Happy National Legume Appreciation Month, UESiders!

So the big snow’s come, is mostly gone and didn’t we all wish a lot more of neighborhood sidewalk shoveling was more than minimal?

So, here’re the basics the City requires… 

(We of the low Sixties are now politely nagging corner merchants into clearing bike island crosswalks, too.  After all, Sanitation’s started plowing bikes lanes simultaneously with the Ave!)

Meanwhile, for those residing beyond easy reach of a Greenmarket…  There’s the Winter Fresh Food Box Program!  A slick $12 buys participants a generous GrowNYC-curated selection of fresh produce with Lenox Hill Neighborhood House as the pick-up point!  For full details

blizzard weather map

And now for the week ahead:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Back after the blizzard!!

At their bounty-packed tables will be the great Rising Sun Beef, American Seafood, Ballard’s Honey, Bread Alone, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski, Alewife and Consider Bardwell Farms!

Can’t wait for chocolate milk, beets, eggs, cider, multi-grade bread, fish, ground beef and cheese!! 

2016 Recycling Totals coming soon!!

Sunday, January 31st:  Waste Less, Live Better Workshop

Park Slope United Methodist Church, 410 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn, 1-3pm

State-of-the-art, user-friendly recycling methodology from UESider and We Hate to Waste Founder, Jacqueline Ottman.  Free!

Monday, February 1st:  The Land Where Water Runs Uphill – Exploring Antarctica During Internation Polar Year Lecture

The Explorers Club, 46 East 70th Street, 6-8pm

Renowned glaciologist (!) Robin Bell describes her team’s exploration of the last unknown mountain range on earth where they discovered water beneath the ice sheet running uphill!  And if you’ve never been inside the Explorers Club…  It’s a knockout.   Free to members.  Non-members, $20.  Students, $5.  For more and reservations (a must): reservations@explorers.org or 212-628-8383. 

Tuesday, February 2nd:  Gracie Mansion Tour

Carl Schurz, 88th Street & East End Avenue, 10-10:50am

Yup, a fat 50 minutes to take in “The People’s House”, the new art installation and view of the MTS. Free.  For more and to reserve a place

Closing in:

Thursday, February 11th:  Staying Warm with Clean Energy Webinar

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

Air- and ground-source heat pumps…  Most modern methods of air sealing and insulation…  The impressive impact of  these and other cutting edge technologies are having up to our north, in chilly Tompkins County! Free.  To sign up… 

Saturday, February 20th:  Shred-A-Thon – Prohibition Repealed Edition

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

You know the drill:

NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

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

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thank you, Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for making our Shred-A-Thons possible!)

new_york_blizzard-550x450-rd10

Miscellany galore:

Good news!  The MTA’s going to be testing a new subway car prototype!  Bad news!  Prototypes won’t be on the rails till early 2020’s!  Worse news!  If the new design works for NYC, it won’t be in wide use till the 2070’s!!  Worse news still!!  We’ll then be something like 70-plus years behind other global capitals’ transit systems!!

Could be worse news!  Chain/national store presence in Manhattan minutely declined by .01%, from 2,807 to 2,804!  (For more on the subject…) (Down on Greenwich Village Historic Preservation Society turf, their presence has declined by 5%.)

Uncategorizable news!  Citizens of Flint, Michigan are still being charged for their poisoned water!! (Should you object…)

Just plain good news!!  Campbell’s now supports GMO labeling!

Reservations about the mayor’s zoning plan?  Here’s activist group Human Scale’s latest, one-click letter to sign!

More reservations still about deB’s and NYCHA’s infill brainstorm that’ll so impact our neighbors at Isaacs and Holmes…

(Zoning opponents should only be as clever as this pro-development tidbit illustrated with…  Cats!) 

Yet another NYC classic under threat…  This time the U.N. Plaza Hotel’s Ambassador Grill.  (If you favor preservation…)

Uh, what?  State funds for public libraries stay flat in 2016?  (If you take exception…)

Short notice, but how about lending your energy and IQ to the Solid Waste Advisory Board of Manhattan?  (Simple application has to be in by tomorrow 1/29/16.)

And/or give the great folks at the Neighborhood Preservation Center with a short survey their conducting (and maybe win a Kiehl’s gift certificate!)

In the bizarrely green department:  We‘re now running some of the U.S. Navy on oil and beef fat!

An Airbnb igloo for your out-of-town guests…?  

Ten NYC buildings that’ve changed colors over the years (not all for the better)… 

Signs of the income divide:  The Harvard Business Review on Whole Foods’ magazine racks…  Sweet wines served in custom-designed crystal spoons… 

New York Botanical Garden’s spring class catalog just hit the net! 

When in Baltimore or Wisconsin…  How about a  Serial” and “Making of a Murderer” Tour

snow cat

What would a week be without animals:

Those black squirrels frolicking around in City Hall Park?  They’re a genetic variation/sub-group of the eastern gray squirrel and termed “melanistic”.  Not considered rare, but biologists estimate that only 1 in 10,000 gray squirrels is melanistic!

OMG…  Young Trumps hunting African game…?!!

We close with a couple items from the great Hudson River Almanac:

1/16 – Manhattan: There were two snow geese and an Iceland gull at the north end of the Reservoir in Central Park today. Pretty unusual! There were ring-necked ducks at the southern end. – Kai Sheffield

snow geese

snow geese

Iceland gull

Iceland gull

ring-necked duck

ring-necked duck

1/17 – Manhattan: A Cooper’s hawk is an annual visitor to the central square between 8th and 9th avenues at 21st and 22nd streets in Manhattan. This accipiter checks in on the local squirrels and other small critters.  – Andrew Salcius

Cooper's hawk

Cooper’s hawk

Yours in greenness,

UGS

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Onward to 2016, UESiders!

happynyearcat

How about we launch into things miscellaneous first for once:

*Lots of deserving hands held out this past holiday season, still continuing and when it comes to donating food…  Here’s The Times on the most efficient/dollar-stretching way to go 

*One hundred participants – one a babe-in-arms – recorded a total of 4,264 birds of 55 different species in this year’s Audubon Central Park Christmas Bird Count! Highlights included a female Wilson’s warbler in the north end, an orange-crowned warbler near the Met and the great horned owl that’s been hanging out in the park for several weeks!

*A protected bike lane will be coming to Second Avenue (a la First Avenue), even before subway construction is complete… 

*How about light rail along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront?  (Or is such a notion not expensive or disruptive or retrograde enough for our city fathers?)

*Been following this young engineer’s plan to tackle the million square mile plastic horribleness of the Pacific Gyre…   As described most recently by NBC Nightly News.

*President Obama signed the bill banning microbeads on December 28th!

*While most local drop-off locations are now closed, you can still donate much-needed winter coats 9am-5pm  at New York Cares, 157 West 31st Street (between Sixth & Seventh).  Just call 646-801-4022 when you arrive!

*At last!  Compost in biodegradable plastic bags will now be accepted at the 82nd Street Greenmarket Not perfect (we double bag to prevent leaks) and likely you’ll have to transport in plastic…  But better a single plastic bag than several!!  Many biodegradable brands out there and here’s a sampling

*Major impediment to residential building energy waste?   Archaic steam heating systems updatable with simple fixes/updatesi

*Fixes that’ll be coming soon to nine 100-year old buildings in Bushwick

*Could be Governor Cuomo’s about to mandate that 50% NYState power be renewable by 2030!

*All we need is a cheap, zillion-times reusable battery…  And we’re getting closer

*The Gov’s pushing for a new Penn Station, too…  (Leave the name alone, please, and let us pray on a decent design.) (We’d rebuild the demolished structure line-for-line.)

*Three NYS DEC courses we like the sound of a lot:  Managing Your Private Woodlot, “Women’s Learn to Snowshoe Workshop” and “The Annual Ice Fishing Clinic!

*Aesthetics and NYC residential garbage bins?  It’s happening, people!!

*Twenty-five years to de-clutter a barn?  Why not, given this result…!  

 *Just how crazy are we human beings?  We shop more when a store is cluttered

*Who wouldn’t want to know the history of the pink plastic flamingo!flamingos

And now for the week ahead:

Now Until Sunday, May 29th:  The Butterfly Conservatory

American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street

Doesn’t get any better than a half-hour spent among flowering plants and hundreds of gorgeous, free-flying butterflies!  

Friday, January 8th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino launches into ’16 with an overview of starry winter skies dominated by constellation Orion (with satellite groups Taurus, Gemini, the Canes, Auriga,  Lepus, Monoceros, Lynx and Eridanus)!  Free.

Saturday,  December 5th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be the great Rising Sun Beef, American Seafood, Ballard’s Honey, Bread Alone, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski and Alewife Farms!

PLUS…  With us for the winter season is Consider Bardwell Farm, award-winning Vermont cheese makers who’ll also be stocking maple syrup, goat meat and milk-fed veal!!  

See you Saturday!!

Last 4 weeks’/2015 recycling totals:  TBA.

Saturday, January 9th & Sunday, January 10th:  Mulchfest 2016

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

Remove lights, tinsel, decorations and stand, transport to Schurz Park and have your once beautiful Christmas tree turned into gorgeous mulch!  You’ll even leave with a bag of fabulous stuff (bring your own bag) to lay around street trees or on the gardens in your hood!  (There’re also numerous drop-off locations or just leave that tree curbside for Sanitation to collect and chip January 2nd to 10th!) 

Saturday, January 9th:  The Rise & Fall of Vertical Travel

Elevator Historical Society, 43-39 21st Street, Suite 206, Long Island City, 1pm

Who else but the Obscura Society would be organizing a tour of the world’s only museum devoted to not just elevators…  But escalators, too?!!  $18.  For further details

Wednesday, January 13th:  Perils of Indian Point – No Way Out?

Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street, 2nd Floor, 6:30pm

Speakers Susan Shapiro and Gary Shaw of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition and Christopher Len, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director, lay out the facts and what each of us can do. Presented by the Sierra Club NYC Group Sustainability Series and moderated by the UES’s own Bonnie Webber.  Free.  For more...
Right around the corner:

Saturday, February 20th:  Shred-A-Thon – Prohibition Repealed Edition

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

You know the drill:

NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

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

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thank you, Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for making our Shred-A-Thons possible!)

And do mark your calendar:

Saturday, March 26th – Sunday, April 3rd:  Discretionary Budgeting Vote

Sites and hours TBA

We do want that $1,000,000 spent to greatest good effect!!

photinia-fraseri

photinia-fraseri

Bring on the animals:
Two weeks ago, the State of Montana made history when Governor Steve Bullock announced the state was moving forward with providing year-round habitat for wild bison (as opposed to hazing or killing the animals) outside Yellowstone National Park!.
Love unlikely critter friendships…  Like these two BFFs who’re presently rocking the online world: Siberian tiger Amur and Timur the goat
How about some owl portraits…?!
We have a wildlife rehab facility right here in Manhattan!   The Wild Bird Fund Center on Columbus Ave and 88th 
Feeling really green in 2016,
UGS

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A joyous Hanukkah, UESiders!

And a Merry Christmas in advance because…

As those of you’ve who’ve seen us hobbling about the last few weeks have likely thought, “Bet another visit to HHS will be happening soon!”

And it is…  Which will have UGS absent from 82nd Street till after the New Year!

In the meantime, be great if you kept those batteries/cords/corks/etc. on ice at home…  Or, should you happen to be in the vicinity of the 86th/Lex Best Buy, drop off batteries, cords and unwanted tech while there!

Yup, we’re constantly reminding you, but do keep in mind:         

               CFL Light Bulbs     –      Recycle at Home Depot

               Britta Filters          –       Into your building’s recycling  bins

Just because we won’t be gadding about, doesn’t mean there won’t be newsletters coming your way in the interim!

And in case you’re wondering what we’d like Santa to have in his bag for us…  How about you wonderful readers pay a visit to the P2P site and compose a 1-2 sentence original letter to Comptroller Stringer demanding that MTS audit?!

Much better than sugar plums, we say! 

Happiest Holidays to all!!

And one great week ahead:

Now to Thursday, January 7th:  Annual Wreath Show

The Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 9am-5pm

Fifty artists of every aesthetic stripe present their interpretations of the classic holiday symbol.  Free.  For more

Friday, December 4th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino weighs in on just how far away stars are! Free.

Friday, December 4th & Saturday, December 5th:  Holiday Candlelight Tours

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 6:15pm & 7:30pm

And we quote:  “Step into the holiday season of 1830, take a tour by the warm glow of candlelight, enjoy historic caroling, and sample traditional confections and beverages, including mulled wine.” Friday’s extra fun:  An encounter with kitchen helper “Flora”.  Saturday’s added treat: The PACC Recorder Consort performs period holiday music!   Members, $10.  Non-members, $20; Kids under 12, $5.   Best to make reservations:  212-838-6878.

Saturday,  December 5th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

On to the hardcore of the holiday season….

With our most hardcore farmers/fishermen/bakers on hand:

Samascott with their luscious fruit and choice vegs…  Rising Sun Beef with the best beef, pork and chicken…  American Seafood and the freshest seafood going…  Ballards Honey and every form of the sweet stuff, plus bee pollen and decorative candles…  Alewife and their chemical free vegetables…  Garden of Spices with their amazing chicken, duck, eggs, mushrooms and yogurt… Bread Alone and their amazing array of baked deliciousness…  Ole Mother Hubbard and her 5-star milk, eggs, yogurt, cheddar cheese and insanely fabulous chocolate milk!!
(Yes, Cherry Lane and Valley Shepherd’s seasons are at end.)
 

And, YES, Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table to ready to restore your cutlery – dulled by that extensive turkey carving – for Hanukkah/Christmas action!

Last week’s recycling totals:  71 lbs. batteries; 18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphone and cartridges; 9 compost bins; 46 bags of clothes.

Yet another 9 bin week!!  

Saturday, December 4th:  Operation Slumber!

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, W. Twelfth Avenue at 46th Street, 6pm to 8am (Saturday)

Does family friendly adventure get any better than a night spent aboard a World War II aircraft carrier?!!  We think not…  Especially as it’s jammed-packed with educational activities like a visit inside the Space Shuttle Pavilion, a flashlight tour of the flight deck and a ride in a flight simulator!  Museum Members, $99.  Non-members, $120.  Meals and snacks included.  For more… 

Sunday, December 6th: The Manhattan Menorah Lighting

Grand Army Plaza, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street, 5:30pm

Manhattan celebrates Hanukkah – the Festival of Lights – with illumination of the beautiful 32-foot menorah in one of the city’s loveliest spaces.  For more, including the lighting schedule over coming days…   

Thursday, December 10th: The Red Tape Commission Meeting 

Civic Hall, 156 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor, 8:30am-10am

Thank BP Brewer, Comptroller Stringer and our erstwhile Council Member/now president of the Downtown Alliance Jessica Lappin for this chance to unburden yourself of a miserable NYC business experience!  For further details… 

And then:

Sunday, December 13th:  Origamifest

Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 77th Street, 30-minute sessions from 10:30am-2:30pm

Fold, crease and – with the help of volunteers from OrigamiUSA – create an origami menagerie! There’ll be a display of OrigamiUSA’s most intricately awesome creations, too…  And a milk and cookie snack!!  $5.  For members and family only but a great reason to join! Reservations required:  212-769-5200!

Sunday, December 20th: The 116th Annual Christmas Bird Count

Outside Your Windows

You, too, might spot a golden eagle on a Manhattan tree branch…  Or one of the 156 other bird species ID’d by by NYC participants in all 5 boroughs in 2014…  All making a major contribution to America’s longest running citizen science projects!!   Manhattanites:  Contact coordinator Debra Kriensky at christmasbirdcount@nyaudubon.org.

(Holy crow!  A painted bunting’s been spotted in Brooklyn and the news made The Times!)

Before we know it:

Saturday, March 5th:   Mini-Sampler Lecture and Workshop

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Textile and needlework scholar Christine Griffith provides the historical/cultural landscape from which samplers sprang… Inspiration for you to create your own mini-sampler…  With whatever help you need from needle-wise New York Nineteenth Century Society members!  $10 (with materials provided). RSVP required: 212-838-6878.  

Miscellany:

We’ve been wondering what the great former Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen – the guy who expanded plastics recycling and made compost collection happen – was up to since not being kept in place by the deB administration.  Answer:  As per last Sunday’s Times:  More innovation!

(And, you bet, we’ve queried reporter David Gelles re a significant omission in his coverage:  Just how much – for want of cutting-edge facilities – NYC recycling actually winds up in landfill… While a quarter billion gets spent constructing a circa 19th-Century dump!) 

Tip of the hat to Tribeca Trust’s astonishingly energetic opposition to the mayor’s upward zoning plan and the most recent questionable bone TT’s picking in that regard…  

Must (and good) reading:  The GOOD Guide to Recycling!   (Like, in a perfect recycling world, what should  happen to plastic en route to recycling heaven?)

So why the heck aren’t there “how to recycle” instructions included on all packaging labels?

And how about a QR code that tells the sorter/scanner just what grade of plastic a given item is?

Excellent that Home Depot’s  just announced it’s now removed 80% of bee-killing neonics from its garden center plants and committed itself to phasing out neonics in all plants it sells by 2018!

(If you think Ace and True Value should do the same…  And move even more quickly…)   

So how do our UES Senators and Representatives rate on the Food Policy Action scorecard…?

Yikes!  We’re up to our ears in terrible ideas!!  As in NYC park land up for rent and unavailable to residents for summer weeks at a time…?  

How about a visit to the summer homes of white storks – there’re a lot of them! – scattered across the length and breadth of Poland…? 

Interested in signing on as a NYC lifeguard this coming summer?

A single critter note this time out but it’s choice:

Ladies and gents, we give you “Cats vs. Cucumbers” 

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

 

 


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Happy Approaching Thanksgiving, UESiders!

And what better holiday vamp than a great Sunday afternoon infesting the beds in and around the Stanley Isaacs Playground at 96th Street with daffodil and grape hyacinth bulbs… All with the help of parents and kids from Temple Shaaray Tefila! Sunday 7Sunday 6Sunday 4

Big thank you, one and all! 

turkey 1

On to the week ahead:

Now – August, 2016:  The Secret World Inside You

Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street

And is there any subject more fascinating than…  Oneself!  And here we’re talking oneself way, way up close…  The microbiome of your skin!  The building of your microbiome from birth!  Even the microbiome of your digestive tract!  The possible cures that lie hidden in our micro-organisms!  For further details and tickets

Friday, November 20th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino helps answer the question:  Which of the many great choices is the right star atlas for you?  Free and always fabulous!

Friday, November 20th:  Bringing Back New York’s Oysters Lecture

Hunter College,Hunter West Building, Room 714, 7-9pm

So how are do we restore this one dominant and central life form to New York waters?  Pete Malinowski of the Billion Oyster Project and teacher/environmental activist Damian Griffin and his Bronx River Oyster Reef!  Presented in cooperation with NYC H2O, the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and the National Park Service.  Free.  But you better RSVP.  

Friday, November 20th to Sunday, November 22nd:  Sondheim’s “Company”

The Poet’s Den Theater & Gallery, 309 East 108th Street

Yes, Sondheim on East 108th Street!  But then impresario Raphael  Benavides has always got something interesting (and affordable) going on in what’s become a transformative cultural force in the East Harlem neighborhood.  Presented in cooperation with the Village Light Opera Company.  For more (there’s an opening night reception!) and tickets

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

As the Turkey Day countdown begins…

Market Manager Margaret says:  “Greenmarket = Your whole Thanksgiving meal!  Turkey from Garden of Spices…  Samascott for cranberry sauce…  Gajeski, Cherry Lane and Alewife for the fix’ins…  Bread Alone for your pie and Mother Hubbert’s gelato to top it off…  Don’t forget the cheese course (the pilgrims didn’t) from Valley Shepherd…  Candles for the table?  Ballard’s Honey has them, of course…  And, yes, Atlantic Seafood’s Peconic Bay scallops are the perfect appetizer!” 

Yummm!! 

Oh, and that big, beautiful bird you’re serving up?  It’ll be perfectly carved thanks to the Master Knife Sharpener!

(Be great if you can contribute a dollar to making sure needy neighbors have their own lovely holiday meals!) 

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 24 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 6 pairs of eye glasses;  7 1/2 compost bins; 34 bags of clothes.

Unbelievable! 

Saturday, November 21st to Sunday, January 18th, 2016:  New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show!

2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

Bigger (as in 3,00 square feet bigger) and better than ever and not to be missed!  ‘Nuff said!  For more and tickets!

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

The 94th Street Market’s final 2015 Sunday…

So fill up those (reusuable) shopping bags with the best Thanksgiving fare going!

Fruit, vegs, herbs and more from Stannard and Phillips Farms…  Those Peconic Bay scallops from American Seafood…  Pies and other sweets galore from Bread Alone and  Meredith’s Bakery… Gelato, milk, yogurt and cheese from Ole Mother Hubbert…  Wager’s Cider for Turkey Day toasting…  Doesn’t get any fresher, more flavorful or more local!!

(As you shop, please do remember our neighbors in need and drop off a dollar with Market Manager Guramrit at her table!) 

And remember…  When this wonderful market returns next June it’ll be back where it was born on First and 92nd Street!! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  20 lbs. batteries: 4 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;  3 3/4 bins of compost.

Hats off, folks!!

Sunday, November 22nd:  Love Our Park – Meet Our Neighbors

Meet in front of the Thomas Jefferson Park Recreation Center, First Avenue between 112th & 114th Streets, 11am-12:30pm

Bring garden gloves, at least 2 black plastic bags, yourself, your passion for park improvement and get busy in great company! For more:  sacoyasuma@msn.com or 646-436-9006.

Monday, November 23rd:  Live Inside Washington Square Arch with Parks Commissioner Silver!

On Your Computer, 3pm

Yup, our Parks Department is cooking up all kinds of fun adventures to stream via their new live, free  Periscope tours

On the horizon:

Wednesday, December 9th:  Phantom Breweries of the Upper East Side 

Ryan’s Daughter, 350 East 85th Street, 6:30pm

Sure, aren’t we all familiar with the Ruppert Brewery that once was…  But Ehret’s Hell’s Gate Brewery?  Or the 48 other beer makers that once called Yorkville/Upper East Side home?  Join architectural historian Francis Morrone for the history and cultural context of a NYC industry of yore… Followed by a tasting of local craft beers!  Presented by Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts. Members, $10.  Non-members, $20.   For tickets

turkey 2

Regrettable miscellany up first:

Yuck, madness and something new to add to the NEVER EAT list…  GMO salmon has just been approved by the FDA!!  (Oh, yes, and it won’t be labeled as GMO either!)

But on the good foot:

Much as we have a ton of intensely local concerns occupying our minds…  When it comes to the clean-up of a toxic Hudson River coal tar leak of a century-plus duration, seems like we can take a few seconds to sign a e-petition… 

The list of science museums ending relationships with the fossil fuel industry continues to grow

Remember when we mentioned the Smithsonian’s Kickstarter campaign to restore Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit?  And how folks pledged the $ needed double-quick?  Here’s the first reward:  A high-res photo of the “before” suit!    

Great that there’s now a Bird-Smart Glass Program, a rating system stops birds from hitting windows!

Check out the host of great holiday-themed classes scheduled at the NY Botanical Garden

It’s come to this…  Not only was the first Taco Bell building ever recently saved from destruction, but the grounds of TB headquarters will soon become its forever home!

From Swedish to Armenian, Eating in Translation’s compiled a 5-borough list of NYC holiday food festivals of many an ethnic persuasion!  (Plenty on or near our home turf!) 

Hit 1020 on your Time Warner remote…  Click on Arts & Entertainment…  Then documentaries…  Then “Beekeeper” for the trials, tribulations and uplift experienced by NYC beekeepers!  (There’re hives atop the Waldorf Astoria!) 

In a world of extreme everything…  Extreme bagpiping just does stand out!

turkey 3

Time for critters:

With this week’s announcement that it’s going going cage-free, Taco Bell earns itself Mention #2 in this 11/19 newsletter!

What happens when best friends goat and donkey are separated…  Then reunited?

Who knew the “duck stamp” played and continues to play a vital role in waterfowl conservation?

Yes, you, too, can overcome your fear of spiders if you take the London Zoo’s Friendly Spider Programme

Who can resist Fowl or Foul:  The Wacky North American Fowl Quiz?

A happy and ultra-green Thanksgiving, friends!,

UGS

 

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Yes, Happy America Recycles Day, UESiders…

And Happy Indian Pudding Day, too!!

Who knew that the one-time American staple is an adaptation of (English) hasty pudding?!

Or – check the recipe – that it sounds downright awful?!

We say bring on the pumpkin pie…

And what’s happening over the week ahead:

Now Till Spring:   Project Feeder Watch

Your Bird Feeder

Citizen science at its finest, most grassroots and as simple as checking your feeder a couple of times a day to see which of our rich NYC winter bird population’s paying a visit! Organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  $18 (for your Research Kit).  To learn more and sign up

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Ready and waiting for Thanksgiving prep will be Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

The Master Knife Sharpener will be with us, too, and waiting to hone that holiday carving equipment of yours!

Last week’s recycling totals:  91 lbs. batteries; 19 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 9 pairs of eye glasses;  9 compost bins; 49 bags of clothes.

Definitely “9” is the number of the week!! 

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

As Thanksgiving nears…

Those fabulous tables on First Ave have never been heaped with more wonderful, fresh, seasonal fruit/vegetables/meat/seafood/yogurt/milk/cheese/baked goods… American Seafood, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Wager’s Cider Mill, Ole Mother Hubbert, Stannard, and Phillips Farms!

(Yes, Norwich Farms’ season is over…)

Last week’s recycling totals:  10 lbs. batteries: 11 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;  3 3/4 bins of compost.

Amazing!

Thursday, November 19th:  East River Esplanade Visioning Session

Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, 2nd Floor, 6pm

And we quote from CM Kallos’ invitation, “Join our office, Hospital for Special Surgery and Rockefeller University to see and comment on plans for the East River Esplanade.”  Every opportunity to express your opinions should be seized upon, people!!  To RSVP… 

On the horizon:

Friday & Saturday, December 4th & 5th:  Holiday Candlelight Tours at the Mt. Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden 

421 East 61st Street, 6:15pn & 7:30pm

It’s Christmas 1830 complete with caroling, sweets, beverages and treats of the time in the UESide’s lovely house museum… Add in a period music performance following Saturday tours!  Member, $10; Non-members, $20; Children under 12, $5.  Reservations recommended: 212-838-6878.

Tuesday, December 15th:  Holiday Plum Pudding Workshop 

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

Join Flora Miller, head cook of the Mount Vernon Hotel, in making a boiled pudding from a historic recipe…  Yummm!   Oh and yes, beverages will be served with your pudding! Reservations required:  212-838-6878.

Yes, indeed, miscellany…  Weighty up first:

As if more arguments against the MTS were needed, how about the steadily increasing number  of property damage/personal injury lawsuits being filed against NYC Sanitation

Holy crow!  London fog is returning…  And for the same basic reason it was a plague in the 19th Century: Air quality!

Could cause, effect and remedy be more obvious?  But now a study attests:  Give children organic food to eat and presence of pesticides in their bodies dramatically drops!

In the knowledge-is-power department:

Fifteen things you should NEVER put down the toilet…!

Brightening up with…

One great way to have celebrated Veteran’s Day:  The State of Virginia now has provided housing for ALL its homeless vets!

Both fascinating and anger-inducing facts in Times article on what’s up with our grain… Especially whole wheat!

HOWEVER…  Because we purchase our baked goods at the NYC Greenmarkets, we know that GrowNYC requires them to contain at least 15% locally grown grain…  With the average actually being a big, fat 50%!! 

FURTHER…   For close to a decade, Greenmarkets/GrowNYC’s blazed a trail for a return to grain-growing and milling here in our own NYState!!   

Change of subject and mood:

A  Roosevelt Island ferry stop?!  Bring it on!!

Remember when old NYC subway cars were deployed to aid in reef-rebuilding? Here they are taking the plunge back in the day and what’s “riding” in them now

Trust the Obscura people for a homage to an often-ignored glory:  The vintage, office building mail chute

In our none too humble opinion, compost collecting/paper shredding/daff-bulb-planting/green-eating UESiders justly deserve the many massages that make us the most massage-having people in all of Manhattan! (We rank 15th in the U.S.!)

(So, of course, we support tummy massages/rubs for hedgehogs!) 

Always a new horizon in green travel…  Like carbon-free cooking – cuisine and lessons – at a Thai resort!

Looking toward December: 

Last year, about this time, we knitted a scarf for Seaman’s Institute’s Christmas at Sea campaign and, a few months later, got a thank you postcard from a MAERSK container ship mailed in Dubai!

This year, the National WWII Museum initiated the similar Knit Your Bit with scarfs to be given out at Veteran Centers across the country.  (Takes just a couple of evenings with needles or crochet hook, if that!)  

Hey, animals:

Nine things we didn’t know about sand cats??  

And add fun facts about owls!!

Okay, so it’s a shibu inu who likes playground swings…  But – watch your insulin level – things get a ton cuter than that…

Ever greener,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy 138th Anniversary of Susan B. Anthony Being Arrested For Trying to Vote, UESiders!

Wow…

Still a struggle for too many of our fellow citizens.

Enough said.

On to the week ahead:

Friday, November 6th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino answers the questions:  Why do planets sometimes bunch up in one region of the zodiac?  Why do the planets stay within a few degrees of the zodiac  and not scatter out all  over the sky? Why do Venus and Mercury stay – relatively – stable in the sky while the other planets seem to wander all around the zodiac?  Free and fabulous!

Saturday,  November 7th:   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, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

And, yes, the Master Knife Sharpener will present and ready to get that cutlery of yours into good Thanksgiving carving form!! 

Just in from Market Manager Margaret:  “Try a new apple variety this Saturday!  And bring the pumpkins you’re not eating for composting!”

(Alewife’s got amazing radicchio!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  106 lbs. batteries; 28 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 14 pairs of eye glasses;  9 1/2 compost bins; 43 bags of clothes.

AND those long-awaited  corrected totals for 10/3 to 10/24 are in…  Adding another 44 bags of clothes to the YTD total!

AND you did note last week’s recording setting 9 1/2 compost bins, right??!! 

Saturday, November 7th:  E-Waste Recycling Event!

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, 10am-4pm

Accepted will be:

• Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
• Monitors
• Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
• Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
• Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, cords, chargers, etc.)
• Tablets and E-readers
• Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
• TVs, VCRs, DVRs, & DVD Players
• Digital Converter Boxes, Cable/Satellite Receivers
• Portable music players
• Audio-visual equipment
• Video-games
• Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
• Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)

NO appliances or smoke detectors.  Media (disks, CDs, and VHS tapes) accepted at a $.50 per item charge.

For further details

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

Back after the Marathon pause…

And don’t be deterred by the tree planting that’ll be happening on the Ave…

All our wonderful farmers will be present and at their tables: American Seafood, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Wager’s Cider Mill, Ole Mother Hubbert, Stannard, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!

And keep in mind:  Tired pumpkins = Compost

Tuesday, November 10th:  Recycling & Zero Waste Forum

West Park Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam at 86th Street, 7-9pm

This time it’s experts ranging from our very own Sanitation Department to The Nature Conservancy to  NYC Pest Control to commercial waste handler SIMS laying out challenges and solutions.  “Bring your questions,” they say.  (We’re New Yorkers.  You don’t have to ask us twice!)  Free but a suggested $5 donation.  To RSVP

Coming soon:

Wednesday, November 18th:  Growing the Urban Farm

Ross Hall, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 6-8pm

Urban agriculture viewed from all perspectives – from starry-eyed  to cynical – by 4 experts on the front lines!  Presented by Bronx Green-Up.  Members, $10.  Non-members, $20.  For further details and reservations

Saturdays & Sundays, November & December:  Survival/Outdoor Skills Classes

Parks throughout the Boroughs

Fire making!  Shelter building!  Survival skills – both “primitive” and “modern” – in cold weather! Organized by NYC Parks.  Free!  For the schedule and locations…    

From the ever-burgeoning miscellany file:

Pretty darned creepy that Sims Recycling Solutions – the firm with that gigantic facility out in NYC’s Sunset Park – has “declined” to renew their e-Stewards certification…  (Scroll down!)

Creepier still that the United Nations Environment Programme (yes, programme) reports that 2/3’s of European e-waste isn’t being properly recycled!  (Scroll down further…)

On home turf:

From the host of deserving candidates for landmarking, the Commission will be hearing testimony on 2 groups of Manhattan structures today…  Including 412 East 85th Street

Be good if you’d weigh in on the National Park Service’s plan to restore Jamaica Bay’s Wildlife Refuge West Pond…  Easy to crib from NY Audubon’s position that a freshwater source (well or pump) be devised to quickly refill the pond, rather than than let the job be done over time by rainfall and run-off. 

And we do want bird-safe buildings, yes? 

For starkest contrast, best viewed around 6pm, accompanied by distant horns blaring on First Avenue:  “Rush hour” in Copenhagen! (Thanks to reader Evelyn Wilkins for the tip!)

Hard to believe in 2015 there isn’t a comprehensive protocol for on-the-street medical emergencies involving the wheel chair bound!

Or that individuals are still dumping tires…  In this case a tractor tire weighing in at almost a ton!  (Kudos to Riverkeeper, Metro North and Sea Tow for dealing with the gigantic eyesore!)   

Then there’re the many abandoned boats blighting our harbor

Lightening up:

Okay, bike lanes in The Motor City…  (And a lot of them!)

But cycling in Antarctica??!!

Sixteen houseplants that’re all but impossible to kill?!

Yet another stellar UES business and master crafts person makes The Times! 

And then:

No wearing your Darth Vader mask to “Star Wars“?!

Let there be critters:

How about 7 ways we can support our area animal shelters!

All right, sure, nesting season is well over, but let’s be prepared for the spring/summer 2016 with a comprehensive, international list of bird nest cams!

Great new feature on NYC Parks site: “Periscope” virtual tours, focusing on surprising Parks’ activities and complete with Q & A!     

Love this from the Hudson River Almanac:

10/17:  Bronx River, New York City:  We caught and tagged a big 860 millimeter American eel in July at the 5th dam on the Bronx River.  She was a “yellow eel” at the time.  Today, we recaptured her at same location and she was “silvering”.  John Waldman, Jake LaBelle, Richard DeMarte

[“Silvering,” or “silver eel” is a colloquial name given to female American eels, 20-30 years old that have undergone physical changes preparatory to spawning. They have changed from the green-and-yellow coloration of their yellow eel phase, to dark black and stark white. Their eyes become enlarged and their alimentary canals atrophy. These changes are adaptations to traveling in the deep, dark waters of the North Atlantic to spawning locations that are still a mystery. – Tom Lake]

American "silver" eel

American “silver” eel

Thirty-year old eels…

Yours in greenness,

UGS

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Happy International Cat Day,  Halloween and NYC Marathon 2015, UESiders!!

Yes, and it’s the 3-year Hurricane Sandy anniversary, too.

A moment of silence…  A very deep breath…  

Let’s talk First Avenue Bike Island Gardening…  And the fall transformation – withered summer blooms removed, compost added, mulch spread and scores of tulips, daffs, crocus and grape hyacinth planted – that’s been working it’s way up from 60th to 96th Street and ending tomorrow!

Island Adopters have been slaving away and the gentlemen of Midtown Courts have lent an absolutely gigantic hand.  

And there’re only 6 months to wait till we see the results!

Meanwhile, there’s the big week ahead to consider:

Saturday,  October 31st:   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, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

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

Just in from uber Market Manager Margaret:  “This Saturday we host  “Cook Unity” who’ll prepare market-inspired holiday treats!  And keep in mind, Gajeski still has a few ears of corn, but fall’s superstars are broccoli, cauliflower, squashes and, of course, apples!!”

(Alewife’s greens are just stupendous!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 21 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 19 pairs of eye glasses;  9 compost bins; 51 bags of clothes.

(We’re still adding  September battery/cord/etc. totals to weekly figures as we continue sorting!) 

Saturday, October 31st:  Latin Beat on the Esplanade!

East River Esplanade just south of the 103rd Street footbridge, 11am-2pm  (Rain Date TBA)

Featuring the live, fabulous music of Guataca Na’ Ma’ and ice cream from the Vendy award-winning ICE & VICE!   Free with free ice cream to the first 100 folks who stop by!   No kidding our Esplanade’s moving from deterioration to DESTINATION!  

Saturday, October 31st & Sunday, November 1st:   Lowline Lab Halloween Weekend

140 Essex Street, between Rivington & Stanton Streets, 10am-4pm

Add the fabulous indoor garden (test ground for plants that’ll one day transform an abandoned subway station) to your trick-or-treat itinerary and for spooky pix of the family among the greenery and candy for the kids…  Or kids at heart!   Free.  For more

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

CLOSED THIS MARATHON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1st!

See you next Sunday!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  15 lbs. batteries: 6 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;  3 3/4 bins of compost.

Way to go!

Wednesday, November 4th:  Cornell Technion – Passive Reaches New Heights Lecture

The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, 8-10am

Who knew  the world’s tallest passive residential housing presently being built on our own Roosevelt Island!  Find out all about its evolution from drawing board to reality. (Yup, this is the building that’ll  be partially blocking southerly views of the 59th Street Bridge.)  Organized by the Urban Green Council.  For tickets ($5 to 15)…

Hard on its heels:

Saturday, November 7th:  E-Waste Recycling Event!

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, 10am-4pm

Accepted will be:

• Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
• Monitors
• Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
• Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
• Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, cords, chargers, etc.)
• Tablets and E-readers
• Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
• TVs, VCRs, DVRs, & DVD Players
• Digital Converter Boxes, Cable/Satellite Receivers
• Portable music players
• Audio-visual equipment
• Video-games
• Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
• Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)

NO appliances or smoke detectors.  Media (disks, CDs, and VHS tapes) accepted at a $.50 per item charge.

For further details

Tuesday, November 10th:  Recycling & Zero Waste Forum

West Park Presbyterian Church, Amsterdam at 86th Street, 7-9pm

This time it’s experts ranging from our very own Sanitation Department to The Nature Conservancy to  NYC Pest Control to commercial waste handler SIMS laying out challenges and solutions to Borough President Brewer.  “Bring your questions,” they say.  (We’re New Yorkers.  You don’t have to ask us twice!)  Free but a suggested $5 donation.  To RSVP

Wednesday, November 11th:  Dirt on Dirt – Making Sense of Soil

Seafarers and International House, 123 East 15th Street at Irving Place, 7pm
And we quote, ” Sierra Club Program Digs deep into dirt…  As part of the 2015 United National International Year of the Soils.”  An evening that includes William Bryant Logan, author of “Dirt – The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth” and “DIRT the Movie”.   Moderated by UES pillar of environmentalism, Bonnie Webber.  Free.

And this week’s miscellany is:

In the They Just Keep Coming Department:  Now there are those wanting to transship tar sands down our Hudson River!!  (If you think this is a poor idea…) 

This while the “Dark Act” – denying Americans the right know if there’re GMO’s in their food – makes it’s way through Congress!  (If you don’t like that one either…) 

Did we know that the fracking biz isn’t held to Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, or Clean Water Act standards?!!  (If you think frackers should be obliged to comply…)

Seems no limit to attempts at rezoning taller/more hulking everywhere in Manhattan… This week focused on environs of the 3-block St. John’s Terminal on the Hudson.  (If only they had a MTS to keep pesky developers away!) 

(On the good side of things, the state of Hudson River water from source to mouth is…  Not too bad!!)

Meanwhile, should you object to the proliferation of towers regardless of where they may on our island… 

And a major doff of the plumed hat:

Props to the Rockefeller Foundation and show producers for funding tickets to to the incredible “Hamilton” for 20,000 NYC high school students!!

Strikes us as the kind of grand, enlightened gesture common in the golden era of American public education some 50 years ago…

Let there be animals:

No kidding, Vogue Magazine posted a kitten video in celebration of National Cat Day

What could be more essential as we approach Halloween than 5 incredible facts about bats?!

No wonder folks love bird banding!  You get to hold baby birds!!

Absolutely, turn that pumpkin of yours into a stellar bird feeder!

Last but not least:

Love that the “most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials is Grand Marshall of the Village Halloween Parade!!

Our jack-o-lantern will be green,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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