Happy Volunteer Week, UESiders, 

Plenty of opportunities, as you keep reading here and with this objective:

“We want to see landscaped streets at every turn, flower boxes on windowsills and masses of flowers where masses pass. We want to see more historic buildings, churches and monuments aglow with light. We want to hear more fountains splashing with water. We want more parks and plazas open to the sky with benches where we can enjoy the vistas.”

— Lady Bird Johnson, May, 1965 at the NYC Salute to Spring Ceremony

dianthus-moondust

dianthus-moondust

Hold that thought as we proceed towards Earth Day 2015:

Now to Sunday, April 19th:  Participatory Budgeting VOTE!

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

Won’t stop banging this drum:  You’ve still got 2 more days to weigh in on the worthy projects on which we – the citizens of District 5 – should spend $1 million city bucks (AKA our tax dollars)!  Check out the nominees… THEN VOTE!   (Here’s where!)

Every Weekday through October 30th:  Bryant Park Juggling 

Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street, 12-1pm

Haven’t we all wanted to learn how to juggle 3-4-5 brightly colored rubber balls…?  Bowling pins…? Fiery torches…?   The moment has come!  100% free!  Equipment supplied and we’re talking colored balls.

Saturday,  April 18th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Another of our summer friends returns to the fold!  Valley Shepherd with their amazing cheese (re)joins Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and (back with us last week) Garden of Spices Farms!

Plus!  Floral Beauty Greenhouses – with an array of plants and flowers for indoors and out – will be with us for the next few weeks!

PLUS!!  82nd Street’s live music season commences with blue grass band Live Culture!

To quote Market Manager Margaret, “Spring has sprung!!”

(Yet again, if you’d like to express your support for Ole Mother Hubbert’s – with their fantastic chicken, eggs, milk and cheese – inclusion year round, tell GrowNYC:  info@grownyc.org!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  48 lbs. batteries: TBA lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; TBA eye glasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  35 bags of clothes.

Whoa!  8 1/2 compost bins!!   

Sunday, April 19th:  The Science Channel Celebrates Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th Anniversary

Time Warner Channel 136

“Mission Critical: Hubble” airing at 8pm… “How the Universe Works: Big Bang” at 9pm and “How the Universe Works: Alien Galaxies” at 10pm.

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day NYC

All Over NYC, All Day

For the ever-expanding list of green awareness-building and fun activities celebrating our beloved, beautiful Mother Earth! 

earth

Friday, April 24th to Sunday, April 26th:  New York City Green Festival

Javitts Center, 655 West 34th Street

And we quote, “The Green Festival is America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event, bringing together the world’s most trusted companies, innovative brands, national and local businesses, pioneering thinkers, and conscious consumers in one place to promote the best in sustainability and green living.”  We’ll be there!  Tickets from $12 to $32.  For full details

Coming up:

Saturday, April 25th:  Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Past, Present & Future Tour 

Meet at the Navy Yard Building 92, 11am-1pm

From its establishment as a U.S. Navy shipyard in 1806 to home of tech start-ups and sound stages in 2015, there’s a lot to know and be seen!  Organized by the wild and crazy folks of the Obscura Society. $30.  For details, directions, tickets and more… 

Thursdays, April 30th to May 21st & Saturday, May 16th:  Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

Trees New York’s signature program educates New Yorkers in all things tree – identification, care, biology and pruning.  Four evenings, a half day (total 12 hours) and a test and you join the 11,000-plus Gothamites certified to minister to street trees throughout our city!  $100. For more and to sign up  

Monday, May 4th:  Esplanade Friends Second Annual Spring Benefit!

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 6-8pm

Even more convivial, community-building and fun than last spring’s gathering… Especially so as the event’s in honor of new Friends’ partner, the great, generous and UES-committed Rockefeller University!  This is how we reinvent the Esplanade we deserve, folks!  For your tickets and more

opuntia-fragilis

opuntia-fragilis

This week’s dollops of miscellany:

Sometimes it seems…  Make that pretty much all of the time New Yorkers are beating back one craziness after another.  Most recent addition to the UES List of Bad Ideas: Proposed expansion of the Frick.  

Just located this lurking at the back of our files: A lucrative niche business connecting companies with cost-effective hauling and recycling.  

Aper Consumer Reports, grocery store chains rating lowest in overall satisfaction were, in descending order, Walmart Supercenters, Waldbaums and A&Ps.

Of course, we love folks who lean towards (healthy) extremes in pursuit of greenness…  Like   chef/florist/green renegade, Joost Bakker!

(One last food note:  Should you think the FDA could do better by it’s food additive approval process…)

Love as much if not more the Citizen Scientist movement!  (Absolutely possible in NYC and only enhanced now the world’s gone digital!) 

Who knew we – as in the U.S. of A. – put the world’s first solar-powered satellite into orbit in 1958! Or that, 57 years later, the Vanguard I  is still providing data?!  (We had solar power in 1958?!!) 

Back here on earth:

What are the 3 most searched NYC tourist destinations?  1.  High Line, 2. Lower East Side and     3. Columbus Circle.

Oh yeah, of course!  We’ve got actual castles in NYState!

And there are NYC apartments with showers in their kitchens! 

Huge kudos to Upper West Side gardener Costello Caldwell and his inspired moves to save an injured tree

Fountain pen aficianados, ahoy!  There’s a NYC urgent care facility for that pen when it’s ailing!

Lampranthus spectabilis

Lampranthus spectabilis

Time for some animals:

Honest, they are really cute…  Baby (and orphaned) bats!   (Residents of the Australian Bat Clinic!)

How about this as an indication of over-fishing:   NYS DEC’s new Coastal Striped Bass Limit for all recreational anglers in coastal waters (off Long Island, Westchester County and NYCity south of the George Washington Bridge) during the April 15th – December 15th season is…  1 fish, 28 inches or larger!

And the bird of the week is:

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Definitely touching, this return of wood bison (the variety that once roamed our East Coast) to the wild, led by a snowmobile… 

Even more affecting:  A kidnapped baby elephant’s reunion with its mother

Putting us all in the perfect mood to avail ourselves of a new app that’ll match us up with the perfect pet!

Of course, we close with this from the Hudson River Almanac and a bunch of local citizen scientists:

4/7 – New York City: We were an intrepid group of seiners checking out spots for the Great Fishing Event to be run as part of the World Science Festival on May 30. We started at Soundview Park in the Bronx, where a serene pocket of park borders the mouth of the Bronx River and the East River. The tides were extremely low and our net was not productive. Moving on to Randall’s Island, we seined in both the reconstructed saltwater marsh and the Bronx Kill, pulling in a few mummichogs. Then we headed to Brooklyn’s Valentino Pier to test our luck and netted three Atlantic silversides and several dozen sand shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa) that displayed their small claws as we shared them with visitors. A nice end to a beautiful day. 

Crangon septemspinosa (AKA a sand shrimp)

Crangon septemspinosa (AKA sand shrimp)

Ever greener,

UGS

  

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On the 150th Anniversary of the Surrender at Appomattox, 

More like an eternity ago than a century and a half, yes?

For a first-rate, mini recap of events pre/on/after the day and vintage images of Grant’s Tomb and its surrounds as they once were, as usual Inside the Apple totally delivers…  (As do their tours.)

Meanwhile…

Happy 50th Anniversary, NYC Landmarks Law!!

Happy 25th Birthday, Earth Day!!

Happy 25th Anniversary, Hubble Telescope!!

And, UES ladies, happy Spa Week!  (To check out NYC participants…)

On to the week ahead:

Saturday, April 11th to Sunday, April 19th:  Participatory Budgeting VOTE!

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

It’s up to us – everyone age 16 and older – to decide how $1 million in city funds get spent on projects on our home turf, District 5!   Check out the worthy nominees (ballot attached to the cover email) … Check out the worthy candidates… Then VOTE!   (Here’s where!)

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With (reputedly) warmer weather comes a bit of a spring change-up in our great group of farmers/fisherman’s/bakers: Add to Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski and, Rising Sun Farms…  The returning Garden of Spices Farms!

(Yet again, if you’d like to express your support for Ole Mother Hubbert’s – with their fantastic chicken, eggs, milk and cheese – inclusion year round, tell GrowNYC:  info@grownyc.org!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  67 lbs batteries: 18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pair of eye glasses; 7 compost bins;  31 bags of clothes.

7 compost bins!!

Sunday, April 12th:_Latin Beat on the Esplanade!

East River Esplanade just south of the 103rd Street Footbridge, 11am-2pm 

The weather’s changed and Esplanade Friends are back in high gear and showing us all how wonderful our river space can be!  This time out: Live music and treats!!  As in the Latin conga, flute and guitar of the great Guataca Na’ Ma’ AND free ice cream sandwiches from meltbakery for the first 100 Sunday strollers/skaters/cyclists to stop by!  For more and directions  (See you there!)

Tuesday, April 14th, Wednesday, April 22nd & Friday, May 1st:  NYSERDA Co-Generation Tours

Various Locations

Get yourself and your building up to speed on the cutting edge approach to heating/cooling via co-generation – AKA CHP (combined heat and power)… Including actually seeing the heart of a functioning system in a NYC structure! (We’ll be doing the Palace Hotel session!)  Free.  For more and to reserve a place… 

Coming up fast:

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day NYC

All Over NYC, All Day

For an ever-expanding list of awareness-building and fun activities celebrating our Mother Earth…! 

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day at the New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, All Day

Really and we -adding deserved superlatives – quote, “What better place to celebrate Earth Day and its gifts than at NYBG?  Bring the family to learn how to make and maintain a worm compost bin, look for wildlife such as birds, frogs, and turtles—or simply enjoy the landscape of this urban oasis.  Come evening, take in the NYC premiere of award-winning doc on 20th Century landscape genius, Jens Jenson.   Tickets available at various levels and in various combinations.  For more… 

Thursday, April 23rd:  Spending Through the Roof – Fixing the Problem Panel

SEIU Auditorim, 25 West 18th Street, 6-8pm

And how are we collectively wasting $11M a year in heat loss?  Leaky elevator shafts in high rises! Ridiculous and eminently solvable…  As are many an other sealing problems and with innovative methods.  Learn all about ’em!  Free to Urban Green members.  Non-members, $15.  To register

Saturday, April 25th:  Master Class – Getting the Shot

Municipal Art Society Office, 488 Madison Avenue, Suite 1900, 11am

Immortalize your townhouse, apartment building, street, neighborhood…  Well, you get the idea…  All under the instruction of master architectural photographer Timothy Schenck!  From the mechanical to visual techniques.  MAS members, $30.  Non-members, $45.  To reserve a place

Sunday, April 26th: Founders Day Mass & Italian Heritage Celebration

Our Lady of Peace Church, 237 East 62nd, 11:30am

From out of the past and in an effort to preserve the lovely interior of the church (its exterior is landmarked) forming the west end of the Tredwell Historic District…  Worshippers carrying the church’s statue of the Virgin Mary will process west on 62nd to Second Avenue, down Second to 61st, west on 61st to Third Avenue, then up Third Avenue to 62nd Street and back to the church. Used to be a fairly regular neighborhood happening as recently as the late 1950’s,  still somewhat customary in parts of Europe…   We’ll be there to take the pagentry in!  

Thursdays, April 30th to May 21st & Saturday, May 16th:  Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

Trees New York’s signature program trains us New Yorkers in all things tree – identification, care, biology and pruning.  Four evenings, a half day (total 12 hours) and test later and you join the 11,000-plus  Gothamites certified to minister to street trees throughout our city!  A bargain $100. (We count this as one of the best and most fun things ever!)  For more and to sign up  

Sooner than we think:

Monday, May 4th:  Esplanade Friends Second Annual Spring Benefit!

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 6-8pm

Even more convivial, community-building and fun than last spring’s gathering… Especially so as the event’s in honor of new Friends’ partner, the great, generous and UES-committed Rockefeller University!  This is how we reinvent the Esplanade we deserve, folks!  For your tickets and more

Sunday, May 10th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade, 11am – 4pm

Bit by bit, we’re turning that 96th Street Planter and environs into one citizen-created masterpiece!  So get ready to weed, clean, plant, scrape, paint and snack on great eats!  Be there, people, for an hour or two or more!  You’re needed!!

Sunday, May 17th:  19th Precinct Shredding & E-Waste Collection Event

151 East 86th Street (in front of the NYSports Club, 10am-1pm

Bring on the paper!  All that unwanted tech, too, with all working devices receiving free data destruction!  There’ll also be free electronics registration with the NYPD’s Operation ID!   Did we say everything’s free?!  (But businesses are limited to 2 banker’s boxes of paper.)  

Miscellany:

Ripped from the pages of Consumer Reports:  America’s Best, Freshest Supermarkets…  (For all we’re happy to have them in the hood, Whole Foods rates #8 in freshness…)  

Steady on the muck-racking bent:  Check out The NYTimes on “Private Eyes in the Grocery Aisles

And the scope of the California drought

What the heck?  Nestle’s still being allowed to bottle California’s scant water?!  (Should you object on behalf of our CA friends…)

Of course, negotiations on the reconstruction/glorification of Hudson River Park’s Pier 54 transpired in the stratosphere…  But there’re lessons in this NYTimes’ piece as we move to convert our Esplanade into the great public asset the UES wants and needs!  

Like the sound of this:  In NYC schools that’ve adopted free lunches for all, the number of kids eating lunch increased every month, hitting 9.7% more from September to December 2014!

Very much like this as well (clean water funds for communities across NYS)!!

Then there’re these tips to “heal” our home environments… 

Add in this wonderful new book from The Times Sam Robert’s, “A History of New York in 101 Objects”! 

Aspiring filmmakers with a social conscience…  Here a competition for you: Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Short Film Contest!

Talk about a good idea…  Online farming courses!

Where were these when we were cooking last week’s holiday meal..  Ten Cooking Hacks?!  

And where’s the NYState Hike of the Month?  In none other than NYC’s own Pelham Bay Park! (Which is also NYC’s largest!) (Scroll down for The Hike!) 

(Wherever you might hike – and even get lost – know that our Forest Rangers are there are to assist!)  (Love DEC’s bare-bones rescue accounts!)

As for this week in Fauna World:

Yes, we and our pets need to know how to be safe around those new visitors to/inhabitants of our island, COYOTES

After this long, harsh winter, it’s expected fish die-off (from oxygen-depleted water) will be affecting ponds all but certainly in western NYS, but possibly elsewhere, too.  For details

Always have loved the word “wombat”, not to mention the endangered critter who bears that name!  (Should you wish to lend some particularly embattled wombats a hand…) 

wombat

 

Why wouldn’t the evolution of that adorable fuzziness – the bunny – be totally fascinating/surprising?  (Good bunny pix, too!)

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

 

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It’s the 8th Annual World Autism Awareness Day, UESiders!

Which is why you’ll be seeing so many of our signature spires on our skyline lit up bright blue!

We’ve never suggested you wonderful readers pony up for any particular cause or group, but for those who’d like to lend a hand with conquering this mysterious and proliferating state-of-being in some way…

(Think about it, Mr. Mayor…  As particulate matter like that generated by garbage trucks is ever more frequently associated with autism and ADHD.)

primula-denticulata

primula-denticulata

So, here we are Week #1 April:

Friday, April 3rd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

Friday, April 3rd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time out:  How the mix of deepsky objects line up in the sky according to their location relative to the Milky Way. (Example: Spring isn’t so favorable for open clusters but is wonderful for hunting galaxies!) Free.

Tuesday, April 7th to Saturday, April 11th: Spring Break Crafts and Games at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

421 East 61st Street, 11am-4pm

Engaging and fun 19th Century games and crafts for both kids and adults and in the warmly historic atmosphere of the UES’s best-kept-secret museum!  Free for members and kids under 12.  Adults, $8.  Seniors and students, $7.  For further details

Saturday,  April 4th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Better rain than snow and better a bit of rain on Saturday and sunny Easter Sunday!

With us and with tables loaded with Easter goodness will be our friends of Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Ole Mother Hubbert!

(We’re officially addicted to Ole Mother Hubbert’s chocolate milk!)

Last week’s recycling totals: 71 lbs batteries: 13 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses; 8 3/4 compost bins;  18 bags of clothes.

8 3/4 compost bins!!

Friday, April 10th:  “The Chlorine Revolution” Lecture

Hunter College, Lexington Avenue & 68th Street Entrance, Room HW714, 7pm

Author Dr. Michael McGuire recounts why and how chlorine became essential to disease-free public water.  Another great water-related event from NYCH2O. Free but reservations a must.  To RSVP

Saturday, April 11th to Sunday, April 19th:  Participatory Budgeting VOTE!

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

It’s up to us – everyone age 16 and older – to decide how $1 million in city funds get spent on projects on our home turf, District 5!   Check out the worthy nominees (ballot attached to the cover email) … Check out the entries… Then VOTE!   (Here’s where!)

Then:

Saturday, April 11th:  Hell’s Kitchen Kitchen Project Spring Kick-Off!

Metro Baptist Church Roof, 410 West 40th Street, 10am-1pm

Five years ago, we lent a hand with in the fabulous community effort – pretty much a bucket brigade – that moved 7 tons of rich soil up to the church roof and into an array of kids’ wading pools in just three hours! Since, volunteers have raised hundreds and hundreds of pounds of vegs in those little pools and distributed them to the needy!   It’s the loveliest experience to be a part of the annual planting!  All ages welcome!  For more and to check out those pools…   

Sunday, April 12th:  Latin Beat on the Esplanade!

East River Esplanade just south of the 103rd Street Footbridge, 11am-2pm 

The weather’s changed and Esplanade Friends are back in high gear and showing us all that our wonderful river space can be!  This time out: Live music and treats!!  As in the Latin conga, flute and guitar of the great Guataca Na’ Ma’ AND free ice cream sandwiches from meltbakery for the first 100 Sunday strollers/skaters/cyclists to stop by!  For more and directions…  (See you there!)

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

All Over Our City

Even without this year’s ferocious weather, NYC emerges from any winter season 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… 

Saturday, April 18th:  Starting Seeds in a Greenhouse or Indoors

Maggie’s Magic Garden, 1574 Lexington Avenue between 100th & 101st, 11am – 1pm

Get gardening early and with all the right techniques for making sure your seedlings thrive in the great NYC out-of-doors!  Free…  With registered Green Thumb Gardens and Grow to Learn schools receiving free seed starting kits!  For more and to RSVP

Sunday, April 19th:  Earth Day NYC 2015!

Union Square, 12-7pm 

A host of events to both educate and entertain!  Can’t wait! 

earth

Thursday, April 23rd:  Graphic Storytelling From Cuneiform Tablets to New York’s New Pedestrian Maps Lecture

Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue at 82nd, 6pm

Curator Kim Benzel, graphic artist Michael Bierut and public radio’s Julie Burstein make the timeless connections between words, pictures, design and communication… Think cuneiform to, yes, our new NYC pedestrian maps!   $30.  For further details and tickets… 

Sunday, May 10th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade, 11am – 4pm

Bit by bit, we’re turning that 96th Street Planter and environs into one citizen-created masterpiece!  So get ready to weed, clean, plant, scrape, paint and snack on great eats!  Be there, people, for an hour or two or more!

Just below the horizon:

Sundays, July 19th & August 2nd:  DEC Women’s Fishing Trip

Oswego Marina (on Lake Ontario), Oswego, New York, 5am and 1:30pm outings

And we quote, “Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead with Captain Dave Wilson aboard his 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing!”  (They’ve thought of everything!)  $125-$150, depending on number of participants. For more and to sign up…  

datura-wrightii

datura-wrightii

As ever, all-over-the-reservation miscellany:

Without further ado, after many an abysmal edition, NYMagazine comes up with a total winner in the (first ever) Annual Yesteryear Issue: After Midnight detailing late night NYC from the distant past to the almost present.  Pix… Captions… Squibs…  All great!

Always new and improved ways to deal with America’s shameful waste of food…  Uneaten or spoiled or how it’s handled as “garbage”…  But dumpster dive cuisine by an uber chef?!  YES!! (And thanks to reader Gerry Levine for the tip!)

Then there’s unreal food…  As in the lowdown on sugar substitutes

Should you have an adverse reaction to the unwanted piles of Yellow Pages that turn up on our doorsteps this time of year, here’s a petition for you!

And the 5 best and worst American cities for spring pollen are

New York State’s running a host of free webinars on many an aspect of building efficiency/sustainability… 

Also from NYS, it’s draft plan to protect and nourish the several Hudson River estuaries up and downstate…

Yup, you’re right, there’s a TON of construction underway on the UES.  Witness this map… 

So Brooklyn seems to be action central of the NYC passive house construction/retrofitting movement...  (Let’s get on our game Manhattan/UES!  Passive design is good-looking, too!) 

Meanwhile, Queens Council Member Donovan Richards is proposing a new post at the Department of Buildings:  A Solar Ombudsperson who’d collect and disperse info on the productivity/durability/maintenance of building solar arrays which’re soon to proliferate (we earnestly hope)…

As for critters:

Indeed, we all should have should have the 4 most essential emergency supplies on hand to tend to injured pets...

Ever more nesting bird cams back on line…  As in Maine ospreys!  Great horned owls!  And those ever popular long-eared owls

bunnies

May your Passover and Easter be warm, filled with family and green,

UGS

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Happy One Crazy Week in History, UESiders,

The Triangle Shirt Factory in 1911…  The Camp David Accords  and the 3-Mile Island Nuclear Plant Accident in  1979…  The birth of Houdini (1874) and Van Gogh (1853)…

And in 2015?  Weathermen are predicting yet another round of snow on March 28th…

We’re so over snow!  We could care less!   

zaluzianskya-ovata

zaluzianskya-ovata

See you at the market:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be our great line-up of farmers;/fisherman’s/bakers:  Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Ole Mother Hubbert!

(We’ve been making soup with Gayeski’s baby spinach!) (No cornstarch or sugar needed.)

Last week’s recycling totals: 62 lbs batteries: 15 cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 5 pairs of eye glasses; 7 compost bins;  15 bags of clothes.

Annual totals are moving into the hundreds of pounds range! 

Now through 11:59pm, Tuesday, March 31st:  Free NYC Parks’ Learn to Swim Class Lottery

Parks’ Recreation Centers Throughout the City

Free for all members of Parks’ Recreation Centers, be you toddler, kid, teen or adult.  For lottery rules and to register...   (Winners notified by email on Friday, April 3rd.)

Sunday, March 29th: NY Road Runners Health & Fitness Clinic for Kids

PS 59, 233 East 56th Street between Second & Third, 1-4pm

Yes, fitness events for the K-6 complete with expert advice…  Add nutrition workshops and  a “Finding Fun in Fitness” talk by “Biggest Loser’s” Olivia Ward!   Sponsored by Council Member Dan Garodnick. Totally free but you do want to RSVP…  (Flyer attached to the cover email or call the CM’s office:  212-788-7393!) 

Then in April:

Tuesday, April 7th:  “Urbanized” Screening

Knoll, 1330 Avenue of the Americas, 2nd Floor, 6pm

The much talked about new doc detailing how politicians, architects, and citizens around the world are moving to implement real, quality-of-life-improving urban change.  Members, $5.  Non-members, $10.  For more and to register

Friday, April 10th:  “The Chlorine Revolution” Lecture

Hunter College, Lexington Avenue & 68th Street Entrance, Room HW714, 7pm

Author Dr. Michael McGuire recounts why and how chlorine became essential to disease-free public water.  Another great water-related event from NYCH2O.  Free but reservations a must.  To RSVP

Saturday, April 11th to Sunday, April 19th:  Participatory Budgeting VOTE!

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

It’s up to us – everyone age 16 and older – to decide how $1 million in city funds get spent on projects on our home turf, District 5!   Check out the worthy nominees (ballot attached to the cover email) … Check out the entries… Then VOTE!   (Here’s where!)

Mondays, April 13 through May 18th, Thursdays, April 16th through May 21st:  Birding Tours of Bryant Park

Meet at 42nd Street & Sixth Avenue Park Entrance, Mondays 8am, Thursday 5pm

Take in the astonishing variety of feathered life that passes through the heart of our city during spring migration with master guide Gabriel Willow!  A lovely way to begin or end the work day. Free.   

Tuesday, April 21st:  Body of Art Figure Drawing Session

Poet’s Den Gallery, 309 East 109th Street, 6:30-9pm

Who but our East Harlem friend and impressario Raphael Benavides to organize an opportunity to draw the human body from life!  All skill levels welcome but bring your own materials.  $25.  For more

Saturday, April 25th:  Women’s Map and Compass Conference

Tupper Lake, New York

Learn the skill of navigating by compass and map in a one day workshop led by licensed NYS Guides Sonny & Sheila Young!  Organized by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. $45.  For full details and registration:  518-359-8194 or adkfoothills@yahoo.com

Thursdays, April 30th to May 21st & Saturday, May 16th:  Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

Trees New York’s signature program trains us New Yorkers in all things tree – identification, care, biology and pruning.  Four evenings, a half day (total 12 hours) and test later and you join the 11,000-plus  Gothamites certified to minister to street trees throughout our city!  A bargain $100. (We count this as one of the best and most fun things ever!)  For more and to sign up

THEN in May:

Saturday, May 2nd:  4th Annual I Love My Park Day

80-Plus State Parks and Historic Sites From Montauk to Niagara Falls

Nearly 6,000 New Yorkers turned out in 2014!  Can’t be enough opportunities to make our city/state more beautiful, we say!  To find an event that speaks to you

Sunday, May 10th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade

You know the drill…  Getting the 96th Street Planter – where we put in those hundreds of bulbs last fall – up to spring/summer snuff… Expanding our signature professional-grade railing scraping and painting beyond its present, amazing 2 block extent!…  Trimming, pruning, sweeping, partaking of great, fortifying snacks and more!  Be there, people!

cortinarius-ceskae

cortinarius-ceskae

On to miscellany:

Okay, as yesterday’s explosion demonstrates, NYC gas lines are threatening mess…  Same for the pipes, sorry to say.   (If you’d like some of our public money to move to modernize them…)

Grrrr…  What would a week be without announcement of yet another zillion-dollar/public friendly transformation of a Hudson River Pier

Hats off to the French yet again!  Paris’s mayor – one no-nonsense female – is moving to ban vehicles powered by diesel fuel within city limits!  (You recall that during a particularly bad pollution patch last year cars with odd and even number license plates – except for electrics – were banned from driving in Paris?!) (Scroll down to be chagrined by traffic green that other cities/countries are up to…)

Parallels to the tobacco industry and it can’t happen soon enough for us…  i.e. The death of coal that some predict 

Let us not forget that it was only a few months ago that the newly appointed Landmarks Commission attempt to purge buildings like Bergdorf Goodman from their calendared list (an attempt that went down in flames), but props that they’ve now calendared the very deserving Clock Tower Building in Queens Plaza!  

So whatever happened to the guy who expanded NYC’s plastic recycling and gave us compost collection...?  (And how come he wasn’t appointed Sanitation Commissioner?!!)

Believe it or not, there might well be an 1830’s locomotive entombed under Atlantic Avenue! Almost as strange is what’s/who’s keeping us from knowing for sure… 

Don’t we all need Consumer Reports Pesticides in Produce Guide

And a Mediterranean Diet Chart!

AND a list of 9 things we all need to have on hand in case of emergency!

Doesn’t get more miscellaneous than time-lapse photography of acorn-to-sapling

Or this Times account of how giant cruise ships move in and out of port in a matter of hours (with many recycling an amazing percent)!

senecio-pectinatus

senecio-pectinatus

No dearth of critters this time out:

Feeling really badly NYS DEC only got around to announcing this year’s “Big Night” Amphibian Migration just two days before the last night’s event when Hudson Valley volunteers turn out make sure that thousands of amphibians – frogs, toads, salamanders – migrate safely across streets, roads and highways.  Pretty fabulous, huh?  Until next year! In the meantime, learn more…  

Meanwhile, here’s what happened to the first 20 animals protected by the Endangered Species Act

Latest victim of our propensity to overfish:  The herring, AKA bedrock fish of the marine eco system.  (Should you think herring deserves some protection…) 

Resident Red-tailed Hawks – Big Red and Ezra – are back nesting on the Cornell campus and watchable on the Bird Cams!

Love that we’re now able to track ospreys as they head northwards to and up the U.S. coast from South America!

Newsflash from the trades:  “In the dog-eat-dog world of cable network programming, the Hallmark Channel has a new secret weapon: Cats. In its second year, Kitten Bowl, hosted by Beth Ostrovsky (wife of shock jock Howard Stern), reached 1.3 million viewers between noon and 3p on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s an increase of 28% over last year’s inaugural telecast. The broadcast also jumped 38 percent in the coveted women 25-54 demo. What’s more, #kittenbowl garnered more than 50,000 tweets, leading the network to its biggest-ever Twitter response. Talk about the cat that ate the canary! The network has plans to expand the franchise with Kitten Games, which will coincide with the summer Olympics in July 2016.”

Cats!  Cats!  And MORE cats!  Especially if they’re Rescue Cats Boogie (on duty at Midtown Ladder 24) and Carlow of Yorkville Tower Ladder 13!   (Hey, Yorkville Tower Ladder 13:  Carlow needs his own tiny Rescue Cat fireman’s hat!)

No, you’re not dreaming…  There’s a little lamb now roaming the streets of NYC

Naturalists aren’t sure why, but NYC’s harbor seal population is going up

First we had penguin sweaters…  Now there’re chicken jackets (complete with knitting instructions)!

Chicken Jackets

Little green tips of tulip and daffodil leaves are peaking through on the Esplanade,

UGS

 

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Happy First Day of Spring/National Proposal Day, UESiders!

(Celebrations/getting down on one knee will commence once snow is shoveled!)

ceanothus-thyrsiflorus

ceanothus-thyrsiflorus

As we contemplate the daffs and tulips and crocuses soon to come: 

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Fingers crossed the white stuff that’s still falling as we write  won’t impede our farmers;/fisherman’s/bakers travel into NYC and that Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Ole Mother Hubbert (formerly Back to the Future) Farms will all be at their tables!  (Bet they will!)

Last week’s recycling totals: 55 lbs batteries: TBA cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 compost bins;  12 bags of clothes.

Yes!  7 bins and 12 bags on that horrible rainy day! 

Thursday, March 26th:   Midtown Public Library Campus Public Planning Session

42nd Street Main Library Branch at Fifth Avenue, enter on 41st Street (between the lions), 6-8pm

$18M wasted on a wrong-headed star-architect’s redesign plan…  Sale of the erstwhile Science and Business Branch on 34th…  Smoke and mirrors about interior space landmarking, location and safety of research materials… The continuing uncertain fate of Mid-Manhattan…  Plenty for We the People to weigh in on and be heard by library “trustees”!  To RSVP…   

Thursday, March 26th:  Obscura Society Tour of the NY Academy of Medicine & Public Health

1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, 6:30pm

If you’ve ever wondered just what goes on in the lovely building across the street from the Museum of City of New York…  Important things that’ve impacted on the well-being of NYC for generations and brought to life as only the wild and crazy folks of the Obscura Society outings can. $30.  $100 for the 5-part series. For more and tickets… 

And then:

Sunday, March 29th: NY Road Runners Health & Fitness Clinic for Kids

PS 59, 233 East 56th Street between Second & Third, 1-4pm

Yes, fitness events for the K-6 complete with expert advice…  Add nutrition workshops and  a “Finding Fun in Fitness” talk by “Biggest Loser’s” Olivia Ward!   Sponsored by Council Member Dan Garodnick. Totally free but you do want to RSVP…  (Flyer attached to the cover email or call the CM’s office:  212-788-7393!) 

Tuesday, March 31st: Meet Atka the Wolf!

Broken Land, 105 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, 6pm

Incredible that one of America’s pre-eminent wolf conservation centers is located just an hour plus to our north, up in Westchester County…  Not to mention that its most famous resident will soon be journeying to Green Point to meet us!  Who else but the Obscura Society could/would put this event together!   $28.  Advance purchase mandatory.  For more and tickets…  

Then in April (!): 

Saturday, April 11th –  Sunday, April 19th: Participatory Budgeting VOTE!

Various UES and Roosevelt Island Locations TBA

Is up to us to decide how $1 million in city funds get spent on projects on our home turf, District 5!   Check out the worthy nominees (ballot attached to the cover email) …  Sign the Pledge to Vote…  Check the entries out up-close and personal at one of the project expos…  Then VOTE! 

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

All Over Our City

Even without this year’s ferocious weather, NYC emerges from any winter season 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… 

Sunday, April 19th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade

You know the drill…  Getting the 96th Street Planter – where we put in those hundreds of bulbs last fall – up to spring/summer snuff… Expanding our signature professional-grade railing scraping and painting beyond its present, amazing 2 block extent!…  Trimming, pruning, sweeping, partaking of great, fortifying snacks and more!  Be there, people!

elaeocarpus-angustifolius1

Miscellany…  Alternating the good and the bad this time out:

Applies only to federal land, but there’re now actual rules regulating fracking and the 100,000 wells on our public acreage!

Municipal Art Society’s analysis of  the 421-a tax abatement program‘s non-contribution to NYC’s affordable housing could hardly be more scathing… 

Seems like new-fangled, wonderful  (and traffic-taming) greenness form is springing up round about our city:  The Greenway!  Planning of a beautiful Brooklyn iteration – to be known as The Brooklyn Strand –  is well underway, with more in the planning stage.  (Thanks to reader Karen Lane for the tip!)  Here in Manhattan, a bunch of inspired dreamers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to install a PopUp mini-forest in Times Square

But we do not at all like what the powers-that-be are allowing to happen to yet another historic bit of NYC life, the venerable Essex Street Market!

Elsewhere in the world (Denmark and even D.C.), they’re running some pretty amusing ads for their public transport…  (Note absence of peeling paint, grimy tiles and chewing gum-speckled platforms.)

Beating that same poor horse, seems like NYC will soon be home to the world’s longest, most taxing and inconvenient way of getting to an airport…  But maybe we’re just not seeing the genius of the proposed Air Trans route to LaGuardia

Then there’s our crumbling Port Authority Bus Terminal…   (Think they know the City’s wanting to spend a quarter billion on obsolete technology at 91st Street?) 

Yup, we’ve got 10 National Parks in and around NYC‘s harbor!

So wouldn’t be great if that harbor water were infinitely more sewage free?  (If you agree, here’s how to tell NYState…)

Be prepared for some surprises in Cornucopia’s yogurt healthfulness ratings

Herewith, a Nat Geo review of antibiotic (over)use in factory farming… 

Who knows how recycling announcements like this wind up in UGS’s mailbox, but we like when they do…  We’re talking U.S. Government liquidation of items like tank tracks!

actinidia-deliciosa

actinidia-deliciosa

Time for some animals:

Haven’t we all wondered what goes into removing animals from the endangered list?

Amazing that it took till 2015 for those same folks at Fish & Wildlife to ban the import of “constrictor” snakes… (Except for the boa that’s now totally and likely irreversibly infested the Everglades.)

Cornell’s bird people have really upped their online game with “All About Fancy Males!

Okay, it’s pathetic, but we LOVE the Geico free-range chicken commercial 

chicken

Ever notice the unusual black squirrels who make their homes in the trees in City Hall Park? Trust the Hudson River Almanac to have the lowdown, albeit as an observation on a Hudson Valley black squirrel:

3/8 – East Fishkill, HRM 67: I came upon a black squirrel foraging for and finding peanuts under the snow near Emmadine Pond. – Rich Taylor

[Melanistic or black squirrels are genetic variants of the eastern gray squirrel that have increased melanin, resulting in black fur. Biologists have suggested that black squirrels may have a selective advantage over gray squirrels due to an increased cold tolerance. While not particularly rare overall – they are common in parts of Canada – it is estimated that only about one in 10,000 gray squirrels is melanistic. – Tom Lake.]

There’s green beneath that snow,

UGS

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Erin Go Bragh & Happy International Women’s Month, UESiders!

Yes, for sure, last Sunday was World Women’s Day, but in the U.S. of A. it was pretty much engulfed – and why not? – by the Selma/Pettus Bridge March anniversary…

That still leaves 18 days of March to celebrate International Women’s Month and the many, many women making our world a better place (among them these 6 great New Yorkers) and maybe take in one of zillion women-centric gatherings/conferences/lectures organized under the U.N.’s banner 

All while being sure to do the requisite partying down on St. Patrick’s Day!

Yes, it’s one intense second week of March 2015:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Rain or shine, at their tables will be Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Ole Mother Hubbert (formerly Back to the Future) Farms!

(Ballard has some really wonderful beeswax candles!) 

Last week’s recycling totals: 72 lbs batteries: 24 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of eyeglasses; 8 compost bins;  18 bags of clothes.

Yes!  Another 8 bins!

Saturday, March 14th:  South Street Seaport Broth Festival

Sugarcube at South Street Seaport, 17 Fulton Street, 12-9pm

Six of notable eateries vie for your nod as home of NYC best bone broth!   Almost as much fun, that the savoring will be in a big white inflated sugarcube!  Tastings conducted in 90-minute sessions.  $33.  For more and tickets

Sunday, March 15th:  A Tribute to the Tredwell’s Irish Servants 

Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th Street, 12:30pm

Walk in the footsteps of Tredwell maid, Bridget Murphy…  Check out the recently restored servant’s quarters high under the eaves…  Compare their lives with those of downstairs at Downton Abbey.  Tickets, $10.  Seniors/students, $5.  Free for those under 12.  For more… 

Coming up soon:

Tuesday, March 24th:  Water-Wise Gardening and Hydrants 101

NYC GreenThumb Office, 49 Chambers Street, Room 1020, 5-7pm

Tools, rules and permit applications for accessing water for your garden from city hydrants! Already have a permit?  Bring it for free lamination while you brush up on the requisite skill set! Free.  (Bring ID to enter the building!)

And out there:

Sunday, May 17th:  19th Precinct Shredding & E-Waste Collection Event

151 East 86th Street (in front of the NYSports Club, 10am-1pm

Bring on the paper!  All that unwanted tech, too, with all working devices receiving free data destruction!  There’ll also be free electronics registration with the NYPD’s Operation ID!   Did we say everything’s free?!  (But businesses are limited to 2 banker’s boxes of paper.)  

(Has to weigh in at less than 5 pounds, but for those who absolutely/positively cannot hand in there till May or the next Shred-A-Thon, Staples is offering free shredding this weekend for those who click here, scroll down and print the coupon!)  

ribes-sanguineum-glutinosum

ribes-sanguineum-glutinosum

As ever, all-over-the lot miscellany:

Most days it’s just the plain old N/R/Q platform at Third and 59th.  Today, it was a mini-Niagara Falls…  

What next you ask?  How about – in the wake of the Bloomberg-envisioned up-zoning-to-the-max of mid-Manhattan – the new plan to toss our present “contextural” zoning and let developers build however big they want wherever they want?  (If you object…)

Dealing with a covered airshaft in your walk-up building?  Lots of contradictory legal action on that score and maybe a tenant air/light victory!

Yikes!  The U.S.D.A.’s approved chickens grown and “processed” in China for sale in the U.S!  (Scroll down if you think it should be barred from American school meals…) 

Here in NYS looks like GMO labeling legislation is in play!  (Should you wish your representatives up in Albany to get on board…)

Meanwhile, geologist have designated a new rock form presently principally found on the beaches of Hawaii:  Plastiglomerate.  A mixture of sand, volcanic rock, wood, shells…  And plastic!  

Lighter now:

Lovely article on that UES jewel – the Mount Vernon Hotel & Garden – in last Sunday’s Times Metropolitan Section! 

Question:  How do we know that, at long last, spring’s approaching?  Answer:  Because NYS DEC’s just announced all ice fishing huts must be removed from bodies of water by March 15th!

And the first modernist house in NYC was/is…?  (There’s an example by the same architect on the UES!)

FYI, it’s 80 years and 2 days since FDR delivered his first fireside chat.

magnolia-vulcan

magnolia-vulcan

Time for some animals:

So, just how big is the world biggest rabbit?  Fifty-five pounds big and his name is Ralph

As if how stupendously cute-looking they are wasn’t enough, get a load of baby otter talk

Of course, cats love music…  It just has to be their kind of music… 

Yes, coyotes are here and among us in NYC, howling and mostly running free!

The Hudson River Almanac has an entry from our own East River this week:

3/1 – Manhattan, New York City: I spotted a red-necked grebe (in transitional plumage) feeding not too far off the shore along the east side of the East River a short distance south of the Robert F. Kennedy Triboro Bridge. Among other duck species present were ruddy, common goldeneye, bufflehead, gadwall, black duck, and red-breasted merganser.  – Thomas Fiore

red-necked grebe

Oh!  No less an authority than Snopes is on record that the woodpecker-riding-weasel photo is 100% real!

We’ll all be just that much more green on St. Patrick’s Day,

UGS

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Happy First Session of the House of Representatives, UESiders!

Yes, the day was March 4th and the year 1789…  George Washington presiding over the lightly attended gathering (13 representatives showed up) at our own Federal Hall on Wall Street!

Two hundred and twenty-six years later…  Snow or no snow…  Thermometer stuck below 32…

greyia-sutherlandii

greyia-sutherlandii

We’ve still got a great week ahead:

Friday, March 6th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

Friday, March 6th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time out:  “Observing Our Moon” covering the moon’s motion and location relative to the sun, stars and horizon, its role in the zodiac and chaos theory!.  Free.

Saturday,  March 7th:   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!!  (Okay, so Old Man Weather dumped everything he had on us today.)

Still, yet again, looks for all our farmers/fishermen/bakers/beekeepers: Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Back to the Future Farms to be at their tables!

(Rising Sun’s ground makes the best burgers ever!) 

Last week’s recycling totals: 76 lbs batteries: 26 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 8 1/2 compost bins;  17 bags of clothes.

We’re back in into our usual 8/9 bin groove!

Monday, March 9th:  Water Quality Standards Public Meeting

EPA Building, 290 Broadway, Room 27A, 12pm

Wouldn’t it be great to swim in, say, the Hudson, Harlem River, Bronx and East Rivers?   Not to mention Flushing Bay, the Newtown Creek or even (bit of a reach) the Gowanus Canal?  Believe it or not, NYState would like for it to be possible, too, and this hearing is one of the many but necessary steps in that direction.  Be there!  

Tuesday, March 10th:  Developing Future Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Scenarios

NYS DEC Webinar, On a Computer Screen Near You

Made for us Flood Zone A residents who’d like to get the gist of how the formulators of NYC Flood Report arrived at their conclusions!  Free.  To sign up… (Scroll down and note the many other intriguing webinars coming soon!)  

Tuesday, March 10th:  Creating Landmarks – Revival Style Townhouses of 19th Century Manhattan

Merchant’s House Museum, 29 East 4th Street, 6:30pm

Explore the origins of thebeautiful, architectural bedrock of Manhattan’s – and the UES’s – historic districts with architect/lecturer Curtis Estes.  Members, $5.  Non-members, $10.  To insure a place:  nyc1832@merchantshouse.org.

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

Thursday, March 12th:  Historic Pie Making Workshop

Mt. Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 Est 61st Street, 6:30pm

Why wouldn’t the pie have a distinguished history?  Learn all about it and prepare a pair of mini-pies from classic recipes while you’re at at!  Members & Students, $15.  Non-Members, $20.  To reserve a place:   212-838-6878.

Coming soon:

Tuesday & Wednesday, March 17th & 18th:  New York Geothermal Geopalooza

Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York

An immersion course on geothermal, the cutting edge of how homes of the present and future will be heated and cooled.  (There’re are at least 3 geothermal buildings we know of here on the UES.) $99-$389.  For schedule, speakers and more…  

Saturday, March 21st:  31st Annual Green Thumb Grow Together

Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, 9am – 4pm

And we quote, ” join thousands of community gardeners and greening professionals from all over New York City for a day of learning, sharing, networking and greening inspiration”…  Complete with breakfast, lunch and a t-shirt!  For more and to pre-register (which guarantees your lunch and shirt)… 

A little more than a month away:

Four Tuesdays, April 21st – May 12th:  Birding by Ear in Central Park

Meet at Central Park West & 72nd Street, 7:30-10:30am 

Really, to which of our feathered friends do those many chirps, tweets, trill and warbles belong? Expert Tod Winston will help you connect the sound dots on spring tramps across Strawberry Fields and in the The Rambles!  NYC Audubon Members, $80.  Non-members, $115.   For further details and to sign up

Friday, April 24th – Sunday, April 26th:  New York City Green Festival

Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street, 12-6pm

Not every day a couple of hundred companies and lecturers of a green persuasion gather under one roof!  (No way we’d miss the “Investing from a Vegan Perspective” talk!)  Tickets, $11-$29. For more and early bird ticket purchase…  

cyathea-cooperi

cyathea-cooperi

The latest collection of miscellany:

Swhat companies piled on the bucks to pass and/or defeat GMO labeling legislation in Colorado and Oregon? (Surprises on both sides!)

This as elements in Congress are seeking to prevent the designation of any more national parks! (If you think this is bad thinking…)

Meanwhile, elements on the City Council would like to “The Right of Way Law”.  (If you think pedestrians should have the right-of-way in crosswalks regardless of who’s behind the wheel…) 

Meanwhile, another bit of NYC’s past – Roseland – is having an encounter with a wrecking ball…

Of course, the push/rush to demolish is an old story in NYC…  The original Plaza Hotel structure lasted a grand total of 15 years!

Lack of sunshine is no impediment to growing great edibles…  Case and point:  Battery Park’s new Forest Farm!

((Yes, we know.  We are also tired of the fabulousness of what’s going on in so many other parks along the Manhattan coastline!)

Last week 500,000 Americans asked the U.S. Fish & WIldlife Service to place monarch butterflies on the endangered species list!

Whoever it is that writes the DEC’s High Peaks alerts has one real flair for understated humor:

Adirondack High Peaks Bulletin 3-5-15:  “Brisk weather for most of the preceding week with wind speed recording 45-55 miles per hour during the last snow event.”   (Snow being driven into your face at 45 mph is “brisk”?)

Lovely new blog from the NYBG recently plopped into our mailbox…  “Science Talk” in our baptismal issue on the subjects of Citizen Science for middle school students and the wonders to be found in a wintry Bronx River!

Oh!  The Manhattan edition of PBS’s “Victory Garden” series is now being streamed!   

iris-unguicularis

iris-unguicularis

Ready for some animals:

Really wonderful wildlife in winter photos from “NYS Conservationist Magazine”!

Is this little local critter cute or what…?

white footed mouse

On the odd chance you’ve yet to experience the woodpecker/weasel pic:

woodpeckerweasel

(Fingers crossed the darned thing is real!!)

Dreaming of the greenest spring,

UGS 

 

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