", 1984 documentary about changing northwest Bronx & Back in the Bronx presentation

PBS's "Visions of New York City"

NYC Channel 7 Eyewitness News Special: Climate Chaos

US Green Building Council -- Neighborhood Development Resources

Westchester County, New York Mapping / GIS Resources

NYS DEC Online Interactive Mapping

Look up your family in a 1940's phone book or just see pictures of the old neighborhood.   

Check out

PlannersWeb web-site

City Limits

City Limits is a New York City-based non-profit that strengthens community engagement on civic, economic, and social justice issues. Since 1976, we’ve fulfilled our mission by publishing investigative journalism, documentary photography, creating new media and convening conversations that increase public awareness.  

Real Estate - Crain's New York Business News Feed

Condé Nast 1 WTC move-in date set (Fri, 24 Oct 2014)
The time has finally arrived. Condé Nast will be moving downtown to 1 World Trade Center, North America's tallest tower, on Nov. 3, according to The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.... To view the full story, click the title link.
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Video: Kathryn Wylde on the MTA's deficit (Thu, 23 Oct 2014)
The president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City explains how the Metropolitan Transportation Authority can be overhauled as the agency's five-year capital plan faces a budget... To view the full story, click the title link.
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Penn Station boosters suggest site for new Madison Square Garden (Thu, 23 Oct 2014)
Moving Madison Square Garden three blocks away to a U.S. Postal Service annex would allow for the expansion of Pennsylvania Station and alleviate congestion in the area, a coalition of planners and... To view the full story, click the title link.
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Fears of Ebola prompt building of containment ward (Thu, 23 Oct 2014)
The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System is planning to build at least one containment unit for patients with Ebola and other infectious diseases, the system announced Thursday. The unit is... To view the full story, click the title link.
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Planitizen Web-Feed (Planning Related Articles Culled from the Web and Print Media)

GOOD is the integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good. We are a company and community for the people, businesses, and NGOs moving the world forward.


You Can’t Print a Photo from Outer Space On Polyester (Fri, 24 Oct 2014)
Designer Celine Semaan Vernon made fans of fashion devotees and NASA scientists alike when she debuted her Mars-inspired Slow Factory collection. The collection’s scarves were silk-screened with open-source NASA images of everyone’s favorite little red planet. And the Mars, Revealed scarves were not just beautiful—they were also sustainably manufactured.  Now, the Creative Commons-obsessed designer and open-web advocate has made it possible for you to drape your favorite city around your shoulders: Her Cities By Night collection features scarves printed with open-source images of cities taken from the International Space Station. The centerpiece scarf, printed with a photo of the Gaza strip taken from space, launches Slow Factory’s Dignity Fund campaign, the proceeds of which will go to ANERA, a humanitarian aid organization for Palestinian refugees. I spoke with Vernon about the new project and where she finds inspiration for her designs. How was Slow Factory conceived? I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut but I was really bad at science. I collected a lot of images from NASA—I knew that they were under Creative Commons. I wanted to be a scientist but the educational system didn’t facilitate it for someone [like me], who’s a very visual person. So I just kept doing my own thing, with my love for science and collecting these images. And I thought, wouldn’t it be great if we materialized them, made them tangible, and people could actually wrap themselves with these images? I tweeted about that and I got such a nice response from people. People were really excited about having a scarf with these prints. I launched a very small collection, more like an art project, just to see what people would think of them. As I was researching ways of manufacturing, I wanted to be very, very conscious about how we would manufacture. As a science lover and a lover of the world, I can’t do something that’s going to hurt the universe and the Earth. So I can’t print them on polyester made in China. I can’t do that. So I began my whole journey into manufacturing and researching fair-trade use. I wanted to make sure that the way I produced [the scarves] was as conscious as the message that these images were evoking. Two years later, [I was] moving forward with this philosophy and engaging a little more with designing for social change. This is where I come from as well—I’m a human-centered, user-centered designer for web applications, organizations. That’s how I made my career. Designing for social change, designing with the human in mind, as a center of the practice, I wanted to keep that big part of my career with me in my work at Slow Factory. So this is how we began with this initiative—every collection now is connected to an organization; every single scarf that is going to be sold is going to have a positive impact, something that will tie the philosophy with actual things that are happening. And in this latest collection you’re partnering with ANERA. I come from Beirut myself. I was born there, and lived there on and off throughout the years. As soon as the war broke in Syria, I was really, really shocked, and I really wanted to do something. I couldn’t just watch—clicktivism, where you like something on Facebook or you sign a petition, it’s not enough for me. I really wanted to pack up everything and go down there. All of my friends, also from Beirut, wanted to do something for Syria. So I began looking at images from Syria. Now I have a very good connection with NASA, so I sent a request: ‘When you are in the International Space Station, floating above Syria, can you please snap a picture of Syria by night?’ What happened was that they snapped a picture of Gaza, because at the same time, the Gaza Strip [came under fire]. When they snapped that, I thought, okay I’m going to do it, I’m going to work with this Gaza By Night image. Alexander Gerst, the astronaut who snapped that picture, wrote the most beautiful caption ever—he wrote, ‘this is the saddest picture I took from space’. And he wrote a beautiful blogpost about that—‘From space, we are one.’ This is so much about what we are about as well, at Slow Factory. I always imagine we are floating in space, peacefully looking over the Earth and protecting it and sending messages to the people to [say], ‘Be aware of what’s going on! We are so fragile and we are so connected to one another.’ This is what this initiative is about. Everything started happening as though it was meant to happen. I connected with a few organizations and ANERA really, really loved our idea. They’re still on the ground in Gaza. They’re on the ground in Beirut, in Jordan. They’re still active, as opposed to, like, Save the Children, [which] has withdrawn completely from Gaza because of the chaos that’s going on. So we partnered with ANERA. What has ANERA been doing to aid the refugees in those places? They have many initiatives. We’re not going to limit our aid—we’re helping with all the different initiatives that they have. One is distributing Dignity Kits to women and children that have been displaced, that are now refugees. The Dignity Kits contain medicine, clean clothes, towels and soap and books and things like that—diapers as well, and wipes. Because when they have to [leave Syria], they have to go really, really quickly. There’s a lot of stories that we gathered…about how the Dignity Kits helped them. [ANERA] has other initiatives, as well, where they’re running schools in the camps, where they distribute books. Forty thousand books were distributed in Jordan for children. They also have a psychological support initiative, they have art therapy and soccer teams. So we’re really helping with all their initiatives, [but] we were inspired by their dignity kits. How do you choose the images you want printed? What’s the thought process behind it? I think of myself a lot like a DJ selecting a playlist, like making a nice cassette tape for my friends. For example, for the Mars, Revealed [collection], I’ve been collecting Mars images for a while and then decided that it was time to select a few of them. It was a very hard selection. I wanted to print like 50 of them, but we had to make a selection. Actually, that constraint is very interesting to me. We can’t print everything and we don’t want to print everythig. It has to be consciously selected. So I go a lot with my feeling and with the meaning and the story that it carries. How do your experiences visiting Beirut or having to leave there at such a young age play into your art? I was three and half or four when we left. I remember it very vividly. I have very strong memories of where we lived and what happened. We moved back in 1996 when the war officially ended. It wasn’t really over, but we moved back because my parents lost too many people during the war and they wanted to be there for their elders. I didn’t really feel Lebanese. It was hard for me to connect with other Lebanese people. When I first moved there, I had a hard time because of language barriers, because of cultural barriers. I didn’t understand their expressions. Even when I learned Arabic, there was so much depth in the culture. During my career, I travelled a lot, and I felt like anywhere could be home, really, because as an outsider, as a traveller, it was easier to see that we are all in this together.
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Forget the Ouija Board (Fri, 24 Oct 2014)
Vicky Adams Several writers, including award-winning poet James Merrill, claim they've published works composed with the help of spirits conjured and consulted via Ouija boards. Most of the movies featuring such a board (such as the imaginatively titled Ouija, Hasbro's second attempt at a major motion picture following 2012's Battleship), however, all seem to be based on urban legends about the horrors unleashed by its misuse in the hands of morons. But there’s a more interesting backstory. Patented in 1890 by Elijah Bond, the Ouija board is a simplification of automatic writing, putting pen to paper and letting the ideomotor effect do its thing. As a divination method, automatic writing is so old it might have once been referred to as “automatic chiseling,” but swapping the pen for a planchette (a rolling pointer weighted to move with slight, even unintentional pressure) and exchanging the paper for a board imprinted with the alphabet, numbers, and common words such as “yes” and “no,” simplifies the process by eliminating a lot of the guesswork. And in making such a powerful tool so easy to use, warns Vicky Adams, owner of Panpipes Magickal Marketplace in Los Angeles, the Ouija board can expose users to hazards they don't have the wherewithal to handle.  “When you start the session you're opening up a door, and you're inviting any random spirit to come and communicate with you,” Adams says. “The danger lies in the fact that they market it like it's a game and they sell it in Toys R Us. … I honestly think the game should come with a disclaimer or a warning.” The quote above might read like dialogue from that board game-based horror flick, but Adams delivers it with more conviction than anything shrieked in Ouija. She also offers another reason for why she straight up hates using them. “The Ouija board attracts the most low-level energies to it,” she says, “so you get a lot of deceased children, childish adults…that are up to mischief. ... They feel that it's unfair that they're dead and that you're alive. They're really vindictive and resentful.” If 90 minutes of PG-13 jump-scares and the threat of temper tantrums from beyond the grave (or just the $19.99 suggested retail price) make the Ouija board sound like too much trouble, Adams offers several alternative divination methods, all of which, she says, are safer for beginners and none of which are currently trademarked by a toy company. Still, she offers a few more words of caution. “All of this stuff should be taken seriously,” she says. “Do some research. Show respect for what you're connecting with.” Pendulums What you're connecting in this instance is something, pretty much anything, to the end of a string. “As long as it's got a good weight and it can swing,” Adams says, “in a pinch anything can work as a pendulum.” Though you can buy or make a Ouija-like board over which to dangle your dongle, you can expend even less effort by setting parameters before beginning your inquiries. Ask the pendulum what kind of movement signifies a “yes” response, a “no” response, “rephrase the question,” etc., then ask away. As Magic 8 Ball owners can attest, there are a limited number of responses an inanimate object can realistically offer before it starts to repeat itself, but it’s also a safer bet for the paranormal-averse. “You're not opening a portal,” Adams says of pendulum swinging. “You're working with energies on this plane. You're not working with dead people or things that are forbidden on this plane. You may just be working with your higher self.” With this method, the biggest danger might just be interference from your lower self. “If you put your mind to it, you can totally manipulate this tool and get it to swing exactly where you want it to go,” Adams warns, “but if you want honest-to-God real answers, you will allow it to swing where it needs to go.” Tasseomancy “We sure didn't get any butterflies or apples,” Adams says after she pours the dregs from an emptied cup of loose-leaf tea into its saucer. This tea set, designed to introduce the uninitiated to tasseomancy—reading tea leaves or coffee grounds—is embossed with helpful outlines of some of the general forms one might find when scanning their dregs for the shapes of things to come. Guides are available for translating these signs, but Jungians might prefer to develop their own personal symbolism. “It looks like a bunny,” Adams says finally, after studying a particular soggy black clump. “Two ears, little paws and face—and doesn't that look like a boot if you look upside down? It's a bunny in Italy.” She laughs and dumps it out. “You have to do this with intention,” she says. “We're just mucking about.” Scrying “This is one of the easiest forms of divination to try,” Adams says. “It's a really good intro.” If the cost of tea is too steep, you can water scry as long as you've got a bowl and running faucet. A black bowl is preferable, but you can use a white one if you dump some ink in the water. What you want is a still, dark surface. Turn out the lights and place a candle on either side of the bowl, far enough away to prevent their flames from reflecting on the water. Now just stare at that smooth surface until those swirly white particle things you typically try not to notice in your drinking water begin to materialize. Water filtration execs may call these impurities, but Adams calls them water undines—lighthearted elemental spirits that will answer your questions in the form of abstract shapes and impressionistic images. And unlike those punk ghost kids hanging around Ouija boards, these spirits aren't just looking to crank call you from the sweet hereafter. Adams also says that a column of cold air forms above the bowl after a moment. That doesn't seem to have any impact on the divination, but you gotta admit it's a pretty cool effect. True Arcade Fire fans won't mind the expense of swapping out the bowl of water for a black mirror. The method is the same, though in this case the images made by the warped reflection of the dim lighting will look more like smoke, Adams says. Both of these methods are simpler variations on the infinitely more famous crystal ball. Though it's got the brand recognition, Adams cautions beginners against using a clear crystal ball for the simple reason that it isn't as easy to focus on specific shapes in its complex reflective contours. “It takes a more evolved person to connect to those energies,” she says, but keep on scrying. “Psychic ability is like a muscle that lies dormant. You just have to exercise that muscle.” Or, as Aleister Crowley himself—who believed our very existence to be irrational and therefore thought our every deliberate action to be an act of wizardry—put it in Magick Without Tears, “Why should you study and practice Magick? Because you can't help doing it, and you had better do it well than badly.”  
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The Standards are Too Damn High (Thu, 23 Oct 2014)
Illustration by Tyler Hoehne Sometime this month, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation will announce the winner of this year’s Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Or rather, in keeping with recent tradition, it’s more likely they’ll announce this year’s lack of a winner. The prize is one of the world’s biggest financial awards attached to a foundation or public honor: Recipients are granted an initial $5 million and then $200,000 a year for the rest of their lives. Not counting two honorary awards to Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the internationally heralded marker of personal service and integrity has only been awarded three times (in 2007, 2008, and 2011) in the seven years since its inception, ostensibly because the committee has been unable to find worthy recipients among eligible African leaders. Now coming up on the prize’s eighth year, many argue that this failure either reflects poor choices and criteria on the part of the prize committee or paints a brutally dim picture of African governance and rulers. But rather than being a terrible thing, the foundation’s reluctance to award a prize may provide room for meaningful dialogue on why no one’s been selected, make the prize really mean something when it’s awarded, and serve as a model for other honors-granting committees all over the world. In 2006, when the Prize was first announced, neither it nor its metrics were disputed—leaders like Mandela, Kofi Annan, and Bill Clinton lauded its ambition. The prize was the brainchild of Mo Ibrahim, a British-Sudanese cell phone pioneer who made billions spreading wireless technology across Africa, earning him the title of the 71st most powerful man in the world in Forbes last year. Soon after selling his company CelTel in 2005, he used his newfound wealth to set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, whose flagship project was an index of African governance (the latest iteration of which was released last month) measuring factors from rule of law to human rights and economic opportunity. Soon after came the prize, an award for former African heads of state who ethically pioneered democracy and sustainable prosperity. “Nobody knows the good guys,” Ibrahim said. “The prize is to bring forward a picture of the good side of Africa.”           In 2007, the first prize went to Joaquim Chissano, the former president of Mozambique, credited with transitioning his country from communism and civil war to democracy and stability before his 2005 exit. The following year the prize went to Botswana’s Festus Mogae just months after he left office and to Cape Verde’s Pedro Pires in 2011 just after his own return to civilian life. Pires won the award not only for his efforts in shoring up domestic democracy and stability but also for mediating disputes in Angola and Namibia through the years. All three decisions seemed to fit the criteria laid out by Ibrahim, who himself stays out of the decision process, but whose awards committee appears to be fair and rigorous.           Dr. Mo Ibrahim courtesy of Chatham House/Wikimedia It’s the lack of winners in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013 that has turned some ire against the prize and its awards committee. The first year that the prize was not awarded, some joked that perhaps Ibrahim had run out of money. But now that the prize has been withheld for more than half of the years it’s been in existence, many have claimed that Ibrahim is using inappropriate metrics—that corruption is at times necessary for action and difficult situations, and he should be focusing more on overall stability as a measure of good governance. Such critics point out that Ibrahim’s governance index gave Tunisia a comparatively high rating just before dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted in 2011. Giving Ibrahim’s metrics the benefit of the doubt, others wonder if his highly public failure to grant annual awards just reinforces negative stereotypes instead of creating the nuanced debates on Africa that Ibrahim had hoped the prize would generate. More critics still believe the prize is just pointless—though it seems like an enormous sum, $5 million pales as an incentive for good behavior compared to the gobs of money kleptocrats can earn skimming from the public coffers. Ibrahim rejects all these critiques and grew angry when people accused him of granting Tutu’s honorary award as a smokescreen for the prize’s supposed failures. The prize, he points out, is a measure of excellence and while it does reflect poorly that so few have achieved it, he doubts that western Europeans could have produced real, meaningful winners every year either. His prize, he insists, is about raising the profiles of the underappreciated and truly exceptional, not bribing people to be good, making sure there’s an award every year, or commending a lack of evil. Whether holding leaders to a standard so high that the prize is not awarded draws too much focus to failures and thus denigrates African politics is a subject of fierce debate. But ideally the choice to limit awards, under Ibrahim’s logic, will make it all the more exceptional and meaningful, drawing greater attention and recognition when it is finally granted. Even negative conversations, in Ibrahim’s world, would ideally lead to serious discussions on what’s wrong with African leadership. And if none of that works and the Ibrahim prize is still a bust because of its tricky subject matter, then just imagine if the same principle were brought on board for something like the Nobel or the Oscars—perhaps withholding, waiting for true excellence, is the key to making such established and often derided awards real and meaningful social institutions once again.
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Stop Chasing the “It” Pumpkin (Thu, 23 Oct 2014)
My fellow Halloweenites, now is the time for your tears for there are 27 different varieties of pumpkin available at Whole Foods this year. Linus, the blanket-toting Peanuts tot, had it right when he said, "There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." Pumpkins, you see, carry meaning. These swollen orange gourds are the central totems of America’s weird secular autumn holiday. We stick knives into their thick skin. We carve skeletal faces into their meat. We touch pumpkin guts, and they—in some weird transmogrification of goo, sinew, and seed—touch ours. It was, until recently, all so complicated and yet so simple. You picked up a pumpkin cheaply from a patch or the market, and it cost you no more than a few dollars to participate in this seasonal ritual. But now, friends, neighbors, and pumpkin heads, we are on the verge of screwing the whole thing up. I am not violating Linus’ rule, because this is not a discussion of the Great Pumpkin, an ethereal idea akin to Santa Claus, Moby Dick, and Godot, something to be waited for, a struggle with faith. (I wish Charles Schultz had left behind three strips to be published after his death: Charlie Brown kisses the little red-haired girl; Lucy lets him kick the football; the Great Pumpkin comes.) This is simply an ode to the lowly pumpkin and as savage an attack as I can muster against those destroying one of the few remnants of an uncomplicated world. A visit to the market will bring you face to face with an untold number of fancy pumpkins. There’s the Marina Di Chioggia varietal (knobby skin, sea urchin-esque), the Musquée de Provence (deeply ribbed, mahogany), the Valenciano (pale, extra stringy), and the Queensland Blue (buttercup-shaped). Interlopers! Invaders! Got $50? You can have the “Big Mac.” That’s right, a pumpkin carrying the same name as a fast-food hamburger. Good job, gourmet gourd marketing team! Worse are the food “journalists” jumping on board. A Colorado news station recently ran a segment about pumpkins, extolling the virtues of the “Sugar” or “Pie” pumpkin. “The best variety for baking is the small pie type, since it has a thin skin and sweet, less grainy flesh than other types,” their gardening correspondent claimed, as if it was an obvious fact that you need a special pumpkin to make pie. Don’t forget the rhapsodic decorating articles singing the praises of these unusual pumpkins—their higher price points pay dividends in one-upping the neighbors in terms of autumnal mis en scene prowess, apparently.   Why is this bad? Look, I’m like you. I like heirloom things. Tomatoes, especially, I get. These geometrically challenged lumps of native flesh, which nobody had heard of before about 1999, were a welcome antidote to the factory farm tomato—a baseball-hard, mealy agribusiness product that had taken all the love away from something that used to be a treat. Heirloom tomatoes, genetically diverse, beautiful in a salad, are necessary. They are delicious mutts. But there was nothing wrong with pumpkins! The bastards, whoever they are, who are stocking the shelves of every country-style market with Porcelain Doll Pinks, and Lumina Whites, are simply trying to pry more moolah from the grips of good-hearted locavores who assume that anything vegetally unusual must be special, and that they ought to support a farm somewhere on the other side of the state where we’d all live if we were truly good people and could let go of urban sins like hourly yoga class options, mass transit, and hordes of pretty people to ogle. Before it got jammed up against “tomato,” the word “heirloom” used to mean a piece of jewelry or something else valuable that was passed down through the generations of a family. My family, scattered and weird, had few such items although we did, now I realize in retrospect, actually have one “heirloom” food item. It was an heirloom canister of Pantry Pride red pepper flakes that we moved from New Jersey to California with us and kept in various Salkin pantries for about a decade. (It was passed on to me when I went to college.) If I still had it, I’d shake some onto a roasting pumpkin to add some mellowed heat. But pumpkins aren’t jewels. They are ugly, cheap, and as disposable as the red pepper flakes should have been if my family had known anything about refreshing the spice cabinet annually. I will give a pass to my brethren, the home cook, who intends to roast a pumpkin and serve it in a simple way so a unique flavor and texture comes through. The Ghost White pumpkin yields a custard-like texture. The Jarrahdale conjures the nuttiness of an acorn squash. Clean, roast, salt, and serve. But this market is a small one. Who do you know who has eaten a pumpkin lately in any form other than pie? I love, I luuuurvvve, pumpkin pie. And I do firmly believe that it tastes far better if made from a pumpkin you roast yourself rather than from canned pumpkin. This is entirely due to fresh pumpkin lacking that tin taste and retaining a more vegetal quality: You can taste its squashiness—but just barely. A pumpkin pie is only about 30 percent pumpkin at best. The rest is condensed milk, sugar, eggs, and crust, the pumpkin essence further obliterated by whipped cream. Any pumpkin works great. There is no such thing as “a carving pumpkin” as opposed to “an eating pumpkin.” In fact, the taste of your pie will be far more determined by the quality of cream you use in the whipping than the kind of pumpkin you use in the baking. For that, you don’t need your Sugar pumpkins, your La Estrellas, Old Zebs, Snack Jacks, Cinderellas, or Mini-Tigers. These varietals remind me of “Indian Corn,” the multicolored ears some people nail to their front doors in some kind of fall harvest display. Let me ask you this: Do you think Native Americans wasted a lot of corn nailing it to their dwellings? No. Out in the High Plains of this great and plentiful land in times gone by, they didn’t have $100 pumpkins grown in individual Frankenstein face molds so that they matured into monsters. So, Halloween blasphemers, take your Blue Dolls and your Wee-Be-Littles out to a quiet place with your $44 Madame Alexander brand deluxe Linus figure in “traditional red and black striped shirt, black shorts and a blue blanket” and await the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. I’m sure you and your $145 in fall merchandise will enjoy yourselves. Bring a cashmere throw to stay warm. I hope the Great Pumpkin comes this year. I really do.
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ArtPlace Archived Articles -- Creative Placemaking

Forgotten NY

Ephemeral New York


John J. Lynch AICP
14 Spring Street
Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706

Phone:  914 478 0800


333 Pearl Street

New York, NY 10038


Cell:  917 647 2855



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