So, UESiders,

No events to attend, of course, but, as promised, some change-of-pace/UES/green stuff that’ll hopefully add pleasure/info to days within the four walls of home…

Commencing with some pretty darned miscellaneous miscellany:

Good on AM Seawright for her weekly – every Tuesday – Tele-Town Halls…   

Lost in the virus crisis:  Our City Council’s expanded recycling proposal

Of course, 99% of the greens we consume are grown and harvested by our market farmers but, perchance, you have to make a grocery store purchase…  There’re things to know no matter how well-packaged or even if triple washed…    

As we patiently wait for Greenmarket compost collection to be restored, NYC residential pick-up’s been getting waste industry media coverage… 

Pestcide use/viral transmission info

NYS DEC moves to protect Long Island drinking water

That $21M in VW settlement funds coming to NYS??  Think acquisition of electric public  transporation buses

How some NYC neighborhoods got their names

The Times on great foreign TV stream

A couple endure, but how did we ever let so many of these beauties to be torn down…

Three cheers for national parks and their growing number of park guides designed for visually impaired visitors

NYS’s 2020 trout and salmon season opens April 1st

Who’s replanting sagebrush on America’s prairie

Wildfires, injured hikers and more…  NYS Forest Rangers have been busy… 

Brief pause for a clump of grey but worthy items:

It’s 50-years old and banned but chemical carbofuran is still killing wildlife… 

Conservation Officers to the rescue of a wounded – with an arrow, no less! – duck

Argh, these darned invasive insects, this one threatening gorgeous Native American basket making…

Don’t know quite how to react to this approach to U.S. housing on flood plains

Should the proposed William PipeIine think we’re too distracted to object

Time for some animals:

Calling all bird watchers!!  Contribute your observations to this year’s NYS’s Breeding Bird Atlas…  

Who’d have thought bees are so photogenic

Birding in 2025, including the bird feeder of the future

How to ID NYS animal tracks…  (Scroll to page 2!)

More tracks still (and scat) to ID…  (Scroll to page 6!)

Marine mammals documented in the Hudson Valley over the last 26 years:

* Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina)
* Hooded seal (Cystophora cristata)
* Gray seal (Halichoerus grypus)
* Harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus)
* Common (harbor) porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
* Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus)
* Bottlenose (common) dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
* Florida manatee-2006 (Trichechus manatus latirostris)
* Minke whale-2007 (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
* Humpback whale-2016 (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Then there’s the Hudson River Alamanc:

3/9 – Northern Dutchess County: Low tide is the best time for beach combing. As I was walking along the river today, I came upon a small stone that looked as though it may have been “worked” (modified by human hands), thus an artifact. It was the base of a Brewerton eared-notched projectile point, likely a dart point for an atlatl (spear thrower). At 20 millimeters (mm) long, this re-sharpened point had, after much use, been reduced to twenty percent of its original length and had been re-purposed as a small scraper or a graver. – Tom Hall

Ancient Scraper

That Ancient Scraper

[Brewerton eared-notched points have been radiocarbon dated from organic contexts in the Northeast to 4,500 years old. Their type site is Brewerton, along Oneida Lake in Onondaga County. This tool had been fashioned from a brownish Kalkberg chert, from the Helderbergs, by ancestral Algonquian people. They were pre-ceramic, hunters and gatherers, fishers and foragers. Given the range of their homeland, and where this artifact was found, they may have been ancestral Mohicans.

There are few things more magical than holding a moment of the deep past in your hand, sensing the imagination of the artist and envisioning the time of its creation. To apply some context to the great time depth of our Hudson Valley, as the artisan was creating this tool, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was being constructed during the Fourth Dynasty of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu. – Tom Lake]

3/18 – Queens, New York City: Taking an afternoon walk along the East River toward Socrates Sculpture Park was a help in coping with the COVID-19 coronavirus. A whole group of shorebirds was hanging out at a small sandy beach on the river next to the park. Among them were six wintering brant and several Canada geese. – Jen Adams

Socrates ducks

Those Ducks!!

And the Fishes of the Couple of Weeks:

3/8 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 62 is the dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) number 4 (of 230) on our watershed list of fishes. 

hudson shark

A Dusky Shark

The dusky shark is a member of the requiem shark family (Carcharhinidae), the largest family of living sharks. The dusky shark is on our list of fishes for less-than-reliable evidence. The original report of a dusky shark found on the shore in Peekskill was by Edgar Mearns (1989). Mearns gave no distinguishing characteristics and, on the face of it, a dusky shark might have been the least likely of requiem sharks to be found upriver in the estuary. Another, more inshore, less pelagic species like the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) would have been much more likely. To the untrained eye, these two closely related requiem sharks look very similar and may have been easily confused. (In recent times, additions to our watershed list of fishes have required irrefutable evidence such as photos, videos, or specimens.)

Murdy, Birdsong, and Musick’s The Fishes of Chesapeake Bay (1997: 31-32), assesses the behavior of these two sharks: ‘It [dusky shark] does not normally enter estuaries.” For bull sharks, “[they] are known to frequent brackish waters and low salinity rivers.” “They are known from … 1,000 miles upriver in the Amazon and Mississippi rivers.

Adding to the confusion is a bizarre “tradition” among some anglers of dumping fish from faraway places along the river giving the appearance that they were found in situ, or with valid provenience (in their original place). There have been several instances where anglers have brought home dead sharks from ocean adventures and left them along the river, including a blue shark at Yonkers (1979), a sand tiger shark (Carcharhinus taurus) at Peekskill (1952), and another dusky shark at Newburgh (1966).

Despite all of the reservations on the occurrence of these large sharks in the estuary, the river is open to the sea, and that demands that we never say never. However, even 122 years later, we still exercise our skepticism of Edgar Mearns’ 1898 report. – Tom Lake

3/15 – Hudson River Watershed’s Fish-of-the-Week for Week 63 is the (pretty disagreeable) northern snakehead (Channa argus) number 214 (of 230) on the watershed list of fishes!!


A Snakehead

The northern snakehead is an aggressive, invasive, predatory fish native to areas of Asia. Adult northern snakehead can grow to 18.0 pounds and to more than three feet in length. They are voracious predators, eating almost anything they can fit in their mouths, including other fishes, crustaceans, frogs, and small reptiles.

In late May 2008, it was discovered that the northern snakehead had been introduced into Orange County – possible aquarium release – in the upper Catlin Creek watershed near Ridgebury Lake in the Town of Waywayanda (first record from the watershed). This created concerns about the effect that this large predator could have on native species. The northern snakehead is a very resilient fish; it has an accessory breathing apparatus that allows it to survive in poor water quality, even out of water for several days at moderate air temperatures and can move short distances over wet ground. They would also be able to survive the cold water of New York winters.

NYSDEC Region 3 Inland Fisheries took immediate action to eradicate this species to protect native fish populations and prevent any possible expansion of the northern snakehead beyond the headwaters of Catlin Creek. It was evident from the evidence gathered that the northern snakehead were, or soon would be spawning, lending urgency to immediate eradication measures.

Temporary fish barriers were erected in Catlin Creek delineating the area followed by capture and removal of those that were found. Monitoring included the use of a variety of fish capturing techniques, as well as many water samples taken and analyzed for snakehead environmental DNA. In 2008 and 2009, DEC collected a total of 341 northern snakeheads ranging in size to 32-inches long.

Since 2009, there has been no further evidence of northern snakeheads in the Catlin Creek watershed. (Our thanks to Fisheries Biologist Michael Flaherty for much of this information.) – Tom Lake

How about some items for the When-We’re-Back Out-and-About File:

The New British Galleries

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue

As per The Times:  ”…700 objects dating from 1500 to 1900, almost a third of which are new acquisitions…”   Among them, 3 grand 18th-century rooms and “a dazzling array of 1th Century teapots”!!  For more and even more

Arthur Avenue:  Welcome to Little (Albanian-Mexican) Italy

Never been to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx?  Dubbed the most authentic of NYC’s remaining Little Italys with an amazing array of mighty fine Italian groceries, bakeries and restaurants…  Home to early rock ‘n roll sensation Dion and the Belmonts…  Now threaded with Albanian and Mexican influences…  Which is to say, go!!

Nothing greener than good health,



March 20, 2020

Dear UESiders,

Unfortunately, we open with some bad news from GrowNYC Mega Manager of Markets Margaret Hoffman:

“This decision was made by DSNY and is, of course, in the interest of  public safety.  But the GOOD NEWS is:

Those great producers being American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, SunFed Beef, Ballard’s Honey,  Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

But GrowNYC is taking some steps to attempt to make our markets safer for all:

First, we are asking shoppers to be more aware of your personal space and keep a safe distance from each other as much as possible.  Second, we’re implementing a “no touching of product” policy and ask – if not insist – that shoppers refrain from touching produce and instead ask farm staff to help you.

We very much appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation during these difficult times.  And, please…  Stay safe!!  Margaret”

Also most sorry to say:

Yes, but:

Then there’s this one last unhappy news flash:

Much as we all love/want/need shredding, no way 150-plus UESiders could safely wait on line for their turn filling the bin. Of course, we’ll be rescheduling when public events no longer endanger each other’s continued good health!!





Valuable sources/assets compiled by our electeds…  A sampling of the many wonderful ways folks worldwide are turning this down–time into good…  Miscellany even more miscellaneous than the usual…  Tidbits of activism…  Adorable animals…

Look for that uplift/amusement to pop up over the weeks ahead: 

Rest assured we’ll be searching for composting alternatives…

Be hale and hearty, people!!

Our best,



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Happy International Women’s Day (this Sunday), UESiders!!

(Three cheers for you/us, females!!)

Then and on a considerably lesser note, there’s today, March 6th…  The 57th Annniversary of the immortal Hula Hoop receiving its U.S. patent !!

Add March 10th:  National Pack Your Lunch Day (packed with minimal waste in mind)!!

But back to this Friday which’s also National Multiple Personality Day…  Yikes…!! 

And then, for some reason, NYS’s asking us to celebrate the next 7 days as Flood Awareness Week– 

How about we move right along to – fingers crossed – a hale, hearty, incredibly healthy, caronavirus-free week ahead:

Saturday, March 7th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, SunFed Beef, Ballard’s Honey,  Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

We’re loving Gayeski’s micro greens!!

Uber Market Manager Margaret adds:  “Expecting a full house this weekend as winter moves slowly out and signs of spring creep in.  Manager Ciana will have some fun Greenmarket trivia happening under the info tent this week.   Stop by and test your knowledge and learn some fun facts!!”

Last week’s recycling totals:  106 lbs. batteries;  18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  17 compost bins; 36 bags of clothes

Yes, 17 bins!!

Saturday, March 7th:  19th Century Tea Tasting

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 1:30pm

Learn the history of the world’s most popular beverage and how it was prepared in early 19th-century America…  All while partaking of an array of historic teas and herbal infusions served up on 19th-century ceramics and accompanied by other period-appropriate refreshments.  Nobody does this kind of beautifully curated event better than the UESide’s own MVH!!  Members and students with ID, $15.  Non-members, $20.   For more and tickets…  

Saturdays, March 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th:  Maple Sugaring at Five Rivers Environmental Educational Center

56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, New York 1:30-3:30pm 

We’re talking Maple Sugaring 101 from tap to sap to syrup…  Complete with twirling of  brace and bit, pounding of spile, inspection of sap flow, the savoring of that sap boiling in an evaporator and all topped by a maple syrup taste-test challenge!!  One great family event.  Free.  For the complete rundown… 

On the horizon:

Friday, March 20th:  Pond Life Pond Life!  Exploring the Microbial Wilderness of New York City 

Hunter College West, 920 Lexington Avenue, 7-9pm

For the last five years, Dr. Sally Waring’s devoted herself to documenting the microbial wildlife of NYC’s ponds, waterways and wetlands…   Microbial life as in unicellular organisms…  That despite being single-celled manage to function as  architects, builders, travelers, parasites, hunters, scavengers and prey, all while being pretty amazing looking!!  Organized by the great folks of NYC H2O.  Suggested donation, $20.  For tickets and more

Saturday, March 21st:  Documenting 21st Century Flora – A Special Presentation by NYBG Botanist Daniel Atha

67th Street Branch Library, 328 East 67th Street, 2-3:30pm

Join Daniel Atha, New York Botanical Garden botanist and manager of the NYC Ecoflora Project for a fascinating look at how NYBG scientists are using new approaches to document the plants of the City and empower all New Yorkers to engage in natural history discovery!!  Organized by the fabulous Green Park Gardeners. (Check out the amazing GPG native plant garden on the Esplanade at 61st Street.)  Free.

Saturday, March 21st:  The Ben Kallos CIS Chess Challenge

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, 9am-4pm, Check-in time 7:30-8:30am, Register by Tuesday, March 17th 

Yup, it’s that time of the year again…  That time when dozens of K-12 kids face off across chessboards and brain battle for victory!!  As ever, organized by the wonderful Chess In Schools and funded by CM Kallos.  Free but registration’s a must!!

Saturday, March 28th:  Shred-A-Thon – Out-Like-A-Lamb Edition

82nd Street Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First & York, 10am-2pm

And so, Shredding Season 2020 begins… Bring on that paper, folks!!

Just remember:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(We’re having some ideas for those hardcovers so hold on to them!!)

Yet again, thank you, AM Seawright,  CM Kallos and Powers for making Shred-A-Thons possible!!

Saturday, March 28th to Sunday, April 5th:  2020 Participatory Budgeting Vote

Vote at at CM Kallos’s Office or the Greenmarket or online or…  Well, there’re lots of places to cast your ballot!!

To check out this year’s community project candidates/choices as well as the numerous voting locations and dates… 

Before we know it:

Friday, April 24th:  Electronic Recycling Event

Carl Schurz Park, East End Avenue between 84th & 85th Streets, 10am- 4pm

Accepted:  Computers and peripherals (monitors, printers, faxes/scanners, keyboards, mice, wires, etc.); TVs; stereo and A/V equipment, VCRs, DVD players; cell and wall phones.  Not Accepted:  Microwaves, refrigerators, air conditioners, smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.   For complete collection details…  (And do recall that eletronics can be recycled any day year round at Best Buy, Lexington & 86th Street…)

How about some activism:

Should you think unrestricted grazing on public lands – AKA parks and wilderness – is a poor idea...

Or if you believe the government ought to support bird conservation

From our bulging miscellany file:

The Times details the Biden and Sanders’ environmental stances

The amazing totals racked up by the 2019 New York Care Coat Drive…  

Not every week NYS DEC officers not only engage in mysterysolving but encounter a kinkajou on the loose

Meanwhile, NYS Forest Rangers (and a couple of heroic hikers) had their own challenges

That said, the NYS Hike of the Month is along Staten Island’s Lemon Creek…

The original Campbell’s Tomato Soup tomato resurrected

Our growing NYC skyline quandry

Animal time:

Mother lion adopts baby leopard

Who knew that sea sponges can sneeze

Dogs…  Dogs…  And more dogs on this week’s MUG posting

NYC parrot lost and amazingly found

This week’s entry from the Hudson River Almanac:

2/16 – Town of Clinton: While participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count today, I saw movement on a rock wall in our back yard – a chipmunk scurried off. Then I saw the reason, a mink. We see mink on rare occasions as they follow a seasonal creek that runs through our property. This one hunted for ten minutes and then moved on. – Klaudia Frizzell

Mink in Clinton

That Mink

Herewith, the pretty exceptional Fish of the Week:

2/20 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 59 is the longnose gar (Lepisosteus osseus), number 15 (of 230) on our watershed list of fishes. 

longnosed gar

A Longnosed Gar

Gar have lived in North American waters for at least 50 million years. Fossil gar found in rocks from the Green River formation of western Wyoming are so similar to gar found today in New York waters that they are considered to be members of the modern genus Lepisosteus. Longnose gar is one of two species of their family, Lepisosteidae, found in the Hudson River watershed. The other is the alligator gar (L. osseus). Their presence in the watershed is supported by a single 30-inch fish found impinged on the intake screens at the Roseton Power Generating Facility (river mile 66.5) in Orange County in 1989. That gar was believed to have been a canal immigrant from Lake Champlain.

Longnose gar is a primitive-looking, extremely well adapted fish, whose evolutionary journey began several hundred million years ago. With a fusiform body, armor-like ganoid scales, long narrow jaws full of very sharp teeth, growing to six-feet-long, they have been described by zoologist Archie Carr as having a “Paleozoic leer.”

Longnose gar are primarily freshwater fishes, although they can live in coastal marine waters, and are found in eastern North America from Quebec to northern Mexico (their type site is Virginia). In New York State, they occur in relatively large lakes such as Lake George and Lake Champlain, as well as both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. They are essentily piscivores (fishes) but have been known to eat blue crabs in brackish water. The New York State longnose gar angling record was set by Michael Gatus on Aug. 18, 2018, in South Bay of Lake Champlain, with a 14 pounds, 10 ounces, 52.25-inch-long fish.

A unique characteristic of gar is their ability to use atmospheric oxygen allowing them to live in low-oxygen conditions such as shallow, freshwater habitats associated with coastal wetlands. This is likely an evolutionary adaptation for survival in an aquatic world far different than

A longnose gar anecdote: On May 13, 1994, five dead longnose gar were recovered from an outwash area on the Saw Mill River in Yonkers (eight dead gar were reported there the day before). While it was possible that longnose gar were resident fish, albeit never reported there before, we viewed the likelihood with a great deal of skepticism.

June 1, 1994, a day-long investigation of the Saw Mill River watershed was conducted by Dr. C. Lavett Smith (Curator of Ichthyology, American Museum of Natural History), Dr. Bob Schmidt (Simon’s Rock College, Bard College), Christopher Letts (Hudson River Foundation), and Tom Lake. Using gill nets, dip nets, and seines, the exhaustive sampling resulted in a collection of eight rather unremarkable resident species, but no evidence of longnose gar.

Subsequent analyses of the stomach contents from five of the longnose gar, conducted by Norma Feinberg (Ichthyology Department, American Museum of Natural History), revealed partially digested striped bass and white catfish. In contemplating where the gar may have encountered these species, we considered several possibilities: Sawmill River, Hudson River, Lake Champlain, Lake Erie, and the Chesapeake Bay system.

After much consideration of the various physical, hydrological, and chemical components of each system, we concluded that at least five of the eight longnose were probably dumped in the Saw Mill River by an angler returning from a trip to the Chesapeake Bay area, possibly the Potomac River where longnose gar were common.  In the end, they were not from the watershed, but their appearance gave us a wonderful mystery to unravel and a memorable educational journey.  – Tom Lake

Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary is fast approaching (scroll down to page 16), 




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Dear UESiders,

No more important or greener news than the Dawn of the NYS/NYC Unplastic Bag Era…  Coming to one and all of us this Sunday, March 1st!!

For an easily absorbed outline of new bag dos and don’ts… 

Or should you be in need of a free, large, all-but-weightless reusable bag that folds down to nothing, they’re available at our electeds’ offices, weekdays, 9am-5pm:

*Council Member Kallos, 244 East 93rd Street

*Council Member Powers, 211 East 43rd Street, #1205

*Assembly Member Seawright, 1485 York Avenue

*State Senator Krueger, 211 East 43rd Street, #1201 

Not only that, but also…

*Sunday, March 1st, Council Member Powers and staff will be handing out free reusables at Morton Williams, 1066 Third Avenue between 63rd & 64th Street, 11am-1pm

Then there’s this

*For all you may have heard/read that farmers markets are legally exempt from observing the new Bag Waste Reduction Law, our great GrowNYC – committed environmental organization that it is – will be instituting its own plastic bag ban at our NYC Greenmarkets as of April 1st, 2020!!

And finally this

*Trader Joe’s application for the Bridgemarket site received unanimous approval by the Landmarks Commission this past Tuesday!! 

Our best,


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Dear UESiders,

Yes, darned mini-editions continue…  With their accent on the most important info and greenness around our hood…

This week those items being:

*The full winter compliment of 82nd Street’s fabulous winter season vendors will be at their tables this week… American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, SunFed Beef, Ballard’s Honey,  Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms…  AND, we’re so happy to say, Samascott Farms will be back with us as well!! 

*Word’s been spreading like wildfire up and down First, Second, York and East End…  Trader Joe’s hoping to install their first UESide outpost in what once was – seems like eons ago – the Food Emporium Bridgemarket!!  Not exactly easy-peasy as that wonderful space is rightly landmarked but, so far, they’ve received approvals from assorted CB8 committees…  Cross those fingers, folks. 

*Only 9 more days and NYC adds another green star to its crown when the Plastic Bag Ban becomes law!!  For those for whom carrying about reusable bag looms as a total drag:  Speaking from personal experience:  Like household recycling and composting, having a reusuable bag in purse/pocket is truly an easily acquired habit.  And FYI, folks:  Lightest weight, fold-down-to-nothing, easiest-to-launder, freebee reusuable bags are being given out by Sanitation (they mail to you!) and all our UES electeds!!

*When perusing the recycling numbers below, do note January 8th at 96th Street…  Where composters broke their previous poundage collected record by 382 lbs!!  (Yes, UESide composters rule!!)

*Assembly Member Seawright’s Campaign Cicero Book Drive (books for kids K-12, drop off at her office) continues through March 5th …

Our best,


2020 Recycling at 82nd (from 1/4/19):  1/4 –  77 lbs batteries;  26 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  4 pairs eye glasses;  2 make-up wands;  19 compost bins;  4390 lbs compost; 626 composters; 35 bags of clothes   1/11 -102 lbs batteries; 20 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  3 pairs eye glasses; 1 make-up wand; 17 compost bins;  3531 lbs compost;  595 composters; 1 bags of clothes   1/18 –  91 lbs batteries; 19 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs eye glasses; 17 compost bins; 3531 lbs compost   1/25 – 72 lbs batteries; 23 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 18 compost bins; 3115 lbs compost; 570 composters

2020 Recycling at 92nd):   Re-Opening Late June!!
2019 TOTALS:  378 lbs. batteries; 188 lbs cords, corks, cellphone and cartridges; 12 pairs of eyeglasses; 2 make-up wands; compost data – TBA; 11,275 lbs of paper
2018 TOTALS – 2,561 COMPOSTERS; 15,821 POUNDS (7.9 TONS)

2020 Compost collected at Lenox Hill, 70th & First (from 1/8/19):   1/7 – 162 composters; 10 bins;  713 lbs. total weight   1/14 – 137 composters;  10 bins;  691 lbs. total weight   11/21 –  102 composters; 7 bins  612   lbs. total weight   11/28 – 102 composters;  7 bins;  461 lbs. total weight

2018 TOTALS:  3,432 COMPOSTERS;  16,292 POUNDS  (8.11 TONS) 
2019 Compost collected at 96th & Lex (from 1/9/19):    1/8 – 173 composters;  32 bins;  1542 lbs total weight    1/15 – 205 composters;  25 bins;  1058 lbs total weight    1/22 – 206 composters;  29 bins;  1194 lbs total weight   1/29 – 218 composters; 28 bins; 1266 lbs total weight


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Dear UESiders,

Some vacay week.

Fairway bankrupcy.  Coca Cola announces – because, it says, that’s how customers like things – it’ll continue to bottle in plastic.  MTA Chief Byford resigns.

Well, at least if one’s so inclined and hope Train Daddy will reconsider (again), folks are suggesting we weigh in with emails to the governormayor, City Council Speaker, Assembly Member Seawright and Council Member Kallos or Council Member Powers.     

A simple “Bring Back Byford” message will do. 

Moving on to the sunny side:

Now to Thursday, March 5th:  Project Cicero Book Collection Campaign

Drop off at AM Seawright’s District Office, 1485 York Avenue between 78th & 79th Streets,  9:30am-5pm

Launched on the UESide by Assembly Member Seawright, all-volunteer Project Cicero’s ,  dedicated to collecting gently used books appropriate for NYC pre-school to high school readers.  Drop off at the AM’s office and, yes, books can also be purchased via Project Cicero’s site!!

Saturday, December 14th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

It may be cold…  It may rain…  It may snow…  But at their tables will be the great American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone,  SunFed Beef, Ballard’s Honey,  Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

How many ways can one prepare winter vegs?  (We want to try every one!!) 

Saturday & Sunday, January 25th & 26th:  AKC Meet the Breeds 2020

Javits Center, 429 Eleventh Avenue,  10am

Meet and play with hundreds of dogs!!  Learn about responsible pet ownership, 200 different breeds of dogs AND even some cats, too!!  (Yes!!  CATS!!)  Children under 12, $10.  Adults, $25.60-$100.  For more and tickets

Sunday, January 26th:  92nd Street Y E-Waste Recycling Event 

Lexington Avenue between 91st  92nd Street, 10am-4pm

Amazing how infrequently one sees e-waste left abandoned on UES streets…  That’s thanks to residents’ inherent greenness and events like this… Collected will be computers, monitors, printers/scanners, keyboards, mice, cables,TVs, VCRs, DVD players, phones and cellphones, AV equipment, PDAs and more!!  For the full iist…  (And do keep in mind, Best Buy 86th is our always available UES drop-off point!)

Sunday, January 26th:  CM Kallos’s 2020 State of the District Address

MSK Auditorium, 430 East 67th Street, 12:30-3pm

Get acquainted with great UES volunteer organizations/opportunities/initiatives and local info from 12:30-1pm, then lend your ears and eyes to the CM and his objectives for our district and city over the coming year and beyond.  Accessible of course.  To RSVP… 

Thursday, February 13th:  Destination Deco – An Illustrated Lecture

Church of Heavenly Rest, 1085 Fifth Avenue, 6:30pm  

We’re loaded with glorious brownstones, of course…  But our hood’s also blessed with an impressive collection of Art Deco masterpieces, too.  Learn all about ’em courtesy the great Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District.  Members, $15.  Non-members, $25.  For more and tickets… 

And then there’s this:

Reusable bags in different sizes

And this:

If NYState’s signing up amphibian migration volunteers can spring be so far away…??

Our best,


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Friday, January 17, 2020 

Dear UESiders,

Still on revelling in vacay time, but you should know:

Saturday, January 25th:  The Brooklyn Casssoulet Cook-Off

Biba of WWilliamsburg, 110 Kent Street, Brooklyn 1-4pm

Who knew there’re 10 styles of cassoulet??  Now we do and they’ll all be on offer and prepared by an impressive roster of chefs!!  $55.  For tickets and more

Sunday, January 26th:  92nd Street Y E-Waste Recycling Event 

Lexington Avenue between 91st  92nd Street, 10am-4pm

Amazing how infrequently one sees e-waste just abandoned on UES streets…  That’s thanks to inherent greenness and events like this… Collected will be computers, monitors, printers/scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, phones and cellphones, AV equipment, PDAs and more!!  For the full iist…  (And do keep in mind, Best Buy 86th is our always available UES drop-off point!)  


The Times weighs in on NYC’s most recent real estate boom

This while Isaacs/Holmes residents seem to have extracted some maintenance concessions from NYCHA powers-that-be

Visiting cruise ships and NYC air

If you believe disabled workers should be paid a full – not partial – wage

Twenty Sanford White buildings still gracing NYC

The lowdown on one of our favorite birds, the adorable, tiny (and endangered) northern rockhopper penguin...

Our best,


Friday, January 10, 2020

Dear UESiders,

Another time-sensitive newsflash while we vacay:

*Word’s been ricocheting round that the powers-that-be intend to close down NYC compost pioneer Lower East Side Ecology Center’s processing site in East River Park way before a long established date!!  We quote: 

Each week, more than 3,500 households depend on LES Ecology Center’s compost program, which began on the Lower East Side in 1990. We offer ten drop-off sites for food scraps, prevent hundreds of tons of organic material from entering landfill, and introduce countless New Yorkers to the benefits of composting. LES Ecology Center collects and composts these scraps locally in the East River Park and distributes finished compost to local community gardens, schools, and block associations caring for street trees and open green open space.

Now, the City is seeking a construction contract to destroy the East River Compost Yard earlier than anticipated. Not only will this cut many New Yorkers off from composting and effectively kill LESEC’s community compost program, but it’s also a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars. The plan is moving ahead without community input and was not even announced in recent community board meetings.

If you support composting, please let the City know how you feel. We demand that the compost yard stay operational until the 2023 reconstruction for this part of the Park actually starts. We also demand that the City engage with the LES Ecology Center to finish the design for the renovated compost yard as part of the ESCR reconstruction.

Yes and of course, those responsible for this green-negative notion – the mayor,  Parks Commissioner Silver,  Design & Construction Commissioner Grillo and area Council Member Carlina Rivera – need to be buried under protesting emails and petition signatures.

Emails don’t have to be ornate.  A simple “As a dedicated NYC composter, I strongly object to the untimely closing of the LESEC’s East River Compost Yard” will suffice.

Let ’em feel We The People’s will!!

Our best,


Friday, January 3, 2020

Dear UESiders,

A micro-mini edition to convey:

*A newsflash from Uber Market Manager Margaret:  “1857 Vodka will be dropping in at 82nd this Saturday and do these folks ever make incredible potato Vodka!  Check ’em out: and stop by for a sample!!

*Margaret adds:  “The 2019 Greenmarket Winter Warrior Program launches this week!!  Just collect a card at the market info tent, get it punched every winter Saturday and you’ll not only earn market loyalty bragging rights but a fun mystery prize!! 

Meanwhile, let us not forget:

*Mulchfest continues!!  Yes, we have another 6 days – till January 9th – to get that tree up to Schurz Park at 86th & East End for chipping and – if you drop off Saturdays, 10am-2pm  – a thank-you bag of mulch for your own gardening efforts!!  But whether chipped or out for street collection, please do remove lights, decorations, tinsel and stand!!  Let’s make mincemeat of  last year’s 28,000-tree record, people!! 

*Last but hardly least…  Replaced those vintage Christmas tree lights with ultra greener LEDs?  Recycle the oldsters by sending them off to the Christmas Light Source, 31 Elmwood Drive, Benbrook, Texas 76116!!

Happiest new year and decade!!

Our best,


*(Scroll down one entry further for Friday, December 20th)*

Saturday, December 14th

Dear UESiders,

Yes, it’s another mini-edition and brought on by looming holidays, of course.

Therefore and in brief: 

Saturday, December 14th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

On hand and with tables laden with both holiday treats and necessities will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone,  SunFed Beef, Ballard’s Honey,  Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

Yes, our very own Master Knife Sharpener will be on hand, too!!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Nolasco Farm’s table…  Beautiful stuff and complimenting our other great farmers’ wonderful produce!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  102 lbs. batteries;  13 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  1 pair of eyeglasses;  1 mascara wand; 20 compost bins; 43 bags of clothes

20 bins!!  Yet another incredible record-breaking compost Saturday!!

Brief but we’re not skipping the week‘s good news:

*Tin Pan Alley’s been landmarked at freaking last!!  (Good on you, 29th St. Neighborhood Association!!) 

*Climate Activist Extraordinaire (and all of 16-years young) Greta Thunberg is Time‘s Person of the Year!

Our best,


Eco Fact of the Week:  Chicago’s totally tragic recycling rate’s 9%!!
2019 Recycling at 82nd (from 1/5/19):  3309 lbs batteries;  856 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  204 pairs of eye glasses;  15 make-up wands;  6 thermometers;   24 Nespresso pods:  651 1/2 compost bins;  1999 bags of clothes;  26,469 lbs of paper
2018 TOTALS 82nd STREET – 16,085 COMPOSTERS; 102,374 POUNDS  (51.2 TONS)

2019 Recycling at 92nd (from 6/23/19):  169 lbs batteries;  163 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  9 pairs eye glasses;  1 make-up wand;  67 1/2 compost bins;   5,600 lbs. of paper
10/26 – TBA  11/3 – TBA  11/10 – TBA   11/17 – TBA    11/24 – TBA  

2018 TOTAL 92nd STREET – 2,561 COMPOSTERS; 15,821 POUNDS (7.9 TONS)

2019 Compost collected at Lenox Hill, 70th & First (from 1/8/19):   11/5 – 12/10 – TBA  
2018 TOTALS:  3,432 COMPOSTERS;  16,292 POUNDS  (8.11 TONS)      

2019 Compost collected at 96th & Lex (from 1/9/19):    11/6 – 12/11  TBA
2018 TOTALS:  4,316 COMPOSTERS;   23,231 POUNDS  (11.65 TONS) 

Eco Tip of the Week:  Recycle old/uneeded keys in your building’s metal/glassplastic bin!!


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Happy Holidays, UESiders!!

The busiest holiday season ever, we’re thinking!!

Therefore, let us get down on the chockful days/weeks ahead:

Friday, December 20th:  Christmas with the Strads

Metropolitan Museum, Grace Rainey Auditorium, 1000 FIfth Avenue, 7pm

And we quote, “The Handel+Haydn Society returns to The Met for a special holiday concert featuring festive music by Vivaldi, Charpentier, Biber, Telemann, and others. For this very special occasion, The Met will bring out its famous Stradivarius, “The Gould” Violin, to let it sing once again in the hands of the virtuoso Baroque violinist Aisslinn Nosky of The Handel+Haydn Society.”  Adults, $75.  Children, $1.  For more and tickets

Friday, December 20th:  Comfort Ye… 25th Annual Concert to Benefit the Homeless

St Paul and St Andrews United Methodist Church, 86th Street & Amsterdam Avenue, 8pm

Acclaimed soprano Lauren Flanigan and friends from the Metropolitan Opera perform  to raise goods and awareness for New York’s homeless.  All proceeds from the concert will directly benefit The West Side Campaign Against Hunger Food Pantry.  Admission to the event is either a used clean overcoat OR a warm clean blanket OR a new unwrapped toy suitable for a child under 12 OR purchase of a $40 ticket. For tickets and more…  (Thanks to reader Susan Blackwell for the tip!!)

Saturday, December 21st:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At tables laden with holiday food wishes will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone,  SunFed Beef, Ballard’s Honey,  Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, Valley Shepherd, Hawthorne Valley, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

But, no, given yet another nippy weather prediction, no Master Knife Sharpener this Saturday…  She’s – and aren’t we all – hoping to be back with us next Saturday!! 

Uber Market Manager Ciana adds:  “Of course, we’ll be having a special, holiday-inspired demo!!  Plus, do check out our collection of truly great recipes!!”

(We second and triple that!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  72 lbs. batteries;  20 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  4 pairs of eye glasses;  1 mascara wand;   TBA compost bins;  47 bags of clothes

(Arrived late at the Market after the compost truck had departed, so the question looms:  Did we have another 18 bin week??)

Thursday, December 26th to Saturday, January 11th:  Mulchfest/Chipping Saturday/Time to Say Firwell

Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street & East End

Two choices this post-holiday…  Drop off your tree – clean of lights and all decorations –  any old time OR bring that tree to either of the two Chipping Saturdays – January 4th or 11th – from 10am to 2pm and go home with your very own bag of mulch!!  We recycled 28,000 trees last year…  Let’s break that record!!   

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020:  First Day Hike

All Over New York State

What better way to welcome a new year and decade than being in nature!!  There’ll be some 60 destinations on offer, each offering a special experience!!  Check ’em out!!

Tuesday, January 7th:  The Every Other Tuesday Knitting Group Resumes

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1480 York Avenue between 78th & 79th, 2-4pm

It’s 2020 and UES crafters will be back exchanging points-of-view, along with knitting/crocheting/needlework tips!! As ever, all genders, ages and skill levels are welcome!!  (That means you, too, guys!!)  Just RSVP

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, January 17th, 18th & 19th:  10th Annual Knitting Live by Vogue Knitting

New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway

A marketplace withn unbelievable array of fantastic yarns from around world…  Classes on every conceivable knitting technique and conducted by experts…  Lectures…  Cocktail parties…  Check it out!!

Saturday, January 18th:  Subway Art Tour Two

Meeting place revealed with reservation, 1pm

Second in the series with veteran tour guide Phil Desiere leading a journey from 14th Street south into Brooklyn and back to Astor Place…  With commentary and time to savor the art at each of the 10 stops!!  Organized by the Municipal Art Society.  Members, $20.  Non-members, $30.  For more and tickets…

Thursday, January 16th:  Treasures in Trash Tour  

Manhattan 11 Sanitation Garage, 343 East 99th Street, Group 1 – 1-2pm, Group 2 – 2:15-3:15pm 

And we quote:  “More than three decades ago, one sanitation worker named Nelson Molina started searching for treasures among the trash.  Now a collection numbering more than 40,000 objects and ephemera, the Treasures in the Trash collection includes everything from cherished century-old family portraits and autographed baseballs to chipped Pez dispensers and an army of Furbies…”  Organized by the Municipal Art Society and for members only.  $15.  For more and to join… 

Friday, February 21st:  Inka Road Food Fiesta

National Museum of the Aemrican Indian, 1 Bowling Green, 6:30-8:30pm

Again we quote: “Explore the foods found in communities that live along the Inka Road of South America.  Freddie Bitsoi, executive chef of the Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe, and other guest chefs will share the stories and food traditions that sustained – and continue to support – the diverse people of the intricate road system.”  There’ll be Andean music and a tour of the museum’s “Great Inka Road” exhibition, too!!  Not up on the site yet, but keep an eye on the Museum’s event page!!

Sunday, March 1st:  The NYS Plastic Waste Reduction Law Takes Effect!!

All over NYS

Going to be a beautiful, brave new world of bring your own bag!!    For details

Some activism as the year and decade end…

Now that they’ve got Tin Pan Alley landmarked, the 29th Street Association’s moved on to saving Ithe beautiful Demarest Building

Yes, and one more time, if you oppose the Williams Pipeline running across our harbor

Or should you be against a pipeline crossing the Appalachian Trail

Goldman Sachs just became the first US bank to rule out financing for Arctic oil drilling, thermal coal mines, and coal-fired power projects worldwide!!  So, how about adding the likes of JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Bank of American and Citi to that green circle… 

If you’d like our national parks to remain free of  food trucks, coffee shops and the like

Then there’s plain old miscellany:

Tree and menorah lightings across NYC

And another 32 free things to do in NYC today…  (With thanks to 1,000+ Friends for both tips!!) 

The world’s oldest forest’s in NYS…!!   (Are those ancient tree roots chatting?  If so, what’re they talking about?)

old forest

Researching That Ancient Forest’s Remnants…

What the great EsplanadeFriends has and intends to achieve in the coming year and beyond… 

The Straphangers Campaign weighs in on our city’s Transportation best and worst

For the moment, EPA moves to delay rules on methane emissions from landfills have hit a judicial wall… 

CVS’s getting their wrists slapped bigtime for failing to redeem bottle and can deposits in California

Those rumors of a whole-scale end to curbside recycling in the U.S.?  Yes, some, but pretty small given the number of programs countrywide… 

New Jersey’s in the process of passing an organics diversion bill

Further on the subject of organics, GrowNYC Recycling has a bunch of  great volunteer opportunities…  

Further on why landfill is an ever-diminishing option

Reason #8,697 why we live in NYC:   We’ve still got typewriter stores

NYS snowmobile safety courses

And tentless backpacking

The Times on our holiday lights

Top 10 books checked out of the NY Public Library in all 5 boroughs…

What the Historic Districts Council’s been up to in 2019

The right way to recycle our cardboard boxes

Reining in bass poachers…  An eagle rescue…  Our NYS Conservation officers are ever busy…

DNA in ancient chewing gum

Eco-inspired restoration of Scottish bogs

In the totally off the reservation file:

So, sure, Andrew Carnegie gave us many a library and Carnegie Hall, but the Carnegie Hero Fund, too…??  Wow.

For those unfamiliar with the classic British doc series that began with 1964’s “Seven Up!” and continued with 7-year installments thereafter…  Do yourself the favor of getting familiar…   Commencing with the Sunday Times‘ article…   Then watch the films on Netflix!!

Time for some critters:

A baby groundhog saved

baby ground hog

That Baby Groundhog

(BTW, the hospital caring for this little guy is where our recycled mascara wands go!)

Otters that can smell under water

Bird boarding and the NYC shortage thereof 

Decoding NYS animal tracks

What we’ve always want to know about bobcats

Nope, we’re not forgetting the Hudson River Almanac:

12/12 – Manhattan:  With winter nigh, our sampling was now down to once-a-week as we checked our research gear in Hudson River Park aboard the steamship Lilac, moored at Pier 25. We were met with the usual invertebrate suspects: mud crabs, isopods, amphipods, and shore shrimp. But, not so usual were the sand shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa). The delight of the catch however, was our third spotted hake (Urophycis regia) of the season, a young-of-year  (60 mm). – Toland Kister, Melissa Rex

And the Fish of Week is:

2/9 – Hudson River Watershed: Fish-of-the-Week for Week 51 is the tessellated darter (Etheostoma oldstedi), number 162 (of 230) on our watershed list of fishes. 

Tesselated Darter

A Tessellated Darter

The tessellated darter is a freshwater perch (Percidae) one of eight members of that family in the watershed. Among others are yellow perch and walleye. Of the eight, three are native species, including the yellow perch, northern logperch, and the tessellated darter.

Darters draw their common name from their hunting strategy. They lie motionless on the sandy river bottom they prefer. Being perfectly camouflaged – pale yellow-to-green with dark X’s and Y’s – nearly invisible, propped on their pelvic fins, they await prey such as insects (especially mosquito larvae), small fishes, amphipods, and shrimp. Then, in a blur, they dart out capturing their target. Tessellated darters are short (no more than 90 mm-long) and nearly terete in cross-section. 
– Tom Lake

And with that…

May your holidays be absolutely the most warm, wonderful and green!!

Until 2020,












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