Monthly Archives: February 2013

Happy Alligators in New York Sewers Day, UESiders!

Okay, so the actual date is February 9th and we discovered  its existence only this past Monday but, really, we say this is an occasion that demands recognition, even if on the tardy side!

All joking aside and infinitely more deserving of our attention during this Black History Month is the Place Matters’ distinguished choice for February:  Fort Greene’s P.S. 67 Charles A. Dorsey School.   (Read every word!)

May the thermometer stay above 32F this coming week:

Saturday, February 16th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – lpm 

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

And, yes, the new market promotion continues…  Just introduce/refer a friend/friends to the market and earn prizes for yourself!   See Market Manager Emma for details!

AND…  Through the end of March, Greenmarket doubles WIC Fruit and Vegetable benefits!   Spend a $6, $10, or $15 check and receive an equal amount in FREE Greenmarket Bucks to spend on market fruits and vegetables. 

Last week’s recycling totals:  57 lbs batteries;  46 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges;  16 bags of clothes;  6 3/4 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  317 lbs batteries; 270 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eye glasses; 90 bags of clothes; 32 3/4 compost bins.

Can’t get over those 6 3/4 bins!!

Saturday, March 9th:  SHRED-A-THON – Pre-St. Patrick’s Day Edition

Curbside, St. Stephen of Hungary Church, 82nd Street between First & York, 10am – 2pm

What we’ll take:

Paper of any and every kind!

But please NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.  (But we’ll take your paperbacks.)

(Thank you, Council Member Lappin, for your generous grant!)

sea buckthorn

sea buckthorn

Miscellany…  And all over the lot:

Apologies but we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that the NYState sites where the frackers would like to drill have been identified…  In a publication entitled – yikes! –  Marcellus Drilling News!

But then, there’s a competition we like:

Heartened as we are by Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed styrofoam ban, London’s Boris Johnson’s intending to ban all but electric and low emission vehicles from central London!

(If you need to read up on what Mayor B. has in mind…) 

A shout out to General Motors, too, for offering a downloadable blueprint summarizing its process for making its plants and facilities landfill free…  This to help companies of all sizes and  industries reduce waste through reuse, recycling or energy recovery! 

To AERC Recycling Solutions and GTC, as well…  Two companies which’ve devised a method for recovering rare earth metals from burned out fluorescent bulbs!  (This after the mercury’s been removed.)

More electronic recycling alternatives from reader Jenifer Grant and we quote:

“I recycle all my electronics through Dell Reconnect http://dellreconnect.com.   The Goodwill on Second and 88th/89th takes just about everything (call first to make sure) and donations are tax deductible as charitable donations.  The proceeds from the recycling go to Goodwill.”

(Not for a second have we thrown in the towel on our own local events!)

More dry cleaners all over our city say they’re green (seems to go with the gentrified and the gentrifying).   Here’s how to determine how genuine those claims are

Then there’s Consumer Reports’ ratings of disposable/biodegradable plates…   (Chinet, etc.)

Nice to hear that some Minnesota graffiti artists have made a commitment to recycling their empty cans   (Hope our locals join in…  Along with being more respectful of what they “decorate”.)

Why wouldn’t have trees have history, too?

Japanese Red Maple

Japanese Red Maple

When Swedish doctor-botanist Carl Thunberg travelled  to the largely unknown Japan in the late Eighteenth Century, he smuggled out drawings of a small tree that would eventually become synonymous with the high art of oriental gardens.   The first specimen of the tree reached England in 1820 and was named Acer palmatum after the hand-like shape of its leaves.   (For more…)

While we’re in the garden, here’re a couple of very eco DIY sprays for pesky bugs

And why shouldn’t there be recycling thieves?  Indeed, 6 wild and crazy guys in Tennessee are charged with stealing tractor trailer loads of scrap metal worth $1.8 million! 

Meanwhile, a 100-plus miles to our north…

2/7 – Schenectady, HRM 157:  A team of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists tested a new ice-imaging system for polar transport aircraft on the Hudson River today at dawn…  The Hudson, its frozen surface more like layers of mica than ice as it caught the light.  – Margie Turrin, Lamont Science IcePod Team

Yes, yes…  Time for those animals:

So good to hear that the decidedly uncuddly wolverine is nigh on to getting federal protection!

Joining the list of unlikely animal BFFs are – hard as it is to believe – dogs and cheetahs!

Aristotle believed that swallows hibernated in the mud of ponds like frogs and ascribed the similar seasonal disappearances of doves and kites to hibernationa as well.  Indeed, over the centuries, naturalists and scientists were puzzled by what they perceived as the sudden arrival of bird species from lands unknown.

We’re seeing green tips of daffodils everywhere,

UGS  

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Greetings, UESiders!

Ah…  Our Saturday market life returns to its usual rhythm…  Fish…  Scones…  Steak…  Chicken…  Goat Cheese…  Honey…  Apples and Cider…  Salad Greens, Onions and Winter Squash…  Compost collection…  Recycling…  Cooking Demos…

And ZERO SNOW!

May your Valentine’s Day have been all you wished…

pholistoma-auritum

pholistoma-auritum

A wonderful week lies ahead:

Saturday, February 16th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – lpm 

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

Just in case it slipped your mind, there’s the new market promotion…  Introduce/refer a friend/friends to the market shopping experience and there’ll be prizes for you!   Market Manager Emma has all the details!

AND…  This Saturday through the end of March, Greenmarket will double the value of WIC Fruit and Vegetable benefits!   Folks who spend a $6, $10, or $15 check will receive an equal amount in FREE Greenmarket Bucks to spend on fruits and veggies (at the market, of course!). 

Last week’s recycling totals:  BLIZZARD-ED OUT!!

YTD (from 1/5/13):  262 lbs batteries; 224 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eye glasses; 74 bags of clothes; 26 compost bins.

(Can’t imagine how much compost there’ll be this week!) 

Friday, February 15th through Monday, February 18th:  Audubon’s Great Background Bird Count

The Comfort Of Your Own Home

Calling citizen scientists everywhere…  Be you budding or veteran and taking as little as 15 minutes of your day!  Amazing how much the combined efforts of folks across the world will add to our knowledge of wonderful birds!  For full details and to participate…  

Tuesday, February 19th:  Adventures of the Urban Birder

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 6pm

The Urban Birder being one David Lindo – author, founder of the Tower 42 Bird Study Group and the first dedicated migration watch situated atop a skyscraper, BBC bird expert and regular on the network –  who’s wandered the world’s cities in search of not-so-hidden birdlife.   Free.

Thursday, February 21st: Winterthur – The Last Wild Garden

Ross Hall, New York Botanical Garden, 2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 10am-12pm

Chris Strand, director of Winterthur’s museum and grounds,  fills us in on what it takes to keep the legendary garden…  well… legendary.   Members $35.  Non-members, $31.  For more and to reserve a seat

Tuesday, February 26th:  Post-Sandy Threats to Hudson River Estuary

Sea Farers International House, 123 East 15th Street, 6:30pm

Westway activist Marcy Benstock leads a briefing on attempts to amend the Hudson River Park Act, alterations that could harm marine habitats and the beloved greenway by allowing building out into the water.   (No solace that elsewhere in our city, waterfront and neighborhoods are also under threat.)   Free.

Saturday, March 2nd:  Remembering Ada Louise Huxtable in Midtown, Part I

Meeting place revealed with ticket purchase, 11am

Architectural Historian Matt Postal retraces one of the tours described in pre-eminent architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable’s classic book, “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City” and includes residential and office buildings around Grand Central Terminal as well as Turtle Bay.  Organized by the Municipal Art Society.  Members, $15.  Non-members, $20.  For more and to reserve a place

Sunday, March 3rd:  Notable Women of Uptown Trinity Church Cemetery Tour

Meeting place revealed with ticket purchase, 11am 

Yes, Hizzoner Ed Koch was laid to rest here just days ago…  But there’re any number of astonishing ladies also interred in our city’s only cemetery honored as a National Register of Historic Place.  Another Municipal Art Society walking tour, this one led by historian and author Eric K. Washington.  Members, $15.  Non-member, $20.  For more and tickets

Friday, March 8th:  Audubon’s Aviary – Part I of the Complete Flock

 New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th

And we quote, “The first of a sweeping three-part series that, over three years, will feature all 474 stunning avian watercolors by John James Audubon from the permanent collection, alongside engaging state-of-the-art media installations that will provide a deeper understanding of the connection between art and nature.”  Can’t wait!   Adults, $15.  Seniors, $12.  Students, $10.  Children 5-12, $5.  Children under 5 enter free.  For more… 

Saturday, March 9th:  SHRED-A-THON – Pre-St. Patrick’s Day Edition

Curbside, St. Stephen of Hungary Church, 82nd Street between First & York, 10am – 2pm

Memory refresher…

Paper of any and every kind…

Although we discourage handled shopping bags.

Please remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.  (But we’ll take your paperbacks.)

Thank you, Council Member Lappin, for the generous grant to Upper Green Side that’s made yet more UES shredding possible!

Saturday, March 9th:  NYH2O Yonkers Sewage Plant Tour

Yonkers Sewage Plant, Yonkers, 10am

Once again,  we quote:  “Ever wonder what happens to water after it leaves your house? Here is your opportunity to find out…  Come along as we “follow the flow” of sewage as it gets treated in the plant and find out what happens to the end product.   Yes, water enthusiast Matt Malina is at it again!  For more details and to reserve a place:   mm1566@nyu.edu.

 

Wednesday, March 13th:  Passive House, Row House, Geothermal, Oh MY!

The Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street,  9am – 1:30pm

No reason that wonderful, historic building of yours  can’t be green as all get out and the Historic District’s ready to get you on that righteous path!   Members, $100.  Non-members, $125.   Reservations required:  ashedd@hdc.org or 212-614-9107.

parkia-timoriana

parkia-timoriana

Out of the box, a truly miscellaneous tip (courtesy of reader Kerin Ferallo):

Amazing this is the first we hear of non-profit Film Biz Recycling out in Gowanus…  The gist of which is:   Films and TV shows donate production materiel which Film Biz either passes on to charities or sells in its own shop.  We’re talking an amazing mix of any and everything to be found in or around sets…  From cactuses to electric chairs!   For a taste… 

On a more serious note:

For those not familiar with the mayor’s newly minted plan to refashion the area around Grand Central (subject of March 2nd’s Municipal Art Society walking tour), herewith The Times editorial. 

Along with a survey fielded by Council Member Dan Garodnick that lets us weigh in on that plan

The 14th’s come and gone, but go ahead…  Take the Straphangers Campaign’ s Valentine Survey anyway!

Be great if you’d stand up for threatened Alaskan salmon, too

Mighty fine news that GE’s now the world leader in wind turbine manufacture!

And that worldwide wind power grew 20% in 2012!

Here at home, the 55 schools participating in Solar One’s Green Design Lab Energy Competition reduced electricity consumption by an average 8% and they’ve still got 2 months till the finish line!  (Some schools reduced their power consumption by 20%!)

Okay, so Madison Square Garden’s looking to put up 77- foot LED signs on the building.  On the plus side, at least a little bit of the place’s horrendous architecture would be obscured.  On the negative…  Well, they want to put up 77 foot signs.   

This while the owner Dolans are looking for an indefinite extension of their permit to operate an arena at the site and Community Board 5 presses for just 10 more years!  For the lowdown

No way bicycle lanes wouldn’t be a bone of contention in  upcoming (Ha!  It’s well underway!) mayoral race

Reason 4 zillion and 2 why we’re glad we eat fresh, local and organic…  New evidence pointing to exagerated yields from GMO crops!  (Supposedly, their raison d’etre.)

Reason 4 zillion and 3:  Our meat industry consumes 80% of all U.S. antibiotics!

4 zillion and 4:  Nearly half of American farms are now afflicted with superweeds

4 zillion and 5:  Mercifully, we’re total bystanders as a giant horsemeat scandal roils much of Europe.

Meanwhile, the effect agricultural corporations are having on our seed diversity is profound…  And not in a good way.  

All the more reason to put the brakes on the FDA’s seeming intention to allow genetically engineered fish to be sold in our grocery stores!

Who knew there are surviving, visable elements of the once Central Park Yorkville Resevoir!  (The Times’ Christopher Gray, that’s who!)

Just the right title for this Times piece on Ron Shiffman (“the man who saved more New York neighborhoods than Robert Moses destroyed”)…  “Because Green Goes With Everything”.  

nicotiana-attenuata

nicotiana-attenuata

One humungous animal week:

With an unquestionable super star:  Banana Joe, Best in the Westminister Dog Show! 

(Thank goodness there’s a canine spa to ease those grueling, show ring tensions!)   

The UES non-profit  Search and Care has to be the sweetest volunteer opportunity ever…  Could it get any better and more neighborly than helping  area seniors care for their pets? 

And the Bird of the Week (and Columbian native) is:

Dusky Starfrontlet Hummingbird

Dusky Starfrontlet Hummingbird

Always something to move one in the Hudson River Almanac:

1/30 – Manhattan, HRM 13.5: At least fifty Canada geese were making their way across the football field near the inlet of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, foraging in the grass at Inwood Hill Park. On the water were three dozen mallards. Starting up the trail through the Clove, I startled a pair of mourning doves and watched one black-capped chickadee peck at a little mesh feeder hung from a branch, gray squirrels and a mockingbird which’d found a few red berries.  In the woods were moss and ground cover, small carpets of garlic mustard and ivy punctuated by tufts of wild chives, and one small holly which, as always, “groweth green.”     – Thomas Shoesmith

Indeed, everything does go with green,

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

Let’s talk styrofoam and the possible banning of same within NYC borders!  

Wish there were numbers on how much of the crumbly but  virtually indestructable stuff is permanently fixed – in tree beds, sidewalk cracks – in our environment…  Which says it’s more than time to stop the madnesss…

And who’s the sterling individual behind this move?  None other than Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen, the person we have to thank for Greenmarket compost collection!

PLEASE…  Take the quickest  moment to encourage the man to go for the gusto with this new, great, initiative:  rgonen@dsny.nyc.gov.

Meanwhile, it was just last week that we gazed down First Avenue from the vantage point of 62nd Street, spotted a bus maybe 5 blocks south and sighed with relief.  No flashing lights!  A local!

BUT NO!   It was a Select bus with with malfunctioning lights.

WRONG AGAIN!  Seems that – four years plus after the service began up in the Bronx – it was “discovered” that many kinds of emergency vehicles are  equipped with flashing blue lights, others on our streets were confusing the two, complaining and – then! – that there was a law prohibiting the use of blue lights on anything but said emergency vehicles!.

The horrendously expensive blue crystal lenses were then summarily removed from Select buses and flashing of any color ceased.

Let the buck-passing begin

And what promises to be years of debate about what color Select lights can and should be…  And spending buckets more money on new lenses.   

Meanwhile, a recent CB8/Hunter study of POPS (Privately Owned Public Spaces) could mean good news for our UES and its pitifully small park-per-resident ratio. 

Seems that, commencing back in  Sixties and continuing till 2000, developers were allowed to build higher if they created POPS at ground level. 

Problem is that for at least a decade there wasn’t a requirement that any amenities – like, maybe, a bench that might’ve allowed the public to enjoy the space or even preceive that it was available to them – be provided. Developers didn’t even need to put up signs!

Then, when those requirement were finally put into law/code, there was no enforcement.

So now. great young graduate students of Hunter College’s Urban Studies program have identified some 76 of  these POPS…  By far the majority of which are “under-utilized”.

The city says it’s doing its best to encourage building owners to make POPS more inviting.  (Uh-huh.)

But the best news is that now we citizens know what we were promised by developers, what they’re legally obliged to provide our community and what we have every right to expect!

A good summary of which is found in this DNAInfo piece… 

euphorbia-punicea

euphorbia-punicea

On to the week ahead:

Saturday, February 9th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

82nd Street between First and York, 9am – 2pm                                              NO Compost & Clothing Collection this week

It’ll be storm-sized market tomorrow with – as of 4pm Friday – stalwarts Ballard Honey and Samascott and Rising Sun Farms on hand.

But even if the market’s a tad mini, there’ll still big things happening…

Case and point and as if there weren’t already miriad reasons to be a Greenmarket regular:  Introduce/refer a friend/friends to the market experience and prizes for you will follow!  Pretty irresistable, yes?  Just stop by Market Manager Emma’s table for details and to get started!

Not only that but beginning this Saturday and continuing through the end of March, Greenmarket will be doubling the value of WIC Fruit and Vegetable benefits!   Spend a $6, $10, or $15 check and receive an equal amount in FREE Greenmarket Bucks to spend on fruits and veggies (at the market, of course!). 

Yes, and then there’s this suggestion for Valentine’s Day:   Why not gift your honey with some scrumptous local honey?

Last week’s recycling totals:  55 lbs batteries;  39 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair eye glasses; 17 bags of clothes;  5 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  262 lbs batteries; 224 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eye glasses; 74 bags of clothes; 26 compost bins.

Pretty darned amazing.

Sunday, February 10th:  Tales of the Awful Dead at Green-Wood Cemetary Tour

Green-Wood Cemetary, Gothic entrance gate, 25th Street off of Fifth Avenue, 11am-1pm and 2-4pm

Obscura’s at it again with a slew of new outings, i.e.:  “Interred in the ornate graves of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Brooklyn are among our city’s most scandalous and corrupt…  Murderers who killed in a fit of passion or for just plain hire.”   Learn the delicious details from devote Allison Meier.  Includes a visit to the cemetary’s catacombs!.   $18 with a portion benefitting the Green-Wood Historic Fund.   For  tickets and details

Tuesday, February 12th:  East River Crew Valentine/Annual Benefit Party

Poet’s Den Gallery and Theater,  309 East 108th Street, between First & Second, 7-9pm

You know those wonderful big boats so many of us went rowing in last summer?  Well, Sandy roughed up them up a bit…  Along with equipment and even the containers the boats are stored in!  No way we UESiders won’t make sure the Crew’s back on the East River come spring…  And   Valentine partying down at the same time!   Tickets $25, $50, $75, and $100 (and totally tax deductable).  For full details…  

Tuesday, February 12th & Wednesday, February 12th: Asphalt Green’s Spring Open House & Crazy Membership Offer

York Avenue at 92nd Street, 5:30am – 10pm

Remember that resolution you made – only a few weeks ago –  to get fit in 2013?  How’s this for follow-through incentive:  New members can join Asphalt Green for $2 and get two months free when they sign up for an annual membership.  At the very least, you can nail down two days in the gym free.  For the lowdown… 

Saturday, February 16th:  From Garbage to Gardens with Neighborhood Explorers

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, 2-4pm

Neighborhod Explorers of the Lehman Village Community Center – middle schooler with a mission – have learned a thing or two about reducing waste in and greening their neighborhood that we all could benefit from…  But , of course, especially great for the young people in our lives.   Free.  For more and to sign up…  (Great to see F.A.O. Schwartz has a kids foundation!)

Down the month:

Monday, February 18th through Friday, February 22nd:  Winter Science Camp – Plant Pioneers

New York Botanical Garden, 2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 9am-4pm

Lucky 8-10 year olds can spend their break being a plant scientists/inventors in the mold of the great George Washington Carver.  (Nobody does this stuff better than the Botanical Garden.)  $250.  For details and to register 

Wednesday, February 20th:  The Gardens of Alcatraz Lecture

New York School of Interior Design, 170 East 70th Street, 6-7:30pm

Gardens on Alcatraz?  Indeed there have been for the last 150 years, of many kinds and tended by an array of gardeners.  Shelagh Fritz, horticulturist and project manager at the Gardens of Alcatraz, has one amazing story to tell!  Members, $15.  Non-members, $30.  For more and to register… 

Friday, February 22nd:  Jefferson Market Library, Collection & Clock Tower Tour

Library Foyer, 425 6th Avenue, Greenwich Avenue at 10th Street, 7:30-9pm

Who knew that – in one of its many, earlier incarnations – this was where Sanford White’s murderer (Harry Thaw) was tried?  That its tower was once a fireman’s lookout?  (You’ll get to climb up into it!)   That’s just scraping the surface …  Another Obscura event.  $12.  For tickets and more…  

Wednesday, February 27th:  Poetry Idol Open Auditions

Poet’s Den Theater, 309 East 108th Street, 7pm

No stopping our East Harlem neighbor and impressario Raphael Benavides…  Now he’s challenging all comers to bring on their poetry game.  Must be 21, have your composition memorized and speak for no longer than 3 minutes.  For full details…   

Thursday, February 28thSecrets of the Livingston Masonic Library

71 West 23rd Street, 14th Floor, 6:30-8pm

Who knew there was a Masonic lodge – let alone library – on 23rd Street?  Heaven knows how the folks at Obscura got entrance but tour members will be treated to the fully Monty of the secretive bunch’s history and rituals and the library’s collections and memorabilia.  $12.   For tickets and further info

Thursday, February 28th:  Re-Imagining the East Harlem Waterfront

Johnson Community Center at James Weldon Johnson Houses, 1820 Lexington Avenue, just north of 112th Street

Hunter College urban planning students are at it again…  This time grad students at HC’s Greening The Gap  urban planning studio and in partnership with TreesNY.   Needless to say, those of us living just to the south need to address many of the challenges along our esplanade.  Free.  To sign up

(Win a $100 prize if you live or work in East Harlem and complete this survey re your opinions on the East Harlem waterfront!)

It’ll be here before we know it:

Wednesday, May 15th – Friday, May 17th:  3rd Annual Urban Agriculture Conference

Kimmel Center at NYU, 60 Washington Square South

And we quote: Food and culture, community networks, sustainable urban agriculture, youth engagement, economics, local food sovereignty, policy, and field trips to farms in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.”  Organized by the Horticultural Society.  Volunteer opportunities are available!  For full details

sorbus-pallescens1

sorbus-pallescens1

 All over the lot with this week’s miscellany:

Last week it was bees…  This time out it’s over-fished sharks that’re needing our help

Can’t hurt to have 7 million pairs of keen NY citizen eyes trained on how our city’s money’s being spent via a new site just launched by the comptroller’s office…   (And check out what The Times says on the subject…)

Good news that the EPA moved to ban some of the anti-coagulant rat poisons that’ve so adversely affected children, pets and the birds which prey upon the rodents –  hawks, eagles and owls.

No any other area  beats us in our quintifecta of excellence in #5/battery/electronics/compost/paper shredding collection…  But we remain lodged in middle ground overall…  As this recent Sanitation Department map attests. 

(Hey, no way we’re not  up to the challenge!)

Rather a surprise that European austerity’s sufficiently austere that it’s brought on a return to the land movement in France and Greece…  (Hope the Orthodox Church distributes those plots free or at little cost.) 

Maybe even more surprising that the Javits Center is now equipped with a lovely green roof!

News of China’s newest high speed rail service slipped through the cracks over the holidays but still bears reading…  (1,200 miles in 8 hours!)  

What’s not to like about a DIY solar panel for $104 and small change

Meanwhile, in Australia, windpower is now cheaper than fossil fuels oil and coal

Kudos to Caitlin Van Dusen for her recent New York tap water vs. bottled taste test

Perchance you missed last week’s tale of a library book returned only 55 years late

Lots of hysterical Downton Abbey send-ups going around and here’re two:  Sesame Street’s “Upside Downton Abbey”  and Happy Face’s Downton Pics and Posts.

pachycarpus-concolor

pachycarpus-concolor

Hello, animals:

Thanks to reader Jack Donaghy for tipping us of to NYC’s Top Dogs; Mapping Names & Breeds in the City

And these excerpts from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/22 – Piermont, HRM 25: A report came in today from Lorri Cramer of the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society… 

(A Turtle and Tortoise Society?!  Our great city really does have it all!)  (And the society meets at the Central Park Arsenal!!)

1/27 – New York Harbor, Lower Bay:  A relatively balmy and calm day which allowed for excellent views of sunning seals on the rocks of Swinburne Island.  Bird highlights included large rafts of greater scaup, common goldeneye, a couple of red-throated and common loons, northern gannets diving in the distance, and several buffleheads…  – Gabriel Willow

And a bufflehead is

female bufflehead

female bufflehead

male bufflehead

As snow falls, we’re dreaming of spring green,

UGS 

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