Happy Upcoming World Elephant Day, UESiders!

Happening next Tuesday, August 12th with plenty of advocacy opportunities like Go Gray for Elephants!

elephants

Needless to say, just one of the good things happening this coming 7 days:

Friday, August 15th:  New York Aquarium Deep Sea Pioneers Celebration

Surf Avenue & West 8th Street, Brooklyn, 6:30-10:30pm

Eighty years ago this month, William Beebe and Otis Barton dropped a then-record 3,028 feet below the ocean’s surface.  Now you can see the Bathysphere in which that historic descent was made up close and personal! Celebration also includes craft beer, sustainably sourced fish tacos, Aquatheater show and an excellent view of the Coney Island fireworks from the Aquarium’s Oceanview Deck!  $11.95.  10% discount when purchased online.  For tickets and more

Saturday, August 9th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish Farms and Valley Shepherd Creamery!

Then, as of last week, there’s the new farm that’s just joined our market: Nature’s Way Farm with what uber manager Margaret Hoffman rightly describes as the best lip balm ever…  That and a host of bee-connected products!  (Try the incredible hand lotion!)

And there’s this news flash from Manager Jesse:

“This Saturday market morning,  we’ll be celebrating Rachel Friedman, winner of our Guess the Kernels on the Cob contest, who’ll be receiving a big bag of market goodies..  We’ll be offering up samples of  a Market Parfait —  no coincidence that parfait also means “perfect” because this is the perfect market breakfast! Think granola from Bread Alone, blueberries from Samascott Orchards, cow and sheep yogurt from Garden of Spices and Valley Shepherd and honey from brand new vendor Nature’s Way. Come and enjoy!”

Apologies, folks.  Live Cultures bailed on us so no music this week…

BUT…

Our Master Knife Sharpener will be back at her table!  

And keep in mind that tomatoes, corn and basil are selling out early!

Last week’s recycling totals: 70 lbs batteries;  18 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 5 pair of eye glasses; 6 bins of compost; 23 bags of clothes.

Downright amazing!

Sunday, August 10th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

At their tables sagging with summer bounty will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Hammond Dairy and Meredith’s Bakery.

Hope Gonzalez Farm has squash blossoms again this week!

Last week’s recycling totals:  35 lbs batteries;  8 lbs cords, cellphones and cartridges; 4 bins of compost;  1 giant bin of clothes (the equivalent of 2 giant bags at 82nd Street).

Yes, indeed!  Another 4 compost bins!! 

And then:

Saturday, August 16th:  Ninth Avenue Chelsea Garden Club Walk

Ninth Avenue & 17th Street, 9am

And we quote great Club president Missy Adams:  “Tour the beautiful bicycle-lane tree pits along Ninth Avenue, as well as meet our newest gardeners, celebrate the flowers, and curse the weeds, theft and vandalism.” These folks have been inspiration to our own growing cadre of First Avenue Bike Island gardeners!  Plan on a slow walk up to 30th Street.  Free! 

Thursday, August 21st to Monday, September 1st: New York State Fair

New York  State Fairgrounds,  Route 690 just west of Syracuse

Concerts, competitions from prize rabbits to crafts to antique cars and beyond!  Regardless of whatever newly minted attractions are added to the mix, these things retain their wonderful, lost-in-time quality.   $10. Children under 12 free.  For details and discounted advance tickets…  

Friday, August 22st:  An Expedition to the Explorers Club

46 East 70th Street, 11am-12:30pm

Since 1904, this’s been the club house for those who’ve broadened our knowledge of earth and beyond.  The place pretty much drips history and adventure.   Not to be missed!  Organized by the Obscura Society.  $25.  For more and tickets

xerochrysum-bracteatum

xerochrysum-bracteatum

In our tradition of the most miscellaneous miscellany:

The Toledo algae bloom experience makes Major Water Incident #2 (remember West Virginia?)…  Meanwhile, yet another NYS entity has consented to using our clean water moneys to finance the new Tappan Zee Bridge…  (All concerned, first and foremost our governor, are calling it a “loan”…) 

Sigh…  Yes, there’re GMOs in our mayonnaise, too

Question:  If a co-op board can preserve a vaguely famous elevator, how come we’re letting them tear Rizzoli down?  (Absolutely glad that elevator’s being saved!)

Think we aren’t experiencing an epic affordable housing problem?  How about the 53,000 individuals applying for 89 new units?

Englewood Cliffs, NJ seems to be coming to its senses and restoring its no-taller-than-35-foot-building-height regulation…  But LG’s permit allowing it to go up 143 feet and, thus, totally protrude above the historically unspoiled Palisades still stands.  If you’d like to encourage LG to back off, rethink and redesign… 

Just in case it’d slipped our minds how far ahead of us – like decades – Europe is in its handling of waste

On the upswing:

Friends of the Esplanade’s first public art project is coming soon!  For a hint as to what’ll be...

Offshore wind seems to be (fingers crosssed) taking off along the NE US coast!

In fact, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission just announced development of solar, wind and geothermal as power sources now lead ye olde and dirty coal, oil and gas

High tech in farm fields…?    You bet and it can – among many pluses – reduce planting overlap to 1 inch!! 

Fascinating graphic detailing the worldwide origin of some 60 foodstuffs that’ll ultimately land on NYC store/market shelves

Seems like a somewhat puny amount, but the US Department of Energy is set to apportion $18M among 32 companies that’ll be aiming to reduce geothermal energy costs

Meanwhile, looks like scientists at the Department of Energy have come up with a new material that might allow tons more renewable energy to be stored long term!  (Please, may it work!) 

Great that Minnesota’s about to establish output standards for solar gardens (solar projects where the energy’s shared by homeowners with each receiving credit on their power bills).

Of course, all the plastics we recycle are squeaky clean, but for those who’re still plopping the likes of jam-coated jars in their building’s bins, New Hampshire now has a plant that washes plastic scrap thus making it suitable for making new containers!  (Lots more interesting reading as you scroll down to this article!) 

That Adirondack hiking trail information you need?

Yes, and there’re a myriad of other amazing outdoor activities all around our state

Surprise!  Surprise!  “Cycle paths” are a NYC tradition…  As per this 1908 postcard detailing one such in a Vaux designed park!!  (Do proceed to the “Curbed” article.)

Yet again, Christopher Gray fills us in on UES buildings and neighborhood tone lost and abiding where much good was/still is done

Believe it:  There was once a botanical garden on grounds that are now Rockefeller Center

In the Recycling-At-Its-Finest column, we can add Brooklyn’s superb New York Old Iron to Manhattan’s amazing Demolition Depot

That pocketful of foreign currency you came home from vacation with?  Put it to good use as per this tip from reader Sharon Lowenstein (AKA The Organizing Goddess):  “Consider donating it to the Change for Good program, a partnership between UNICEF and the international airline industry since 1987.”

For the board game addict:  The Brooklyn Strategist, a shop featuring a library of some 300 games for play or sale..  Tournaments…  After school clubs for kids and more!    

Or if you will be traveling in the U.S., here’re an assortment of food festivals scattered around nation!

Hats off to citizen science at its most dedicated/impressive:  A 101-year old Bridgehampton resident who’s been assisting the National Weather Service for 84 years  

Then there’s guerrilla citizen action to encourage urban walking via signage hacking

Last but hardly least, our city’s looking for volunteers who’d like to lend a hand in expanding the impact of the new participatory budgeting process.  Couldn’t be less than fascinating! Check it out!

Well, not quite last…  For those who’ve yet to stop by the lovely Tinsel Trading at 828 Lex

But this is…  From the Things-We-Definitely-Don’t-Need/Are They Kidding File: A $365 market tote

oxalis-oregana

oxalis-oregana

All NYS critters this week:

We’ve noted it in these pages before and can’t imagine this’ll be the last time:  When they make the NYTimes, we know chickens are here to stay in NYC!

A final note from the Hudson River Almanac:

7/18 - Greene County, HRM 112.2: During an early morning guided interpretive kayak paddle on the RamsHorn Creek, in addition to seeing three different beavers, we were treated to an uncommon sighting: three river otters! They seemed as curious about us as we were of them, rising out of the water to get better views, chattering to each other the whole time. They submerged a short time later and then one surfaced with something in its mouth, either an eel or a water snake. It was a magical moment for sure. – Larry Federman

otter

 

Final, that is, except for the Bird of the Week:

green headed tanager

green headed tanager

Living in joyous, brilliant blue, yellow and green,

UGS

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Greetings, UESiders!

Can we believe it’s August already?

Yikes! 

empetrum-nigrum

empetrum-nigrum

Let’s get right down on the week ahead:

Friday, August 1st:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-8:30pm 

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time round:  Meteor showers and the upcoming Perseids which arrive at earth each year on the nights of August 11th through 13th!  Really!  Free.

Saturday, August 2nd:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish Farms and Valley Shepherd Creamery!

Yes, as promised,  Garden of Spices returns with their monumental yogurt, chicken, eggs and more!

And Market Manager Jessie adds:

“Last Saturday was all about eggplants and did we ever celebrate – and take home – the many whimsical varieties of this versatile vegetable – from tiny Fairytales, to long Japanese, to lustrous Black Beauties.  Okra made its 2014 market debut…  And melons will be coming soon!

Winner of the Guess the Kernels on a Corn Cob raffle:  The amazing Rachel Friedman, who was only 12 kernels off with her guess of 621 and won the Greenmarket tote bag packed full of market goodies!”

This week’s musical treat:  The Opera Collective!

That our Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table makes for one darned perfect day!  

(Doesn’t get any better than grilled cheese sandwiches made with Valley Shepherd and cheddar and butter!)

Last week’s recycling totals: 64 lbs batteries;  16 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 pair of eye glasses; 5 1/2 bins of compost; 26 bags of clothes.

As we move towards an incredible ton of batteries…

One more time:  Britta filters and CDs/DVDs can now be recycled in your building’s recycling bins!

Saturday, August 2nd:  RiverNet – Great Hudson River Fish Count 

Along Hudson From Albany to NYC

And we, the public, are invited!     Yup, – adults and kids – we can lend a hand as naturalists explore  – and we quote – “the amazing variety of slippery, wriggly, and fascinating creatures usually hidden below our great river’s surface!”   Waterproof waders will be available for one and all. Or why not just watch!   For sites (there are two in Manhattan), times and further details

Sunday, August 3rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Hammond Dairy and Meredith’s Bakery.

Hammond’s peach yogurt, people!

Last week’s recycling totals:  39 lbs batteries;  10 lbs cords, cellphones and cartridges; 4 bins of compost;  1 giant bin of clothes (the equivalent of 2 giant bags at 82nd Street).

4 compost bins!!  Wow!!

Mondays, August 4th & 18th:  CM Kallos’ Housing Clinic

The Council Member’s Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 3-6pm

Free legal advice on your housing problems on the first and third Mondays of every month.  A volunteer attorney will be on hand for consultation, too.   To RSVP (and you should to speak to the attorney):  212-860-1930, RSVP@Ben.Kallos.com or online

Coming up:

Saturday, August 16th:  Exploration of a Former Industrial Empire Tour

Meet at the Albert E. Short Triangle Park, corner of Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street, Long Island City, Queens, 10:30am-12:30pm

An independent city until 1898, Long Island City was once known as the workshop of America, was home to a vast array of industries and an all-around colorful place…  And now?  Still fascinating as gentrification proceeds apace!  Organized by the Obscura Society.  $20.  For tickets

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, August 21st, 22nd & 23rd:  Family Nature Walks at the Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 10-11am

A 60-minute guided tour complete with zoo-provided backpacks, binoculars, bug jars and journals for your kids to record their observations! $10 (with purchase of Zoo admission).  For tickets

Sooner than we think:

Sunday, September 21st:  People’s Climate March 

Right Here in NYC

Organized by the Sierra Club and set to coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit.  We’ll fill you in on details as they become known and/or email dan.sherrell@sierraclub.org.

And this week’s miscellany is:

Of course, the MTA’s short a mere $12B in funding their much needed capital projects

We’ve never knowingly encountered hogweed and we don’t want to…  And we sleep better knowing that NYS’s doing its best to eradicate this awful-sounding, invasive plant!  

Hurrah!  NYC’ll be on the receiving end of some of the $4.7M the Feds have allocated to clear coastal marshes of Sandy debris!

Pleasure to say, restaurants on our shores and abroad are moving the trimming-of-waste- flag – be that waste food or packaging – ever more forward!

More impressive still (and thanks for the tip to reader Gerry Levine) is British chain Sainsbury’s plan to power one of their markets entirely via its food waste!

Yet another great opportunity to do some valuable citizen science:  The 2014 NYS Game Bird Survey!

And how about participating in an art project that very much needs our contributions of chicken wishbones…?  (We’ve already forwarded 4!)  Just wrap your totally clean, dry wishbones in soft padding (like – yes – recycled bubble wrap), place in a crush-proof box (like a metal cracker tin) and forward to:  Yenom Studio, 111 Leroy Street, New York 10014.  Include your name so artist Holton Rower can send you a thank-you! 

Double hurrah!  Non-profit incubator and think tank NYC Design Trust for Public Space’s just published New Data Collection Toolkit for Urban Farmers to create an urban farm database!

Also happy to note that restaurant chain Cosi’s now serving up antibiotic- free chicken!

Doesn’t get more feel-good than this:  Designing custom furniture for disabled kids and fabricating it from cardboard…  (This year’s Pritzger Prize-winning architect, Shigera Ban’s, made cardboard tube construction an art form!)

Triple hurrah…  If California makes a new study come real… That’s “it’s technically and economically feasible to convert California’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one powered by clean, renewable energy

Back on Gotham turf:

We may be a city of millions, but we still have those special places where you’d never know you were in a metropolis

More on that 18th Century ship recently unearthed at the World Trade Center site… 

Off on another tangent:

Very much fans of the B-and-Bee Festival Camping concept design!

How about a  cute, short test that’ll not only reveal your sustainability personality but – without your giving any info – a donation to the worthy cause of your choice!

At last, some animals:

Most excellent news that d-CON’s super-toxic rat poisons which have long been the source of death for hawks, owls and many other birds will finally be
pulled from retail shelves by early next year!

Holy crow!  The CW Network will be broadcasting the World Dog Awards in January 2015, an event celebrating hero dogs, dogs working in the entertainment industry and everyday canines who’ve found fame on the Internet!

Yes, people.  Chickens are now a fact of many a NYC neighborhood’s life

Thanks to the great Carol Rinzler for making sure we knew that Representative Maloney’s angling for NYC to have (really it’d be a loan) its very own pair of PANDAS!

Yours truly in green,

UGS

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy 75th-Plus-One-Day Birthday to Batman and National Moth Week, UESiders!

Yes, National Moth Week.

Believe it or not, there’re a host of serious Moth Week events that’ll be held across this nation of ours… 

Pretty amazing as are these 5 facts about the little winged creatures

rosy maple moth

rosy maple moth

Hope your week ahead is as good as ours, moths: 

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 25th, 26th & 27th: 36th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow

Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens

And we quote, “New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow featuring 3 days of inter-tribal Native American dance competitions.”  More than 40 Indian nations will be represented and the setting couldn’t be more lovely (the museum’s apple orchard).  Adults, $10.  Children under 12, $7.  For directions and more

Saturday, July 26th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish Farms and Valley Shepherd Creamery!

FYI:  Garden of Spices will be absent and on family vacation!  They’ll be back on August 2nd.

This week it’s possible Samascott and/or Rising Sun may have eggs.

Then there’re these latest market news flashes from our great new Manager Jessie:

“Last week, shoppers enjoyed our first new apple of the 2014 season: Samascott Orchards brought a brand new Geneva right off the tree.

This week, we look forward to more corn, more eggplants, LOTS more tomatoes, and more and more fresh fruit and apples from Samascott (as if their line wasn’t long enough!), as well as more great cheese, butter and yogurt, beef and seafood from our incredible vendors at this wonderfully eclectic market.”

PLUS…

On our music menu this Saturday:  The guitarist/vocalist we loved so much last year when she performed with Marion Cowlings – Andrea Wright!

You bet, Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be on hand, as well!

Last week’s recycling totals: 62 lbs batteries;  20 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 10 pair of eye glasses; 7 1/4 bins of compost; 25 bags of clothes.

Brilliant!!

Yet again:  Britta filters and CDs/DVD can be recycled in your building’s  recycling bins!

Sunday, July 27th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Hammond Dairy and Meredith’s Bakery.

If you didn’t get your hands on Margaret’s vegetable borscht recipe last Sunday, make it your mission this week!

Tomatoes…  Corn…  Need we say more?

Last week’s recycling totals:  42 lbs batteries;  7 lbs cords, cellphones and cartridges; 3 1/4 bins of compost;  1 giant bin of clothes (the equivalent of 2 giant bags at 82nd Street).

Add to that the 2 giant bins (4 bags) of clothes collected week one and 1 bin (2 bags) week two…  Making for a 2014 total to date of 9 bags! 

Sunday, July 27th:  Shadows of Nieuw Amsterdam Tour

In front of the American IndianMuseum, 1 Bowling Green, 12:15-2:15pm

“Rogue” historian Dan Veksler shares his perspective on the history of lower Manhattan, the oldest settled part our great  city.  Organized by the Obscura Society.  $25.  For more

Sunday, July 27th:  West Harlem Stop ‘N Swap Event

Soha Square Greenmarket, 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (Eighth Avenue), 12-3pm

Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, house wares, games, books and toys that you no longer need, and take home something new-to-you and free! But you don’t have to bring something to take something. But no furniture or large items, please!  (You’ll enjoy yourself!)  For further details

Wednesday, July 30th:  Build Your Own HDTV Television Antenna Class

190 Underhill Avenue, Brooklyn, 4:30-730pm

As if Aereo’s defeat in court was the end of free over-the-air TV…  And who could resist constructing something that looks like this and actually works:

HDTV Antenna

From the folks at the Brooklyn Brainery, of course.  $42.  For more and to register… 

Now through Sunday, August 17th:  Self-Taught Genius -Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue at 66th Street

For those unexposed to the range and gorgeous expressiveness of folk artists, this exhibition is the place start…  For devotees, “treasures” is absolutely the right word.  Free.  For days and hours

Now through Sunday, September 7th:  Rescuing the Past in New York City

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden,  421 East 61st Street

Once this UES treasure languished among giant Con Ed fuel tanks and survived only because the company decided it was less expensive to leave it standing!  Now (back off, Batman!) in celebration of the Museum’s 75th anniversary, it’s giving us the chance to view archival photos, documents, and objects detailing preservation of the building from the 1939 day when it opened to the public as the Abigail Adams Smith House.  Free for members. Adults, $8.  Seniors and Students, $7.  Children under 12 free. For further details

Right on the horizon:

Mondays, August 4th & 18th:  CM Kallos’ Housing Clinic

The Council Member’s Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 3-6pm

Free legal advice on your housing problems on the first and third Mondays of every month.  A volunteer attorney will be on hand for consultation, too.   To RSVP (and you should to speak to the attorney):  212-860-1930, RSVP@Ben.Kallos.com or online

Salicornia-bigelovii

Salicornia-bigelovii

Ever more miscellaneous:

Let’s talk construction and the new administration’s desire to hasten the pace of major infrastructure projects while reducing cost…  (Be nice if the folks at the helm are up to the task.)

And why do we doubt that capability?  

Square the Port Authority’s intention to spend $90M to update our sorry, used-by-thousands-a-day, 64-year old bus terminal with the $800K allocated by our Council Speaker to renovate some handball courts... 

On an infinitely smaller scale, how come a minimal number of building owners are aware of new NYC guidelines for tree bed size when sidewalks are replaced?   (Beds’re required to be bigger to help absorb stormwater runoff…  Check page 3  of the Parks’ manual -  then note there’s no page 23!)…

Meanwhile, how could we have let Philadelphia – of all places – get ahead of us in stormwater management!

Going national:  Seems certain elements would like to erode expansion of/protections afforded by our National Monuments system.  Should you object to this approach

And what week would be complete without citing the loss of significant architecture

On with our smiley faces:

The just-released Federal Office of Energy Projects report states that wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower account for 55.7% of newly installed generating capacity in the U.S. for the first half of 2014!

Attention, prospective citizen scientists/swimming pool owners!  NYS would love your help in a survey of invasive insects!

For those fortunate few with a rent-stabilized living quarters, some tips on remaining in place… 

If you read the Sunday Times piece on  model agency immortal and UES resident Eileen Ford, likely you figured out she shopped our 82nd Street Market! 

And on the fringe:

Yes, you’re reading this right:  A DIY air conditioner for $15!  (For video instructions…)  Then there’s the $8 version

Beginning fly fishing classes for women.. .  (Upstate, yes, but still…) 

 syringa-sweginzowii-superba

syringa-sweginzowii-superba

On to the animal kingdom:

Free endangered species ringtones?

Endangered plants and animals that might be hiding in or near NYC via your cellphone?

Awwwww….  Here’s what to do if you should come upon a stray kitten/kittens

Love The Bird of the Week…  The beautiful Inca Tern!

Five NYC places where your dog can swim

How to discourage black bears that might be making a nuisance of themselves… 

As ever, some tidbits from the Hudson River Almanac:

7/9 – Manhattan, HRM:  I was walking along the Battery Park City Esplanade in late afternoon when a fisherman caught what appeared to be two small sharks. – Matthew Fenton

smoothdogfishhra_original

[Photos revealed that these were smooth dogfish.  Smooth dogfish (Triakidae), plus the spiny dogfish (Squalidae), are by far the most common sharks found in the lower estuary and New York Harbor. Both can reach about five feet in length, but neither is a threat to humans. The smooth dogfish favors shellfish while the spiny dogfish is more of a fish eater. We have encountered both of these dogfish as far upriver as Englewood (NJ), river mile 13. That is not to say that both might venture farther upriver if conditions suit them. - Tom Lake.]

Everlastingly green,

UGS

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy We’re Not Going to Have a LIRR Strike, UESiders!

How about we set things in motion with one lovely, true life story as told by Michael Swaine, professor at UC Berkeley, Mills College and the California College of the Arts and founder of the Free Mending Library:

Swaine photo“Around 12 years ago, a friend and I were walking by an abandoned alley in San Francisco, and she asked, ‘If you could do anything with this space, what would you do?’ I had just found this old treadle sewing machine, so I said, kind of impulsively, ‘I would set up my sewing machine and just sew for the neighbors.’ 

“Somehow the stars aligned for this strange idea. The Luggage Store, a nonprofit art gallery in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, offered to let me use the alley next to them. I sew from noon to sundown on the 15th of each month. 

“Eighty percent of the people who show up live in nearby low-income housing. I hem a lot of pants and patch a lot of holes. But I don’t say no to anything. Once I sewed a little pink dog collar. Often people sew with me–grandmothers who are losing their vision and can’t thread the needle anymore, people who live in cramped apartments and don’t have a sewing machine. Neighbors help neighbors. The conversations start with sewing and end up someplace else. Sometimes people just want to talk about the hard day they’ve had.

“The thing I love most about the Free Mending Library is that it’s out on the streets. Businessmen sit next to recovering drug addicts or the minister who runs the domestic violence shelter down the street. Having this kind of shared experience has made me see how the conveniences of modern society, like Netflix and air-conditioning, make us stay home and in some inherent way start to fear our neighbor. 

“There are a lot of things we need to do for our environment, like buying less and sharing more. But sharing requires that first step of trust. The fear that’s between people gets in the way of good solutions.” 

Really, community building can happen just about anywhere…  

It surely happens every week at our Greenmarkets:

Saturday, July 19th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At tables piled high with summer bounty will be great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms and Valley Shepherd Creamery!

PLUS…

Summer music – in the form of the blue grass band we all love so much – returns to the market this Saturday!

Grand Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be with us, too!

Last week’s recycling totals: 66 lbs batteries;  17 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses; 7 bins of compost; 8 bags of clothes.

You’ll note:  Britta filters and CDs/DVD are no longer included in our totals…  Reason being those items are now recyclable in your building’s very own recycling bins!

Great how our city’s moving forward, yes?!

Saturday, July 19th:  Holmes Residents Family Day

Plaza in front of 1780 First Avenue, between 92nd and 93rd Streets, 12pm

Our neighbors’ great annual party of music, dancing and fabulous food in the Caribbean mode!  Plenty of tables offering great community info, as well!  See you there!

Sunday, July 20th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery and Hammond Dairy!

Yes, we know, Hammond Dairy was MIA last week…  But they and that incredible Ronnybrook milk will be back this Sunday!

PLUS:

Weekdays, he’s our City Council Member nailing down millions to repair our Esplanade…  But some weekends…  He morphs into the chef-clothes-and-apron-wearing/market-food-loving/slicer and dicer who’ll be bringing us this Sunday’s special market event:  Cooking With Kallos! 

Be there at 11am and ready to eat, people! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  38 lbs batteries;  11 lbs Britta filters, cords, cellphones and cartridges; 3 bins of compost;  1 giant bin of clothes (the equivalent of 2 giant bags at 82nd Street).

The veterans on collection duty last week didn’t have previous weeks’ totals, but they’ll be getting them for us!  

Thursday, July 24th:  An Evening Wolf Howl

Wolf Conservation Center, South Salem, New York, 5-10m

And we quote, “Leave city lights behind and head north to Westchester and a visit with these rare and highly misunderstood animals at their favorite hour, dusk.”  Has to be pretty incredible!  (Think there’s at least one wolf pup!)  Organized by the Obscura Society. $60 which includes transport by van, wine and cheese! For more and tickets…Atlas Obscura is Going to the Wolves!

pereskiopsis-aquosa

pereskiopsis-aquosa

Miscellany and – as ever – all over the landscape:

Reason 8 zillion and 4 to love GrowNYC:  The 800-acre new farm they’ve established on Governor’s Island where, each Saturday, we’re all invited to lend a hand!

Love governmental transparency and that we can now so easily see where the City Council’s discretionary moneys are going this Fiscal Year 2015! Check those numbers out!!

Fantastic – as you’ll read – that we now have a central NYC Archeological Repository!

Continuing in the past mode, we say Christopher Gray outdid himself with last Sunday’s piece on pix of NYC as it was during construction of  subways over the last century!

In the OF COURSE! category is India’s move to – a la the Third World spread of mobile phones sans need of poles and wires – gridless solar to bring electricity to its vast population of rural poor.

(At least half of the food India produces is rendered inedible for want for refrigeration.)

For those of us mourning the loss of a fig tree in our hood (there was a lovely one on the Isaacs campus)… 

Alllium-cristophii

Alllium-cristophii

Meanwhile, what would a week be without constructive railing:

Okay, so there’s a NYC ferry to Martha’s Vineyard but not up the East River or the Hamptons??

Hard to believe (ha!) Congress’s one move on the soon to expire Highway Trust Fund bill is one of their worst financial slight-of-hands to date

Been wondering how much paper’s produced per tree…?  

As if fracking weren’t injury enough, presumably we’re not alone in not realizing the size (42 inches in diameter) or the right-of-ways (50 feet) pipelines require…  Requirements/damage that loom even larger when it’s your family farm that’s involved

weigela-coraeensis

weigela-coraeensis

Back on the cheerful path:

So who are the people – or at least one of them – who pilot those banner-dragging planes?  (Pretty darned daring!)  

Feeling compulsive?  There’s an effort afoot to convince more magazines to use recycled paper (like “The New Yorker”)  and Green America’s compiled an impressive email list at said publications to which we can send encouragement!   

So there’s the origami of the little tweeting bird and the little crane… Then there’s the orgami of Robert J. Lang and his ilk!  (And  their video how-to’s!) 

We volunteer to do the road-testing of this reusuable food wrap!  (Crossed fingers it works!)

Carpinus-fangiana

Carpinus-fangiana

Animals:

So sorry to note – but note we will – that the Pacific bluefin tuna population is down to 4% of what it once was, pre epidemic over-fishing… 

Three wonderful-sounding books reviewed in last Sunday’s Times…  Elephant Company “The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar”…  and (we’re talking giant squids) “Preparing the Ghost”… 

Yet another great cam…  The Brown Bear and Salmon Cam…  As in brown bears catching salmon and eating them (poor salmon!) in the midst of Alaska’s beautiful, wild Brooks Falls!

Trust the Cornell Ornithology Lab to advise us on the most bird-friendly bird houses!

Onward in greenness,

UGS

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy National Margarita Day, UESiders,

Here’s a link to one of the many news stories on the jack hammer chisel episode… 

Now, let’s get right down on the days ahead:

fragaria-chiloensis

fragaria-chiloensis

Friday, July 11th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-8:30pm 

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this out:  The Wonders of Our Summer Sky with the classical groups of Scorpius, Sagittarius, Aquila, Lyra, and Cygnus shine in the south and overhead!  (Wow!)  Free.

Saturday, July 12th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be the great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms and new Valley Shepherd Creamery!

Our Master Knife Sharpener will be on hand, too!

Gajeski has corn!

Love Fresh Radish’s purslane and Cherry Lane’s heirloom tomatoes!

Valley Shepherd will likely have mozzarella this week!

Last week’s recycling totals: 59 lbs batteries;  14 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 5 1/2 bins of compost; 16 bags of clothes.

Definitely held our recycling own over the holiday!

Saturday, July 12th:  City of Water Day 2014

All Along Our Fabulous  NYC Waterfront

Presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and over 700 partners, the Festival will be held in waterfront locations throughout the area, with most happening (fishing, ferry rides, food and so much more) on Governor’s Island, Pier 42 and at Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken!   For the total lowdown …  

Sunday, July 13th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

At their tables will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery and Hammond Dairy!

We have two words for you this time round : PEACH YOGURT!

Last week’s recycling totals:  43 lbs batteries;  8 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 15 pairs of eye glasses; 3 bins of compost;  TBA bags of clothes.

(The elusive veterans left early last Sunday!  Stay tuned!) 

Sunday, July 13th:  Japan’s Star Festival 

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, 2pm

Family-friendly to the max as legendary folk characters are brought to life via storytelling and traditional crafts (think origami and tanzaku, thin paper strips for writing wishes to decorate bamboo branches). Recommended for children ages 3-10 and their parents.  Adults: $12. Children: $5.  For tickets (advance purchase advised) and more… 

And then:

Saturday, July 26th:  The Race Underground

The New York Transit Museum, Boerum Place at Schermerhorn Street, 5:30-8:00pm

It was New York against Boston in the great subway construction race and historian and author Doug Most relates events that framed this great American rivalry! The Obscura Society strikes again!  Free and complete with a beer and wine reception!  For more and tickets… 

Sunday, July 27th:  West Harlem Stop ‘N Swap Event

Soha Square Greenmarket, 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (Eighth Avenue), 12-3pm

Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, house wares, games, books and toys that you no longer need, and take home something new-to-you and free! But you don’t have to bring something to take something. But no furniture or large items, please!  (These things are fun!)  For further details

eucalyptus-racemosa

eucalyptus-racemosa

What-Are-They-Thinking-Of miscellany first:

Remember that devastating West Virginia chemical spill of a few months ago?  And the fine that’s just been announced?  A big, fat $11,000.

Under the Who’s-Minding-the-Store heading:  Small potatoes compared to the mega-theft of CityTime, but the company chosen to set up free WiFi throughout the city has just gone bankrupt...

Hummmm…  Seems the City’s contemplating allowing property owners to construct their own flood barriers…  Yeah, there’re governing rules… But enforcement…?  

What the heck’s with Governor Christie?  He’s back trying to short-circuit regs on carbon emissions in NJ

Yes, and the Brooklyn Yard Development Corporation’s threatening Admiral’s Row again

In the middle ground:

A new study says clean energy can hold off the worst of climate change by 2050, if only by a hair

Entirely on the good foot:

Glad tidings on the Midtown rezoning front:  BP Brewer and CM Garodnick will be heading the newly-formed steering committee!

(Be interesting to learn how they feel about the 67-story tower proposed across from Grand Central…)

The Forces of Darkness attempting to overthrow Australia’s carbon tax legislation were defeated!

For those of us not lucky enough to have an actual Greenmarket near at hand…  The farm-to-table movement’s now online and virtual, too!

How’s this for a green contest:  Be a NYC property owner, live in a combined sewer area and have a great infrastructure design idea that’ll control at least 1 inch of storm water runoff!  Submit that brilliant notion to NYC’s DEP and win a grant 

Then enter to win a $1,000 Container Store makeover for the deserving UES classroom of your choice! 

Then…  Study and follow the DEC’s just-issued green living tips!

And now for a pause in the Twilight Zone:

A specialized interest to be sure, but NYC’s now digitized it’s prison records archives!  (Wonder what info required in the present…)

Like to know your rights as an air traveler?  (These days, do we ever need to know!)

Interested in your apartment’s – that place you’re living in – history?

cedrus-brevifolia

cedrus-brevifolia

We’re not forgetting those animals:

No way you should miss this week’s (PBS) “Nature” on which an orphaned baby sea otter is raised by a surrogate otter mom and returned to the wild…

Individuals are fishing our young Hudson River glass eels for sale to the Asian market?!  (Not for long.  NYS DEC is hot on their heels!)

And on our home turf:

6/27 – Manhattan, HRM 0.1: With reports of few, if any, monarch butterflies sightings this season, I wanted to let you know that I saw one today in Battery Park City on the river promenade. –  Matthew Wills

6/30 – Manhattan, HRM 13.5: On the inlet of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, 2 dozen Canada geese were gathered near a white mulberry tree on the bank.  A boy was shaking the branches and tossing the ripe berries to them.  I tasted a couple – they were amazingly sweet. Nearby, some hybrid of yarrow was blooming yellow, along with a few flowers of purple echinacea (coneflowers) and blue, ragged-petaled chicory.

Further along the shore, plant growth urgently filled the space between the water and the fence, plants crowding, intertwining, climbing on each other. Curly dock made a pole for field bindweed. Bittersweet nightshade, its purple-and-yellow blossoms now fading, insinuated its fruiting stems among plants I cannot name, while field pepper grass, Pennsylvania smartweed and white sweet clover bloomed between them along with black nightshade and foliage of porcelain berry, mugwort, and burdock.

Up on the ridge at Inwood Hill Park, the day-lilies were now blooming! Hundreds of them fairly glowed in sunlight along many paths, so that it was easy to overlook the other plants.  Poison ivy now had berries and some black raspberries were ripening.  Mulberries, both red and white, were falling on paths, and some crab apples as well.

I saw one lovely long-fruited anemone (Anenome cylindrica) on my way down to Broadway. - Thomas Shoesmith

Ah, summer and its bountiful green…

UGS

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happiest July 4th, UESiders!

For Inside the Apple‘s nice, brief take on early July 1776 and a NYC vestige of that world-changing time… 

Bring on the hot dogs, fireworks and one great holiday weekend…  All that while keeping  Hurricane Arthur at arm’s length…

amelanchier-gymnosporangium

amelanchier-gymnosporangium

And savoring the great days after the storm’s passed:

Saturday, July 5th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be the great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms and new Valley Shepherd Creamery!

Cherry Lane’s big, beautiful bunches of basil are heavenly!

Last week’s recycling totals: 63 lbs batteries;  11 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 5 1/4 bins of compost; 15 bags of clothes.

Not bad for a pre-holiday weekend, people!

Sunday, July 6th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery and Hammond Dairy!

Yup, Norwich Meadows Farm has returned!

And we have one word for you:  TOMATOES!

Last 2 week’s recycling totals:  8 lbs batteries;  6 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 bins of compost;  TBA bags of clothes.

3 compost bins Week 1 of the market!  4 bins last week!!

(The veterans collecting clothes managed to depart before we nailed down their totals, but they won’t escape us this week!) 

Now through Sunday, October 19th:  Madeleine in New York – The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street

Could an exhibition be more family-friendly?  Readers past and present will be treated to 90-plus artworks, not a few from astonishing sources (like the Onassis yacht)!  There’re also any number of special events designed around the show.  For the total rundown

Throughout July:  New York Historical Society Summer Lecture Series

Bryant Park Reading Room, Sixth Avenue between 40th & 42nd Streets, 7pm

Yet another assembly of fabulous talks by some of America’s leading historians!  Subjects range from the Civil War to Teddy Roosevelt.  And thanks to the generosity of Bernard and Irene Schwartz, they’re totally free!  For full details… 

Now through Saturday, September 6th:  Open to the Public – Civic Space Now

AIA Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place

No question but public space – adequate, aesthetic public space – is central to urban health and this exhibition from the American Institute of Architecture explores the many and unfolding  interpretations of that truth!  For full details

And then:   

Saturday, July 12th:  City of Water Day 2014

All Along Our Fabulous Waterfront

Presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and over 700 partners , the Festival will be held in waterfront locations throughout the area, with most happening (fishing, ferry rides, food and so much more) on Governor’s Island, Pier 42 and at Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken!   For the total lowdown …  

Tuesdays, July 15th through August 12th:  Twilight Bat Walks in Central Park

Meet at 103rd Street & Central Park West, 7:45pm

New York Audubon says, “See local bat species in flight and hear them with an echolocator”!  Adult Non-members, $32.  Adult Members, $22,  Non-Member Kids (under 12), $20.  Member Kids, $14.  (Recommended for ages 5 and up.)  For more and to register

Monday, July 14th:  The Map Thief

ACME Studios, 63 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, 8:30pm

And we quote, “…An evening discussion of cartography, the rare-map trade and the notorious art thief who garnered a fortune stealing and dealing invaluable maps.”  Presented by the great Obscura Society.  $20. For tickets and more

berberis-vulgaris

berberis-vulgaris

Ready or not…  Miscellany:

Contrary to public wishes and turning a blind eye to the state of NYState’s water infrastructure, the DEC is “loaning” $511M to construct the new Tappan Zee Bridge

Prepare yourself for the Municipal Art Society’s recently published detailing air rights and present and coming swaths of shadow

Los Angeles’s now extending it’s plastic bag ban beyond chains and supermarkets to small-scale groceries

Lot’s of discussion re an upgrade of paving along what will be our dramatically improved Esplanade…   Our vote going something – happily – Park’s already using here and there:  permeable paving stones!  (Do scroll down…)

Holy crow!  Con Ed’s wanting us to reduce our reliance on giant power plants!

Pretty much beating a dead horse, but yet another voice’s raising doubt as the the Second Ave Subway’s completion date

Reason #976 Why for an East River Esplanade conservancy:  Even with its $16.25 budget increase, Parks will have only 260 Enforcement Patrol officers to cover all Manhattan (along with shortages in maintenance and cleaning staff)…  Really.  

gentiana-douglasiana

gentiana-douglasiana

On the other hand:

DEC minutely redeems itself with these first-rate green living tips… (Includes best NYS otter-watching sites!)

And with another great issue of its online Outdoor Discovery Newsletter (includes the hike of the Month)!

Can’t stop the great ideas for re-using aged smart phones…  Like nailing rogue rainforest loggers!

Just getting used to Citi Bikes and bike islands?  Get ready for bike-train-bike

We were totally stunned to learn that Neanderthal’s ate vegetables!

Why aren’t we New Yorkers visiting the Van Cortlandt House – where George Washington actually  slept and more than once – in droves?   (This tidbit from “Inside the Apple” sure is encouragement…)

Bocce?  Pool?  Karoke?  You name it!  Our Gotham has a organized league for virtually every activity!

And, of course, there’s a site dedicated to critiquing swimming pools

Yes, there is such a thing as yarn bombing

Just like there’s a Mason jar trick!

Yes, we’ll be booking a flight to take in the world’s clearest lake

eriophyllum-lanatum

eriophyllum-lanatum

As for 4th of July animals:

With its habitat under threat, the world’s tiniest turtle – the little Kemp’s Ridley turtle – needs our help!

Hippos as an invasive species?  Thanks to infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, they’re on the loose and breeding in Colombia!

Think we’d like to join these golden retrievers as they…  Well, you’ll see

A puffin chick (AKA a puffling) has hatched!!

More tiny feathered babies are being born on old piers on Governor’s Island!

baby common tern

Then  there’s this adorable snoring kitty…  (Far from those baby birds!)

What better way to close than with the Hudson River Almanac and butterflies:

6/19 – Town of Indian Lake, HRM 257: Just a note on the sighting of Karner blue butterflies near North Creek. These were most likely either spring azures or eastern tailed blues, or possibly silvery blues that are almost identical to Karner blues but much more widespread and not specialized on their food plants. This sighting occurred about 50 miles northwest of Queensbury, the northern limit of our Karner blue sites. While in flight all of these species look blue; they are different on the underside of the wings. The azures and silvery blues have no orange crescents, and eastern tails have only two tiny dots.  – Kathleen O’Brien, NYSDEC

[The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) is both a New York State and federally-listed endangered species. Within its range, the Karner blue is restricted to dry sandy areas with open woods and clearings supporting wild blue lupine. A sighting of this species far outside its known range would be extraordinary; though one learns never to say "never" with wildlife, such records require extraordinary evidence – a sharp, close-up photograph for example. Tom Lake.]

Here’s to the red, white and blue,

UGS

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Upcoming National Grilling Month, UESiders!

And congrats to two of our own:  The young gentlemen manning the Gajeski table at 82nd Street!

Shorty graduated from high school last Saturday and will be heading to Lehman College this fall!

Javier took the GED test the previous Saturday.  He won’t know the results for a couple of months, but smart as he is, we say the outcome isn’t in doubt. Then on college for him as well!

Lucky for us that neither’ll be leaving our market even as they move on to higher education.  

Rather a nice prelude to the coming week:

Saturday, June 28th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am –2pm

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

A full market dance card this Saturday!

Not only will the great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms all be at their tables…

BUT…

Look for newcomers Valley Shepherd Creamery!  These fabulous folks stock sheep, cow and goat’s milk cheeses, along with butter, cured sausages, sheep’s milk yogurt and raviolis!   Shop them up like crazy!!  We want them to be our new BFF (best farmer forever)…

AND BE AT THE MARKET NO LATER THAN 11:30am…

Because our multi-talented new Council Member will be donning a chef’s apron and debuting “Cooking with Kallos” live and in person and whipping up delicious things with strawberries!  

PLUS…

Delighted to say Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be at her table, too!

Wow!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  59 lbs batteries;  15 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 bins of compost; 22 bags of clothes.

You are just mean composting machines!

Sunday, June 22nd:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery!

And that new farmer…  Hammond Dairy?  A last minute malfunction with their yogurt machinery kept them out of our line-up last week.  Fingers crossed all is well and they make their 92nd Street debut this Sunday with yogurt plus Ronnybrook milk!

Could be that – if Aurelia’s back from Switzerland –  Norwich Meadows will be returning as well!

Last week’s recycling totals:  Shredding had us so busy, compost and collection departed before we could collect the numbers, but things looked good, especially for a first day!  Stay tuned…

We’re waiting for that big shredding poundage number, too!

Saturday, June 28th:  DEC’s Free Fishing Clinic 

Raritan Bay Festival, Raritan Bay, Staten Island, 11:30am-4:30pm

Don’t know the difference between a fly and a lure?  The NYC Department of Environmental Conservation has a class for you!   No license required. Totally free.  For more and to sign up

Saturday, June 28th:  Solar One Kayaking Event

Stuyvesant Cove Park, East River at 20th Street, 2:30pm

Being out on the East River on a weekend afternoon?   Doesn’t get any better!  Free, of course.  For more…  And reservations a must…  (Another event’s coming up on July 28th!)

Seems like years away:

Sunday, September 7th:  Transportation Alternatives 25th Annual NYC Century Bike Tour

All 5 Boroughs

Time to register for the 2014 outing entitled “The Ride for Vision Zero” and covering – duh – 100 miles…   Although you can chose comfortable segments.  For details and to sign up

Opening the Miscellany File…  Kicking off with the abundantly serious:

As in former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson on climate change

And the press of  North Dakota fracking operations on Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Moving on to discontent:

Really?!!  NYS’s Environmental Facilities Corporation  is wanting to steer a half-billion dollars in clean-water funds to the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge??!!  (If you think this is a bad move…)

Really?!!  Seems that America’s now importing its own fish!!

Really?!!  There’s a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico?!!

Really?!!  McDonald’s biggest potato supplier is just steps away from getting approval on a GMO potato!!   (If you oppose such unlabeled GMO produce being served up in restaurants and sold in supermarkets…)

Really?!!  One in 10 U.S. beaches doesn’t meet EPA water safety standards!!

Really?!!  Pennsylvania fracking wells are leaking methane?!! 

As for our own Hudson River’s water quality…  Overall, not so bad…  (Whew.)

This while Indiana is numero uno in release of toxins into its waterways

Really?!!  Lowe’s is still selling bee-killing pesticides (when Home Depot’s stopped)?!! (If you’d like to encourage Lowe’s to get that bad stuff off their shelves…)

Surprise.  Surprise.  Not.  When measured against the rest of the world, NYC Subways are on the creaky side.

Oh and of course, delays continue to mount on the Fulton Street Station and 7th Avenue Subway construction

Same for any number of Parks Department projects

Then on to the sunny side of the street:

Two hundred and thirty NYC public school buildings (are some schools in more than one building?) now compost their food waste!   (Is you child’s school on the master list?)

Downright amazing, this new technology which’ll allow us to digitally preserve historic sites around the world!

For those unacquainted with the process, here’s how the NYS DEC launches public discussion of a potential brownfield site, in this case on 110th Street…  

A big tip of the hat to the Netherlands’ regimen of raising livestock with minimal antibiotics…   (We’d bow low if they used none at all!)

Bigger props to L.A. where they’ve enlisted barbers to boost male health!

Yet another smart way to bring the benefits of solar to homes with little roof space and/or lots of shade and it has a lovely name…  A solar garden! 

Two publications we like:  Urban Farmer and Modern Farmer (with an emphasis on urban farming)…

How about making a couple of concrete nesting tables utilizing Lego molds?

For this weekend’s weather and terrain conditions at NYState Parks

Then there’s this instant city garden!

Which has nothing on these lovely ways to introduce even more flora onto terrace or patio

Could be we’ll see some Copenhagen Wheels in that Century Bike Tour!

Another week and Christopher Gray regales us with another UES architectural tale!

Even more miscellaneous:

Like to know why – plaster damage or no – the Museum of the City of NY is deaccessioning an ornate box from the old Metropolitan Opera, but BIG’s got it for sale!  (Let’s hope the museum’s got a spare.)

Believe it!  A bunch of Danes playing “Billie Jean” by blowing into beer bottles!

Benjamin Franklin began his last will and testament, “I Benjamin Franklin, of Philadelkphia, printer”...  (Wish his favored Caslon font was included in Word!).

As for our furry/feathered friends:

In case you missed this last week’s (touching baby) eagle cam saga

Meanwhile, our own Governors Island played an important role in discovering how migrating birds navigate!

The bat fan base is growing all the time…  Witness these young Indianans!   

There’re only 50 ocelots left in the wild in Texas

Meanwhile, down in the Puffin burrow (equipped with cam)

We leave you with this lovely entry from the Hudson River Almanac:

Don’t know how we wound up on the mailing list of Trout Unlimited, but for the fisher persons among us the fish-centric organization has a great join-up offer! (Who can resist a selection of 13 essential flies!)

6/16 – Wallkill River: It was 15 years ago today, as I walked along the edge of a fallow cornfield listening to the “witchity-witchity-witchity” of the common yellowthroat, that I spotted a piece of gray stone (chert) protruding slightly from a crack in the dry earth. It was the thin edge of a small projectile point.  I had found a very old spear point, later dated to about 12,500 years ago.  – Tom Lake

barnes-pointhra_original

[This stone artifact was a Barnes-type fluted spear point, a style that originated in southwestern Ontario about 12,500 calendar years ago. They are a diagnostic tool of what archaeologists believe were the first people, called Paleoindians, to enter the Hudson Valley. The Wallkill River Valley was a seasonal passageway for these hunter-gatherers from Ontario, through the Mohawk River Valley, then south through Greene, Ulster, and Orange Counties, stopping at stone quarries and following game herds.)

Sincerely green,

UGS
 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized