Monthly Archives: June 2012

Greetings, UESiders!

Happy to announce to those that haven’t heard that as of last Monday a new lawsuit was filed against the proposed 91st Street MTS.  Plaintiffs include Assembly Member Micah Kellner, SaneTrash President Jed Garfield and Isaacs Homes resident and Community Board 8 member Lorraine Johnson.

Then on Tuesday, the 93rd Street Block Association, the Isaacs and Holmes Associations and Upper Green Side delivered a DVD onto which more than 2,000 postcards signed by residents of the 5 towers and their supporters opposing the MTS had been scanned to Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn and all members of the City Council!

To quote from the letter that accompanied that DVD:  “Together we have united in a relationship that reaches far and wide and includes not only the resident leaders of Isaacs/Holmes, the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center, as well  as their Youth and Senior Programs, the Eiseman Nursery School and Day Care Center, but also includes the director of New York’s largest mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center on East 96th Street. Yes, our community’s fight against the proposed new MTS has far-reaching friends to the north, south, east and west.”

And no way these new, wonderful relationships will end with the demise of the MTS.

And now for the week ahead:

Friday, June 29th:  “The World According to Monsanto” Screening

The Gallery, John Haynes Holmes House, 28 East 35th Street between Madison and Park, 7pm

A filmic examination of Monsanto’s controversial past which – the filmmakers assert – includes a combination of some of the most questionable products ever sold with misleading reports, pressure tactics, collusion, attempted corruption and now genetically engineered (and patented) food.  A suggested $5 donation.

Saturday,  June 30th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am – 2pm                                               Compost Collection – 9am – 1pm

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

Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be with us too!

Should be even more tomatoes this week!

Yes, Bread Alone’s Maple Twists are pretty darned great!

Last week’s recycling totals:  40 lbs batteries; 22 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eyeglasses; 25 bags of clothes and 3 compost bins!

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 923 lbs batteries; 469 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 27 pairs of glasses;  127 bags of clothes; 23 7/8 compost bins.

Meanwhile…

SAME DAY,  SAME PLACE:

Saturday, June 30th:  Recycle-O-Rama – Early Summer Edition

82nd Street Greenmarket,  between First and York, 10am – 3pm

Bring us your aged electronics yearning to be dismantled… Your boxes and bags of paper begging to be shredded…  All that #5 plastic, corks, batteries, CDs/DVDs, ink cartridges, eye glasses. compost and clothes in search of a new and useful life…

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…  Remember:  NO APPLIANCES.

Paper:

Please remove paper clips and spiral bindings.

Thank you, Council Member Lappin, for the generous grant that’s made yet another orgy of greenness possible!

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

Sunday, July 1st:   92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Street, 9am – 4pm                                  Compost collection 9am – 1pm

American Seafood, Gonzalez Farm, Meredith’s Bakery, Norwich Meadows Farm, Phillips Farm Vegetables, Stannard Farms and Bread Alone.  

Was Nicole’s salad demo ever first rate?  (Gonzalez Farm sold out every leaf of their greens!)

Bread Alone will have Maple Twists at 92nd too!

And we personally rejoiced to see the little neck squash on Norwich’s table!

Meanwhile and awesomely, compost collected doubled from week 1 to week 2!

Last week’s recycling totals:  14 lbs batteries; 10 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 1 bin of compost! 

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 26 lbs batteries; 17 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  1 1/2 compost bins.

Fabulous!

Coming up soon:

Friday, July 19th: Storm Water Infrastructure Matters (S.W.I.M.)  Public Meeting

Horticultural Society of New York, 148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, 3-5pm

Presentations – from the great folks keeping a careful eye on our city’s substantial waste water problems – include the Green Infrastructure Webmap and Sustainable Stormwater Management on Redeveloped Brownfield Sites in NYC.   Free.

Saturday, July 21st:  Raindrop to Reservoir Hike

Big Indian Wilderness,  Seager, New York,  10am – 3pm

Naturalist, and Catskill area native Aaron Bennett leads a pretty rigorous but gorgeous  7.5 mile hike along the Shandaken Brook from its birthplace as a groundwater seep to its mouth at Pepacton Reservoir.  $25 without transportation from the city; $50 with transportation.  For details and tickets

Thursday, July 26th:  “The Vanishing City” Screening

Macaulay Honors College Screening Room, 35 West 67th Street, 6pm

NYU’s over-the-top expansion…  The unending, Herculean struggle to get anything landmarked…  The filmmakers of “The Vanishing City” think they know the whys to these  and more.  $10 for Landmarks West members; $15 for non- members.  Tickets must be purchased in advance

From the ever-bulging miscellaneous file:

So, in this week’s negative column we have (1) the NYState Legislature failing to vote on the Solar Jobs Act, (2) Senators Schumer and Gillibrand both and inscruptably voting “nay” on labeling GMO products, (3) Republicans voting to continue styrofoam container use in the Capitol cafeteria and (4) a federal court ruling that public television stations may run political ads if they wish…

Yikes!!

On the plus side:  The NYS Assembly voted to (1) close the Hazardous Waste Loophole and pass (2) the Evironmental Protection Fund Enhancement, (3) the Global Warming Pollution Cap, (4) the Child Safe Products Act and the (5)Sewage Pollution Right To Know Act!  

What’s more, moments ago, a federal appeals court upheld EPA’s climate pollution emission standards, rejecting four legal challenges that had been filed by industry groups and several states’ attorneys general. 

Why is it always the wish of the powerful to proceed with a plan even when it’s admittedly bad?  Case and point (in addition to the MTS):  The Tappan Zee Bridge replacement design sans public transit lanes!

Meanwhile, once again they’re threatening the poor little spotted owl.  If you’d like to speak up in its defense… 

There’s a short follow-up film by the fellow who made the great anti-fracking documentary “Gasland”:  “The Sky Is Pink”.

Did we know that the Delaware – much threatened by possible fracking on both its New York and Pennsylvania banks – is the longest undammed river on the Eastern Seaboard?

Meanwhile, under a new Pennsylvania law, doctors in can access information about chemicals used in natural gas extraction (that is, fracking), but they won’t be able to share it with their patients.

If you’d like more details on what’s in the new farm bill

You’re right…  Closing of area beaches due to water quality issues was “sharply up” last year.  “Sharply up” as in double the 2010 number.  New Jersey and Connecticut did their part, but NYC’s totally antiquated waste water system deserves worst licks.

And, yes, you’re totally right that park land is in short supply on the UES…  (So let’s build a MTS right next to some of the little we do have!) 

Lightening up:

Three cheers and then some for the Asphalt Green swimmers attending the Olympic trials!

Kinda’ fabulous that some 2 million of us wrote to the EPA in support of its proposed new carbon pollution standards!

Haven’t read anything with quite the slant of this Atlantic article on the family farm

A lovely statement on national values that Americans would chose living in a walkable neighborhood over residing in a McMansion.

A new, great list (and exhibition) from none other than the Library of Congress:  88 Books That Shaped America!

Another book to note…  This on the history and impact of the American parking lot:  “ReThinking a Lot:  The Design and Culture of Parking” by Eran Ben-Joseph.

Humans never cease to amaze…  A prime example being this tackle shop owner and his rather special hobby

Meanwhile, this architectural history of New York Hospital from The Times great Christopher Gray.

Are we alone in not knowing about the UES’s Henderson Place at the end of 86th?

Here’s a pretty fun local offer:  On Mondays and Tuesdays in June and July, you can munch on Pintale’s Pizza’s large Neopolitan pie while listening to opera.  $9.99.  Bring your own wine and/or beer. 

Yes, we hear you…  Animals:

Would be a stretch to call it cute, so let’s say this baby Sumatran rhino is really sweet

Same for this little African rhino having her bottle

The Lower East Side has a 140,000 new residents…  140,000 aphid-fighting lady bugs!

This while 20 Anglo-Nubian goats devour invasive plant life at the soon-to-be-Freshkills Park.

Yes, we have countless national lifeforms (i.e. our national bird, the bald eagle), but no national mammal to date.  If you consider the bison the best choice for that star turn, then cast your vote

Greenness is the zen-est state of mind,

UGS

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Happy Three-in-a-Row Air Quality Alert Day!!

Think about pouring some water – make that a lot – into your tree beds, would you?

And be inspired by the most admirable Shake Shack and Occitane who’ve joined forces to plant and maintain the tree beds on south side of 86th Street between Lexington and Third! 

Bring on week ahead and its much cooler weather:                       

Saturday,  June 23th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am – 2pm                                               Compost Collection – 9am – 1pm

Present will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Raghoo,  Samascott, Gajeski, Cherry Lane, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

No more Ballard Honey till winter!

Get there early for the Samascott’s blueberries and raspeberries and Gajeski’s cherry tomatoes that’re just starting to come in!

And Bread Alone has something new for our delectation:  their Local Maple Twist Danish!  In keeping with their commitment to supporting area farmers, the maple syrups used in the Maple Twist Danish are from the Spruceton Valley Maple located just 30 minutes from Bread Alone’s bakery.

Market Manager Emma describes this Saturday’s cooking demo: “I’ll be featuring garlic scapes, delicious both raw and cooked!  We’ll decide which way to go based on the heat and other items available at the market.”

Last week’s recycling totals:  46 lbs batteries; 40 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eyeglasses; 6/9 – 10 bags of clothes and 3 compost bins; 6/16 – 13 bags of clothes and 4 compost bins!

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 883 lbs batteries; 447 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 27 pairs of glasses;  102 bags of clothes; 20 7/8 compost bins.

Sunday, June 24th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Street, 9am – 4pm                                  Compost collection 9am – 1pm

Okay, so last week got complicated by things like truck breakdowns…  But this week – barring catastrophe – the full compliment of our farmers will present and accounted for:

American Seafood, Gonzalez Farm, Meredith’s Bakery, Norwich Meadows Farm, Phillips Farm Vegetables, Stannard Farms and – new on our block –  Bread Alone.  

Market manager Nicole says:  “This week I’ll be demo-ing a raw zucchini, shallot, and basil salad.  I tried it out at the New York Botanical Garden and it was a HUGE hit.  Great during the crazy heat when no one wants to cook.”

Last week’s recycling totals:  12 lbs batteries; 10 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 1/2 bin of compost! 

Great!!

Tuesday, June 26th:  Free Salsa Dance Lesson

Herald Square, Broadway between 34th and 35th, 5:30-6:30pm

This and every Tuesday till August 28th.  Free!

One week later:

Saturday, June 30th:  Recycle-O-Rama – Early Summer Edition

82nd Street Greenmarket,  between First and York, 10am – 3pm

Pile up those caput electronics!! Bag and box up those decades of tax forms and receipts!!  We’ll be collecting all of our weeklies too…Compost, clothes collection, batteries, Britta filters, #5 plastic, corks, CDs/DVDs!   Tell the world!!

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…  Remember:  NO APPLIANCES.

Paper:

Please remove paper clips and spiral bindings.

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.  (But we do take paperbacks.)

Only a few weeks away: 

Thursday, July 11th:  Summer Sounds ’12 at Carl Schurz Park

On the John Finley Walk, above the 86th Street Mall Staircase, 7-8:30pm

Doesn’t get any better than sitting out under the stars a stone’s throw from the river and listening to great music like that made by soul singer Martha Redbone and her band.  Free!  For a tuneful sample and the park’s full summer concert schedule

Farther out there:

Sunday, July 22nd:  Obscura Society Adventure – The Abandoned Ruins of Bannerman Island 

Meet at the Beacon, New York Ferry Dock, 1:30pm

Maybe you’ve seen it from the train…  A crumbling, evocative castle built by a turn-of-the-last-century munitions dealer on an small, now overgrown island in the Hudson…  Now you can check it out up close and personal.   $50.  For tickets and further details… 

Wednesday, July 25th:  Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series

SummerStages, Central Park, 8-10pm

Featuring Met stars Danielle de Niese (soprano), Dimitri Pittas (tenor), and John Del Carlo (bass-baritone), accompanied by pianist Dan Saunders in a program of favorite arias and duets. Rain or shine.  Free.  For directions

Miscellany, you say?  Miscellany you got:

Can we please just drive a stake through this wretched, so-called Sportsmen’s Heritage Act which – among its many horrors – would allow hunting in our national parks!

Maybe more than you’d like to know about tar sands and fracking and the various shenanigans going on here and in Canada about them…  But here’s stuff you should know.

Improvement in this May’s Hudson River Quality Report but not entirely attributable to how NYC’s handling its waste water…  

But maybe an enticement for commuting by kayak from New Jersey.

Not that things haven’t vastly improved in NYC over the decades…  Witness this chronicle of bygone environmental nadirs that one can even tour…  Yikes!!

Still we could use a twin of this Baltimore barge that’s filtering invasive species out of freighters’ ballast water

Go figure…  The warm winter just passed made for earlier starts in construction projects which not only increased the demand for building materials containing plastics but the price of said plastics…

From Urban Farm, plans to construct your own raised planting bed

Wouldn’t it be great if there were more plexiglass watertowers like this ornamenting our skyline?

Just what the world needs…  A burrito-making robot!  (Turn this young inventor loose on global warming!)

But it would be nice to have restaurant ratings that reflect the healthiness and sustainability of what is served

Kind of odd to be having an exhibition of bicycling-inspired art in Venice, but the paintings are great… 

And then there’re the 10 oldest living trees on earth

And the Botany Photo of the Day:

Ah, animals…

From out of the past, a giant wombat!

In the present, a dolphin swimming around in the Hudson!

Take one big, beautiful, zen white dog.  Add 3 little goats.  Awww….

Best watched in daytime, volume turned up for sounds of the Maine coast, clock mom’s odd housekeeping regimen (a lot of tugging at sticks) and look for the babies at the bottom of the Osprey Cam frame…

We wish you green,

UGS

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Happy Father’s Day, UESiders!

That the reopening of the 92nd Street Greenmarket – complete with compost collection – is also set for Sunday augers an all but perfect day!!

Meanwhile, today wasn’t so shabby either what with the Australians designating the world’s largest marine park and California completing its grand design of marine preserves extending from Oregon to Mexican waters.

Closer to home, there’s a milestone of river restoration what with what work beginning to free Maine’s Penobscot – once one of America’s top ten most endangered rivers – from its two lower. totally out-dated dams…  This – thanks to improvements in local hydropower generation – while maintaining the energy supply. 

Closer still and most happily, the Yorkville Bank’s now a NYC Landmark

And thanks to all who voted for TreesNY…  Thus pushing them to over the top to win the Odwalla Fruit Tree Contest

On to the mega 7 days ahead:   

Saturday,  June 16th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am – 2pm                          Compost Collection – 9am – 1pm

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

Market Manager Emma says, “Our farmers’ll have beautiful salad greens, scapes, cilantro, radishes, beets, swiss chard, carrots, potatoes, and peas – shelling (aka English), sugar snap, and snow peas.  And our regular line of protein and bread.  Fresh Radish says they’ll have even more vegs and Mexican specialty items this week!”

AND Emma’s doing a special Father’s Day grilling demo this week!  

Last week’s recycling totals:  45 lbs batteries; 23 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges;; (waiting for clothes and compost totals).

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 837 lbs batteries; 407 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 23 pairs of glasses; (as of 6/8/12 79 bags of clothes; 13 7/8 compost bins). 

Sunday, June 17th:   92nd STREET GREENMARKET RE-OPENS!!

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Street, 9am – 4pm,  Compost collection 9am – 1pm

At last!  With us will be old friends

American Seafood, Suffolk County, NY – Wild-caught seafood
Gonzalez Farm, Orange County, NY – Vegetable, Mexican specialty products and, this
week, strawberries 

Meredith’s Bakery, Ulster County, NY – Breads, pastries, quiches and more
Norwich Meadows Farm, Chenago County, NY –  Certified organic vegetables
Phillips Farm Vegetables, Hunterdon County, N.J. – Huge assortment of fruits, vegetables and herbs
Stannard Farms, Washington County, NY – Orchard fruit, vegetables, meat and plants  

And newcomer:                                                                       

Bread Alone, Ulster County, NY  – Artisan breads (most certified Organic) and pastries  

The Stellar Cooks and their fabulous cooking demos will be back with us just after July 4th!

Remember:  EBT/Food Stamps, Debit/Credit and WIC & Senior FMNP are all and gladly accepted!

And what would a newsletter be without the what’s compostable and what’s not list:

YES, BRING ‘EM ON:

  • 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-NON-VERBOTEN:

  • 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

Wednesday, June 20th: Old is Green – An Informational Seminar

Historic Districts Council, 232 East 11th Street, 8:30am – 1pm

In 2012, no earthly reason why a building can’t be historic and environmentally progressive.  Experts William Neeley, Christa Waring, Jean Parker Phifer and Barbara Campagna will tell you how.  Members:  $100.  Non-member, $125.  Breakfast included.  For more…  

Wednesday, June 20th – Sunday, October 7th:  Compass – Folk Art in Four Directions

South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton Street , between Fulton & Water Streets

Drawing on its mind-bogglingly wonderful collection, the American Folk Art Museum celebrates the romanticism and gritty realism of the seaport district with artwork displayed in the 6 historic Schermerhorn houses. $10.  For full details

Thursday, June 21st:  Can We Save Jamaica Bay?

Seafarer’s International House, 123 east 15th Street, 7pm

A 30-year photographic perspective on issues, actions, and wildlife management of this 13,000 acre preserve in New York City by  Don Riepe,  Jamaica Bay Guardian and former  refuge manager.   Free.  Refreshments will be served.

Thursday, June 21st:  I’d Still Be Puerto Rican If Born on the Moon –  Puerto Rican Migration through the Arts Exhibition

Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center,
107 Suffolk Street, Open daily, 3:30 – 7pm

And we quote:  “Through the lens of expressive culture, this exhibit tells the story of the Puerto Rican diaspora during the 20th century and into the 21st.”  Free.  For further details

 

Fast approaching:

 

Saturday, June 30th:  Recycle-O-Rama – Early Summer Edition

82nd Street Greenmarket,  between First and York, 10am – 3pm

Electronics collection!!  Industrial-grade paper shredding!!  Compost and clothes collection!  Batteries, Britta filters, #5 plastic, corks, CDs/DVDs!   We’re talking green nirvanna!

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…  Remember:  NO APPLIANCES.

Paper:

Please remove paper clips and spiral bindings.

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

Fast approaching:

Saturday, June 30th:  Sabor Flamenco at Poet’s Den Theater

Poet’s Den Gallery & Theater, 309 East 108th Street, 7:30pm

Described by UES friend and East Harlem Presents impressario Raphael Benavides as, “An electrifying night of Flamenco Dance and music with a special performance by Sabor Flamenco’s Junior Company.”   $20 which includes wine and tapas.  To purchase tickets

Around the corner:

Thursday, July 12th:  Jerome Park Reservoir Walking Tour

Meet at the Bedford Park 4 Station, 6:30pm

Another of NYC/H2O’s great outings…  In the course of which you’ll learn what the Jerome Park Reservoir, the Belmont Stakes and Winston Churchill have in common.  $20.  For details and tickets

First up, downright serious miscellany:

Okay, folks, so Governor Cuomo’s entertaining the notion of permitting fracking in 5 so-called “lower tier” counties, amongst the State’s poorest, and bordering Pennsylvania’s fracking disaster zone.  Should you think this is ill-advised

Yet another scandal surfaced in Albany this week…  This time involving Brownfields Clean-up Program.  Seems  our state’s handed out $1 billion in tax credits for remediation of a mere 68 sites.  This while thousands of others remain contaminated.  

Meanwhile, in spite of the fact that a similar program’s been beyond a debacle in Chicago, our city’s administration is contemplating of privatizing our parking meters

Meanwhile, surely before NYC commits itself so completely to heating with natural gas – and thus wedding itself and us citizens to fracking of the radon-rich gas of the Marcellus shale – makes sense that the City Council should review the potential health impacts.  Should you agree

Despite financial troubles that make ours look puny, California’s pushing ahead with L.A.-San Francisco high-speed rail while our modest rail link to Stewart Airport remains on the drawing board…  

Further on arguments against the MTS, the World Health Organization – citing compelling scientific information – has just deemed diesel fumes to be carcinogenic.

Winning this week’s uncontested first prize with oak leaf clusters  in the “Are These People Crazy or What?” category are the scientists who’ve approved Japanese prime minister Noda’s wish to restart two of the country’s nuclear reactors

Reminder:  Some fruits and vegs are more inclined to aborb pesticides than others so, given the choice and when not shopping our fabulous Greenmarkets, which are we best advised to buy when they’re organic… 

Of course there’s no FDA regulation on labeling of bottled water…   

And as was inevitable another of Monsanto’s GMO crops has gotten loose…  This time in Switzerland. 

And now for a sharp turn to the brighter side:

You’ve earned this Botany Photo of the Day:

 Mitella diphylla L.

Calling all aspiring citizen scientists!!  The Hudson River wants you!!  How great would to play a part in improving  water quality just that much more?  Check it out

Can be a bit hard to wrap one’s mind around all in which our city’s two  remarkable botanical gardens are engaged, so we’re grateful for this recent piece in the wonderful New York State Conservationist

That’s followed by the best encouragement we’ve seen on why and how we should be out hiking NYState’s gorgeous mountains…   

Best protection from summer’s gauntlet of poison ivy and insect life...

If you aren’t yet following discussion of the Library’s sweeping new plans for the 42nd Street Branch, time to get into the loop:  From The Times…   And The NY Review of Books

Kudos to the obsessive individual who assembled this armchair tour of NYC residential architecture 1821 to present day...

Courtesy of the James Beard Foundation:  14 Great Reads for Food Lovers.

Courtesy of Care2:  5 Screened Porches for Summer Living.

Animals you say:

Commencing with airborne critters as observed in The Hudson River Almanac:

6/7 – Manhattan, HRM 3.5:   A young peregrine falcon was visible in the nest box on the south side of the Met Life Building near Grand Central Terminal. It was flexing and flapping its wings while standing in place.     – Ben Cacace

 6/7 – Manhattan, HRM 1: In mid-afternoon, one of the adult red-tailed hawks that have a nest atop the New York University library at Washington Square Park was perched on a lamppost near the south end of the park (actually on a cast-iron bird that decorates the lamp). It was the female, Rosie, and she looked truly majestic, every bit a hawk!     – Thomas Shoesmith

Cuteness quotient upgrade…  In the form of baby porcupines: 

Cuteness quotient downgrade:  Why we should love earthworms and find them beautiful.

Cuteness quotient rebound:  A kitten with hiccups.

And a baby pig with a passion for oatmeal

How about this for a sweet idea:  Rent-A-Dog-to-Walk to raise funds for animal charities? 

What better way to end than with Top Ten Animal Dads!

Our Dads are proud we’re relentlessly green,

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

Some fabulous rally last Friday evening!

2,500 to 3,000 kids and adults!!  Great speakers!!  Great music!!  Great weather!!  Tons of yellow and green t-shirts!!  Food trucks!!    And a tremendous message!!

And we were very happy that so many friends and supporters from the Islamic Center of New York came over to join us!!

Nice things will be a tad less high torque this week:

Saturday,  June 9th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be our friends of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Raghoo,  Samascott, Gajeski, Cherry Lane, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Fresh Radish says they’ll have even more vegs and Mexican specialty items this week!

Rabbits’ Run tells us tell they’ll not only be having more of their wonderful micro-green salad mix, but – among their many cheeses – an all-goat Camembert and “Netty”, a mixed cow and goat milk Edam-style cheese.  Plus, there’ll also be pork bones for dogs!

Gajeski has at least 3 different varieties of kale on offer (wound up with 2 of them last week – yum!) and their spinach is great.

And Cherry Lane’s featuring their first-o-f-the-season, freshly-dug potatoes!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  47 lbs batteries; 22 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair eye glasses; 14 bags of clothes;  2 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 792 lbs batteries; 384 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 23 pairs of glasses; 79 bags of clothes; 13 7/8 compost bins. 

(Amazing!)

Tuesday, June 12th and Wednesday, June 13th: Postal Vision

L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, Washington, D.C.

Certainly sounds like an oxymoron but, yes, the United States Postal Service is in hot pursuit of how and what it should be to thrive in the 21st Century.  For conference details

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

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Street, 9am – 4pm,  Compost collection 9am – 1pm

Only another week now…  Wall-to-wall farmers, bake goods, Stellar cooks and compost collection!!! 

One more time, what we can and can’t compost:

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-NON-VERBOTEN:

  • 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

Bring those food scraps on!!

Saturday, June 30th:  Recycle-O-Rama – Early Summer Edition

82nd Street Greenmarket,  between First and York, 10am – 3pm

Electronics collection!!  Industrial-grade paper shredding!!  No kidding…  82nd Street will be the greenest place in New York on 6/30!

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.)

Remember:  NO APPLIANCES.

Paper:

Please remove paper clips and spiral bindings.

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.  (But we do take paperbacks.)

Saturday, June,  23rd:  Great American Backyard Campout 

Anywhere You Can Safely Pitch a Tent

Talk about family togetherness!  Counting fireflies…  Looking up at the stars…  Snacking on trail mix and s’mores…  Being creeped out by the inevitable snapping of branches in the dead of night!  For more details…  (And maybe donate a small amount to assist the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to  get more kids into the great out-of-doors…)

Sunday, June 24th:  Walking Tour of Literary Greenwich Village

10am, rain or shine

“Inside the Apple” authors James and Michelle Nevius guide a lucky few to sites that nutured talents from Wharton to Dylan.  Pre 6/17:  $10.  From 6/18:  $15.  Meeting place provided upon reservation.  To reserve:  events@insidetheapple.net.   

Are things ever miscellanous this week:

NYU’s massive expansion plan passed review by the NYC Planning Commission with only modest changes and ignoring 2 modifications negotiated by Borough President Stringer.  Hummmm.   Let’s see how our City Council performs…

Meanwhile, the EPA’s making a run at establishing Carbon Pollution Standard.  If you’d like to supoport them in this attempt

Unfortunately, despite its title “What Does a Truly Modern Subway Look Like?”, the article contains no pictures…  But Seoul’s system sure sounds good.

Just short of rivers running upstream:  Carl Rove and ex-Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs agree that federal tax credits for windpower should be extended!

Not that we’re looking for companions in misery, but the folks in Hell’s Kitchen will be joining us in the Torture by Construction Zone when the City commences its 5-year program to replace the area’s water mains.

Meanwhile, a Brooklyn Assemblyman’s about to file suit to block construction of a MTS in Bensonhurst!

On the up-beat now:

British Columbia’s just become the 7th GE-free – as in genetically engineered free – zone!

How about the 10 most famous American trail hikes?

And the 10 most famous trail hikers?  (Anyone who hasn’t read Bill Bryson’s hysterical “Walk in the Woods”…  Do so with dispatch!)

As if we needed more reasons to eat strawberries…  But here are 9 more of them!

Who knows if it’ll work in NYC but, you computer people, why not give it a shot:  The National Yellow Pages Opt-Out Site

Build It Green’s stocking some amazing salvaged flooring -example: 18th Century parquet from a Venetian palazzo! 

Okay so we know beekeeping spreading like wildfire across NYC…  But how about hives atop the Waldorf-Astoria?!

Further on the subject…  The Times’  – yes, the same Times that supports the MTS – Opinionator column on the wisdom of  greening city roofs

Speaking of greening, there may be NYC gardeners who equal Li Tingpang in making bounty from an unlikely spot,   but none who surpass him…

Animals?  Yes, by all means:

What’s the loudest animal of them all?  (Hint:  Packs a big sound for its size.)

Wonder what inspired this kitty’s method of refrigerator descent?

We say this is the sweetest critter-centric item ever:  Six Ways to Volunteer with Your Pet… 

From the Hudson River Almanac: 

5/26 – Brooklyn, New York City: “We had the delight of trawling aboard the schooner Mystic Whaler on the Bay Ridge Flats, a triangle of shallow water in the Upper Bay of New York Harbor just south of Red Hook.  The prize of the day: two beautiful lined seahorses, four and five inches long. They were healthy and active, and when we released them back into the harbor they immediately righted themselves and cruised for the deep.”  

 – Chris Bowser, Shannon McMulkin, Paige Manos and the crew of the Mystic Whaler

Then there’s the gorgeous bird of the week – :

The Saw-bill Hermit

Only took 2,500 signatures to end England’s  plan to “control” its buzzard (yes, buzzard!) population!

Feeling mighty green,

UGS 

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Happy Eve of the Dump the Dump Rally, UESiders!

A two-hour period during which we will exorcise the little black but fleeting cloud created by Monday’s Times editorial…  And those of you who haven’t read it should.  Bottomline:  No mention of Isaacs/Holmes…  No mention of Asphalt Green…  No mention of the schools or day care or senior centers.  (Willful ignorance?  Poor reporting?)

A brush-off line from an old gangster film comes to mind:  “It’s only just so much velvet.”

And we are undeterred.

Let’s wallow in some good news, yes?

1.  Recycle-O-Rama:  Early Summer Edition is set for Saturday, June 30th at the 82nd Street Greenmarket.  Add the electronics we’ll be collecting and paper shredding happening that day, we’re talking 5 hours of recycling paradise!

2. In the Does-The-Right-Hand-Know-What-The-Left-Hand’s-Doing Department, this article from Bloomberg BusinessWeek detailing hero Captain Sullenberger’s objections to siting a MTS next to LaGuardia.   

3.  We totalled 2 7/8 giant bins of compost last week!!  (And more #5 and batteries than ever before!!!)

4.  Botany Picture of the Day #1:

 toxicoscordion-venenosum1

On to the amazing week ahead:

FRIDAY, JUNE 1st:  “DUMP THE DUMP” FREE COMMUNITY CONCERT

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

Headlined by Caroline Sunshine (of Disney’s “Shake It Up”) and Upper West!!  A ton of local talent, too, including area school kids!  Gates open at 4:30pm.  We did say FREE!  There’ll be FREE T-SHIRTS for the first 1,000 attendees, too!  We want  huge head count, people!!   We’re letting them know how much dumps don’t belong in any residential neighborhood!! 

Now to Friday, August 3rd:  Phantoms of the Clark Expedition

The Explorers Club, 46 East 70th

Two thrills wrapped up in a single visit!  For sure, the exhibit chronicling 1908 expedition to China.  Then there’s the extraordinary Explorers Club itself.  Not often a chance for non-members to enter these hallowed precincts.  Free.  For says, hours and details…  

Friday, June 1st – Sunday, June 3rd:  Green Screens – Cinema Planeta

Lincoln Center Film Society, 144 West 65th Street

This collaboration with Mexico’s Cinema Planeta includes 12 films ranging from threatened traditional cultures to the consumerist society.  All tickets $8.  For the line-up, schedule and more

Saturday,  June 2nd:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

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

Market manager Emma says, “Peas are coming in and there’ll be a lots and lots of strawberries!”

Ballard Honey returns!

Sad to say, Silver Thread Vineyard is jilting us and won’t be back. 

BUT, lucky us, Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess is back to tend to our cutleries’ imperfect edges!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  52 lbs batteries; 26 lbs #5,  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 9 bags of clothes;  2 7/8 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 745 lbs batteries; 362 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 22 pairs of glasses; 65 bags of clothes; 11 3/8 compost bins. 

(You wild and crazy recycling maniacs!)

Monday, June 4th:  Civitas Air Quality and Heating Oil Workshop

The Chapin School, 100 East End Avenue, between 84th & 85th, 6pm

Special consultant to the Mayor’s Clean Heat Program Ken Camilleri and a panel of other experts lead this second discussion of what Con Ed requires to deliver natural gas to your building.  Following the presentation, the panel will answer questions…  And maybe this time out there’ll be a response to queries about our city’s commitment to natural gas and the plague of fracking.  Free but you must RSVP to attend:  info@civitasnyc.org or 212- 996-0745.      

Tuesday, June 5th: Transit of Venus Viewing with NYSkies

Intrepid Museum Pier, Hudson River at 45th Street, 5pm

Take in this literal once-in-our-lifetimes astronomical event   with the great John Pazmino and fellow experts of NYSkies.   The actual Transit commences at 6:04pm.  (No looking directly at the sun!)   For more…  And still more

Wednesday, June 6th:  Intelligent Infrastructure – Designing Smart Buildings for NYC

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

Experts Ariella Maron (Deputy Commissioner for Energy of New York City) and Constantine Kontacosta (founding director of the NYU Schack Institute’s Center for the Built Environment) fill us in on the future of analytics in the building space$25.  $10 for students.  For further details

Coming up fast:

Tuesday, June 12th:  Summer Garden Concert – 19th Century Balladeer Linda Russell

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st, 6pm

The first in this year’s always delightful summer series.  Free to members.  $20 for non-members.  $5 for children under 12.  For details, tickets and the rest of the schedule

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

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

More farmers!   The great Bread Alone bakery!!  The Stellar Cooks!!   Compost collection!!   Better get another reusuable shopping bag!! 

Yet again, your composting instructions:

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-NEVER-NEVER:

  • 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

And then:

Saturday, June 30th:  Recycle-O-Rama – Early Summer Edition

82nd Street Greenmarket,  between First and York, 10am – 3pm

Electronics collection!!  Industrial-grade paper shredding!!  82nd Street will be the greenest place in all of NYC on 6/30!

As for miscellany:

On May 29th, NYC’s Department of Transportation introduced a (not perfect yet but a start) Searchable Parking Map

Botany Picture of the Day #2:

Meconopsis integrifolia

Hard to believe but there’s a move afoot to cut Parks’ maitenance budget even further!  If you’d like to express disagreement

Get yourself up to speed on the proposed new rules governing sugary beverages…   (Worth a try, we think.)

Yes, there’s now actually a PBS kids’ show that includes a fast food commercial.  If you object… 

If it’s June, it’s time to apply for GrowNYC’s annual School Recycling Champions  Program!  For info and to apply

Lest we forget a good man…  In this case, Everett Ortner who was one of the leaders of the charge to restore Brooklyn brownstones.

How about this for a radically beautiful wind energy proposal?

Botany Picture of the Day #3 (we’re liking long, graceful stalks this week):

Krigia virginica

Animals at last:

Fantastic how organized and gentle these people are as they save stranded dolphins

Remember those baby sloths?  (Who could forget them!)

See you at Asphalt Green tomorrow!

In deep greenness,

UGS

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