Greetings, UESiders!

Couldn’t be more earth-centric activities and opprtunities to manifest your greenness in our city this 43rd Earth Day weekend… 

Starting with:

Saturday, April 20th:   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.

Last week’s recycling totals:  48 lbs batteries;  35 lbs #5,  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 20 pair of eye glasses;  10 bags of clothes;  6 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  694 lbs batteries; 637 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 67 pairs of eye glasses; 185 bags of clothes; 74 7/12 compost bins.

Saturday, Sunday & Monday, April 20th, 21st & 22nd:   EARTH DAY Indoors at Grand Central!

Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Station (& Everywhere Else on our Mother Earth), 10am-6pm

Live performances…  Kids’ activities… Sustainability talks…  Interactive displays…  And 100% free!

Saturday, April 21st & Sunday, April 22nd:  New York City Green Festival

Javits Center North, Eleventh Avenue at 39th Street, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm

And we quote the organizers:  “Featuring an organic, vegetarian and vegan food court, the Sierra Club Green Cinema, eco-fashion exhibits, hands-on DIY workshops, live music and inspiring keynote presentations.”  Tickets:  $10-$32.  For more details

Monday, April 22nd:  Eco House Tour

Foley Square (between Lafayette, Centre and Duane Streets), 2-5pm

See how the systems of that apartment of yours works to keep you out of the elements and how it could do it so much better!  (We’re talking see-thru walls!)  Free.  For details

Sunday, April 21st:  Earth Day Celebration at Union Square

Union Square (duh!), 10am-6pm

Yes, live performances…  The green-vehicle runway… Exhibition,  exhibits and displays by local and national environmental organizations, local businesses, and corporate partners!   And absolutely free! 

Sunday, April 21st:  Upper West Side Electronics Recycling

Amsterdam Avenue between 74th & 75th, 10am-4pm

Accepted will be:  Working/Non-Working Computers (Laptops, Desktops, Servers), Monitors, Printers, Scanners, Faxes, Keyboards, Mice, Cords, Wires, TVs, Stereo Equipment, VCRs, Audio Visual Equipment,Cell and Wall Phones, Household Batteries.

NO Appliances, Clothes or Textiles!          

Tuesday, April 23rd:   “Empowered” Screening

Seafarers and International House, 123 .East 15th Street at Irving Place, 6pm

Filmmakers Shira Evergreen and Suzanne McMannis’s cheery (and well-reviewed) doc tells how cloudy, snowy, Ithaca has become a center of renewable energy in New York State.  Suggested donation:  $3-$10.

Thursday, April 25th:  Community Board 8 Open Space Forum

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue and  81st Street, 6:30pm

Don’t we all know how little open space we have on the UES (the Mayor and Sanitation would subtract some with their proposed MTS), so there’s plenty for us residents to comment about…  Including POPs, those 70-some  privately owned public spaces (which allowed highrises to go higher still), a minute percentage of which are available to the public or have even the most basic amenities.  Be there.

Followed by:

Saturday, April 27th & Saturday, May 11th:  Family Fishing Day

Norrie Point Environmental Center, Staatsburg Dutchess County, 1-4pm

Family-friendly, all ages, free use of rods and reels.  Wheelchair accessible.  Free.  For full details: 845-889-4745 x109.

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… 

Tuesday, April 30th:  Cornell-Technion Public Hearing

250 Broadway, 14th Floor, 9:30am

With rezoning already approved by Borough President Stringer and Community Board 8, the next step is for City Council Members to affix their stamp of approval or not.  One pressing issue:  Transporting construction materials on to Roosevelt Island by barge, in lieu of overtaxing its single bridge and few, narrow streets.

Saturday, May 4th:  East Harlem Tree Stewardship Workshop

East 120th Street & Paladino Avenue overpass entrance to the East River Esplanade, 11am-1pm

Join Civitas and TreesNY and learn best practice for the care of our heroic street trees…  This while tree beds on 120th, Pleasant Avenue and 119th are mulched, weeded and made tidy for the summer season.  Free but RSVP required: or 212-996-0745.  (Rain date:  Sunday, May 5th) 

In that miscellaneous groove:

Really?  Madison Square Garden’s been property tax free since 1982?

Really??  Public libraries emulating the questionable policy of building schools into residential building (result:  they can never get bigger)!! 

Same path Little Italy’s Italian American Museum seems to be heading down

Really??!  The MTA hasn’t anything better to do than get in the way of a young idealist trying to provide Metro cards to the needy?

Really??!!  A serving of Quaker Apple Oatmeal contains more sugar than a Pop Tart?

Really???!!  They’ve been using antibiotics in apple and pear orchards (and can continue to do so until 2014)!  (The government still hasn’t acted act on lead and arsenic in fruit juices either.)  

Really???!!!  International crime with a Russian motif at the art gallery in the Carlyle Hotel?! 

Let us not allow the Feds to weasel out of a thorough clean-up of the Gowanus Canal…  Let us email  Christos Tsiamis, Remedial Project Manager at

Also seems like meat producers are attempting to decapitate mandatory country-of-origin labeling and, guess what?  This info was barely out when USDA’s comment period closed!   Stay tuned.. 

Meanwhile, there is something we can do to protect our ten most endangered American rivers

As well as lend beautiful hummingbirds a hand

Then pat yourself on the back, New Yorkers, we’ve decreased our reliance on coal (for electricity) 3% (to 12%) in the last 5 years!

BUT Cleveland – in lieu of landfill and marine transfer stations – is looking to upgrade its solid waste handling with waste-to-energy…  (scroll down and note 4th Bin’s E-Stewards certification en route) ..

Scroll down further for news of the American Chemistry Council’s desperation move to get in the way of NYC banning styrofoam!

This while even China’s getting picky about the plastics it imports…  A policy they call China’s “Green Fence“!

We were good for 10 (we knew) out of “14 Vegetables You’ve Never Heard Of”  How about you?

We totally LOVE this:  CB8’s demand that street vendors be required to have standardize street furniture and signage.  (Usual protestations by expensively-dressed, full-time vendor lobbiest, Sean Basinksi.) 

Who knew there was a competition to address our deteriorating piers?  Or would guess the winners would employ a 3D printer and oysters?!

Just as NYC subway use is spiking, same is true of Amtrak Amtrak! 

Hard to believe it was only two years ago we helped raise several tons of soil to the roof of Metropolitan Baptist Church in service of one of the cleverest urban farming concepts ever… 

Devised with commercial intent but a big thank you to real estate firm Town Residential for their homage to NYC architectural detail:  Look Up New York.

Wish we’d receive the benefit of some of the creative thinking that went into this soon-to-be 41st Street makeover in our neck of the woods (instead we have the pier at 107th Street falling apart)…

So who’s responsible for those wonderful trails we love to hike in our fabulous national parks?

For non-NYMagazine subscribers, the (Mr. Omnivore’s Dilemma) Michael Pollan-Adam Platt conversation in this week’s issue.

And the last dinner served on the Titanic was…  Obviously the not the repast of those in steerage.

Sort of off the map but seems Erector Sets played a role in constructing the GWB!  

Truly beyond the reservation, but kinda en route to our furry friends, remnants of ancient European folkways still alive in bemusing animal costumes… 

Time for the real animal kingdom:

Awwwww…  Therapy llamas

And a baby giraffe’s (named in honor of Sandy Hook) first steps

Eeeeuww…  Electric eels threatening NYC subway service!

Double awwww…  “Lil Bub & Friendz”, much awaited doc showing at the Tribeca Festival is also available in the comfort of your own home from On Demand!

Is this one beautiful bird or what?

 We close with more birds and another extract from the Hudson River Almanc:  

4/11 – Queens, New York:  Seen at Jamaica Bay Wildlife refuge while doing some barn owl box maintenance:   green-winged teals (14), snowy egrets (23), great egrets (13), black-crowned night-herons (43), northern shoveler (37), and laughing gulls (4), great egrets (7), greater yellowlegs (3) and palm warblers (3).

With love of our earth,


     – Andrew Baksh

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