Summer solstice on 119th Street

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Columbia Secondary School celebrated the summer solstice on June 21 with a toot of the horn. Students, parents and community members gathered at the school’s community garden on 119th and Amsterdam to enjoy garden-made lemonade and live music as part of the Make Music New York initiative. The Sorpresa Quartet, Alchemy Winds (photo below) and LeRogue Jazz Trio played throughout the afternoon.


Freshly picked mint wafted pleasantly in the garden amidst students’ laughter as they explained composting and other sustainability initiatives taking place in the garden.

The garden was opened to the public from 3:30-7pm and Meredith Hill, who serves as the CSS sustainability coordinator, shared that there will be open hours for students and volunteers in the evenings during the summer.

Open gardening hours will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4-7 pm, Fridays 4-6 pm and Sundays 2-5 pm in July. Community members interested in helping out in the garden should contact for more information.

In the photo below, Garrison Koch, the “official lemonade taster,” stands next to “crusher/stirrer” Ellison Eastwick.