Monthly Archives: October 2013

Greetings, UESiders!

Watch for more miscellany to be added over the weekend but, given the jam-packed 7 days of activities ahead, it’s time to get this darned newsletter out!  

Really…   Some kind of week ahead:

Friday, October 18th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Prepare yourself for NYC’s upcoming sunrise solar eclipse e on November 3rd!   Nobody better to provide that preparation than Star Man Supreme, John Pazmino.  Free.

Friday, October 18th – Thursday, October 24th:  8th Annual Forum Film Festival

Time Warner Center & Fordham Law in Lincoln Center

Each festival night features a film exploring the themes of justice and injustice and how they inspire artistic expression.  Post-screening discussion guests include Susan Sarandon, Larry King, and Mario Cuomo.   For films, locations, times and to purchase tickets

Saturday, October 19th:   Autumn Nature Walk with Leslie Day

Meet at Kayaking on the Hudson, 72nd Street and Hudson River. 9-10:30am

Leslie Day – eminent naturalist, author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City and Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City – enlightens participants on the abundant and varied trees, grasses, flowers and bird life of Riverside Park South.   No fee quoted so must be free!

Saturday, October 19th:  Annual Harvest Festival at Carl Schurz Park

Throughout the Park, 11am-1pm

A hayride on John Finley Walk…  Pumpkin picking and decoration on the Mayor’s Lawn…  Amazing Mario the Magician on the playground!  Suggested donation per child, $10.   For more and locations in the Park

Saturday, October 19th:  Aboard the “Peking” at the South Street Seaport

Pier 16, Fulton Street & the East River, 11am-4pm

Can hardly be too praising of the experience of setting foot on this marvelous ship…  Add building your own boat model…  Learning to tie seaman’s knots…  Special tours…  Watching a woodcarver at work and more.  Suggested admission:  $5.   An additional $5 for boat building supplies.  For further details:  info@seany.org or call 212-748-8600.

Saturday, October 19th:   82nd Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – 1pm 

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

And, yes, our  Master Knife Sharpener will be back from Kansas City and eager to hone!

Do bring your leaves to add to our compost bins!

Last Week’s Recycling Totals:  51 lbs batteries;  20 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 4 pair glasses;  25 bags of clothes;   7 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,630 lbs batteries; 975 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 141 pairs of eye glasses; 629 bags of clothes; 223 compost bins.

Wow!!

Sunday, October 20th:  It’s My Park Day – Fall Edition

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

Preparing for an ever more beautiful spring:  Daffodil planting along the Esplanade wall…  Railing scraping and painting…  Bringing that mess of  planter back from near death with tulip, crocus and, of course, daffodil bulbs…  Refreshments on hand!   Gonna be great!

Sunday, October 20th:  Halloween Howl at Schurz Park

Large Dog Run, Registration beginning promptly at 11am

Jester-Pugs!   Pumpkin-Bichons!  Scarecrow-Scotties!  So 2012…  So,  how will your canine best friend by costumed this Halloween?  And what prizes might he/she win?  (There’s a Healthy Hound Fair, too!)  For full details

Sunday, October 20th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost Collection 9am-1pm

Look for Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery and our wonderful Stellar Cooks!

Not sure about Wager Cider Mill…  They were absent last week…  But we’ve been dreaming about those incredible concord grapes! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  24 lbs batteries; 6 lbs  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 3 1/4 compost bins.

AT LAST!

Weeks 8/18, 8/25 & 9/1 Compost Totals: 3 bins each of the 2 weeks!

YTD (from 6/23/13):  186 lbs batteries;  140 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  7 pairs eye glasses; 43 1/4 compost bins; 16,530 lbs  shredded paper.

3 1/4 bins…  This year’s best!!

Tuesday, October 22nd:  Secret Lives Tour – United Palace Theater

Meeting location for tour provided with registration, 6pm

Once known as 1930 Loew’s 175th Street, the United Palace was the last of the “Wonder Theatres” built in New York/New Jersey.  A wonderous combo of Indian/Cambodian/Moorish/Byzantine/Art Deco style.  Organized by the Historic Districts Council.  Members $30.  Non-members $50.  For more and tickets

Saturday, October 26th:  Shred-A-Thon – Ghost & Goblin/Halloween Edition

Curbside at the 82nd Street Greenmarket between First & York, 10am-2pm

And we’ll be shredding:

Paper of any and every kind!  Bring it on!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

Please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But we do take paperbacks.

(Transport those hardcovers to Goodwill.)

Tuesday, October 29th:  Roving Body Parts and Restless Dead

Acme Studios, 63 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn,

And we quote: “The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated and een filed away in a lawyer’s office.”  Get the lowdown from of “Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses” Beth Lovejoy.  Another winner from Obscura Society New York!   Advance tickets only:  $15. 

Thursday, October 31st:  Creepy Creatures of the Hudson

 Pier 40, Houston Street & the Hudson River, 2-5pm
What could be better than Halloween at The River Project’s Wetlab…  Complete with native riverine creatures (fish, crabs and even a seahorse!) you can reach out and touch and even – like the fellow just below –  hold!  Totally family friendly with costumes are encouraged and those wearing them entered in spooky raffle!   Co-sponsored by the great folks NYCH2O.  Free but you must RSVP… 

spider crab!!

spider crab!!

Then next month:

Sunday, November 10th:  Rockefeller University Walking Tour

Meet at the main entrance of Rockefeller University, 66th Street & York Avenue, 1pm
Indeed, what does lie beyond those stone walls and towering trees?  Organized by Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District.  Members $10.  Non-members $15.  For details and tickets
Thursday, November 14th:  Advancing Solar Power with NY-Sun” Webinar
On Your Computer, 10:30am-12pm
NYState intends to spend $800 to expand solar by 2015 so why not get some assistance in upgrading your building or business?  This webinar provides the basics of how!  For more
Miscellany (with more to come):

Beginning with a food alert:  Seems more than just Foster Farms chicken is tainted with salmonella…  Added “farm” labels to avoid include Kirkland, Costco’s house brand.

Incredible that The NY Times should find itself on a list of climate change denying periodicals…  Although, by our lights, The Times would be better categorized as a climate change omitter.  In any event, if  you take issue with the Paper of Record’s approach

From the beginning  so-called pellet stoves deployed for home heating felt wrong and now we know why:   Swathes of forest are being felled to provide those neat little pellets.  Should you also object

Then there’s the situation with of Cheerios…  Really, why on earth is General Mills still making their cereals with GMO grains?  Should you think a change is in order

And more good stuff, too:
First available opportunity, get yourself over to the the Park Avenue Armory and take in the newly restored and insanely beautiful Board of Officers Room!

As ever, Build It Green – AKA BIG – leads the charge, now milling NYC waste wood into useful lumber while training the disadvanged in the skilled work!

Reminder:  Those autumn leaves can be composted at both the 82nd and 92nd Street Greenmarkets!!

Very nice graphics laying out the basics/virtues of the esteemed apple… 

Could it be Home Ec classes are ripe for a comeback and that – in this era of fast food and obesity of all ages – they’re a great idea?!

Of course, there’s an easy way to track Banksy unfolding body of NYC work… 

Ah, animals:

And how about this for a gorgeous bird…  The Rufous-headed Chachalaca!
Get out your Cute-O-Meter before viewing a lucky baby being soothed by kindly kitty
Debated where to place this next…  The re-opening of the Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Conservatory this Saturday…  (Animals won out.)   Every child…  Every person should experience this beauty… 
It is so good to be green,
UGS

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Happy Apple Cider Week, UESiders!!

Ground Zero for celebration:  The Union Square Greenmarket which’ll be staying open late this coming Friday to allow adequate time for us all to revel in autumnal weather, the fall harvest and one wonderful drink!

anemone-hybrida-andrea-atkinson

anemone-hybrida-andrea-atkinson

On to the week ahead:

Through Saturday, November 23rd:  Extraordinary Women in Science & Mathematics – Four Centuries of Achievement 

The Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, Monday through Saturday, 10am-5pm 

Who knew so many achieved prominence in the field!   A must for anyone with a daughter with an interest in math.  (And total tonic after last Sunday’s Times article!)  There’re also a number of symposia and special tours.  Exhibition is free.  For full details… 

Thoughout October & November 1st:  NYS Energy Webinars

On Your Computer

On subjects ranging from upgrading your home’s energy efficiency to empowering communities to develop renewable energy.  For the schedule and to participate

Saturday, October 12th:   82nd Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Tabling will be American Seafood, Bread Alone,  Samascott, Gajeski, Cherry Lane, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

No confirmation from our  Master Knife Sharpener yet…  But we’re  betting on the affirmative.

Last Week’s Recycling Totals:  28 lbs batteries;  24 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 1 pair glasses;  20 bags of clothes;   7 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,579 lbs batteries; 955 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 137 pairs of eye glasses; 604 bags of clothes; 216 compost bins.

Closing in on a ton of batteries…

Sunday, October 13th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost Collection 9am-1pm

Look for Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery and our wonderful Stellar Cooks!

The Wager Cider Mill will be with us, too! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  40 lbs batteries; 8 lbs  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 2 1/2 compost bins.

Weeks 8/18, 8/25 & 9/1 Compost Totals:  TBA.  (Going to throttle Drogan if he doesn’t dig up these missing stats soon!)

YTD (from 6/23/13):  162 lbs batteries;  134 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  7 pairs eye glasses; 31 compost bins; 16,530 lbs  shredded paper.

Wednesday, October 16th:  Stuyvesant Cove Evening Stroll

24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East,  6pm

The final tuyvesant Cove Park’s 2013 evening walking tours led by manager Daisy.  The place is a gem, replete with native plants, a designated stop on the Monarch butterfly migration route and exemplar of sustainable gardening principles.  Free.  To reserve a place

Wednesday, October 16th:  “Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot” Lecture

 Sotheby’s, 1334 York Avenue, 6:30pm

And we quote, “Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, Professor Sir Peter Crane will discuss the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence.”   An Andrew Carnegie Lecture, presented by the NY Botanical Garden and hosted by Sotheby’s.  Garden members, $35.  Non-members, $39.    For more and to RSVP… 

Friday, October 18th:  An Autumn Night at Greenmarket

Union Square Greenmarket at 14th Street, 4-8pm

Freshest local fruits and vegs, cheeses, wines, beers, flowers, baked goods, prepared food from neighboring restaurants and – natch – fantastic cider!   For more

Round the bend:

Sunday, October 20th:  It’s My Park Day – Fall Edition

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

Daffodil planting along the Esplanade wall…  Railing scraping and painting…  Bringing the planter back from near death with tulip, crocus and, of course, daffodil bulbs…  Your Esplanade wants you!

Saturday, October 26th:  Shred-A-Thon – Ghost & Goblin/Halloween Edition

Curbside at the 82nd Street Greenmarket between First & York, 10am-2pm

And we’ll be shredding:

Paper of any and every kind!  Bring it on!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

Please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But we do take paperbacks.

(Bring those hardcovers to Goodwill.)

Saturday, November 2nd:  Old Brooklyn Waterworks Bike Tour

Meeting Place Accompanies Your Reservation, 11am

Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione fills lucky riders in on the life and times of the now defunct, 19th Century water system that served the once-independent City of Brooklyn.  Organized by NYCH2O.  $25.   For more and reservations… 
 
vaccinium-ovalifolium

vaccinium-ovalifolium

Serious miscellany first:

Here’s a new and scary term:  “Climate departure“…  Defined as the point in time when average temperature exceeds historical averages…  That time for NYC now predicted to be 2047.

Hummm…  Seems NYS is being a tad lax on enforcing our water quality laws.  Should you think more rigor is in order… 

Requiring thought, but we’ll see:

Don’t know quite how we feel about the newly passed City Council approach to restaurant inspection

But then:

Can’t beat this for good news:   The Brownfield Clean-up of 676 Third Avenue (at 94th Street) is now complete!  (As we recall it was once the site of a dry cleaner.) 

Or this:  As of October 1, California commenced  regulating the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products

Or this for fun:  The live Heritage Radio/GrowNYC’s report from our own 92nd Greenmarket!

Of course, you know that the legendary Banksy is spending October creating in street art in NYC…  But have you heard his so droll audio guide?  Just call 800-656-4271 , ext. 1. 

From our Master Knife Sharpener, a product that definitely needs to come market:  The Phoneblok…  A near totally durable/customizable/updatable green phone!

Let any who’d assert the UES is lacking in local colorfulness stop by Conte’s Market on 89th and York any given Friday morning!

For those unfamiliar with the great Lewis Lapham – yeah, the big-time intellectual but don’t be put off – he’s now devised the online Lapham’s Quarterly , put up any number of  pretty fabulous podcasts, featuring folks like Simon Winchester and on the gamut of subjects.  Recent favorite:  “The Deadly Sea” re the state of our oceans.  But check the library list out

Sure, one sees MTA vans and buses mysteriously popping up around town every once in a while, but – surprise-surprise – they  have a real, actual schedule!

What’s a week without at least one screwball happening…  As in the guy who biked across the Hudson River!  

How about this for a change of pace:  A bunch of really cute – and free – Halloween printables!

Yes, animals:

Fascinating results from the recent Central Park Bioblitz…  Beginning with a renewed population of the adorable eastern chipmunk…

As well as the presence of many a previously unknown plant, insect, fish, bird, turtle, mollusk and bat!

Over in our hood at Rockefeller U, researchers have determined that NYC cockroaches differ genetically from neighborhood to neighborhood!  (Favorite quote from the article:  “This is a window into cockroach society and it is very much like our own.”)

If you’ve ever had a bird crash into one of your windows (and it’s not unusual in our city when our feather friends are migrating) you don’t want it to happen again…   One preventative step:  Bird Tape developed by the American Bird Conservancy!

Demonstating that stay-at-home dads aren’t just humans…  We give you Mr. Spoon-Billed Sandpiper minding the family nest of fluffy chicks in the wilds of Siberia!

Even more important that NYS starts standing firm on water quality now that baby sturgeon are being released to restore their population in the Genesee River!

As is our wont, we close with a snippet from the Hudson River Almanac:

9/17 –  Queens:  As my Queens College general ecology class walked onto the beach under the Queens side of the Throgs Neck Bridge, the East River was dropping fast and we turned over intertidal rocks, revealing numerous Asian shore crabs, sometimes a dozen under one stone. But the highlight was the many oysters.   One showed a black stripe indicating it may have been the progeny of a cultured oyster, but the rest were surely wild. Not only did they cover all the hard surfaces – boulders, scrap metal, a truck tire and bridge pilings – but even the sand flats had many clumps of  3 to 10, spaced just a few feet apart.  It was easy to see how these could be incipient oyster reefs.  –  John Waldman

Au greenoir,

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

Another week, another tasting…  This time,  olive oil.

Who knew that when quality olive oil’s swirled in a small glass and warmed by the heat of one’s hand, it gives off the subtle scent of grass after a summer rain?

That when you take a tiny sip of that warm oil, the back of your throat experiences a mild but distinct burning sensation…  Happily caused by the abundant, healthy anti-oxidents contained in the oil?

That all oils – from Olive to Wesson to Crisco –  contain the same calorie count?  (While, of course, what’s in those oils is vastly different and, in many, non-olive cases, is vastly bad!)

That “lite” oil is actually fat from various cringeable sources – with maybe a touch of olive oil –  that’s been heated, treated, laced with chemicals and has the very same calorie count as non-lite oils?!

That there’re a ton of situations in which olive oil can be substituted for butter?  (Had both a cake and mashed potatoes made with olive oil last night and they were great!)

That the different coloration of kalamata olives is caused by their position on the olive tree relative to the sun?

That the world champion, most gold-medal-winning olive oils are Greek and pressed by Gaea…  The olive oil our Greenmarket managers use in their cooking  demos! 

Only the best for our shoppers!

May the week ahead be even better for all Americans:

Friday, October 4th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Star Master John Pazmino’s topic on this 56th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik:   “Russia in Space – The Past Experience, the Future Explored”!  Guest speaker will be Anatoly Zak, Russian journalist and expert on the Soviet space program.  Free.

Saturday, October 6th:  The 9th Annual Gypsyfest!

DromNYC, 85 Avenue A, 7pm

The last night of a two-week festival of gypsy music (from  India, Macedonia, France, the Netherlands and U.S.) featuring the Rhythm of Rajasthan…  Rajasthan being the birthplace of the genre.   For more and tickets

Saturday, October 5th:   82nd Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – 1pm 

On hand will be American Seafood, Bread Alone,  Samascott, Gajeski, Cherry Lane, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.

AND…  Happy to say, you’ll find our  Master Knife Sharpener at her table and ready to get your cutlery up to speed!

Last Week’s Recycling Totals:  45 lbs batteries;  22 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 1 pair glasses;  25 bags of clothes;   8 compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,551 lbs batteries; 931 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 137 pairs of eye glasses; 584 bags of clothes; 209 compost bins.

ANOTHER 8 compost bin week!

Saturday, October 5th & Sunday, October 6th:  41st Annual Gracie Square Art Show

East End Avenue between 84th to 88th Street , 10am-5pm

More than 100 artists will be featured in the city’s premier open air art show..  Also includes marvelous activities for kids.   Proceeds make possible maintenance, improvements and Schurz Park’s wonderful events.  Free.  For full details

Saturday, October 5th:  15th Annual Czech Street Festival

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, 12pm – whenever

Live music, Czech food, children’s performances, workshops, souvenirs and plenty more!  For info

Sunday, October 6th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost Collection 9am-1pm

At their tables will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery and the great Stellar Cooks (back and fully recovered from last week’s illnesses)!

Lucky us that the Wager Cider Mill will be on hand the next few Sundays.  Really good apples, cider and peaches.  But the concord grapes?  Spectacular!! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  30 lbs batteries; 3 lbs  Britta filters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 2 1/2 compost bins.

Weeks 8/18, 8/25 & 9/1 Compost Totals:  TBA

YTD (from 6/23/13):  162 lbs batteries;  94 lbs Britta fillters, cords, corks, CD/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges;  7 pairs eye glasses; 28 1/2 compost bins; 16,530 lbs  shredded paper.

WAY AHEAD OF LAST YEAR!

Monday, October 7th:  Daryl Hawk Lecture

Explorer’s Club 46 East 70th Street, 7pm

The noted documentarian reflects  on his solo, 3,000 mile expedition to the  remote South American Altoplano where Argentina and Chile meet…  A land of  18,000 foot Andean peaks.   Cherry-on-Top:  A good, long gander at the stunning Explorer Club interior.  Members free.  Non-members, $15.  Students with valid ID, $5.

Commencing Monday, October 7th:  Bluegrass Workshop

92nd Street Y,  Room S250, Second Floor, South Building,  Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street,  8-9pm

Always wanted to play that great American roots music in the  mode of Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs and/or The Foggy Mountain Boys?  No problem if you can already read music and play basic guitar chords (G clef).  Workshop runs  13 sessions for $410.  For more…  Or call 212-415-5580.

Tuesday, October 8th:   NY State of Health – What You Need to Know About Health Care Reform

Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street, 6pm

Organized by a host of area electeds, community boards and non-profits, it’s a perfect opportunity to determine your eligibillity, learn about plans and financial assistance.  You’ll need to RSVP or call 212-490-9535.

Coming soon:

Commencing Sunday, October 13th:  Central Park Zoo Education for Kids 

Fifth Avenue & 64th Street

A score and more of family friendly events kicking off with “All About Bats” (for youngsters 4 to 8), including “Little Hatchlings” (12 to 23 months) and autism friendly offerings.  For the full schedule and tickets

Sunday, October 20th:  It’s My Park Day – Fall Edition

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

Looking forward to a beautiful spring:  Daffodil planting along the Esplanade wall…  Railing scraping and painting…  Bringing the planter back from near death with tulip, crocus and, of course, daffodil bulbs…  Be there!

Thursday, October 24th:   The Big Apple Crunch!

Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket, 12pm

Join GrowNYC, Food Day, countless schools, businesses, nonprofits, Greenmarket shoppers and New Yorkers from every corner of our city as they and YOU break the world record for the number of apple bites!  No way this won’t be incredible fun.   For more and to sign up

Saturday, October 26th:  Shred-A-Thon – Ghost & Goblin/Halloween Edition

Curbside at the 82nd Street Greenmarket between First & York, 10am-2pm

What we’ll be shredding:

Paper of any and every kind!  Bring it on!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

Please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do take paperbacks.)

Hardcovers are welcome at Goodwill.

Monday, November 11th & Wednesday, November 20th:  Artisinal Baking Workshop

Horticultural Society of New York,  148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, 6:30-8:30pm

A two-part workshop concentrating on the miraculous sourdough… From creating  and sustaining your own sourdough starter..  To preparing the best of sourdough breads.  Instructor:   Sarah Owens, master baker and owner of BK17 Bakery.  Members:  $60.  Non-members:  $75.  For more

Time for some miscellaneous mini-calling-to-accounts:

Let’s hope there won’t be any oil spills, fracking misadventures or nuclear plant venting during the latest government shutdown…  Not with 94% of the EPA on furlough.

Very happy for the folks down in Murray Hill who’ll be getting a lovely, storm-resistant park at 36th and First, constructed by real estate developer JDS in exchange for being allowed to build 2 new towers taller… 

Of course, we got plenty of similar spaces (known as POPS or privately-owned public  spaces) throughout the UES…  More than 70 at last count…  Most of them unidentified and with few if any amenities.

You may recall our noting that our Community Board did a study of these spaces last year.

They’re making noises about developers including POPS in projects yet to be built, but we’re still waiting to see what action they’ll be taking on those that have existed for decades.

This while Memorial Sloan Kettering and CUNY’re being allowed to build big and high on 74th Street in exchange for unspecified improvements to passive park space a mile away from the affected residential community.

Humm.

And then: 

Likely you noticed the new green and terracotta-colored lanes north of 72nd Street.  Here’s hoping it isn’t the off-the-shelf paint (DOT’s admitted it) used in the blocks below that looked so beat up and dirty you’d think it’d been applied eons ago rather than a few days earlier…  And in the case of the bus lane, immediately began to wear away.  

Moving to the middle ground:

Bicycle advocates Transportation Alternatives have just released a survey that indicates more than 60% of New Yorkers favor better pedestrian and bike infrastructure

This past Monday and at long, long last, the EPA finalized the $506 million cleanup plan for the Gowanus Canal Superfund site.  Unfortunately, as per Regional Administer Judith A. Enck, while the cleanup will make the canal safe for boating, it will end up neither fishable or swimmable. 

On to the fully upbeat:

Like The New York Restoration Project concurrently unveiling the new Gowanus Garden!   Designed to “address the immediate hydrological needs” of the Gowanus neighborhood, the garden includes a rain garden, bioswale, flood tolerant plants and is expected to manage 150,000 gallons of stormwater each year. 

Or the fantastically successful summer that just ended out on Governor’s Island…  With more to come in 2014!

Or that fellow Manhattanites of Hell’s Kitchen finally secured major improvements to one heck of dangerous intersection!  (We’re inspired!)

Gentlemen, take note!  A new British survey reveals that women are more attracted to men driving green – and we’re not talking color – cars!

NYC was a pioneer on the “parklet” score and no reason we shouldn’t be fashioning more, especially now that other cities are so creatively following our lead!

IKEA’s about to launch sales of solar panels at its U.K. stores!  (Gotta be coming here soon!) 

Witness to what one individual can achieve:  The East Village’s Creative Little Gardena quiet, contemplative space and National Wildlife Federation Habitat created by the late Françoise Cachelin,  community activist and WWII French resistance member.

Now that it’s gone green, the Empire State Building has not one…  not two…  but THREE greenroofs!

We’re pretty meh about the other 9 examples but love Green Man, one amazing botanical sculpture!

As promised, OpenHouse’s just  released its offerings – and great they are – for OHNY Weekend 2013

Yes, there’re animals:

Wow!  There’re hero songbirds out there helping scientists study the presence of mercury in the environment and air pollution!  

The Staten Island Zoo’s just launched a $20,000 online fundraiser that’ll enable them to acquire a pair of moody but beautiful cassowaries, the world’s second largest bird!  (Ostriches are bigger.)   If you’d like to lend a hand

Meanwhile, the grandson of Jacques Cousteau and team will soon be residing in an 81-ton habitat 63 feet underwater.  Reality TV, of course, complete with live feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Skype.  Fingers crossed given serious sponsors –  there’ll be a bit of science, too!  Young Cousteau promises we’ll be seeing a lot of fish action… 

Looking forward to new doc “Running Wild” on the life and work of  conservationist Dayton Hyde and, in particular, the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary he founded.   (Playing this week at the Village East Cinema.

Wishing you serene greenness,

UGS

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