Monthly Archives: May 2013

Happy Return of Pop-Up Pianos, UESiders!

Yes, the good news just keeps on coming and as of this Saturday, those pianos are back and available to play at 88 locations citywide till June 16th…  At which point, they’ll all be donated to deserving schools!

Thank you, Sing for Hope, for the third year of your delightful project!  (For where the pianos are…_

rosa-acicularis-sayi

Rosa acicularis

As for the week ahead:

Saturday, June 1st:   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, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Cherry Lane, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

This Saturday, we’ll be featuring a cooking demo by Cchef A.J. Black of Il Tesoro (NE corner of First & 82nd), a frequent Greenmarket shopper.  Chef Black’ll be preparing homemade pasta with Feather Ridge eggs plus a sauce of seasonal ingredients!  Yum!

So sorry…  No Master Knife Sharpener this week.

Last two week’s recycling totals:  51 lbs batteries;  10 lbs  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 12 pairs of eye glasseses; 15 and 28   = 43 bags of clothes;   7 1/8 and 5 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  916 lbs batteries; 724 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 97 pairs of eye glasses; 288 bags of clothes; 113 1/2 compost bins.

You read that right!  7 1/8 compost bins…  28 bags of clothes!!  A pair of 82nd Street records!!

Saturday, June 1st:  The Green Block at the Third Avenue Fair

Third Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 12-5pm

Greenmarket farmers (with tables of produce), Pledge2Protect (with pledges to sign),  the East River Crew (you need to get yourself into their wonderful and onto the East River), NYCH2O (great tours coming up), Civitas (always great, new UES and East Harlem-centric projects), Friends of the East River Esplanade (determined to equal Hudson River Park on our UES), , Upper Green Side (of course) and other neighborhood groups and block associations…  Come  get to know your neighbors and go home with rhubarb and strawberries!   

Sunday, June 2nd: Ultimate Science Street Fair

Washington Square, 10am-6pm

One of the easiest ways ever to steep your kids (and yourself!) in the many magic aspects of science – from warthog teeth to computers to mutant worms – by being upclose and personal with the scientists themselves and among them our favorite  astronomer geek, John Pazmino.  Free!  For more

Monday, June 3rd:  Inside the Internet – Tour of the AT&T Long Lines Buildings

32 Avenue of the Americas, 7pm

Another great tour from Open House NY, this time a rare look at the erstwhile site of long distance calling tech, now interconnection point for high capacity data networks!  $25.  For more and tickets…  

Tuesday, June 4th:  NYC Beekeepers June Meeting

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

On the June agenda:  Special speaker and author of “Beekeeping for Dummies” and “Building Beehives for Dummies”, Howland Blackiston.  A must!  Free.  For more

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Re-Opens

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-4pm                                                        Compost Collection 9am-1pm

Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows, Troncillito and Glebocki Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery!    Compost collection and our usual battery/DVDs/CDs/jewel cases/cords/ink cartridge/cork recycling.  (The fabulous Stellar Cooks return on July 8th!) 

For a composting refresher, go to this GrowNYC page

AND ON THE VERY SAME DAY ACROSS THE STREET:

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred-A-Thon – Very Early Summer  Edition

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

What we’ll be shredding:

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 do take paperbacks.)

(Many thanks to Council Member Garodnick for his generous grant!)

armeria-welwitschii

Armeria welwitschii

Let’s get the serious miscellany out of the way:

For all those who couldn’t attend the mayoral debate on sustainability. it’s now available online.   (Candidates weigh in on the MTS about an hour and 10 minutes in…)

Yet another embarassing moment in Community Board 8’s deliberation of an issue affecting the disabled community…  This time:  Subway elevators…  Deemed by one board member as – no kidding – “an obscenity”!  

Be nice if leadership of the NYS Senate would vote on the fracking moritorium.  If you’d like to urge them on

Maybe the most important reading we’ll be doing this or any other year…  The state of modern produce and – write gigantically large – why we shop Greenmarkets:  Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

On to the cheery:

And then there’s the peace-of-mind that comes from tending even the smallest bit of ground

Of course there’ve been many voices over recent years  – among them Civitas – who’ve railed against the grimey newsboxes lined up on so many of UES corners and especially along First and Second Aves…  Now it seems the Upper  West Side’s reached the saturation point

Time for interested schools to apply for Solar1’s (in partnership with Department of Education) wonderful Green Design Lab  …  A program focusing on how to green your school!  For details and the application…  

This year’s most effective sun screens are

Seven great places for stargazing?

Why would it occur to anyone to study the effect of olive oil and nuts on human intelligence?  (But we’re glad they did!) 

As we cross fingers for East River ferry service extending ever northward, here’s a short video history on NYC’s most recent flirtation with commuting via water

The humble postcard has a history?  You bet it does!

dicranella-heteromalla

dicranella-heteromalla

Yes, animals:

Oh, why shouldn’t there be a birding bucket list?  And why shouldn’t you add your special bird to it?

Interesting pet combination…  Two lizards and a kitten… 

Best hedgehog video compilation (lots of babies!) we’ve seen in months!

And this from the real world of the Hudson River Almanac:

5/23 – Last year was big for small mammals, but the lack of fall food (mostly beech nuts) caused the populations to plummet around October.  Earlier in the week I spent  time with a graduate student from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry who’s been trapping small mammals in the Huntington Wildlife Forest. Three nights of trapping, 168 traps per night, and not a single small mammal was captured.   Looks like a bad summer not only for small mammals, but all critters that eat them…  Coyotes, bobcats, owls, hawks, and weasels.  –  Charlotte Demers

[More than a few Almanac contributors have commented on the near absence of chipmunks and squirrels in the lower Hudson Valley this spring.  – Tom Lake.]

We leave you with a remembrance of Joe Farman, discoverer of the hole in earth’s ozone layer, who passed ten days ago, at age 82.

Doesn’t get greener than 7 1/8 compost bins,

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

And we quote master star guy, John Pazmino:

“On May 17th, a meteoroid crashed into the moon’sn the Mare Imbrium producing an explosion visible to the naked eye on Earth!

Unfortunately, if you blinked you missed it as it lasted about 1 second.

Still, the meteor smashed into the moon’s surface at 56,000 mph with the force of 5 tons of TNT, producing a crater 20 meters in diameter.”  (For video...)

Hard for the coming week to top that, but we can hope:

Saturday, May 18th:   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, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Very happy to say, Cherry Lane Farms rejoins the market this Saturday…  And they’ll have strawberries!!

And look for Market Manager Emma’s grilling demo commencing around 11am.

Last but hardly least…  Yes, Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess is with us and raring the hone!

YTD (from 1/5/13 to 5/18/13):  865 lbs batteries; 714 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 85 pairs of eye glasses; 245 bags of clothes; 100 7/12 compost bins.

As we were out of commission last week, look for this and this week’s totals next week!

Saturday, May 25th:  Jamaica Bay Sunset Ecology Cruise

 Pier 4, Sheepshead Bay (Emmons & Bedford Avenues), Brooklyn, 4:30pm

We’re talking a 3-hour narrated tour aboard the Golden Sunshine” with sightings of nesting peregrine falcons, osprey, herons, egrets, ibis, shorebirds and water owls. Guided by Mickey Cohen and Don Riepe.  Wine, cheese and fruit,  too!  $55.  For more:  917- 371-8577 or  donriepe@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 25th & Sunday, May 26th:  Jamaica Bay Marsh Planting

Jamaica Bay (duh!),  11am-3pm Saturday, 12-4pm Sunday

Governor Cuomo deems this, “a model approach for resiliency investments that will help protect communities” from storms like Hurricane Sandy.”    Help take a bite out 30 acres of planting!  Wear knee high boots or shoes you don’t care about getting wet.   For further details:   donriepe@gmail.com…  And sign up

Coming up fast:

Saturday, June 1st:  The Green Block at the Third Avenue Fair

Third Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 12-5pm

Looks for us under the arch of green balloons…  Greenmarket farmers (with tables of produce),  UGS (with a ton of recycling info),  Pledge2Protect (with pledges to sign), NYCH2O (great tours coming up), Civitas (always great, new UES and East Harlem-centric projects), neighborhood groups and block associations…  Come  and get acquainted with your neighbors and go home with baby spring salad greens and spring onions!   

And then:

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Re-Opens

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-4pm                                                        Compost Collection 9am-1pm

Complete roster of farmers/bakers/vendors TBA.   But count on old favorites, new friends,  compost collection and our usual battery/DVDs/CDs/jewel cases/cords/ink cartridge/cork recycling.  (The fabulous Stellar Cooks return on July 8th!) 

Get your composting licks back up to speed with this handy GrowNYC page

AND ON THE VERY SAME DAY ACROSS THE STREET:

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred-A-Thon – Very Early Summer  Edition!

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

What we’ll be shredding:

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 will take paperbacks.)

(Many thanks to Council Member Garodnick for his generous grant!)

Just a couple of snippets of miscellany:

Always fun reading when Christopher Gray profiles one of our UES structures

And great that the drum on a NYC ban of plastic bags keeps on banging

Nothing warm and furry in this Hudson River Alamanac entry…  Quite the opposite:

one big cicada

one big cicada

5/11 – Beacon, HRM 61: I was hiking along Clove Creek and found numerous half-inch diameter holes under planks and pieces of bark. They were occupied by 17-ear cicada nymphs working their way to the surface to emerge shortly. It’s going to get loud around here in a couple of weeks. –  Steve Seymour

Okay, we can’t help ourselves…  Awww, a picture of the real:

Christopher Robin and Pooh

Christopher Robin and Pooh

It’s My Park Day really was just great:

It's My Park Day Spring 2013

victory over world class weed

victory over world class weed

Our best,

UGS

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Happy It’s My Park Day Weekend, UESiders!

One more time, surely hope you’ll find time to head over to the Esplanade at 96th to plant or paint or sign a Pledge2Protect or have a chat or just stare out the sparkling river…

river picture

…And ponder that this Friday, May 17th, is Endangered Species Day… 

Vancouver Island Marmot

Vancouver Island Marmot

But, of course, we’ve all got a lot to do during National Wildflower Week: 

Friday, May 17th: NYSkies Seminar with John Pazmino – The Great Graffias Graze

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

And what is a graze?  A graze/grazing/occultation is when the shadow of our moon just barely touches a passing star…  Handy as there’s a double graze coming up and visable on May 24th!  (Pazmino’s a genius.)  Free.  

Saturday, May 18th:   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, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Sorry, folks, no masterful knife sharpening this Saturday…

Last week’s recycling totals:  46 lbs batteries;  12 lbs  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses; 15 bags of clothes;   7 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  865 lbs batteries; 714 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 85 pairs of eye glasses; 245 bags of clothes; 100 7/12 compost bins.

Another 7 compost bin day!  More than 100 already in 2013!! 

Sunday, May 19th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring  2013

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

More railing scraping/painting (what we’ve done looks so great!) and new landscaping for the planter to replace  greenery obliterated by Sandy.  Think butterfly bushes, roses and grasses.  We’ll be doing some pruning, too!  See you there!

Approaching fast:

Saturday, May 25th:  Become Skilled with Map and Compass Class

Saranac Lake

A one day workshop with premiere outdoor guides Sonny and Sheila Young that’ll turn you into a regular Lewis or Clark.  $30.   For more, contact the Youngs at  518-359-8194 or adkfoothills@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, May 29th:  Re-Envisioning Penn Station & Madison Square Garden

TimesCenter, 242 West 41st Street, 9-11am

Four A-list design firms share how they’d address the infratructural and aesthetic challenges posed by the present, miserably outdated facilities.  Organized by the Municipal Art Society.  Members $15.  Non-members $20.  Reservations required.  (Our idea for starters:  Just rebuild Penn Station.)  For more and tickets…   

Saturday, June 1st:  The Green Block at the Third Avenue Fair

Third Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 12-5pm

Greenmarket farmers (with tables of produce), the East River Crew (maybe even with their wonderful boat), Pledge2Protect (with pledges to sign), NYCH2O (great tours coming up), Civitas (always great, new UES and East Harlem-centric projects), neighborhood groups and block associations…  Come  and get acquainted with your neighbors and go home with rhubarb and scrapes!   

Wednesday, June 12th:  “Koch” Screening

The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College,  north side of 68th Street between Lexington & Park, 6:30PM

The life and times of our colorful erstwhile mayor.  A conversation with documentarian/filmmaker Neil Barsky follows.  Free but RSVP required:   212-772-4007.

Can’t come soon enough:

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Re-Opens

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-4pm                                                        Compost Collection 9am-1pm

Complete roster of farmers/bakers/vendors TBA.   But count on old favorites, new friends,  compost collection and our usual battery/DVDs/CDs/jewel cases/cords/ink cartridge/cork recycling.  (The fabulous Stellar Cooks return on July 8th!) 

Get your composting mojo back up to speed with this handy GrowNYC page

AND ON THE VERY SAME DAY ACROSS THE STREET:

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred-A-Thon – Very Early Summer  Edition

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

What we’ll be shredding:

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 do take paperbacks.)

(Many thanks to Council Member Garodnick for his generous grant!)

sanicula-europaea1

sanicula-europaea1

We’ll move from ugly to bad to good in this round of miscellany, commencing with:

Wake up, America!   Even Russia’s banned GMO agricultural food products! 

This while we’re about to cut $4 billion from the U.S. Food Stamp Program…  (Senator Gillabrand’s proposing an amendment…)

The mysterious death of untold numbers of bees is now on big media’s radar screen…  A die-off some suspect is related agri chemicals…

Don’t think we’ve ever cited an article twice before, but this one merits a second mention…  Consumer Reports’ scathing and scarifying examination of ground  turkey

Bookended by an equally chilling report on supermarket meat…  (Affirming why you shop  at Greenmarket and Rising Sun.)

Humm…  Seems there was/is at least one reason to be concerned about our city’s rush into the arms of natural gas

Double humm…  If you think Representative Maloney should sign Arizona Rep.  Raul Grijalha’s letter asking the president to reject the Keystone pipeline, give her call:   212-860-0606.

Maybe we should be insisting that the EPA should be investigating the effect of methane on climate change, too.

Certainly the Rockefeller Foundation $35 million grant program is well meant, but it sort of doesn’t seem quite enough to help 100 cities worldwide prepare for natural and man-made disasters…

That $35 million being pretty much a drop in the bucket when one considers the needs outlined in the most recent post-Sandy report

But, of course, problem-solvers are out there thinking and hard…  Witness these 9 rather amazing wind turbines designs

Going local:

Believe it or not, a second Brownfields site’s been identified on the UES…  This time at 1676 Third between 93rd and 94th, once the site of a gasoline station.  

For a take on the immediate fall-out from last week’s decision by Lenox Hill Democratic Club not to endorse a mayoral candidate (due the Dem field’s support for the MTS).

Seems the Gowanus Canal clean-up has hit another snag…  This time with residents – rightly we say – objecting to replacing of  some of the area’s few amenities with the likes of sewage storage tanks.  

Meanwhile,  the Straphanger’s Campaign’s new survey asks how you feel about your commute on public transport…

We know all the things Greenmarkets have done for our community and now in L.A., “fruit activists”  are deploying fruit trees not only to provide access to fresh produce but as art!

More great-looking UES Historic District signs going up to denote the district’s newly expanded boundaries!

Really looking forward to seeing the new doc “If These Knishes Could Talk: The Story of the New York Accent”…  (Alert:  Trailer on film’s own site starts with a bad word.)

Who knew CNET had such an amusing electronics show online?  “Always On” host Molly Wood comes up with tests that’re more real life torture we users inflict!

A new book on our favorite subject…  garbage!  And by none other than the NYC Sanitation Department’s very own – we kid you not – official anthropologist, Robin Nagel! 

Sure do love the new NYC passion for lunchtime dancing

Let’s talk summer:

And the schedule of free outdoor movies that’ll be shown all over town!

Then there’s all the great stuff they’ve got planned for Governor’s Island!

Froth:

Back on the TV bent…  Not since Geico’s first Maxwell the Pig spot have there been ads as cute as the new Oreo commercials… 

Courtesy of the U.S. Census, the new top ten most popular boy and girl baby names

And a tribute:

Not on the scale of The Times’ and totally non-environmental, but we feel moved to pay our respects to Alice E. Kober, the unsung woman who contributed much to deciphering Linear B, the ancient Aegean script,   thereby greatly expanding our knowledge of human life on earth. 

sidalcea-malviflora

sidalcea-malviflora

Ah…  Animals:

And what appears to be the totally incredible evolution of the cliff sparrow over the last 30 years…  A change in the birds’ wings enabling them to better avoid injury/death by automobile.  Must reading!  

Surprised they didn’t think of it way long ago…  Animal Planet’s new online  Piranha Cam!  (Feeding at 9pm EST.)

Just in case you were doubting the discerning power of a a dog’s nose, this from National Geographic…    

Iyour kitty’s inclined to the philanthropic and assisting endangered cousin felines, he/she will be rewarded with his/her photo on Nat Geo’s site!   (Great collection of cat pix.)

The Bird of the Week is:

Kentucky-Warbler

Kentucky-Warbler

And the (yes, again!), National Geographic’s photo of the week:

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl

What would a week be without a bit from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/2 – LaGrange, HRM 78: After more than a week of watching a wandering moose, DEC decided to relocate the animal.   DEC Region 3 wildlife biologists, assisted by Region 5 staff experienced in moose relocation,  tranquilized the young moose – a one-year-old male and. fitted him out with ear tags and radio collar.  DEC staff then transported the anmal north to the Adirondacks and released him in Essex County.   The moose looked good and walked right out of the trailer.  – Ted Kerpez, DEC Region 3 Wildlife Manager

Moose relocation, indeed!

We’re seeing green everywhere,

UGS

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Happy National Train Day, UESiders!

Saw many a foot in a flip-flop today…  Lots of bare arms and shorts…  Could it be that spring is really here?!

almaleea-subumbellata

almaleea-subumbellata

We are tired of gazing upon tulips and blooming cherry trees in our parkas, so it darned well better be!

We’ve got too much to do around town this week:

Saturday, May 11th:   82nd Street Greenmarket – Mother’s Day Edition!

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – lpm 

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

Farmers are telling us they’ll have asparagus, ramps, rhubarb, and garlic scapes!

In case you haven’t experienced Feather Ridge Farm’s amazing eggs…  Available in large, extra large, (really big) jumbo and omega large.  Omega large are produced by hens eating flax seeds to increase the omega 3 in their eggs!

Meanwhile, whatever other great things you’ve gotten mom,  a sprouted seed necklace made by her offspring’s loving hands will totally make her day!  Just go to Market Manager Emma’s tent for all you’ll need to create your market-inspired gift!

Yes, and  volunteer/chef extraordinaire Weston will be cooking up a special Mother’s Day treat!

PLUS our genius knife sharpener Barbara Hess will be at her table , too!

Last week’s recycling totals:  52 lbs batteries;  15 lbs  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses; 15 bags of clothes;   7 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  819 lbs batteries; 702 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 84 pairs of eye glasses; 230 bags of clothes; 93 7/12 compost bins.

Once again, 7 compost bins, people!! 

Saturday, May 11th:  Take Home a Plant & Help Carl Schurz Park

East End Avenue at East 86th Street, 9:30am-4:30pm

Choose from among hundreds of highest quality plants for your home, terrace, garden, or office from Beds and Borders, Long Island’s premier nursery and most for just a $5 donation (that benefits the beautiful park)!

Tuesday, May 14th:  Lung Cancer & New York City Kitchens

Great Hall, Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street, between Third & Fourth Avenues, 7-9:30pm 

Would categorize this as a science fiction forum if it  wasn’t organized by the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design and other respected environmental and health groups.  The crux:   Planned changes in natural gas sources that could result in higher radon levels in the gas used in our homes.  Free but reservations required

Monday, May 13th: Midtown Upzoning Public Hearing

Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street, 6pm

If you haven’t gotten yourself into the loop of yet another of the mayor’s grandiose, race-to-the-finish plans,  check  newsletter miscellany of the two previous weeks.  Then turn out to express your feelings as to the wisdom  of dwarfing Grand Central and other lovely, venerable buildings in the area. 

Monday, May 13th:  “The Bicycle Thief” Screening

Matthews-Palmer Playground, 46th Street between Ninth & Tenth Avenues, 8pm

In celebration of Bike Month, the 45th Street Block Association presents the DeSica masterpiece, “The Bicycle Thief”.  Doesn’t get any better than a watching a fabulous film outdoors on a warm night!  Free but do bring something comfy to sit on.

Wednesday, May 15th:  Greening New York’s Historic Buildings – Green Row House Manual Program

Municipal Art Society, 111 W 57th Street
16th Floor, 9-11am

Learn how and why the manual – the first of its kind in the city – was created along with specific advice on how the energy efficiency of your rowhouse can be enhanced without compromising what makes it historic.    Free but registration required

Thursday, May 16th – Friday, May 31st:  Bohemia Fashion Exhibition

Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street,

Got to say, fashionistas, items on the Center’s site look really beautiful…  And it isn’t like great style hasn’t always been international!  For Center hours and show details… 

And then:

Sunday, May 19th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring  2013

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

More railing scraping/painting (what we’ve done looks so great!) and new landscaping for the planter in lieu of greenery killed by Sandy.  Think native flowers, roses and grasses.   Come one!  Come all!

Saturday & Sunday, May 25th & May 26th and Saturday, June 2nd:   Marsh Restoration Event

Jamaica Bay

Volunteers will be ferried to Ruler’s Bar Marsh where they’ll take a big bite out of the 88,000 plugs of Spartina alterniflora ( Salt Marsh grass) that’ll one day soon recreate the original marshscape.  An American Littoral Society project.  For more information or  donriepe@gmail.com.

Monday, May 27th:  Citi Bike Launch

Closest stations to us are pretty far south in the UES but check them out…    (Looks like one’s on the east side of the Bloomberg Building!)

Thursday, June 20th:  Four Freedoms Park Tour

Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, 5:45pm

Much to learned about the design and rocky, decades-long road that brought the city’s newest park into existence.  Tour led by urbanist and Island resident, Sharon Pope.  Suggested donation:  $10.  RSVP required:  info@civitasnyc.org or 212-996-0745.

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Re-Opens

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-4pm                                                        Compost Collection 9am-1pm

Complete roster of farmers/bakers/vendors TBA.   But count on old favorites, new friends,  compost collection, battery/DVDs/CDs/jewel cases/cords/ink cartridge/cork recycling and the fabulous Stellar Cooks! 

Use the 6 weeks till to bring yourself back up to compost speed with this handy GrowNYC page

 AND

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred-A-Thon – Very Early Summer  Edition

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

What we’ll be taking:

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 Garodnick for his generous grant!)

Strangely light on miscellany this time out:

Always a pleasure to include a job opportunity…  This time for one with experience in the PR/vommunity outreach realm and environmental enthusiasm…

In the Decline of Western Civilization Department, this week’s winner is:  The mammoth, two- story 7-11 recently opened in the Flatiron District 

Whoa!  We’ve got a DEC Brownfields site on the UES!  Located on the SW corner of First and 70th, likely an erstwhile dry cleaner and, much earlier, auto shop are responsible for the ground water contamination that now exists.

But small potatoes in comparison to the U.S. being the only industrialized nation not signatory to the Basel Convention which makes it illegal to export toxic ewaste! 

Really?  Really, in 2013, there’re still lead and cadmium in many of the biggest brand lipsticks, ladies…

Yes, we’ll lighten up:

Any number of wonderful boating experiences to be had in our unequaled harbor and one of our favorites is the South Street Seaport’s Pioneer…   (They often let you help raise the sails!) 

Of course, we already knew about L.A. urban farmer Ron Finley from his TED talk but nice to read about him . too! 

Most enthusiastically recommend NYS DEC’s brilliant Outdoor Discovery Newsletter…  Our state’s just overflowing with great things to do out in nature! 

Oh, animals:

Alrighty…  Not exactly furry or cute, but how about 12 great theme dinosaur parks?!

Very much alive and needing our help is the smallish and more pointy-nosed Louisiana Black Bear

 So we live in the ultimate metropolis…  No reason we can’t have our own personal Certified Wildlife Habitats

And there won’t be a bit of rigid plastic anywhere near ’em, 

UGS

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Happy May Day Plus Two, UESiders!

No question but we’re still on high from last week’s announcement that henceforth NYC would be recycling all rigid plastics!

(Felt really strange not to be getting on the 4/5 without our usual compliment of bulging Ikea bags!)

Wasn’t it great placing that lovely rigid #1 – #7 into a bin under your own roof with the sure and certain knowledge it would soon be living a new, recycled plastic life?

Just keep in mind that wherever you’re recycling plastic, it needs to be washed and totally/100%/completely clean and dry.

And why not consider adding yet another form of environmental activity to your CV…  Like enlisting in NYState’s Natural Heritage Program that tracks invasive species threatening our state’s natural resources…

drosera-binata

drosera-binata

Sure going to be another great 7 days ahead:

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 3rd, 4th & 5th:  & Grand Opening – Native Plant Garden

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 10am-6pm

As if this magnificent new garden wasn’t enough, there’ll be native plant and water color workshops, folklore, a bird walk, wine, live music and more!  Non-member:  $25; Seniors & Students $22; Children 2-12, $10; Children under 2 are free. For more

Saturday, May 4th:   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, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be with us again as well!

Last week’s recycling totals:  22 lbs batteries;  12 lbs  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 3 pair of eye glasses; 15 bags of clothes;   6 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  767 lbs batteries; 687 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 80 pairs of eye glasses; 215 bags of clothes; 86 7/12 compost bins.

So amazing!

Saturday, May 4th:  13 Steps Around Dutch kills Tour

Meet at the Albert E. Short Triangle Park, corner of Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street, Long Island City, Queens, 10am

Historian Mitch Waxman imparts the past, present and future of what many consider to be birthplace of the American industrial revolution, the much environmentally abused Newtown Creek Watershed.  Organized by the Obscura Society.  $20.  For full details, directions and tickets

Saturday, May 4th & Sunday, May 5th:  Jane’s Walks NYC

All Over Our City

It’s that time of the year when the Municipal Art Society honors the great urbanist by giving NYC the gift of more than 100 guided tours…  From Staten Island to El Barrio to Turtle Bay to Gowanus to Long Island City!  For a complete listing and to sign up… 

Sunday, May 5th: Spring Fling at PS267

63rd Street between Second & Third

Join PS267 families, friends and neighbors for a Sunday of carnival rides, games, arts and crafts and food treats!  All proceeds benefit the school’s PTA.

Monday, May 6th:  19th Precinct Shredding Event

153 East 67th Street between Lexington & Park, 5pm

How cool is it that the NYPD ‘s onboard with shredding and offering yet another opportunity to purge your home of docs you want finally and completely obliterated?  For further info… 

Monday, May 6th:  Landmarks Preservation Commission Tip Session

Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, 8:30-10am

No surprise, there’s method to presenting your building in best light for landmark consideration.  The LPC’s Mary Beth Letts knows and is willing to share what that method is.  Free but you must reserve a place with Barbara Zay:  bzay@hdc.org or 212-614-9107. 

Wednesday, May 8th:  Rally Against the Central Library Plan

NYPL, 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, 3:30PM

Should you object to the sell-off of library property (think the Donnell, Mid-Manhattan, etc. ),  you can make your point as library trustees enter the main branch for a meeting.   

And then:  

Saturday, May 11th:  King Lavra Micro-Opera Premiere

Czech Center, Bohemian Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

Composer Jan Jirasek’s fairy tale-based opus for chorus, piano and percussion in our very own hood!  And it’s in English!   Suggested donation: $15.    For more details

Tuesday, May 14th: East of Eden – An Exploration of East 96th and Environs from Central Park to the East River

House of the Redeemer , 7 East 95th Street between Fifth & Madison, 6:30pm

And we quote, “Discover the geographic, technological, economic and planning influences that have shaped the development of the iconic neighborhoods of the Upper East Side and East Harlem as they intersect at East 96th Street.”   Discussion led by Civitas’ Hunter Armstrong  and architectural historian John Kriskiewicz.     Suggested donation:  $15.  Reservations required:  212-996-0745 or info@civitasnyc.org.  Reception follows.

Wednesday, May 15th to Friday, May 17th:  d  Third Annual Urban Agriculture Conference

Various Venues, Various Times

Organized by the Horticultural Society, this year’s event focuses on food security and its implications.   Includes an amazing tour of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, Boswyck Farms Hydroponic Rooftop, Brooklyn Grange Navy Yard Farm and more!   General admission, $175; Non-profits, $155; Society members, $120.   For full details

Saturday, May 18th:    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 while out 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 the best ever!)    $75.00.  For more and tickets

Sunday, May 19th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring 2013 2013

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

We continue railing scraping/painting (what we’ve done looks so great!) and we’ll replacing planter greenery killed by Sandy with beautiful new native flowers, roses and grasses.   Everyone welcome, even if you want to just hang out!

Sunday, May 19th: 11th Annual Drum Along the Hudson Native American Festival

Inwood Hill Park, 218th Street and Indian Road (4 blocks west of Broadway, 11am-6pm

A celebration of Native American heritage, culture, and art with a liberal sprinkling of justly famous NYC diversity.  Dance, drumming, music from around the world, crafts, food and free bike valet!  Always great.   And free.  For more

Monday, May 20th:  Aspen at Roosevelt House

The Roosevelt House, 67-69 East 65th Street, 6pm

The subject of this latest installment in Roosevelt House/Aspen  Institute’s series on pressing issues of the day:   Preparing for the Next Storm:  Investing in Nature.   Discussion led by Mark Tercek of The Nature Conservancy and Andrew Revkin of The NY Times.   Free but you must RSVP: 212-650-3174.  

Approaching fast:

Sunday, June 23rd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Re-Opens

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-4pm                                                        Compost Collection 9am-1pm

Complete roster of farmers/bakers/vendors TBA.   But count on old favorites, new friends,  compost collection, battery/DVDs/CDs/jewel cases/cords/ink cartridge/cork recycling and the fabulous Stellar Cooks! 

AND

Sunday, June 23rd:  Shred-A-Thon – Very Early Summer  Edition

First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd Streets, 10am-2pm

We’ll be taking:

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 Garodnick for hisher generous grant!)

linanthus-dichotomus

linanthus-dichotomus

Ah, yes, miscellany:

Yikes!  Tests are revealing a host of tiny horrors in ground turkey…  Including antibiotic resistant disease-causing germs!

This while the Nestle Corporation’s attempting to patent  a centuries old folk nostrum, fennel flower.  (Should you object…)

Hard to believe the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation would actually exempt dairy farms of from 200-299 cattle from polllution control regulations…  (Think manure.)  But if they do, Riverkeeper – among others – is ready to sue!

And why would even the crassest mining operation want to deposit its waste amidst one of the world’s great salmon fisheries?  Because it wants to. But if you object

Thanks to reader Matt Malina for the heads up on the Times piece detailing Oslo, Norway’s enviable challenge of importing waste (for energy).

Also from The Times, Mark Bittman comments (totally favorably) on omnivore Michael Pollan’s new book.e 

Good grief!  Don’t know how a fire in a compost pile out Fresh Kills got under our radar.  Three minor injuries, cause still under investigation and a jag in Sanitation’s composting learning curve.

Ever wonder who’s behind all that gorgeous planting on Park Avenue?

Okay, so that Fifties rage for white brick gave us a ton of pretty banal architecture, but who’d have thought the brick itself was deeply flawed and that, 5 decades later, real estate magnates like Rudins would be be taking one of those white elephants green?  

One could say they kind of owe it to us – along with plenty more – but it is nice that Goldman-Sachs and JP Morgan Chase and 8 other corporate giants and occupiers of major amounts of NYC office space have pledged to cut their energy consumption by 30%.

Rather beautiful, the world’s largest solar array in California’s Mojave Desert…   Strange that it’ll provide power to only 140,000 homes.

Umm…  Makes us shiver…  Seven of the world strangest flowers!

But then we go online and are even more amazed Manhattan’s topography as it once was on John Randall Jr’s  early 19th Century and now digitized Farm Maps!   (The maps that established our city’s grid!)  For more on the maps’ history… 

Ha!  No less a source than Smithsonian Magazine designates NYState’s Adirondacks  as birthplace of the American vacation!

Bunny

As if we’d forget those animals:

Been rather bird-heavy of late, but then these baby red-tailed hawks are really cute…  (And how carefully mom feeds them!)

Many birdcams on one page from California’s Eaglecrest Estate…  (Outdoor sounds are lovely even when the birds aren’t up to anything special!) 

Weird, we know, that we also find Muskoxen pretty sweet in their own shaggy way…  (Great photo, yes?)

Well, there would have to be a Cat Video of the Week…  Starring this time out the mysteriously motivated  “Vacuum Cat”… 

One of these days soon, the Hudson River Almanac will have pictures, too: 

4/20 – Millbrook, HRM 82:  A young moose, probably a yearling searching for new territory, was sighted on state Route 82 near the Village of Millbrook this afternoon.
– Deb Kral

[When the first Europeans arrived in the Hudson Valley 400 years ago, moose were common, but by the 1860s they were absent from NYState…  That is until re-entering on a continuing basis in the 1980s. In 2010, the DEC biologists estimated that there were about 500 to 800 moose in New York, most located in the Adirondack Mountains and the Taconic Highlands.  – Tom Lake.]

Sincerely green,

UGS

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