Monthly Archives: June 2011

Greetings, Upper East Siders,

HUGE week coming up!

Beginning with Stop the Dump – Rally #2, at 6pm this coming Tuesday, June 28th at Isaacs/Holmes with Council Member Garodnick as our keynote speaker.  

TOTALLY IMPORTANT to turn out because, just hours later, on Wednesday, the City Council will be casting their votes on the budget which includes that $125 million to re-establish this facility in this utterly inappropropriate location.

FYI and to note one of the many ironies accruing to this proposal is that UES garbage presently goes directly to Jersey City or Newark for processing…  Not to some other NYC borough. 

So much for this contorted interpretation of environmental justice.

It really matters, folks!    Be there  on Tuesday!

And there’s yet another opportunity (but of the easy chair kind) to raise you voice...

This time about the great new vision/design to – as much as it’s possible – camouflage the amazing conglomeration of heavy construction equipment now strewn along Second Avenue.    Check out the presentation made to the Community Board 8’s Second Avenue Subway Task Force last night (it’s attached to the email you just linked from) and vote at CB8’s site:  http://www.cb8m.com/contact.

In the meantime, we can all rejoice that, as of today, New York State has an official vegetable…  Sweet corn…  Which beat out the onion in a hotly contested race. 

And now for the next seven days:

Saturday, June 25th:  82nd Greenmarket

St. Stephen of Hungary Churchyard, 82nd Street between First and York, 9 am – 3 pm 

On hand will be American Seafood, Calkins Creamery, Bread Alone, Gayeski, Samascot, Baghoo, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey, the K5 Flower Farm AND  Ant Hill Farm.

In preparation for some heavy produce shopping, take a look at Ant Hill’s charming new site.  (Note the kale!)

(Have you ever wrapped your mouth around American Seafood’s scallops?!)

PLUS!    Returning to the kale theme,  UES nutritional health counselor Shelly Zagor will be whipping up her signature, delicious kale smoothies and available for consultations from 10am – 2pm.

PLUS!    Jennifer Paul and her beautiful voice will be providing our live music.    

PLUS!    Master knife sharpener Barbara Hess returns.  Likely we won’t see her for another 2-3 weeks, so bring on those dull knives!

You bet, we’ll be collecting #5 plastic (Wash it totally clean, folks!), corks, cellphones, printer cartridges (if you can’t get to Staples), household batteries, tech cords, Britta filters, DVD/CDs  and jewel cases.

Last week’s totals:  22 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 36 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   219 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 639 lbs batteries!!

Saturday and Sunday, June 25th and 26th:  6th Bi-Annual Jazz Age Summer Lawn Party

Governors Island,  11am – 5pm

Party like it’s 1929 at this daytime fete, where attendees wear period attire, Lindy Hop to live jazz, sip St-Germain cocktails, and play tug-of-war.  $7 (children free).  For more.

Saturday, June 25th:  Solar One 2nd Annual Family Day – Pollinators and Food

 Solar One, 23rd Street and the East River, 10am – 2pm

Expect a visit from some NYC Beekeepers who’ll be bringing their Observation Hive (don’t worry- you won’t get stung!) and some extra special activities to help us all understand the lives of these busy little pollinators and the amazing work they do.   The folks of Solar One will also be making electricity-free ice cream using fruits and plants from Stuyvesant Cove Park!  Your family will be creating bee masks, costumes and puppets!  Free.  RSVP to dina@solar1.org or daisy@solar1.orgFor more.

Sunday, June 26th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am – 4pm

At the very least, we all owe a collective tip of the to area Market Manager Margaret Hoffman for the magic she’s worked at 92nd Street…  What a line up of vendors and edibles!   

Nature’s Way’s fantastic honey is just the beginning…  They’ve got creamed honey, bee pollen, candles, soaps, hand and body creams, too…  Beyond their pretty vast array of vegs, our friends at Stannart’s have eggs, bacon and beef, along with herb and flowering plants.  Newcomer Phillips Farm’s needs that extra long table given their blueberries, cherries and raspberries, their ton of vegs that include hot house tomatoes, bok choy and collard greens and some great jams and jellies…  And then there’s the  wonderful Gonzalez Farm with their great assortment of lettuces, their melt-in-your-mouth tiny baby carrots and beets, spinach, radishes and more…  Not to mention, Meredith’s Bakery (her oatmeal cookies are addictive)… 

(Located pretty far north in NYState, Norwich Farms will be returning when things get farther along up their way.) 

Sunday, June 26th:  Holmes Towers Flea Market 

Plaza, 1780 First Avenue, between 92nd and 93rd Streets

Drop off you electronics and old clothes, get your paper shredded, do your grocery shopping, then – American that you are – head for the flea market tables – heaped with all kinds of good stuff and where the Holmes Residents Association is already raising money for next fall and winter’s children’s programs!

SUNDAY, JUNE 26th:  RECYCLE-O-RAMA – SUMMER EDITION

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets (west side of First), 10am – 4pm

Electronics…  Paper shredding…  Clothes collection and the recycleables we collect every week…  We waiting with open arms! 

Reminder:

“Clothing” is defined as wearing apparel, hats, belts, shoes, fabric – whether wearable or a bundled of rags.

On the paper shredding front, try to remove paper clips and spiral binders.  Paperback books will be accepted but not hardcovers.

Electronics accepted will be:

•    Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
•    Monitors
•    Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
•    Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
•    Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
•    Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
•    TVs, VCRs, & DVD Players
•    Audio-visual equipment
•    Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
•    Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)

Remember:  No appliances!

And, as we do every week, we’ll be takingl be collecting #5 plastic (Wash it totally clean, folks!), corks, cellphones, printer cartridges (if you can’t get to Staples), household batteries, tech cords, Britta filters, DVD/CDs  and jewel cases, too.

Last week’s totals:  12 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 5 pounds batteries. 

Thank you, Council Member  Garodnick,  for making yet another Recycle-O-Rama possible. 

TUESDAY, JUNE 28th:  STOP THE GARBAGE DUMP RALLY #2

Isaacs/Holmes Plaza (enter at First and 93rd and follow the arrows), 6pm

And they think UESiders turn out for a rally and then throw in the towel…  HA!

We’ll have the last laugh! 

Tuesday, June 28th through Summer Months:  Carl Schurz Park Summer Festival Schedule Begins

One of the loveliest spots to hear music or watch a great film (they’re showing “Harold and Maude” this year!)  For the schedule.

And now…  Ye Olde Miscellany:

And it doesn’t get much more miscellaneous than the possible ingredients composing your shower curtain:  polyvinyl chloride, or PVCs which include 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs which pollute the air in your home by off-gassing and releasing toxic phthalates and organotins).  Yikes!

Always something new to learn about this place we live…  Case and point, The Times’ piece concerning the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and the woman who once owned it…  An early light of the American crafts movement.

Meanwhile, our Parks Department has just fielded a survey querying New Yorkers’ feelings about city beaches.  Tell them

Meanwhile the Straphangers Campaign wants your vote for the best and worst transit scenes as portrayed in their 2011 Photo Contest. 

Holy crow, everybody wants to know your opinion!  This time the Urban Green Building Council surveying us re sustainable housing.

So happy to note that among the many specialized NYC high schools is the High School for Public Service which, among its many activites, includes a Youth Farm.  Read all about it!

Less impressive than one would expect, but herewith NY Mag‘s list of volumes in Elaine’s library.

Miscellany which, this week, includes some programming/media notes:

#1 – Discovery is betting that inquiring minds what to explore deeper issues on their new website, www.Curiosity.com,  companion to their new TV series that aggregates wisdom from some of most gifted people in their professions. Contributors include Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vinton Cerf and  Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel (who discusses human rights, forgiveness and the power of the media).

#2Cnet’s got a new website, too…  This one being a wild , crazy and – most of all – easily understandable compendium of  do-it-yourself tech/web instruction/advice.  Really.  You can do this stuff.    

#3 – Even NYC is well on the bandwagon and is now offering six aps… ! Among them a 311 ap and they’re hoping the public will develop many more utilizing the treasure trove of city data…   To read more.

#4 – The L.A. school system’s put Jamie Oliver through the tortures of hell, sufficiently so that after just one outing of his “Food Revolution”  show, it totally disappeared from ABC for several weeks.  Now he’s back on Friday at 9.  To view the introductory episode.

Ready for some animals?

Oh, why not?  I’ve heard beekeepers chat about it, but now there seems to be some scientific proof…  Yes, bees appear to have an emotional life.

Baby armadillo, anyone?

As per New York Magazine, a muskrat was seen swimming in the Gowanus Canal on or about May 30th!  

And the winner this week is: “While You Were Sleeping:  Feline Edition“!

See you at the rally!

Our best,

UGS

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Happy Volunteer Week, Upper East Siders!

And have you ever been busy serving your community…  Gathering signatures, handing out flyers, turning up in big numbers at the MTS rally and flexing your democratic muscles…  Kudos.

There’ll be more opportunities coming up on this issue.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, a lovely postscript to those teak benches and Central Park luminaries on offer from the 93rd Neighborhood & Block Association.  Yes, they were for sale but,  as they always seem so inclined to do, the group wound up donating 2 benches to a garden being repaired at the 30th Street Men’s Shelter by the great people of Community Board 6.    The remaining  2 benches and 2 lumnaries were gifted to  the National Dance Academy’s new home on 147th Street.   And we can all thank Carol Greizter of 1000+ Friends of Parks for being such a superb matchmaker.

One more reflection on Volunteer Week…  That being a for-real bucket brigade organized by Metro Baptist Church on West 40th.  The 30 volunteers’ mission:  Move 13,200 pounds of rich, dark soil from street level 5 stories up to the church’s soon-to- be-green roof.  Take a guess how long it took  those 30 people to do the job…   Answer:   3 1/2 hours!

Of course, what we’ve got here is a model for other buildings of 5 stories or less, craving greenroofs and needing to avoid the big expense of having soil blown up on that roof by professional services.

And now for the big week coming up:

Friday, June 17th:  NY Skies Astonomy Seminars

McBirney House, 125 West 14th Street, 6:30 – 9pm

The subject of this bi-monthly program:  Preparing for sky viewing and star watching during the summer months and concentrating on naked eye and binocular observing!  Free.

Saturday, June 18th:  82nd Greenmarket

St. Stephen of Hungary Churchyard, 82nd Street between First and York, 9 am – 3 pm 

On hand will be American Seafood, Calkins Creamery, Bread Alone, Gayeski, Samascot, Baghoo, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey, the K5 Flower Farm AND  Ant Hill Farm.

 Ant Hill will be celebrating both their return and Father’s Day  with an apple cider french toast cooking demo,  games and  chalk for kids to make some parking lot art!

PLUS!  Live music will be back too…  With us this week will be Mariachis Floride Teloache…  New York’s first female marichi group and lovely singers they are.    

PLUS!  Our very own master knife sharpener Barbara Hess will be back at her table to tend to the perfect honing of your cutlery.

Of course, we’ll be collecting #5 plastic (Wash it, folks!), corks, cellphones, printer cartridges (if you can’t get to Staples), household batteries, tech cords, Britta filters, DVD/CDs  and jewel cases.

Last week’s totals:  2o pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 39 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   197 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 603 lbs batteries!  (Wow!!)

Saturday, June 18th:  Bubble Battle – Coney Island

Coney Island Boardwalk  & West 8th Street (near the south entrance to the Aquarium), 6 – 8pm

Last year, 1,500 gathered to blow millions of bubbles using all kinds of Rube Goldberg contraptions…  All in honor of Dr. Suess’s “The Butter Battle Book”.  Free.  For full details (including how to get there).

SUNDAY, JUNE 19th:  92nd GREENMARKET RETURNS!!

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am – 5pm 

American Seafood, Stannard Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, Norwich Meadows, the Gonzales and Phillips Farms and Nature’s Way Honey will all be with us this season.  We’re talking a back-t0-back, uninterupted line-up of fabulous local produce, folks!

AND coming in July…  Weekly cooking demonstrations by the innovative people at the NYC Department of Health’s Stellar Markets program!

Yes, bring  your #5 plastic (well washed, please!), corks, cellphones, printer cartridges (if you can’t get to Staples), household batteries, tech cords, Britta filters, DVD/CDs  and jewel cases.

…Could be composting…

Monday, June 20th:  The German Passive House

The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGaurdia Place, 6 – 8pm

Katrin Klingenberg –  who single handedly brought Passive House to America and is now executive director of Passive House US,  gives a brief introduction what a passive house is (i.e. oriented so as to maximize heat retention in winter, coolness during warm months, minimizing reliance on fossil fuels) and designs that have arisen around the world.  $10 for non-members of the Center. 

Wednesday, June 22th:  Dancing Under the Stars

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street,   7 –  10pm

Latin, swing, disco, ballroom dancing complete with lessons on how to do them…  All on the beautiful rooftop of the Bohemian National Hall.   $20.  For more.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26th:  RECYCLE-O-RAMA – SUMMER EDITION

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets (west side of First), 10am – 4pm

Electronics…  Paper shredding…  Clothes collection and the recycleables we collect every week…  Bring it all on! 

And just in case you need reminding:

“Clothing” means wearing apparel, hats, belts, shoes, fabric – whether wearable or totally worn out.

On the paper shredding front, try to remove paper clips and spiral binders.  Paperback books will be accepted but not hardcovers.

Electronics accepted will be:

•    Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
•    Monitors
•    Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
•    Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
•    Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
•    Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
•    TVs, VCRs, & DVD Players
•    Audio-visual equipment
•    Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
•    Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)

No appliances, please!

We thank Council Member Dan Garodnick for the generous grant that’s making this event possible. 

On to this week’s miscellany:

Dreaming of ripe tomatoes, new peas and corn and wondering when they’ll be yours to buy?   GrowNYC’s got a great chart/time line that lays out when the full range of summer bounty should be gracing our vendors’ tables.

So, 58 of 62 NYState Senators got failing grades from Environmental Advocates…  But not  our State Senator Liz Kreuger!  For more (you’ll need to scroll down).

Who knew our city had this fantastic resource for appropriate plants for all the gardening we’re doing up and down the UES?  Well, we do and it’s the Greenbelt Native Plant Center!

What’s the most sustainable seafood to be putting on your table?  Fresh‘s just published a new list.

Yesterday, June 15th, marked the 107th anniversary of what was once  NYC’s greatest disaster, the sinking of the General Slocum.  Read all about it!

Meanwhile, there’s been a bike helmet recall.  Please check it out.

You’ve seen those big Hylex plastic bag recycling bins hither and yon (at Gourmet Garage, for one)  and, yes, we are kind of mad at Hylex for suing the reusuable Chico Bag company – a nuisance suit if ever there was one…  Still, giving credit where it’s due,  they’ve done a pretty okay little video about what happens when a recycled plastic bag arrives at their facility.

As we bear down on July 4th, how about a good old American flag quiz?   

Place Matter’s Place of the Month has the most wonderful name:  Association for the Relief of Respectable Aged Indigent Females.  (Pretty Dickensian!)  Read all about it.

Totally off the beaten path, but you do know that Debbie Reynolds is putting her incredible collection of movie costumes and props up for auction on June 18th?  Pretty crazy what she’s got.  Give the online catalogue a look. 

Ready for some animal action…?

For those of you who acted to redress the plight of Yellowstone’s buffalo hurd, good news and congratulations:  The critters will now be much freer to do the roaming that’s the critters’ birth right.

Been a while since there’ve been any bunnies in the mix…  And now we’ve got 2 entries:   Fastidious bunny washing up after a snack …   And bunny settling in for an afternoon nap with a pal

In the annals of weird Father’s Day gift suggestions, this one takes the absolute cake:  Global Gift’s proposal that you present dear old dad with the sponsorship of a year’s worth of bananas to feed a heroRat…  A Giant Pouched African rat trained to sniff out landmines and tuberculosis!  Think I’m kidding…?    (Love the little rat harness.)

Not screwball enough for  you?  Well then, how about the Twitter haiku poetry contest celebrating the 40th birthday of  Koko the gorilla?  First prize:  One of Koko’s paintings.  For details.  (You do want to enter, don’t you?)

Keeping in mind it’s a total fraud, give a look at this faux cat-lover’s eHarmony video

Returning to the subject of Father’s Day, herewith the Top 10 Animal Dads

Here’s to all those many, great, green UES fathers,  ‘

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

It’s a week for unequivocable motivation, activism and feisty, dogged, unflinching defense of our ‘hood… 

As you may have heard (or not as the powers-that-be are endeavoring to place a tightly sealed cone of silence over the issue),  last Monday’s meeting re the proposed (environmentally ridiculous) reopening of a garbage transfer station at 91st Street and the East River drew an energized crowd of 250 plus.

Although, embarassingly, neither Council President Quinn, Borough President Stringer, nor representatives of the Mayor or Sanitation or Council Member Letitia James (of Brooklyn and whose big idea this is) deigned to join us and WNBC-TV cameras were barred from NYCHA’s premises.

But Council Member Lappin was present and delivered one of her signature eloquent, rallying speeches.   Community liasson persons from Council Member Garodnick and Assembly Member Kellner’s office were there, too.

The bottomline of the evening:  That along with the legal team’s efforts, residents would embark on a massive signature gathering/email sending blitz.

Thus, your mission this week is to:

1.  Sign the Garbage Dump Does Not Belong petition: https://www.change.org:443/petitions/a-garbage-dump-does-not-belong-in-a-residential-neighborhood 

2.  Forward an email to Council President Quinn and Council Member Recchia ( chair of the Council’s Finance Committee).  Following are addresses and suggested copy which you may, of course, edit in any way you wish: 

 
Re:  Opposition to the 91st Street Marine Transfer Station
 
Dear Council President Quinn and Council Member Recchia: 
 
The proposed siting of a Marine Transfer Station in a densely populated residential neighborhood in which numerous schools are also located; which would be within 2 blocks of NYCHA housing which endured a previous incarnation of the MTS for many decades; the egress to which would cut through the heart of Asphalt Green, a facility serving upwards of 45,000 residents of all races and economic levels; and in an area which already suffers from the worst air quality in the City is truly outrageous and unconscionable.
 
As you must know, there are several, much more suitable and ecologically sound locations for such a facility in Manhattan.
 
In these hard times, when teachers, senior citizen centers, fire stations and food programs are on the block, the allocation of $125 million to a 19th Century waste management methodology is positively appalling.
 
We expect you, our elected officials, to respect the tens of thousands whose health and welfare is at risk and to avert this needless disaster. 
 
Sincerely,
 
3.  For purposes of gathering still more more support, please get the attached flyer (directing folks to the petition site) up  in your building or placed at the doorman’s desk

4.  And please forward this newsletter to any friends, neighbors or other interested parties.

Let’s bury these forces of darkness in signatures!

And just in case we need more incentive to bar hundreds of idling garbage trucks from our streets, 3 days this week were subject to air quality – as in bad air quality – alerts!

For sure, we now need  a change of pace…  As in this, the best garage roof ever

Oh, and now that they’ve completed the renovation of the plaza on the NW corner of 92nd and First, the 93rd Street Block and Neighborhood Association has pair of lovely weathered teak benches and 2 Central Park lumianaries they’d like to move on to a new home (that submits a respectable offer to http://www.east93blockassoc.org):

 

On to the coming week:

Friday, June 10th:  The Last Mountain

Landmark Sunshine Cinema, 143 East Houston Street 

The people of West Virginia’s Coal River Valley – descendants of generations of miners – take a stand against rapacious Big Coal’s move to blow  a treasured mountain.  (A documentary, natch.) For show times.  

(Coal companies are so bold, you can see the moonscape they’re making of West Virginia from the I-77.)

Saturday, June 4th:  82nd Greenmarket

St. Stephen of Hungary Churchyard, 82nd Street between First and York, 9 am – 3 pm 

At their tables will be American Seafood, Calkins Creamery, Bread Alone, Gayeski, Samascot, Baghoo, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey and the K5 Flower Farm.

AND,  I’m pretty sure next week, a new dairy will be joining us…  With milk, yogurt and ICE CREAM among their offerings!!!

As ever, we’ll be taking #5 plastic (well-washed, folks…  Your neighbors are handling these items), corks, cellphones, printer cartridges (if you can’t get to Staples), household batteries, tech cords, Britta filters, DVD/CDs  and jewel cases.

Last week’s totals:  30 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 35 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   177 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 564 lbs batteries.

(This is so impressive!)

Saturday, June 11th:   Taste of Latin Caribbean – Bronx Urban Farms Tour

Meet at the New York Visitors and Convention Bureau,
810 Seventh Avenue at 52nd Street, 9:30am (return at 3),  $30

All aboard for a narrated group tour of some of the borough’s most amazing working farms, where community farmers tend to their plots of land, micro-entrepreneurs harvest honey, and chickens roam freely.  For reservations and more:   718-817-8026 or bronxfoodsummit@gmail.com.

Saturday, June 11th & Sunday, June 12th:  Big Apple Barbeque Block Party

Madison Square Park, Madison Avenue  between 23rd & 26th, 11am – 6pm

Mow down Western Tennessee-style whole hog, Texas salt and pepper beef ribs and other ’cue creations from sixteen of the nation’s top pit masters.  $8 per plate.  For more.

Tuesday, June 14th:  The 33rd Annual Museum Mile Festival

Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Street, 6 -9pm

No ribs but a legitimate claim to be New York’s biggest block party, this wonderful evening offers 23 car-free blocks of entertainment and free entry to many of our City’s greatest museums.  For more.

Tuesday, June 14th:  An East River View

Departs Skyport Marina, 23rd  & FDR Drive, 5:30pm

Join Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District aboard the gorgeous, vintage Lexington for an Upper East Side tour from the vantage of the East River and with the insight of architectural historian and guide great Francis Morrone.  Plus cocktails,  hors d’oervres and a buffet dinner.  $150 members;  $175 non-members.  For reservations and more.

Coming up:

Saturday, June 18th: Architecture and History of the Bohemian National Hall

Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd, 3pm

Explore this marvelous, largely undiscovered gem of a building, its fabulous renovation and the exceptionallly tasteful repurposing of its interior.  Free but RSVP required: info@czechcenter.com
 

SUNDAY, JUNE 19th:  92nd GREENMARKET RETURNS!!

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am – 5pm 

American Seafood, Stannard Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, Norwich Meadows, the Gonzales and Phillips Farms will all be with us this season. 

… Composting…

SUNDAY, JUNE 26th: RECYCLE-O-RAMA – SUMMER EDITION

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets (west side of First)

Electronics…  Paper shredding…  Clothes collection and the recycleables we collect every week…  Bring it all on! 

And just in case you need reminding:

“Clothing” is defined as wearing apparel, hats, belts, shoes, fabric – whether wearable or totally worn out.

On the paper shredding score, do remove paper clips and spiral binders.  Paperback books will be accepted but not hardcovers.

Electronics accepted will be:

•    Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
•    Monitors
•    Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
•    Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
•    Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
•    Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
•    TVs, VCRs, & DVD Players
•    Audio-visual equipment
•    Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
•    Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)

No appliances, please!

We thank Council Member Dan Garodnick for the generous grant that’s making this event possible. 

Out there:

Sunday, July 10th:  Tour de Queens

Meet at Flushing Meadow, Coronna, 8 am.

Now in its 4th year, 2,000 riders of all ages will cycle a 20-mile route from  Coronna to Jackson Heights at a leisurely pace.  To register and more

Yes, we know…  We could do with some miscellany, too:

So let’s get these two tidbits out of the way…

For a list of  UES restaurants that’ve earned Department of Health violations

And hard on the heels of yet another station departing the PBS system (in January,  L.A.’s KCET which was unable to pay annual $7 million dues and now, this month, the outlet in  Orlando, Florida and the entire New Jersey Public TV system),  it’s looking like Public TV’s going to be inserting 2 minutes of commercials every 15 minutes during their programming.  What can one say.

Except…

Who would think that on the very same page as the debut article on the Weiner debacle would be the lovely tale of two fellows who spent 2 1/2 years mapping 19,993 of trees that grace Central Park.  (Only 2 1/2 years?!)  A wonderful project and read.  

So did you know there’s a City Chicken Project?

We love gadgets just as much as the next person, but here’s our nominee for the most ridiculous of this or any year…  

Let’s do some animals:

As in the 8 bravest dogs in history

We’ve now got 9 baby falcons in nests on our City’s bridges…

And how quickly they grow up

Get those petitions signed, letters written and posters up!

Our best,

UGS

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Happy Post-Memorial Day Weekend, Upper East Siders!

Let’s begin with an item of paramount importance…  The Monday, June 6th, 6:30pm meeting at the Isaacs Community Center, 415 East 93rd re the proposed garbage transfer station at 91st Street.   Learn where things stand legally…   Speak your mind to power in the form of a representative from the Department of Sanitation.   WNBC – and likely other news outlets – will be covering the event so you could wind up on camera, too.  Headcount is all important, so PLEASE BE THERE.

On an infinitely less fraught note:

We’ve mentioned the NYPL exhbition celebrating the main library building’s 100th birthday but, now, having had the pleasure of seeing it…  Well, between now and December when it closes,  you just have to take a couple of  hours’ time and head down to to 42nd and Fifth.   There just aren’t adequate superlatives for the breadth and depth of our library’s collections!

Further on the good news front:

Of course, folks all over our City are doing great things to improve their neighborhoods…  Things that remain unknown to the rest of us unless we should make a turn down a given block.  Case and point:  The 93rd Street Block and Neighborhood Association‘s newly minted beautification programRead all about what they’re up to and be inspired!  

And, please, let us know about your neighborhood improvement projects so we can share them!

Meanwhile things are looking brighter for the wonderful but endangered buildings of Admiral’s Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard now that several electeds – including Senators Schumer and Gillibrand – have called for their preservation. For more.

Master knife sharpener Barbara Hess will be back for another Saturday at 82nd Street.

How about a summer internship opportunity:

FoodieLink is looking for a self-starting business development and marketing intern whose responsibilities would include managing and developing its relationships with merchants (e.g. restaurants, grocers, artisan shops), Grow NYC/city green markets and media entities such as Edible magazine.  For more:  info@foodielink.com.

On to the coming week:

Friday, June 3rd: From  the City to the Stars

Brooklyn Bridge Park, 8:30pm – 12am

Join professional and amateur astronomers for a free evening of urban stargazing and outdoor partying beneath the twinkling canvas of the heavens.  BYOT…  Translation:   “Bring your telescope” (if you have one) or use one of the dozens the organizers will have on hand.  Free. For more.  

Saturday, June 4th:  82nd Greenmarket

St. Stephen of Hungary Churchyard, 82nd Street between First and York, 9 am – 3 pm 

With us will be American Seafood, Calkins Creamery, Bread Alone, Gayeski, Samascot, Baghoo, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey and the K5 Flower Farm…  And, yes,  the doyenne of knife sharpeners, Ms. Barbara Hess.

As always, we’ll be collecting #5 plastic (well-washed, folks…  recently some have been slacking on this score), corks, cellphones, printer cartridges (if you can’t get to Staples), household batteries, tech cords, Britta filters, DVD/CDs  and jewel cases.

Last week’s totals:  27 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 36 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   147 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 529 lbs batteries! 

Sunday, June 5th:  Holmes Towers June Flea  Market

The Plaza in front of 1780 First Avenue, between 92nd and 93rd,  noon to 6pm

Clothes, small furniture items,  games, bric-a-brac…  You name it – well, maybe no Rembrandts, but otherwise –  somebody’s going to be selling it…

Sunday, June 5th:  World Science Street Festival

Washington Square Park, 10am – 6pm

Don’t miss our friends at New York Skies’ incredible  astronomy exhibit of 20 giant  photos of deepest space.  Free.

Monday, June 6th:  Marine Transfer Station Meeting

Stanley Isaacs Community Center Dining Room, 415 East 93rd Street, 6:30pm

How do you feel about the Department of Sanitation reopening the long-shuttered Marine Transfer Station at 91st Street and, in this time of draconian cuts to a host of services, spending $125 million to rebuild the thing?   Oh, yes, and driving a couple hundred garbage trucks and a zillion of tons of waste a day through the heart of Asphalt Green, en route to said proposed facility?   Let your voice be heard!  

Wednesday, June 8th:  Greenwich Village – Past, Present, and Future

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, 6:30pm

Needless to say, we’re not our city’s only besieged area.  Over the centuries, the Village’s been transformed from farmland to row houses to tenements to luxury condominiums.  Join historians, planners, and community leaders for an evening of discussion of  what its future might hold.   $12 Non-Members, $8 Seniors and Students, $6 MCNY Members.  Reservations required

Thursday, June 9th:  Ribbon Cutting at John Jay Park

John Jay Park Playground, Wast 77th Street and Cherokee Place, 10:30am

Join City Council Member Jessica Lappin and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe at the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the park’s newly renovated playground!  To RSVP call 212-408-0111 or specialevents@parks.nyc.gov

Thursday, June 9th:   Future Visions Film Series – “Pick Axe”

The Gallery, John Haynes Holmes House, The Community Church of New York, 28 East 35th Street, 7pm

For once (much as we love even the most distressing examples of the form) a happy documentary in which Oregon activists take on the logging industry with time-honored non-violent tactics and save a beloved old growth forest.   Suggested donation: $5.  

Looming on the horizon:

Thursday, June 16th:  Reconstructing Historical Royal Kitchens

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street (First & York), 6:30pm

Marc Meltonville, Food Historian, Hampton Court Palace, England leads this fully illustrated talk looking at the work being done in the Tudor Kitchens of Henry VIII and offering a peek into the newly discovered, early 19th century Kitchens of George III.  In conjunction with The Culinary Historians of NY.  $40 Adults, $25 for Members, $22 for Senior & Student Members.  For reservations and more, call 212-838-6878.   

SUNDAY, JUNE 19th:  92nd GREENMARKET RETURNS!!

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am – 5pm 

American Seafood, Stannard Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, Norwich Meadows, the Gonzales and Phillips Farms will all be with us this season. 

Humm….   Composting…

Saturday, June 25th and Saturday, August 20th:  Calkins Creamery Farm Tours

Calkins Creamery/Highland Farm, 288 Calkins Road, Honesdale, PA , 8 am- 12pm

See where the fabulous cheeses you buy every week come from when you tour the Calkins’ Highland Farm, its milking barn, pastures, beehives, pigs and the caves where their fantastic cheeses mature.  $40.  For reservations and more details.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26th: RECYCLE-O-RAMA – SUMMER EDITION

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Streets (west side of First)

Electronics…  Paper shredding…  Clothes collection and the recycleables we collect every week…  Bring it all on! 

And just in case you need reminding:

“Clothing” is defined as wearing apparel, hats, belts, shoes, fabric – whether wearable or totally worn out.

On the paper shredding score, do remove paper clips and spiral binders.  Paperback books will be accepted but not hardcovers.

Electronics accepted will be:

•    Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
•    Monitors
•    Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
•    Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
•    Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, etc.)
•    Components (hard drives, CD-ROMs, circuit boards, power supplies, etc.)
•    TVs, VCRs, & DVD Players
•    Audio-visual equipment
•    Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
•    Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)

No appliances, please!

Many thanks to Council Member Dan Garodnick for the generous grant that’s making this event possible. 

Coming up:

Starting Wednesday, July 6th/Thursday, July 7th – Wednesday, August 24th/Thursday, August 25th:  Clearview Cinemas Kid’s Club

Clearview Cinema, 400 East 62nd Street, 10:30am

Eight weeks of “great”,  contemporary, TOTALLY FREE  family films (“Shrek”, “Despicable Me” “Cats & Dogs”, etc.   Check the Clearview site  for the full schedule.  Did I say the whole things totally free…  Even for Mom and Dad?!

Sunday, July 24th:  From Beekman Place to Mount Vernon

Meeting place furnished with RSVP, 2 – 5pm

Once upon a time, Beekman Place was home to theater folk and well-to-do bohemians, while Sutton Place was settled by society women who established new roles and rules for females of their class.  Each had a particular architectural style, too.   Learn the history and more on a tour lead by one of the thirteen best guides in the world, architectural historian Francis Morrone.  $20 Municipal Art Society members; $25 non-members.  To RSVP or call 212-935-2075.

As for this week’s miscellany:

Won’t be news to residents of the area, but Hunter College’s just released a report describing the epic mess that is  Second Avenue Subway construction and making obvious recommendations…  Obvious to all but the MTA…

Oh and Riverkeeper’s published it’s May report on Hudson River water quality.   (With all the rain and runoff, not so good.) 

Why are we not surprised that science is now indicating that the purportedly much cleaner natural gas produced from hydrofracking is more polluting than oil or coal?  

Enough sturm and drang:

For those mature enough to have heard about the Cold War kitchen confrontation between Richard Nixon and Nikita Krushchev in which the Soviet leader refused  to believe a modest Fifties ranch house situated in Comack, Long Island was typical of the American lifestyle, here’s a look at that home some 51 years later.

Was this included previously?  Even if so, Alec Appelbaum’s “Manhattan’s Green Grid” is worthy of another look.

From the National Geographic, an amazing,  not so crazily futuristic piece on replacement organs grown from one’s own cells!

Check out the wonderful overpass – one of 2 – Wyoming’s building to give its migrating wildlife save passage across highways.

The hippocampus of a middle-aged adult grew 2% when those adults took  just three, 40-minute walks a week for a year.  (Normally the hippocampus gets smaller when folks hit their mid-50’s, leading to memory loss.)

Who knew zinnias are native to Mexico?

Did we know that there’re national and state registries honoring the nation’s/state’s biggest trees?   Read all about them and how to make a nomination.  (And check out the rest of the marvelous New York State Conservationist Magazine.)

Think it’s impossible for a family of 3 to live comfortably and happily in 320 square feet?  Think again.  (The Tiny House /Extreme Downsizing Movement is picking up pace.)

A couple of weeks ago it was Gristede’s selling garlic from China.  Could be they’ll soon be stocking exploding Chinese watermelons!

Classic Jon Stewart when he interviewed EPA Secretary Lisa Jackson.

Further on the great what’s-the-right-way-to-pronounce-Van-Wyck debate

High time for some animals:

One more fascinating item from National Georgraphic on designing the perfect pet in”Taming the Wild“.   (I’d kind of love a little, tame fox!)

And now for the world’s 8 largest mammals

The temperature was maintained on a constant 40 degrees on the set of new the Jim Carey vehicle, Mr. Popper’s Penguins…  Necessary to keeping the film’s six Antarctic pensuin stars comfortable.  

How well do you know New York’s wild side…  In this case the critters in our great zoos and aquariums?  Take their test and see

Hard to say which is cuter…    Sleeping kitten having a nightmare… Or baby meerkats

If you’d like to speak up for presently unfunded protections for migratory songbirds

We will ever be green,

UGS

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