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).


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.


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,  ‘


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