Greetings, UESiders!

Happy Edgar Allen Poe’s birthday!!   

The gentleman would be 204 if he was still with us…  Actually, he still is with us New Yorkers (and beyond his literary legacy) in the form of the beautifully restored Poe’s Cottage in the Bronx. 

But we digress from the stranger-than-truth nature notes we intended to commence this week’s edition with.

And so…

The weather was warm last week, yes?  In fact, so warm that if you walk down the north side of 68th between Lex and Park you’ll see a forsythia bush in full bloom!

Weirder still was the sight of bright green parrots – a whole flock of them – roosting in the barren trees on the east side of First Avenue between 116th and 117th.  Next trip up to Target/Costco, check them out.

On to the week ahead:

Friday, January 18th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

The subject this time out:  Einstein’s outrageous legacy, the blackhole…  Defined as a place that, in spite of its size or mass, cannot be seen…  A notion first (and incredibly) described in 1780 by John Michell.   Free.

Saturday, January 19th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

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

Delighted to say that – as they were during the winter months last year –  Ballard Honey is back at a table, as well!

Last week’s recycling totals:  55 lbs batteries;  38 #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 15 bags of clothes ;  5 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  100 lbs batteries; 92 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 25 bags of clothes; 9 1/2 compost bins.

Wednesday, January 23rd: Community Solar 101 Webinar

2pm

Don’t have to leave the comforts of home and computer to learn the nuts and bolts of making solar a reality in our communities.  Free.  For more details and to sign up

Around the bend:

Wednesday, February 6th:  Stormwater Management Best Practices for Community Gardens and Homeowners

Watson Educational Building, New York Botanical Garden,  2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 6-8pm

Conserve water and help prevent flooding and pollution from the drenching storms that’ve become all-too common in NYC.  Free but registration required… 

Saturday, February 9th:  Make Your Own Vegan Anti-Aging Products: Workshop

New York Botanical Garden Midtown Center, 20 West 44th Street, between Fifth and Sixth, 10 am

Discover the raw, vegan, herbs, plants and essential oils that keep skin its most healthy and youthful.  A bargain at (Members) $79 and (Non-members) $85.  For further details and to reserve a space

Monday, February 11th:  Urban Green Council Building Tour

50 West 66th Street, 8-9 am

Get up close and personal with what a LEED Silver building is all about…  In this case an erstwhile armory now home to a multi-media company (read ABC).   Council members, $10;   non-members, $15.  For more details and tickets

Way, waaaaaayyyyyy out there:

Saturday, June 23rd – Thursday, June 27th:  Rails to Trails Conservancy 2012 Great Greenway Sojourn

Great Alleghany Passage from Pittsburgh to Cumberland

And we quote, “Part bicycle ride, part trail-building program, the Sojourn celebrates newly opened trails and promotes the completion of others to create regional trail systems.  For the whole family and a beautiful thing. Adults, $575;  children 16 and under, $475.  For reservations and more

Let’s get some miscellaneous matters of UES concern out of the way first:

You recall our noting last week that elements on Community Board 8’s Transportation Committee had taken a position against what they consider to be “noisy” crosswalk signals – to assist the sight impared – on especially busy and wide 72nd, 79th, 86th and 96th.  Really.  Must have super-natural ears.  These individuals then managed to have installation of the signals postponed pending “further information”.  If you think disabled folks would be well-served by this assistance, you can write info@cb8m.com. 

Yes, it’s now been confirmed that the trailer than suddenly appeared on the ramp bisecting Asphalt Green is property of Skanska, the construction firm contracted to build the proposed and hotly contested 91st Street MTS.  For more… 

Incredibly and with the usual claims that improved service will result, Lenox Hill Hospital appears to have decided to end its paramedic service!

Council Member Lapppin’s put together an online petition in support of Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act.  Should you wish to sign

Meanwhile, there’s a big push on for DOE to establish a much needed area middle school in the presently vacant PS158… 

Farther afield:

In the what can they be thinking department, the FDA seems to be moving towards allowing the sale of unlabeled genetically modified salmon.  If you think this is unwise… 

Not that we’d wish our challenges on others, but the same great minds that would build the 91st MTS would construct a $200 million garbage truck garage on First Avenue and 25th Street…  Some kind of harmonious fit with the 3 neighboring hospitals!

Grrrr…  Think – in 2013 – all our new NYC buildings are energy efficient…  Especially if a given building’s LEED???  Think again

Wherever it is in our city, it’s always a humungous drag to hear that a landmark’s status is being appealed…  In this case the Lower East Side’s Beth Hamedrash Hagadol Synogogue…  Particularly sad given the amazing history the building has

Calling all High Line lovers (and whom of us isn’t)!!  Proposed developments along its route may incredibly decrease the fabulous openness/views…

For a thorough resume of the recent Sallan Foundation/NYIT Not Your Grandma’s (NYC) Infrastructure conference

Okay.  Enough.  On the much brighter side:

For those in search of meaningful employment, Solar One has just announced five openings in green employment

And head’s up, you older workers…  Google’s signed the AARP pledge to recruit from diverse age groups!

NYState’s also looking for Environmental Conservation Officers

And there’s more environmental good news:

In last week’s State of the State address, Governor Cuomo committed $150 million per year to solar for the next 10 years!

Daylight’s the new state-of-the-art retrofit for New York’s commercial buildings and could reduce power bills by as much as $70 million.  For more from Green Light New York’s illuminating analysis of the subject

You’ve been spotted up there on that balcony in downpours and snow checking on your burgers and New York strips and, for sure, Bobby Flay has nothing on you…  Still,  Consumer Reports has some tips for even the most accomplished winter griller

And the Green Roof of the Week is atop Philadelphia’s glorious, new and green-in-so many-ways Barnes Foundation. 

Want to know what your Greenmarket farmers will likely have on hand via your ear buds?  Wish granted on Heritage (online) Radio!   (New broadcasts posted every Thursday at 1:45pm.) 

More east coast wind turbines coming on line…  This time in Gloucester, MA

Pale Male and kindred redtailed hawks have done their best to keep our hordes of pigeons under control, but out in California they’ve deployed professional avian enforcement

Hard to imagine Third Avenue with an elevated train running down its center or living in a building on either side…  But courtesy of reader Jack Donaghy this rather artful look at what once was…  

For those of you unfamiliar with The Conservationist, NYState’s ovely environmental magazine, this article about the Museum of Natural History’s recent, extraorginary renovation is a worthy introduction…  (Our favorite visual:  applying highlights to Alaskan bear fur!)

Courtesy of The Times’ Sam Roberts the recommended book, “My Life in America Before, During and After the Civil War”, the beautifully detailed autobiography of German immigrant Louis Hensel…  Much of that life spent in 19th Century NYC.

With winter and our being more reliant on store-bought produce, a refresher on what’s essential to buy organic… 

And what foods pack the most and best nutrition for the shopper’s dollar

Green for sure, but also a laughably terrible idea…  Snowmaking with sewage effluent…  Yikes!

 You bet, we hear you…  Bring on the animals:

If we were a corgi, we’d want a  corgi snow tunnel, too…

And if we were a cat, we’d be really curious about our (undoubtedly aristocratic) ancestry

Precious little snow again this winter and when the white stuff came, it was pretty much a drag the minute we had to trudge to work in it…  But tell that to this ecstatic little red panda!

Once again we leave you with an excerpt from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/6 – New York Harbor, Lower Bay:   It was unseasonably warm as we sailed through Buttermilk Channel, on to the Erie Basin and out past the Verrazano Narrows to Swinburne and Hoffman Islands…  All abundant with life…  Brant, gadwall, red-breasted mergansers, buffleheads, and a great cormorant….  A red-throated loon and a peregrine falcon…  More buffleheads, some greater scaup, and three fly-by Bonaparte’s Gulls… Long-tailed ducks, common and red-throated loons and northern gannets…  But the highlight was the dozen or so harbor seals bobbing curiously around the boat.  –  Gabriel Willow

Evergreener,

UGS

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