Monthly Archives: June 2013

Happy Long 4th of July Weekend,  UESiders!

For those who missed the president’s address detailing his Climate Action Plan, here’s a resume…  And for the speech itself 

Strikes us that as pertains to  resume Points #1, 3, 4 and 8, NYC has a lot to gain.

A propos of Point #1:  Heading into Manhattan via the 59th Street Bridge last week, for the first time our eyes settle on the clear but rippling, unfriendly  gaseous something-er-other being pumped out of a Con Ed stack.

So much for the present Clean Air Act!    Yikes!!

As a city that’s now famously moved on to the greater glory of rigid plastic recycling and expanding compost collection (National Geographic noticed), no way we’ll settle for less than optimal air.

disperis-johnstonii

disperis-johnstonii

Ready yourselves for the next 7 days: 

Saturday, June 29th:   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, Cherry Lane, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Check out Cherry Lane’s fantastic tiny new potatoes!

And sheeeeee’s baaaack!  Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be at her table,too, and eager to hone!

Last week’s recycling totals:  61 lbs batteries;  11 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridge; 5 pairs glasses;  12 bags of clothes;   6 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,077 lbs batteries; 757 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 105 pairs of eye glasses; 343 bags of clothes; 141 compost bins.

So impressive.

Sunday, June 30th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

With us will be  Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows, Troncillito and Glebocki Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery!    

Got so absorbed in the shredding drama, we’ll be totalling up other recycling taken in this coming Sunday…  Stay tuned!

BUT…  We shredded 5,320 lbs of paper in a little more than 2 hours!!

MEANWHILE, 30 FEET FROM THE MARKET:

Sunday, June 30th:  Annual Holmes Residents’ Flea Market

Holmes Towers Plaza, 1780 First Avenue, 10am-4pm

A gorgeous, over-sized birdcage…  Golden era Latin music on classic vinyl…  Fitness equipment…  Heaps more…   All to benefit Holmes Towers Family Day!

Monday, July 1st – Wednesday, July 3rd:  Foundations of Freedom at the NYPL

Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street

For just three days, the Declaration of Independence (written in Jefferson’s own hand) and one of the few remaining original copies of the Bill of Rights will be on display.  Believe it or not, this is the first time these two foundational American documents have been shown together paired.  Free.  For details, hours and the names of the sterling individuals who’ve made this exhibition possible

 

Tuesday, July 2nd:  Czech That Film Summer Rooftop Film Series

The Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

A series of Czech films – with English subtitles – commencing with “Cigan” (“Gypsy”).   The Czechs have been making great films since the beginning of cinema and the center’s roof is delightful and complete with refreshment stand.   Tickets $10.  For details and ticket purchase

And then:

Monday, July 8th: “Gasland II” Screening on HBO

Time Warner Channel 201, 8pm

Filmmaker Josh Fox turns his camera to what he deems as another a layer contamination – beyond that of tap water you can set on fire:  “Not the water, not the air, but our government.”

Wednesday, July 10th:  Rockefeller University Building Plan Presentation to Community Board 8

New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street, 6:30pm

In the works:  a two-story research building with rooftop pavilions,  a one- story conference center in air space over the FDR and a one-story recreation building in the northwest corner of the campus.   Don’t look for CB8 to even remotely stand in the way but, for sure, residents of the area should receive some benefit…  But we’ll have to press!

Sunday, July 14th:  Shred-A-Thon – Semi Instant Replay 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.)

Take those hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thanks to American Security Shredding for their apology to our community and this gesture of good will.)

Wednesday, July 19th:   Summer Nights at Greenmarkets

Union Square Park, Union Square West at 17th Street, 4-8pm

Celebrate the day 37 years ago when the first NYC Greenmarket ever  opened for business…   Natch, the usual great produce, meats and cheeses, along with live music and offerings from a “curated roster of restaurants”!   Free but registering gets you $1 off each dish

Thursday, July 18th:  “You Can’t Dump That Here!” – A History of Sanitation Lecture

Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street, 6:30-8:30pm

Dr. Robin Nagle – the Sanitation Department’s Antropologist-in-Residence! – lectures on the colorful past of Greenwich Village’s garbage!  Free but reservations required (scroll down)…  

Way out there: 

Saturday, August 12th:  Smokey the Bear Birthday Bash

Mount Loretto Unique Area, 6450 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, 1-3pm

NYS Forest Rangers, wild land fire fighting equipment, fire safety demonstrations AND a visit from the legendary birthday critter himself!  Free.  For details and directions

passiflora-vitifolia

passiflora-vitifolia

Hitting the miscellany trail:

Hallelulah!  Out of the blue, the USDA’s issued new guidelines for snacks allowed to be sold at schools!  (Farewell, over-the-top sugar, salt and fat!)

And this just in:  The NYS legislature’s extended and improved the NYC green roof tax abatement (which had expired March 15, 2013)!  The abatement’s maximum value will be doubled, allowing property owners to save as much as $200,000 per project.  The abatement also will allow rooftop farming and encourage the use of biodiverse plants!!

But really sad that California’s also experiencing mega pressure to let frackers run wild

But who thought we’d see the day Dunkin announced they’d be moving to paper cups (in lieu of styrofoam) and adding gluten-free donuts!

Lesser but pretty fantastic that renovation of the abysmal Port Authority recently surfaced as a possibility!

Check out New York4Parks’  2013 recommendations that’re to be put before the mayor.   Should you agree with the NYP agenda, there’s a petition you can sign

Moving on to mayoral and borough president wannabes…  Here’s how the candidates shake out on the MTS

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered List got folks organized to defend JFK’s Worldport Terminal which, last weekend, Delta began to demolish!  If you object

Meanwhile, check out these lovely and liveable historic properties that’re up for sale

The Riverkeeper’s just issued his May/June water quality report…  (Can it really be that the EPA’s lowered its standards?!) 

Meanwhile, we just discovered a great companion site packed with even more river info:  HERCOS – Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing Systems!

One of the more charming grassroots efforts to get books into everyone’s hands – Little Free Library – has a new outpost just to our north in Hudson’s Heights’ Bennett Park.

Likely it’ll be ages till we get some up our way, but what a great community asset this new WalkNYC Wayfinding street signage is!

Just what we’ve been needing:  How to parse the meaning of and difference between whole grains/12-grain/high fiber/ stoneground, etc.

That and lightning safety tips!  (Have to check into why cement is such a hazard in this regard…)

Many a surprise in J.I. Rodale’s visionary list of 11 (the new 10) healthiest foods…

How’s this for recycling?   Scottish whisky distilleries turning their waste into biofuels?!

Bet you’ve been wondering where to go dancing in NYC this summer!  Well, wonder no more!

Even after this temperatures we’ve racked up lately, we’re pathetic pikers compared to these 10 of the hottest places on earth… 

But thanks to The Times (and reader Jack Donaghy for the tip), for the reminder that NYC is the greatest melting pot

paris-quadrifolia

paris-quadrifolia

 Sort of serious animal stuff this time out:

Most wonderful news that  the National Institute of Health will be “retiring” more than 90% of the long-suffering chimpanzees it uses for testing! 

And how do the new retirees react to life outside  cages…?  (Have a tissue near at hand.)

A merciful rarity but should you encounter a stranded dolphin, whale or other marine mammal, here’s how to best help

Interesting,  these 5 ways – 3 of which involve recycling – of encouraging dog owners to clean up pooh… 

Wouldn’t life be the poorer without the Hudson River Almanac:

6/10 – Manhattan, HRM 5:  While up on the much-used 34th floor terrace of our large apartment building in midtown, we’ve seen a pair of northern mockingbirds, always with tidbits in their bills, flying back and forth into a small but dense tree in a pot by the railing.  Unlikely spot though it is, we suspected that the birds had built a nest there and decided to check.  Sure enough, a nest’s what we found, with three hungry fledglings eager to be fed.  – David Finkelstein and Evelyn Letfuss

We’re seeing red, white, blue and green,

UGS

    

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Happy Official Happiest Day of the Year, UESiders!

And happy first day of summer 2013!

Have to say it’s shaping up as one of lushest  ever…  As this excerpt from the Hudson River Almanac attests:

“Fruiting trees are making up for last year.  Apple, crab apple, choke cherry, black cherry, rhododendrons, azaleas, lilacs and even the invasive honeysuckle have  a wealth of blossoms.  I’ve never seen more flowers on apple trees…  There are more blossoms than leaves.”  

This after our cold, long spring.

Wonderful!

melastoma-malabathricum

melastoma-malabathricum

And there’s fine week ahead:

Friday, June 21st:  Fuzzy Lemons at Carl Schurz Park

Schurz Park Playground, East End Avenue at 84th Street, 4-4:45pm

And we quote, ” Every kid’s favorite rockin’ band rolls  onto the playground at Carl Schurz Park, this time as part of the city-wide annual pop up music festival, Make Music New York!”  Free.

Saturday, June 22nd:   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, Cherry Lane, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

Can’t tell you how great Atlantic’s scalloops were last week!

And to be eating real tomatoes again!!

And for yet a third weekend, Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be present and ready to hone your knives!

Last week’s recycling totals:  54 lbs batteries;  12 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridge; 2 pairs glasses;  15 bags of clothes;   6 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,016 lbs batteries; 746 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 100 pairs of eye glasses; 331 bags of clothes; 134 1/2 compost bins.

Wow!!  More than a thousand pounds of batteries!!

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

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

At last!!  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.    BE THERE!!

(Don’t worry!  The great Stellar Cooks return on July 8th!) 

For a short composting refresher,  go to this GrowNYC page

BUT WAIT… 

THERE’S MORE AND RIGHT 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.)

Take those hardcovers over to Goodwill.

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

Wednesday, June 26th:  Climate Change & Health Webinar

7:30pm

Organized by Nobel Prize Winner,  Physicians for Social Responsibility, and covering the gamut of what results from excessive heat.   For more and to sign up

Friday, June 28th:  “Last Call at the Oasis” Screening

John Haynes Holmes House, 28 East 35th Street, 7pm

A film that responds to all the many reasons why we could run out of water with what needs to done to make sure don’t.  Suggested donation:  $5.

Sunday, June 30th:  Annual Holmes Residents’ Flea Market

(Rescheduled from Sunday, June23rd)

Holmes Towers Plaza, 1780 First Avenue, 10am-4pm

A gorgeous, over-sized birdcage…  Golden-era Latin music on classic vinyl…  Fitness equipment…  Heaps more…   All to benefit Holmes Towers Family Day!

And then:

Thursday, July 11th:   NYCH2O Minetta Brook Walk

Meeting place disclosed with ticket purchase, 6:30pm

Who knew – well, maybe you did – that not only was there was a Minetta Lane but a body of water with which it shared a name?  Travel its once 1.5 mile course (still can see vestages through manhole covers and ventilation grates) with ace urban explorer Steve Duncan of Undercity,org.  $25.  For more and tickets…    (Pretty fascinating, yes?)

iris-wilsonii

iris-wilsonii

A small mountain of miscellany this time out:

Finally, the Office of Emergency’s gone public with the new/improved/updated NYC Evacuation Map …   (Yikes!)

Then there’s the NYTimes article elaborating on said map

And the Cornell/Rutgers report on the role that melting Arctic ice played in making Sandy and storms like it that much worse

In the  “If Only This Mayoral Candidate Was As Uniformly Enlightened When An Issue Bearing On Her Constituency Wasn’t Involved” category, this week’s winner would be Ms. Quinn who’s taken the position that MSGarden should receive a just a 10-year lease.

Great response by SaneTrash to the same Ms. Quinn’s claim/more-like-fib that the she’s welcoming of a MTS to her hood

Crazy-making but important to note, America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places which includes the Pan Am/Delta Terminal at JFK

That list doesn’t include the grounds of Jefferson’s Monticello but – as per  its long-time director of gardens -seems like it should.

But great that President Obama is now leaning on massively polluting coal-fired power plants across the U.S.A. to shape up!

And that one of the U.S.’s most polluting of those plants is soon to close!

And fantastic that the USDA now requires mechanically tenderized meat (eeek!) to be labeled as such!

On the other hand there’s this:

Arsenic-based feed additives are routinely added to animal feed (most often for broiler chickens) to increase weight gain, improve feed efficiency, change meat coloring, and hide the illnesses endemic at factory farms.  Independent testing by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy revealed that 55% of chicken sold at supermarkets and 100% of “fast food” chicken contains detectable levels of arsenic. 

BUT our chicken comes from 100% real farmers at Greenmarkets!!

Amazing that  in 2013 some in Congress want to be slashing mass transit funding!    Should you disapprove

Still, even though the present mayor’s enthusiasm is low, it’s good that there are those out there keeping the 42nd Street light rail notion alive

Back in the amazing mode:  The NYState Assembly’s just passed a bill prohibiting smoking on hospital and health care facility grounds…   (At this late date, it’s still been allowed?!)

Equally gob-smacking:  That Staten Island’s got a  growing number of public schools equipped with salad bars with ShopRite to thank for many of them!

Wow!  Not only does NYS have an Angler Achievement Program…  We’ve also got FOSSILS…  A lot of them …  Upstate!

Oh!  These two items just in:  

(1)  The NYS Assembly’s just past the New York State Sun Act of 2013 establishing a solar incentive and financing program!   (Fingers crossed the State Senate gets itself in gear.)

(2)  Bison have prevailed over Montana ranchers in court and are now free to roam outside Yellowstone’s boundaries!

Whoa!  More amazement…  Albeit in a whole other realm:  Not only is the Sotheby’s building at 72nd and York up for sale but, back in 1925,  the thing was constructed as a cigar factory which then, in 1949, became a Kodak warehouse!

We say P&G should be bragging more…  45 of its facilities have now achieved zero-waste status!  To read more (scroll way down)…

A good intro to yet another bunch of great vintage NYC pictures paired with (in some cases, appprox) the same waterside locations today and entitled “From Cargo to Kayaks”…  

And Christopher Gray on two buildings we’re betting we’ve all walked past many a time without a second look

Apartment Therapy’s just out with their 2013 LED Bulb Buyers Guide…  (We’re upgrading from CFLs to LED-Land these days.)

Mosaics…  Embroidery…  Rainwater harvesting…  Bookbinding and more…  As ever, folks,  Build It Green’s got a great line-up/mix of DIY courses… 

In case you’ve never seen the wonderful Viele Map of the Manhattan of 1865

And, yes, Virginia, there is a Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association!

luna moth

luna moth

And the animals of the week are:

Very happy to say a NYC canine hero – injured in the line of duty – is getting damaged teeth capped

Best bird photo of the week?  The bright red-eyed, orange tufted come-on for the Audubon Society’s annual photo contest!

So good to have a new source of cuteness…  Welcome, little Squiggle the Tanzanian Baby Mongoose!

Some other pretty darned cute new friends got themselves included in Mother Earth Network’s 12 Cutest Tree-Dwelling Animals list

Love this bit more from the Hudson River Almanac:

6/1 – Newcomb, HRM 302:   In one of our bluebird boxes and packed full of grasses, we discovered a red squirrel nest. We could see three baby squirrels inside, about two inches long with their eyes still closed.   –  Charlotte Demers

In ever greenness,

UGS

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Happy National Pollinators Week & Wild American Rivers Month, UESiders!!

We’re happy, too, that  Second Avenue will soon – “soon” in MTA parlance meaning 2-12 months – to be liberated from those towering, hideous “muck house” structures…  Beginning with 72nd Street first, then 68th Street and,  finally, 83rd and 86th!!

Happiness #3:  The NYS Assembly’s just passed thermostat recycling legislation which now moves to the State Senate! 

We’re smiling as we forge on and into the coming week:

Wednesday, June 12th – Tuesday, June 25th:  “More Than Honey” Screenings

Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street

Marcus Imhoof’s much admired film , designated “The Citizen Kane of bee documentaries”, complete with appearances by Imhoof and honey tastings.  Sponsored by the Honeybee Conservancy.   For schedule, trailer and tickets… 

Saturday, June 15th:   82nd Street Greenmarket 

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, Cherry Lane, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

If you haven’t sample any of Gajeski’s greens, you’re missing something great!

And, lucky us, Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be at her table for a second week in a row…  But on the early shift this week from 9am-12pm!

Last week’s recycling totals:  battery/Britta fillter/cord/cork/CD/DVD/jewel case/cellphones/ cartridge/glasses totals TBA;  11 bags of clothes;   7 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  962 lbs batteries; 734 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 98 pairs of eye glasses; 316 bags of clothes; 128 compost bins.

Another record week, people!!   7 1/2 compost bins and an incredible 176 donors!!

Saturday, June 15th:  Street Tree Stewardship Event

Boys Club of New York, Elbridge T. Gerry, Jr. Clubhouse, 321 East 111th Street, 10am-12pm

Join Boys Club members and the experts of TreesNY as they pull weeds, clean, cultivate, plant flowers, water and  mulch…  Then partake of a thank-you cookout back at the Clubhouse…   Then take the arborial  care you’ve learned to your own neighborhood trees! 

Tuesday, June 18th:   Audubon Twilight Bat Walk

Meet at Central Park West and 103rd Street,  7:45-9:15pm

Get to know our own NYC bat species as they soar and swoop, clearing our evening skies of pesky insects and hear their calls via echolocator…  Believe us, so fascinating!    Adults, $25.  Children under 12, $15.  For reservations… 

And then:   

Saturday, June 22nd:  NYC DOT Bike Helmet Giveaway

Bandshell Area, Central Park at 72nd Street, 11am-4pm

A whole host of activities at this Adventures NYC event – rock climbing, kayaking and paddling, mountain biking, etc.   But get there early and snag one of those free helmets!   

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

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

What a fabulous line-up…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 great Stellar Cooks will be back with us on July 8th!) 

Get your composting skills back in gear with a visit 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.)

Take those hardcovers over to Goodwill.

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

MEANWHILE, 30 FEET FROM THE MARKET:

Sunday, June 23rd:  Annual Holmes Residents’ Flea Market

Holmes Towers Plaza, 1780 First Avenue, 10am-4pm

A gorgeous, over-sized birdcage…  Golden era Latin music on classic vinyl…  Fitness equipment…  Heaps more…   All to benefit Holmes Towers Family Day!

And out there:

Tuesday, July 11th:  Pepacton Resevoir Paddle

Route 28, near Margretville, New York,   11am

This time NYCH2O’s exploring the resevoir containing the largest amount of NYC water.  Catskillian (!) and adventure guide Carl Apolito will be leading paddlers in 2-person  canoes and single-person kayaks.  For transportation and canoe, $85.   Without transportation but with canoe, $40.  For more options, info and tickets

How about a great job opportunity from our friends at the Gowanus Conservancy before we engage with coming events…  To wit:

In partnership with the The Mission Continues,  the Conservancy is proud to offer a Fellow position to a post-9/11 veteran!  Fellowship entails 20 hours per week over 26 weeks and involves meaningful work assisting in community organizing and environmental stewardship.  Application deadline:  August 5th.   Please encourage veterans in your circle of friends to consider applying.  For further details or info@gowanuscanalconservancy.org

Let’s get topical miscellany out of the way: 

Needless to say, the chemical industry is doing its best to derail the proposed NYC/Sanitation/Mayor’s styrofoam ban with the usual bogus claims that small businesses will be hurt.  But if you’d like to see the uncompostable, unrecyclable stuff gone from our cityscape, do let Mayor B. know…   As well as Council Members Lappin and Garodnick…

Also good that our mayor’s been so engaged with the challenge posed by rising sea levels and future storms and it behooves us all to get familiar with his detailed report/plan…   

Could say it’s inequality writ large, these recently floated designs for luxury housing sited on Housing Authority land

For those of us who haven’t read the great Ada Louise Huxtable on proposed alterations in the NYPL’s 42nd Street Branch

Meanwhile, should you believe that not just the 42nd Street but many libraries throughout the boroughs are under threat/siege….

No kidding, now they – the petroleum industry – are pressing to frack in our National Forests!   Should you take issue with that desire

Same for federal lands!  (If you object…)

On the sunnier side:

Expensive they’ll be, but these pretty radical building designs do come with a huge solar component… 

Yet another Manhattan greenroof!  (There are others, even though NY1 says Lenox Hill Neighborhood House’s the first…  It is, however, the biggest!)

Can’t have enough programs like Harlem Hothouse that’s got local moms growing produce for school meals!

Check out the 2013 winners of Green America’s People & Planet Awards…  Individuals responsible for 400 rooftop gardens, establishing composting in D.C.  and a seed bank preserving 1,800 varieties of chili peppers!   

 Then there’s Build It Green’s pretty fabulous roster of DIY classes…  From mosaics to rainwater harvesting to  upholstery! 

Of course, we’re all familiar with the “you’ve got 5 seconds to safely pick food up from the  floor”…    Not so, people!

A couple of weeks ago we had vintage  film footage of NYC in ’39.  Now, tipped by our Master Knife Sharpener, a raft of astonishing period photos from the NYPL collection

Bring on those animals:

So how’d we let Mexico get the comedy jump on us with the nomination of a cat for mayor of the city of Xalapa with the campaign promising “Xalapa without rats”! 

In honor of National Pollinator Week (love it!), the Center for Food Safety’s fielding a photo contest…  Snap the pollinator of your choice – including (but not limited to) bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and beetles – and the picture will be featured on the CFS website!

(Should photography not be your thing, you can still celebrate National Pollinator Week by taking the Bee Protective Pledge!)

Couldn’t be farther from the warm and fuzzy ken, but key to the marine foodchain and given charm by blogger Kelly Rypkema…  Really…  Horseshoe Crabs!  

Always a new way of looking at our fellow creatures…   Especially so in slow motion

May our coming summer be ever so green,

UGS

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Happy Rip-Tide Awareness Week, UESiders!

Lots in the news about the changes Sandy’s wrought in coastal currents, so be aware…  Really, don’t go in the water when lifeguards aren’t around…  Maybe even deploy the new Rip-Tide Ap.

69 years now since D-Day…  And the French’re talking about installing wind turbines off and in view of the Normandy Coast…   (How about out of sight, people?)

But let’s get ready for the 7 days ahead:

Saturday, June 8th:   82nd Street Greenmarket 

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, Cherry Lane, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

(Were those Cherry Lane strawberries great or what?!)

He had to cancel last week but this Saturday for sure,    Il Tesoro’s  A.J. Black will be whipping up one great cooking demo…  Likely that homemade pasta with Feather Ridge eggs and sauce of seasonal ingredients…  Yum!

And, YES, indeed…  Our own Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be present, accounted for and at her table!

Last week’s recycling totals:  46 lbs batteries;  10 lbs  Britta filters/cords/corks/CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasseses; 17 bags of clothes;   7 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  962 lbs batteries; 734 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and cartridges; 98 pairs of eye glasses; 305 bags of clothes; 120 1/2 compost bins.

Another week when we hit 7 bins and, sigh, those record-setting 161 donors!!

Onward to 8!!

Saturday, June 8th:  Riverkeeper Kingston Kayak Festival

Kingston Point Beach, 102 Delaware Avenue, Kingston, New York, 10am-4pm

You don’t even have to know how ’cause there’ll be lessons for the uninitiated!  (Kayaking is a beautiful thing.)  $10.  For more and the necessary RSVP… 

Sunday, June 9th:  Governor’s Island Building 877 Implosion!

Watch from the Staten Island Ferry, 7:37am (that precise!)

We’re talking 250 pounds of  precisely placed explosives that’ll level the 11-story building in a slick 25 seconds!  Yes, and the ferry’s the recommended vantage point! 

Sunday, June 9th:  Preserving the Harvest – The Basics of Canning & Lacto-Fermentation

Bowery Culinary Center, Whole Foods, 95 East Houston Street, 10am-3pm

Learn from Just Food’s Master Food Preserver Taireina Gilbert:  Best methods for preserving a wide variety of produce, recipes and detailed handouts!  $75, all proceeds benefitting Just Food.   For tickets

Tuesday, June llth:  Beginner’s Guide to Heirloom Vegetables – A Talk with Marie Ionnotti

The Horticultural Society, 148 East 37th Street, 6:30pm

Think biographies of immigrant vegetables as related by a master gardener…  Vegetables from seeds brought to these shores by generations of new Americans, those best suited to present and easiest to grow!     Free but RSVP to programs@thehort.org.   For further details…  

Saturday, June 15th:   The Poison Caldron of Newtown Creek Tour

Meet at the corner of Kingsland and Norman Avenues, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, 10am

And we quote:  “Join us for a three-hour exploration of the petroleum and waste transfer districts of the Newtown Creek watershed in North Brooklyn.”  Organized by the Obscura Society geniuses.  $25.   Reading the full description of the event is a must…   (Hope they do it again at Halloween!)

Thursday, June 20th:  Williamsbridge Reservoir Oval Walking Tour

Meet at 3301 Bainbridge Avenue, The Bronx, 6:30-8:30pm

We count on NYCH2O to keep us in the know about our city’s water supply past, present and future with prime outings like this.  FYI, “oval” refers to the shape of the erstwhile 41-foot deep natural lake existing at the site and once part of NYC’s water system (converted to a recreational site by – who else? – Robert Moses).  $20.  For directions, map and tickets

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!) 

Get your composting skills back in gear with a visit 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.)

Take those hardcovers over to Goodwill.

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

Sunday, June 23rd:  Geography of Modern Art Tour

Meeting Place Revealed with Ticket Purchase, 2pm

Architectural historian Francis Morrone sheds light on East 10th Street and surrounds, once home to greats from Pollack to Hopper to de Kooning.  Organized by the Municipal Art Society.  Members $15.  Non-members $20.  For more and tickets

yucca-brevifolia

yucca-brevifolia

As for the ever more abundant miscellany:

Okay, let’s get this one out of the way and we quote:  “NY faces the greatest storm surge threat…”

Given that reality, good that NYS will be funding new wiring for gas stations enabling them to pump fuel when that next big storm comes our way… 

Considerably less grim than in recent years is New Yorkers for Parks’ recent report…  (New positions, more maintenance and enforcement… BUT, after Sandy, no stump removal?!) 

We like these 3 just released 2011-12 statistics from industry journal  Recycling Today The many billions earned from recycled and repurposed electronics, (scroll down) that we’re now recovering 65.1% of domestically produced paper (keep scrolling) and that recycling of rigid plastics increased by 13%.   (Now that NYC’s in the rigid plastics game, the sky’s the limit!)  

Also glad to say there’s a move afoot to make mercury-packed thermostat recycling mandatory.  Should you agree that’s wise

Meanwhile, Americans are only composting  3% of 34 million tons of food waste we generate…  BUT (as UESiders well know) that’s beginning to change!

Meanwhile,  first in line to compost would be these 6 most inflamatory foods

Be totally inspired to get roof gardening going in your building when you see what our neighbors are up to atop 340 East 93rd!   (Over in Hell’s Kitchen, they’re rooftop farming in kids’ plastic wading pools. )

As companion-piece, there’s Apartment Therapy’s 10 Best Gardens to Visit Across the U.S

Moving on to National Forests, nice to hear that Facebook’s Sean Parker will be coughing up $10 million and more for the brainless “improvements” to a redwood sanctuary on Big Sur!  (The Grist article link is pretty hilarious but do mind the language.)

Really a good idea to sign up for the NYState’s monthly Outdoor Discovery Newsletter!   Kind of stunning (and how lucky we are), all that’s going on…

You might recall our mention of a Community Board 8 study of 70-plus POPS – Privately Owned Public Spaces – on the UES some weeks ago?    Most happy Michael Kimmelman’s weighed in on the possibilities for public areas of all kinds and, as regards POPS,  how we citizens have been pretty much ripped off.  (So what’re you going to do, CB8?)

While we wait…

Got a spot that’s crying out for a new, good-looking City Bench?  Here’s where to apply and guidelines

Thanks to the multiple readers who alerted us to this remarkable archival color footage shot all around the NYC of 1939!

Then there’re these haunting pix of pre-restoration Ellis Island…  (No question, we could have lost the whole thing to decomposition.)

Amazing what great things folks can do with even the tiniest, non-custom-designed apartment spaces… 

Then there’s Christopher Gray’s most recent contemplation of the grandeur others have created

(No way – no matter how well-intentioned – these imaginings for a new Penn Station are hardly in the same league…) 

(Same for the Fifties-ish notion that mirrored poles and glass circles can substitute for for real life trees!

Totally off the reservation, but do consider seeing at least one of the beautiful films included in Film Forum’s Ozu retrospective

melaleuca-quinquenervia

melaleuca-quinquenervia

 Animals:

We love you even more, DEP, FDNY and NYPD, when you save a family of little ducklings

A particularly beautiful Bird of the Week… 

Meanwhile, how modern is actor Patrick Stewart that he tweeted asking for bird-care advice when he found a baby quail in his Park Slope backyard?!

News to us that cat can suffer from high blood pressure…  (Seems there’re even feline pressure-measuring cuffs!)  Here’re the possible signs that kitty’s needing treatment…

There’s a whole new world of animal cams out there in 2013…  Current favorite:   Explore’s  Plains Bison and Prairie Dog Cam and Audubon’s  Hog Island Osprey Nest where two new baby birds have just hatched with one more egg on deck)!

good match with this from the Hudson River Almanac:

“Not long ago, a third-grader asked me: “What do eagles say to each other?  Do they give each other names?”  Well, of course, we don’t know.  Still, there’re a wide range of eagle vocalizations.  Most are squeaks, chirps, and chortles.  The tone, selection and pitch seem to vary depending on who’s calling and who’s listening.   A nestling calling mama in the midst of a midnight nor’easter differs from a fledgling demanding to be fed. The calls of adults communicating around their watches at the nest differ from the calls that accompany mid-winter mating.  It’s a beautiful mystery.  – Tom Lake

A beautiful green mystery,

UGS

initiation

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