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…



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! 


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!)



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!


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,


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