Monthly Archives: August 2013

Greetings, UESiders!

Vacation beckons…

Let’s cut to the chase…

Upcoming the next 3 weeks:

Saturday, August 17th, 24th & 31st:   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.

Our Master Knife Sharpener plans to be at her table the next 3 Saturdays…  But to be 100% certain, email her at thekeenedge@gmail.com.

And making beautiful music:

August 17th – The Opera Collective

August 24th – Jennifer Paul

August 31st – Marion Cowings

Reminder:  Get your Frequent Shopper card punched!

Last week’s recycling totals:  24 lbs batteries;  8 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 1 pair glasses;  15 bags of clothes;   5 1/4  compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,321 lbs batteries; 877 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 126 pairs of eye glasses; 454 bags of clothes; 179 3/4 compost bins.

Way ahead of last year’s curve!

Sunday, August 18th, 25th & September 1st :  92nd Street Greenmarket

 92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm                                           

                           Compost Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery and those fabulous Stellar Cooks!

String on finger:  Get that next punch in your Frequent Shopper card!

Last week’s recycling totals:  5 lbs batteries;  5 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  1 pairs of glasses; 3 1/2 compost bins. 

YTD (from 6/23/13):  111 lbs batteries;  80 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  7 pairs eye glasses; 19 compost bins; 16,530 lbs of shredded paper.

3 1/2 bins again!

Sunday, August 24th:  Free Biciycle Helmets & Fittings at Summer Streets

Park Avenue & 24th Street, 7:30-11:30am

Totally free!  Children under 18 will need to be with an adult…

As for miscellany:

How about this for a feel good moment:

Governor Cuomo recently signed a bill funding a statewide breast cancer mapping/geographic study  program, thus creating reliable, up-to-date information to help guide further research and spur development of new ways to combat the disease!

On the flip side and as if anti-biotic use in factory farming wasn’t already under a cloud… 

More details about Rockefeller University’s building plans…  (They must be made to redeploy/relocate/reuse that wonderful wall!!)

On a much lighter note:

Crain’s  always sees things through business eyes, but great that fishing is on the rise in NYState

Serious again:

Should you take issue with the New York League of Conservation Voters supporting NYC candidates who’re for the MTS, you could write the gentleman who made the announcement, Joshua Klainberg (jklainberg@nylcv.org).

You do know that there’s but one city exterminator for each borough?  (Pause for us all to reflect.)  So, thank heavens and for whatever good it might do, the powers-that-be will soon be deploying a innovative anti-rat burrowing material

Cheerful yet again:

No end to new food ideas…  In this case a model developed by companies like Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Plated which deliver weekly, individual meal packages complete with  premeasured ingredients – largely locally sourced – for their customers to prepare at home…

Bring on those animals:

Chickens fascinating?  Absolutely and here’re 10 reasons why… 

And the Bird of the Week is…  The beautiful, adorably tufted Ākohekohe.

Thanks to reader Carol Rinzler for this gem:

Take one wading pool…  Add one baby elephant…  Total cuteness!

We close with a welcome to that newly discovered mammal…  The olinguito!

We’ll be green under our sunscreen,

UGS

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Happy National Farmers Market Week, UESiders!

And we’ve got the markets and produce to be celebrating the event!

Corn…  Tomatoes…  Basil…  Breads of every kind…  Clams…  Nectarines…  Okra…  Mint…  Steaks…  Eggs…  Beets…  Radishes…  Peaches…  Whole chickens and any combination of parts…  Blueberries…  Scallops…  Premium cheese danishes…   Eggplants…  Squash…  Peas…  Beans…

Could go on pretty much forever, but let’s get into the week ahead:

Saturday, August 10th:   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.

Given last Saturday’s precip, we gave wonderful jazzman Marion Cowings took a raincheck…  Meaning he’ll be back this week, along with his amazing lady/partner in music-making!

Look for our Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess , too!

And don’t forget:  Get that Frequent Shopper card of yours punched!  (Or get your card…  You still have 11 weeks left to accumulate the requisite 10 punches.)

Last week’s recycling totals:  42 lbs batteries;  15 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 5 pairs glasses;  34 bags of clothes;   6 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,297 lbs batteries; 869 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 125 pairs of eye glasses; 439 bags of clothes; 174 1/2 compost bins.

Sunday, August 11th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

 92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm                                           

                           Compost Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery and those genius Stellar Cooks!

DO NOTE:  Norwich Meadows Farm is taking this Sunday off but will absolutely be returning next week!

Just because you’re busy piling up blueberries, peaches and nectarines, don’t let getting another punch in your Frequent Shopper card slip your mind!

Last week’s recycling totals:  13 lbs batteries;  8 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  4 pairs of glasses; 3 1/2 compost bins. 

YTD (from 6/23/13):  106 lbs batteries;  75 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  6 pairs eye glasses; 15 1/2 compost bins; 16,530 lbs of shredded paper.

A half-compost bin increase!

Tuesday, August 13th:  Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with Sanitation Workers of New York

Museum of the City of New York, Fifth Avenue and 103th Street, 6:30pm

Robin Nagle, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Urban Studies at NYU, author of “Picking Up” (the book) and – ta-dah – our  Department of Sanitation’s official  anthropologist-in-residence, sheds light on those oft’ derided individuals who deal with our waste and the service they provide!   (And, for MTS purposes, let us know the enemy better!)  Members, $6; Non-members, $12; Seniors & Students, $8.  For more and tickets…   

Thursday, August 15th through Sunday, August 18th:  NYS Woodsmen Field Days

Various Locations in and around Boonville (Oneida County, New York

No kidding…   Burling (log rolling in water), two-man crosscut sawing, ax throwing, speed chopping, chainsaw carving and much more!  Daily admission:  Adults, $10.  Seniors, $7.  Children, $8.   For the full rundown of events

Wednesday, August 21st:  Minetta Brook Walk

Meet at First Presbyterian Church, 12 West 12th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

A date change from the previously scheduled August 6th…  This NYCH2O walk in July had to turn so many away, H2O’s giving us another chance to travel the brook’s buried 1.5 mile bed and absorb the history that goes with it.   Urban explorer Steve Duncan leads the way.  $25.  For more and tickets… 

Sunday, August 25th:  Watchable Wildlife – Shorebird Festival at Jamaica Bay 

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, 8:30am-5pm

Over 325 bird species –  more than one-third of all bird species found in North America – have been sighted at this gorgeous, critical stop on the Atlantic flyway…  And the Shorebird Festival’s scheduled for the migration’s peak!  Free but reservations required.  For more and to RSVP:   718-318-9344 or donriepe@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 28th:  Open House New York East River Boat Tour

Pier 16, 6:30-8:30pm

Yours truly was a passenger on last week’s totally enjoyable and informative OHNY Hudson River tour.   No way the   East River companion piece won’t be more of the good same what with Justin Davidson (NY Magazine architecture critic) and Deborah Marton (NY Restoration Project) filling us in on history, architecture old, new and to come, proposals to dull the blows of future hurricanes/super storms and more.  (Not on their agenda:  A river view of  91st Street and our opportunity to boo it  loudly as we pass!)  Members,  $30.  Non-members, $40.  For more and to reserve a place

Saturday, September 14th:  Seining For Fish at Kowawese Unique Area

New Windsor (Orange County), New York, 1pm

Just one of the many possibilities offered by the 14th Annual Hudson River Valley Ramble. Join Tom Lake, NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program naturalist (and Hudson River Almanac organizer) and haul a seine (a net) in the warm shallows and see who’s living in the river!  Free.  Attire:  Shorts and sneakers.  For more and questions: email Tom Lake:  trlake7@aol.com.

oenothera rhombipetala

oenothera rhombipetala

Sure is a lot of miscellany:

health care insurance subsidies/fees might be via Affordable Health Care, the Kaiser Family Foundation has an online calculator…  

anticlea-elegans

anticlea-elegans

Meanwhile:

Run your eyes over this most irritating DNAInfo article describing the purported, grievous effect on some of Harlem’s small businesses by a prospective styrofoam ban.  This with not a word from any expert supporting that possible ban…

This while other Harlem residents are establishing the Harlem Solar Cooperative, a network of more than 50 uptown residents, businesses, and community organizations that’ll be using collective ownership to more easily access the benefits of solar energy!

Always a struggle to find the right balance…  Case and point, a suit filed by environmental groups concerned about increased run-off and water pollution from larger NYS dairy herds

Been some quiet but constant muttering as to how environmentally friendly a LEED designation makes a buiding…  Not very in some instances, as this New Republic piece points out

Okay, so while LEED’s pulling its certification act together, more than 200 residential projects with LEED aspirations are planned for our 5 boroughs!

Maybe some of those projects will adopt the super energy-efficient (but affordable) strategy that this Habitat for Humanity project in D.C. did

No reason we can’t meet or even exceed the new Tucson, AZ benchmark:  Green infrastructure  is now mandated in all publicly funded roadway development and redevelopment projects!   (Green infrastructure which must capture a half inch of rain and incorporate a 25 percent tree canopy cover with a 25 percent shrub and grass cover!)

Of course, we in NYC are far from slackers:  As of late July, the city began dredging Queens’ Springfield Lake, a project that’ll have the effect of doubling the lake’s depth, improving its water quality and discouraging algae blooms.  The Lake’ll also serve as part of a new network of nearly 10 acres of Bluebelt wetlands that’ll absorb – through a newly built sewer system –  storm water from neighborhood streets, sidewalks, and roofs, and filter it before it’s released into Jamaica Bay!

(So where’re the beginnings of an up-dated sewer system in Manhattan?)

While we wait…  Holy crow!  Why’s NYS not enforcing our Sewage Right to Know Law?

Just in case you’ve haven’t seen the many articles in praise of our vastly improved recycling program!  (Although we’re definitely playing catch-up for the mayor’s historic lack of enthusiasm…)

Before the memories of our vast power needs during July’s horrible heat wave fade, consider these 5 gizmos that trim vampire energy use

Volunteer opportunities don’t get any better than this:  Scuba diving to clean the inside of the NY Aquarium’s tanks!

Thanks to reader Terry Lamb we know the Real Estate Board of New York’s up to something nice for their 5th Annual Donation Drive:  Collecting emergency battery-operated or crank radios for New Dorp, Staten Island seniors, a community hard-hit by Sandy.   Open to all to contribute.  For more and where/when to drop off…    

Turn a couple of workman loose with spades downtown and inevitably something incredible will be dug up…  This time, some 200 liquor bottles dating from the 18th Century!

Far rather be noting the date of her birth than death, but this Inside the Apple Edith Wharton tribute and link to her first published story “Mrs. Manstey’s View” are lovely and apt…   (Surprise:  Ubiquitous ailanthus trees were growing intra-block in 1891!)

You’re on notice, UES market fashionistas!    THE Bill Cunningham could well pay a visit  – as he did recently at the Union Square – to chronicle our 82nd/92nd Street fashion-forward-even-when-buying-tomatoes-and-corn look!

Of course, it’d be a rare-to-never event, but should you ever purchase meat at Trader Joe’s you’d want to be antibiotic-free, yes?  So print out this TJ Flyer and hand it to the manager next you’re near one of the TJ stores…   

We’ll let this picture do the talking for the NYState Hike of the Month at the Minnewaska State Park Preserve:

Hike of the Month

(30 miles of carriageways, 25 miles of trails, public environmental education programs, interpretive hikes, wildlife tracking, wild edibles, cultural history of the park and more!)

One can take thrift to an extreme, but kinda love a guy who’ll pilot his bike/car from NC to MA to avoid a delivery fee

Last but hardly least, hats off to the NYC hospitals and chefs who’re making  meals for the ailing so much more palatable and healthy

lilium distichum

lilium distichum

And in this week’s animal file folder:

What can we do for animals when we want to?  Things like  removing a pair of swans from harm’s way

Or relocating oysters from the path of Tappan Zee Bridge construction!

Happily remaining under water thanks to the Hudson River Almanac:

7/18 – Saugerties, HRM 102: Ulster County Deputy Sheriff Joe Steyer took photos of adult Atlantic needlefish in the tidewater Esopus Creek.  – Thomas P. Baudanza

needlefish in the Esopus

needlefish in the Esopus

[Sightings of Atlantic needlefish in the estuary have been occurring for the last forty years or so. In the 1970’s and 80’s, anglers reported catching adults about 11-18 inches long, especially around the warm water outflow of power generating facilities.  Experts characterized needlefish as strictly temperate marine strays and did not recognize them as estuarine spawners in the Hudson. The fact that we were seeing no young-of-the-year [YOY] supported that position. Come the year 2000, beach seines began to catch post-larval, YOY, yearling, and juvenile needlefish in abundance…  Some caught at a time, at a size, and in locations that provided solid evidence that some Atlantic needlefish were spawning in the freshwater Hudson.  – Tom Lake.]

silene-acaulis

silene-acaulis

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

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Happy Summer Streets 2013, UESiders!

We’re talking 3 Saturdays in a row of car-less urban fun on 7 miles of Gotham streets!  We’re heading straight for the Raphael Lozzano-Hemmer installation in the Park Avenue South tunnel, but there’s so much more!

Meanwhile…

No stopping NYC’s momentum confronting that most pressing of our health challenges now that doctors can, by law, prescribe fruits and vegetables for those struggling with weight!

And yet another fabulous development (the extent of which’s been below even our intensely green radar):  The ascendancy of urban farming of so many kinds…  On roofs of every size, in outdoor plazas, in greenhouses and on NYCHA property (training youth at the same time)…  This Crain’s piece gives a great overview!

What a way to start a week:

Friday, August 2nd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14 Street,  between Sixth * Sseventh, 6:30pm

Star Master John Pazmino’s topic this time out:   Steady Stars and Shooting Stars in a Soupy Sky…   Examples being Taurus Poniatowski, Caput Cerebi, Lyra’s Parallelogram, Delphinus and Caput Draconis.  Going to be a great summer for the Perseid meteor shower, too!  Free. 

Saturday, August 3rd:   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.

Get your Frequent Shopper Card first thing at the Market Manager’s tent!  

There’ll be great listening, too, what with jazzman Marion Cowings returning.   Don’t know if that fabulously talented young woman will be playing with him but fingers crossed!

And Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will back at her table!

Last week’s recycling totals:  58 lbs batteries;  12 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 4 pairs glasses;  34 bags of clothes;   6 1/2 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,297 lbs batteries; 869 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 125 pairs of eye glasses; 439 bags of clothes; 174 1/2 compost bins.

You read that right!!  34 giant bags of clothes!!

Sunday, August 4th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

 92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm                                           

                           Compost Collection 9am-1pm

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

Head for Market Manager Pamela’s tent, pick up your Frequent Shopper Card…  Even before you buy those fabulous tomatoes and corn!

(Wonderful, those tiny egg plants at Norwich Meadows…  Gonzales’ beets…  Glebocki’s amazing nectarines!)

We’re waiting for okra…

Last week’s recycling totals:  6 lbs batteries;  6 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  3 compost bins. 

YTD (from 6/23/13):  93 lbs batteries;  67 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  2 pairs eye glasses; 12 compost bins; 16,530 lbs of shredded paper.

Back in the groove with 3 compost bins!!

Wednesday, August 7th:  Public Hearing on East Midtown Rezoning

Auditorium, National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, 9am

The citizen’s opportunity to express her/himself on the mayor’s plan for the area that surrounding Grand Central which includes construction of many a gigantic building.  (For more on the proposed rezoning…) 

Saturday, August 10th: The Complete Hiker – Fun and Safety in the Wildlands Workshop

Saranac Lake, New York

A one-day crash course taught by BOW – Become an Outdoor Woman – instructors Sonny and Sheila Young.  $30.  To further details and register (lots of choices):  adkfoothills@yahoo.com, 518-359-8194 and www.adkfoothills.com.

Saturday, August 24th:  NYCH2O Schoharie Reservoir Paddle

County Road 7, Prattsville, New York, 11am

If you missed 2012’s Schoharie outing – 2012 being the first year the DEP allowed recreational activity on the reservoir – here’s another opportunity to experience this beautiful, unspoiled source of  much of NYC’s drinking water, guided by Catskill native Craig Apolito.  Tickets from $20-$85.  For details and directions

And in September (Yikes!):

Saturday & Sunday, September 14th & 14th:  Women’s Fly Fishing Seminar

Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery, Elbridge,  New York, 8am-1pm

Join instructor Vicky Lane for 2 days of intensive instruction from
beginner to advanced stages of fly fishing including tips, tactics, stream entomology, fly-tying basics, casting, hands-on practice with small stream and creek-style fishing and – amazingly – more.   All especially geared for women.  $50.  For more information and required pre- registration: victorialn63@gmail.com or 315-558-2464.

Saturday, September 21st Italian-American Writers’ Word Feast at the Festival of San Genarro

NYPL Mulberry Street Branch, corner of Mulberry & Prince Streets, 2-4pm

The Italian-American Writers’ Association and the Mulberry Street Library Branch celebrate New York’s Italian heritage and Naples’ patron saint during New York City’s oldest and biggest religious street festival with numerous Italian-American authors of note in attendance.  Free.  For further details

It’s miscellany time…  Commencing with the strange:

Don’t know where we were, but it appears the orange as we know it has been under threat for several years

Pretty shocking that famed international news service Reuters is now in the hands of a climate change denying editor!

Meanwhile, one of the worst ideas ever has resurfaced:  Transporting nuclear waste round about the country via roads and rail

Let’s move on to the cheerful stuff:

In the better late than never department, good that – only a decade after the U.S.’s most massive blackout – they’re finally  getting around to installing the grid tech that’ll keep a similar event from  happening again!

Sit down and prepare yourself for the news…  Seems like New Jersey could be among the best potential producers of green energy

We very much like the sound of this novel idea:   Corporations donating vastly improved efficiency to charities

Another great idea:  Affordable housing for artists who agree to volunteer in the community!

And very happy to note that Italy’ll soon be banning Monsanto’s GMO corn!

Calling all weekend-in-the-country-by-the-swimming-pool habitues!!  You can so easily help obliterate the Asian Longhorned Beetle!

Even when its struggles are chronicled, it’s good to be reminded that NYC is still a gritty, hard-working harbor with barges that’re 2 blocks long!

Reality check:  As horrible as those recent humid 90-100 degree days were, they were fun and games compared to the heat wave of July 1852

Likely you recall the ongoing  contentiousness between  neighbors and the catering company doing business in the Christian Scientist Church at Park and 63rd.  And the latest chapter is

Meanwhile (yes, again), a revolution in NYC building methodology is underway in the form of modular construction

So great we live in a time when epic naturalist John Muir’s favorite but now dying Sequoia tree can and will be cloned

Rock ‘n roll and historic preservation might seem an unlikely mix, but Jack White’s (White Stripes) stepped forward and saved his hometown Detroit’s beautiful, neo-gothic Masonic Temple!

Yet again, we wander way off the reservation with the last minute exchange of telegrams between two deeply flawed monarchs that failed to prevent World War I (which began with Germany declaring war on Russia ninety-nine years ago on August 1, 1914). 

Hey, animals:

Don’t quite understand the ll-month wait but happy to say that NYState will – as of July 1, 2014 – be banning trade in shark fins. 

Up in Maine, Osprey chicks are fledging and you can watch via the Osprey Cam!

Here on the UES, Pale Male’s three chicks are spreading their wings, too!

The talents and devotion of dogs never ceases to amaze…  The canines in this instance being so-called “bomb dogs”

Yes, we do definitely need to know 5 Cool Things About Moths!

There’re have to be more in the dictionary of that secret language known only to cats, so don’t let feelings be hurt if your feline isn’t manifesting these 10 signs that kitty loves you

A quartet of great critter snippets from The Times…  Discovery of a new shrew with a backbone of nigh-on-to steel…  New understanding of the cheetah’s hunting prowess…  Altering mouse memory…  And, most importantly, the role fungicide may be playing in the collapse of the world bee population…

Let’s close with a real-life NYC story related by those who happily lived to tell it

We so believe in green,

UGS

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