Greetings, UESiders!

Another week and another Community Board 8 meeting of import…  i.e. the attempt by the Stahl realty company to de-landmark the York Avenue portion of the First Avenue Estates on the utterly bogus basis of “hardship”.

Per usual, representatives of the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts,  Historic Districts Council and our electeds delivered themselves of telling remarks, but even more impressive was testimony given by residents of the complex and their neighbors, remarks that were not only extremely well-researched and reasoned but utterly from the heart.  

The capacity crowd meeting concluded with the Landmarks Committee voting unanimously to deny Stahl’s request. 

Next step:  Voting by CB8’s full board on January 18th  (details below).  Then on to the undependable NYC Landmark Commission’s final decision.    For more details

There’s more good news on the larger, public stage…

First, that new and stronger federal standards for car emissions will soon be finalized.

Secondly,  it might be that our city will be home to more high tech campuses like the one Cornell will be establishing on Roosevelt Island.  (Let us cross our collective fingers!)

Third, with the coming of 2012 the biggest ethanol subsidy of them all EXPIRED!

More modest and local again:  Looking out and up from our east windows last week, we spotted a hawk circling and soaring high in the sky above.

Oh and last week the NYC Council banned the “sale, offer for sale, or installation of carpets and carpet cushions that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in excess of the Green Label Plus standards from the Carpet & Rug Institute”!

With that, let’s get down on the coming week:  

Saturday, January 14th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

With us will be Bread Alone, Raghoo, Gajeski, Samascott,  Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms, Silver Thread Vineyard, Ballard’s Honey and American Seafood!

Don’t miss what’ll be going on at Silver Thread’s table this Saturday…  i.e. the vintner’s very own wine maker, Paul Brock, will be present and eager to answer your questions about sustainable grape growing and wine making.

Plus this week’s cooking demo will also be featuring wine as an ingredient!  (Don’t leave the market without our wine-friendly recipes!) 

And now for the report you’ve all been waiting for…  Last week’s recycling totals!

We’re still awaiting the paper and electronics poundage (but no way they aren’t going to be really great), but how about 19 of those giant bags of clothing, 23 pairs of glasses, a stack of CDs/DVDs, 61 pounds of batteries and more #5 plastic – maybe 2 times as much – than we’ve ever collected before!  

Were it not for the wheels provided by the great Ellen Polivy it would have taken me several trips down to Union Square to clear our decks…    

Thrilling really.   So, please…  Give yourselves a giant pat ont he back!!  

Saturday and Sunday, January 28th and 29th:  Visit the Greenpeace Ship Rainbow Warrior

Chelsea Piers (Pier 59), West Side Highway between 17th and 18th Streets, 10am – 4pm

It’s the maiden voyage of this vessel that’s designed and destined to be on the environmental front line.  Plus you’ll get to meet her very committed crew.  (Did it last year and it was really fun, too!)  Free and first come first serve.  For more…   

Wednesday, January 18th:  Community Board 8 Full Board Meeting

Ramaz School, 125 East 85th Street between Park and Lexington, 6:30pm

As noted above, CB8’s Board will be casting their very important votes as to whether the York Avenue portion of the First Avenue Estates should be de-landmarked or its landmark status retained.  This is so  important…

Wednesday, January 18th: Hudson Valley Greenway Meeting

Henry A. Wallace Center,  FDR Presidential Library, Hyde Park, New York, commencing 9:30am

Our neighbors up the Hudson are busily putting together a plan and protections for a Greenway.  Even if we never attend one of their gatherings, we need keep current to insure that it and our own Manhattan Greenway compliment and enhance each other.  Free.  For more

Coming up soon: 

Thursday, January 26th:   Feeding Gotham – A Social History of Urban Provisioning, 1780-1860

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

Our city’s Greenmarkets are the latest in a great and honorable tradition and about which – where they were, how New Yorkers of yore shopped them and what they bought –  Gergely Baics, Assistant Professor of History and Urban Studies at Barnard College has the skinny.  Members $25.  Students and Seniors $22.  Non-members $40.   For tickets and/or more details call 212-838-6878.

Sunday, January 29th:  Recycle-O-Rama – Pre-Groundhog Day Edition 

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets (west side of First), 10am – 3pm

Electronics (working/non-working)…  Paper in need of shredding…  Clothes/Fabrics.    We’ll take all of that and more – like batteries, Britta filters, eye glasses, CDs/DVDs and ink cartridges – off your hands off your hands!

Electronics accepted:

•    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
•    Video-games and audio visual equipment
•    Cell phones, pagers, PDAs
•    Telecommunication (phones, answering machines, etc.)



Please remove paper clips and spiral bindings.

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.  (But we’ll take paperbacks.)


Including hats, belts, fabric of all kinds and shoes…  All in any condition.

On the horizon:

Wednesday, February 15th:  Congestion and Flow on New York City Streets 

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

What’s the thinking behind the many interesting changes  in our city’s traffic, bicycle and pedestrian patterns?  Got to be interesting and great to be able to query those responsible as well as experts in the field.  Members $6.  Non-members $12.  Students and seniors $8.  For details and tickets

Monday, March 5th:   Oil and Gas Exploration and Initiatives in the United States and the Mediterranean Basin Conference

McGraw Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, 9am – 4pm

Organized by Touro College and with a line-up of heavy-hitting speakers on the order of Dr. Lawence Cathles, Dr. Donald Clark, Samuel Epstein, Robert Lestz and Mendel Mochkin, no way you won’t emerge with a definitive understanding of what old-style energy companies are up to and its impact.   For more (including ticket prices), call 212-463-0400, ext. 5132.

On to this week’s miscellany:

The  simplest and most beautiful botanical portrait yet… 

Many an interesting plan being floated as to what the Gowanus Canal area might be once it’s cleaned up 

That while the High Line’s inspiring a most worthy imitator… (Cross your fingers again that it happens!)

Okay, kudos for moving the flag forward on car emissions, but the Feds are being really timid re the use of antibiotics on livestock.

Check out the green roof and wind turbine at this Vermont airport

If you’d like to learn about and help high school students at the Bushwick Academy of Environmental Leadership take their greenhouse project to a new level

Your e-reader giving you trouble when you try to download?  Well the, of course, the NY Public Library is there to help you out with a bunch of convenient classes.  For more…  Or download instructions

What next?  Now you can get rid of those pesky catalogues with a new iphone app!

Wow!  NYC has a new interactive online street closure map…  A companion piece to the 311 map that logs complaints – and I quote from the DNA article – “everything from pigeon poop to malfunctioning fire hydrants”!

Whew!  At long last the Met’s completed its reconfiguration of the American Wing and it really is fantastic.  Get yourself over to Fifth an 82nd.  (You do know it’s free Friday evening?)

We’ve brought Build It Green to your attention before, but they rate another  mention by virtue of the inventory of architectural items they’ve just acquired from Landmarks Preservation Commission’s warehouse…  Items such as…   

And the latest installment of animals:

While we on the UES had a hawk, folks on the West Side had a visiting hummingbird

Meanwhile, Italian researchers have discovered how our winged friends learn to fly together in sync!

Filer under “You  Never Can Tell”:  How to Survive a Bear Attack

For those who  say a feline can’t be green, we give you a cat who travels (solo) by city bus

We live to be green,







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