Happy July 4th, UESiders!!

Needless to say, there’s no place in the U.S. of A. –  maybe even on earth – that’s more dedicated to fabulous summer holiday fun (and the best fireworks ever) than our NYC!

For a sampling of all there is to do…    (Can we believe Funkadelic’s still alive and playing music?!!) Then there’re Parks’ suggestions…   

And once you’ve taken care of writing that 91st Street MTS letter to the DEC (for points to make and more just scroll down to last week’s newsletter)…

Then…

We know there’s  one activity many an UESider will be including in their weekend… Celebrating the nation’s founding Greenmarket-Style

Saturday,  June 27th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Risisng Sun, Garden of Spices and Ballard Honey are giving themselves a well-deserved weekend off, but friends Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert will all be with us! 

Yes, and our Master Knife Sharpener will also be AOL…  (But we forgive her for being up in Connecticut, floating in a pool.) 

Newsflashes from Market Manager Andrei:  Cherries and Gajeski’s 2015 potatoes are in!  Plus Andrei’s planning a quick pickling demo!  (Indeed, why insult great, home-crafted BBQ with pickles of the industrial/processed/supermarket kind!) 

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 11 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  25 bags of clothes.

Amazing!!

Sundays, June 28th – November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

Guess what?  This temporary location is just great!  So is the addition of Dipaola’s Turkey!  And Norwich Meadows joins the five-star farmer/baker/fisherman/dairy line-up this Sunday!!

Stop by and say hi to new Market Manager Clay who’ll be serving up red, white and blue fruit with a yogurt parfait!  (Fruit from Phillips Farm and yogurt from Back to the Future/Old Mother Hubbert Farm!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  TBA batteries:  TBA corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;  TBA eye glasses;  1 3/4 bins of compost.

One great first week!

Saturday, July 11th:  Untold Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour

Meet at the Central Park West 66th Street Entrance, 2-4pm

Given that it’s organized by those wild and crazy folks at Obscura Society, this won’t be your usual (but always great) CP Conservancy tour…  As in – just for openers – did we know Transcendentalists were much involved in Central Parks’s founding and design?  $25.  For more and tickets (buying in advance is advised)…

And then the long-awaited:

Sunday, July 12th:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Bastille Day Edition

First Avenue between 94th & 95th Streets, 11am-2pm

Just two weeks and we’ll be pulverizing tons of paper on First Avenue!

And you do recall:

NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please remove those 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!)

Tuesday, July 14th:  Mary Badham Reads From “Go Set a Watchman”

92nd Street Y, Kaufman Concert Hall, Lexington Avenue at 92nd, 7:30pm

Rather, Scout Reads From (Harper Lee’s recently unearthed and just published) “Go Set a Watchman”.  Some compelling combination even 50-plus years later.  Tickets from $24.  (For more and tickets…)

On the horizon:

Wednesday, July 22nd:  “Mourning Lincoln” Lecture

Bryant Park, Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street, 7pm

On the 150th anniversary, CSpan (yes, CSpan!) aired Springfield, Illinois’ fascinating reenactment of Lincoln’s Funeral.  Now, there’s Martha Hodes’ delving into personal responses to the assassination by great and ordinary persons of the time..  Organized by the NY Historical Society and Oxford U Press.  Free.  (For more…) 

Wednesday, July 29th:  “Cost of Courage” Lecture 

Bryant Park, Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street, 7pm

Stories of WWII heroism are inexhaustible and ever amazing…  In this case, Charles Kaiser’s account of the 3 French siblings who orchestrated resistance efforts in Northern France. Sponsored of the NY Historical Society and Oxford U Press.  Free.  (For more…) 

In the miscellaneous category:

Job opportunity ahoy!  And in the non-profit sector so many are interested in!! Check out this offering from the Commercial Free Childhood organization…  

On the serious side:

Opaque as where – citywide – our public moneys are going can be, we’re getting more transparent locally…  i.e. (and scroll down) CM Kallos’s list of his bigger ticket grant allocations…  (To review the full array of Council Member grants…)

Forces wishing to develop on the Grand Canyon rim and even into the canyon itself just keep coming…  (If you feel moved to keep holding the line against…) 

(This while China develops a systems based on our array of national parks!)

Should you support efforts to end the mountain-top method of mining

Believe it or not, powers-that-be still allow the dumping of fracking water in local water treatment plants!!  Should you believe this practice ought to come to an end… 

And now for our smiley face:

We revere all citizen science (real science!) projects, but here’s a particular winner:  What’s become a worldwide effort to monitor phytoplankton (vital to the ocean’s food web) in our warming oceans and involving a device invented 1865! 

A host of great NY Botanical Garden gardening courses and at their midtown location, too!

And a ton of available fun in nature in NYState’s July Outdoor Discovery newsletter…  (Check out the Hike of the Month in Palmer’s Pond State Forest!) 

Times Square as it was 97 years ago…  (Too bad we didn’t get a replacement building as good-looking as this!)

TimesSqfront

Courtesy of our great public library (and reader Kathleen Treat), we can now easily check out rather fabulous vintage pix of our own hoods!  

Get ready for animals:

Love that the NYS DEC’s announced a final plan to protect the northern cricket frog!   (We can be proud this is our state’s only endangered frog!)

Birth of a baby puffin…!!   (Tiring work for the little chick!) 

Cat vs. mountain lion

Yes, our Master Knife Sharpener has an alter ego…  That being Madrette, paw reader for the canine set and in which capacity she’s raised many dollars for animal charities…

Madrette and Friends

Madrette and Friends

Okay, it’s a long weekend so we have time to recover from a dose of incredible cuteness…  As in pix of parenting in the wild!  (Thank you, reader Jan Colucci!)

Then there are the adorable tarsiers of the Philappines

We’ll be keeping it green while we’re waving the red, white and blue,

UGS

 

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Happy…  Make That Ecstatic DEC Public Comment Period, UESiders!

Let’s get busy writing those letters…  From everyone – young,old and in between – in your family… Your neighbors and friends throughout the city…  Colleagues and professional acquaintances if they’re city residents (we’re been unashamedly puting the bite on both)…

Letters don’t have to be long…  Don’t have to be masterpieces of English Lit…  The plain facts that so argue against the MTS are abundant and once noted  don’t require scholarly elaboration.

But passion is welcome!!

Meanwhile…

Yes, you can submit to the local DEC office noted in the Commission’s press release, but – once again for purposes of recording vital head count and preventing letters going strangely astray once received – is to forward via  P2P’s site

Good to also copy your remarks to our various electeds:  CMs Kallos (bkallos@benkallos.com) and Garodnick (DGarodnick@council.nyc.gov), State Senator Kreuger (liz@lizkrueger.com) and Assembly Members Seawright (SeawrightR@assembly.state.ny.us) and Quart (quartd@assembly.state.ny.us).

The big, fat bottom line:

We’ve been given a primo and totally democratic opportunity, so let us pile on!! 

Sarcococca Confusa

Sarcococca Confusa

And now for more in the week to come:

Saturday,  June 27th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Yes, it’s a full house with our friends Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert and Garden of Spices Farms! 

Our Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table, too!!

This just in from new Market Manager Andrei:  “ Cherries are here and you’ll find the first potatoes of 2015 at Gajeski!!”

Last week’s recycling totals:  84 lbs. batteries; 25 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  36 bags of clothes.

(Closer and closer to that ton o’ batteries mark!)

Saturday, June 27th:  Central Park Family Picnic Event!

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Inside the Park between Fith & Lenox Avenues, 12-3pm

Fill that picnic basket with goodies and head off for an afternoon of music, lawn games, fishing, and just plain getting to know fabulous Central Park that much better!  Need we say, it’s free!  For more...    

Sundays, June 28th – November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket Grand Re-Opening!!

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

All of our old farmer/baker/fisherman/dairy friends and their fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, milk, yogurt, cheese, cider and fabulous seafood from the 92nd market…  A mere 2 blocks further north!!

And joining us in 2015:  Dipaolas Turkey!!

You want…  You need to be there!!

Sunday, June 28th:  Green Park Gardeners Volunteer Day

East River Esplanade at 60th Street, near the 60th Street ramp, 2:30-5pm

Ever wondered who’s been making our low-Sixties Esplanade so gorgeous?  Green Park Gardeners, that’s who and here’s a fine moment to pitch in…  And acquire some of the group’s extensive garden knowledge!!  Just equip yourself with an inexpensive trowel with inches marked and garden gloves (both available at Home Depot)!

Wednesdays, July 1st to August 19th:  Socrates Park International Film Festival

Socrates Park, Long Island City, 7pm

Film Forum in partnership with Rooftop Films put together a schedule from D.A. Pennebaker’s ultra classic USA doc “Don’t Look Back” to films ranging from India to Saudi Arabia to Argentina and beyond.  For the complete program…  

Thursdays During the Growing Season:  Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project Volunteering

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

Four years ago, we joined 40 others from all over NYC in raising 7 tons of earth to Metro’s rooftop bucket brigade-style (believe it or not, only took a few hours!). Fast forward to one of the cleverest and most productive city farming projects going (utilizing kids’ wading pools), providing fresh produce to the needy of the area!  Couldn’t be a better outing for out-of-school youngsters.  Can’t beat the view either!  For more

Right around the corner:

Sunday, July 12th:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Bastille Day Edition

First Avenue between 94th & 95th Streets, 11am-2pm

Just two weeks and we’ll be pulverizing tons of paper on First Avenue!

And you’re only too familiar with 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!)

photinia-fraseri

photinia-fraseri

Our usual mixed bag of miscellany:

Should you object to those crude oil-laden trains traveling the rails across our state… 

Congrats to the deserving winners of this year’s Historic Districts’ Grassroots Awards which include our own CM Garodnick and life-long UES resident and much-missed CB8 Board member, Teri Slater. 

Still on the subject of things historic, happy to see the for-many-years-lost pedestal of the northern 59th Street Bridge lamp (removed because the Tram wasn’t engineered at sufficient height; the only parts of the lamp so far found) has been restored…  BUT not to its rightful place…  BUT now lives on Roosevelt Island and not on our side of the river…  We say it’s infinitely more “relevant” to a spot near its original location.

Parks of every description are coalescing all around us…  Got to bode well for our own East River Esplanade, yes?!!

Craving a NYC saltwater fishing map?

Lucky us!  Two of the best NYC public swimming pools are either right in or within easy reach of the UES!  And they’re opening this weekend!!

If you’ve come across a worse “apartment, we want to see it!  (Really!)

citrus-trifoliata

citrus-trifoliata

Animals:

Believe it or not, there’s a fur-trapping business and its championing re-introduction of the 19th Century-vintage foot-hold trap!  (If you find fault with this method…)  

Yes, we’ll stoop to anything when there’re baby animals involved…   More so when a kitten-saving NYPD officer is involved… 

Soda-drinking German shepherds/Alsatians…?

Yoga at a cat cafe…?

Of course, like every other living thing in California, the state’s rare (and totally adorable) flying squirrels are getting slammed by the endless drought. (Should you think they deserve endangered species protection…)

Okay,  there actually is such a thing as a cute octopus:

Dumbo Octopus

Dumbo Octopus

Meanwhile there’s a newly discovered crab – rather furry-looking crab – living in Antarctic waters! The yeti crab!!

There’s green in that LGBTQ rainbow,

UGS

 

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A Belated Happy Birthday to the Magna Carta, UESiders!!

Britains have also been celebrating the 2,000-2,500th (best they’re able to determine) birthday of the Ankerwycke Yew, the ancient tree under which King John signed on the dotted line!

(For those who haven’t ever made the comparison, the parallels between the M.C. and our Constitution are pretty amazing…)

hibiscus-palustris

hibiscus-palustris

But let’s move on to present and the week ahead:

Friday, June 19th:  The U.S. Contraband Ivory Crush!

Times Square, 10:30am

Sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a host of other conservation groups, this is the second such event in America!  The aim:  Underscore the elephant poaching crisis that could soon have the animal extinct in the wild.  For more

Friday, June 19th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Your chance to relate the origins of your passion for astronomy to fellow enthusiasts of NYSkies! And we quote Starmaster John Pazmino:  “I myself got into this profession in, uh, 1954 by witnessing a partial solar eclipse from Brooklyn. I may be the longest enduring astronomer in NYSkies but I’m ready for an older fellow to surprise me at this meeting!”  Free and great!

Saturday,  June 20th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be our all star line-up of Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert and Garden of Spices Farms! 

Add to that our Master Knife Sharpener, too!!

This just in from new Market Manager Andrei:  “Peas of all type are plentiful and there’s lots of broccoli rabe in the market!  Samascott & Gajeski have strawberries & rhubarb!  Cherry Lane has greenhouse tomatoes of many varieties.  And for you fava fans, Alewife has fava beans!!

(Do introduce yourself to Andrei!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  82 lbs. batteries; 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  40 bags of clothes.

(We’re closing in on a ton of batteries, folks!)

Saturday, June 21st & Sunday, June 22:  The Seed Experience –  4th Annual Environmental & Healthy Living Festival

Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble Street, Brooklyn, 10am-6pm

Exhibits, lectures, tons of environmentally-friendly/cruelty-free products, films…  Well, you get it! $15 or $25 for both days.  For more info, directions and tickets

Sunday, June 21st:  Make Music New York at Schurz Park

86th & East End Avenue, 4-7pm

We quote, “An evening of music and refreshments with a diverse group of performance artists.” These Schurz summer events are never anything less than pure fun and relaxation!  Free.

Sundays, Now to August 16th:  Sunset Ecocruises to the Harbor Heron Islands

Leave from Pier 16, South Street Seaport, 6-9pm

An annual NY Audubon super treat focusing on our neighboring Brother, Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, Jamaica Bay and the large egret, heron, ibis and cormorant colonies that inhabit them! For complete details, tickets and prices…  

Every Tuesday:  Rowing with the East River Crew

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 4:30pm

Row or just go out on the water for the ride and a most wonderful, later afternoon summer experience! Truly, one of the UES’s treasures.  Open to one and all and, unbelievably…  Free.  For more... 

Wednesday, June 24th:  NYS DEC Sea Level Rise Projection Meeting

Hunter College, 67th Street & Lexington Avenue, West Building, Room 511, 10am

DEC Announces Sea-level Rise Projection Meetings – A New DEC Press Release

Of course we Sandy veterans have a lot at stake with this issue and – albeit likely window-dressing – it’s our chance to speak up on proposed regulations!  For more, including how our state sees the issue and what it’s proposing

Coming up soon:

Sundays, June 28th – November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket Grand Re-Opening!!

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

All of our old farmer/baker/fisherman/dairy friends and their fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, milk, yogurt, cheese, cider and fabulous seafood from the 92nd market…  A mere 2 blocks further north!!   See you there!!

And then:

Every Tuesday during July & August:  2015 Rooftop Cinema & Concerts

Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

The usual great roster of early film classics, both Czech & American, with silent films accompanied by live music.  A totally delightful environment with a refreshment stand!   Free to members.  Non-members, $15.  (For the schedule…)

Wednesday, July 22nd:  Clean Air Compliance Operating Permit Fee Hearing

Federal Building, 90 Church Street, 4th Floor Board Room, 7pm

For those of us who yearn to bathe in governmental regulation minutia, don’t miss this one of several statewide gatherings at which costs to producers of CO2 are considered/assessed!  For (riveting) details

argyroxiphium-sandwicense

argyroxiphium-sandwicense

Miscellany…  Sobering items first in line:

Like there’s more species extinction going on than previously recognized

And whatever’s going on with the deB appointed Landmarks Commission?  Attempts to de-calendar important structures under consideration…   And, now, moves to constrict previously established boundaries of proposed historic districts

But most sobering of all:

Truly a hold the wastebasket moment as NYC DEC fields a request for public comment on 3 alternative methods of sealing rail cars loaded with “municipal solid waste” …  

Hummm…  Wonder what muncipality’s solid waste this might be?

Wonder if – as the supposedly state-of-the-art, tight-as-drum rail cars members of MTS Advisory Group were shown during a 2014 field trip featured dripping rivulets of ick –  this might especially pertain to NYC solid waste…?

Which, as we all recall, our city’s Neanderthal solid waste “plan” envisions shipping many hundreds of miles away and at 3 times current cost to landfills near poor upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Carolina communities.

Which is to say, do weigh in!

(In our none-too-humble opinion, no waste should be shipped anywhere until rail cars are proven to be 100% and long-term leak-proof!) 

Sun breaking through:

A solar panel factory’s setting up shop in Buffalo!  (Let’s hope the thousands of jobs predicted materialize!)

Not like there were a zillion examples in how Mediterranean countries deal with water, but and finally a smidgen of California’s acting to hoard precious rain water!

This while NYC experiences its own particular kind of water woes…  Like rising rates and folks not paying their bills!

Still on the subject of water:

Yes, why indeed is the ocean salty?  (Worth enduring the NatGeo ads to learn and then savor other “Campfire Stories”.) 

And what’s in it:

As in best seafood – for the ocean and its inhabitants – for us to be eating… (All of it in Warren’s icy cases!) 

Going scattershot:

The New York Historical Society now has 60,000 images – from the Revolution to near present – online!

Has to have considerably more tamper/graffiti/vandal resistance designed in to survive in NYC, but we love the idea of the Cooper Lumen wifi post!

Somewhere in Manhattan…  There’s a cabin atop a highrise roof!!

This while there’s a cottage on an East 13th Street walk-up!

While down on UES streets, your neighbors have launched our hood’s 2015 Tree Census!

Censusistas   

Hello, animals:

So what have they been doing up in Albany while rent regulations languish?  Pondering dog-centric legislation, that’s what!

Could be a churchyard, backyard or any community real estate…  We can – and why not –  turn that greenish space into a bird haven!

Very sorry to report that America’s oldest known eagle has passed away…  The good news being that the bird was 38 years old…  The oldest banded eagle on record in U.S. history!!  (Mr. Eagle has a great life story, too!)

You bet there’s a New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network!

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

6/5 – Manhattan, HRM 1: This week we caught a male seahorse 75 millimeters [mm] long at The River Project on Hudson River Park’s Pier 40; we could see its brood pouch. We also caught a blackfish (tautog, 37 mm), a juvenile striped bass, and two juvenile oyster toadfish. –  Jessica Bonamusa

pregnant male seahorse!

pregnant male seahorse!

[Male sea horses and pipefishes have a brood pouch in which they carry fertilized eggs deposited by the females. In one of the rare instances in the animal kingdom, it is the males that give live birth. Tom Lake.]

A very green farewell to you, o’ styrofoam,

UGS

 

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Happy World Ocean Day, UESiders!

And a less happy first NYC Air Quality Health Alert Day of 2015…

Pretty early in the season and all the more reason to devote ourselves to the UESide’s trees and tree beds, parks, Greenstreets, Bicycle Island Gardens, East River Esplanade…  Well, any and all of the green spaces that make NYC life aesthetic and – most of all – healthier.

A good frame of mind in which to familiarize yourself with the present administration’s proposed financial commitment to our Parks...  

Calochortus-tiburonensis

Calochortus-tiburonensis

Then get down on the pleasures of the week ahead:

From Now On:  Visit High Bridge Park!

Washington Heights, Manhattan, 7am-8pm

With thanks to all those who saved this NYC gorgeousness…  From Mayors Guiliani to Bloomberg…  The City Parks Foundation… Congressman Serrano… Friends of High Bridge Park… Go and marvel!   (For Park history, directions and more…)

Friday, June 12th – Sunday, June 21st:  Human Rights Film Festival

IFC Film Center, 323 Sixth Avenue

Thirty-plus years on, Human Rights Watch’s put together yet another great roster of film chronicling present global challenges and those meeting them.  (For the schedule, times and more…) 

Friday, June 12th:  Clearsky Starviewing in Central Park

Great Lawn, 8pm

Brought to us by TotL (Top of the Lawn), an amateur astronomy group with a yen to introduce the rest of us to what happening in skies above.  They’ve got the telescopes and knowledge, we’ve just got to get ourselves there!  (And it’s amazing what’s visible even with the naked eye!)  Free. For more… 

Saturdays, June 13th, 20th & 27th:  Fly Fishing in Bryant Park

Fifth Avenue Terrace, Bryant Park, 10am-12pm

Learn the art of casting and more from the uber fishing/hunting gear masters of Orvis!  Free and it’d be good to reserve a spot:  212-827-0698.  (For further details…)

Saturday,  June 13th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Garden of Spices Farms…  

PLUS…  We’ll no longer have to content ourselves with Ole Mother Hubbert’s milk.  The lady herself will be with us, along with her full array of wares (soon to include gelato)!

Yes, and the Master Knife Sharpener will be present as well!!

Scallops have never been better, people!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  74 lbs. batteries; 18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/4 compost bins;  35 bags of clothes.

Tuesday, June 16th:  Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden Summer Garden Concert

421 East 61st Street, 6pm

Commencing the season with a harpsichord performance!  Music, a gorgeous garden, a museum tour and a cocktail!  Doesn’t get any better!  Free to members and babies under 1 year old.  Non-members, $15.  Children under 12, $5.  For more…  Or call 212-838-6878.

Tuesday, June 16th:  Divine Felines – Cats of Ancient Egypt Lecture

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, 6:30pm

The unique roles of cats and lions in Egyptian kingship, mythology and long ago everyday Egyptian life.  Presented by Yekaterina Barbash of the Brooklyn Museum.  Free! 

Just over the horizon:

Saturday, June 20th:  Coney Island Mermaid Parade

1pm

A NYC classic!  Looks like you can even still sign up to participate!  For total rundown

Sundays, June 28th – November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket Grand Re-Opening!!

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

All of our old farmer/baker/fisherman/dairy friends and their fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, milk, yogurt, cheese, cider and fabulous seafood from the 92nd market…  A mere 2 blocks further north!!   See you there!!

Sunday, June 28th:  NYC Safe Disposal Event

Columbia University/Teachers College, 120th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam, 10am-4pm (If coming by car, approach from Seminary Drive down Amsterdam Avenue.)

Recycling of the heavy duty kind:  Transmission fluid, paint, medications, car batteries, oven cleaner, anything with the skull-and-crossbones/poison on its label…  You get the drift, but for the complete list of what you can recycle

cladonia-bellidiflora

cladonia-bellidiflora

Feel good miscellany up first:

Esplanade Friends’ great public art banner made The Wall Street Journal!

The EPA’s finally moving to cut aircraft emissions!

New fuel economy regulations automobile-style are expected soon…

For once, a developer recognizes and SAVES at least some elements of an architecturally (but unlandmarked, natch) building!

Then:

Why are we not surprised at EPA’s timidly couched conclusion that fracking affects water quality???

Over the objections of some that the bill included too much money for infrastructure (!) and especially Amtrak (!!), the House passed not very generous funding for transportation and housing… 

Back with good cheer:

How about a mozzarella-making class..?!   (Yes!!)

Or a 1930’s Brooklyn trolley map…?

bit of East Side character that endures in the form of First and 55th Street’s Jennings TV

How about this for a well-designed logo:

HDC-GrassLogo-HIRES.indd

 

As for those animals:

Yet another osprey chick has hatched!  A third is coming…  (Parents are Rachel and Steve!)

At the other end of the spectrum, 9 of the world’s smallest (adult) birds

As we move into summer, battle with the rapacious southern pine beetle resumes

Rarely shill, but there’s a worthy, endorsed by NYC Audubon and absurdly low-cost wildlife series in the making (“The Creature Show”:  Episode I –  The Jefferson Salamander)

How about we bring down the curtain with the teeny bit of extreme cuteness born in Queens this week… 

And these NYC-centric excerpts from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/30 – As a part of the eighth annual World Science Festival on May 30, a Great Fish Count took place fourteen locations in the greater New York City area, from Staten Island to southern Westchester County, and Jamaica Bay to the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey. A few highlights follow.

Habirshaw Park, Yonkers, HRM 18: Many small seiners covered the beach at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak, helping to haul in an amazing eight eels, seven striped bass, a hogchoker, a mummichog, five white perch, and five blue crabs, along with shrimp and softshell clams. The diversity was impressive and the river kept producing seine after seine. The salinity was 5.0 parts per thousand [ppt} and the dissolved oxygen concentration was 10.0 milligrams per liter [mg/L]. – Margie Turrin

Inwood Hill Park, Harlem River, HRM 13.5: We scooped up netfuls of wriggling mummichogs, most no more than two to three inches long. The males were striking in their mating colors, with bright yellow bellies and pelvic fins, an eye-spot marking on their dorsal fin, and silvery striped bars on their sides. Many of the females were carrying eggs. The group intently counted each of 103 fish. Salinity was 10.0 ppt and dissolved oxygen was 10.0 mg/L. – Margie Turrin

Ft. Washington Park, Manhattan, HRM 11: The first net came in with just two small striped bass, but the group of participants at greeted their appearance with great enthusiasm. The second net brought in a blue crab and, as we watched, it began to moult. It suddenly went very still as we set it in a bucket; concern mounted that perhaps it had died. But its eyes began to shift back and forth, and then – with a final push – it was free of its old shell. The crowd erupted into cheers! The next net brought in an old barbeque filled with debris and an assortment of small mud crabs and blue crabs (two more were softshells), more than a dozen shrimp, and two small summer flounder perfectly camouflaged against the sand. A final seine pulled in a northern pipefish. Salinity was 12.0 ppt, dissolved oxygen was 11.0 mg/L, and the water temperature was a warm 72 degrees F.  –  Margie Turrin

molting blue crab

Photo of blue crab molting courtesy of Margie Turrin

Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan: Near the junction of the Harlem and East Rivers, we seined at the mouth of a tidal creek winding its way out of a recently restored salt marsh. Two young of the year [YOY] Atlantic tomcod were the surprise of the day – pretty amazing that these little guys, no more than two inches long and hatched in the freshwater Hudson in late winter, had already made it downriver to Randall’s Island. As the tide fell in early afternoon, large numbers of small fish gathered to feed where the dwindling salt marsh creek entered a shallow bay of the Harlem River. With Advanced Inquiry Program master’s degree students from the Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo, we netted over 900 mummichogs in two hauls of the seine. Among them were a few striped killifish (the first time I’ve found them in Manhattan waters) and at least 20 yearling striped bass. –  Steve Stanne

Valentino Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn: At this park’s short beach, not a hundred feet wide, the water was a cool and refreshing 63 degrees F in contrast to the 84 degree air temperature. Three dozen beachgoers willingly shared the waterfront with us, as did wading children and Labrador retrievers chasing tennis balls. With the help of volunteers, we hauled our seine, captured three species of native fishes – striped bass 92-102 millimeters [mm] long, winter flounder (119-140 mm), and windowpane flounder (45-60 mm) – and returned them safely to the bay. We also found shore shrimp (Palaemonetes species) and mud dog whelks (Ilyassoma obsoleta) in the net. The salinity was 23.0 ppt; dissolved oxygen was 9.0 mg/L.   – Rebecca Houser, Kacie Giuliano & Tom Lake

Lemon Creek Park, Raritan Bay, Staten Island: We seined at two sites here. The first was a constructed tidal pond. The water was warm and salty (84 degrees F, 27.0 ppt) with a lot of sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) but plenty of fish as well. They included dozens of striped killifish, mummichogs, fourspine sticklebacks, Atlantic silversides, an alewife, and an American eel whose efforts to leap out of the bucket and escape delighted everyone. Invertebrates included mud dog whelks, shore shrimp, two green crabs, and several feisty blue crabs. The strangest catch of the day was a small drone (remotely operated vehicle) that someone must have accidentally crashed in the pond. We then moved to the beach on the bay side (77 degrees F, 24.0 ppt). Several hauls resulted in six lady crabs, two dozen bay anchovies, many silversides, and a northern pipefish. Invertebrates included a dime-sized blue crab, both sand and shore shrimp, dog whelks, and a seemingly endless supply of hermit crabs. The young beachcombers among us found a decaying bluefish and an ancient-looking but live horseshoe crab, its carapace covered with a thick layer of barnacles.  – Chris Bowser, Katie Friedman, Carl and Lucy Alderson, Michelle Luebke, Orion Weldon & Mary Lee

female (top) and male (bottom) mummichogs

Photo of female (top) and male (bottom) mummichogs courtesy of Steve Stanne.

Here’re the fish species reported to date from the World Science Festival Great Fish Count:
1. Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitis) – 1,077; high count 943 from Randall’s Island ]
2. Striped killifish (Fundulus majalis) – 64; high count 60 from the tidal pond at Lemon Creek Park
3. Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia) – 45; high count 30 from the beach at Lemon Creek Park
4. Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) – 43; high count 30 from Randall’s Island
5. Bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli) – 36; high count 25 from the beach at Lemon Creek Park
6. Fourspine stickleback (Apeltes quadracus) – 20, all from the tidal pond at Lemon Creek Park
7. Winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) – 12; high count 10 from the seaplane ramp, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn
8. American eel (Anguilla rostrata) – 9; high count 8 from the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak
9. White perch (Morone americana) – 8; high count 5 from the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak
10. Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) – 3; two from Ft. Washington Park and one from Bloomers Beach, Palisades Interstate Park, Englewood, NJ
11. Atlantic tomcod (Microgadus tomcod) – 2 from the salt marsh creek at Randall’s Island
12. Banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) – 2 from Inwood Hill Park
13. Northern pipefish (Syngnathus fuscus) – 2; one each from Ft. Washington Park and the beach at Lemon Creek Park
14. Windowpane (Scophthalmus aquosus) – 2 from Valentino Pier
15. Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) – 1 from the tidal pond at Lemon Creek Park
16. Hogchoker (Trinectes maculatus) – 1 from the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak
17. Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) – 1 found dead on the beach at Lemon Creek Park

Whew…  That was one big, green mouthful!

(And what a formidable fish incubator Randall’s Island is!)

UGS

 

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Happy National Donut and Gingerbread Day, UESiders!

How about we celebrate this pair of delectables with a couple of right-here-on-the-Upper-East-Side stories:

*Concerning recent events at the 77th Street Lifshitz Gallery

And…

*Author Thomas R. Pryor’s enduring love for his native Yorkville and school, St. Stephen of Hungary… (Thanks to reader Ellen Brecher for sending along!)

delonix-regia

delonix-regia

On to the week ahead:

Friday, June 4th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time around:  The New Horizons Spaceprobe!  (After some 10 years on the road, it’s approaching planet Pluto and already producing fantastic pix of that most faraway world!)  Free.

Saturday,  June 6th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Garden of Spices Farms… A record 12 farmers/bakers/fish and plant people! 

Add to that our own Master Knife Sharpener will be back and honing like crazy!!

Newsflash from Market Manager Supreme Margaret:  There’ll be strawberries in abundance and sugar snaps are coming in!

Yes, and Rising Sun now has Ole Mother Hubbert’s chocolate milk, too!

Last week’s recycling totals:  82 lbs. batteries: 13 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 9 extremely full compost bins;  30 bags of clothes.  

(Holly’s asking for a 10th bin this week!!)

Saturday, June 6th & Sunday, June 7th:  Rose Garden Weekend at the NYBG

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 11am-4pm

And we quote, “Immerse yourself in a sea of blooming beauty… Warm color, flush with the reds, whites, yellows, and pinks of nearly 700 rose cultivars. In celebration of the delicate beauty that defines this collection, as well as the peak of its seasonal color, stop by for two days of live music, plant care demonstrations and tours with expert rosarians, and light spring refreshments in the shade of the garden’s overlooks.”  Be there!  Free to members.  Non-members, $25.  Seniors, $22. Children (2-12), $10.

Wednesday, June 10th:  Free Eye Screenings

Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, 210 East 64th Street, Great Hall,, 1st Floor, 10am-2pm

Get your annual General Eye Chart & Intraocular Pressure Tests out of the way.  (No way we want glaucoma, cataracts or age-related macular degeneration getting in the way of great NYC life!)   To schedule an appointment, call 212-702-7676.

Thursday, June 11th:  NY15 Passive House Conference

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, 8am-6:30pm

How to best passive-fy virtually every kind of residential structure and more.  Our fave:  How Brussels became the first city to adopt mandatory passive home construction!  $225.  For full details

Tuesday, June 14th:  Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden Summer Garden Concert

421 East 61st Street, 6pm

Commencing the season with a harpsichord performance!  Music, a gorgeous garden, a museum tour and a cocktail!  Doesn’t get any better!  Free to members and babies under 1 year old.  Non-members, $15.  Children under 12, $5.  For more…  Or call 212-838-6878.

And then:

Sunday, June 28th:  NYC Safe Disposal Event

Columbia University/Teachers College, 120th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam, 10am-4pm (If coming by car, approach from Seminary Drive down Amsterdam Avenue.)

Recycling of the heavy duty kind:  Transmission fluid, paint, medications, car batteries, oven cleaner, anything with the skull-and-crossbones/poison on its label…  You get the drift, but for a complete list

davidia-involucrata

davidia-involucrata

A week of action-provoking miscellany:

Want to feel better about our air and water?  Check out conditions in Delhi, India!

What’s going on in North Carolina?   Latest of their retrograde legislation:  An Ag-Gag Law, criminalizing undercover reporting or whistle blowing about practices/animal care at agricultural establishments...

Here in NYS, the usual suspects are attempting to keep microbead-containing products on store shelves and contaminating water for yet another year!  (If you’d prefer that state legislators ban the darned things now…)

Same for expanding NYS residents’ choices for clean energy!  (If you’d like NY Senate’s Energy Committee to get a move on…)

And think we should be saying an emphatic no (as in “NO!”) to construction of a tar sands boiler (are they kidding) in Albany!! 

On the other hand, we live in a state where we can chose whether to get sewage spill notices by text, email or phone!

And with a fabulous online Outdoor Discovery Magazine!  (You do need to know what the hike of the month is!!)

Herewith the Hudson Riverkeeper first-of-2015 water quality report…  (That one NYC red dot’s in Queens…)

On home turf, if you’re of the opinion our libraries and the land they’re built on should remain in city hands….

Yes, last Friday’s Manhattanhenge was more of a opportunity for deprecatory (but pretty amusing) wordplay than astronomically magic moment… 

Next time you pass by a Mr. Softee, contemplate this solar powered ice cream truck!  (Spotted in Central Park by reader Karen Lane!)

Solar Powered Ice Cream Truck

Easing up:

Of course, you’ve always wanted to drive a subway train!  Now that dream can come – virtually – true at the Second Avenue Subway Info Center 

Vegetable gardening (and safe for those below) in window boxes…? 

Wow!  The NY Botanical Garden has just debuted a bedding collection at Bed Bath!

Definitely recommend signing up for Council Member Kallos’ info-packed newsletter, folks!

Hello, animals:

And the Top Ten New Species (yes, we know one’s a plant) are

Fantastic the proliferation of animal cams…  Osprey (chicks have hatched), penguin, walrus, polar bear, hummingbird, sea dragon, sea nettle and (of course) kitten cams…  And a ton more!  

No, you weren’t dreaming…  It was a chipmunk you saw in the Ramble!  They’ve returned to Central Park!!

This while NYC squirrels express their dissatisfaction with subway service Several times over!

crazy squirrel

NYC even has an amphibian with a distinctive Big Apple croak:  The little Fowler toad!  

We sign over-and-out with a snippet from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/22 – Manhattan, HRM 1: The River Project’s highlight catches this week at Hudson River Park’s Piers 25 and 40 were three grubbies (Myoxocephalus aenaeus), our first of the season. The grubby is a sculpin, a bottom-dwelling fish that shares a niche with toadfish, cunner, tautog, and others. All three were about 70 mm long. We also caught two more oyster toadfish (90 mm and 260 mm), a northern pipefish (130 mm), a juvenile striped bass, and a cunner.  – Jessica Bonamusa

cunner

cunner

[Cunners (Tautogolabrus adspersus) are a member of the wrasse family, Labridae, closely related to the tautog or blackfish. They are commonly found in the lower estuary in many habitats, but prefer rocky areas where they feed on small shellfish and mollusks. Anglers know them, colloquially, as “bergalls,” and in New England they are called “chogies.” Tom Lake.]

Thanking you, Green Spirit, for the rain,

UGS

 

 

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Happy Yonkers is the Healthiest U.S. City, UESiders!

Yonkers??!!  Really…

If it’s any consolation,itt only makes that or any grade on only one list and that online Livability Magazine

Still!

It is the first time a NYS city has been so designated by anyone…

Still…!!

NYC shouldn’t be taking this lying down, right??!

(Could local leadership’s inclination to build garbage dumps next to public housing, athletic facilities and toddler parks detract from a healthy image?)  

tradescantia-occidentalis

tradescantia-occidentalis

With that in mind, on to the week ahead:

Wednesday, May 27th – Sunday, May 31st:  World Science Festival

All Around Town

What Is Sleep(!)?  The NASA Orbit Pavilion!  Reality Since Einstein?  A Better Brain?  Navigation on the Open Sea with a NASA Astronaut (and on the schooner)!  Botany at the Bar!  Five jammed-packed days of fascinating stuff!!  Every year more and better!  For the lowdown and tickets  (Look for our friend Starman John Pazmino in Washington Square Park on Sunday!)

Friday, May 29th:  Manhattanhenge!!

As far east as you can get without losing view of New Jersey…  Good spots are major cross streets 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th Streets, 8:15pm

The setting sunlight aligns with our NYC grid!!  An absolute marvel!! 

Saturday,  May 30th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife and Garden of Spices Farms…

PLUS:  Cherry Lane Farm returns!!  And they’ll have strawberries!!  (Fingers crossed they bring that new baby, too!)

Those of us who formed an immediate addiction to Margaret’s brilliant salad dressing of 2 weeks ago:  Alewife’s lovage is the essential ingredient!  Yum!  (Ask Margaret for the recipe!)

Apologies for our mistaken advice re the Master Knife Sharpener still being out west last Saturday… She was back and at the market…  HOWEVER…  This week – for sure – she won’t be at her table but reading paws at Pet Expo!! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  75 lbs. batteries: 15 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 9 very full compost bins;  35 bags of clothes.  

Most awesome!!

Saturday, May 30th:  Community Fun Fair!

67th Street Library between First & Second and St. Catherine’s Park, First between 67th & 68th, 12-2pm

Storytime…  Crafts…  Computer classes…  Balloon animals…  It’s all happening, free, couldn’t be more family-friendly and you’re invited!

Saturday, May 30th:  Jamaica Bay Ecology Cruise

Meet at Pier 2, Sheepshead Bay, 3-6pm

Learn the history, management, ecology, and wildlife of the bay aboard the  100′ boat “Golden Sunshine”…  Take in nesting  egrets, herons, ibis and many another inhabitant of the Bay’s backwater marshes, guided by noted local naturalists Don Riepe and Mickey Maxwell Cohen…  All while consuming good wine, fruit and cheese.  Organized by NYC  Audubon, Gateway NRA and NYC Sierra Club.  Adults,  $55.  Kids under 16, $20.  For more, directions and tickets

Sunday, May 31st:  Spring Migration on Randall’s Island

Meet on the NW corner of 102nd Street and the East River Esplanade, 9am-2pm

Who knew Randall’s Island is home to restored freshwater wetlands and a salt marsh..  Not to mention it’s a premier stopping-off point for migrating water and land birds!   Outing organized by NYC Audubon.  $40.

And then:

Friday, June 12th:  Clearsky Starviewing in Central Park

Great Lawn, 8pm

Brought to us by TotL (Top of the Lawn), an amateur astronomy group with a yen to introduce the rest of us to what happening in skies above us.  They’ve got the telescopes and knowledge, we’ve just got to get ourselves there!  (And it’s amazing what’s visible even with the naked eye!)  Free. For more… 

Thursday, June 18th:  New York Philarmonic in Central Park

Great Lawn, enter at Fifth Avenue at 84th Street,  

Inaugurating the 50th season of fabulous music, Charles Dutoit and the Orchestra will play Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture; Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No. 3, with Renaud Capuçon as soloist; Stravinsky’s Petrushka (1911 version); and Ravel’s La Valse!   Then comes the fireworks!! Free!  For more, including the Philarmonic’s full summer schedule

Sunday, June 14th – Sunday, June 21st:  National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place

For the first time ever, the major Jewish arts organizations of the world will be uniting for 8 days and nights jam-packed with great plays, concerts, films, and lectures in NYC! Can’t be anything but great!  For complete details and tickets

Thursday, June 19th:  Real Time Sub-Metering – What, Why & How 

The Mohawk Group, 71 West 23rd Street, 18th Floor, 6pm

Master the in-and-outs of determining not just the energy the whole of your building’s system’s consuming, but the efficiency of the individual parts of that system, local law efficiency requirements and the paths to improvement. Organized by the Urban Green Council.  Student & EP Members, $5.  Core Members, $10.  Non-members, $15. 

preissia-quadrata (liverwort)

preissia-quadrata (liverwort)

(And a preissia-quadrata liverwort is…)

The week in miscellany…  Heavy-going up first:

Okay, so NYState has an exemption that allows the landfilling of fracking waste…  AND we’ve accepted a half million tons and thousands of barrels of that poisonous sludge the last 5 years!! (Should you object…)

Surprise-surprise!  Seems like we’re not getting the subway system we are and have been paying for

(Check out pix of the Moscow Metro – turning 80 this year…)

Meanwhile, of course, there’re individuals among us who’re doing their best to weaken clean power efforts…  (Should you prefer your power ungrungy…)

Sun breaking through:

As we approach the UES Tree Count 2015, check out the results of the 2005 effort…  Then and now comparisons have got to be fascinating!

Another take on our all-five-boroughs grid…  NYC as it was in photos… (Thanks to a reader for tipping us to these last two!)

Next time a Citizen Science opportunity appears in these pages know – in these times of under-funded research of every kind – just how important contributions we Ordinary Joes make can be

Deep dip of the hat to Cornell for its assistance in assembling the Hudson Valley Natural Resource Map…  (Our river has a lot of them!)

And to Oakland, CA for its efforts replanting its long lost – uh-hum – its oak trees!

AND to the Center for Biological Diversity’s inspired Endangered Species Mural Project!

Congrats to Dolly Parton who’s just had a newly discovered lichen species – most prevalent in Tennessee and South Carolina – named in her honor:  Japewiella dollypartoniana!

One last tribute (in the crazy column):  The Mad Max 2 Museum!

Amazing how much there is to know about olive oil…  With – natch – The Times providing basics… (Great pix, too!)

The Maiden Lane Clock…  The William Barnacle Tavern…    135th Street Walk of Fame…  Just 3 of MUG’s list of colorful/meaningful NYC sights to take in now that we’ve exited the 40-degree weather zone… 

More wonderful, enduring, endangered, local NYC colorfulness from The Times

Just a partial list (i.e. Bryant Park hasn’t announced its line-up yet), but here’re some of the many venues for out-of-doors film watching this summer!  (Scroll down for Schurz Park’s schedule…)

Then there’s the summer outdoor concert schedule!  (Schurz’s is also on the above link!)

All right!  Seems like chocolate milk is a great/healthy after-workout treat!

rubus-spectabilis

rubus-spectabilis

Let there be animals:

Pretty much a critter we despise, but one we can’t ignore…  Therefore NYS’s newly adopted regulations to beat back the awful emerald ash borer.  (There’re some common-sense precautions!)

We confess to a growing affection for NYS’s own sleek muskellunge fish  (AKA muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge…  Got to be a Native American name, right?)  Anyway, we can start reeling them in as of May 30th:       tiger_musky

Prepare the hankies…  Andre the Injured Turtle is returning to the wide ocean

And a frequent and long distance flyer award for the amazing red knot!!  

What would a week be without something from the Hudson River Almanac: 

5/11 – Inwood Hill Park, HRM 13.5:  Now that the weather had turned warm after the long winter, the plants seemed to be rushing to make up for lost time. Star of Bethlehem was suddenly blooming and the little bedstraw called cleavers had both its tiny blossoms and the sticky burrs that are its fruit. A little mustard called shepherd’s purse was blooming; its basal leaves look like miniature dandelion rosettes. Up on the ridge, oak pollen lay in windrows on the paths and petals fell like snow. Every plant seemed to be growing urgently. Stinging nettle was much more widespread than last year. Celandine was blooming more extensively than it had been, as were wild geranium and Herb-Robert, and I saw more common mallow flowers than usual. False Solomon’s seal was also more abundant, but not yet flowering, and poison ivy, always prolific, was setting a new standard. The population of garlic mustard had exploded! It was suddenly everywhere and becoming a real problem. Still, a few little clumps of Spanish bluebells were blooming in the woods.  – Thomas Shoesmith

With hope the Green Spirit gives us some rain,

UGS

 

 

 

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend, UESiders!

May your various grilled meats, potato salad, cold slaw, s’mores and home-made ice cream be just as you like them!

And while you’re digesting recall and contemplate a trio of individuals who’ve done some outstandingly good works of late:

*Eric Schmidt and Doron Weber whose zillion dollar donations to the New York Botanical Garden will create World Flora Online, a definitive, encyclopedic resource/guide to plants!

*Stephen Colbert who’s funded every single DonorsChoose request made by a North Carolina (his native state) teacher! 

pycnostachys-urticifolia

pycnostachys-urticifolia

But as the holiday begins:

Thursday May 21st – Wednesday, May 27th:  Park Avenue Free Tulip Dig

Park Avenue from 54th to 86th Street

And we quote Friend of Parks Carol Rinzler:   “The Fund for Park Avenue invites you to  remove tulips/bulbs c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y from the beds between 54th and 86th Streets.   When digging up the bulbs, do not take any soil and do not cut off the leaves because these tulips, a Darwin Hybrid variety called Ad Rem, are among the most weather resistant of all garden tulips with large flower heads on strong stems. Unlike other varieties, they can come back year after year – provided the leaves are not cut after blooming.  Bulbs should be stored in a dry place until the leaves have turned brittle.   They can be re-planted in October or November. Because of planned maintenance, please refrain from removing the bulbs from the end beds on either side of 67th Street and carry a copy of this notice with you when on the malls.”

Saturday, May 23rd:  NYC Beaches Open for Swimming!!

All Over the City!

At least, get a toe in!!  (For where the H2O is and hours…) (And parks where you can barbecue!) (And food-friendly events throughout the metro area!)

Saturday,  May 23rd:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife and Garden of Spices Farms.

Yup, kick yourself if you missed Garden of Spaces’ fiddlehead ferns (they’re over now)…  So get your hands on their scapes,  Gayeski’s broccoli rabe and Alewife’s multi-colored radishes!

Again, no Master Knife Sharpener…  That lady’s still soaking up California sun!

Last week’s recycling totals:  70 lbs. batteries: 12 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/4 compost bins;  12 bags of clothes.  

Yes!!

Wednesday, May 27th:  Rally for Parks Funding

City Hall Steps, 11am

We all know how starved our parks are for funds… They–  Or, more accurately, he needs to know we’re pretty fed up!   (Even now the mayor seems to be non-committal about adding a paltry $1M to the skimpy tree pruning budget.)

And then:

Wednesday, June 10th & Second Wednesdays of Each Month:  Reading the “Faerie Queene” Group

Logos Bookstore, 1575 York Avenue between 83rd & 84th Streets, 7pm

Who’s read it since college?  But the thing is so beautiful and so worth talking about…  Whether you’re there for the first get-together or join the group at any point!  Free and with a 20% discount on most purchases made pre and post the reading/discussion!  For more

Thursday, June 11th:  NY15 Passive House Conference

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, 8am-6:30pm

How to best passive-fy virtually every kind of residential structure and more.  Our fave:  How Brussels became the first city to adopt mandatory passive home construction!  $225.  For full details

thespesia-populneoides

thespesia-populneoides

Never short of miscellany:

Hats off to NYS DEC for changing course and now requiring an environmental impact study of Global Industries’ proposed rail-to-barge tar sands oil transfer facility on the Hudson at Albany!

Yikes!  Our own NY is one of the 32 retrograde states NOT requiring backseat passengers to use seat belts!!   (If you think all car occupants should be buckled up…)

Double yikes!!  There’re elements wanting to use (herbicide!) Roundup on federal lands!! (Should you disagree with that move…)

Ha!  Add Target to the list of mega stores revising its edible wares!

Double ha!  Lumber Liquidators just joined Lowe’s and Home Depot in no longer selling emission-ridden Chinese-made laminate flooring!

Time for this year’s sunscreen ratings (with many being totally ineffective)…

How about this for some elevating summer fun:  A visit to the Albany Institute of History & Art to see the splendid Hudson River paintings on display combined with a tour of nearby, actual, gorgeous spots artists Cole/Durand/Church immortalized!  (Then proceed directly to the Cooperstown Beverage – as in craft beer – Trail!) 

Amazing but true:  We have a member of the orchid family – the beautiful lady’s slipper – growing in Central Park

Okay, so lint’s the bane of the laundry room…  But Mammoth Cave?  Or Carlsbad Caverns?

ranunculus-repens

Let those animals loose:

Ready for some of NYState’s beautiful marine life...?

Time to cross fingers that a remedy for that bat-decimating white nose disease has been found… Via bananas

Know you’ll be excited to learn that a first-in-2015, NYS record-breaking, 5 pound, 8 ounce white sucker fish was caught last week in Steuben County’s Cold Brook!  

a white sucker

a white sucker

Not to mention that a strategic Mississippi land purchase will protect the endangered dusky gopher frog!

a dusky gopher frog

a dusky gopher frog

And the winners of Audubon’s annual photo contest are… 

To answer to the question, “Do bees have hearts?”…  Just click here…  And prepare to be moved.

We close with this choice tidbit from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/8 – Manhattan, HRM 1: We caught our first lined seahorse of the season this week on the Hudson River at The River Project on Pier 40. It was 9 centimeters (3 3/8 inches) long. – Jessica Bonamusa

the lined seahorse

the lined seahorse

Our best,

UGS

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