Monthly Archives: October 2012

Greetings, UESiders!

No kidding, last Saturday’s It’s My Park Day was packed with accomplishment…  A lot of it thanks to a bunch of amazingly hardworking Girl Scouts – a few pictured below – who made made those 4 hours on the Esplanade so productive and fun!  (You girls are mean daffodil planting machines!) 

 

Thanks, too, to Hunter Armstrong of Civitas, Valerie Rifkin of the 93rd Street Block Association, Florence Davis of the Holmes Towers Gardeners,  Kate Gluzberg of Partnership for Parks, the Visiting Nurse Association and the ever-fantastic East River Crew who rewarded volunteers with a refreshing river boat ride on a perfect autumn afternoon.

On the subject of daffodils, we’ve just learned this:  Back in 2001, when the offer of memorial flower bulbs was first made, it was for 500,00 tulip bulbs.  Probably seemed like bureacratic foot-dragging when someone in city government saw fit to do some research.  The result:  Turns out that tulip bulbs are a favorite food of squirrels and RATS!  The  request was then made for daffodil bulbs…  Which both rodent species despise. 

Can you imagine…?   

Meanwhile, all hail the 92nd Street Greenmarket where, last Sunday, folks broke yet another composting record with a total of 6 1/3 giant bins!

In your court now, 82nd Street…

What will this coming week bring?

Friday, October 26th & Saturday, October 27th:  A Halloween Who-Done-It at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, between First & York, 6:30 & 7:30pm

Explore the museum by candlelight and collect clues to unravel the mystery of who was killed…  Who did the deed and how and why…  A perfect game for adults and  children ages 8 and up.  Adult Museum members, $15.   Non-members, $25.  Children under 12, $10.  For reservations:  212-838-6878.  

Saturday, October 27th:  82nd Street Greenmarket & Kids Fall Festival

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

Not only the great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Fresh Radish, Feather Ridge, Cherry Lane, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms, And not only a ton of special stuff for kids like pumpkin and face painting,  leaf printing, corn husk doll making and storytime with Natalie Cronin of Tinker Tree Play…  BUT a Guess-the-Weight-of-the-Pumpkin Contest for you grown-ups! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  46 lbs batteries; 25 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of eye glasses; clothes and compost – TBA.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,434 lbs batteries; 761 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 77 pairs of glasses;  339 bags of clothes; 72 7/8 compost bins.

Saturday, October 27th:  Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Opening Day Celebration

American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street

On this, TR’s 154th birthday, the MNH launches a year of programs celebrating the great man’s (and Museum founder) love of the natural world, complete with live falcons, hawks and owls!   For more details of the ongoing festivities, tickets and hours… 

Sunday, October 28th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

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

You’ve got to get there early to land one of the big pumpkins!!

Last week’s recycling totals:   22 lbs batteries; 12lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 6 3/8 compost bins.

Let us repeat that last again:  6 3/8 compost bins!!

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 181 lbs batteries; 127 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  1 pair eye glasses; 37 compost bins.

Wednesday, October 31st:  Haunted Halloween in Stuyvesant Cove Park

20th Street & the FDR Drive, 5-7pm

It’s Stuyvesant Cove Park like you’ve never seen it before, covered in cobwebs and dark magic and packed with  scarecrows, ghouls, witches, spiders, sea creatures and lots of spooky scary (but kid-friendly) fun!  Free.

Friday, November 2nd:   A Practical Approach to the Business, Science and Policy Issues – Hydraulic Fracturing Discussion 

Marriott Residence Inn, 1033 Sixth Avenue, 6-7:30pm with cocktails following

Eminent panelists from the legal, financial, enviromental and academic sectors discuss the impact and wisdom of fracking.  To RSVP:  tjo22@cornell.edu. 

trametes-versicolor

Saturday, November 3rd:  NYCH2O Old Croton Aqueduct Bike Tour

Meet at NYPL 42nd Street & Fifth Avenue Branch, 12-3:30pm

Led by born-and-bred New Yoker Matt Malina, travel the route of the historic engineering feat that once brought fresh, potable water to our city, a ride that terminates at Highbridge.  $20.  For tickets… 

And down the way:

Saturday, November 17th:  Columbus-Amsterdam BID/West Side Recycling Event

Amsterdam Avenue at 110th Street, 12-5pm

Yes, bring on the electronic devices (computers, peripherals, cords, TVs, VHSs, stereos, etc.), but they’ll also be taking household batteries, small appliances, CFL bulbs and clothes/textiles/shoes/belts/hats as well.

NO large appliances or long fluorescent bulbs, please! 

For more detailed information:  212-666-9714 or jtwine@synerjy.com.

hydnellum-aurantiacum

On to miscellany…  One short, serious item first:

A little encouragement never hurt especially when it applies to the Food Bill which Congress – lo’ these many months later – has yet to pass.  To urge them on

On the other hand, our cup does runneth over with good news: 

Ikea’s just pledged to power all its stores with wind and sun by 2020!

And the UES has a new landmark!

Then there’s John Paulson’s astonishing $100 million gift to Central Park!

Deep breath:

And the best places to see northern lights are… 

And 5 under-appreciated green vegetables would be

As the greenroof movement spreads, this new and particularly pretty example in Poland

From reader Jack Donaghy, this lovely Times piece on autumn leaves

Doesn’t get more miscellaneous than 15 surprising uses for hydrogen peroxide!

brachycorythis-lastii

As for our animal friends:

Don’t get too comfortable with these adorable newborn kittens being bottle fed

Because – as the 31st looms – next up is the Audubon Society’s designated Most Mysterious Bird

Humm…  Even the Hudson River Almanac’s inclining Halloween-ish:

 10/16 – Palisades, HRM 23:  A single, fairly large bat flew by my office window at dusk.  I was happy to see it as bat sightings have become quite rare around here amd ot was a rather cool autumn evening.     – Linda Pistolesi

[Bats will be out and flying as long as they are healthy and there are insects to be eaten.   There’re several bat species in our area:  the big brown and little brown bats, Indiana, eastern red and hoary bats. While these are all quite small, ones that might be considered relatively large include the eastern red and hoary bats with total length nearing five inches.    -Tom Lake.] 

B00 be green!

UGS  

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Happy Positive Outlook Month, UESiders!

Which ought to be our state of mind given that (1) oral arguments in opposition to the 91st Street MTS were made in NYState Court this last Wednesday…   (2) more cases will shortly be filed on the Federal level…  (3) bucking the powers-the-be, Assembly Member Kellner and Council Member Lappin are among the plantiffs in these cases. 

And, this week, after 40 years in the wilderness, our  city’s memorial to President Franklin Roosevelt, Four Freedoms Park was formally dedicated – most appropriately – on Roosevelt Island.

This week saw the landmarking of The Rainbow Room, too!

Plus, just last Thursday, GrowNYC opened our city’s first Nighttime Greenmarket

Not only that, but over this past year and continuing into the present, many of our long-neglected NYState Parks are receiving the infra-structure attention they so need and  deserve.

October’s also National Energy Awareness Month…

Onward!

There’s a great week ahead:

Saturday, October 20th: It’s My Park Day Volunteer Event

East River Esplanade and 96th Street, 10am – 2pm 

We adults can not possibly allow ourselves to be shamed by the valiant little Girl Scouts who’ll be scraping and painting railings and planting daffodils!!  (Yes, Visiting Nurses will be out there too…  93rd Street Block Association members, Holmes Towers Gardeners and East Harlem Presents members, as well…  BUT the more hands there are, the more we’ll be able to make beautiful!)

Saturday, October 20th:  82nd Street Greenmarket 

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

With us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Fresh Radish, Feather Ridge, Cherry Lane, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

And, yes, folks, Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be back among us!

(Do keep in mind, not only is Thanksgiving carving approaching but, remember, cold weather brings an end to Barbara’s  sharpening-at-the-market season!) 

Last week’s recycling totals:  51 lbs batteries; 22 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; bags of clothes and  compost bins  – TBA.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,388 lbs batteries; 736 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 74 pairs of glasses;  339 bags of clothes; 72 7/8 compost bins.

Sunday, October 21st:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Gonzalez Farm,  Meredith’s Bakery, Phillips Farm Vegetables, Norwich Meadows and Stannard Farms. 

We’re praying there’ll still be corn this week!

Last week’s recycling totals:   TBA

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 159 lbs batteries; 115 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  1 pair eye glasses; 30 5/8 compost bins.

Monday, October 22nd: How Should the Future East  Harlem Look?

Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, 2180 Third Avenue at 119thStreet,  Second Floor Auditorium, 6:30pm

Join CIVITAS, Community Board 11, Insight Associates and George M. Janes & Associates for a presentation and discussion of proposed land use and zoning (think affordable housing, open space, building size and height and more) in East Harlem.  RSVP :  212-996-0745.

Tuesday, October 23rd:  East Side Town Hall Meeting

Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street between Park & Lexington, 6-8pm

Organized by BP Stringer along with Council Members Lappin and Garodnick, Congress Member Maloney, State Senator Krueger, Assembly Members Kellner and Quart, Community Board 8  (and many others), this is your chance to speak with and get answers from representatives of government agencies, venture issues and vent concerns…  Like the 91st Street MTS.  RSVP required:  212- 669-4451 or RSVP@manhattanbp.org.

Wednesday, October 24th:  Big Apple Crunch

Many NYC Locations, all day

What better way to celebrate National Food Day (!) than setting a world record for the number of humankind who’ve eaten apples in 24 hours?  For full details and how to be counted…

And then:

Saturday, October 27th:  Kids Fall Festival at the 82nd Street Greenmarket

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

To our usual gathering of great purveyors of fabulous local produce/fish/chicken/beef, add pumpkin and face painting,  leaf printing, corn husk doll making,  a guess-the-weight-of-the-pumpkin contest and storytime with Natalie Cronin of Tinker Tree Play!  Gonna be great! 

As for miscellany:

Just in time:  A Pumpkin Carving 101 video from the famed Maniac Pumpkin Carvers!

Time again for Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology’s annual Project (winter bird) Feeder Watch to get under way.  (Needless to say, fabulous for kids!)  For details, to sign up and get Project kit… 

Even in the mess that is Greece, they’re devising green roofs

There’s a beauty atop a Chicago youth center, too…

Meanwhile, there’re the ambitious, starchitect, first round plans for the Cornell NYC Tech’s $2 billion campus.

So much for those who’ve perceived  Greenmarkets as a threat to bricks-and-mortar establishments…  Whole Foods will soon be joining Fairway in our hood and setting up shop at 87th and Third

When in living memory did any NYC construction project get out of the blocks as quickly at the Metropolitan Museum’s new plaza?  (There’ll be traffic re-routing will be involved.)

Meanwhile, the Helena, now under construction on West 57th, will include composting for all 600 apartments…  With plans to expand the program to a second, 750 unit structure to be built next door!

Seems like we shouldn’t be letting Greenpoint be getting the jump on us with their just announced marathon reading of “Moby Dick

Consumer Reports rates the best in whole wheat pasta

It’s all dogs all the time in the animal department:

Step aside you cat burglers…    The canine step burgler rules!

But, of course, a dog needs eco canine travel accessories!

Well, almost all dogs:

For those who haven’t seen it, we recommend the wonderful, Emmy-winning doc, “My Life as a Turkey”…

We leave you with these snippets from Hudson River Almanac (and more feathered friends):

Snow came to the High Peaks of the Adirondacks this week. Autumn migration, from songbirds to raptors to fish, continued seaward and south, keeping ahead of winter.

10/14 – Town of Poughkeepsie, HRM 68: A westerly breeze was not helping migratory birds yet flocks of starlings were heading south sheltered from the wind in the lee of the forest at Bowdoin Park. While the starlings were raucous, the next act filled the air with high-pitched “zeeees.” For twenty minutes, a near continuous stream of cedar waxwings came through, stopping to feed in the four tall tamaracks before heading on their way south along the river.     – Tom Lake, T.R. Jackson 

It is good to be back and writing greenly,  

UGS

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Happy National Vodka Day, UESiders!!

No kidding, there’s a day/week/month/year for everything!

Here on the UES, we go bigger and greener in all things…  As in, for the last 5 days, it’s been 92nd-STREET-RACKED-UP-6-GIANT-COMPOST- BINS-ON-SUNDAY WEEK!!  (Still got 2 days to bask in the glory of that achievement, too!)

Yes, the gauntlet has been thrown down, 82nd Street folks.

Meanwhile, despite incessant rain, determined UESiders – and a dozen West Siders as well – recycled 3,800 lbs of paper last Tuesday!!

Just amazing.

And a great vamp to the next 7 days:

Saturday, October 6th:  82nd Street Greenmarket 

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

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

PLUS our Master Knife Sharpener returns!

FYI, we’re still tasting the fantastic apple sauce Emma whipped up!

Last week’s recycling totals:  48 lbs batteries; 18 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of eye glasses; 25 bags of clothes and 3 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,337 lbs batteries; 714 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 74 pairs of glasses;  339 bags of clothes; 72 7/8 compost bins.

We’re approaching 3/4 of a ton of batteries!!

Saturday, October 6th:  14th Annual Czech Street Festival

73rd Street, between First and Second, 12-5pm

Where else could you experience the Geisslers Hofcomoedianten (a baroque theater on stilts!), traditional folk music by the Pajtasi Dulcimer Band and children from the Czech and Slovak School in Astoria, a raffle, and – of course! – Czech food!  For more

Saturday, October 6th: Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project Open House

410 West 40th Street, between Ninth and Tenth

A year and a half ago, we helped raise 2 tons of earth up to the 5th floor roof of the Metro Baptist Church where what has to be the most original, productive and cost-wise gardens anywhere was soon established…  A model easily adapted to other NYC locations.  If you can’t visit in person, do check out the Project’s site

Saturday, October 6th through Wednesday, October 31st:  Halloween at the NYBG

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

A 3 1/2 week Halloween and pumpkin-a-thon featuring the Haunted Pumpkin Garden.  But let us not forget the Pumpkin Puppet Theater, the Spooktacular Pumpkin Party, and Giant Pumpkin Carving Weekend (led by resident carving artiste Michael Natiello).  Oh and, yes, the Giant Flying Fox Bat of Malaysia – the world’s biggest – will be on hand at the Spooktacular.  For days, times and tickets

Sunday, October 7th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Gonzalez Farm,  Meredith’s Bakery, Phillips Farm Vegetables, Norwich Meadows and Stannard Farms. 

Gonzalez’s little eggplants are wonderful!!

Last week’s recycling totals:   12 lbs batteries; 14 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 6 compost bins.

CAN’T SAY IT ENOUGH…  6 COMPOST BINS!!!!!

8/26 and 9/2 compost totals:  Still TBA. 

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 159 lbs batteries; 115 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  1 pair eye glasses; 30 5/8 compost bins.

Now to Sunday, November 19th:  Discovering Columbus

Columbus Circle, 10am-4pm

Artist Tatzu Nishi re-imagines the colossal 13-foot-tall statue of Columbus standing in a fully furnished, modern living room. Featuring tables, chairs, couch, rug, and flat-screen television, the décor reflects the artist’s interpretation of contemporary New York style.  Gotta be strange and great!  Free but advance tickets required.

Now to Sunday, January 6th:  Bernini –  Sculpting in Clay

Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue at 82nd

Of course, the great sculptor’s completed sculptures are magnificent, but the small terra cotta models are…  Well, you’ll be doing yourself a favor seeing them.  For details and hours

Wednesday, October 10th:  7th Annual New Green City Event

Union Square, 10am-5pm

Organized by the great GrowNYC – the folks who bring us our Greenmarkets – this’ll be “a  hands-on, free event full of action and dialogue where participants of all ages can learn how to live a low- impact lifestyle in New York City”.    In particular, we’re looking forward to”Recyclarium” with its up-close info on what happens to the stuff – glass, paper, etc. – we recycle.  For the full agenda… 

Thursday, October 11th:  Free Flu Shot Clinic

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Senior Center at St. Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Avenue at 54th Street, 10am – 1pm

Sponsored by State Senator Liz Kreuger with services donated by the Visiting Nurses, you’ll need to make an appointment with the Senator Kreuger’s office:  212-490-9535.

And then:

Tuesday, October 16th:  Free Flu Shot Clinic

St. Stephen of Hungary Church, 414 East 82nd Street between First & York, 10am – 1pm

Free for all folks over 50, but you must have an appointment.   To schedule, call sponsor Council Member Jessica Lappin’s office at 212-980-1808.

Tuesday, October 23rd:  East Side Town Hall Meeting

Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street between Park & Lexington, 6-8pm

Organized by BP Stringer along with Council Members Lappin and Garodnick, Congress Member Maloney, State Senator Krueger, Assembly Members Kellner and Quart, Community Board 8  (and many others), this is your chance to speak with and get answers from representatives of government agencies, venture issues and vent concerns.  A great opportunity to express yourself on the subject of the 91st Street MTS, beginning with wearing your Dump the Dump/SaneTrash t-shirt.  RSVP required:  212- 669-4451 or RSVP@manhattanbp.org.

Thursday, November 1st and 8th and Wednesday, November 14th:  Across New York Film Series

Tribeca Film Center, 375 Greenwich Street, 6pm 

A series of three totally NYC history-centric docs presented by the Historic Districts Council:  “At Home in Utopia” (the Bronx apartment “Coop”), “Florient, Queen of the Meatmarket” (the famed 24-hour diner) and “Coney Island”.  $5 for members, seniors, and students; $10 for everyone else.  For more and tickets

On to miscellany…  Commencing with a few new outrages:

Such as the money being made by banks – like JP Morgan-Chase – handling the EBT cards used by food stamp participants.

Or – in addition to issues of safety, a schedule that deals in year and more to make even small repairs, etc. – what appears to be the intention to totally dismantle public housing

Okay, there’s our own besieged Asphalt Green.  But it’s no consolation that two other city Parks are also under threat:  Flushing Meadows-Corona and  Ferry Point Park in the Bronx.

Moving into the “Twilight Zone”:

The MTA is now engaged in a talent hunt.  Yes, friends, they’re wanting 2 local voices – one male, one female – to narrate a planned exhibition on their Second Avenue Subway Project.  Oh, and they’re not paying one red cent.  Honest.  Really.  For real.  (Interested parties click here…)  

But happily:

Last week saw the opening of the much-needed Harlem Hospital Center Mural Pavillion, a 195,000 square foot, six-story facility providing outpatient visits, intensive care, women’s imaging and bariatric procedures. 

And back from the ashes, construction of a third and essential under-the-Hudson rail tunnel is being championed by Senator Schumer who’s talking about breaking ground in 2013!  To read more

There are excellent Green Walls of the Week and then there are over-the-moon green walls like this one in San Diego… 

For the next spring file:  Container gardening tips.  

Courtesy of Norton/Symantic, 5 solid tips to avoid problems with/resulting from WiFi hotspots.

New York Magazine did a full court press on oatmeal last week…  Definitions, categories, inventive new takes on the grain by notable chefs…  (Don’t skip the slide show.)

Who knew – a stone’s throw away on 118th Street – The Mariachi Academy of New York existed and has been helping kids to master the instruments and technique of this great musical idiom for a decade now?   Here’s some video too…(We’ve got to invite them to play for us!)

(For a taste of masters of the form and what Academy students are aspiring to, give the fabulous Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan a listen…)

Just two animal tidbits but:

You’ve got just 3 weeks to whip up a totally clever pet costume for Schurz Park’s Halloween Howl.  For inspiration we offer this…   (No way you can’t do better!)

We sign off with the most truly, totally world class. furry cuteness we’ve experienced in many a moon:  Belarus soldier and squirrel

With greenest good wishes,

UGS

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