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design firms share how they’d address the infratructural and aesthetic challenges posed by the present, miserably outdated facilities.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


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!)



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!


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. 



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:



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,


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