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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