Happy 22 Days to Spring, UESiders!

And what better way to approach the season than with a new survey that finds 66% of Americans believing it’s a moral obligation for world leaders to address climate change!

Even more impressive:  73% see confronting the issue as a personal ethical obligation as well!

magnolia-sprengeri

magnolia-sprengeri

On those most affirmative notes, our week ahead:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

A second Saturday with no snow predicted!   Hurrah!!

Maybe even some of the ice melted on our one day above freezing this week… Thus allowing American Seafood to return to its accustomed spot in the churchyard!  

Regardless, look for our full compliment of farmers/fishermen/bakers/beekeepers: Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Back to the Future Farms!”

(Okay, you have to try Back to the Future’s cheese!) 

Last week’s recycling totals: 76 lbs batteries: 26 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 compost bins;  25 bags of clothes.

7 bins and 25 bags on a 20 degree day?  Amazing!!

Thursday, March 5th:  Tasty History – American Values Reflected in Food

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square/Columbus between 65th & 66th Streets, 7pm

Trace the evolution of American eating with Dr. Libby O’Connell of the History Channel and author of The American Plate:  A History in 100 Bites,  then chat her up over the wine and cheese refreshments that follow!  Members:  $10.  Non-members:  $12.  For more and tickets     

 Friday, March 6:  Audubon’s Aviary – The Final Flight

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

Chapter III in the Historical Society’s epic, tripartite  exhibition of every Audubon print in their unequaled collection!  (Best copies don’t hold a candle to being upclose and personal with the real thing!)  For details, hours and more

On the horizon:

Friday, March 13th – Sunday, June 7th:  Life of Cats – Selections from the Hiraki Uiyo Collection

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

And we quote, “Since arriving in Japan aboard Japanese ships transporting sacred Buddhist scriptures from China in the mid-sixth century, cats have proceeded to purr and paw their way into the heart of Japanese life, folklore, and art”…    As in 120 of Japan’s finest examples of feline imagery!  For details, including days and hours

Coming up in April:

Sunday, April 12th:  “The Travel Assignment” Photography Seminar

Lighthouse International Executive Conference Center, 111 East 59th Street, 9am-4pm

National Geographic Traveler emeritus photographers Dan Westergren and Jim Richardson share their wisdom of decades of capturing fabulous travel pix.  $199 (includes lunch).  For more and to register

Saturday, April 18th: Cares’ Spring Cleanup NYC Day

All Over Our City

Even without this year’s ferocious weather, NYC emerges from winter as something of a mess. The remedy?  Turning out for a few hours to tidy up shorelines, tree beds and public spaces of all kinds!  (Perfect prelude to It’s My Park Days!)  For projects and to sign up… 

aerides-odorata

aerides-odorata

Miscellany:

In the must-be-an-upstate-thing-department:  The temp may be below 32, there may be 30 inches of snow and first aid kits, snow shoes and more de rigueur, but the NYS DEC is wanting us out on Adirondack high altitude trails!  

(Thank goodness for Forest Rangers!)

On the other hand, DEC’s urging ice fishermen/persons and snowmobilers  to be super cautious!

For those of us lacking East River views…  The current study in ice!

Even more so on the Hudson!

Short breather:

Yup, we’re kind of suckers for kitchen gadgets/gizmos, but think July and strawberries and then check out this Ball Freshtech Automatic Jam & Jelly Maker!  (Lots of vendors have it for $79!)

The Brooklyn Brainery does such great stuff (and we continually urge them to bring at least some of it to us)…  Case and point:  Making bread as we did in colonial times… Baking With Fire

Is this an amazing plant seed or what?

(Brooklyn’s Old Stone House – NYC outpost of fire baking – looks pretty fabulous, wouldn’t you say?)

Yes, food podcasts!!

Then in the civic groove:

Okay, right now there’s not enough $ for lighting ballfields in Riverside Park… How long before a big spender steps in to fill the breach?  (Not very, given the admirable history of giving to the West Side’s “esplanade”.)  

Always good to see the frequently lethargic NYC acting to protect a surviving station on the Underground Railroad!

Think we could do without growth hormone in our milk?

The semi-counter balance to our food waste crisis:  Big food’s experiencing serious revenue downturns

Like the documentaries you see on Channel 13?  Let them know!  (They’d like to relegate POV and Independent Lens to the Siberia of WLIW!)

Nominate your choice for the Municipal Art Society’s best architecture/urban design project completed in NYC in 2014… (And good luck coming up with one!) (Check the map.  There’ve been zero winners on UES over past years.)

Back to the all-consuming subject of weather:

And we think we’ve had snow!  Check out Russian winters of times past… (Maslenitsa being a celebration of the end of winter.)

viburnum tinus rigidum

viburnum tinus rigidum

On to the world of the furry and feathered:

Bears mentioning again:  There is an organization specifically dedicated to the health and welfare of…  Trout

So great those 19 manatees were saved from that Florida storm drain

And the top 3 dogs in NYC are

As if we didn’t know cat purring is good for human body and soul… 

What a combination:  Eagles and romance!

Wow!  We’ve got (they’re useful birds) vultures in our skies, too, as per the Hudson River Almanac:

2/15 – Manhattan, HRM 5: As I was taking a Riverside Park sunset walk along the partially frozen Hudson River at the 70th Street Pier, looking for any sea life sheltering from the cold, I spotted four black vultures flying very high over the West Side Highway. I was hoping they’d come closer but they were catching the fierce northwest tailwind, headed inland. – Alan Drogin 

Yours in greenness,

UGS

 

 

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Happy Love Your Pet Day and Academy Award Weekend, UESiders!

Be interesting to see what comes of growing sentiment in the business that the Academies should be moved back to April and Monday night…  That and a return to 5 nominees for Best Picture.   

Academy Mondays in Los Angeles existed in their own time-space continuum…  The city hushed… Waiting and so savoring every second of the anticipation.  Stores and restaurants – except for Nate & Al’s Deli – empty…   Then that late afternoon sound of limousines moving on the streets of Beverly Hills…  Down and out of the Canyons…   

Only other 12 waking hours remotely like it:  The day of Frank Sinatra’s funeral. 

But that’s L.A. and this N.Y.C.

arctostaphylos-pallida

arctostaphylos-pallida

And we’ve got a great week ahead:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

The threat of more snow?  They shrug it off!  Temperatures below 32?  It’s nothing to for them!
They are the incredible Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Atlantic Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Back to the Future Farms!!
Last week’s recycling totals: 55 lbs batteries: TBA lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; TBA eyeglasses; 7 compost bins;  16 bags of clothes.
And let’s not forget those awesome 8,752 lbs of paper we shredded!!

Saturday, February 21st:  A Child’s View of Life in 19th Century New York

Old Merchant’s House, 29 East 4th Street, 3:30pm

And we quote, “Come tour the house and learn what life was like for children (and adults) in the 1850s, from schoolwork and chores to games and play. Could you carry a bucket of coal up steep stairs? Do you have a calling card? A top hat? What, no hoop skirt? How did you take a bath? And penmanship really, really mattered.”  Couldn’t be more family friendly!  One adult with one child: $15.   One adult with two or more children: $20.  For directions and more… 

Thursday, February 26th:  Grow to Learn Spring Seed Giveaway

GrowNYC Greening Library, 49 Chambers Street, Room 212, 2-6:30pm

Free packets of flowers, herbs and vegetable seeds, a planting calendar and a crop planting sheet! No, spring can’t be so, so far away!  Organized by Green Thumb and GrowNYC.   Free but first come, first served.  For more and to RSVP

March (!) is just around the corner:

Thursday, March 12th:  Attainable Sustainability – Greening NYC Co-ops and Condos

Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard, Room 200, Kew Gardens, Queens, 6:30-8:30pm

Recent weather leaves leaves no doubt:  NYC buildings of every kind need to get a fix on their inefficiencies and address them…  Especially when there’s so much expert assistance out there… As this upcoming lecture/Q&A session attests!  Free, folks.  For full details and to register

Monday, March 9th – Sunday, May 10th: The Plains Indians – Artists of Earth and Sky

Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street

Artists of Earth and Sky

America as it once was, as perceived by Omaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Blackfeet, Pawnree, Kiowa and Comanche tribes people.  For hours, tickets and more… 

phoenix-dactylifera

phoenix-dactylifera

High time for some miscellany:

We’ve praised the great people of the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project (the folks who raise hundreds of pounds of vegs in plastic wading pools atop the Metro Baptist Church on West 44th and then give that produce away) in many a previous newsletter.  If – like us – you think they’ve earned an Edible Manhattan Food Hero Award, here’s where you can cast a vote

(Scroll down the ballot and vote for the great GrowNYC in the “non-profit” category!!)  

We gained nice chunks of new national park territory this week…  The gorgeous Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado, the Pullman National Monument in Chicago and the Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii! 

Have thoughts on where Citibike stations should or shouldn’t be and you didn’t make the DOT meeting last week?  Or even if you were at the meeting…  Weigh in on DNA’s map!  

Of course, we all knew how great an institution the New York Botanical Garden is…  But that it’s presently pre-eminent worldwide in the field?  For a beautifully written account of how botanical gardens came into being and all that distinguishes our NYBG

Could be you’ll be inspired to sign up for one of the Botanical Garden’s great spring line-up of classes!

And here’re Kitchen Gardeners International’s 5 tips for starting vegetable seeds indoors!

Interesting new app – OpenLabel – rates the social integrity of companies behind hundreds of grocery store products…

Add Atlantic ocean health to New Yorkers’ concerns.  Get yourself up to speed on the NYS Ocean Action Plan and then weigh in on it

(NYS’s got a fisher cat management plan, too!)

For the masochists among us:  This week’s NYS DEC’s Adirondack High Peaks (Hiking!) Bulletin!  (Thanks, NYS, for letting us know we need to dress warmly!)

Oh and they’ve rescheduled that free ice fishing class for March 7th!  

Holy crow!  Charles Dickens’ son (Alfred Tennyson Dickens) is buried in Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum on West 155th Street! 

Wow…  Amazon’s just added a documentary series to its production slate: The New Yorker Presents!  (See the first Episode free!)

Curious as to what your Chinese horoscope’s got in store for you over this lunar Year of the Sheep…?

clerodendrum-quadriloculare

clerodendrum-quadriloculare

Very much time for some animals:

Took almost st a decade years after the critter turned up in an Australian fishing net, but the world now has a new seadragon (relative of the seahorse) species…  The ruby sea dragon!

Very mysterious that – after all but unanimous scientific opinion and a host of petitions – Fish & Wildlife still hasn’t listed the wolverine as endangered!  (If you think it should be…) 

Of course!  Snowy owls – who spend most of their time in Arctic climes – are being spotted round about NYC!

Who knew there was a group – the Xerxes Society – dedicated to the protection/preservation of invertebrates…  Yes, insects but including butterflies and bees!  

Doesn’t look so baby-ish at 6 months of age, but he/she (gender presently unknown) is the first King Penguin to hatch in NYC and is now on view at the Central Park Zoo!

So many great people unknown to us have added so much to our knowledge of the natural world… Case and point, C. Lavett Smith as remembered by The Hudson River Almanac’s Tom Lake: 

2/10 – Hudson Valley: A hollow feeling was left in many hearts today when we lost one of our great teachers, C. Lavett Smith (“Smitty”), Curator Emeritus of Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History.  For those of us who were inspired by and loved Smitty as a dear friend, colleague, and mentor, it is a fitting tribute that we still use his book, The Inland Fishes of New York State (1985), as the go-to reference for Hudson River fish identification and life history.

The Inland Fishes of New York State!

Living the good green life, 

UGS
     

 

 

 

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day, UESiders! 

Happy Presidents’ Day and Happy Lunar New Year, too!

And add to the pleasures of a long weekend and the upcoming Year of the Sheep/Goat, some lovely Greenmarket news:

Janice and Lew of Cherry Lane Farm welcomed son Lewis IV into the world on February 2nd!! 

Baby Lewis IV

Baby Lewis IV

Lew III and Baby Lewis IV

Lew III and Baby Lewis IV

One wonderful way to launch into a jam-packed new week:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Hallelujah!  No snow till late afternoon!!
Which means the full compliment of our hardy friends  – Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Atlantic Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Back to the Future Farms – will be at their tables of deliciousness!
Snow or no snow, we’re planning on keeping innards warm with quarts of Samascott’s hot apple cider! 
Last week’s recycling totals: 60 lbs batteries: TBA lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; TBA eyeglasses; 8 compost bins;  13 bags of clothes.  
8 bins on a snowy day!

Saturday, February 14th:  Shred-A-Thon – Valentine’s Day Edition

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

The clock is ticking…  A matter of hours and the great Shredding Truck will be in position on 82nd!

So bring on that paper in spades!!

But one last time…  NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

REMOVE those paper clips and spiral bindings, please. 

And NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we’ll take paperbacks.)

(Get those unwanted hardcovers over to Goodwill.)

AND one big thank you to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick and Kallos for their grants!

Saturday, February 14th:  Central Park Ice Festival

Naumberg Bandshell, Mid-Park 66th to 72nd Street, 3-7pm

Celebrate your love of Central Park (and an abundance of no-chance-in-hell-it’ll-melt ice) this Valentine’s Day!  Watch as ice artists carve 3,000 pounds of cold stuff into a twin of the Park’s Romeo and Juliet sculpture!  Disco dance 1980’s-style on the Mall! Open to and appropriate for all ages.  Free.  For more

Sunday, February 15th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball 

Mount Vernon House Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 1-3pm

Party like it’s 1790 and just like George and Martha with period music, dancing (experts will show you and the kids how), refreshments and toasts to our great first president. Total family fun!  Members and children under 12:  $10.  Everybody else: $15.

Thursday, February 19th through Sunday, March 1st:  Lunar New Year Celebrations

All Around Town

From the Houston Street to Sunset Park  to the Prospect Park Zoo…  Think Chinese folk performance, martial arts, firecrackers and more and all courtesy of NYC Parks!  Free.  For the lowdown

Saturday, February 21st:  Inside the Holographer’s Laboratory

Holographic Studios, 240 East 26th Street, 11am-12:30pm

Trust the Obscura Society to come up with the truly far out…  As in time up close with holograph pioneer/artist Jason Sabon, his gallery of holographic portraiture and laser laboratory!  $25. For reservations/tickets… 

olsynium-douglasii1

And in the miscellaneous department:

Congrats, Frankfurt, Germany!  You are now the #1 most sustainable city in the world!

Of course, we’re not alone in feeling besieged by ill-considered alterations to our neighborhood landscape…  Case and point:  Wood vs. cement to repair Sandy damage to the Coney Island boardwalk… 

You are correct, friends.  Flooding in the U.S. and river floods, in particular, are a more frequent occurrence

Great that there’s an EPA program to replace aging – and polluting – school buses with greener models...    

Hardcore downtowners may miss the the graffiti and decay.  We’re always happy when even the smallest bit of our worthy architectural past remains in place and is given new life.

Fingers crossed  the same happy fate awaits Loew’s 46th Street Theater out in Brooklyn…   (Why not another fabulous movie palace restoration?) 

Still in the architectural mode:  Check out the evolution of the Met from 1880 forward

Come spring/summer, there’ll be a lot of milkweed plants – not a weed and food vital to monarch butterfly survival – gracing our First Ave Bike Islands and our stretch of the Esplanade (Stuyvesant Cove is an official stop on the Monarch Butterfly migration route!)…  But there are right and wrong varieties.  For the right ones to be putting in your garden (or the Bike Island you adopt)… 

asclepias incarnata      (AKA milkweed)

asclepias incarnata (AKA milkweed)

 

Many a feathered friend (and friends of feathered friends) this time out:

Commencing with humans who studied animals…  Like the astonishing number of female ornithologists in Cornell’s Class of 1921!  

Ahem!  Heart-String-Tugging/Cuteness Alert!!  Australia’s oldest man – 109 and going strong – knits tiny sweaters for penguin victims of oil spills…  Really.

And we close with this from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/24 – Manhattan, HRM 7: A male common redpoll visited the Evodia Field feeders in the Ramble in Central Park today. – Ed Gaillard

redpoll

Shivering but green,

UGS

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Happy Tu BiShvat, UESiders!!

Okay, so it was two days ago…  What better to celebrate in the depths of winter than the New Year of Trees.  No, it’s not the season for planting in NYC, but we can promise to plant trees like crazy and give better care to our stoic, determined-to-survive, already existing trees when spring arrives!! 

(Think trees and tree beds on your block and bike islands on First Ave!)

On to the decidedly un-spring upcoming week:

Now:  New York Botanical Garden Spring/Summer Class Registration

2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx and 20 West 44th Street, Manhattan

From botanical art and illustration to horticultural therapy to landscape design and back again! Doesn’t get more greener!  For full details… 

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Another weekend…  Another Sunday snow storm on the horizon, but staying well out of the way of our Greenmarket!

Thus, to quote Market Manager Margaret, “We’re expecting a full house:  Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Atlantic Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Back to the Future Farms!”

May we give the most glowing recommend to Back to the Future’s chocolate milk? 

(For those who didn’t hear:  American Seafood’s truck broke down last week, but it’s totally AOK now.)  

Meanwhile…  January 31st’s compost total?  10 filled-to-the-brim bins!!

Last week’s recycling totals: 91 lbs batteries: 32 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair eyeglasses; 10 compost bins;  21 bags of clothes.

And then:

Thursday, February 12th:  Bikeshare Community Planning Workshop

Christ Church, 524 Park Avenue at 60th Street, 6pm and 7pm

However you shake out on Bikeshare expansion, you’ll be wanting a chance to weigh in!   Workshop led by Department of Transportation Josh Orzeck.  For more:  jorzeck@dot.nyc.gov.

Thursday, February 12th:  New York Pet Fashion Show

Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street, 6-11pm

And we quote, “The New York Pet Fashion Show kicks off Westminster Weekend with glitz, glamour, and fabulous dogs showcasing top pet clothing designers and some of New York City’s wonderful shelter dogs awaiting their forever homes.”  Proceeds benefit shelters throughout the region.  Tickets: $50.  For those tickets and more…  (Sure.  Why not do the Bikeshare Workshop then segue to the Pet Fashion Show?) 

Saturday, February 14th:  Shred-A-Thon – Valentine’s Day Edition

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

A mere 7 days away! 

Plenty of time to sort through those moldy docs, bag them up for their rendezvous with Mr. Shredding Truck!

And you know what can and can’t be shredded…  As in   NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we’ll take paperbacks.)

It’s Goodwill for hardcovers.

(Many thanks to Council Members Garodnick and Kallos for their green and generous grants!)

Sunday, February 15th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball 

Mount Vernon House Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 1-3pm

And celebrate it much as George and Martha would have with period music, dancing (experts will show you and the kids how), refreshments and toasts to our great first president.  Absolutely for the whole family!  Members and children under 12:  $10.  Everybody else: $15.

Only a couple of down notes in this week’s miscellany:

Yikes!  Just when we’ve gotten micro beads out of skin care products, we’ve got to deal with nanoparticles in pesticides!

Double yikes!!  NYState may not be allowing fracking within its borders, BUT the powers-that-be are permitting tons of fracking waste material to be placed in our landfills!!

On the other hand:

Why are we not surprised that it seems off-shore wind would produce more energy and jobs than off-shore drilling?  (BUT we were shocked that off-shore wind would produce TWO TIMES as many of both!)

Protect Eyes on the Seas is going to revolutionize our ability to discover illegal fishing and identify who’s doing it!

And how about the new California Community Solar Energy Plan…  (But we’re ahead of them on legal beekeeping!)

Haven’t seen as complete reporting on traffic innovation on the east side of town as this on what Vision Zero’s got in store for the West Side…  (Love those “split-phase” traffic lights!)

Exciting that we – as in the greater NYC – will be getting more ferry service…  Not so exciting that it won’t be reaching the UES till 2016 earliest with – strangely – stops only at 60th and 90th Streets…  (Nice waiting for the ferry as scows pull in and out of the MTS!) 

Coming sooner – like this spring – will be Select Bus Service – complete with bus bumps, planters and street seating – on 86th Street.  (Let’s cross fingers it’s better managed than what’s going on on First and Second Aves…)

Turkey – of all places – is developing a bio-concrete with a mix that includes sunflower hulls!  Not for structural purposes as yet but a great insulator and considerably more crack-resistant than the standard stuff! 

Couldn’t be a more perfect fit:  Native Americans and organic farming!  (Okay, Sioux were pretty much nomadic, but still…) 

Can’t say we agree with how the Municipal Art Society comes out on all the entries on their Watchlist for 2015, but we agree these are potential changes in our urban landscape to clock…  

In case you forgotten just how cold last Sunday was… 

We very much like this statistic:  65% of the people in Central Park on any given day are regular visitors who use the Park once a week or more!

Yup, NYC public transit couldn’t be more egalitarian…  Even folks with titles ride our subways

Of course, animals:

Test your photo captioning chops with the National Geographic Photo Captioning Contest

A fish the size of a manhole cover…?

Bats setting up house at Javitts Center?  (Scroll down to Page 17.)

How could we have skipped over Nat Geo Wild’s Fish Bowl last week?  (Weirdly brilliant.)  Or that Animal Planet would engage in counter Kitten Bowl programming with a Puppy Bowl half-time Kitten Break?

Yes, people, there is a “Hamptons Pet Magazine”

Yours in ever greenness,

UGS

 

 

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Happy 170th Anniversary of the Publication of Poe’s “The Raven”, UESiders!

One of America’s most famous poems – famous even during Poe’s lifetime – that earned its writer a total of 9 big, fat bucks!  

(For those who have yet to visit Poe’s beautifully restored cottage in the Bronx – not where he wrote “The Raven”; that work was composed on West 84th Street – it’s an easy jaunt up to the Grand Concourse with the cottage open Thursdays through Sundays.)

It was also 50 years ago today that Winston Churchill was laid to rest…

On to the week ahead:

Saturday, January 31st:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Sure seems like this weekend’s snow bomb’s holding off to Sunday!

So…

Bring on the compost, people!!

Then drop off those unwanted clothes, batteries, cords, cartridges and corks!! 

THEN head to Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Atlantic Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Back to the Future Farms’ bountiful tables and load up with Super Bowl 49 edibles!

(Our uber manager Margaret Hoffman expects Back to the Future to have milk, cheese and yogurt!)

Last week’s recycling totals: TBA batteries, cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 14 bags of clothes.

And then:

Saturday, January 31st:  Native Plants 101 – Boost your Ecosystem

Third Floor Community Room, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, between First & Second, 2-3:30pm
Environmental horticulturalist and master naturalist Kim Eierman shares her gardening wisdom based n her signature eco beneficial approach.  (Just the thing for us Manhattan gardeners!)  Presented by Green Park GardenersNYC (check out their beautiful gardens on the Esplanade at 63rd Street.)  Free. 

Wednesday, February 4th:  CB8 Transportation Committee Meeting – Select Bus Service on 86th Street 

Ramaz School, 125 East 85th Street, 6:30pm

And we quote, “Margaret Forgione, Department of Transportation (DOT) Manhattan Commissioner has reached out to the East 86th Street Association…  She has informed us that the DOT does not plan to eliminate any bus stops on East 86th Street.  We appreciate her contacting us and her openness to discussing our concerns. The plan for off-site payment and bus bulbs for the route currently stands.  We look forward to a full discussion with the Dept of Transportation at the Wednesday February 4th meeting of the Community Board # 8 Transportation meeting. The DOT  will present a video of bus movement on the street.   We urge people to attend and voice their concerns regarding the bus bulbs and and impact on traffic flow on the 86th Street corridor.”

Saturday, February 14th:  Shred-A-Thon – Valentine’s Day Edition

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

Just two weeks and we’ll be pulverizing tons of paper on 82nd Street!

But you know the drill:  NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do accept paperbacks.)

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their green and generous grants!)

Wednesday, February 18th:  Whole Foods Grand Opening

1551 Third Avenue at 87th Street, 8:30am

Been looking  at that blank glass storefront on the northeast corner of 87th for at least a couple of years…  Now, what with Fairway a block away, we’re talking quality food nexus…  In which the founding of area Greenmarkets – as was true at Union Square – played a substantial role. Meanwhile, Whole Foods is promising a celebration complete with samples and giveaways!  

Then in March: 

Wednesday, March 4th:  “Extreme Planet” with Carsten Peter

NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, 566 LaGuardia Place, 7:30pm

A fixture on Nat Geo’s cable channel, photographer/filmmaker Carsten Peter’s made a career of venturing into earth’s most challenging locales…  Be those places on, way above or way below our planet’s surface.  And does he ever have stories to tell and stupendous visuals to illustrate them! Tickets start at $30.  For those tickets and more… 

And the latest miscellany is:

Rats infesting your block or neighborhood?  Yikes, but it’s all too common.  Best strategy:  Contact Department of Health’s Caroline Bragdon, AKA “NYC’s Rat Czar”!  (Pretty stunning that she’s on Linkedin!)

Actually, we’re quite surprised there’re still more than a hundred bookstores (104) in NYC… (But, yes, on the decline since 1950.) 

Scroll down to page 12 for Friends of the Earth’s sobering eco evaluation of the various cruise ship lines

Seems there’s a plan to restore the very ailing Lake Ontario under consideration by NYS!  If you’d like Governor Cuomo to act upon that plan

On the upswing:

In light of the threatened UES desecrations chronicled last week, kudos to those who took such incredible care with the restoration of Brooklyn’s gorgeous Kings Theater!   

New Yorkers of every age were out in force constructing snowmen and – new to us – snowcats!

snow cat

We have a new favorite site:  World Science Festival…  This week – most appropriately – treating us to how snow events come to be defined (snowstorms vs. nor’easters vs. blizzards) and  how and why every snowflake is and isn’t unique! 

While Carsten Peter roams the 7 continents in search of hair-raising adventures, Noah Stryker will be circling the globe with the mission of identifying 5,000 bird species…  Think birding without borders!   For updates on his travels and feathered friends he’s encountered

NYState’s proposing new recreational fishing regulations for winter flounder and coastal sharks! (A proposal that’s written in surprisingly thoughtful, interesting prose!) 

Plenty of animals:

Who would have thought a penguin could live for 40 years and more?  Or be treated for skin cancer on her little, feathered face?  (Hand us that sun block, please!)

Wow!  Count ‘em!!  Not one…  But TWO coyotes were apprehended in Manhattan last week!  (And released in wilderness areas of the Bronx–   Bronx?  “Wilderness”?  Huh?)

Yes, friends, NYC needs its wasps

We’re always ready for any number of critter-centric happy endings:

As in what happened to a kitty whose feet were frozen to the inside of a storm drain

OBurt the whippet’s reunion with his loving human after 5 months of living rough and  rescue by a NYC Fireman!

And now for two new, choice kitten videos:

“The Hunt for Pikachu“…

And…

“Jedi Kittens Strike Back”

It may be Superbowl XLIX, but it’s Puppy Bowl XI 

Patriots…  Seahawks…  May the best team be green,

UGS

 

 

 

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Happy Severe Weather Advisory, UESiders!

Let’s talk recycling 82nd & 92nd Street 2014-style, as we finished out the year at:

82nd Street

11/8 – 8 compost bins; 15 bags of clothes:  11/15 – 7 compost bins; 15 bags of clothes: 11/29  – 7 compost bins; 19 bags of clothes: 12/6 – 8 compost bins; 15 bags of clothes:  12/13 – 7 compost bins; 15 bags of clothes; 12/20 – 8 compost bins; 15 bags of clothes:  12/27 – 7 compost bins; 14 bags of clothes.

2014 Compost poundage:  55,220.

92nd Street

11/9 – 5 compost bins;  2 giant bins of clothes (the equivalent of 4 giant bags at 82nd Street): 11/16 – 5 1/2 compost bins; 4 1/4 bags of clothes:  11/23 – 6 compost bins; 4 bags of clothes.

2014 Compost poundage: 10,809.  

And the Grand UES Total is:

Recycled 2014: 2615 lbs batteries; 750 lbs corks, cords, cellphones and ink cartridges; 186 pairs of eye glasses; 1,029 1/2 bags of clothes; 397 1/4 compost bins; 17,639 lbs shredded paper. 
Pretty staggering.
Incredible that despite a 6-month break in their composting regimen, 92nd Street shoppers broke their 2013 records for weekly (6) and total compost bins (68 1/2)!
Equally amazing is that 55,220 lb. number for 82nd Street!
DOUBLE WOW.

On to the coming week:

Saturday, January 24th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At their tables – snow or not – will be folks with anti-freeze in their veins: Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Atlantic Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Back to the Future Farms!

Pretty sure Back to the Future will have milk!

Last week’s recycling totals: 57 lbs batteries;  19 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 bins of compost; 35 bags of clothes.

Saturday, January 24th:  Winter Jam – NYC’s Ultimate Snow Day

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

Presented NYC Parks, Lake Placid, I Love NY,  and I Ski NY, Winter Jam (with partner Gore Mountain blowing mountains of fresh snow), think snow shoeing, snowboarding, skiing, sledding, kicksledding and snowman building for all ages ! Free.  For full details and directions… 

Saturday, January 24th:  Foreign Exchange II – A Festival of Rising Stars

Poet’s Den Theater, 309 East 108th Street, 7:30pm

Great neighbor and impressario Raphael Bonavides presents 14 young artists from 14 countries in concert!  “Stars of tomorrow,” Raphael says and we believe him. Reception with cocktails after the show.  Tickets:  $25.  Students: $10.  For more

And then:

Friday & Saturday, January 30th & 31st:  Winter Carnival at Bryant Park

Bryant Park, 42nd Street & Sixth Avenue, 12-10pm

What winter delights to chose?  Curling lessons?  An ice golf contest?  Frozen-finger juggling?  Snowflake crafting? Indulging in some silent disco moves?  Oh, go for ‘em all!  Free.  For the total lowdown

Saturday, January 31st:  Native Plants 101 – Boost your Ecosystem

Third Floor Community Room, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, between First & Second, 2-3:30pm
Environmental horticulturalist and master naturalist Kim Eierman shares her gardening wisdom based n her signature eco beneficial approach.  (Just the thing for us Manhattan gardeners!)  Presented by Green Park GardenersNYC (check out their beautiful gardens on the Esplanade at 63rd Street.  Free.
Out there but coming up fast:

Tuesday, February 10th:  “Shop on Mainstreet” – Tuesday Film Club Presentation

BNH Cinema, The Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

A classic of Soviet-era film making and winner of the 1965 Foreign Film Academy Award.  A black-and-white work of cinematic greatness and on a screen right in our hood (and part of the Center’s February “Shoah in Us” program).  Free.  For more

Saturday, February 14th:  Shred-A-Thon – Valentine’s Day Edition

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

Three weeks and counting till the big shredding truck arrives on 82nd Street!

Start sorting your files, docs and receipts now, people!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do take paperbacks.)

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their generous grants!)

Weird we’re so light on miscellany:
You know, we’re getting rather sick of one after another U.S. city being greener in some way – if not in many way – than NYC.   So now, it’s Louisville’s turn…  And have it ever got some arresting challenges!
But plenty of critters:
They’re darned cute when near to grown and they must be insanely adorable in their baby phase, but who in their right mind says, “I want a bobcat for a family pet?” That’s how the saga of teen bobcat Max begins…  For the rest (complete with most happy ending)… 
Wow!  Planet Earth’s experiencing a (totally cute) gray seal baby boom!
And it’s another boom year for snowy owl sightings…  From Chicago to Cape May to North Dakota!  (Can’t believe they’ll skip over NYC!)  To get eBird’s Snowy Owl Alerts… 
Who’d have thought duck courtship was so varied, fun and beautiful!
Last but hardly least on our feather friend theme:  The Great Horned Owl Cam!  (Owls have taken up residence in a former Bald Eagle nest!)
Be pretty great to have a hero dog – one of 17 returning from mine detection duty in Afghanistan – to take for walks on UES streets, teach the joys of frisbee and enter in Schurz Park’s annual Halloween Howl, yes?  For how to adopt…  
And for a final shot of cuteness, we give you “Assassin’s Kittens Unity”
The Puppy Bowl is only 8 short days away…
We’re green no matter how much it snows on us,
UGS

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Happy Martin Luther King Day, UESiders!

And a nice way to spend a bit of it could be:

Monday, January 19th:  Annual MLK Day March

Beginning at the Renaissance Ballroom, 137th Street & Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard, Ending at 96th Street between Fifth & Madison, 10am-1pm

Led by 8th graders of the Manhattan Country School 8th graders with this year’s theme “Daring to Dream:  A March of Hope”.  Of course, all are welcome!

As for the rest of the upcoming week:

Friday, January 16th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time out:  The winter stars above us… Complete with “open clusters spreading from southeast to overhead along the route of the Milky Way”.  Free and fabulous!

Saturday, January 17th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us on this fine, wintry day will be Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Atlantic Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski and, Rising Sun Farms and newcomer Back to the Future Farms (with their chicken, eggs, yogurt and cheese)!

Sunday, January 18th:  Upper East Side Stop ‘N Swap

92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street (!), 11am-2pm

Bring clean, reusable, portable items you no longer need – think clothing, housewares, games, books and toys – and take home something you want and can use…  FREE!   You don’t even have to bring something to take something. ( But NO furniture or large items, please.)

Tuesday, January 20th:  Mysteries of Migration Lecture

Central Park Zoo Gallery, Fifth Avenue & 64th Street, just behind to Arsenal Building, 6pm

And we quote, “Join professional birding guide, lecturer and author Giff Beaton for an in-depth look at the amazing feats of endurance and navigation many bird species accomplish twice a year.”  Free.   For further details (and directions to the Gallery)

On the horizon:

Saturday, January 31st:  Native Plants 101 – Boost your Ecosystem

Third Floor Community Room, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, between First & Second, 2-3:30pm
Environmental horticulturalist and master naturalist Kim Eierman shares her store of wisdom based her eco beneficial gardening approach.  (Couldn’t be more perfect for us Manhattan gardeners!)  Presented by Green Park GardenersNYC (check out their beautiful gardens on the Esplanade at 63rd Street.  Free.

Saturday, February 7th:  Winter Walk in Pelham Bay Park

Meet at the Bartow Pell Mansion, 895 Shore Road, Pelham Bay, The Bronx, 3-5pm

Even in deepest winter there’s so much life transpiring in those lovely, quiet, undisturbed corners of our city like Pelham Bay Park and there’s no better way to learn and savor that life than with NYC Natural Areas ecologists as your guides!   (Would we ever love to learn how to identify animal tracks!)  Free.  For details, directions, tickets and the lowdown on Natural Areas’ great mission 

Saturday, February 14th:  Shred-A-Thon – Valentine’s Day Edition

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

Not long now till the big shredding truck is in our midst and obliterating untold amounts of paper of every kind!

So bring it on, people!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do take paperbacks.)

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thank you, Council Members Kallos and Garodnick, for your generous grants!)

Saturday, February 14th:  Central Park Ice Festival

Naumberg Bandshell, Mid-Park 66th to 72nd Street, 3-7pm

Celebrate your love of Central Park this Valentine’s Day!  Watch ice artists carve 3,000 pounds of ice into a twin of the Park’s Romeo and Juliet sculpture!  Then disco dance 1980’s-style on the Mall! Open to and appropriate for all ages.  Free.  For more…

On to some very miscellaneous miscellany:

Just who is this woman whose dream is that we quit being thorns in the Department of Sanitation’s side and embrace the MTS…?  AKA Commissioner of Sanitation Kathryn Garcia?  Courtesy of The Times, herewith her warm and fuzzy/non-hundreds-of- garbage-trucks side…  

(One of the best of those thorns would be the versed and eloquent Matthew Chapman, here appearing on Fox…)

On the off-chance you been nurturing doubts about fossil fuel companies’ commitment to due diligence…  Run your eyes over this Sunday Times Magazine piece…  (Holy crow!) 

But…

Tires from dandelions?  Could be!

Meanwhile, as we look to the transformation of our Esplanade, here’s how the people of Hamburg, Germany are addressing the traffic-packed Autobahn that bisects their city  (Thanks to reader Jennifer Ratner for this heads up!) 

Forward-thinking folks over in Hell’s Kitchen might well have been the first to install – albeit temporarily - parklets...  A traffic-quieting/business-building approach that’s now catching fire in the U.S. and abroad!  

Much as we’d like the plague of derelict phone booths (check out First Ave in the 60’s) to disappear, so nice there’re at least 4 NYC locations where classic wooden models endure:  The Harvard Club, the Frick Museum, Bomante’s Restaurant (in Brooklyn) and the 42nd Street Library where they’ve been in place since 1911 when that most beautiful building first opened its doors! 

Time to sign up for next November’s NYC Marathon!

We’d never forget animals:

Really?  Fish and Wildlife finally grants all 83 of Mexican gray wolves that still survive in the wild endangered species status, BUT still lets ranchers shoot them?

OMG  So adorable…  So touching…  So…  It’s that 2012 kitty classic…  The shelter for blind cats

Let’s close with a snippet from the Hudson River Almanac:

12/31 – Inwood Hill Park: Fifty Canada geese were foraging on the upper ball fields in midday. It was low tide, four days from a full moon, and the inlet of Spuyten Duyvil Creek was a mud flat with just six geese standing on it.  On the path up through The Clove, I neither saw nor heard birds until I put out some seed. Within a few minutes they had found it: cardinals (four males and a female), black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice, white-breasted nuthatches, a couple of white-throated sparrows, two blue jays, some dark-eyed juncos, and three rather aggressive mourning doves. Even a red-bellied woodpecker took a couple of seeds; I wonder whether he’s the one I’ve seen through a couple of summers here. – Thomas Shoesmith

Yours in greenness,

UGS

 

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