Monthly Archives: March 2013

Greetings, UESiders!!

Phew!  All charges against groundhog savant Punxsatawney Phil have been dropped!

The  indictment – filed by the Butler County, Ohio prosecutor – read:  “That Punxsutawney Phil did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early.”

Blame was assumed by Bill Deeley, president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, stating that he’d mistakenly announced an early spring because he failed to correctly interpret Phil’s “groundhog-ese.”

Now that the dust’s settled, we have to say Prosecutor Gmoser (that’s his name) asking for the death penalty…  Get a grip, sir!  

jatropha-gossypiifolia

jatropha-gossypiifolia

And now for the coming week:

Saturday, March 30th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – lpm 

You bet we’ll be celebrating Easter this Satuday with the markets own version of an Easter Egg Hunt for the young set!  Solve riddles that give clues to the whereabouts of  eggs hidden around the market, locate those eggs and win a cookies!   

There’ll be potential prizes for you grown-ups, too, what with this Saturday being the last market day to participate in Greenmarket’s  latest promotion…  You know the drill:  Introduce your friends and neighbors to our great market and win prizes for yourself!   Market Manager Emma has details.

Same for doubling  of Greenmarket shoppers’ WIC Fresh Produce benefits!   Spend a $6, $10, or $15 check and receive an equal amount in FREE Greenmarket Bucks to purchase fruits and vegetables at the market. 

Last but not least, there’ll also be an Easter-themed cooking demo for all ages

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

Maybe it was the snow of two Saturdays ago, but somehow it escaped our notice that Ballard Honey had returned to the 82nd fold.  They’ll be staying with us till at least  May!  

Last week’s recycling totals:  40 lbs batteries;  43 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses;  10 bags of clothes;  4 1/3 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  553 lbs batteries; 519 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 43 pairs of eye glasses; 150 bags of clothes; 55 7/12 compost bins.

Amazing!

Wednesday, April 3rd:  Poetry Idol Competition –  Round Two

Poet’s Den Theater, 308 East 108th Street, 7pm

The 16 survivors of Round One go rhyme to rhyme and verse to verse!  It’s on!  $10.  For more and tickets 

Tuesdays, April 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th:  MASter Class – Researching the History of Buildings in New York City

Greenacre Reference Library, Municipal Art Society, 111 West 57th Street, 16th Floor, 6-7:45pm

Architectural historian Anthony W. Robins shares how to research/create the genealogy of our city’s buildings in four classes.  Includes a field trip!    Society members:  $250.  Non-members:  $300.  For more and tickets

And then:

Saturday, April 13th:  Baby Animal Encounters

Linder Theater, Museum of Natural History, 79th Street & Central Park West,  11am, 1pm & 2:30pm

How could anyone resist…  For kids 5 and up.  (Lucky mom and & dad who get to go along!)  $12.  For tickets

Saturday, April 13th:  Municipal Art Society Manhattan Civic Center Tour

Meeting place provided with ticket purchase, 11am

Guide Linda Fischer reveals what goes on behind the walls of the marvelous buildings containing our courts and jails.   Members:  $15.  Non-members:  $20.  For further details and/or reserve your place…   

Saturday, April 27th:  Upstairs/Downsairs Tour with Fanny and Flora

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 5pm

The MVHM excells at UES bringing history to life…  In this instance the perspective of an 1830 Englist traveler and guest and a local woman working at the hotel.  Members: $15.  Non-members:  $18.  For more, tickets and great other events…  

Sunday, April 28th:  Spring 2013 NYC SAFE Disposal Event

Columbia University/Teachers’ College, 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, 10am-4pm

You name it:  Electronics…  Anti-freeze…  Batteries…  Oil and latex paint…  Recycle it all responsibly and free.  For full details and complete (and vast) list… 

May…  Already: 

Saturday, May 12th:    SS General Slocum History Cruise

The Tugboat Pegasus, boarding at Pier 25, 12pm

Another great outing from NYCH2O…  This time, the subject:  The tragic travails of the Slocum – a tourist boat of the day – which caught fire and burned on the East River in 1904…  A disaster which claimed 1,000 lives.  Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione’ll be  describing the event in (his usual) vivid detail.  (And being on the Pegasus is one great experience!)    $75.00.  For more and tickets

mammillaria-prolifera

mammillaria-prolifera

This week’s miscellany commences with a job opportunity… 

A green job, of course, and at the fabulous Solar One

On to the national scene:

Important reading in this Sunday’s Times:  “Life After Oil and Gas”.

Got really excited with the news that BNY Mellon is investing in Michigan battery recycling company, Battery Solutions!

We’ve driven past the coal-burning Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona (you can see its plumes for miles before you get near the gi-huge-ic thing)…  If you think it shouldn’t be given yet another 10 years before being air quality compliant…  

Glad that it exists in the U.S., but we’d be happier if the world’s biggest vertical farm was in NYC!

Weird that of all organizations, National Geographic is dragging its heels about printing the magazine on recycled paper.   If you’d like to encourage that change, drop a line:   ngsline@customersvc.com.

Here in NYState:

Haven’t been able to locate the cost, but the restoration of our state capitol building in now complete.  Whatever the dollars involved (the governor claims that fast-tracking once he was in office saved $2.3 million), it does look great!

On our own turf:

Herewith an excellent resume of the concerns surrounding the Con Ed branch of the Spectra Pipeline that one day soon will be running from the Gansevoort Pennisula on the Hudson River, up through Chelsea to the Con Ed plant on West 15th Street.

For those wondering  – a mere year plus later – about the worn, fading, grimey surfaces of First and Second Avenue bus and bikes lanes…   Seems like DOT reached out for the nearest can (they’ve pretty much admitted it)…  Not those containing paint devised  to wear well on city streets. 

Major revelation…  Those vendors camped out on our streets 24/7?…  Illegal!!  (Where are you, NYPD and/or Health Department?)  And the Sean Baranski mentioned in the Crain’s piece…  Vendors’ very own lobbiest (Yes, they can afford one and fulltime)!

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Grange is pioneering yet another green advance:  Solar-powered composting!

Nothing like others’  expensive housing to – albeit momentarily – cheer us NYorkers up…

We all know another big storm is inevitable, right?  The wise response:  Extreme disaster planning!

Reason one zillion and six why we shop with Ballard Honey at 82nd:  The giant international market in honey laundering!

In the meantime, looking towards summer, how about some beautiful, waterside places to camp?

Must reading (we mean it!):  “Picking Up:  On the Streets and Behind the Trucks With the Sanitation Workers of New York City”! 

Meanwhile:

Always a pleasure reading Christopher Gray…  Especially this reminiscence of The Biltmore Hotel.  (That it no longer exists underscores how essential it is to put the brakes on City Planning’s drive to refashion Midtown.)

This article’s a day or two old…  In the interim, President Obama did, indeed, designate 5 new National Monuments!

And Apple’s just announced that it’s data centers are now 100% powered by renewable energy!

It’s happening all over Africa and now the Global Partnership for Afghanistan is bringing the Farm-to-Market program to another group of able, deserving and committed women who’re the breadwinners for their families.   Check it out…  (And we thank reader Tara Reddi for alerting us all!)  

Time for some furriness:

In the form of baby beavers (even their tails are cute)…

And baby pugs taking a bath

Hard act to follow, but Conservation Canines are equal to the task…  (The video link to the right is a must!)

One good-looking Bird of Last Week:

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird

Then there’re  the Birds of this Week:

marshmallow_peeps

Further on that dolphin spotted in the East River up in the Nineties two weeks ago:

3/14 – East River, Manhattan:   Kim Durham, staff member of The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, commented that the dolphin, probably a bottlenose, did not appear to be injured.  The Riverhead Foundation will join officials from the NYS DEC to determine its species and assess its health.  – Tom Lake

(To report marine mammal sightings, call the Riverhead Foundation’s 24-hour Hotline:  631-369-9829.)

RamsHorn, HRM 112.2: I heard my first-of-season spring peepers and wood frogs today at a vernal woodland pond just past the entrance to the RamsHorn.  Music to the ears, for sure. – Larry Federman

With wishes for Passover and Easter greenness,

UGS

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Happy International Happiness Day, UESiders!

And giant congratulations to Los Angeles which will be announcing at 2pm our time today – Friday – that it will have entirely ended its reliance on coal by 2020…  The first U.S. city to make that commitment!   (Watch the announcement live!)

This while NYState Comptroller DiNapoli announced that Dunkin Donuts – encouraged by a looming shareholder resolution that the company address environmental concerns – will set a date when all the palm oil it uses will be from sustainable sources!   (Seems that NYState pension funds hold plenty of Dunkin stock.)  

And then our mayor revealed that Times Square will soon be equipped with 30 solar powered recycling stations and that our greater city will have 1,000 new recycling bins on the streets of all 5 boroughs by the end of 2013!  

But biggest kudos of all are reserved for the London Underground which celebrated its 150th birthday on Wednesday and describes itself as in the best condition in its long history!  

(Yes, MTA, it can be done!)  

eriophyllum-lanosum

eriophyllum-lanosum

Ready for the week ahead:

Saturday, March 23rd:   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 Rabbits’ Run Farms.

One week and counting to participate in Greenmarket’s  great promotion…  Introduce your friends and neighbors to our great market and win prizes for yourself!   Market Manager Emma will fill you in!

AND, yes, till the end of March, Greenmarket will be doubling  WIC Fresh Produce benefits!   Spend a $6, $10, or $15 check and receive an equal amount in FREE Greenmarket Bucks to spend on fruits and vegetables at the market. 

Last week’s recycling totals:  50 lbs batteries;  41 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses;  10 bags of clothes;  4 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  513 lbs batteries; 476 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 39 pairs of eye glasses; 140 bags of clothes; 51 1/4 compost bins.

Way ahead of last year!

Saturday, March 23th:  Carl Schurz Park BIG EGG  HUNT!

Mayor’s Lawn, East 87th Street and East End Park Entrance,  Hunts at 11:15, 11:30 or 11:45am

Not one…  Not two…  But three Easter Egg Hunts!   Egg bag decorating, face painting, the Schurz bunny hopping about and available for photo ops and music by the Funkytown Playground Band!  Free.  For full details and schedules for all events

Saturday, March 23rd:  Plovgh Global Kitchen Tour

American Museum of Natural  History, Central Park West & 79th Street, 10am – 2:30pm

Organized by the great folks at Plovgh, a tour of Museum of Natural History new show “Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture“,   followed by discussion and eats at nearby Jimmy’s No. 43!  Tickets priced in increments:  $10-$30.  For more and those tickets

Now through Sunday, July 14th:  The Woolworth Building @ 100 

Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place at West Street

Amazing how many big  birthdays there’ve been and continue to be…   Now it’s the Woolworth Building’s turn…  Once the world’s tallest and still one of its most beautifully designed.    (And the museum itself’s a treat!)  Free to members.  Non-members:  $19.  Seniors/Students:  $5.  For more

Yikes!  April’s just around the corner:

Wednesday, April 17th:  The Olive Route – A Talk and Olive Oil Tasting with Carol Drinkwater

The Horticultural Society of New York | 148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, 6pm

Actress and, latterly, olive oil impressaria Drinkwater sheds light on the colorful history olive cultivation, followed by an olive oil tasting.  Members:  $25.  Non-members:  $35.  For more and tickets

Tuesday, April 23rd:  Secret Lives Tour: The Art and Murals of Hildreth Meière – Uptown Tour

Meeting place provided with ticket purchase, 1pm

Join the Historic Districts Council for the first of a two-part examination of the renowned Art Deco muralist’s New York work as found in mosaics at Temple Emanu-El,  St. Bartholomew’s and more.  Members:  $100.  Non-members: $125.    For further details:  ashedd@hdc.org or  212-614-9107.   And for tickets…   

Saturday, April 27th:  Family Fishing Day

Norrie Point Environmental Center, Staatsburg, Dutchess County, 1pm

Family-friendly, all ages, free use of rods, reels and bait; wheelchair accessible!  For more: 845-889-4745 x109.

Dutch tulip fields

Dutch tulip fields

Miscellany, you say?  Let’s get the steam-coming-out-of-ears-ranting out of the way first:

For crying out loud, what’s going on…?  Over these last 11 years during which our city’s finances were supposedly so beautifully managed, the library system wracked up $230 million in deferred repairs?  And the answer is to sell irreplaceable land on which said libraries are located?   Then tear down said libraries, including a Carnegie branch?

And those two wonderful city-owned buildings on Chambers Street we mentioned a couple of weeks ago?  On the block, too.

Further on the planned Public Property Sale/Lease of Century Blow-Out:  Part III –  NYCHA Edition…   (No kidding it’s controversial!)

Recall when the NYPL sold its (ours, really) irreplaceable Gilbert Stuart portrait of G. Washington to the Walmart heiress?  A horrible example now being emulated by the Seward Museum upstate

Meanwhile, it’s alleged that a fuel oil company’s been adding toxic car engine oil to the heating oil it sold to  commercial and residental buildings!

Always better when there’s something immediate and positive to be done:

Like demanding that stores identify whether the seafood they sell is genetically engineered or not.   Should you agree

Like keeping protections in place for the indispensible New England groundfish

Like preserving Alaska’s pristine, old-growth Tongass Forest

Like offering moral support to the fellow New Yorkers fighting against fracking wells in their community

Moving to cheer:

Interesting art project getting underway downtown…  Where they can’t begin to have the blocks of chain link fence blighting our Second Avenue…

Lots of points of interest in New Yorkers For Parks just released report card on our city’s large parks…   

Trust Consumer Reports to deliver the latest  lowdown on the many incarnations of edible fat 

Scroll down this intriguing Smithsonian article on bio art to Giuliano Mauri’s Cattedrale Vegetale, an example of organic architecture…

No need to hike downtown to see the new doc on persistent hunger in the U.S.A.,   “A Place at the Table”.   It’s available any old time On Demand…

eurya-japonica

eurya-japonica

Animals…?  Indeed and heavy on citizen science…  Beginning with this excerpt from the Hudson River Almanac:

3/9 – Orange County, HRM 49:  Saw an estimated 2,000 geese and three tundra swans here today.   One of the geese, a greater snow goose, had a yellow neck collar:  TC85. I reported the code to the bird banding lab and received the following information:

“Female, snow goose, female, banded on the South Plain of Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada on August 15, 2011″…  Nearly nineteen months ago.   –  Jesse Jaycox 

Then there’s this easy challenge for you and yours:

Tom Evans of Syracuse U is fielding a survey of sea lampry in Hudson River tributaries during summer months.   To learn more and/or report sightings:  tevans03@syr.edu.

National Geographic’s got other fascinating projects…  Like stalking the nine-spotted lady bug! 

Don’t know why, but there’s been a dearth of cute animal videos of late…  But we say baby hedgehogs more than make up for the long, dry spell…

It is so good to be green,

UGS

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Balmy First Day of Spring and Fuzzy International Wildlife Week, UESiders!

You’ve certainly made the world all critters inhabit a bit greener with your prodigious shredding…

Mark your calendars for Shred-A-Thon II, uptownthis time out, with exact date set once we know when the 92nd Street Greenmarket’s opening and scheduled for the following Sunday. 

lewisia-oppositifolia

lewisia-oppositifolia

As for the next 7 days:

Saturday, March 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 Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Still two more weeks to participate in Greenmarket’s  latest promotion…  Introduce friends and neighbors to our great market and earn prizes for yourself!   Market Manager Emma has all the details!

AND, till the end of March, Greenmarket’s doubling  WIC Fruit and Vegie benefits!   Just 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:  48 lbs batteries;  54 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 28 pair of eye glasses;  15 bags of clothes;  4 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  463 lbs batteries; 435 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 35 pairs of eye glasses; 130 bags of clothes; 46 5/6 compost bins.

Records being broken  in the #5/Britta filter/cork/cords/cartridges!  In both weight and volume!

And then:

Saturday, March 23rd:  GrowNYC Stormwater Managment Workshop

Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, Room 550, 11:30am – 12:45pm

A ton of simple things we can do diminish run-offs from our  increasingly heavy rains…  All taught by Open Space Greening assistant director Lenny Librizzi.   For a grand total of $4.10…  Which actually covers an entire day of activities at this year’s Green Thumb Grow Together Conference!   To register… 

Monday, March 25th & Tuesday, March 26th or Monday, March 25th – Friday, March 29th:  Spring Break Science Camp – Living Lab 

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 9am – 4pm

Learn how scientific discoveries are made and plants are cared for, hang out with scientists and gardeners, master  the microscope, build diaramas, explore forest and wetlands…  NYC kid heaven!    Members:  $60 and $225.  Non-members:  &75 & $250.  Register by calling 718-817-8181 or e-mail childed@nybg.org.

On the horizon:

Saturday, April 13th:  Baby Animal Encounters

Linder Theater, Museum of Natural History, 79th Street & Central Park West,  11am, 1pm & 2:30pm

The event title says it all.  For kids 5 and up.  (Lucky parents who get to do the escorting!)  $12.  For tickets

Saturday, April 13th:  NYCH2O Old Croton Aquaduct Bike Tour

Meet at NYPL, Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, 12pm 

NYCH2O’s Matt Malina and activist Abby Herhold lead riders along with route of the great aquaduct that once was and impart both historic and eco insight .   $20.  20.   For tickets

Six Consecutive Mondays, April 15th through May 20th: Audubon  Evening Spring Migration Walks in Central Park

Meet at 72nd Street and Central Park West

Witness the spectacle of spring migration as songbirds follow the Atlantic flyway northwards with expert guide Gabriel Willow.  Oreoles, warblers, vireos and more!   Limited to 15 $110.  To sign up: 212-691-7483.

Sunday, April 28th:  Spring 2013 NYC SAFE Disposal Event

Columbia University/Teachers’ College, 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, 10am-4pm

You name it:  Electronics…  Anti-freeze…  Batteries…  Oil and latex paint…  Recycle it all responsibly and free.  For full details and complete (and vast) list…  

Only two months away:

Friday, May 10th:  GrowNYC Annual Plant Sale

College Avenue Garden, 420 College Avenue, between East 170th and 170st  Streets, 12-4pm

Perennial and annual flowering plants, herbs, ground covers, and vegetables from Greenmarket farmers for neighborhood gardens, tree beds, any all neighborhood spaces…  And at wholesale prices!   For more

masdevallia-veitchiana

masdevallia-veitchiana

Let there be miscellany:

Beginning with Shout Out #1 to – totally amazingly – the NYState Assembly for passing a 2-year moratorium on fracking!

Moving on to Shout Out #2 to the fellow responsible for the  improved tidiness of our Espanade:   Parks Department Operations Employee of the Month, Juan Cortes…

Quoting from the Parks’ annoucement:  “As Supervisor Level 1,  Juan’s responsible for the oversight of the East River Esplanade, stretching all the way from East 36th to East 124th Street.  With a somewhat small crew of 3 full-time staff and a number of JTPs,  he’se has consistently achieved a 100% cleanliness rating for his district and isn’t afraid to get his own hands dirty picking up litter, pulling cans and bottles from garbage, or removing debris.”

We thank you, Juan!

Shout Out #3 goes to Sanitation chief John Doherty who’s – not even a month after a styrofoam ban was floated –  put the future of the contemptable plastic bag in some doubt…  (Three towns just to our north have already done it the deed!)

And Shout Out #4 to the students of The Hewitt School for their Ban the Bag Conference

Last but hardly least, Shout Out #5’s bestowed on Whole Foods for their recent announcement that they’ll soon be labeling  GMO food products carried in their stores.  (Should you want to thank them…) 

Striking a less cheery and more global note:

In case you haven’t heard, throughout the poorest of Third World nations, arable land is being leased by s and private investors intending to export the food grown on it… 

And then, here in the U.S.:

National Geographic paints an unsparing picture of the fracking life of North Dakota’s Bakken shale region..

As for  land matters on our own NYC turf:

For the time being Isaacs and Holmes, the UES’s two NYCHA developments, have been spared but concerns about the future of public housing in our city and the new leasing concept continue to mount…  

Worries, too, about the integrity of the South Street Seaport Historic District…  And a petition you might wish to sign.

And possibly in our own kitchens:

As per Consumer Reports‘, there’re real problems with a Whirlpool brand microwave

Back on the good foot:

Job opportunity at The Youth Farm

U.S. windpower surged in 2012!

In spite of Sandy damage and repairs galore, subway ridership increased…  Same for Metro North and they’re adding trains!

Sure, it might sprinkle some snow on us tomorrow…  Small potatoes compared to the Blizzard of March 11, 1888

Hey, spring and gardening are literally right around the corner…  So, ounce of prevention/looking forward to bounty, herewith the 5 most common gardening mistakes

Love these two architectural observations…  Christopher Grey on New York City brick and Place Matters re The Clock Tower Office Building

Meanwhile, the MTA’s venturing a strategy in reduce our one in ten chances of seeing a rat during a given subway experience…  Yikes…   Rat sterilization!

Time for some nice animals now:

Mind-boggling how incredible nature is…  Witness this Bird of the Week

Meanwhile, some of it’s feathered kin – injured while migrating north through the obstacle course of NYC’s  many, brightly-lit buildings – could use our help.  For details

This while some others have their own TV channel

Seen in the harbor and in the Hudson, yes…  But a dolphin in the East River as far up as 106th Street?!

Then there are those strange calls of the wild one hears…  Well, almost anywhere in 2013.

Identify them, take their picture and enter the Defenders of Wildlife Photo Contest!

Erin go bragh with tiny green shamrocks on top,

UGS

 

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Happy International Women’s Day Plus One, UESiders!

Adding to the roll of this week’s good news is the return of the Saw Mill River…  (Always wondered if there was an actual river or whether, way back in the mists of time, in a so-Fifties way, the parkway had just been given a quaint name.)  Well,  it’s back…  Unburied and flowing again, at least in part with more to come…  AND the great  NYCH2O has organized a tour to check it out!   Just scroll down…

Yes, we’re deeply positive as we embark on this new  Shred-a-Thon week:

Saturday, March 9th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – lpm 

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

Speaking of Rabbits’ Run, there’s been a lot of baby goat birthing and calving going on down that way…

Nissa the Newborn  Dutch-Belted Calf

Nissa the Newborn Dutch-Belted Calf

14 Baby Goats!

Farmer Dan says:  “Monday morning when I got up, a doe was in labor and had a set of twins.  As soon as she was through, another doe went into labor.  I moved her into the kidding pen to see that another doe was going into labor, and outside, another doe…  When all was said and done, we had 7 does giving birth to 14 kids on Monday morning, all within 7 hours…” 

Three more weeks to take part in that great Greenmarket  promotion…  Introduce friends and neighbors to market and pile up prizes for yourself!   See Market Manager Emma for details!

AND, till the end of March, Greenmarket’ll doubling WIC Fruit and Vegetable benefits!   Just 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:  46 lbs batteries;  52 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 2 pair of eye glasses;  15 bags of clothes;  5 1/3 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  415 lbs batteries; 371 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 7 pairs of eye glasses; 115 bags of clothes; 42 1/3 compost bins.

Amazing!

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 be accepting:

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.)

(Many thanks to Council Member Lappin for her generous grant!)

Saturday, March 9th:  NYH2O Yonkers Sewage Plant Tour

Yonkers Sewage Plant, Yonkers, 10am

Sewage Treatment 101 under the guidance of NYCH2O’s  Matt Malina!  For more details and to reserve a place:   mm1566@nyu.edu.

Wednesday, March 13th:  Terrarium Workshop

Horticultural Society of New York, 148 West 37th, 13th Floor, 6:30pm

Director of Horticulture George Pisenga shares his wealth of knowledge on how to create the most beautiful and thriving garden under glass.  Members:  $70.  Non-members: $95.  For more and to register

Wednesday, March 13th:  NYSkies Astronomy Walk Thru Grand Central Terminal

Meet at 120 Park Avenue, southwest corner of Park and 42nd, 7pm

We did it ourselves last year and what fun…  Who knew there were so many astronomical references in and around the station?  Star-maven John Pazmino, that’s who!  (And don’t miss the fabulous 100th anniversary exhibition in Vanderbilt Hall!)  Free but you must reserve a place:  john.pazmino@ferc.gov.

Coming up soon:

Thursday, March 21st – Sunday, March 24th:  Green Roof Boot Camp

Various Locations, 8:30am-5:00pm

And we quote:  “Join more than 400 accredited Green Roof Professionals and distinguish yourself in the marketplace by adding this green building credential to your professional qualifications.”  $399 with a discount for Horticultural Society members.   For complete details and registration

Sunday, March 24th:  Saw Mill River “Daylight” Tour

Van Der Donck Park, Nepperhan Street, Yonkers, 11am – 2pm

Not only is there a Saw Mill River but it was once integral to the area’s Native American Life!   Mario Caruso –  who’s been integral to the river’s return to life – will serve as guide.  $20. Another NYCH2O event.  Exact meet-up location provided with ticket purchase.  For more and tickets

Saturday, March 25th:  29th Annual Green Thumb Grow Together

Hostos Community College , 500 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, 8:30am-4pm

NYC Department of Parks invites community gardeners and greening professionals one-and-all for a day of workshoops, sharing, networking and greening inspiration.  A truly delightful event.  $3.   For more and to sign up

And then:

Wednesday, April 10th:  NYC & Geothermal Heat Pumps

Cushman & Wakefield, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, 7th Floor, 8-9am

How such systems work, their pluses and minuses, NYC’s unique geology and how the approach might benefit your building.  Organizaed by the Urban Green Council.  Members: $10.  Non-members:  $15.  For more and tickets

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

A Multitude of Events and Many Locations and Times

We’re talking food and culture, community networks, sustainable urban agriculture, youth engagement, economics, local food sovereignty, policy, and more!  For details and registration

rhododendron-mucronulatum

rhododendron-mucronulatum

Miscellany…  Commencing with the serious stuff:

If the recent tragic traffic deaths of the Glauber Family incline you to believe NYC would benefit from speed cameras, Transportation Alternatives has organized a petition

Meanwhile, tredding the well-worn path of CityTime, the update of 911 has been exposed as a pitiful $2 billion mess

Sounds like a joke only it isn’t…  The dairy lobby’s actually pressing hard for permission to add artificial sweeteners to milk!   Should you object

Another addition to the Are-They-Kidding-File:  Building a skyscraper – usual, totally banal glass thing – on the presently unspoiled Pallisades ridge.  If you don’t care for the idea

Think there’re a lot of vendors on the UESide?  That impression is accurate as another of Community Board 8’s great new studies of our streetlife reveals…   

For sure they aren’t the most sympathetic of creatures, but the death (via fishing) of 100 million sharks per year can’t be so good for ocean health.  

On the very much brighter side:

America’s now exporting more clean energy products to China than we’re importing!

Three cheers for Lancaster, California and its mayor who’ve made it law that, as of 2014, all, newly constructed, single family homes there must be solar powered!

Far from content for being NYC’s most lauded rooftop farm, the Brooklyn Grange’s added solar-enhanced composting to its good works

And the Green Roof of the Week is in our own NYC…

Plus our mayor’s just signed 3 new green bills!

Not every college competition occurs in a stadium or gymnasium these days…  In fact, the newest venue – where team members go more knife-to-fork than head-to-head – is the cafeteria

Some of us are sufficiently mature that we recall a time when the Fifth Avenue Scribner’s Building contained a bookstore of the same name…  Thank goodness it’s been landmarked outside and (mostly) in.

crocus-tommasinianus

crocus-tommasinianus

Yes, indeed.  Bring on the animals:

Scroll down to the video in which the justly famed Grumpy Cat explains why and how he’s been misunderstood

Ever wonder why cardinal males are soooo gorgeously red…?

cardinal

Or what the 8 best urban chicken coop designs might be?  (Don’t miss #6 – Mozambique!)

Or who the newest Broadway stars are?  (Hint: They’re furry and like tuna!)

Sounds like a winner to us:  Nat Geo WILD spotlights over-the-top animal owners who go to extremes to pamper their pets in the new series “Spoiled Rotten Pets”.  Show debuts Saturday, April 20th at 9pm.

Meanwhile, out in nature and as described in the Hudson River Almanac: 

2/26 – Yonkers, HRM 18: The Groundwork Yonkers Science Barge has been checking an “eel mop” in the mouth of the Saw Mill River for almost two weeks and today they shook out the first glass eel of the season, one perfectly transparent slithering sliver of life, which we cradled briefly on a Yonkers street corner, then slipped back into the chilly Saw Mill.  Here they come!    – Chris Bowser, Bob Walters

And this week, many of our female Hudson Valley bald eagles will be laying eggs. If the eggs are viable and both parents pay close attention to incubation, the eggs will hatch in about 32-35 days.

We’re dreaming in spring green…

And we’re remembering Ron Binaghi, Sr….  One of GrowNYC’s 12 founding farmers…  Who, in July of 1976 at 59th Street and Second Avenue,  presided over a table at the very first Greenmarket.  

UGS

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Happy International Polar Bear Day, UESiders!

Gather up all that paper and get it in boxes and bags!!

As Shred-A-Thon approaches…

We give you the week ahead:

Friday, March 1st:  NYSkies Astronomy Lecture – Asteroids Far And (Hopefully, Not Too) Near!

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

Asteroids’ smaller first cousins – meteors – are covered, too!  NYSkies president John Pazmino holds forth on the historical role of both in home astronomy and our (since the Russian incident) justly renewed interest.  Free.

Tuesday, March 5th:  New York City Beekeepers Association Monthly Meeting

International & Seafarers House, 123 East 15th Street at Second, 7pm 

Got to be great hearing/seeing Bees Without Borders’ report on their 2012 trip to Kenya to assist with hive protection…  A mission to which many of you contributed!  Free.

Saturday, March 2nd:   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.

One more month to take advantage of Greenmarket’s kinda fabulous promotion…  Bring friends and neighbors to who’re new to the  market and earn prizes for yourself!   See Market Manager Emma for details!

AND…

Also through the end of March, Greenmarket doubles WIC Fruit and Vegetable benefits!   And is it ever easy!  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:  52 lbs batteries;  49 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses;  10 bags of clothes;  4 1/4 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  369 lbs batteries; 319 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 5 pairs of eye glasses; 100 bags of clothes; 37 compost bins.

100 bags of clothes!!  Whoa!

Saturday. March 2nd – Monday, April 22nd:  N11th Annual NYBG Annual Orchid Show

New York Botanical Garden, 2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

We don’t know a darned thing about orchids, but we do know gorgeous when we see it and last year’s show was that and more.  Bask in the beauty of thousands of brilliantly colored orchidae…  Learn how to care for them…  Do a cocktail or two on Orchid Evenings…   For hours, events and tickets...

AND THEN…

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 be accepting:

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 the great grant!)

On the horizon:

Saturday, April 28th:  An Afternoon at the New York Marble Cemetery

Marble Cemetery, 41 1/2 Second Avenue, 12 – 2pm

Continuing on their 2013 burial ground theme, the Obscura Society now offers rare entree to one NYC oldest burial grounds.  Historical details provided by the Society’s resident necropolis expert.  (Yup.  They’ve got one.)  $12, with a portion going to support the Cemetery.  For more and tickets

puya-berteroniana

puya-berteroniana

On to things miscellaneous…  Commencing with news flashes from foreign shores:

Sorry to say and can’t imagine why this hasn’t been front page news…  But the roof on that Chernobyl reactor has collapsed

Still roaming abroad, why wouldn’t the Mafia be making a run at alternate energy…  As in windpower in Sicily!  (This while 30 of a local chapter get charged with old-fashioned naughtiness in connection Westchester’s garbage collection!)

Meanwhile, Coke’s doing its best to undermine recycling in Australia!  (And you can object…)

Here on American soil:

Looks like Shell’s backing off drilling in Alaska for at least this year!

It’s old news that in Manhattan there’s nowhere to go up…  Up that’ll soon be some higher on Park Avenue The Times tells us

From the rarified to the…  not so rarified environs of NYCHA.  Can we permit such conditions in our great city in 2013?

More than usual interest in Christopher Gray’s last Sunday piece on the wonderful, erstwhile New York Life Insurance Building, now owned by the City, only by virtue of public embarassment barely maintained and now up for sale…  As are several Upper West Side school properties.   (City buildings on Chambers Street are already sold.)

Once gone, it’s forever…  And schools in new structures can never get any bigger no matter how much NYC grows…

Meanwhile, the neighborhood just to our north is undergoing yet more change

Couldn’t be busier in the Fairway empire:  Expanding to Chelsea…  Reopening the Red Hook store…  All while they ready their IPO…  (Amazing they’ve got a penny of debt given the swarms in the 86th Street store!)

You’ve read about NYCBeekeeper Association’s meetings and classes in these pages…  Well, now, this groundbreaking (they’re responsible for the legalization of beekeeping in New York) group’s offering a Beekeeping Apprenticeship Program!!  For full details and how to apply…  (Applications must be in by March 6th!) 

No need to ever be wondering where the nearest NYC park/green/public space is and what its amentities are when you can just click on new site Oasis!    (Thank you, Jackie Forrestal and Carol Rinzler.)

Or for that matter, where to find the nearest mailbox

Yes, a bright idea…  We say the brightest idea of least the month…  Gravity-generated electric light!

Close runner up:  A library where one can take out both books and seeds

You did know that there’s a Green Roof Tax Abatement and it’s about to be renewed?  Hope that’s inspiration and that you’ll find even more in the great S.W.I.M. Coalition’s (1) analysis of the legislation’s effects and (2) description of green roof benefits

Scroll down the link to the review of Light on the Prarie, bio of great photographer Solomon Butcher whose subject was America’s Great Plains of the late 19th Century and includes marvelous images.   A Y.A. book that works for all ages. 

Inside the Apple turns its attention to historic NY armories this week, including our own Seventh Armory!  

asclepias-incarnata

asclepias-incarnata

Animal heavy:

Think it’s safe to say, we’re second to none in our love of furry/feathered/scaley friends…  But a $500,000 dog run – even if privately funded –  in a time of massive childhood food insecurity? 

Of course, we’re for wind power, but we’re for eagles, too, and measuring the collisions between turbines and our national bird.  Should you agree 

And animal light:

Amazing!  Dolphins not only communicate with each other, they have names!

Do hope we’d be as composed as these pugs if a zombie turned up in our apartment

Not even light green yet, but trees are budding,

UGS

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