Monthly Archives: October 2011

Happy soon-to-be Halloween, UESiders!

Costumes ready?  Caramel apples?  Candy corn?  Snickers?  M&Ms?  Reese’s?  Alka-Selzer?

You will be ready for some major face-painting at the 92nd Street Market this Sunday, yes?

Meanwhile, some of your neighbors prepared for 31st by burying – No, not bodies!  Not skeletons! – a couple of hundred daffodils in the Holmes Tower Plaza garden…


Thank you, Glendora, Joy and Frances! 

Let’s get down on the ghostly upcoming week:

Friday, October 28th:  The Statue of Liberty’s 125th Birthday!

And the fireworks will begin at – a gift to our city from Macy’s – begins at 7:45pm.  Be on that Lower Manhattan waterfront!!  (And for a short,  fun history, try this from Inside the Apple.)

Friday, October 28th & Saturday October 29th:  Halloween at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, between First & York Avenues, 6:30 and 7:30pm

Who was that (fictional) skeleton found under the Museum’s floorboards and how did he/she/it get there?  A perfect mystery for families with kids 8 and above to solve!  Adult, $25.  Museum members, $15.  Children, $10.  For reservations: 

Saturday, October 29th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street, between First and York, 9am – 3pm

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Raghoo, Gajeski, Samascott,  Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

AND back for a return engagement is local health coach extraordinaire Shelly Zagor  (she of the famous kale smoothie).  Kick off your Halloween weekend with some sauteed veggies guaranteed to be ghoul-icious!

Last 2 weeks’ totals:  22 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 46 pounds batteries.

YTD (from 3/26):   493 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 1,062 lbs batteries!!   (So impressive!)

Saturday, October 29th:  Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade

Parade starts at the Blackwell House on Main Street, Roosevelt Island, 12-3pm

Come in costume or not.   March or just watch.  Have the best time either way!   For more information contact Doryne Isley 212-838-4747.

Sunday, October 30th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–4pm

With us will be Stannart, Norwich and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery and American Seafood,  along with the great Stellar cooks.

Yes, of course, Wager’s wound up not showing last week (they sold out everything at whatever market they’re at on Saturday) and Stannart was absent, too, due to a “truck issue”.

Rest assured, Stannart will be back this Sunday and Wager’s…  Well, we’ll just have to wait and see…

MEANWHILE, Market Manager Allison will commence face-painting at 11am.  Be there!!

Last week’s totals:  4 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 6 pounds batteries.

YTD (from 6/19):   108 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 228 lbs batteries.  (Excellent!)

Coming soon:

Saturday, November 5th:  Ulster County Trail Conference

The Terrace at SUNY New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, New York, 9am-4pm

We have our Esplanade, upstate has its marvelous Hudson River Valley Greenway to which – fingers crossed – we might someday/somehow be connected.   Learn more about this fabulous New York State resource/amenity/glory and plans for its expansion.  $20.  For more and to register

Sunday, November 6th:  Herbs and Food for Winter Health & Ailments

Jimmy’s # 43, 43 East 7th Street, between First & Second, 12-4pm

Herbalist Claudia Keel leads two, two-hour workshops on the usefulness and preparation of herbal remedies.  $20 for each workshop, $37 for both.  For more information and/or to register:

Thursday, November 10th:  New York City Beekeepers Association & Brooklyn Beekepers Club 4th Annual Honey Tasting 

Jimmy’s No. 43, 43 East 7th Street, 7-10pm (or later)

Partake of more than 50 different types of honey –  local and from around the world – and maybe you’ll also wind up with one of  the 30 door prizes, too!  $10.  $5 for those who bring an 8 ounce (or larger) bottle of honey to share.

Down the way:

Tuesday, November 15th:  The New Energy Efficient Building Toolkit

School of Engineering & Computing Sciences, 16 West 61st Street, 11th Floor, 6-8pm 

Want to know what it takes to make green, high performance building into the new normal?   Once again the great people at the Sallan Foundation have assembled experts who’ll point the way to management, financial, legal, and technical innovations that’ll make energy efficiency the new normal.   To reserve a place

Wednesday, November 16th:  Free Flu Shot Clinic

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 331 East 70th Street, between First & Second Avenues, 3rd floor, 10am-1pm

Recommended for everyone but most especially for seniors and individuals with fragile health, getting an annual flu shot is an essential fall ritual.   Generously sponsored by Assembly Member Micah Kellner, you’ll need to RSVP by November 9th at AM’s office:   212-860-4906.

Friday, November 18th:  Transportation 2030 – A 5- Borough Blueprint

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 899 Tenth Avenue, between 58th & 59th, 8:30am- 3pm

Find out how transportation experts see as transportation challenges across the five boroughs and the what the most innovative and greenest solutions might be.  Free but please pre-register.

We give “miscellany” new meaning this week: 

In case you haven’t heard, there’s a tremendous shortage of platelets and need for donation.   To make an online appointment at the New York Blood Center or call 800-933-2566…  (And you get all the Oreos you can eat afterward!)

There’s a huge need for bone marrow donors, too, and all it takes is answering questions, a swab of your cheek and a registration form.  Register in person, or request a kit be sent to you.  For more information

AND Council Member Jessica Lappin wants your ideas…  Each month on a different area of our civic life…  This month that being education.  For more details and to make your voice heard!

Then if you’re so moved, consider signing the Riverkeeper’s new petition which would require that the public be informed whenever and wherever there’s a sewage contaminates the waterways in our state.

Now relax, lean back and let the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation entertain you with their fine new blog My Favorite Things“, detailing all things Village past and present. 

Turning to matters green:

Can it really be that NYState is rated the #3  Energy Efficient State?   Surpassing Oregon!?   Seem so…  Although there’s a Grand Canyon-sized distance between us and #1 Massachusetts and #2 California.  Still…  Here’s the lowdown/analysis.

Plus, earlier in the week Governor Cuomo cut the budget for bottled water at state offices and events. 

Our fantastic and innovative GrowNYC has just inaugerated the first of in its Green Bodegas Program…  The Lenox Finest Food Market on West 116th Street which – as opposed to being the typical food desert grocery store – now carries an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables at affordable prices.  To read more

(Meanwhile, who would have thought there’d be statistics on the world’s most frequently shoplifted food?)

Check out this Philadelphia greenroof…  Not the prettiest  but notable for its extra light-weight growing medium that’ll make it possible to green many more structures at lower cost!

On the “Have They Entirely Lost Their Minds?” front:

Our ever-loving MTA’s new cost conscious strategy is to remove station trash cans so they won’t have to pay their garbage guys to empty them…   The thinking being that if there’re no bins, riders will hold on to refuse or dispose of it before entering a given station.   Sure.  They call it counter-intuitive.  Others would call it…    But do read more

While we’re on the subject of the MTA, reporting on the recent Building the Future Conference at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, The Times included any number of astonishing facts, statistics and possibilites…  Such as maybe manufacturing at least some of our buses and subway cars on NYC soil again.   

And on the “What Will They Try And Tear Down Next” score:

Okay, she only lived there some five years at the beginning of her life, but…  The “her” is Dorothy Parker and the building in question is a nice old thing on West 72nd   (Who knew there’s a Dorothy Parker Society!)

But they’re building some really interesting stuff out there elsewhere in the world

Okay!  Okay!  We hear you…  Here’re those animals:

Thinking you’ll start raising chickens?  Here’s some help in choosing just the right breed!

Of course kittens have a natural aptitude for playing basketball… 

And dogs for riding bicycles…  (We thank reader Joy Tutivien

And, you bet, birds are inclined to share with their canine pals…  Especially  pasta!

Wombat lovers…  Did you know that cute little black critter also comes in albino white

As if we needed proof that almost every baby is adorable:   We give you the baby porcupine

May all your ghosts, ghouls and goblins be ectoplasmically green,


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Happy Impending Halloween, UESiders!

Which means…

Pumpkins!  Pumpkins!  Can’t stop the  pumpkins…  Be it in the pages of Smithsonian Magazine (America’s full of people intent on producing ever larger – as in 2,000 pounds –  pumpkins), on PBS where they’ve been airing “Lords of the Gourds” (detailing the strategies of more folks with the same objective) or at the New York Botanical Garden (where the world’s 4 largest pumpkins go on display tomorrow)!

PLUS…  Right here on the Upper East Side , the 7th Annual Harvest Festival and 2nd Anuual Halloween Halloween Howl at Carl Schurz Park  this coming weekend (scroll down for details on both).

But let us – for just a moment – return to last Saturday’s It’s My Park Day, during the  5 hours of which a wonderful group from East Harlem Presents, Civitas and UGS scraped and painted railings northward from where we left off in the spring to well past the East River Crew’s 96th Street landing.  

Bulb planting along the FDR divider proved to be more challenging than expected, BUT we’ve now worked out methodology that will let us move the flag many feet further when volunteers turn out this Saturdayto plant bulbs in the 93rd Street tree beds and in front of the Holmes Towers on Monday.   

Needlesss to say, helping hands would be most welcome both days!

In the meantime, check these great pix out  They’ll whet your appetite for more good works!

On to the coming week:

Friday, October 21st:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

As the stars of summer set in the west, the nights grow longer and the stars brighter.  Learn all about what’s going on in these beautiful autumn skies.  Free. 

Saturday, October 22nd:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street, between First and York, 9am – 3pm

With us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Raghoo, Gajeski, Samascott,  Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

(The growing season’s ended for wonderful Ant Hill Farm, but rest assured, they’ll return late spring 2012!)

AND, you bet, master knife sharpener Barbara Hess will be back at her table for encore!

Stay tuned for updated recycling totals.

Saturday, October 22nd:  Daffodil Planting with the 93rd Street Block Association

93rd Street between First and Second Avenues, 10am

Dress for gardening.  Tools will be provided.

Saturday, October 22nd:  7th Annual Harvest Festival 

Carl Schurz Park, 11am – 2pm

A hayride (East End Avenue at 84th), pumpkin decorating (East End and 88th), face painting, crafts and games (East End and 84th) and a family concert (playground at 1pm)!  Suggested donation per child: $10.   

Saturday, October 22nd:  EWaste Recycling Event

Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, Amsterdam Avenue, between 96th and 97th Streets, 10am-4pm 

Accepted will be:

•    Computers (laptops & desktops, servers, mainframes)
•    Monitors
•    Printers, scanners, fax-machines, copiers
•    Network devices (routers, hubs, modems, etc.)
•    Peripherals (keyboards, mice, cables, 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  (including air conditioners, please!)

Saturday, October 22nd:  Heritage Rose District 2nd Anniversary Celebration 

Meet at Trinity Cemetery, West 155th Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway, 10am-12pm

Join Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and the Heritage Rose Foundation as they link uptown history to new technology by launching a self-guided, mobile walking tour commencing at the Heritage District’s innaugural site, Trinity Cemetery.  Rain or shine.  Free.   RSVP to

(Since 2009, the Foundation’s planted some 600 “old” roses throughout Harlem and plans on putting in another 1,000 by April 2012!  For more on the Foundation’s great work in our city…)

Sunday, October 23rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–4pm

With us will be Stannart, Norwich and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood and Wager’s Cider, along with those brilliant Stellar cooks.

PLUS, our great Market Manager Allison will be whipping up caramel for apple dipping/coating!

(You have tried Wager’s grapes and pears, yes?)

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

YTD (from 6/19):   109 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 227 lbs batteries.  (Impressive.)

Sunday, October 23rd:   Halloween Howl and Healthy Hound Fair

Carl Schurz Park, vicinity of the Dog Runs, 12-3pm

Okay, so you can find all about great, new, healthy pet products and sure there’s a raffle to benefit the upkeep of the dog runs, but the real raison d’etre of the event…  The canine costume contest!  Be there!  (Registration begins at 11am and ends promptly at 1pm.)

Monday, October 24th:  First Annual World Food Day Festivities – Food Day Eat Real

Times Square, 10:30am- 3pm

Events are planned in all 50 states, but here in New York, the celebration will be presided over by Ellie Krieger, Mario Batali, Morgan Spurlock, Marion Nestle, Josh Viertel, Joel Berg, Jane Brody and dozens of amazing grassroots food leaders from the region.  Knowledge and music.  Free.

 Wednesday, October 26th:  Reimagining  the Waterfront

Veterans Room, Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue (between 66th-67th), 7pm

Book-ending CIVITAS’  Reimagining the Waterfront Ideas Competition for the East River Esplanade (60th to 125th Street) is this lecture by Phillip Lopate, author of Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan.   $10.  RSVP to or 212-996-0745

Down the way:

Thursday, November 3rd:  Biomimicry in the Big City
Can Nature Inspire Cleantech Solutions?

The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC
44 Charlton Street, 7-9pm

Nature, that endless source of inspiration, likely will show us the way to the incredibly, undeniably efficient clean energy technology we so desperately need.  Hear what the entrepreneurs, investors and – most of all – biomimetic designers see that future as being.  General admission: $25.  Students:  $10.  For more and to register.  Greentech Media will also be streaming the event ( for those unable to attend in person.    

As for miscellany:

We will begin with some less than optimum news…

That being –  number one –  the Riverkeeper’s 5-month summary of Hudson River water quality at 74 sampling locations from NY Harbor to Waterford and the Mohawk River:

          May:  59 (80%) were “Unacceptable”                    
          June: 13 (17.5 %) were “Unacceptable”                 
          July:  6 (8.1%) were “Unacceptable”
          August:   19 (25.7 %) were “Unacceptable”
          September:   14 (18.9%) were “Unacceptable” 

Number two:  In the federal and state haste to begin construction on the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, the mass transit portion of the project seems to have disappeared

Then, on Tuesday, under the lashes of Senators Collins of Maine and Udall of Colorado (representing states that grow a lot of spuds),  the U.S. Senate voted to prohibit  the USDA  from limiting the amount of potatoes included in school meals.  (French fries for school breakfasts and lunches 5 days a week?  You bet!)

Enough of that!

Not only have we now planted 500,000 new trees in our city, but there’s now a fabulous phone ap that’ll tell you where and what species they are and their environmental value!

Three cheers for the alert citizens, the Landmarks Commission and Council Member Lappin’s office for stopping a subcontractor from ripping out the historic marble curb and bluestone sidewalk on East End Avenue between 86th and 87th Streets!

More cheers for the new report which maintains that NYC can well do without the miserable Indian Point Nuclear Plant!

Meanwhile, the same Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood looks likely to be pioneering DOT’s newest concept, the Micro Park.  

Who knew Manhattan Island included a 13th Avenue?

Or that the Botanical Garden now has a new (gorgeous) Botany Photo of the Day?

Or that there could possibly be a 100-year old marathoner?  (What the heck is he eating?)

Or that some geniuses down in Maryland have plans to turn animal waste into energy?

OR that one can now borrow Kindle books from our unequaled NY Public Library?

But of course, we always knew how beautiful the many kinds of squashes are!  (Be sure to “click to enlarge”)

Oh, let there be animals!

For fins and scales en masse, we give you this brief visit to New York State’s Rome Fish Hatchery… 

Still under H2O but now in Neptune’s realm, are you or are you not amazed there’re seahorses living in the waters off Long Island?

And in the furry, totally cute category there’s  kitten in a mirror

We’re green even in autumn,


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Happy Upcoming It’s My Park Day, UESiders!

Looking forward to seeing you and for all of us to meet the fabulous volunteers from East Harlem Presents who’ll be heading down our way this Saturday and pitching in with the scraping, painting and daffodil planting!

Just in case we were wondering what all these improvements to and greening of our Esplanade will bring about, let us contemplate this one possibility:   All across the city – in the Bronx, Brooklyn, along the West Side – migrating monarch butterflies are pausing to refresh themselves before heading further south!   May there be reason for some of their number to pause on the Upper East Side next year!  

And what week would be complete without further reflection on the ridiculousness of the proposed 91st Street MTS…?  When presented with the same problem, rather than constructing a gigantic metal box on its waterfront, Copenhagen will be building a clean-burning, energy-producing facility that is also a functioning ski run!

On to the week ahead:


Meet at the 96th Street on the East River Esplanade, 10am – 3pm

Scrape and paint railings!!  Plant daffodils!  Get acqainted with a whole lot of our East Harlem neighbors who’re coming down to help!   Feel the glow of moral righteousness only a volunteer can know!   PLUS refreshments and raffle prizes.  See you there!

Saturday, October 15th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

East 82nd Street, between First and York, 10am – 6pm

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Raghoo, Gajeski, Samascott, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef and Ant Hill Farms.

And, yes, master knife sharpener Barbara Hess returns!

As does the Opera Collective!

Last week’s totals:  18 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 43 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   471 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 1,016 lbs batteries.  (MORE THAN A THOUSAND POUNDS, FOLKS!)

Sunday, October 16th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–4pm

With us will be Stannart, Norwich and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood and Wager’s Cider, along with the great Stellar cooks.

As of last week, 92nd Street is officially described as “bustling”!

YTD (from 6/19):   10 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 5 lbs batteries.  (Great!)

YTD (from 6/19):   104 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 222 lbs batteries.  (Getting up there!)

Tuesday, October 18th:  Bear Islands Screening

Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

Every country has a great nature documentary filmmaker, but Czech director Martin Rysavy’s specialty isn’t his native flora and fauna but the Russian far north…    The legendarily remote Nizhnekolymsky Ulus.   FreeQ&A with Mr. Rysavy following the film.   For more

Thursday, October 20th:  Free Flu Shots for Seniors

St. Stephen of Hungary Parrish, 414 East 82nd Street, 10am – 1pm

Sponsored by Council Member Jessica Lappin and intended for folks over 50.  Reservations required but just contact  Taina Prado at 212-980-1808 or

Coming up soon:

Saturdays, October 22nd and 29th:  The Haunted Pumpkin Garden

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, 6 – 7:30pm

Flashlight in hand, creep along the highways and byways of the fantastic Adventure Garden!  Trick or treat!  Carve a pumpkin to take home!  Perfect for the whole family!  For details and more

Saturday, October 22nd:  Restoring, Redesigning, and Reviving New York’s Landmark Interiors

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, 9:301m-1pm

This half-day symposium details the hows, whys and thorny decisions that’ve gone into some of our city’s most meaningful restoration projects…  From the Beacon Theater to the currently controversial Manufacturers Hanover Trust building at Fifth and 44th.   $25 for members.  $35 for non-members.  For tickets and more

Wednesday, October 26th:  Reimagining  the Waterfront

Veterans Room, Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue (between 66th-67th), 7pm

Complimenting their  Reimagining the Waterfront Ideas Competition for the East River Esplanade (60th to 125th Street), CIVITAS is sponsoring a lecture by Phillip Lopate, award-winning author of Waterfront: A Journey Around Manhattan.   (For those who haven’t been in the Veterans Room, it’s totally beautiful!)   $10.  RSVP to or 212-996-0745.

Down the way:

Saturday, November 5th:  Four Freedoms Park Walking Tour

Roosevelt Island, 11am

Near fourty years in the making, the park originally championed by Mayor John Lindsay and designed by the revered Louis Kahn is nearing completion.  Led by Gina Pollara, executive director of the park.  Suggested donation, $20.  For tickets, meeting place and more details:   

Mondays, November 7th & 14th (classes):  Saturdays,  November 12th & 19th (field trips):   Beginning Birdwatching

71 West 23rd Street, 6:30-8:30pm (classes); Jamaica Bay & Central Park (field trips)

Think you’ll never be able to tell the difference between chickadees and scarlet taningers?  Oh, yes, you will once New York Audubon gets done with you!  $85.  For more

Saturday, November 19th:  Green Thumb Seed Swap

United Community Centers, 613 New Lots Ave 11207 , Brooklyn, 10am – 12pm

You have seeds from a fabulous tomato you grew…  Someone else has seeds from what they think is the world’s best squash…  Why not share, diversify and strengthen what you’ll both be growing next year?  For details… 

Let’s get down on some miscellany:

First, some heaviness…  As in we all know food prices around the world are rising and fast and National Geographic has a great explanation as to why.  (And don’t forget to click on the Photo Gallery on the left sidebar.)


Check out this year’s nominees – from Economy Candy on Rivington Street to a classic tenement on Washington Street –  for the New York City Place Matters Award.

Wondering how Con Ed avoided visiting a blackout upon us back during that insanely hot patch of weather we had back in July?

Or all the disgusting stuff that’s inside rechargeable batteries (and that compells you to bring them to us for recycling every Saturday)?

On the other hand, it’s seeming like fear of the contents of CFLs has been considerably over-blown.

Speaking of light bulbs, it will be pricey, but check out this new LED model.

Bike riders!  You can be safe and totally fashion forward at the same time…  To wit:  This cutting edge vest!

Still on the subject of bikes…  You can suggest where one of the 600 sites for our city’se new bike sharing program should be

Ever wonder what those  rectangular, red metal, post-like things one sees on some street corners are

Yes, weather forecasting has improved (though it’s become rather inclined to hype) but now, with the increasing importance of wind power, there’s a demand for our meteorologists to get their wind forecasting up to speed.

This particular Green Roof of the Week is especially pretty… 

Meanwhile, the folks at Environmental Action Association would like your opinons on the subject of recycling.

Let there be animals!

No, dear reader, I am not becoming a bat-o-phile, but here’re yet more reasons to value this most helpful creature.

Seems like the State of Montana’s had the good idea of moving buffalo herds to tribal lands where they can roam free.  If you’re in support of that notion

How about a Conservationist article celebrating fishing in NYC waters?

From the people who bring us the Puppy Bowl, what else but  a Puppies vs. Babies – Who’s the Cutest Contest!  (With a $5,000 prize!)

And if that isn’t strange enough for you, then try Soft Paws – colorful claw covers for kitties inclined to shred furniture!   There’re even glitter models.  Truly…  What next?

Yours in perpetual greenness,


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Happy briefly dry weather, UESiders!

How about  some REALLY good news for a change?

Like the acquisition of that last, 20-block piece of waterfront – presently a gaping hole in the East River Greenway- moving one, big step closer to reality…  

Or – and apologies for being so late to call this splendid development to your attention – the great package of food-centric legislation passed by our City Council in late July.  

Or that, due to abysmal ratings,  NBC cancelled “The Playboy Club” as of yesterday!  

Or how about whomever that wild and crazy individual was who shelled out $160,00  to purchase Rat Island!

But let no week pass without a beat-of-the-drum on garbage dump opposition:   Should you feel moved to support up for the threatened menhaden, that little known but vital fish and favorite food of the striped bass whose endangered but recovering status may well scuttle the MTS plan…  Speak up now!

On to the coming week:

Saturday, October 8th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

East 82nd Street, between First and York, 10am – 6pm

With us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Raghoo, Gajeski, Samascott, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef and Ant Hill Farms.

No knife sharpening this week (but hopefully next).

Last week’s totals:  22 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellhones and corks; 21 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   453 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 973 lbs batteries.  (As we approach the one thousand mark!)

Tuesday, October 11th:  Perfect Harvest Moon View

Solar One, Stuyvesant Cove, East River Esplanade just south of 23rd Street, 5:52pm

And where best to take in the beautiful Harvest Moon – defined as the full moon occuring closest to the autumnal equinox?  Solar One would be a contender what with its great vantage point on the Brooklyn and Queens skylines above which the often yellow-to-orange moon – this from low atmosphere particles – will rise.  But, wherever you are, look up in wonder that night!  

Thursday, October 13th:  Intro to Green for Co-ops & Condos

Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th at Central Park West,  7-9pm

So, once your building’s gotten rid of the #6 heating oil, what else can you do be even greener?  This 2-hour workshop organized by the great people at SolarOne and the New York Council of Cooperatives and Condominiums will get you on the right path.  Free to residents of non-CNYC buildings.  $30 for residents of non-member buildings.  Pre-registration reqluired.    For more or call 212-785-0734.

Sunday, October 9th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–4pm

At their tables will be the folks from Stannart, Norwich and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood and Wager’s Cider, along with the great Stellar cooks.

No question but that the market’s busier and busier!

(Did you get any of Stellar’s marvelous apple sauce last week?)

YTD (from 6/19):   15 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 21 lbs batteries.  (Great!)

YTD (from 6/19):   94 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 217 lbs batteries.  (Getting up there!)

Friday, October 14th:  Behind-the-Scenes Artisan Tour

Gowanus, Brooklyn, 3pm

Stained glass and woodcarving of the highest quality still exist within NYC’s boundaries and the Historic District Council has arranged for us to visit the remarkable studios where these crafts are pursued.    $30 for members.  $40 for non-members.  Directions will be given when you RSVP. 


Meet at the 96th Street on the East River Esplanade, 10am – 3pm

Where scraping and painting railing meets daffodill planting…  And all on our own Esplanade!   Refreshments.  Raffle prizes.  The question now is how many blocks of daffs can we get in the ground?  (GOing to look fabulous next April/May!)  Email to volunteer.

Thursday, October 20th:  Unanswered Questions About New York’s Fracking Review

Vanderbilt Hall, NYU School of Law, 40 Washington Square South, Room 213, 6:30-8:30

Answering those questions will be the Catskill Mountainkeeper and representatives of Environmental Advocates of New York,  Earth Justice and the Natural Resources Council.  Free but please RSVP.   

Coming soon:

Saturday, October 22nd:  The New Nordic Cookout – A Taste of Denmark

Union Square Pavillion, North Plaza, Union Square, 11:30-2pm

Denmark’s most celebrated chefs – including Rene Redzepi of the famed Noma – are your entree to the newest in Sandinavian cuisine prepared with our own unequalled local  ingredients.  Hob-nob with royalty, too…  i.e. the Danish Crown Couple will be in attendance!  Yikes!  Free. 

Wednesday, November 2:  An Elegant Wilderness – Great Camps and Great Lodges of the Adirondacks – 1855-1955

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

Gladys Montgomery – who’s literally written the book on the above subject – sheds further light on how the rich “roughed it” upstate from the Gilded Age and beyond.  $10 for members.  $15 for non-members.  For more and tickets…   (You have to scroll down.)

Monday, November 7th:  Much Ado About Noshing

Does it get any better than the combination of Calvin Trillin, Russ and Daughters, a discussion of food, history and community AND appetizers?  To benefit the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.  $250.   For tickets and more.  

Get ready for a ton of miscellany:

For those of us – count me as one – with a less than otpimally precise understanding of the effects of CO2, National Geographic has our back with their superb and eminently readable articleWorld Without Ice“.    (Consider clicking on “photo gallery” even before you read.)

Want to know how far behind the eight-ball we  – we’re talking the whole world – are on our recycling of the 60 most-used metals?   In some categories it’s less than 1%!

The result:  Today, it takes 3 times more material -earth, rock, whatever – needs to be excavated to obtain the same amount of ore as it did a century ago…  Adding up to a whole lot more environmental damage.

Meanwhile, if you think NYState should be obliged to tell us  when there are sewer spills in our waterways, you’ll be interested in the Riverkeeper’s new initiative to make sure we’re told.

Check out  San Mateo, California…  Which by deploying something called the CartSMART system  which includes compost collection – increased their recycling rate by a third in a single quarter! 

Speaking of composting, this from a GrowNYC email last week:

Compost Collection Extended

GrowNYC is happy to announce that compost collections at select Greenmarketshave been extended through December 31, 2011. Our 4-month pilot program, which began in March, was a huge success – New Yorkers contributed 116,265 pounds of carrot tops, coffee grounds, apple cores, and more.   Keep those scraps coming!
How about they include us in that “select Greenmarket” group in 2012?!!!
Who knew there was store with the name like City Quilter in NYC?   Indeed, there is and it stocks 4,000 fabric designs, gives courses, holds exhibitions…  There’s a Manhattan Quilters Guild, too!  And Empire Quilters group!
Kind of a hard offer not to explore:   Be the one who gets your building of 75 units or more to put a Wearable Collections clothing bin in place – in the laundry room or somewhere else discreet  – and you’ll get a $150 credit in eco laundry, dry and/or home cleaning services from the very green people at SlateFor more.  
(FYI, when that bin is full of unwanted clothes,  fabrics, belts, hats and shoes, your super just calls Wearable Collections,  WC comes and gets it and leaves a fresh, empty bin.)
You do know that NYC makes money from its paper recycling, yes?    And that the prices for most types of paper stock are going up?   (Tell us again, Department of Sanitation…  Why are we not sorting the stuff placed in our street corner baskets?)
And then there’s this eco-data:   Every three seconds a baby is born and 140 aluminun cans are made.  Energy from one of those cans – when recycled – can power a television for three hours. 
But let’s introduce some relativity into this discussion…  In the form of Bolton, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb.   Last year Bolton, population 4,000, recycled   500 tons of everything from electronics to plastic to paper, metal and glass but excluding clothes.
In 2010, NYC with its 8,175,133 people tallied just 1,769.7 tons or 3,538,400 pounds of paper, metal and glass…  Which is to say, 2043 times as many NYC people recyled only 3 times as much stuff as little Bolton did.
Okay, not included in our NYC total are #5 plastics, electronics, Britta filters, etcetera.   BUT, folks…  Even if our 1,769.7 ton total was doubled by those commodities, that would still have a thousand times more of us recyling only three times as much as those 4,000 Bolton-ites…
(Please, Department of Sanitation, we want to recyle more and more things!) 
Meanwhile, even the Blue Angels are going green
Ready for some animals…?
Well, just one critter this week…
Believe it or not – well, you probably would believe it – yours truly was in attendance at last Saturday’s Live Bat Encounter at the Museum of Natural History.
Why, you ask?  Because of a perceived ick factor attributed to the critters.  So, guess what?  Bats live for 20-40 years even in the wild.  They recognize and respond to a name they’re given!  They have personalities!  They’re furry in a nice way!  They like melon!  Their wings – seen up close – are like China silk…  Expensive China Silk!   


(Bat eyes – like humans’ – just photograph red.   The Museum bat expert is wearing gloves so as  not to hurt shy, little “Radar”.)

I’m not saying I love bats, but they are nice.

Next stop:  A NYC Audubon Bat Walk in Central Park.

It is good to live and learn and be green even when the Yankees lose,


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Happy end of a damp September, UESiders!

So, here’s our MTS hit of the week:   A NY1 piece full of the usual factual holes, with one of the usual mouthpieces for purported “environmental justice” doing an on-camera turn,  but also providing a look at the Staten Island facility upon which the proposed 91st installation would be modelled (but increased in square footage by a one third).

Quite the inspiration to make a donation – be it great or small – to the Residents for Sane Trash Solutions

Lightening up…

Lots of TV being shot on the UES…  From ” A Gifted Man” (huge trucks, cables galore, tons of crew in lawn chairs shooting the breeze) to “The Bachelorette” (4 rather forlorn-looking young women sitting on a brownstone stoop in gigantic hair rollers).

But with a couple – make that three – gentle nudges:

There’ll be more detail further down, but please put It’s My Park DaySaturday, October 15th on your calendar.  (We’ll be planting a ribbon of daffodils down our East River Esplanade!)

Do give yourself the pleasure of reading Mark Bittman’s fine article in last Sunday’s Times Review:  “Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

Meanwhile, elsewhere along the Greenway/Esplanade, good things could be in the offing… 

On to the coming week:

Saturday, October 1st:   82nd Street Greenmarket

East 82nd Street, between First and York, 10am – 6pm

We’re talking one jampacked day!

Yes, American Seafood, Bread Alone, Raghoo, Samascott, Rabbits’ Run, Rising Sun Beef and Ant Hill Farms will all be at their tables…

PLUS…  Taking up the baton from the storm-battered Cherry Lane,  the great people from Gajeski Farm will be rejoining us for the duration!

PLUS…  Our First Annual Halloween Costume Swap makes its debut!   All you folks who’ve signed up to drop-off and/or pick-up gently used costumes, look for Market Manager Caroline at the table/tent.

PLUS…  Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess returns!

PLUS…  The Opera Collective will be providing their usual marvelous music backdrop to it all!

Last week’s totals:  26 pounds #5, Britta filters, jewel cases, cords, cartridges, CD/DVDs, cellphones and corks; 25 pounds batteries. 

YTD (from 3/26):   431 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 952 lbs batteries.  (Yes!)

Saturday, October 1st and Sunday, October 2nd:  The Gracie Square Art Show

East End Avenue, 84th to 88th Streets and in the Park’s 86th Street Mall, 10am – 5pm

An Upper East Side classic and the most congenial environment for getting acquainted with – if not acquiring – the work of artists from across America.  The kids won’t be bored either.   MoMa educators will be on hand on Sunday from 10am to 4pm teaching the basics of  drawing and painting.    New this year:  For the lucky first folks who sign up at, there’re two free tours of Gracie Mansion, also on Sunday, at noon and 1pm.    For more on the show

Saturday, October 1st:  13th Annual Czech Street Festival

73rd Street, between First and Second, 1-7pm

Sure, you need something else to do…  Like eating  Czech favorites, hearing music from all over and treating the kids to a performance by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theater.    For more

Saturday, October 1st:  The Haunted Pumpkin Garden Opens

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard,  The Bronx

In honor of Halloween, pumpkin sculptures, spooky scarecrows, sneaky snakes and icky (but icky in a nice way) spiders lurk around every corner in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden.  And that’s just for openers…  There’ll be more creepy-crawly fun as each day until October 30th!  Member, $15.  Non-members, $20.   For the full schedule and tickets.

Sunday, October 2nd:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am–4pm

With us will be Nature’s Way Honey, the Stannart, Norwich and Phillips Farms, Meredith’s Bakery, American Seafood, Wager’s Cider and the great Stellar cooks.

Have you noticed how busy the market’s gotten?

Last week’s totals:  As I was sick and in bed with a cold last Sunday, the totals will have to wait to be revealed till next week’s newsletter! 

YTD (from 6/19):   79 lbs #5, Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 196 lbs batteries.  (Getting up there!)

Weekends in October:  Boo at the Zoo

The Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

Missed the Bat Encouter at the Natural History Museum?  Well, then, you’re in luck!  The Bronx Zoo’s got bats, too…  As well as hayrides, haunted safaris, costume parades and more!  Several ticket pricing levels with discounts online.  For the schedule and ticket info  

Tuesday, October 4th:  50 Years Later: An Interview with Jason Epstein, Editor of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Hudson Park Branch Library, 66 Leroy Street (off Seventh Avenue South), 6 – 7:30pm

One  of the all-time greatest book editors (old style) speaks about the classic of urbanism by the woman who fought Robert Moses and won.  Free but reservations required: or 212-475-9585 ext. 35.

Tuesday, October 4th:  NYC Beekeepers Monthly Meeting

Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street,  7- 9pm

With guest Michael Leung, Hong Kong’s first urban beekeeper, as well as the founder and creative director of HK Honey – an organisation of Hong Kong beekeepers, artists and designers that aim to communicate the value of bees and benefits of locally produced honey.  (Who would have ever thought…?)

Wednesday, October 5th:   Annual New Green City Event

South Plaza, Union Square, 10am – 6pm

NYC’s biggest, most comprehensive green happening returns…  This year included will be an array of exhibitors from entrepreneurs to non-profits to government agencies to community and  corporate partners.    Environmental writ large and made possible by the same people who bring us our Greenmarkets, GrowNYC.  There’ll be plenty of family friendly activities, too.  For a full schedule of the day.

On the horizon:


Meet at the 96th Street on the East River Esplanade, 10am – 3pm

Yes, not only will we be back scraping and painting more railing and making it look like new, but we’ll be planting a ribbon of daffodils along the Esplanade wall.   Refreshments.  Raffle prizes.  Leaving our Esplanade better than we found it.  Email to volunteer.

Saturday, October 25th:  Bronx River Bike Tour

Meet at the Westchester and Morrison Avenues #6 Train Station,  11 am

Join Bronx native Mike Gupta on this 3-hour exploration of the largely unknown, rich and rife-with-conflict history of that other river to our north.  $20.  $10 for students and educators.  For tickets and more details

Bring on the miscellany:

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum – located on our own UES – wants your vote for – what else? – the year’s most outstanding design.    Choose among a wide assortment of inspired innovation from watches to a new subway map to a sleek braille credit card to – my own personal favorite – The High Line.  Or nominate something yourself!

While industrial agriculture tries stuffing genetically modified vegs down our throats, all across the country Americans are keeping heirloom varieties alive…  Including on the New York State Tuscarora Reservation where Native Americans grow a variety of corn dating back centuries!   Read all about it!

Sorry to say that sewage is still spewing into the Hudson up near Beacon…

But proud to say our City Council’s recently passed a bill prohibiting dumping in city waters!

And happy (and envious) to note that Westchester’s expanded recycling menu – now including plastics #1 -#7 – has resulted in a 15% increase in volume in just 2 months!  Could it be because they’ve invested in machines that facilitate sorting?

So far so good as the windpower project off NYC and Long Island slowly proceeds…  But the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project appears near death.   (Sigh.)

But, thank goodness, plastic bag manufacturer Hilex Poly – whose bag recycling bins one sees in such locations as Gourmet Garage – has agreed to settle its nuisance law suit against reusable bag maker, Chico Bags.  To read more.

Ever hear of Rat Island…?  A hunk of desolate and regularly flooded  rock in the East River to our north…?  Learn all about it…  Even buy it!

How about a short, clever, animated history of how we got ourselves so dependent on fossil fuels?

How about some animals?

Like – holy crow! – the 10 biggest bugs on earth?

Or an Australian kitty that – Monday through Friday, right on time – heads for the train station to wait for his owner – make his human – to come home from work?

Or – if we didn’t have at least one of these a year, we’d miss it – a mother cat that’s adopted a baby squirrel?

Or last and best, these lovely portraits of 4 search and rescue dogs who worked so long and hard at Ground Zero…

Let us be green in all we do,


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