Monthly Archives: July 2011

Greetings, UESiders,

First, something really lovely in which WeRecycle – the great people who do our electronic recycling – plays a leading role.  Check out the PBS NewsHour reports of the this past Tuesday and Wednesday nights which detail how Bard College and WeRecycle are rebuilding lost lives.

No kidding it’s a good feeling that this is the company conveying our decrepit TVs, computer towers and monitors to the great recycler in the sky!

If you’re not familiar with the New Yorkers for Parks annual daffodil bulb giveaway it’s high time you were…  Every fall – thanks to the generosity of Hans van Waardenburg of Holland’s B&K Flowerbulbs – 500,000 bulbs are made available for planting all around our city in memory of 9/11.  No reason why you can’t claim however many to plant around the trees on your block, in your building’s garden or…  Well, any place that could use some beautification.  And it’s all entirely free.  For more details and to get on the mailing list  (Don’t miss the Blooming Map!)

And guess what?  Who knows why after all the years of contrariness, but we can heave a huge sigh of relief that America finally dropped its opposition and joined more than 100 other countries in requiring guidelines for and labeling of  genetically modified foods.  HURRAH!

Usually Times’ articles are noted down in the Miscellany file, but because of our many UES buildings still using the dread #6 heating oil and the choices their residents face, this week this informative piece rates a place up-top.

Now for the coming week:

Thursday, July 28th to Monday, September 26th:  The High Line Roller Rink

Southwest corner of West 30th Street and Tenth Avenue, Open 7 Days a Week,

“The High Line Rink is one of the only open-air rollerskating venues in Manhattan”, the press release says.  Who knew there were others?  But surely none can have a more congenial setting.  And do we doubt this is going to be one of the hits of the summer?  For the full schedule and session themes.

Saturday, July 30th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Manning/Womaning their tables will be American Seafood,  Bread Alone,  Raghoo, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef and Ant Hill Farm.

Plus nutritionist Shelly Zagor will be back and whipping up her signature, delicious kale smoothies.

Add to that master knife sharener Barbara Hess!

And the fantastic Max Z will be making music with his dulcimer.

Meanwhile, yours truly will away this Saturday, BUT in my absence, the totally capable knife-sharpening Barbara will be doing double duty and collecting our recycleables at her table.  (Thank you, Barbara!)

Last week’s totals:  8 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 25 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   313 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 795 lbs batteries.  (Yes!)

Sunday, July 31st:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–4pm

With us will be Nature’s Way Honey, the Stannart, Gonzalez and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood…  and Norwich Farms.

Have you sampled Stellar’s delicious cooking yet?  Really, what they d0 couldn’t be more simple, but their take on our market’s staples is just wonderful. 

Yes, I’ll be away this Sunday, too, BUT UGS volunteer Michelle Kaskel will be riding herd on our table and organizing recycleables!  Do stop and say “hi”.  (And thanks so much, Michelle!)

Last week’s totals:  4 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges and corks; 22 pounds batteries . 

YTD (from 6/19):   44 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 162 lbs batteries.  (Excellent!)

Wednesday, August 3rd – Wednesday, August 31st:  Live @ 1220 Fifth 

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, between 103rd and 104th Streets , 6 – 9pm

The third summer of the Museum’s summer music series and situated on the its lovely terrace looking onto Central Park.  Tickets $15.  For schedule and artists.

Tuesday, August 2nd – Friday, August 19th:  Summer Courses from the New York Botanical Garden

Midtown Education Center, 20 West 44th Street, between Fifth and Sixth and Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

Learn to identify flowers from A to Z, the whats and wherefores of ornamental grasses, how to devise arrangements and  centerpieces and plenty more classes.  For details.

Did somebody say miscellany?

Okay, so we might be sweltering, but Newark…  Just why is that city always just that much more excrutiatingly hot?

Pricey to be sure, but there are tips for us all in this energy-efficient house...

Tapping the Times again, here’re the great NYC-centric books they reviewed last week.

How incredible is it that a bunch of historians and anthropologists have been excavating Seneca Village, a 19th Century African-American community once existing in Central Park at West 85th Street?  Pretty incredible, we say!

Or what about the folks studying the on-going evolution of NYC wildlife?  Yes, wildlife!

Or who knew that NYC has its own farm school?  Indeed, we do!

Or that there’s now a design for a verticle urban farm?  And it’s great looking!  (If they can build one in Milwaukee…)

Or that NYC had a Community Garden Map?  We sure do!

Turning our eyes toward France, there’s a new head gardener at Monet’s Giverny who’s intending to improve what’s already one of the prettier places on this earth.

And what would a week be without some cute animal moments:

Think prarie dogs can’t show gratitude?  Think again…  Especially when it comes to volunteers way out west who removed some 349 of the little critters from harm’s way and established them in a safe, new home.

Or that all 4-legs are required for a cat to be upright…  Ha!  Tell that to Standing Cat!  (Hint:  Turn off the music!)

We are so glad to be green,



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Greetings to you, UGSiders,

And happy National Hot Dog Month!

Always great when we can begin with some good news…  That being the new children’s roof garden just installed by the residents of 340 East 93rd…  Beautiful, educational, cooling of the building and cleansing of our city air.   As the photos below illustrate, this is a choice idea for any building with young ones living under what could be a green roof of their own making:

And how about this…  The beautiful pavillion designed for the pool at Highbridge Park by the Design Workshop, a group of graduate students from Parsons, and funded by 232 donations made via Kickstart will be built by volunteers on July 26th and in time for the pool to be open for its afternoon swim session at 4pm that day!  Extreme kudos to everyone involved! 

The good news doesn’t stop there…  New York City Economic Development Council announced that work could proceed on the Con Ed-financed $13 million  rehab of the 34,000 square foot East River Waterside Pier between 38th and 41st Street.

(On the downside, our neighbors to the south will be getting a great new multi-community use pier while we get…  You guessed it…  A 77,000-plus square foot garbage transfer station.)

Meanwhile, it’s nice to be able to announce that the insane effort to repeal light bulb energy efficiency totally failed

AND, at long, long last, seems like the cleanup of the infamously polluted Newtown Creek is about to begin!  

Now for the coming week:

Saturday, July 23rd:  82nd Street 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, Samascot, Baghoo, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey, Ant Hill Farm and Duncan Dairy Farm.

Yes, Cherry Lane is back!

As will be master knife sharener Barbara Hess!

Dont worry, K5 will return in a few weeks’ time, when their next crop of flowers matures.

Oh, and the Opera Collective will be making this Saturday’s music.

Last week’s totals:  19 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 22 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   305 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 770 lbs batteries.  (Wow!)

Saturday, July 23rd: Go Fly a Kite / Serious Eats All-Star Sandwich Fesitval 

Governors Island

Loft one of the free kites – courtesy of the Governors Island Alliance – into the air at 11 am, then settle down to the serious business of sampling some of New York’s greatest sandwiches, some of which will be inducted into the Sandwich Hall of Fame, from 12 – 4pm.  For more on free kite flying.   And information and tickets for the Sandwich Festival.

Sunday, July 24th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–4pm

At their tables will be Nature’s Way Honey, the Stannart, Gonzalez and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood…  and the great Norwich Farms!

PLUS…  Do stop by the Stellar table where 3 great young people are whipping up really great treats from our market’s produce and – same as at the market manager’s table – many a fabulous recipe! 

Last week’s totals:  2 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges and corks; 25 pounds batteries . 

YTD (from 6/19):   40 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 140 lbs batteries.  (Yes!)

Tuesday, July 26th:  Waterside Pier Design Forum

NYU Langone Medical Center , 550 FIrst Avenue, 9:30am – 4pm

Further on the rehabilitation of the Waterside Pier, the Municipal Art Society and Community Board 6 will be holding a forum at July 26 to solicit design suggestions.

Wednesday,July 27th – Friday, August 5th:  Chefs & Experts in Person at “El Bulli – Cooking in Progress” Screenings

Film Forum, 209 West Hudson, various days and times

Not only do you get a film detailing the how and why of the world’s best restaurant but observations on it by such culinary luminaries as George Mendes (he worked at Bel Bulli) to Colman Andrews (co-founder of Saveur).  For the schedule and personalities.

Way out there:

Sunday, September, 18th:  NYC Century Bike Tour

Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan

Choose Your Route. Ride at Your Own Pace.  Ride all 4 boroughs or just one.  Choose between 15-, 35-, 55-, 75- and 100-mile route options, with fully stocked rest stops and safety marshals throughout the course.  Convenient starting locations in Manhattan’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park make it easier to finish. Beofre July 23rd:  $40 members, $55 non-members.  After July 24th:  $45 members, $60 non-members.  For more and to register.

As to this week’s miscellany:

Not our usual content or tone, but this beautiful and sad portrait of upstate renaissance, unlikely friendship and tragedy just has to be read. 


Further on rooftop gardening…  This time hydroponic tower- style,  we doff our collective hats to restaurant Bell, Book and Candle which – atop its West 10th Street roof – grows an astonishing array of fresh produce which then moves directly to the eatery’s kitchen and tables.

On to green walls…  These on a lucky and beautiful San Francisco residence.

Then there’re the world’s 10 oldest trees

And they’ll grow older still if  the new DuPont herbicide Imprelis is kept away from them. 

Scroll down the great Landmark West blog for great map of Central Park playgrounds!

Further on graphics…  Well, actually we’re talking an info graphic on America’s home gardeners!

All hail that home gardener favorite, the fabulous cucumber and its many uses…  Including a wealth of healing and beauty concoctions

How about a course to help your super and/or building staff go green?

Love that Air FranceKLM will be using cooking oil to power its planes!

You can get your information level on fracking current and up to speed with this article from The Times.

So, why then has our governor inflicted deeper cuts on the DEC –  which, of course,  will be tasked with monitoring all the fracking Cuomo would like to turn lose – than on any other state agency or commission?

And why does one find the titles of books on offer from the esteemed Trout Unlimited group so hysterical?  Well…  Try The Art of the Creel  or, say, Trout and Their Food on for size… 

Familiar with the Inside the Apple site?  If not, check out this fine little history of our Municipal Building.

Okay, it’s taking reuse to a pretty silly extreme but there actually are things to be done with those little silica packets that come with your new shoes…

Getting close to some animal stuff now…  But first let’s  debunk of The Camel’s Hump Is Filled With Water Myth and why it isn’t true:  Few animals can last a week without water, but a camel can survive as long as two weeks. One reason is that a camel can get extra moisture it needs from fat—which is stored in its hump. And “the hump is composed of up to 80 pounds of fat,” says Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

Impossible to categorize this total ridiculousness…  Let’s just say that anyone purchasing a 20-foot long anamatronic triceratops  has too much money for their own good!  (Please note that Hammacher Schlemmer includes a “continue shopping” link once this trinket is placed in your cart!)

We end the week with a new critter and trifecta of cuteness:

BABY SLOTHS…  Funny baby sloth…   Adorable baby sloth (note the tiny squeek)…  And classical baby sloths (including baby sloth bath)!

Greenly yours,


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Bon soir, Upper Green Siders,

Happy what’s left of Bastille Day!

How about some good news?

The first bit being that DOT is reviewing their bike lane plan for that troublesome First Avenue and 48th and 49th Street stretch.

Number 2…  That the UES may soon be home to its 127th individually landmarked structure…   The Barbizon Hotel.  And you can, if you wish, offer your support.

Third…  Master knife sharpener Barbara Hess will be with us again this Saturday at the 82nd Street Greenmarket so bring on those dull blades!

And now for the coming week:

Friday, July 15th:  NY Skies Astronomy Bi-Monthly Seminar 

McBurney House,  125 West 14th Street (Sixth and Seventh), 6:30-9pm

Stars come in a zillion sizes, temperatures, masses and physical behavior.  So did it become possible to organize them into groups convenient for study?  The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram ( or HRD), that’s how…  The genius solution of a home astronomer!    Learn all about it and how you can use it yourself.   Free.  

Saturday, July 16th:  82nd Street 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, Samascot, Baghoo, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey, K5 Flower Farm, Ant Hill Farm and Duncan Dairy Farm.

Could be that Cherry Lane returns this week…

Meanwhile, have you tried Duncan Dairy’s tremendous chocolate milk?

Or Ant Hill’s weirdly-named  but great, leafy green, the “lamb quarter”?   Well, reputedly it’s the most densely nutrient-rich plant on planet earth! 

Last week’s totals:  25 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 36 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   286 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 748 lbs batteries.  (Really!)

Saturday, July 16th:  City of Water Day Festival

Throughout the city.

A ton of great things to do on our very own fabulous waterfront!  Our recommendation for those who haven’t been?  Get yourself out to Governor’s Island!   For the full schedule of activities.

Saturday, July 16th:  Seize the Day Electronic Recycling

Tekserve, 119 East 23rd (between Sixth and Seventh). 10am – 4pm

Could be the summer’s last chance to rid yourself of old tech.  For details and a list of what Tekserve’s accepting

Sunday, July 17th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–5pm

With us will be Nature’s Way Honey, the Stannart, Gonzalez and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood…  AND Norwich Farms has returned!

PLUS…  New this year…  Check out the wonderful folks from the education wing of the Health Department.  They’ll be  with us the rest of the summer and cooking up great recipes using our market produce!  

Last week’s totals:  8 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges and corks; 11 pounds batteries . 

YTD (from 6/19):   38 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 115 lbs batteries.

Monday, July 18th:  JazzMobile at Solar One

Stuyvesant Cove Park , 23rd Street at the East River, 6:30pm 

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association brings back the artists of Jazzmobile –  one of the city’s oldest and most venerable jazz organizations – this year featuring vocalist Cynthia Holiday, accompanied by piano, bass and drums. Free and open to the public, suitable for all ages!  Free.  For more and directions.

Tuesday, July 19th:  Colonial Revival – Then and Now Lecture

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street,  6:30pm

Architects Gil Schafer and Peter Pennoyer expound on great examples of the Colonial Revival style found in NYC (think the Knickerbocker Club, for one), its continuing influence and the design lessons to be gleaned.  Members $6; Non-members $12; Seniors and students $8.  Reservations required.

Wednesday, July 20th:  Fairway Market Opening

240 East 86th Street (Second and Third)

As Union Square’s proved, there’s always room for new, great places to buy wonderful food .  We’re talking synergy and no more trekking across town.  Welcome, Fairway!  

Wednesday, July 20th:  Word for Word Civil War Lecture

Bryant Park Reading Room, 42nd Street side of Bryant Park (Fifth and Sixth),  7 pm

Not the best title for a great series of talks commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War…  This one by Pulitzer Prize-winning author James M. McPherson who’ll discuss his book, “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief”, a riveting account of how Lincoln invented the role of commander-in-chief as we know it.   Free.  For more.

Coming up:

Wednesday, July 27th:    Green Screen Film Series – “Urban Roots”

The Horticultural Society of New York, 148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor , 6:30pm

Detroit’s America’s best known urban wreck…   But now, against all odds in the empty lots, in the old factory yards, and abadnoned housing, a group of dedicated citizens, allied with environmental and academic groups, have launched an  environmental movement with the potential to transform not just a city after its collapse, but also post-industial America…  Urban farming.  Free.  RSVP at .  For more.

And way out there:

Thursday, August 18th-Saturday, August 21st:  32nd Annual Community Gardening Association National Conference

Lerner Hall, Columbia University, 2920 Broadway

Connect with other community garden and open space advocates to share information, wisdom and fun through workshops, seminars, tours and informal discussions.  $300.   For more. the schedule and times.

How ’bout some miscellany:

Given all the rebates and tax advantages, what’s up with NYC residents being so lethargic about getting our solar act together?  Read all about it and be sure to check the map for your building’s solar potential.  

Last week it was the permiculture building methodology, this week it’s a very attractive $28,000 “tiny house”. 

Courtesy of Carol Rinzler, we give you 3-Way Street…  A student project that may…  Well, let’s just say you’ve never seen 28th Street and Madison Ave in quite this way... 

And thanks to Kateri Dupuy, here’s the Vegetable Orchestra!

On the fruit end of the edible spectrum, The Times advises us that wild blackberries are now in season.

Reason #1,308,419 to shop Greenmarkets?   How about American food manufacturers adding wood to their products?  You heard it right.   Wood.

Been wondering  just what probiotics are and how they work?  Here’s the lowdown from Consumer Reports.

We’ve noted the city’s soliciting us citizens for New York-centric aps…  Well, here’s a great one:  WhatWasThere which, as the name indicates, lets us see what was once – and might even still be in  an altered form – at locations citywide.  You can even submit your own historic photos and info. 

We’ll close with this lovely UES/animal-inspired tidbit from The Times’ Metropolitan Diary:

Dear Diary:

A preoccupied walk in May in the East 60s in Manhattan; stressful times looking for some relief. I turn the corner of East 65th and Second Avenue and come face to face with a vulturing crowd filled with cameramen, television trucks and reporters with microphones.

There is a rumor that Dominique Strauss-Kahn may be staying in a suite at the Bristol Plaza once he is released on bail from Rikers. They are anticipating an arrival that will never come, yet the feeding frenzy is obvious.

I continue down the block, where suddenly a cab stops in the middle of the street, causing an immediate backup.

The cabby bends down in front of his cab and gently picks up a newborn bird that has fallen from its nest. He returns the bird to the nest, on a ledge above the sidewalk, and jumps back into the cab as if this were a normal occurrence.

No car horns beeped or voices yelled, but everyone seemed to look on with appreciation. Maybe there was still hope for the rest of the day.  Mike Sampson

We dream of green,


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Happy National Strawberry Sundae Day, UESiders,

(Believe it!)

Not only that but on this day in 1885,  Louis Pasteur successfully tested his anti-rabies vaccine. The child used in the test later became the director of the Pasteur Institute.

But let’s get serious for a moment with a  Marine Transfer Station-related note…  That being a misconception by some in our community that the Schurz Park Conservancy and its director David Williams are in favor of the MTS.  Not true and it never has been.  

Always good when neighborhood groups communicate and, this week, we heard from the folks of the Turtle Bay Association (located in Community Board 6).  On their minds:  the DOT’s design for extending the First and Second Avenue bike lanes – sometimes dedicated, sometimes shared with with cars –  northwards from 34th to 57th Street  and the safety of cyclists and pedestrians at a number of choke points along the route, particularly at First and 48th and 49th Streets.   Just introducing this subject with more to come when we’ve achieved a better understanding ourselves.  In the meantime, do check out DOT’s plan which is attached to the email.  After all, our turf will be next and we’ll be just as insistent on a solid design and  safety!

And now for the week ahead:

Saturday, July 9th:  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, K5 Flower Farm , Ant Hill Farm AND a most welcome newcomer, Duncan Dairy Farm.

Yes, K5 took last week off.  They’ll be back this Saturday. 

And as if we needed another reason to thank our lucky stars  for American Seafood…  Check this out.

Last week’s totals:  20 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 35 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   261 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 712 lbs batteries.  (Incredible!)

Sunday, July 1oth:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

With us will be Nature’s Way Honey, the Stannart, Gonzalez and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood…  We’re talking end-to-end fabulous foodstuffs!  And Norwich Farms will be back on hand shortly.

Last week’s totals:  5 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges and corks; 9 pounds batteries . 

YTD (from 6/19):   30 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 104 lbs batteries.

Monday, July 11th – Sunday, July 24th:  Restaurant Week

All over town and really more like nearly 2 weeks!

Three 3-course, prix fix packages of deliciousness served up  at 300 of the city’s best eateries.  $24.07 for lunch.  $35.00 for dinner.   For participating restaurants and more.

Friday, July 15th:  Sing To Me O Muse Greek Poetry Festival

Federation of Hellenic Societies, Stathakion Center, 22-51 29th Street, Astoria (N, Q to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd), 8 – 10pm 

New York’s Greek Community will be honoring its poetic heritage and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Greece’s Nobel Laureate Odysseas Elytis with a visit by the POEMobile, the “traveling cinema of words”.    Think projections of poems on Hell’s Gate Bridge, poems read by emerging poets and great music.  Free but a RSVP required.  Call 212-529-1955, x 308 or email

Saturday, July 16th:  City of Water Day Festival

Throughout the city.

One of the summer’s most fun events and what site could be better than any place on our glorious waterfront.  Free boat tours, kayaking, rowing,  fishing, biking,  arts & crafts and more, plus a ton of great food!   For the full schedule of activities.

Saturday, July 16th:  Seize the Day Electronic Recycling

Tekserve, 119 East 23rd (between Sixth and Seventh). 10am – 4pm

Before you head off for City of Water festivities, get rid of that last bit of old tech you couldn’t cram into the cart and bring to 92nd Street two Sundays ago…  You might even win a prize.  For details and a list of what Tekserve’s accepting

Oh, let’s get down on some miscellany:

Actually,  the city’s various ferries make for a kind of endless City of Water Festival…   For NYMagazine’s guide to what they are and where they go…

NYMag’s  put together a guide to sumer fun for children, too.

And leaving no stone unturned, how about their take on NYC’s best ice cream.

But leave it to the NRDC (National Resource Defense Council) to rate America’s best and worst beaches.

And Care2 to let us know the worst of the worst-of-the-worst-for-you amusement park food

Got some time on your hands?  Why not build your own permaculture home from clay, sand and straw?  There’s a dedicated permaculture group and even books on subject!  For more.

Who knew that each of our city firehouses – and the great men who staff them – had their own slogans and patches?

Another lovely but uncategorizable story  from  The Times concerns a change purse and some determined sleuthing. 

And now for the most unlikely job opportunity ever…  To wit:   The History Channel and the producers of Top Shot and The Ultimate Fighter seek tough and brave people for its new competition series, “Full Metal Jousting”.  If you are a skilled horseback rider and possess the bravery of a warrior, the show is looking for you.  The show will teach you how to joust and the best jouster has the chance to win $100,000.  To apply, send an email by the July 20, 2011 deadline to: and include your name, phone number, a recent photo and a brief description of why you think you can be History’s Full-Metal Jouster.  (Good luck!)

Ready for some animals?

For you wildlife photographers – and we know you’re out there – you still have a few days to get your entries in to Wildlife Federation’s annual contest.

Baby badgers, anyone?  Baby English badgers?

The loudest animal for its size?  You’ll never guess…!

Doesn’t get any more touching or inspirational than a paralyzed kitty learning how to walk via swimming…  Be prepared to shed a tear…

It is so good to be green,


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Greetings, UESiders,

Another week…  Another rousing rally with stirring words from Council Members Garodnick and Lappin, community leader Jennifer Ratner and Isaacs Residents Association President Rose Bergin… 

Really, we have some great speakers among us!

And, for once, there was some fairly decent coverage by local TV.

So, then,yes, the very next day, our City Council approved a budget which included the MTS/dump…  BUT that is hardly the end.

Stay tuned.

And now for much needed lighter fare…  Well, almost but not quite…

You do know that Governor Cuomo – with the notable exception of NYC and Syracuse watersheds –  seems to be leaning towards okaying fracking in our state?   If you  believe that all of New York waters should be protected, you can say so here.  

Alright, enough with the issues.

We know her as our master knife sharpener, but that is but one  Barbara Hess’s personnae.  When she’s wearing her animal advocacy hat…  Make that turban…  She’s Madrette, reader of pet paws.    Check it out!   (And consider adding a “like” to her canine lullaby.) 

On to the coming week:

Friday, July 1st:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 W 14 St (between Sixth and Seventh), 6:30 – 9pm

Driven by recent news of the discovery of two new chemical elements,  NYSkies welcomes elements #114 and #116 to the  Periodic Table and details just how nuclear reactions contributed to their formation.  Free.

(What’s going on with #115?)

Friday, July 1st – Monday, July 4th:  Dance.Here.Now.Festival  

Governor’s Island

And I quote, “The Dance.Here.Now. Festival takes over Governor’s Island for an unforgettable four days and nights of epic parties with the world’s top DJs, with a sonic and visual onslaught by festival specialists AG Light & Sound.”  For more.

Saturday, July 2nd:  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.

(No end to what can be done with all the fabulous lettuce that’s beginning to find its way on market tables…  Witness Mark Bittman’s piece in last Sunday’s Times Magazine.)

(Rising Sun’s ground beef makes the best burgers ever!)

Last week’s totals:  22 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 38 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   241 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 677 lbs batteries.  (Unreal!)

Sunday, July 3rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

Nature’s Way Honey, Stannart, Gonzalez and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood…  What a line-up!  And Norwich Farms will be back with us soon.

And now for the insanely great results of last week’s Recycle-O-Rama…  Results that totally throw down the gauntlet for all future events…

41 Bags of Clothes Collected…  8,000 Pounds of Paper Shredded…  7,000 Pounds of Electronics Recycled!!


25 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges and corks; 95 pounds batteries and 31 pairs of glasses. 


Wednesday, July 6th:  “The End of Suburbia”

Orchard House Cafe, 1064 1st Avenue at E 58 Street, 7pm

As global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply, how will American life adapt and change?  Scientists and policy makers visions clash in this nicely reviewed documentary.   Discussion follows.  Free.

Thursday, July 7th:  No National Dish – The History of American Food Writing

Stephen A. Schwartzman Building, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 1:15pm

How could one not want hear what Megan Elias –  author of Stir it Up: Home Economics in American Culture and the forthcoming Barbecue: A Global History – has to say about what our nation’s put on its plates over two centuries.  Free.  First come, first seated.

Looking forward:

Tuesday, July 12th:  “Revenge of the Electric Car”

Central Park Band Shell,  south of Bethesda Fountain at 71st Street, 8:30 – 10pm

They sold us out on the MTS, but it’s nice that the Sierra Club’s co-sponsoring a free screening of this well-received documentary, as well as an electric vehicle display.  The director, Chris Paine, will introduce the film.

Sunday, July 10th:  Brooklyn Navy Yard Bicycle Tour

Brooklyn Navy Yard (duh!), 10:30 am

Opened in 1801, this installation – the longest continually operating military base in the US until it was shuttered in 1966 –  reached its heyday in WWII with 70,000 people working on site round the clock.     Explore with with partners NYC H20 and Urban Oyster and visit historic sections not open to the public, like the landmarked Naval Hospital built in 1838.  Tickets $24.  Reservations required.

Additional dates in August, September and October.   There’ll be a bus tour coming in August.

Wednesdays, July 13th through August 31st:  “Songs and Stories”

St. Catherine’s Park, First Avenue and 67th Street, 10:30 – 11am

Hosted by the 67th Street Library, children aged six and under are invited to relax on mats provided by the library while Peggy, the Senior Children’s librarian, reads to the audience.  Will be cancelled in the event of rain.  For more, please call the 67th Street Library at 212-734-1717 or visit.

Saturday, July 16th:  City of Water Day Festival

Throughout the city.

Celebrate our glorious waterfront with free boat tours, kayaking, rowing,  fishing, biking plus arts & crafts anda ton of great food!   For the full schedule of activities.

As for this week’s miscellany:

Wondering why your Con Ed bill seemed to spike not long after you got that new HD cable box?  Wonder no more.

But it’s possible to maybe get a fraction of it back by reducing the brightness on your high-definition TV. Many are shipped from the factory set at a “retail mode” of screen brightness that displays optimum picture clarity in a showroom. Go to your TV’s setup menu and look for “home mode” or some other way to dial down the brightness. This reduces electricity consumption and could possibly save you $50 a year.

Some Oregonians have come up with a lovely and effective way of stocking their food banks with fresh produce (53,000 pounds of it last year) which they call the Salem Harvest.

For those who haven’t yet become acquainted with “The Conservationist”, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Magazine, check out 3 recent articles on the Upper Hudson River Highlands and our friends the horseshoe crab and the dragonfly

Of course, they have yet to let Assembly Member Kellner’s Bill A919 come to vote (no MTS within 800 feet of public housing) but, so far, the state legislature’s environmental mark has improved from last year’s pitiful C to a B.

There’s Hell’s Kitchen, of course, but there’re plenty more NYC place names that include h-e-l-l.  

In the market for some vintage theater seats?  Build It Green’s got them!

No surprise, our city’s parks are prodigious users of artificial turf and, happily, New Yorkers for Parks’ recent report card on the plastic green is far from all doom and gloom.

Here’s something to put on our UES wish list…  A rain garden.  (They’ve got one only 30 or so blocks away at Columbia!)

No critters this week, but we leave you with a recent heartening development in the nation’s capital:  As a result of a 5-cent charge per bag, in one month alone (January, 2010), plastic bag distribution in Washington, D.C. dropped from an average of 22.5 million bags a month to 3 million.  The $150,000 derived from the plastic bag charge was used to fund the clean up of the Anacostia River!

Here’s to a happy and green July 4th,


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