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Happy President’s Day, UESiders!!

Another 3-day weekend!  

And mighty fine days thereafter:

Friday, February 17th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pasmino illuminates the astronomy in the saying “March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb” and identifies the bright stars of spring!  Free and always fabulous.

Saturday, February 11th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

Back at their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

NEWS FLASH and coming up March 25th:  With us will be GrowNYC’s Regional Grain project!!

Hard to believe that not so long ago, near to no grains were grown in our state.  Then GrowNYC stepped in and – come 3/25 –  we’ll be treated to the fruit of the NYS grain-growing renaissance they’ve created…  From pasta to beer to crackers to spirits and more!  (And, of course, the fabulous Greenmarket baked goods we enjoy every week are all made with the NYS grain!)  Yet another special event devised by uber Market Manager Margaret who’s always making our markets that much better!

Last week’s recycling totals:  73 lbs. batteries; 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 10 compost bins; 27 bags of clothes.

Excellent for a miserably cold day!!  

Saturday, February 18th & Sunday, February 19th:  NYS Free Fishing Weekend

Statewide

Been longing to get your–  Let’s say…  Hands wet and experience the joys of angling?  Here’s your chance – especially if your focus is ice fishing – and it’s totally free!!  For more, including info/advice for beginners…   

Saturday, February 18th & Sunday, February 26th:  “Saving Jamaica Bay” Documentary

Saturday – Channel 13, 1pm & Sunday – WLIW Channel 21, 9pm

How one relentless NY community is overcoming the one-two-three punch of years of pollution, Hurricane Sandy and enduring government inertia!  You go, Jamaica Bay people!!  (To see the trailer…)

Coming up fast:

Tuesday, February 28th:  “In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront” Talk

Reidy Hall, Unitarian Church of All Souls,1175 Lexington Avenue between 79th & 80th, 7pm

When avid birder Heather Wolf moved from Florida to NYC, she wondered how many feather friends she might find in nearby Brooklyn Bridge.  And the answer was…?  A lot!!  So many she wrote a book about her experience and the enjoyment she’s had.   Free. 

Friday, March 10th:  Preserving the Mighty Oak Forum

Ross Lecture Hall, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 8:30am-1:30pm

Four reigning experts weigh on how to meet the challenge of the increasing number of invasive pests and diseases now threatening a tree that’s central to our northeast landscape/environment and national iconography.  NYBG members, $30. Non-members, $35.  For more and tickets… 

Saturday, March 11th:  Shred-A-Thon –  Ides of March Edition

82nd Street/St. Stephen Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First &  York, 10am-2pm (rain or shine) 

Better start sorting!!

Just keep in mind:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Donate those hardcovers at Goodwill or Housing Works.)

As ever, we thank Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their many years of generous Shred-A-Thon grants and Assembly Member Seawright for sponsoring the event!

Sundays through March 13th:  Winter Seals & Water Birds Eco Cruises

Pier 16, South Street Seaport, 12-2pm

Amazing the wildlife that calls our city home during the snowy months…  Common and red-throated loons, horned grebes, bufflehead and red-breasted mergansers, greater scaup. cormorants , long-tailed ducks and harbor seals to name but a few!  Hot chocolate included!!  Adults, $35.  Children, $25.  (NYC Audubon members get a $5 discount!)  For more and tickets

Out there:

Wednesdays, April 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th:  Historic Districts Council’s Spring Preservation School

Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, 6pm

Think  Preservation 101…  From land use to architectural styles to reading architectural renderings to waging a preservation campaign and beyond!  Choose 1 session or all 4!!   $15 per class or $50 for all 4.  For more and to sign up… 

On to the miscellaneous, bad foot first:

In the Are-They-Kidding/What’s-Wrong-With-Us Department:  Bad enough that Frederick Law Olmsted’s Staten Island home is crumbling, BUT the original Erasmus Hall – construction largely funded by Alexander Hamilton – is also falling apart!!  

Neutral ground:

giant cement plant’s coming to Queens

And here’s what going up catty-corner from Bloomingdale’s on Third

Smiling now:

NYS DEC’s just updated the design of their Trail Supporter Patch:

patchblue200

Recognition for those who donate $5 to the fund devoted to maintaining, enhancing and expanding our hiking, biking and horseback trails.  And what trails might there be in NYC, you ask?  Some of the state’s most highly recommended!  As in Staten Island’s Clay Pit Ponds State Park and Saint Francis Woodland, New York Botanical Gardens and Central Park!   

Circa 1850 Brooklyn cheese aging caves

A giant tunnel borer buried under Park Avenue

Critter time:

Have to say some pre-2016 “predator control”/trophy hunting practices once allowed in Alaskan wildlife refuges were pretty grotesque… Like shooting pups and cubs while they’re still so young they’re in their birthing dens. Should you think new, more humane regulations should be maintained

Meanwhile and no surprise, the new administration’s postponed endangered designation for bees…  

This beautiful barred owl was spotted in Harlem last week:

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

An airport animal control manager that’s a…  Dog!!

A kitty with titanium implants

Don’t miss PBS’s great “Spy in the Wild”!! 

Okay, mea culpa that February 9th was Alligators in Sewers Day and we missed it…  A goodly number of our sister/fellow New Yorkers not only did not, but competed in a AISD/NYC trivia contest, received their own rubber alliga–  Well, you read!!    

We close with a bit of youthful poetry from the Hudson River Almanac:

2/1 – Putnam County, HRM 52:

– On a Mountain Top
On a mountain top the flowers are sleeping and the snow is falling.
The snowflakes are coming and this means winter is coming to us.
The winds are calm and the cocoa is ready in the cabin.
The deer are going home; the squirrels are sleeping.
And we are waking on a mountain top.
     – Thea Nazario, 3rd Grade, Lakeview Elementary, Mahopac

Our best,

UGS

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Happy Valentine’s Day and International Day of Women & Girls in Science, UESiders!!

Love and science…  What a combo!!

Let there only be more!!

As for the busy week ahead:

Saturday, February 11th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will the amazingly frost-resistant  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

Last week’s recycling totals:  67 lbs. batteries; 16 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 9 compost bins; 28 bags of clothes.

Just shows how far we’ve come…  9 bins now feels kind of puny and sad.  

As we resume our 11 bin groove…!  

Saturday, February 11th:  6th Annual Central Park Ice Festival!

Naumburg Bandshell, mid-Park from 66th to 72nd Streets, 3-7pm

11-inches of snow?  Consider ourselves prepared to relish an afternoon of ice-sculpting with chain saws, molding your own miniature version of a CP classic sculpture, CP trivia, the festival’s signature Silent Disco and food truck treats from Wafels & Dinges, Crepe Crave, Uncle Gussy Greek and the Don Cafe!  Free!!  For more and to RSVP...

Sunday, February 12th:  Second Avenue Winter DayLife 

LowLine Lab, 140 Esssex Street between Rivington & Stanton Streets, 11am-4pm

Pickle dogs?  Pizza balls?  Portobello subs?  All that and more from food meccas of the great Essex Street Market and served up in the miraculous LowLine Lab underground garden!   Free!  For more

Mondays, February 13th to April 17th at the Webster Library Branch (11am-3pm) & Fridays, February 10th to April 14th at the 67th Street Library Branch (10am-2pm):   FREE AARP Tax Preparation!

Webster Branch, 1465 York Avenue at 78th Street / 67th Street Branch, 328 East 67th Street

AARP volunteers – certified by the IRS –  prepare all returns at zero cost to you for preparation or electronic filing! Do make sure you bring all necessary docs (W-2s, 1099s, support for expenses and deductions).  First come, first served.  And, yes, that right…  100% free!

Thursday, February 16th: How Do We Keep Ourselves from Freezing and Keep the Planet from Burning Forum

Patagonia Soho,  72 Greene Street, 6-8:30pm

Arjun Makhijani, Project Scientist at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, fills us in how we can make “Residential Heating and Cooling Climate-Friendly in New York State.”  Couldn’t be more timely as Governor Cuomo just announced a proposed $15M rebate program for renewable heating and cooling.  Organized by Alliance for a Green Economy.  Free!

Sunday, February 19th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

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

Yes, you can celebrate the birthday of our Nation’s First President as New Yorkers did in the 19th Century! Costumed dancers perform and teach traditional country dances.  Festivities include toasts to the great Washington and historic refreshments, including Washington Cake!  Museum tour and family-friendly scavenger hunt are also included.  Members and kids under 12, $10.  Non-members, $15 Adults.  Reservations required  or call the Museum:  212-838-6878.
Then:

Saturday, February 25th:  Practice ACT, SAT & SHSAT Tests

67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street 

Think test run…  After which you learn your teen’s strengths and weaknesses so they can be addressed for max performance on the real thing!   Free.  For more and/or to register:  info@praxistutors.com.

Thursday, March 2nd to Wednesday, March 8th:  10th Annual NY ReelAbilities Film Festival

Numerous Venues and Various Times

And we quote:  “The ReelAbilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities.”  Just right after Oscar Season. Check out the great line-up!  

Yes, you’ve been waiting:

Saturday, March 12th:  Shred-A-Thon –  Ides of March Edition

82nd Street/St. Stephen Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First &  York, 10am-2pm

RAIN OR SHINE!!

Will we or will we not fill the shredding truck to the brim again?  (The Shredding Force seems to be with us!) 

Will we average more than a Shredee every 30 seconds?  (Smart money’s says we will!!)

Just remember:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Donate your hardcovers at Goodwill or Housing Works.)

As always our thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their many years of generous Shred-A-Thon grants and Assembly Member Seawright for sponsoring the event!

Mark those calendars:

Saturday, April 8th:  Randall’s Island Spring Waterway Cleanup

10am-12pm

Sponsored by outdoor brands United by Blue and REI (their efforts resulted  in 177 cleanups and removal of 995,291 pounds of trash in 2016), here’s yet another brilliant volunteer opportunity as we prepare our UES for spring/summer enjoyment!!  All cleanup supplies provided!  Volunteers eligible to win United By Blue prizes! More details to follow…

Saturday, April 29th: People’s Climate March

All Across the Nation and NYC

As has always been the case, it falls to Americans to stand tall for the integrity of our land, air, water and the people living on Mother Earth.  Stay tuned…

Pinus Ponderosa

Pinus Ponderosa

Miscellany, a contentious item first:

As in the debate concerning the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims located at Fifth and 103rd

Happier now:

Tip of the hat to IKEA for its reusable flat-pack refugee housing

Good on Target, too, for phasing out personal care products containing poisons like formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates and more.    (If you think personal care product giant Unilever should do the same…)   (And time to start reading labels, if you aren’t already!) 

More like a mini-nod to Starbucks for pledging to serve up poultry free of “routinely used antibiotics” by 2020… 

Need updated posters/info materials for your recycling area

Check out this 248-year old NYBG daisy plant… 

Sigh…  Oak wilt’s spreading in our city and it’s amazing/shocking how it spreads

Oh, yeah, it’s hardy, but ivy around trees

A kelp forest off the British Columbia coast

A kelp forest off the British Columbia coast

Yes, animals:

Indeed, squids do have their own language… 

The latest great American zoo rivalry?  Which can tweet the cutest animal pix!  (NYC’s doing well!)

kitten and bubble gum

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/20 – Atlantic Ocean: A year ago today we received our final satellite transmission indicating the whereabouts of the gray seal rescued from the Hudson River in Saratoga County, 175 miles from the sea, by the Riverhead Foundation on December 4, 2015. This was possibly only the second gray seal ever recorded for the Hudson. The seal had become marooned above the federal dam in Troy, trapped at Lock One of the Hudson-Champlain Canal in Half Moon. Named “Charlie” by the Riverhead Foundation, it was rehabilitated, fitted with a tag (150975) and satellite transmitter, and released on December 10 at Ponquogue Beach, Hampton Bays, Long Island.

Over the next 41 days Charlie, monitored by satellite, traveled northeast past Block Island, then north into Narragansett Bay, past Newport, Rhode Island, through the Cape Cod Canal into Cape Cod Bay where he spent three weeks. He then left Cape Cod Bay and moved south past Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket Island, and into the open sea. Our final transmission occurred on January 20, 2016, indicating that Charlie was moving toward Little Gull Island in Block Island Sound, a place where gray seals are known to congregate in winter. At that point, it was thought that the battery on his transmitter had failed.

This was another wonderful example of the connectivity between the Hudson River and the greater western Atlantic Ocean. – Tom Lake.

1/25 – Brooklyn: I spotted six tundra swans flying northeast to southwest over Brooklyn today. Keep your eyes open for them. –  Shane Blodgett

[Tundra swans are often called “America’s native swan.” Their common name refers to their summer nesting range north of Hudson Bay in the Arctic tundra. They can usually be heard calling long before they are seen, which leads to another frequently used colloquial name, “whistling swan.” David Sibley remarks that distant flocks sound like “baying hounds.” Tundra swans are occasional visitors to the Hudson Valley during spring and fall migrations. Tom Lake.]

A warm and fuzzy adieu on a snowy afternoon… 

Yours in greenness,

UGS

 

 

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Happy National Green Juice and Peanut Brittle Day, UESiders!

But most of all a Happy (Chinese) New Year of the Rooster!!

Let’s start the 2017 round of newsletters with a particularly beautiful NYC initiative:  The Breast Milk Bank… Especially beneficial for pre-term babies…  Spread the word!

Add some great NYC-area news:  Off-shore wind power’s coming to Long Island!  

Then mix with some Upper East Side positivity:  Another stumbling block for the proposed and vehemently opposed 850-foot 58th Street skyscraper

Breathe deeply.

On to the fine week ahead:

Saturday, January 28th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

On hand will be our full winter-season crew:  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

Do check out Gajeski’s tiny, delicious pea shoots and Valley Duck’s amazing duck breast!!

Recycling totals 1/7, 1/14 & 1/21/17 – 52, 74 & 46 lbs. batteries; 10, 11 & 28 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  1/14 –   2 pairs eye glasses;  1/7, 1/14 & 1/21 – 10, 11 & 9 compost bins; 1/7, 1/14 & 1/21 – 25, 31 & 27 bags of clothes.

One great way to kick off  ’17:  A NEW RECORD – 11 COMPOST BINS!!  

Saturday, January 29th:  Central Park Winter Jam

Bandshell Area (enter at 72nd Street), 11am-3pm

Arctic golf…  Ice bowling…  A sleeping bag stuffing competition… Frost-friendly music… A dozen more fun/quirky winter events for all ages…  There’s even a warming tent!!  Totally free, people!   For full details

Sunday, January 29th:  Real/Fake Science – An Inter-Active Experiment Salon

63 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, 7:30-10:00pm

Six maybe/maybe-not  scientists test attendees’ ability to discern real scientific fact from baloney!!  Got to be so fun!!  $30.  For more and tickets

Sunday, February 4th:  18th Annual Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

At Grand & Forsythe Streets in Sara Delano Roosevelt Park, 12pm-4:30pm

Steep yourselves in the fun, food and all-around culture in Manhattan’s our own, great  Chinatown!!   Free for one and all!!  For the total rundown… 

On the horizon:

Sunday, February 12th:  Second Avenue Winter DayLife 

LowLine Lab, 140 Esssex Street between Rivington & Stanton Streets, 11am-4pm

Pickle dogs?  Pizza balls?  Portobello subs?  All that and more from food meccas of the great Essex Street Market and served up in the miraculous LowLine Lab underground garden!   Free!  For more

Friday, February 24th:  Modern Art Foundry Tour

Steinway Mansion Carriage House, 18-33 41st Street, Astoria, 12:30pm 

Three generations of the Spring Family have cast works as diverse as Central Park’s Alice in Wonderland and this year’s Breeder’s Cup!  They’ll even be pouring molten bronze during the tour!! Organized by Unmapped Cities.  $35.  For more and tickets… 

Plenty of miscellany, bad foot first:

Albeit not yet approved by either the NYC Landmarks or Community Board 8’s Landmarks Committee, somehow second-rate crafts store Michael’s is angling to be next tenant in the drop-dead beautiful Gustavino-tiled space under the 59th Street Bridge (site of the erstwhile Food Emporium and in lieu of the neighbor’s deeply felt wish for a Trader Joe’s).  The chain might even be permitted to install visible ductwork and otherwise tinker with the irreplaceable tile because… You guessed it…  While the bridge itself is landmarked, the interior space is not!!   Stay tuned…

Have to say we were surprised that the condition of our UES streets rank among the city’s worst

No surprise, there’s going to be concerted pressure to do lots of drilling on public lands…  With World Heritage Site Chaco Canyon – even pre-Trump – in the cross hairs.  (Should you object…)  

Could there possibly be an excuse for lead paint still posing a threat to the health/development of American children in 2017…??!!  (If you think this problem should be addressed…)

Of course, we’re not alone in our garbage dump misery…  A sorry state shared with a North Brooklyn neighborhood

And now there’s a Frankenstein GMO grass 

50/50:

A pair of Staten Islanders were caught falsifying docs that gasoline-contaminated soil had been fully remediated…   When it wasn’t…  And still isn’t.

Sun shining now:

Huge tip of the hat to Florida for its November defeat of a ballot initiative seeking to make it harder and more expensive to switch to rooftop solar power! 

Same to this Harlem tenement restoration/conversion to modern affordable housing…  Complete with architectural detail!  (Hello, NYCHA!!)

Ditto for the Central Park Conservancy for joining forces with Best Buddies International and adding New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities to its staff !!

And good on Walmart for ramping up its “How2Recycle” label…  

And great there’s increasing use of geo-location to confirm that electronics recycling firms deserve their eSteward designations

Excellent history of the hundred-year Second Avenue Subway saga…  

What’s Ron Gonen (the brilliant young guy who brought total plastic recycling and compost collection to NYC) been up to since he departed Sanitation?

No kidding, NYState isn’t in the streamline mode when it comes to its infrastructure projects

Still in the transport mode, herewith 5 possible routes for one-seat public transport to JFK

History and movement in another form…  As in centuries of amazing NYC records – stuff it’s hard to believe still exists – headed to new homes here and in Albany for restoration, digitization and continuing care

The Lower East Side Ecology Center has two positions open:  Project Manager and Organics Recovery Coordinator!

Ten ways to be greener when we fly

The science of holiday scent(including potato latkes)...

Neglected  but still standing (unlike our Penn Station!) and with prospects, check out Buffalo’s once-upon-a-time train station…  (In the Americans-Need-Their-Heads-Examined Department:  Rather than rehab this deco jewel, another station was built…?)  

Micro breweries are SO 2016…  Especially now that NYC has its first and very own meadery!

The science of snowflakes

Ten of the quietest places on our earth

The best gear for our outdoor adventures

NYState summer camps for 11 to 17-year olds

That stalwart NYC street tree, the London Plane

So what’s the big deal about the cinchona tree?  (Hint:  Where malaria and gin and tonic cross paths!)

Yet another installment in the Hidden NYC Story

Not so hidden?  That 2 shots in “The Seven-Year Itch” were filmed outside 164 East 61st Street!

NYC’s first restaurant

Stepping off the reservation:

Best decor colors for your astrological sign

Up at Mount Sinai, they’re making 3D copies of New Yorkers skulls!  (All to the good!!)

Humphrey Bogart, chess aficionado…?!  (Woody Harrelson, too!!??)  (Continue scrolling down for NYC’s oldest water tank!) 

Critter time:

No kidding, you don’t have look like an animal to be one

Yes, cats get the flu and they’ve been coming down with bad cases of it here in NYC!!

And, of course, there’s a (sort of) cat encyclopedia

Who knew some blue jays reside year round in NYC…? 

Or that there were rescue (from hoarding!) ducks…?

Really?  Moths vs. bats…!

And from the great Hudson River Almanac:

12/28 – Manhattan:  At a midday low tide, we went to check our fish traps for the last time in 2016 at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park.  As has been the case lately, all four crab pots were empty, but our killifish traps yielded isopods, colonial tunicates, a few sand and shore shrimp, a mud crab and one long-clawed hermit crab.  Though sea squirts were still present on many of our traps, we’re beginning to see them fall off as a result of dropping temperatures.  Our most exciting finds of the day were skilletfish and a rock gunnel! – Nina Zain, Melissa Rex  

(Rock gunnels are small (usually less than 300mm long), slender fish of northern waters, often mistaken for eels, but actually related to tropical blennies.  Their scientific name Pholis refers to “one who lurks in a dark place”.  Rock gunnels have an adaptation that allows them to briefly remain in sheltered and wet intertidal habitats above the tide line and breathe atmospheric oxygen.  – Tom Lake)

12/31 – Beacon – Yesterday I found a first-year Iceland gull on the Beacon waterfront.  Late this afternoon, among many other gulls, I spotted two first-year Iceland gulls. – Curt McDermott

(In the 23 years of the Hudson River Almanac, we have recorded 14 species of gulls in the watershed along the tidewater Hudson, the Mohawk River and adjacent uplands:  Bonaparte’s gull, Franklin’s gull, glaucous gull, greater black-back gull, herring gull, Iceland gull, ivory gull, laughing gull, lesser black-backed gull, little gull, greater black-backed gull, herring gull, Iceland gull, ivory gull, laughing gull, lesser black-backed gull, little gull, mew gull, ring-billed gull and slaty-backed gull. – Tom Lake)

WOW! 

1/13 – Manhattan:  We went to check our gear midday at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25.  As has been the case recently, we caught no fish in our pots and traps.  However we did catch four grass shrimp, eight sand shrimp, two small mud crabs, isopods and amphipods.  – Jackie Wu, Melissa Rex

(Students are often surprised to hear that there are shrimp in the Hudson River.  Shore shrimp and sand shrimp are small, usually not more than 40 millimeters long, but are real shrimp.  While larger commercial shrimp are rarely found in the estuary, we did catch one in our seine on September 19, 2000 at Englewood, N.J. This was a brown shrimp (Pennaeus aztecus), a true commercial ocean shrimp and identified by state ichthyologist Bob Daniels.  While this one measured only 80 millimeters, they can grow up to 230 millimeters. Tom Lake)  

red fox

The World’s Most Successful Carnivore – The Red Fox

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

 

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Happy Countdown To Christmas, UESiders!!

Yup, we’re going to be brief…

Herewith, the week:

Friday, December 16th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pasmino discusses the way the moon moves about in our sky as she – the moon, in Mr. Pazmino’s parlance! – orbits the Earth and figures in world culture!  Free and wonderful.

Saturday, December 17th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be our full winter line-up…  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

PLUS…   Barring snow falling or drenching rain, 11am-1pm, old friends The Opera Collective will be joining us for caroling as only they can!! 

AND… Even if the weather’s most foul, you can drop off those dull knives of yours – along with your phone number and address – with Market Manager Guramrit!  The Master Knife Sharpener will swoop down as the market closes, take them home for honing and deliver to your residence on Monday!

Last week’s recycling totals:  66 lbs. batteries; 17 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 31 bags of clothes.

Yet again!!  10 bins!!  

Thursday, December 22 & Wednesday, December 28th:  Park Avenue Armory Holiday Tour

643 Park Avenue & 67th Street, 10am

A beautiful building as its loveliest in festive mode…  Get over there!!  For more and tickets… 

As the New Year begins:

Saturday, January 7th & Sunday, January 8th:  MULCHFEST!!

Schurz Park, 86th Street & East End Avenue, 10am-2pm

Sure, Sanitation picks up trees curbside, but…  Remove lights (all of ’em), ornaments and netting, get that tree up to the Schurz Park tree chipping site and go home with a bag of mulch that your block’s street trees will love!!

Thursday, January 12th: Climate-Adaptive Design – Creating Resilient Waterfronts Webinar

On Your Computer Screen, 10:30am-12pm

And isn’t this a concern a community like ours, bounded by a flood-inclined estuary/river?  Learn from experts from the CAD Studio (a partnership between Cornell Landscape Architecture, Cornell Water Resources Institute, and the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program) in the comfort of your own home!  For more and how to participate/tune in…  (Think our Sanitation Department’s availed itself of CAD’s wisdom?)

Thursday, January 12th & the Second Thursday of Every Month:  Monthly Land Use Clinic 

CM Kallos’ Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 5-6pm

The ins and outs of Landmark and Historic District creation…  How the Landmarks Commission, the Department of Buildings, zoning and land use work…  Mysterious stuff, but experts from the Historic Districts Council have the lowdown!!  Sponsored and hosted by the CM.  Free but a reservation’s required:  212-860- 1950. 

A dash of mid-December miscellaneousness: 

Giant congrats to South Villagers, CM Corey Johnson, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and more for their ultimate success in a years’ long campaign that’s landmarked 1,250 (That’s right! 1250!) meaningful buildings since 2003!! 

As the USDA creeps ever so slowly towards prohibiting carrageenan in food labeled organic

Three decades of global water change…  And is there ever change!  As per The Times…and Nature 

Really?  A Museum of Ice…?

Who sold the most CDs in 2016?  (Hint:  Initials are W.A.M.!)

The New York American Museum of Natural History is now the oldest, most iconic, and most recent science museum to cut its ties to fossil fuels! 

Add a thimble-full of the adorably furry:

koala hug

And of the grandly finned from the Hudson River Almanac:  

12/1 – New York Harbor, Upper Bay: This year we’ve had more than 100 recorded whale sightings and have added more than 20 individual whales to our Gotham Whale/New York City Humpback Whale Catalog. The catalog keeps track of identifying individual fluke patterns of humpback whales – their fluke markings are quite unique, almost like fingerprints. This year’s whale sightings occurred in the Lower Bay of New York Harbor and off Long Island’s south shore.  A year ago, a humpback whale was sighted directly under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, almost making it into the Upper Bay.  However, recent humpback whale “Gotham,” NYC0055 in our catalog, was the first to make it into the Upper Bay as far upriver as the George Washington Bridge, 22 miles north of the Narrows. – Paul L. Sieswerda

Yes, our yule log will be green,

UGS

 

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Happy International Human Rights Day, UESiders!!

Not exactly a worldwide high watermark happening in that regard of late, but we are reminded what the aspiration  is and should be…

Example:  The $11,348,182.62 donated by 29,783 individuals to 898 NY non-profits a week ago Tuesday, November 29th!  (Take NYGives’ short survey and win another $50 for the non-profit of your choice!) 

And this week’s suggested good holiday deed:  Food Bank of NYC and Borough President Brewer’s Holiday Diaper Drive benefiting homeless and low-income parents and little ones!   So easily done via the Food Bank’s Amazon Wish List!

Meanwhile, the official Pantone Color of the Year 2017?  Greenery…   Err…  Greenery, no less!!

But let’s talk the coming week:

Saturday, December 10th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be our full winter line-up…  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

PLUS At the manager’s table will be guest chefs, neighbors and contributors to the Studio Apartment Cookery InstagramAlex and Andre! 

Barring below 32 weather, the Master Knife Sharpener will be with us as well!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 21 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 22 bags of clothes.

Never gets old…  Those 10 bins!!  (So full, even our great Sanitation bin pick-up guy is pleading for at least another bin…  If not 2 more!!

Sunday, December 11th:  Czech Center Annual Holiday Festival

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, 2-6pm

And we quote, “Come taste the flavor of Czech Christmas…”  Complete with traditional music, brilliant Czech voices, animated films for the youngsters and a Czech Christmas market!  Free!

Sunday, December 11th:  Blessing of the Animals

Christ Church, 524 Park Avenue at 60th Street, 2pm 

And we quote, “This service includes a procession of animals to the altar for blessing. All pets must be accompanied by their owners; all owners must be accompanied by their pets. Hosted by Cindy Adams, the New York Post, and Christ Church. Seating on first come first served basis. Space is limited. No RSVP required.”  Free and one lovely thing.

Monday, December 12th:  Historic Holiday Cooking Workshop

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 6:30pm

Prepare and then devour 19th Century holiday classics plum pudding and ginger nuts in the Museum’s 19th Century kitchen!!   Members and students with I.D., $20.  Non-members, $25.  Reservations required:  212-838-6878.

And then:

Sunday, December 18th:  117th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

South Pump Station of the Reservoir, 85th Street & Fifth Avenue, 8am 

Be a part of American’s the longest running citizen science bird project, ever more essential to measuring of avian health!  And what’s better than citizen science followed by partying down with great treats at the Central Park Arsenal?!!  For the total rundown (including counts in all 5 boroughs)

Thursday, December 15th:  Beneath the Battlefield Archival Exploration

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 6pm

Not exactly holiday themed, still… Explore the Battle of Gettysburg – America’s bloodiest – as experienced by the ordinary soldier and via original documents lodged in the unequaled Gilder Lehrman Collection!  Organized by Atlas Obscura.  $35.  For more and tickets...

Miscellany both local and from abroad:

Lovely to see our previous Council Member Jessica Lappin ( now president of the Downtown Alliance but still living up our way) highlighted in last Sunday’s Times!

It’s that time of the year again…  The time when you can apply to become a Community Board 8 member!  (No question but in these challenging times, Community Board 8 wants and needs us!!)

We’re thinking with you on-board powers-would-be as responsive to us as they are to folks downtown/the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Further on the subject of preservation to our south, a current target for splinter building replacement:  137 Centre Street…  (Should you disapprove…) 

What??!!  Two-thirds of the food ads on Nickleodeon are for junk food??!!   (If you disapprove…)

Oh and some parties would like to be drilling near Chaco Canyon!!  (Should you disagree…) 

That while 4 cities announce they’ll be banning diesel vehicles!

Lightening up:

The best December Central Park walk…

Be especially interesting after reading Atlas Obscura’s graphic take on the Central Park before it was

Don’t we love our NYC Recycling Heroes…  Case and point:  Rick Schulman of the Upper West Side!  (Thanks for reader Jacquelyn Ottman for the tip!)

Happily, close to zero action in our neck of the woods, but if you’re elsewhere, here’s how to stay well out of SantaCon’s path

Cheerleading as an Olympic sport?

Bring on the animals:

Sure, it’s a 100 miles off our coast and underwater, but the deep-as-Grand-Canyon Hudson Canyon’s been nominated as a national marine sanctuary!!

rescued red-tailed hawk released in – where else? – Central Park!!   

A 100 year-old, 23 pound lobster (no kidding, is the thing huge or what?) returned to the wild… Thanks to a vegan!!

giant-lobster

After an absence of 75 years, fishers (AKA fisher cats) return to Mount Ranier Park!!

Meanwhile, in 2016, we’re harvesting turtles in NYState!  (Should you think the practice should end…)

Rest in peace, Eagle #629-03142…  At age 38, our oldest banded bald eagle and witness to his species near death and recovery…

This week’s migration update!

rogue beaver as Dollar Store burglary perp…  (Hat tip to reader Katherine Winkleman!) 

And one baaaad kitty already under arrest…  (Thanks reader Rita Donaghy!)

funny-cat-pictures-guilty-cat

Not enough cuteness for you so far…  Try mother cat and purring baby squirrel!!

Our holiday dreams are so green,

UGS

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Happy, International Dog Film Festival Week, UESiders!!

Kind of strange Dog Film Festival Week’s in December when the actual festival happens in October… Next up: October of ’17…   But who cares?!  It’s great there is one and it’ll be in NYC!  And, as forewarned is forearmed, you have 10 long months ahead to conceive, shoot, edit and enter your canine oeuvre

Meanwhile…

Yet another way to easily give:  Amazon Smile!   You sign up, shop and Amazon contributes .05% of your purchase to a non-profit of your choice!  Any number of great organizations participate, even the most local and tiny!  For more…  

Be ready for a busy week:

Friday, December 2nd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pasmino examines the world of star atlases throughout history, be those atlases print, digital or both!  Come with your own favorite!  As ever, great and free! 

Saturday, December 3rd:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

A lot of folks in post-Thanksgiving recovery last Saturday, but there’ll be a full house this week… American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Alewife, Ole Mother Hubbert, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

And, yes, Consider Bardwell Cheese will be present and making their season debut!

AND, joining us for the first time ever, will be the great Nolasco Farm with their wonderful vegs from from both fields and greenhouse!! 

NEWSFLASH: Cooler weather or no, the Master Knife Sharpener will be present and honing!!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  61 lbs. batteries; 10 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 41 bags of clothes.

Yes, yet again, a big, fat 10 bins!!!

Sunday, December 4th:  Holiday Tree Lighting at Schurz Park

86th Street and East End Avenue, 5-6pm

An Upper East Side family classic  complete with the Cantori Choir, Orbital Brass, candlelight, candy canes, hot chocolate and caroling!  

Tuesday, December 6th:  Council Member Kallos’ Holiday Party!

The CM’s District Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 5-7pm

Seasonal cheer and a prime opportunity to get acquainted with the CM and staff members who so devote themselves to tackling our many UES challenges!

Wednesday, December 7th:  Kill Your TV Book Group Discusses “Dracula”!

Logos Bookstore, 1575 York Avenue, 7pm

The spooky timeless tale gets a workover from fine UESide minds!  Casual, free and attendees get a 20% discount that evening.  (Parents:  Lily’s Story Time for the under-5 set Mondays at 11am is a bonafide neighborhood treasure!) 

Thursday, December 8th:  A Call to Action – From Your House to the White House

High School of Art & Design, 245 East 56th Street at Second Avenue, 6:30pm

And we quote, “Join Council Member Dan Garodnick and local organizations to learn how you can get involved and fight for the values that make New York City great!”  Now and always, you’re needed!   For more…  And to RSVP: dangarodnick.evenbrite.com

Thursday, December 8th:  Zoning at New Heights 

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, 6:30pm

A forum/lecture/Q&A with a panel of experts deliberating existing NYC zoning laws – in particular, those pertaining to building height – and whether they’re working in 2016…  Hummmm.  An accompaniment to another of the Museum’s new shows:  “Mastering the Metropolis:  Zoning 1916-2016”.  Co-organized by the Municipal Art Society.  Adults, $14.  Seniors & Students, $10. For more and tickets… 

Thursday, December 8th:  Wreath Making at the Green Thumb Workshop

The Arsenal, 830 Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 6-7:30pm

Learn how to make your very own, personalized, all-natural, uber-holiday wreath…  Plus, take in the Arsenal’s lovely 34th Annual Wreath Expressions exhibit!  All supplies provided, including pine cones and ribbon!  Free but you do need to register

Friday, December 9th:  Eric Sanderson – A Historical Perspective on Water in New York

Hunter College, West Building, Room 615, 7-8:30pm

You know Eric Sanderson…  Scientist/eminent landscape ecologist/visionary/author of the ground-breaking “Mannahatta” who’s now turned his great mind to the rest of NYC with his Welikia Project and, now, our city’s once varied and great streamscape!  You want to be there!  Free but a reservation is advised… 

Saturday, December 10th:  Create a Botanical Mini-Building

Watson Room 101, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 9:30am-4pm

Love the Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show?  Well, with instructor Madeline Yani’s guidance, you can create your own enchanting little structure from pods, bark and branches!  Members, $169.  Non-members, $189.  All materials provided but do bring a lunch and a box to transport your masterpiece home!  For more and to reserve a place

Coming up: 

Wednesday, December 21st:  Winter Telescope Party

Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Natural History, Central Park at 79th Street, 7pm

Steve Beyer, Brian Levine and Ted Williams guide us star-loving amateurs on a journey across the winter sky within the Planetarium and – if weather allows – out on the terrace looking through actual telescopes!!  (It really is unbelievable how much is visible even in our bright NYC skies!)  Members, $12.  Non-members, $15. Non-member Seniors and Students, $13.50. For more and tickets

On to miscellany:

Could be the Indian Point Nuclear Plant will soon be history… 

Last week it was folks wanting to dump waste in the Long Island Sound, this week and way out west,  it’s partially treated sewage in the Puget Sound!  (Should you object…)

Opposed to de-forestation?  There are companies out there turning Third World trees into fabric!  (If you think they shouldn’t

We could have something to learn from the effect of direct action by riders on Atlanta public transit

Not that we’re mean-spirited or stingy but, given our challenges, how come Sao Paulo, Brazil won the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge?!  (Did NYC even enter?)

Love these indoor farm boxes!!  (You grow produce in them… In your home!)

And if you think Amazon should move to 100% renewable power for its servers… 

The 11 National Parks Americans most want to visit

Understanding your radiators

And the week in animals:

An abiding mystery:  Just why do cats love knocking things over…?

L.A.’s just added another hefty piece of real estate to its wildlife corridor

Meanwhile, the embattled sage grouse could use more of our help

Good gravy!  Just in case we’d forgotten the diversity of NYState, some New Yorkers need their wildlife pelts “sealed”…! 

Yup, there is a Bat Conservation International!!  (Check out the board of directors!)

A retirement home for whales

Doesn’t get any sweeter than “Parenting Help in ‘Kitten Season'”

The Hudson River Almanac never fails:

11/12/16 -11/18/16 – 11/17 – Hudson River Watershed: The season has arrived when we need to give thought to our wildlife viewing and photography habits. Cold weather can be especially challenging for birds. They run on a strict energy budget, balancing calories-in with calories-out, instinctively adhering to a conservation of energy. Every time we flush a winter bird by trying to get closer, the calories needed to escape deplete their reservoir. If they are near evening roost time, they will need to replenish to keep their “furnace” stoked all night. “Getting closer” should be much more a function of our optics than our legs.  – Tom Lake

Yours in contented greenness,

UGS

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Happy Better Than Black Friday/Cat Friday, UESiders!

And we semi-quote, “The best Black Friday deal in all NYC has fur and 4 paws!”

Yes,  the ASPCA has a bunch of lovable felines –  from kittens to mature –  in need of forever homes!!  There’re wonderful puppies and dogs, too!! 

So many ways to spread holiday good:

Now to December 31st:  Christmas Mittens, Gloves, Scarves & Socks Drive

Terrence Cardinal Cook Cathedral Library, 560 Lexington Avenue at 50th Street, Monday-Thursday: 10am-6pm, Friday, 10am-5pm

The women of the nearby New Providence Women’s Shelter will so appreciate the gift of gently worn scarves, gloves and mittens and pairs of brand new socks.  (The scarves, gloves and mitten could be new as well!)   Drop off whenever the library’s open!  For more or 212-752-3824. 

Now Through the Winter Months:  NYCares Coat Drive

Many Drop-Off Sites Across the City

If it’s winter, we want all New Yorkers wearing warm coats!  Donate your own gently worn item or contribute $20 via the NYCares site!  For the drop-off location map (including our own Precinct 19 and Manhattan Mini-Storage on 62nd)… 

Now to December 30th:  Three Bears Holiday Bash

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, Central Park

Family holiday fun with roots in  Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas tales as rendered by the ever charming Marionette Theater!  Adults, $10.  Children, $7.  For tickets, directions and more… 

Friday, November 26th:  Sixth Annual Cat Friday

ASPCA Adoption Center, 424 East 92nd Street between First & York, 11am-7pm

Cats of every age, color and size, from sleek to fluffy…  Dogs running the gamut of breeds both pure and mixed… Whether feline or canine, all spayed/neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped!   All fees waived for adoption of cats a year and older, plus a free kitty carrier while supplies last!!  For more…  

Saturday, November 26th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am–2pm      (Every Saturday, Year Round) 

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm  (Every Saturday, Year Round)

With us will be Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Samascott Orchards, Alewife, Ole Mother Hubbert and Gajeski Farms!

American Pride Seafood’s giving themselves a well-deserved, post-Thanksgiving Saturday off, but they’ll be back next week…

Same for our Master Knife Sharpener…  She honed like a crazy woman last week!

MEANWHILE… 

Much as we’ll miss Valley Shepherd, Consider Bardwell and their fabulous cheeses return this Saturday!!

Tried Mother Hubbert’s egg nog and butter yet??!

Duck bacon, people!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  77 lbs. batteries; 15 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 41 bags of clothes.

Ten – contents totally jammed/pounded down – bins!!   (Moises is asking for more!!)

And last week’s recycling totals from 92nd Street:  7 lbs. batteries; 4 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 21 pairs of eye glasses; 5 compost bins!!

That makes 4 consecutive weeks of 5 bins!! 

Tuesday, November 29th:  NYGives Day 2016

The Non-Profit/Profits of Your Choice

The 24-hour statewide New York-giving challenge!!   So many deserving causes…  So many of our fellow/sister New Yorkers in need…  Open that wallet!!  Swipe that credit card!!  For participating non-profits… (But choose your own good cause/causes!)

And then:

Sunday, December 18th:  117th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

South Pump Station of the Reservoir, 85th Street & Fifth Avenue, 8am 

Be a part of American’s the longest running citizen science bird project, ever more essential to measuring of avian health!  And what’s better than citizen science followed by partying down with great treats at the Central Park Arsenal?!!  For the total rundown (including counts in all 5 boroughs)

Miscellany: 

Many a volunteer opportunity in NY Parks throughout the city this long holiday weekend… 

Seems like the FDA might be leaning towards allowing the dumping of treated sewage in the Long Island Sound! (If you disagree…)

Not quite our hood, but last week saw the designation of 11 new Midtown East Landmarks!!

Great, too, that land’s finally assembled for Bushwick Inlet Park!

Amsterdam, Holland’s answer to natural gas

The California Democratic party now refuses contributions from Big Oil…

More on the rare pumpkin ash tree…   Previously discovered in Central Park and now…  The Bronx! 

Off the reservation:

Ummm…  Crystal formation is so beautiful

Back on:

“The New Shapes of New York” quiz…

And while you digest:

A Thanksgiving food quiz!

Ah,animals:

Ah, happiness is humans helping out animals

This week’s Migration Update

White-tailed deer…  Bobcats…  The diamond-backed terrapin and more…  The NYS DEC wants your opinion on wildlife issues!!

That would a week be without the Hudson River Almanac:

11/11 – Inwood Hill Park, HRM 13.5: It was 62 degrees at midday and very windy. We were seeing a very low tide just a few days before the upcoming so-called “Super Moon” (11/14).  The inlet of Spuyten Duyvil Creek was a mud flat. Four Canada geese, the first I had seen here in a few weeks, flew off as I arrived; the great egret I’ve seen all summer wasn’t here today. A flock of blackbirds – eighty at least, mainly brown-headed cowbirds – was foraging busily in the grass, moving constantly. Nearly all the flowers in the park had finished, but yam-leaved clematis still had a few blossoms along with its weird little fruits. – Thomas Shoesmith

yam-leaved clematis

yam-leaved clematis

We like our weekends long and green,

UGS 

 

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