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 elindsey@manhattanbp.org

(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 info@civitasnyc.org 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 ( www.livestream.com/greentechmedia) 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,

UGS

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