Monthly Archives: November 2012

Dear UESiders!

Who can believe it’s been a week since Thanksgiving?!  That Christmas is just a bit more than 3 weeks away?!

Or that – between now and the 25th – there’re so many enticing tidbits to fit in among shopping forays and parties?!

i.e.:

Friday, November 30th:  “Last Call at the Oasis” Screening

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

An Academy Award winner and nominee join forcces to detail all that water means to humankind and how we’re playing roulette with its quality and finiteness.  Suggested donation:  $5.   For more details

Now – December 31st:  The Holiday Train Show

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

Actually, the great annual Train Show is just for openers…   Gingerbread Workshops, The Little Engine That Could Puppet Shows and a mini-performances by Thomas and Friends are part of the package, too.  For the schedule and tickets

Saturday, December 1st:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbit’s Run Farms.

And don’t forget, folks:  So what if it’s winter!  82nd Street is a year round/12-months-a-year market!   

AND…  This Saturday  will be your last chance in 2012 to have our Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess address those dull knives of yours!

Last week’s recycling totals:  52 lbs batteries; 39 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 13 pairs of eye glasses; 10 bags of clothes; 6 bins of compost.

(YES! 6 compost bins!!)

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,664 lbs batteries; 924 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 108 pairs of glasses;  398 bags of clothes; 83 7/8 compost bins.

Sunday, December 2nd:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be  Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery,  Stannard Farms and the two, new New York farmers who’ll be with us till season’s end…   Gleblocki Farms with vegetables from the black dirt region of Orange County and Troncillito Farm and Orchard from Ulster County.

(Troncillito has wonderful apples for baking!)

As you’ve likely deduced, late November weather took its toll on Gonzalez, Phillips and Norwich Meadows Farms, but they’ll be back with us in June! 

Last weeks’ recycling totals:   6 lbs batteries; 12 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eye glasses; 3 compost bins!

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 235 lbs batteries; 170 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  43 1/2 compost bins.

So fantastic that composting is happening again!

Sunday, December 2nd:  Carl Schurz Park Annual Holiday Lighting

East End Avenue & 86th Street, 5-6pm

This year including Cantori New York, the Orbital Brass Quintet, community caroling, hot chocolate and more!  Free and open to all!! The Park Conservancy’s also offering free tours of Gracie Mansion at 3:30 and 4pm but requiring reservations made at gracietours@cityhall.nyc.gov.  

Monday, December 3rd:  Monday Morning Coffee Talk

Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, between Second and Third, 8:30-10am

Our chance to get up-close and personal with Robert LiMandri, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Buildings!  Free.  (And we can’t wait!)  For additonal info and more interesting Historic Districts Council events… 

Approaching fast:

Saturday, December 8th:  Grand Central Family Tour

Grand Central Station, 11am

Art Historian Sylvia Laudien-Meo leads this classic Municipal Art Society exploration of the New York treasure and especially geared to engage the 8-11-year olds among us.  Meeting place provided with ticket purchase.  Members:  $15.  Non-members: $20.   

Wednesday, December 12th:  East Harlem Presents Holiday Show 2012

Poet’s Den Theater, 309 East 108th Street, 8pm

Co-produced by Vanessa Williams and our great neighbor and impressario Raphael Benavides, this year’s gala features the Maria Torres Dance Company and includes a tease of next year’s production of “The Latin Nutcracker”!  $40.  For more  and tickets…  

On the miscellany front:

Okay, so Monsanto’s up to its old tricks… i.e. Endeavoring to get legislation through Congress that would sidestep regulations/laws/court decisions and push GMO seeds/crops.  Should you object

On an infinitely more evolved note, thanks to corporate donors like HSBC, the great people at Solar One are deploying solar generators – 10 so far – in Sandy-affected areas in both New York and New Jersey.  

Meanwhile, also in NYC, Con Ed’s offering free, programmable thermostats!  To learn more, call 866-521-8600.

Out in Midwest, Amtrak’s moving people at 110 mph between Chicago and St.Louis!  

Then there’s this great-looking green roof on a San Diego hospital…

And how miscellaneous is this:

The claimed statistical support for this Top Holiday Cookies by State list is thrown into doubt by New York’s purported favorite:  the rainbow cookie.  

As for the week in animals:

Yes, there actually is a Bees Without Borders!  And once you’ve read what they’re up to, perhaps you’ll want to assist…

And, yes, a 4-month old zebra and a pony were romping around the streets of Staten Island!

Watch a little…  Watch a lot…  It doesn’t get kitschier than the Friskies Awards Show for the year’s best cat video!  

We leave you with the image that’s rightfully circling the globe this holiday season:  That of NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo giving boots to a barefoot and homeless man on a cold New York night

We thank him for warming our green hearts,

UGS

 

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A very happy Thanksgiving, UESiders!

May you be breaking bread with many of those whom you love and who love you. 

Hopefully you’ll be cheered just that much more knowing that yet another suit against the proposed MTS has been filed and duly noted by virtually every print and online publication…  Except the NY Times.

And we’re overjoyed that we can pass on this message from GrowNYC:

“While the heroic clean-up efforts of the NYC Department of Sanitation continue, we are pleased to announce that all remaining Greenmarket food scrap collection sites will be restored beginning November 24th, just in time for your Thanksgiving potato peels, carrot tops and leek bottoms!”

What a relief that compost collection resumes at both our markets this weekend!

Sure enough, we’ve got a fine week ahead, too:

Friday, November 23rd –  Sunday, January 6, 2013: Holiday Express – Toys and Trains from the Jerni Collection

New York Historical Society, 77th Street and Central Park West

Regarded as the world’s finest, this is the first time Jerni’s collection  – which even includes a model train bridge designed by Eiffel! – has been exhibited anywhere!  For days, tickets and times…   (Take in the WWII exhibit while you’re there!) 

Saturday, November November 24th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Back with us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge Farms and Rising Sun Beef.

Fresh Radish’ season is over and, as last winter and spring, Gajeski will be moving out onto 82nd.

Rabbit’s Run Farm will be taking this one, well-deserved weekend off.

Last week’s recycling totals:  45 lbs batteries; 41 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 12 bags of clothes.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,612 lbs batteries; 885 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 95 pairs of glasses;  388 bags of clothes; 77 7/8 compost bins.

Saturday, November 24th:  Shop Small Saturday

All Over, All Day

Easier for us New Yorkers than in most of America and an opportunity to support small Second Avenue businesses that’ve suffered from the appallingly mis-managed subway construction.  There’s even an incentive:  Amex cardholders  can register to receive a one-time $25 statement credit if they shop a small business, spend $25 and pay with their card on Nov. 24th.  (Yes, of course, there’s fine print for terms and conditions you should read.) (A zillion local nail salons signed up, ladies!) 

Sunday, November 25th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be  Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Phillips Farm Vegetables, and Stannard Farms…

We’re hopeful that Gonzalez and Norwich Meadows have enough produce to warrant the journey into the city…  And that American Seafood returns. 

Last weeks’ recycling totals:   5 lbs batteries; 14 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges.

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 229 lbs batteries; 158 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  40 1/2 compost bins.

cladina-stereocaulon

It may be a holiday weekend, but we won’t be sparing the naughty:

 A rogue’s gallery of major food corporations gave heavily to defeat Proposition 37, California’s initiative   requiring GMO food contents to be labeled as such:
 
PepsiCo (Donated $2.5M): Naked Juice, Tostito’s Organic, Tropicana
Kraft (Donated $2M): Boca Burgers and Back to Nature
Safeway (Donated $2M): “O” Organics
Coca-Cola (Donated $1.7M): Honest Tea, Odwalla
General Mills (Donated $1.2M):  Muir Glen, Cascadian Farm, Larabar
Con-Agra (Donated $1.2M): Orville Redenbacher’s Organic, Hunt’s Organic, Lightlife, Alexia
Kellogg’s (Donated $791k): Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms, Gardenburger  (Kashi?!)
Smucker’s (Donated $555k ): R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic
Unilever (Donated $467k): Ben & Jerry’s  (Really?! Ick!)
Dean Foods (Donated $254k): Horizon, Silk, White Wave 
 

Or ignoring the strange:

In case you missed this rather amazing, 5-year old map that prophesied Sandy 
 

Or turning away from:

The lives too many young American’s live…  (Please, please do watch.)

Making us all the more grateful that:

 
And that Google made another $75 million investment in wind power…  Bringing their total for renewable power up $990 million!
 
Rather puny in comparison but we’re grateful all the same that the USDA’s awarded $4.5 million to a farm to school program!
 
And we’re going to regard that hulking brick building on the east side of Union Square rather differently now that we know  the green that’s on top of it… 
 
Yes and how great that little something that’s been  missing from our New York life has now been remedied…  With the newly founded Burger Appreciation Society!
 

cantharellus-californicus

And now for our holiday serving of animal high-jinks:

Really, who wouldn’t want their own personal bunny letter opener?

What won’t we do for our pets?  Build a cardboard box labyrinthe?  You bet!

A lot of momentary sturm and drang about these hilarious, faux  “skydiving” cats…   (Be sure to read the article below the video window!)

The roster of odd animal friend just keep growing…  This time out, kitty and emu best pals…  (Check out the emu chick’s moves!) 

Add Billie the badger and Pixie the fox to that list…

Oh, yes.  A baby meerkat is second to none in cuteness… 

Just a formality, of course, but it’s always a relief when the president pardons those two turkeys.

In thankful greenness, 

UGS

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Happy Be Well and Walk Week, UESiders!!

(Not so hard for us New Yorkers who cover an average 2-3 miles a day on foot and do it faster (1.75mph) than most of the world’s population!)

As for the 7 days just past, of especial note is the host of awards and commendations accorded Jon Candelaria – the great, young guy who risked his life to save that of a cab driver trapped in a taxi on the flooded FDR – at the Isaacs Residents monthly meeting.

(Awards and commendations presented by just about everyone holding elective office but our mayor…!)

Your Upper East Side neighbors thank you, too,  Jon.

On to the week ahead:

Friday, November 16th:  New York Skies Astronomy Lecture

McBurney House, 125 West 14 Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30pm

The subject this time out:  Our new neighboring planet, alpha Centuri B b.  (That’s its name, not a typo!)  Free to all.

Saturday, November November 17th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

REMEMBERNO COMPOST COLLECTION!

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

Keep in mind, this is the last Saturday you have to make certain your knives are up to snuff for Thanksgiving turkey carving thanks to our own Master Knife Sharpener extraordinaire!

Last weeks’ recycling totals:  44 lbs batteries; 42 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 15 pairs of eye glasses;  20 bags of clothes.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,567 lbs batteries; 844 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 95 pairs of glasses;  376 bags of clothes; 77 7/8 compost bins.

Sunday, November 18th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

One more time:  NO COMPOST COLLECTION! 

At their tables will be  Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Phillips Farm Vegetables, Norwich Meadows and Stannard Farms…  Fingers crossed, Gonzalez Farm and American Seafood make it back, too! 

Last weeks’ recycling totals:   12 lbs batteries; 12 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges.

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 224 lbs batteries; 144 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  40 1/2 compost bins.

Friday, November 16th & Monday, November 19th:  Painting Vegetables, Warts and All

The Horticultural Society of New York,  148 West 37th,  13th Floor, 10am-5pm

Nobody has to tell us how beautiful – even given bumps and odd shapes – the vegetables that we eat can be!  Happily, artist Asuka Hishiki’s classes offer instruction on how to render the not-so-commonplace into art.  Members $150; Non-members $185.  For more and to register or call 212-757-0915 x100.

Friday, November 23rd:  The National Day of Listening

Across America

We’re still pondering the possibility of recording your Sandy experiences at the Sunday, November 25th Greenmarket.  We’ll know one way or the other by next week’s edition, so do stay tuned! 

Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th:  Holiday Candlelight Tours at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, between First & York, 6:30. & 7:30 and 8:30pm on the 7th; 5pm, 6pm & 7pm on the 8th

Experience Christmas as it would have been in 1830…  By candlelight, with period, holiday music provided by the PACC Recorder Consrot and delicious, traditional confections. Members $10; Adults $20; Children under 12 $5.  For more and tickets:  212-838-6878.

As for miscellany:

Just when we think we’ve got a grip on the extent of Sandy’s destructiveness, there’s something new to add to the list…  Like the damage done to the South Street Seaport Museum

But:

Real and hard thinking’s happening as to what we need before the next big one hits us

And if you’re moved to join the army of volunteers who’re aiding folks in need all across our city…  There’re all kinds of opportunities, many quite short term.  (Thank you for forwarding this comprehensive resource, Nansi Barrie.)

And farther afield:

Pakistan’s announced plans to open special schools for poor children, naming them after the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, shot and gravely wounded by the Taliban and now recovering in Britain.  

Infinitely more minor, still:

One of America’s great architects – James Renwick and with many of his finest buildings here in NYC – was born on either November 1st or 11th 194 years ago…

Meanwhile, another UES structure was the subject of Christopher Gray’s last Sunday “Streetscapes“…

Continuing with Christopher Gray, we liked that – contrary to developers’ frequently voiced claims – a landmarked Civil War-era cast-iron building is valued only $10,000 less than the modern replacement for its demolished twin!   

Okay, despite Toyota recalling Priuses over the last couple of days, there’s one storm-affected guy in New Jersey who’s darned happy he owns one… 

But why weren’t our cars electric in the first place?

Courtesy of the USDA, check out holiday food safety tips online or order print versions

Believe it or not, but Consumer Reports tests of name-brand blueberry products found many contain everything but

Three cheers for the young Orlando, Florida couple who gained the right to have a vegetable garden in the suburban front yard!!

We do need animals now:

Kudos to Los Angeles which, this week, passed an ordinance banning the retail sale of animals born in puppy, kitten and bunny mills!  In future, L.A. pet stores will be offering rescue animals! 

What happens to birds during big storms?  (For sure, the pigeons who, given rain, huddle under the 5th floor cornice of the building across the street  were missing at the height of Sandy, but back shortly thereafter.)

Seems now that there’s a market for rarified honeys, there’s also a need for a pollen detective!

Who’d have thought a great big, beautiful St. Bernard would be frightened by…  stairs?!  (Be patient; let it play!)

We sign off with a pretty darned fabulous demonstration of a human/animal trust/bond, the adorable, bicycle riding cat

Cross green fingers composting returns Thanksgiving weekend,

UGS 

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Greetings, you hardy, resilient UESiders!

Some last nine 9 days!  A storm, a nor’easter and Mr. Weather’s additional, little gift of huge, wet snowflakes…

Yet, unbelievably, in spite of the wretched Sandy, the Riverkeeper’s November 2nd test of NYC waters was pretty darned good and not even comparatively!

Go figure.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t already read, The Times weighed in well on challenging – but necessary – changes we need to make in expectation of more, inevitable weather events.  

On to the dryer, warmer week coming up:

Now through Monday, December 31st:  The Annual New York Cares Winter Coat Drive

Bring those clean, warm coats clogging your closets to the New York Cares warehouse at 157 West 31st, any NYPD precinct house or any New York Public Library branch!

Saturday, November November 10th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Remember:  NO COMPOST collection.

Look for  American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Fresh Radish, Feather Ridge, Cherry Lane, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms to be back at their tables with their usual, fabulous edibles!

As already noted but it bears repeating:  There’re only 2 more weeks for our Master Knife Sharpener extraordinaire to ready your knives for Thanksgiving carving…  And maybe just a couple more after that till cold weather ends her 2012 season!  

Last 2 weeks’ recycling totals:  89 lbs batteries; 41 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of eye glasses; October 27th collection:  17 bags of clothes; 5 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,523 lbs batteries; 802 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 80 pairs of glasses;  356 bags of clothes; 77 7/8 compost bins.

Sunday, November 11th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

Yet again:  NO COMPOST collection.                                

With us will be our full cast of great farmers, bakers and fisherman:  Bread Alone, Gonzalez Farm,  Meredith’s Bakery, Phillips Farm Vegetables, Norwich Meadows and Stannard Farms and American Seafood. 

Fingers crossed some tomatoes survived the slushy snow!!

Last 2 weeks’ recycling totals:   31 lbs batteries; 5 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; October 28th collection, 3 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 212 lbs batteries; 132 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  1 pair eye glasses; 40 1/2 compost bins.

Friday, November 23rd:  The National Day of Listening

Across America

Established by the great folks at StoryCorps and this year dedicated to tales told by those who’ve served in the military, more locally – as on the UES – we’re contemplating recording your experiences during and after Sandy.  Stay tuned…

Now for this week’s dose of miscellany, beginning with just a bit more on the Sandy Effect:

As per the New York Observer:  While many rooftop gardens escaped the floods and endured the winds , it wasn’t just plants in the line of fire. “The bees got washed away, flooded out,” said the chief operating officer of Brooklyn Grange, which had the city’s largest commercial apiary. “It was pretty devastating.”

And then:

Why are we not surprised that – given the scope of fracking in the USA – that there’s now a glut of natural gas?  (Likely only until such time as cities like NYC are so committed to its use that we’ll be hostage to price escalation at whim.)

And just in case we needed another reason to be eating what our enlightened, traditional, local farmers grow

Or even another reason… 

Moving to the bright side now:

Yet another U.S. city’s banned plastic bags!  Yup, as of February 2013, West Hollywood, California will prohibit  the use of single-use carryout shopping bags at the point of sale from all pharmacy, grocery and retail stores!  

Meanwhile, Norweigans are such epic recyclers, they’re now importing garbage from elsewhere in Europe to run their waste-to-energy plants!

Here in the USA, with e- and re-election of many wind power advocates, extention of the renewable energy tax credit seems probable.

Closer still to home, we now have the new Municipal Art Society Guide to how to green our city’s historic (pre-1940) rowhouses.  

NY Magazine’s recent article on varieties of (beautiful) wild mushrooms now appearing in some markets is worth a look… 

As is The Times piece on the numerous centenarians living on an obscure Greek Island

Yes, really, how did the whisk come to be?

We were particularly impressed by the professionalism and kindness of the poll workers we encountered on East 61st Street (they were even wearing suits!) and reminded of them by this lovely StoryCorps interview

As for things animal – shaggy, finned and scaled – this week:

Some nerve!  Sandy also ruined the Bronx Zoo’s celebration of National Bison Day (November 1st)! 

You’ve done it before…  They need you to do it again:  The Atlantic Menhaden – the fish that is essential to the diet of so many others – needs your help to become a protected species

The creatures in the care of the New York Aquarium could really use all of our assistance as well…

The Hudson River Almanac provides on last reminder as to how hard old Sandy was on all living things:

10/29 – Manhattan, HRM 5.5:  I was watching the Hudson River around midday and spotted a black scoter and five dunlin.  All these birds were struggling hard to fly up river against the very strong winds.    – Anders Peltomaa

Firming our resolve to be greener now than ever before,

UGS

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