Open Thread Wednesday 10/16/13

What’s on your mind? Comment away!

Photo: Mrs. Fink

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  • Grumpy Bert

    There’s a bunch of these little yellow-orange fruits on streets of the nabe. What are they?

  • Andrew Porter

    They’re ginko fruits, and they’re the scourge of BH in the Fall. They fall down from the female trees—the city has since learned to plant only the male trees, which don’t drop fruit—and lie there on the sidewalks, where they get squished, and stink to high heaven. I always avoid the east side of Hicks just south of Pierrepont, where there’s a Ginko. There’s another prolific dropper in the end of Remsen Street circle.

    If you know any Chinatown residents, encourage them t come over and harvest the things, and make our lives a little better.

  • Andrew Porter

    On a walk today, saw Joe Hynes filming a commercial on Columbia Heights at the Fruit Street Sitting Area. He chatted up some Swedish tourists, then tried to shake my hand. I declined.

    Also, for all you nature lovers, I saw a pair of hawks being mobbed by a bunch of crows over Cranberry and Henry Streets. Couldn’t tell if the hawks had little bibs on, as they sometimes do at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

  • Jorale-man

    I noticed that the mailboxes on Remsen Street were graffitied up recently. Where is the phantom mailbox painter when you need him? On the other hand, all his work might be quickly covered up by the hooligans.

  • lois

    Yes, I saw an old and tired-looking Joe Hynes on the sloping Clark Street path filming one line of his commercial. It’s a pity he didn’t decide to call it a day and back a qualified person to run for the office of Bklyn DA. It reminded me of actors and actresses who should quietly retire at some point instead of plodding on forever.

  • DIBS


  • DIBS

    Philadelphia has a LOT of these trees. You oftentimes see old Asian women picking them up. Yes, they are healthy. They are particularly good grilled like the Jaoanese do for yakitori but when you step on them they smell just like dog crap.

  • Rick

    Careful, it is only safe to eat a few. They are toxic in larger amounts. Also, they can cause skin blisters!

    From the Washington Post:

    Many area sidewalks are littered with the foul-smelling fruits of ginkgo trees. If carefully harvested, the fruits yield a nut meat that’s edible in small amounts.

    The downside of this ornamental tree is the tendency for female trees to drop stinky fruits. (The fan-shaped leaves are odor-free.)

    About the size of cherries, the wrinkled pink-and-orange fruits of ginkgo exude very little odor if left unruptured. Freshly fallen fruits can be kept on a countertop for more than a week without smelling bad.

    Exposed fruit flesh, however, releases a stench reminiscent of vomit or dog excrement. Compounding the misery, the skin’s soft pulp also contains urushiol, the chemical inpoison ivy that can launch skin blisters. People who harvest ginkgo fruits would be wise to wear rubber gloves.

    Soaking fruits in hot water makes it easier to pop out the seed without having to wrestle for too long with the offensive skin.

    Larger than pistachios but with thinner shells, the nuts are high in niacin, starch and protein, but low in fat. However, they also contain toxins.

    Cooking them will break down bitter-tasting cyanogenic glycosides, but the nuts will retain the heat-resistant compound 4 methoxypyridoxine, which depletes vitamin B6. Children are especially susceptible to the toxin.

    Roasted nuts are a translucent jade green with a soft, dense texture. They taste like a combination of edamame, potato and pine nut. Some people say they’re reminiscent of chestnuts.

    East Asians consider the nut a delicacy and use them in desserts, soups and with meats; but the Hong Kong government’s Centre for Food Safety cautions people about the nut’s toxicity, advising them “not to consume more than a few seeds at one time.”

  • Arch Stanton

    Indeed, it’s fine line between art and vandalism.

  • Grumpy Bert

    Thanks for the info.

    My dog goes crazy over these fruits. We’re constantly taking them away from his mouth.

  • blake livey

    Probably can’t turn-down someone’s campaign money. Who is he fooling. Joe H wouldn’t bring charges against Lopez for corruption. (?) Who is Joe looking out for, but old Joe?

  • TeddyNYC

    There’s also a Ginko tree on the south side of State St., bet. Sidney Place and Clinton St. I began avoiding that section of sidewalk since late last week. I love trees, but I really wish they remove this one.

  • Barb

    Also a few of these trees on Cadman Plaza West in front of the triplexes from Cadman Towers.

  • Surprised

    Don’t go to VIP Nail Salon on Montague… The owner tried to steal my iPhone! It took three of us customers talking to him for 10 minutes to get him to take it out of his pocket and return it. Thank goodness I did not need to call in the police. What a terrible man! And he does not treat his employees well, often requiring them to work 7 day weeks.

  • Arch Stanton

    You should file a complaint with police anyway or he will likely continue to steal from his customers.