Happy National EMS Week, UESiders!!

Very happy in NYC where these fantastic people answered residents’ calls for assistance 1.2 million times! 

Let’s talk more good news…

#1.  Tuesday’s rally with something like 300 gathered on City Hall steps in spite of the downpour.  Plenty of press coverage, too…  For example on NY1 (you won’t believe the mayor’s comment) and while not entirely positive reportage, not as negative as it has been.   

Thanks to all who were there and most of all to Isaacs Center seniors!  Were they deterred by drenching rain?  No curb cuts for their walkers?   They were not!!

Bottom line:  We’ll beat them down with our resolve!!

#2.  Last Saturday’s Greenmarket collection tallies.  We’re talking 2 1/2 of those giant bins full of scraps and 15 giant duffel bags of clothes!!  The most of any site in the program that day!!  And were representatives of Sanitation ever impressed!!  (Lots of other recycleables gathered, too!)

#3.  Pleasing developments on the preservation front:

Not only did Community Board #2 overturned its previous approval of a developers plan to construct something hulking next to the Old Merchant’s House on 4th…  A home built for a member of the same Tredwell of Tredwell Farm Historic District on East 62nd Street.

But also, after a 6-year struggle, Landmark status has been conferred on 128 East 12th Street, likely NYC’s last surviving horse auction mart, an assembly-line training site for women during WWII and once Frank Stella’s studio.

#4.  We of the UES have now and officially recycled more than 1,000 pounds of household batteries in 2012…  And the year’s not even half over!! 

And now for a mini-rant:

Perhaps you’ve noticed the bike lanes and accompanying pedestrian/some-day-to-be-landscaped islands being installed in the Sixties on First…  A process that began with applying clean white lines of several types, followed by excavation and construction of said islands during which many trucks turned the white lines – as briefly white as NY snow – to a dingy grey.

Late last week came the application of green to the bike lane and the astonishing sight of a protective shield keeping the curb clean of paint…  Inspiring a short-lived but warm and fuzzy feeling that at least some involved in this production not only actually cared a little about the quality of their own work, but also that of those who’d preceeded them.

HA!

Yeah, you guessed it.  Within an hour, trucks supporting the lane painters drove over that clean green strip, leaving it greyish with black streaks and as if it’d been applied eons ago.

Can’t wait till they get around to applying the bike lane symbols…

On to the rather hectic week ahead:

Friday, May 18th:  National Bike to Work Day

For NYC Bike to Work Day events

Saturday,  May 19th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am – 2pm

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

Plus, returning for the season are our friends of the Cherry Lane Farm!

Wonderful that now, rather than Cherry Lane changing off with Gajeski during summer months, Gajeski will now be with us through summer months, too, with its tables at a new location in the churchyard.

Silver Thread Vineyard and Ballard’s Honey are back this weekend as well, with Silver Thread’s winemaker Sharon Brock paying us a visit!  

PLUS Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be back and on hand to tend to those dull cutlery issues!

But there’s one bittersweet note…  This will be Market Manager Caroline’s last Saturday at 82nd.   No surprise she’s been promoted…  A promotion that’ll include the luxury of having Saturdays off!

Please stop by her table and wish her well…  And then make the  acquaintance of new Market Manager Emma!

Last week’s recycling totals:  43 lbs batteries; 21 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 15 bags of clothes;  2 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals:  688 lbs batteries; 313 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 22 pairs of glasses; 41 bags of clothes; 6 compost bins. 

(Are we the greenest or what?!)

Saturday, May 19th:   It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition

107th Street Pier, East River Esplanade, 10am – 2pm

Going to be so great joining forces with our neighbors and friends at East Harlem Presents and sprucing up many feet of Esplanade railing!   Meet us at 96th Street at 9am for the walk up…  Or make your own way…  Even an hour or two would be great!  Refreshment will be on ice! 

Directions to Pier 107:  Enter the Esplanade from 96th or 103rd Street (via the 103rd Street Footbridge) and walk north to 107th Street…  OR access the Esplanade at 111th Street and walk south!

Co-sponsored by the East River C.R.E.W., East Harlem Presents and UGS. 

Saturday, May 19th:  Rally with U.S.  Represenative Carolyn Maloney

Asphalt Green, York & 92nd Street, NW corner, 12 noon

SaneTrash and our Congresswoman turn up the No MTS heat one notch further.  A busy Saturday, yes, but do make time!  For further details and more news from RSTS…  

Saturday, May 19th – Sunday, May 20th:   Sacred Sites Open House Weekend Tour

33 Churches and Synogogues in all 5 Boroughs (and throughout NYState)

Organized by the New York Landmarks Conservancy to learn what lies behind the walls of these marvelous, historic structures…  Their history, architecture, art and community service.  Donations not required but would be nice.   For participating houses of worship and more…  Or call Sacred Sites Director Ann Friedman at 212-995-5260.

Saturday, May 19th and Sunday, May 20th:  IKEA Water Taxi Test-Run

East 35th Street Terminal on the East River

And we quote, “A ride with no assembly required.”  If enough East Siders show up chances are IKEA will make Midtown service permanent.  Pretty fabulous way to get to Red Hook and the store!  Free.  For the schedule

Sunday, May 20th:  Vote To Win GrowNYC a New Truck from Toyota!

Today and ONLY TODAY!

Check out the vintage present truck (How 1980’s is that logo?)…   Then click on over to Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Facebook Page and cast your vote for GrowNYC!!

Sunday, May 20th:  Drums Along the Hudson – A Native American Celebration

Inwood Hill Park, 218th Street and Indian Road (4 blocks west of Broadway), 11am – 6pm

Believe it or not, this is the tenth annual celebration of our city’s indigenous past in a park that once was home to the Lenape tribe and features the only open-air powwow in Manhattan!  (There’re other powwows?!)  Free and with free bike valet!  For more details

Now – Sunday, September 2nd: BE SURE! BE SAFE! GET VACCINATED! Smallpox, Vaccination and Civil Liberties in New York Exhibition

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street

Believe it or not, smallpox – a disease that nearly killed the young George Washington and could have brought an entirely other end to our Revolutionary War – remained a threat until the moment of its eradication only 35 years ago.   A museum show that’s like great science fiction but hits the great, underlying issues, too.  Adults $15; Seniors $12;  Students $10; Children 7-12 $5; Free if you’re under 7. 

Tuesday, May 22nd:   Mammogram Event

Lenox Hill Senior Center, 343 East 70th, 9:15 am-4pm

All a woman needs is a reservation, to be is 40 years old or older and to have not had a mammogram within the last year.   Free for those with no insurance; all insurance plans accepted; co-payments and deductibles are waived.  Sponsored by Council Member Jessica Lappin.  Call 212-980-1808 for that reservation.

Thursday, May 24th:  City Council Committee on Sanitation and Solid Waste Management

City Council Chambers, City Hall, 12:30pm

Indications are that funding plans for the four marine transfer stations –  including 91st Street –  will be discussed at this hearing.  No public testimony will be permitted, but they should know that our eyes on those in erroneous support.  For more

Plenty ahead too:

Friday, June 1st:  “Dump the Dump” Free Community Concert

Asphalt Green Field, York Avenue at 90th Street, 5 – 7pm

Headlined by Caroline Sunshine (star of Disney’s “Shake It Up”, you few un-hip), featuring great local talent and including surprises galore!  Gates open at 4:30pm.  Free t-shirts to the first 1,000 attendees.   You bet, activism can be fun!! 

Friday, June 8th:  A-MAZE-ING Water Exhibit

New York Aquarium, Surf Avenue and West 8th Street,  Brooklyn

Experience life as a droplet of water as you navigate through local waterways, dart past pollutants, head out to the ocean and frolic with creatures like this: 


For hours and tickets

Tuesday, June 12th:  34th Annual Museum Mile Festival

Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Streets, 6-9pm

This year’s event skewing especially family friendly with  interactive chalking drawing projects, magicians, jugglers and lots of live music.  Free.  For further details… 

Sunday, June 17th:  92nd Street Greenmarket Re-opens!!

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Street, 9am – 4pm

More farmers!   Another baker!!  The Stellar Cooks with us for a second year!!   Compost collection!!  Does it get any better?!

Until that time, get your composting game together:

YES:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Non-greasy foood scraps (rice, pasta, bread, cereal, etc.)
  • Coffee grounds & filters and tea bags
  • Eggs and nut shells, fruit and vegetable pits
  • Cut and dried flowers, houseplants and potting soil

NO-NO-NO:

  • NO Meat or fish
  • NO Bones
  • NO Greasy food scraps
  • NO Fat or oil
  • NO Dog or cat waste
  • NO Kitty litter, coal or charcoal
  • NO Coconuts
  • NO Diseased or insect-infested houseplants
  • NO Soil
  • NO Compostable plastics

Let’s fill those bins to over-flowing!!

On the miscellany score:

Ever more essential info:  The annual rundown on what are and aren’t effective sun screen products

This year’s Straphangers Campaign report on the state of our public transit is in, too…  (Sigh.)

And Environmental Advocates has just published its investigation of NYState’s pitifully poor tracking of toxic waste water produced by fracking. 

Yet again the Clean Water Act’s under attack.  If you think that its protection shouldn’t be weakened, you can say so here

Meanwhile, NYC would like to be cutting Bronx Zoo and NY Aquarium funding by 58%!  (Are they kidding!)  But we can speak up if we object… 

The City’d also like to re-house patients at Roosevelt Island’s Goldwater Hospital in a building next door to the Sanitation Department garage on 99th Street.  Does the proposed new $52 million residence to be constructed next to that garage convince us it’s a great location for disabled and/or elderly people to live?   To read more

Of course, Crayola markers are out there in their million and totally unrecyclable…  That is, unless Crayola establishes a program.  Let the company know if you think it should

No wonder with all the cuts that Parks is doing so poorly by our trees and that people are getting hurt and worse…  (The first of three Times articles on the subject and all worth reading.)

Meanwhile, the City’s contemplating privatizing the operation and maitenance of the new tunnel and underground station being built to link the Long Island Railroad to Grand Central…  (Yikes!!)

On the bright side:

A stroke of genius by Community Board 8:   They now support only those applying for liquor licenses who agree to abide by such bicycle guidelines as no riding on sidewalks!

Mystery partially solved as to why Sanitation so suddenly picked up the composting baton…  Its new and suddenly created recycling czar!  (Still shouded in mystery:  Why after years of resistance, this hire and now?) 

Kudos to Mario Batali and other gilt-edged chefs taking up the challenge of sustaining healthy life for a week on the $1.48 per meal provided to Food Stamp recipients…  That adds up to a whopping budget of $31 for a week.  (It’ll be less than that if some folks down in D.C. get their way.)

For those of you’ve never canned (you’ll love it!) , of course The Times has the lowdown

Yes, we’re ready for some animals,too:

Great this just released report from the Center for Biological Diversity that the Endangered Species Act is saving threateneed wildlife!

Could the Bird of the Week be more beautiful?

Be patient till mid-way when the baby alpaca starts leaping about on its spindly, pogo stick legs

We bid you farewell with more from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/2 – Manhattan, HRM 7.5-5.5: Our New York City Audubon morning birding group in Central Park…  A total of 59 species were seen…  Warblers (15 species), vireos (four species), flycatchers (two species) and thrushes (five species), as well as scarlet tanagers and Baltimore orioles.      – Joe Giunta 5/2 – Manhattan, HRM 7.5-5.5

Roses are blooming and scenting the air on East 71st Street.

And we remember Justin Smith, the 15-year old who drowned in the East River at 102nd Street last week. 

UGS

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