Monthly Archives: December 2012

Holiday joy, UESiders!

And merry first day of winter!

It’s slipped our minds the two weeks since, but as it happens, this sweet, whimsical moment’s a  better fit with this happy time… Market Wedding

We don’t know the names of the bride and groom…  We have no idea why they specially requested that they be photographed at the American Seafood table…  But we all know Father Angelo who united these two in matrimony!

May the newlyweds have a long and satisfying life together!

(Thanks, Ms. Master Knife Sharpener Hess, for knowing this was a photo that had to be taken!)

On to week ahead:

Saturday, December 22nd:   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.

As in years past, the Opera Collective will filling the air with their beautiful voices and songs of the season from 11am to 1pm…    Stop by, help yourself to coffee and a take a chair! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  52 lbs batteries; 38 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; (12/1) 12 and (12/8) 15 bags of clothes ;  3 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,810 lbs batteries; 1,052 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges; 108 pairs of glasses;  413 bags of clothes; 86 7/8 compost bins.

Nearing a ton of batteries, people!!

Sunday, December 23rd:   92nd Street Greenmarket

The last 92nd Street Greenmarket of the 2012! 

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

At their tables will be  Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery,  Stannart and Gleblocki Farms and Troncillito Farm and Orchard. 

And, yes!  Of course!  The Opera Collective with be caroling from 11am – 1pm! 

Remember last year and how so many market shoppers joined in the singing, too?!

(A cup of hot market cider does wonders for the voice…)   

Last weeks’ recycling totals:   4 lbs batteries; 8 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 2 compost bins!

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 283 lbs batteries; 200 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  50 1/2 compost bins.

That’s right!  50 1/2 bins of compost!!

92nd Street returns in June 2013!

In the meantime, your compost is welcome at 82nd Street on Saturdays, 9am – 1pm. 

Meanwhile, in the nearer future:

Friday, January 11th:  “Shellshocked” Screening

Rockefeller Research Laboratory, 430 East 67th Street, 6-8pm

Know you’ve always been wondering about the history – their decline and reintroduction – of NYC’s oyster population!  (They’re also helping us toward a cleaner estuary and harbor.)  Free.  For more info…  

Miscellaneous glad tidings:

The 1.3 million inhabitants of Antonio, Texas (our 7th largest city and one of the fastest growing in the country) have committed themselves to a zero waste program!  

Tap into the Greener Gadgets site and recycle your dead electronics wherever you may be in the U.S.A.

A study released by the Consumer Electronics Association finds that nine out of 10 consumers feel it is important to recycle consumer electronics! 

While conventional power generation plants reeled from Sandy, renewables barely missed a beat!

The Charlotte, N.C. Airport’s 50-foot long worm composting program has reduced waste going to landfill by 70%! 

Not even vaguely environmental but:

Okay, we know you are so hip that you are definitely among the 250 million plus folks who’ve watched “Gangnam Style”.  So, be cooler still now by taking in the best of the many inevitable spoofs:  NASA Johnson Style, featuring a couple of astronauts!  

Just one worthy animal tidbit this week…  Yes, from the Hudson River Almanac:

12/11 – Town of Poughkeepsie, HRM 68.5:  As I was preparing to address a class of third-graders about bald eagles, we glanced out the window to the edge of their playground…  Where a bald eagle suddenly swooped down and perched in a black locust tree.  Try as I might, I couldn’t convince the kids I hadn’t somehow arranged the appearance.    – Tom Lake

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

UES

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Greetings, UESiders!

Nothing more pleasant than giving praise where praise is due and, therefore, kudos to Council Member Garodnick for the pivotal role he played in new legislation establishing bench marks for the amount of space new buildings of 5 or more floors must provide for recycling bins and materials.

Thank you, Dan! 

And a mighty fine to begin a pre-holiday week:

Saturday, December 15th:   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.

Samascott with be coming with poinsettia plants this week!

Last week’s recycling totals:  51 lbs batteries; 42 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; (12/1) 12 and (12/8) 10 bags of clothes ;  (12/1) 6 and (12/8) 3 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,758 lbs batteries; 1,014 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.

More than a half-ton of #5, corks, filters, cartridges, etc.!!!

Saturday, December 15th:  Budding Masters Gingerbread House Workshop

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 2-4pm
 
Everything an 8 to 12-year old needs to know to design, bake and decorate great and tasty gingerbread architecture.   Tickets:  $75 which also includes a ticket and all-garden pass for an accompanying adult.  For more details… 

Sunday, December 16th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be  Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery,  Stannart and Gleblocki Farms and Troncillito Farm and Orchard from Ulster County.

Do we ever recommend Bread Alone’s maple twists!

Last weeks’ recycling totals:   8 lbs batteries; 12 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 2 compost bins!

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 279 lbs batteries; 192 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  48 1/2 compost bins.

No way you’re not hitting 50 compost bins!!

Saturday, January 12th:  Mulchfest!

Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street & East End Avenue, 10am – 2pm
 
Drop off that Christmas tree and give it another and so useful life…  Being mulch in our city’s parks!   (Just make sure you remove all ornaments and lights!) 

Saturday, January 12th:  NYC H2O Watershed Relief Map Presentation

Queens Museum of Art, Flushing Meadows Corona Park,
Queens, 12pm

We’ve noted this extraordinary 1939 map created for the 1939 World’s Fair in an earlier edition, when it first went on exhibition after rediscovery in a dusty pump house and some years of painstaking repair.  Now’s your chance to appreciate its full wonder (it is, after all, now residing in a museum of art) under the guidance of Matt Malina, H2O’s education director.  Totally family friendly.  Free (with $5 museum entrance).  For details, reservations and directions

Let’s get a fat lot of miscellaneous whinging out of the way:

Of course, it pales in comparison to what’s happened out at Breezy Point and in the Rockaways, but still Sandy left its mark on the UES’s vulnerable shoreline, inspiring some rethinking of the design of and what’s planted on our Esplanade… 

Chalk another one up to Sandy…  Bike sharing’s debut has been pushed back again and the number of available bikes reduced.

We hesitate to use the term extortionate and, yes, it has been a free service to the community for many years, but the Doe Fund’s now saying they’ll no longer be cleaning 86th Street unless they receive $300,000 annually.

Our mayor says they’re needed for emergencies, but they should be more modern and cool so he’s launching a design challenge to reinvent the pay phone.  We ask:  (1) do they have UES emergencies west of Lex (where pay phones are few if at all while on First there can be as many as 3 per block) and (2) if every single NYC surface should be covered in advertising (the #1 train’s now covered with ipad ads!) and (3) how about a phone-of-the-future that’s self-repairing and – better still – self-cleaning? 

If you haven’t familiarized yourself with City Planning’s new vision for the Grand Central area, here’s the short course that also includes the many distinguished buildings that would likely be doomed  

They’ve been out there for a while, but the demands for  bike-specific traffic lights in Central Park are growing louder…

It began with med students at Vanderbilt and now Newark Mayor Cory Booker‘s just finished the obligatory seven days of the SNAP Challenge…  During which one eats food that costs a grand total of $3 a day…  The amount allocated by the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (AKA food stamp) to recipients.  

Meanwhile, a Consumer Reports’ study of pork found concerning amounts of unfriendly bacteria in samples purchased across the country.  

Semi-lighter note:

Courtesy of Crain’s, a compilation of fascinating NYC statistics

We quite agree…  Some adorable animals are what’s needed now:

Sure we knew bunnies could be best buds with cats…  But that they washed their own ears?!

New studies have revealed decided differences – from shy to bold within the same species – in bird personalities

But we always knew how smart and determined some cats are…  

We’ll close with another excerpt from the Hudson River Almanac:

12/2 – Ulster County, HRM 69:  Early morning along  Rondout Creek, I spotted a large flock of snow geese (800-1,000 birds) that’d stopped overnight in a field of corn stubble. The geese were happily gleaning leftover corn in preparation for the day’s flight.  At first it didn’t register that they were birds; I took them for scattered snow drifts.  Later in the day, the field was empty.  –  Sarah Underhill

We’re dreaming of the greenest holidays ever,

UGS

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Greetings,  you market-loving UESiders!

And it’s that time of the year to tell the powers-that-be at Community Board 8’s Street Fairs Committee how much the 82nd and 92nd Street Greenmarkets contribute to our quality of life so that they approve your market’s existence for another great year! 

Doesn’t have to be a long and you can either email or let the USPS deliver your letter of support to:

Community Board 8 Manhattan/Street Fair Committee
505 PArk Avenue
Suite 620
New York, NY 10022

Just get them in by December 10th…  And know that these letters are essential 

On to what the rest of the coming week has in store:

Saturday, December 8th:   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.

If you haven’t experienced Rabbit’s Run’s lavendar hand cream…

Last week’s recycling totals:  43 lbs batteries; 48 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; bags of clothes and compost – TBA.

(A new record for #5/ etc!)

YTD (from 1/7/12) totals: 1,707 lbs batteries; 972 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 9th:   92nd Street Greenmarket

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

At their tables will be  Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery,  Stannart and Gleblocki Farms and Troncillito Farm and Orchard from Ulster County.

(Amazing that Stannart and Troncillito’s apple ciderss are so different and both so great!)

Last weeks’ recycling totals:   36 lbs batteries; 10 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones and cartridges; 3 compost bins!

YTD (from 6/17/12) totals: 271 lbs batteries; 180 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords, CDs/DVDs, jewel cases, cellphones, cartridges;  46 1/2 compost bins.

Tuesday, December 11th:  Share and Share Alike – New Applications for Collaboration & Resource Optimization

Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC44 Charlton Street, 7-9pm

Shocking really that the average home power drill is used on average a grand total of 6 to 13 minutes over its lifetime…  Suggesting that sharing – and not just of tools –  might be a smart move.  Hear more on the subject courtesy of this Solar One and NYC ACRE-sponsored panel discussion.   For more info

Thursday, December 13th and Saturday, December 15th:  Occupy Bernini 

Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street,  10am on the 13th and 11am on the 15th

A private tour of the Met’s great new exhibition “Bernini: Sculpting in Clay” led by scholar, neighbor and market friend/shopper Paul Werner.  $50 (with some flexibility).  For more info and reservations:  werner@theorangepress.com

Thursday, December 13th:  Children’s March to the Mayor

Meet at the Sun Dial Plaza at Asphalt Green,  90th Street between York and East End Avenues, 3:45pm

Across the city, hundred of children have written the mayor, telling him why they think the proposed 91st Street garbage station shouldn’t be built and the 13th is the day the kids be  delivering their letters to him at Gracie Mansion.  If  your young ones haven’t yet taken pen in hand, of course it’d be great if they did and joined in making the delivery, too!  For further details/instructions… 

Waaaay out there:   

February 3rd. 10th, 17th & 24th OR March 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th:  Urban Beekeeping 101

York Prep, 40 West 68th Street, 11am – 2pm

Twelve class hours of apian theory and 1 practical lesson (date TBA) conducted by New York Bee Keeping Association members with a collective 50 years experience.  $200.  For further details

As for latest collection of miscellany:

Okay, let’s get this grimness out of the way:  Post-Sandy and thanks to our decrepit and poorly sited treatment system, a pretty darned unbelievable and unpardonable amount of raw sewage found its way into our New York waters

No surprise that Sandy isn’t the last bad storm New Yorkers will endure, but it’s reassuring to hear Con Ed’s CEO acknowledge the inevitable and that preparation for it must be made.

Meanwhile there’s been yet another failure in a slurry pond – this time in West Virginia – containing zillions of gallons of coal sludge.  If you disapprove of way of storing mine waste, you can say so… 

In the You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Department, we give you a special deer hunt organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and bird conservancy organizations for  physically challenged individuals and their assistants.  The environmental slant:  The hunters will be using bullets with no lead content!  Has to be read… 

Talk about a polar opposite:

Follow Santa’s progress from his workshop to your snowy roof and chimney via the Official Norad Santa Tracker Site!

Guess what?  Madison Square Park was site of the first public tree lighting in America!  And this marks the celebration’s 100th year anniversary!!

Leaning greener:

As for the holiday lighting at your own home:  If you haven’t already, switch out those old strings of multicolored bulbs for safer, energy and money saving LEDs.

Nice to approach the year’s end  knowing the Interior Department’s offering leases for new wind farms off the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia… 

Last Sunday’s “60 Minutes” covered the story, too, but here’s the Mother Nature Network’s take on the first entirely solar powered plane and the two remarkable men responsible for its design and upcoming round-the-world flight.  

Really like this ultra-modern green wall design

Not that beauty’s all there is to the vertical medium…   A new University of Washington project is designed to  discover the extent to which green walls can promote biodiversity, reduce energy use and produce food!

No question but that we’re all only too aware of all the distress and need that there is in our city and in the world, but given the punishment that New York’s greenery has suffered of late, you might consider a gift to TreesNY, the folks who train us ordinary citizens how to care for the trees on our streets and in our parks.

For those looking to make a contribution of another kind, the Municipal Art Society is now accepting applications for its 2013 (volunteer) Docent Program.  To learn more

History doesn’t get more local than “Yorkville Twins”, the memoir of Gindeles brothers and their early life on and around East 81st Street during the 1940’s. 50’s and 60’s.  

By the way, it’s official now:  The U.S. Government assures us the world will not be ending on December 21st!

Animals?  You bet!  And we’re heavy on birds this time out:

Opening with the Bird of the Week…  A beautiful little creature with the most piercing gaze ever:  The Allpahuayo Antbird.

Cornell’s Ornithology Lab’s now completed digitization of their audio collection and put it online!  For a choice sampling…  (For example, these two:  the oldest recorded bird sound and the youngest bird recorded, an ostrich chick still in its shell!) 

And in return, Cornell’d most appreciate those of you with bird feeders counting the feather friends who stop by the fill up on seeds this winter.  To learn more about/sign up for – what else would it be called? – Project Feeder Watch… 

The Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count is coming up, too…  An event with some real history, related here by the Hudson River Almanac:

11/30 – Hudson Valley: The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is America’s longest running citizen-science effort and is held throughout the country in the weeks around Christmas. It replaces the Victorian era “side-shoot,” during which guests went out to shoot as many different bird and mammal species as possible on Christmas Day. In 1900, ornithologist Frank Chapman organized a group of friends to observe, count and share information about bird species without shooting them. The National Audubon Society, which Chapman helped organize, now sponsors this annual tradition. As an enlightened alternative, thousands of people go out to count and document as many bird species as their group can in a sporting, competitive way. The result has been the gathering of significant data which has monitored changes in bird populations and distribution over the years.    –  Rich Guthrie  

For how to participate in the Count in our area… 

We leave you with a cat investigating things vinyl (check out the tail)… 

And the cutest napping bulldog puppy

Our best,

UGS

 

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