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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Happy Zombie Awareness Month, UESiders!

Actually rather apropos as the Long Island City Clock Tower has finally emerged from the half-life of calendared-but-undesignated-landmark-status to fully landmarked!!

(We’ll have to make sure it doesn’t wind up dwarfed by the 900-plus-foot high rise proposed for right next door…)

kaempferia-galanga

kaempferia-galanga

One wild and crazy week ahead:

Thursdays:  Cross Stitch Circle

New York Historical Society, Central Park West at 77th Street, 3:30-5:30pm

Stitchers – from beginners to expert – learn, perfect their skill and work on a project employing that most classic of American crafts…  Cross stitch!  Ages 6 and up.  Not just for girls!  Free with museum admission.  For more

Thursday, May 14th – Saturday, May 17th:  Harlem Eat-Up Festival

Throughout Harlem

Panel discussions on the history of Harlem dining…  Ace chefs from all over town cooking like crazy…  30 incredible restaurants… Tastings…  Knock-out meals…  Get your mouth uptown!!  For full details and tickets… 

Thursday, May 14th – Sunday, May 17th:  Frieze New York 

Randall’s Island Park 

Year 4 of the Festival:  Wander through the indoor exhibits, but save time for the outdoor structures and sound performances for a brief foray into the world of international contemporary art!  Adults, $44.  Students, $28.  Under 16 free with a paying adult.  For more, hours and tickets

Friday, May 15th:  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 2015 Milky Way season is open!  Free.

Saturday,  May 16th:   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.

Fingers crossed Floral Beauty Greenhouses will be with us, too!

But sorry, folks, no Master Knife Sharpener…  She’s vacationing in L.A.!

Loved the salad made with Alewife’s Russian kale (and Manager Margaret’s dressing)!  And those multi-colored radishes!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  65 lbs. batteries: 18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 9 compost bins;  16 bags of clothes.  

9 compost bins!!

Saturday, May 16th:  Catalyst Community Festival at Thomas Jefferson Park

First Avenue at 111th Street, 2-4pm

Live music…  Arts and crafts…  Puppetry…  A ton of other family-friendly entertainment!  No doubt about it:  Our friends at TJ Park’ve embarked on a major renaissance!   For further details and the list of the event’s powerhouse sponsors...

Saturday, May 16th:  Sumo Wrestler Stew Tasting

Brooklyn Kitchen, 100 Frost Street, 4pm

Yes, partake of that Sumo wrestler staff-of-life chankonabe while a Sumo match streams on flat screens overhead!   Chicken-based to keep wrestlers on their own 2 legs!  (And delicious, we hear!) $35.  For more and to make a reservation

Saturday May 16th – Sunday, May 17th: Ninth Avenue Food Festival 

42nd to 57th Streets, 12-5pm

Philly cheese egg rolls?   Puffed-pork sandwiches?  Bacon-infused everything imaginable? Yummm…  (Better bring along a family-sized bottle of Tums!)  For a block-by-block list of vendors/attractions

Take a deep breath:

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

All Around Town

What Is Sleep(?)!  The NASA Orbit Pavilion!  Reality Since Einstein?  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 

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.

jatropha-cinerea

jatropha-cinerea

On to miscellany:

Lots of well-deserved sturm und drang re NYC’s increasingly accidental skyline as splinter buildings proliferate and we function under a 1960’s zoning code… 

Before the petition in defense of our imperiled ocean aquatic life plops in your mailbox…  Read this…  Then sign that petition and all others that come your way! 

Is this crazy or what?!  Many a NYS city’s street lights are owned by tight-wad power companies who refuse to to convert those lights to LED!!  

On the up side:

Meanwhile…  How about solar panel pavement for our Esplanade?!!

And Cleveland Indian-level recycling at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field!  (Thanks to reader Gerry Levine for the tip!)

Holy crow!  The Croton Water Plant is finally up and running!!  (And only 4 times over budget!) 

NYS’s great out-of-doors is open for business!  Witness the ton of activities on offer from one end of the state to another…  And just in May! 

Then there’s DEC’s push for more kids to participate in the National Archery in the Schools program!

 

OMG!  NYState’s home to 14 species of CARNIVOROUS plants!!

You do know we can garden – be it vegs and/or flowers – in hay bales

And the best things to buy in May

Sigh… 

There are those moments when NYC feels so small town…  This piece from The Times chronicles one of them

As does this portrait of a chess teacher and his UGS students

lonicera-sempervirens

lonicera-sempervirens

Animals and the animal-inspired, too:

Custom pillows featuring your pet’s adorable face

A felt cat cave with pointy ears?!  (And from Lithuania!)

Osprey cam alert!!  (There’re eggs in Rachel the Osprey Mom’s nest!)

Yes, there is a Gotham Coyote Project…  (They want to know if you see one!)

Ever so green,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

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 Happy 8th Annual NYC Wildflower Week, UESiders!

Not only is there a Butterfly Week, there’s a bonafide NYC Wildflower Week organization that puts together a series of choice celebratory events in all 5 boroughs…  Heavy on wildflowers as subject, yes, but including the likes of a “Spring Fungi Walk & Talk”!  To check out the full schedule… 

Also, the 50th anniversary of the Pure Water Act!!  

Something to contemplate as fracking chemicals are now turning up in Pennsylvania drinking water

Solar One Professional Development Workshop

menyanthes-trifoliata

menyanthes-trifoliata

Refocusing on the seven days ahead:

Friday, May 8th:  “East River Flows” Unfurling & Community Celebration

Applebee’s, 117th Street at the East River Plaza, 6-8pm

Thanks to generous Applebee’s for hosting 2 hours during which great East Harlemites/Yorkvillians/UESiders can eat, drink, pat ourselves on the back and shake the hand of Esplanade Friends’ president and founder, Jennifer Ratner, whose unflagging determination brought “East River Flows” – light painting/photography pioneer Vicki DaSilva ‘s gorgeous, haunting, sprawling banner – into being and displayed on our Esplanade at 103rd Street! Free but you must RSVP at EastRiverEsplanade@gmail.com!  

Saturday,  May 9th:   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, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife and Garden of Spices Farms…  Not to mention Floral Beauty Greenhouses!

Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be at her table, too!

(Ballard Honey’s taking this Saturday off.)

Look for Gayeski to have a more abundant supply of that scrumptious early asparagus!

Plus…  Radishes and spring onions are coming in!!

Plus…  Market Manager Margaret’s offering a free Greenmarket token bag to anyone who purchases $40 or more in Greenmarket tokens! 

PLUS…  No way “The Greenmarket Cookbook” wouldn’t make the perfect Mother’s Day gift!   

Last week’s recycling totals:  126 lbs. batteries: 19 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/4 compost bins;  16 bags of clothes.

Darned impressive, people.

Saturday, May 9th:  Urban Wildlife Appreciation Day

Indian Road Lawn, Inwood Hill Park, 12-3pm  (enter the Park at 218th Street)

Squirrels…  Coyotes…  Skunks… Birds of many kinds…  They’re all New Yorkers, too, and waiting to meet you and the kids!  Free. For more and directions

Saturday, May 9th:  Museum of Natural History Identification Day!

 Central Park West at 79th Street in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, 12-5[m 

Who knows but that the funny looking stone – with what look like fish-eyes in it – your great-great-grandfather picked up on the shore of Lake Michigan in 1902 is a remnant of some prehistoric life…   Or…?  Let the MNH experts ferret the answer out!  Free with museum admission!  For details…  (And good luck!) 

Sunday, May 10th:  Meet the Fledglings!

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 2-4pm

A chance for one’s child to feed a baby bird?  Build a nest for that same orphaned bird?  Add a host of digestible-by-human-youngsters bird info?   Does kid friendly get any better?!    Member child, $5.  Non-member child, $12.  Free to member adults.  Non-member adults, $19.  For more

Then things get even more dense:

Saturday, May 16th:  Chelsea Garden Club Compost Workshop

Meet on the SE corner of 30th Street & Ninth Avenue, 9am

The fine art of proper compost use in tree beds from the great group that pioneered bicycle island gardening in NYC…  These people know whereof they speak!  Free!

Saturday, May 16th:  It’s My Park Day at Thomas Jefferson Park

Enter at 114th Street & Pleasant Avenue (3 blocks below East River Plaza/Costco) and proceed to the Children’s Play Area, 9am-12pm

Until we reschedule our own IMPD, why not give our neighbors just north a hand planting flat-upon-flat of flowers!  Chosen as a Parks Day press site, be great for purposes of local TV coverage, to have a mass of people getting those flowers into theTJP ground!  Family-friendly, of course.   (Event poster attached to email!)

Saturday, May 16th:  Spring Native Plant Share

Grove Hill Community Garden, Eagle Avenue at 158th Street, The Bronx, 11am-1pm

Four of NYC most plant savvy groups join forces to enlighten even experienced gardeners towards what’ll grow best in their particular patch of earth with an emphasis on pollinator-friendly greenery.  They even send you home with an armful of native plants!  Free but you must RSVP for a place… 

Whew…  Then:

Monday, Mary 25th:  Alexander Hamilton Walking Tour

Lower Manhattan meeting place revealed upon reservation, 11am

And we quote, “Following in the footsteps of Hamilton from his arrival in the city as a teenager to attend King’s College (today’s Columbia University) until his death at the hands of Vice President Aaron Burr in 1804.  An “Inside the Apple” classic!  $30.  To  RSVP

Saturday, May 30th:  Obscura Day 2015!

All over NYC, if not the Globe

We’re talking more than 150 events in 39 states and all whipped up by the folks who’ve let us get up close and personal with the likes of the Times Square New Year’s ball, area cemetery history and so many more urban flourishes/oddities…  The Obscura Society!  To check on what they’ve got in store for this year’s especially big day…  

June already:

Thursday, June 4th: Solar One Green Design Lab/ Professional Development Workshop for Teachers

Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Room 609, 9am-3pm

Calling all teachers with a yen to even more deftly integrate things green into your classrooms! Nobody better to be perfecting your green/STEM outreach skills with!  Free and with lunch provided.  For more on the workshop, check email attachment…   And to RSVP

Tuesday, June 9th:  DIY Crowns 

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square, 6-8:30pm

Once you’ve been versed in the realm of crowns/headdresses/hats by a museum educator, you’ll be turned loose – under the guidance of expert and author ( of “Flower Crowns”) Christy Meisner – to create your own floral, crowning glory!  Members, $50.  Non-members, $55.  For more

Friday, June 13th & Saturday, June 20th:  Botanical Paper Cutting Class

New York Botanical Garden, Bronx & Midtown Locations

We all seen lovely, delicate, cut-paper motifs, garland and silhouettes…  A folk art feature of so many cultures…  But who’d have thought we could possibly DIOurselves in a 2-hour class? Members, $59.  Non-members, $65.  For full details

lepanthes-dewildei

lepanthes-dewildei

Ever so miscellaneous:

Un-Congratulations, Domino’s Pizza, for racking up the highest number of  delivery bike violations in the whole city!

Slightly diminished un-congratulations to UES businesses for accumulating the second most numerous violations of any area in NYC…

But thanks to DNAInfo for publishing the map which identifies the two-wheeled sinners among us

Wider lens:

A mega shopping mall at the edge of Grand Canyon National Park??!!  (Should you think not…)

On the bright side:

Tip of the hat to Hunter for – as of May 1st,  – having opened their lovely Poses Park for the general public enjoyment, 10am-7pm.  Pay it a visit on 68th between Park & Lex.  (For more and a brief history…)  

Add a deep bow to Community Board 8’s Parks Committee which has done yeoman’s work revealing the many legally public spaces utterly unavailable city residents (most notoriously in residential buildings who took advantage in NYC’s Publicly Owned Public Spaces – AKA POPS – Program).  (For more about POPS…) 

Federal court ruled in favor of Vermont’s right to demand labeling of GMO ingredients in food…  Vermont being the first state to pass such a law!  

Wherever you may be gardening, scroll down for KU’s Monarch Watch list of most butterfly-friendly plants!  (We planted many a milkweed seed in First Ave bicycle islands!)

And for KU’s just-released report on the Monarch population’s status

Yes, the NYS DEC will continue active enforcement of clean boat rules stemming the spread of invasive aquatic species in our states beautiful, rich-with-native-life lakes! 

Looking forward to how the 191st Street/1 Train tunnel once the  7 street artists of note chosen to paint it put down their brushes!

Cineaste note:  Satyajit Ray’s brilliant, beautiful, just-restored “Apu Trilogy” will be showing at the Film Forum over the next 3 weeks.  

Bring on the critters:

Familiar with what pets are and are not permitted in NYC?  Pretty unbelievable in the specificity (but realistic) of the regulations… 

Further in the Who Knew Department:  Who knew that NYS waters are home to the tiger muskellunge (AKA “tiger musky”) fish and that the season for trying to catch it commenced on May 2nd?

tiger_musky

What the heck is it with politicians and bobcats?!  (If you’d like to encourage Illinois’ governor to prohibit killing theirs…)

Animal heartbreak story of this or any other week:  Mrs. T the 90-year old…  British..  Tortoise whose…  Legs–  We can’t’ go on.  You’ll have to watch

Haven’t all cat owners dreamed of kitty making his/herself useful around the house?  Like, say, helping us bake bread?

Happiest (green) Mother’s Day,

UGS

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Happy Empire State Building’s 84th Birthday and Opening of the New Whitney, UESiders!

Hope you partake at least one of many Whitney celebratory events…  

(We’re especially looking forward to the amazing light show that’ll be playing out on the happy birthday building – the Empire State – commencing at 8pm tonight!)

bonnemaisonia-hamifera

bonnemaisonia-hamifera

As for the next 7 days (complete with colossally jam-packed Saturday):

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 1st, 2nd & 3rd:  Jane’s Walks 2015

Length & Breadth of our City

Two hundred-plus NYC tours ranging from the historic Bronx Post Office to the city’s most enduring Latin record store to the haunts of Mafiosi of Little Italy. All in honor of the woman for whom the descriptor “urbanist” was coined:  Jane Jacobs!  Free!  For the full schedule…  

Saturday, May 2nd:  The Great Saunter

Register at Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl Street, 7am

And we quote, “See New York City as never before in the Shorewalker’s epic urban hike, the 30th Annual Great Saunter covering 32-miles of beautiful waterfront and more than 20 parks along Manhattan’s incredible shorelines!” (We all have do this once in our lives!)  Free.  For more and additional registration site en route

(For recollections of many another city walk, check out this week’s NYTimes Magazine!)

Saturday, May 2nd:  Esplanade Friends’ PAKA Afro-Caribbean Music Event

East River Esplanade at 103rd Street, 11am-2pm  (Rain Date:  Sunday, May 4th) 

No stopping the new life, beauty and fun Friends are bringing to our long-neglected Esplanade!   This time out:  The totally amazing PAKA drummers and dancers!!   (A lot of drummers and dancers!)   Free!

Saturday, May 2nd:  FDNY 150th Anniversary Open House Celebration!

Ladder 13, 157 East 67th Street, 1-3pm & Ladder 16, 159 East 85th Street, 11am-3pm

And do NY’s Bravest ever know how to throw a celebratory party!!  Think firehouse and EMS station tours!  Great, free fire safety and FDNY career info! Best of all, the chance to meet the great people who so often stand between us and harm:  Our own UES firefighters, paramedics and EMTs! (For more firehouses across the city…)  

Saturday,  May 2nd:   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, Ballard’s Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife and Garden of Spices Farms! Floral Beauty Greenhouses will be on hand, too!

Look for Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess to be present and raring to hone, as well!

NEWS FLASH:  Get to the market early to lay hands on Gayeski’s first-of-the-season asparagus AND  ramps from Samascott!

Got to try Alewife’s pea shoots, too!   And check out Floral Beauty’s multi-colored ranunculus! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  111 lbs. batteries: 24 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs eyeglasses; 7 1/2 compost bins;  15 bags of clothes.

Can’t stop the recycling!

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

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

Great food!  Great raffle prizes!!  A crowd of great and determined people!  An honoree that’s pointing the way to the Esplanade of the future:  Rockefeller University!  (We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You’ll be eating our dust one day soon, Riverside Park!)  For your tickets and more

And then:

Friday, May 8th:  “East River Flows” Unfurling & Community Celebration

Applebee’s, 117th Street at the East River Plaza, 6-8pm

Thanks to generous Applebee’s for hosting 2 hours during which great East Harlemites/Yorkvillians/UESiders can eat, drink, pat ourselves on the back and shake the hand of Esplanade Friends’ president and founder, Jennifer Ratner, whose unflagging determination brought “East River Flows” – light painting/photography pioneer Vicki DaSilva ‘s gorgeous, haunting, sprawling banner – into being and displayed on our Esplanade at 103rd Street! Free but you must RSVP at EastRiverEsplanade@gmail.com!  

Sunday, May 10th:  Meet the Fledglings!

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 2-4pm

A chance for one’s child to feed a baby bird?  Build a nest for that same orphaned bird?  Add a host of digestible-by-human-youngsters bird info?   Does kid friendly get any better?!    Member child, $5.  Non-member child, $12.  Free to member adults.  Non-member adults, $19.  For more

claytonia-virginica

claytonia-virginica

Never has there been more miscellany:

As much we’ve all enjoyed the moral superiority of our NYS’s fracking ban, surely we won’t  let California (where they’re still debating whether or not to frack) get the jump on us with more and better emission control?!

Not so proud of the recently released American Meal Gap Map

(Or the starving of our NYC libraries…)

Sure seems odd that Starbucks continues bottling California’s scant water resources

Water that’s already in such short enough supply throughout the West that power produced by the likes of Hoover Dam’s been significantly reduced

Short enough supply that it may bring an end to avocado cultivation!

Meanwhile, Chipotle’s the latest chain to announce it’ll be getting rid of all GMO-containing ingredients!

Earth to NYC Sanitation:  Chicago garbage trucks pick up inside high rises leaving streets free of mounds of black garbage bags 7 days a week!

This while Hong Kong – rather like the Roosevelt Island system – vacuum-tubes its waste to a central pick-up point.

pinus-thunbergii

pinus-thunbergii

Closer to home:

Building up our 

Haven’t noticed an increase on UES turf, but they’re experiencing a bit of Styrofoam snow storm to our west and south...

Let us hope a new Bronx program actually results – as the things rarely do – in retention of affordable housing units…

Won’t let it escape our notice next time (and there’s bound to be one) the French Institute does a philosophy marathon!

Meanwhile, you do know New Yorkers are setting up on line radio stations?

Return of the Lichens!!  Means NYC trees are getting healthier!!  (Check ’em out on the north sides of some of the young bike island trees on First Ave!)

Still on the fauna beat:  We now have our own version of the horribly invasive kudzu vine in the form of the porcelain berry plant

On the other hand, there’re these 9 unusual but great vegs to grow

Best way to assuage sadness at the many meaningful NYC buildings we lost?  The Museum of the City of New York’s new “Saving Place” show...

And reflect on this small wonder or wonders!  Rather than a rendezvous with a wrecking ball, a vintage – but unlandmarked – building is being somewhat restored!

Remember that long ago time when we were all addictive viewers of “Project Runway” and maybe even paid a visit to the featured Mood Fabrics?  At least on the fabric score, a bit of our interest is revived now that Mood’s offering a sewing course!  $299 or free with purchase of an equal amount of sewing supplies.

NYC Pop Quiz:  How much do you know about (interesting) Inwood?  

Inwood point-of-interest not included in the quiz:  The Ring Butterfly Garden with its milkweed pod sculpture!  (Thanks to reader Katherine Winkleman for the tip and pix!)

ButterflyGarden

Milkweed Pod Sculpture

Milkweed Pod Sculpture

PodSign

(Fingers crossed that all the the milkweed pods we’ve sown in First Ave bicycle islands lure some Monarchs down this way!)

Moving off the reservation:

Check out the new White House china

Tulipa Van Doc

Tulipa Van Doc

Animals:

Bring on the quote marks!!  Trapping – and get a load of the kind of traps – is allowed in our National Wildlife “Refuges”!!  (If you think it should be banned completely…)

ICK!  California bobcat pelts are being traded to Russia?! Okay, the state just ended the practice on the outskirts of National Parks and Refuges, but it’s still happening elsewhere…  Enough with trapping in 2015!! 

Double ick…  There now a designated  “Flameproof/Most Polluted Bird”

Is this one big manta ray or what?

New York Rat Paths…!  

OMG…  Newborn baby lemurs!

Always good to sign off with a snippet from the Hudson River Almanac:

4/22 – Manhattan: They came as an Earth Day gift: a flock of 40 brant geese flew in and landed in the water close to the east side of the Hudson River at Spuyten Duyvil, just north of the Amtrak swing bridge where the Harlem River meets the Hudson. They feasted on the bright green algae growing on rocks along the shore before flying north up the river in separate groups. It was such a treat to see them. –  Jennifer Scarlott

brandt geese

In memory of the great Ben E. King, we’ll stand (green) by him,

UGS 

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Happy National Pretzel Day, UESiders!

While we await news of what won last week’s Participatory Budgeting vote…

cirsium-discolor

cirsium-discolor

Let’s get down on the 7 days ahead:

Saturday,  April 25th:   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, Ballard’s Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Garden of Spices Farms!  And lucky we are to have Floral Beauty Greenhouses with us, too!

AND there’ll be yet another great, new farm joining our great veterans:  organic, no-till Alewife Farm of Duchess County, New York!  (Check out their vegs on Instagram!)

AND…  Yes and can’t say it enough…  Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be returning to her table!!

AND…  Compost/Clothes Collection/Recycling will be at a new market location… Out on 82nd, in front of the St. Stephen!  (So much easier for Sanitation and Wearable Collections to load their trucks with all the stuff we’ve brought!) 

Going to be the best Greenmarket spring/summer yet!

Last week’s recycling totals:  80 lbs. batteries: 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 7 3/4 compost bins;  25 bags of clothes.

Crazy green, people!!   

Saturdays, April 25th to October 2015:  Queens Night Markets  

Parking Lot, New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadow, Corona, Queens, 6-12pm

Think an ever-growing number of food vendors (25 at least) offering treats from Nagoya chicken wings, grilled squid skewers, takoyaki balls, tapioca bubble coffee, arepas, Burmese iced desserts, palata, choclo, Ecuadorian juices, and mini cakes…  Just for openers and screened for cultural authenticity! Free entry.  For more and directions...

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

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

From out of the past and in an effort to preserve the lovely interior of the church (its exterior is landmarked) which forms the west end of the UES Tredwell Historic District…  Worshippers carrying the church’s statue of the Virgin Mary will process west on 62nd to Second Avenue, down Second to 61st, west on 61st to Third Avenue, then up Third Avenue to 62nd Street and back to the church. Used to be a fairly regular southern East Sixties neighborhood happening up to the late 1950’s!  Got to be amazing…  

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

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

Great food!  Great raffle prizes!!  A fantastic honoree:  Friends’ great, generous and UES-committed Rockefeller University!  We’re on our way to reinventing the Esplanade we deserve!  (You’ll be eating our dust one day soon, Riverside Park!)  For your tickets and more

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

On the Esplanade, 11am – 4pm

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

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

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

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

fissidens-obtusifolius

fissidens-obtusifolius

O’ Miscellany:

First and foremost, one PRIME JOB OPPORTUNITY…  A job which our great Market Manager Margaret describes:  “Love local food and want to spend the next 7 months at NYC’s Greenmarkets? Apply to be a market manager!!  (And spread the word!)   Market locations include Washington Heights, Inwood, the Bronx and the Upper West Side!

On to some disgruntlement:

And the winner of the incomprehensibly worst Earth Day ad ever is…  Glock! 

glock

(We kid you not.)

Of course, we’re used to associating the cruise ship industry with mass assorted food-borne illnesses and mechanical failures (and the occasional encounter with reefs and shoals) but, until now, not so much with pollution of several kinds…  For a look at what and how much’s being spewed and who’re the bad actors

For those of us who’ve traveled I-40 from Texas to L.A., no mystery why methane levels at the Four Corners is off the charts…  One of the biggest coal-burning power plants ever built blights the point – and country for miles around it – where AZ/CO/UT/NM meet.   

Grrrr…  Bad news:  While many states have banned personal products containing wretched microbeads – unfilterable by water treatment plants – NYS isn’t one of them (although a bill was proposed).  Good news:  Attorney General Schneiderman just reintroduced that bill! 

Then there’s what’s going on with Iowa’s water quality

And how are some power companies reacting to the encroachment of solar…?

On the totally good foot now:

Our own NYS could be on the verge of a transformation of our power grid and sources that’d point the way for the other 49 states

Nice Gina Bellafante piece on Particpatory Budgeting as it’s evolving across our city…

Meanwhile, NYC Council just approved a pair of enviro-centric bills:  (1) Expansion of BRT and (2) First update to our air quality code standards in 40 years!  (Be nice if they connected the dots of residential neighborhood – hundreds of garbage trucks – public housing – kids on playing fields – abysmal UES air!)

Happy to say WNET’s backed off and will – wisely – be leaving “Independent Lens” and   “POV” in place on Channel 13’s schedule! 

Holy crow, what’s with McDonald’s?!  They’ve just pledged – and they’re the first fast food chain to do so – to eliminate deforestation from their global supply chain.  Add that to their recent commitment to ensure that the palm oil, beef, fbier-based packaging, coffee and poultry in their products don’t contribute to tropical deforestation and peatland destruction!!  (Could McTofu be far behind?!)  

This just in from Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health and entitled, “Civic Engagement May Stave Off Brain Atrophy, Improve Memory.  Instead of shrinking as expected, as part of the normal aging process, the memory center in the brains of seniors maintained their size and, in men, grew modestly after two years in a program that engaged them in meaningful and social activities.”  (Thanks to reader Carol Rinzler for the tip!)  (The Esplanade Friends’ benefit and It’s My Park Day are calling you…) 

On our must read list: The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson!

Chocolate milk a healthy drink?  YES!!

acer-caudatifolium

acer-caudatifolium

Bring on the critters:

Hey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife!!  No killing prarie dogs!!  (If you agree…)

prairie dogs

 

Some 3 weeks ago we encountered Teva, an especially adorable senior citizen dachshund, delicately making her way along 12th Street.   Owner Sandi generously forwarded some great Teva pix she had on file.

Teva

 

This last from the Hudson River Alamanac:

4/16 – Manhattan, HRM 13.5: On the path up through the Clove at Inwood Hill Park, the snowdrops had finished, but Dutchman’s breeches were beginning to bloom – i’ts said that this is the only place on Manhattan Island where they grow. Spicebush was beginning to bloom, too – it has blossoms before leaves – making the path fragrant. Young leaves of garlic mustard were abundant and also some of lesser celandine. The seed I spread brought only three mourning doves and a white-throated sparrow, but I heard a blue jay scolding, a woodpecker drumming, and watched a downy working its way up an oak. Up on the ridge, forsythia was fully blown, periwinkle was blooming in sunny spots and the woods, mostly bare, were sprinkled throughout with the little yellow spicebush blossoms. – Thomas Shoesmith

Greenness rules, 

UGS

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Happy Volunteer Week, UESiders, 

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

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

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

dianthus-moondust

dianthus-moondust

Hold that thought as we proceed towards Earth Day 2015:

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

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

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

Every Weekday through October 30th:  Bryant Park Juggling 

Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street, 12-1pm

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

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoa!  8 1/2 compost bins!!   

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

Time Warner Channel 136

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

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day NYC

All Over NYC, All Day

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

earth

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

Javitts Center, 655 West 34th Street

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

Coming up:

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

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

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

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

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

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

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

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

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

opuntia-fragilis

opuntia-fragilis

This week’s dollops of miscellany:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back here on earth:

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

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

And there are NYC apartments with showers in their kitchens! 

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

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

Lampranthus spectabilis

Lampranthus spectabilis

Time for some animals:

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

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

And the bird of the week is:

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

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

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

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

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

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

Crangon septemspinosa (AKA a sand shrimp)

Crangon septemspinosa (AKA sand shrimp)

Ever greener,

UGS

  

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On the 150th Anniversary of the Surrender at Appomattox, 

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

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

Meanwhile…

Happy 50th Anniversary, NYC Landmarks Law!!

Happy 25th Birthday, Earth Day!!

Happy 25th Anniversary, Hubble Telescope!!

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

On to the week ahead:

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

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

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

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

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

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

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

7 compost bins!!

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

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

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

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

Various Locations

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

Coming up fast:

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day NYC

All Over NYC, All Day

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

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

2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, All Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

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

Sooner than we think:

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

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

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

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

On the Esplanade, 11am – 4pm

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

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

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

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

Miscellany:

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

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

And the scope of the California drought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk about a good idea…  Online farming courses!

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

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

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

As for this week in Fauna World:

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

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

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

wombat

 

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

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

 

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