Monthly Archives: December 2013

Greetings, UESiders!

A rather brief and distilled newsletter this time round…  The better for one and all to devote thought and time to what really counts during the holiday season…  Family and friends!

Still, of course, there’re always couple of free minutes for shopping the market and resting eyes on NYC’s authentically rich natural world: 

Saturday, December 14th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be the hardy souls of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farm!

Fingers crossed that Ballard Honey shows…  But likely it’ll be too cold for Blue Oyster (below 32, mushrooms easily freeze… Same for the valuable hands of our Master Knife Sharpener!)

Last Weeks Recycling Totals: –  46 lbs batteries; 21 lbs Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 18 pairs of eye glasses; 22 bags of clothes; 8 bags compost bins.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,931 lbs batteries; 1,152 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 170 pairs of eye glasses; 777 bags of clothes; 277 compost bins.s 

Make that 8 totally full compost bins.  Sangmon’s asking Sanitation for 9 empty bins in future!

Saturday, December 14th – Sunday, January 5th:  114th Annual NYState Christmas Bird Count

Your Own Backyard/Park/Terarace

Important citizen science!   Totally family friendly!    So fun!  To learn more and sign up

Winter 2013/2014:  Winter Season Classes at the NY Botanical Garden

20 West 44th Street, Manhattan/2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

Choices from botanical illustration to plant science!  Check the possibilities out!

(And should you not be familiar with all the BG’s holiday treats…  From seasonal serenades and tours to the classic films to the amazing annual train show!)

asclepias-asperula

asclepias-asperula

And now – a la an unreformed Scrooge – for a jaundiced eye cast in miscellaneous directions:  

Can’t imagine you haven’t seen commercials touting 10 years of tax-free status for businesses setting up in NYState…  Well, here’re some stats on how similar programs have performed… 

High time we knew what exactly’s in our cleaning products, we think.  If you agree

Alright, so there’s a new NYC DOT Street Design Manual…  “New” as in recently released and with some advocacy for bioswales…  All but senile old in its reliance on asphalt, prime contributor to acidic run-off.

Hummmm…  Kind of amazing fanfare around the installation of – count ’em – a measely 12 of those nicely-designed circular bike racks in the Gramercy/Midtown area…  (Should you wish to to request a rack for your hood, here’s how!) 

Most happy at to learn that East River Ferry service will be extended to 2019…  Now, powers-that-be, how about make it a real East River Ferry by adding more than just the 34th Street stop?! 

Meanwhile, one will shortly begin to take personally the profusions of fabulous designs announced for virtually every square inch of East River waterfront (most recently, Pier 42)…  Almost every square inch EXCEPT for frontage along the Upper East Side.  

Moving into the full-throttle, end of “It’s A Wonderful Life” celebratory mode:

Holy crow!  Our city’s just made public that it’s leased some 40 acres of Fresh Kills Park to Con Ed for a solar power farm

Even more amazing is – at long, long last – the FDA’s move to restrict antibiotic use in farm animals!  (Should you wish to indicate your support...)

Then there’s this week’s announcement that – among many promising developments – Governor’s Island will be open to visitors 7 days a week from Memorial Day to September 30th, 2014! 

Fingers firmly crossed that NYC’s modular housing now abuilding lives up to its promise

And now for a sharp turn off the eco path:

To note improvements – small and large but all with big potential – in tech for those with little to no sight.  

And:

Whoa!  Did we know that the Chairman of the Board not only had an UES residence but – beyond the grave – still does…?  And it’s for sale!

As for those critters: 

Yikes!!  Who knew there’re increasing numbers of the formidable and invasive Eurasian boar are living among us upstate

Yet another opportunity to stand in defense of bees, folks…  i.e. encouraging Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop  stocking unfriendly-to-bees  insecticides  

Love that the American Bird Conservancy calls feathered friend, the Yellow-Breasted Chat, the “buffoon of the briar patch“!

Yellow-Breasted Chat
Yellow-Breasted Chat

Meanwhile, right here in our midst:  

11/29 – Manhattan, HRM 6: In addition to a female common merganser, a ring-necked duck was present this morning on the Central Park Reservoir. I also counted ten hooded mergansers, five American coot, four buffleheads and four pied-billed grebes. There was a beautiful male Baltimore oriole at the feeders, as well as a Carolina wren, white-breasted nuthatch, and fox sparrow.  – Pat Pollock

Bufflehead Duck

Bufflehead Duck

Wishing you the greenest of holidays and New Year!

Until 2014, 

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

Yet again, a big thank you to all those who made Thanksgiving so much nicer for very many of our neighbors.

Really, we say, kindness and solidarity on this scale cannot be commended enough.

brachychiton-bidwillii

brachychiton-bidwillii

On to the week ahead:

Saturday, December 7th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Blue Oyster Mushrooms, along with Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farm!

Look for the return of both Dan and Laurie at Rabbits’ Run table this week…  Along with eggs, winter veggies, cheese (of course) and goat meat!

And Ballard Honey’s going to be rejoining us this Saturday or next!

For all those recipients of Greenmarket’s newsletter that, last week, noted Samascott as stocking chestnuts at 3 other markets but not our 82nd…  Ha!  Of course, they’ve got gobs them on hand at 82nd! 

Sadly, Saturday’s going to be way too frosty for our Master Knife Sharpener to be honing…  Let’s cross fingers for one warmer Saturday between now and Christmas for folks needing to get their carving sets in order!

Oh!  Please do bid Manager Sarah a fond adieu.  (We’re loosing her to Whole Foods where she’ll be doing demos!)

Then introduce yourself to our great new Market Manager Brittany!

Last Two Week’s Extremely Partial Recycling Totals: – 31 bags of clothes; 16 compost bins (8 each week.

YTD (from 1/5/13):  1,885 lbs batteries; 1,130 lbs #5, Britta filters, corks, cords/CDs/DVDs/jewel cases/cellphones and ink cartridges; 158 pairs of eye glasses; 755 bags of clothes; 269 compost bins.andy

Sunday, December 8th:  Carl Schurz Park Annual Holiday Tree Lighting

East End Avenue & 86th Street, 5-6pm

Cantori New York, the Orbital Brass Quintet, community caroling, hot chocolate, cookies, candy canes and one beautiful tree?  Does it get better?!  Be there!!

Sunday, December 15th:  Salzburg Marionette Theater – Alice in Wonderland

Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, 12pm

Not everyone shares our proclivity for puppetry in its many incarnations but, FYI, the Austrians are good as at this stuff.  Performance features a new score derived from period dance music.  Adults, $60.  Children $30.  For more and tickets

Sunday, December 15th:  Historic Doll Making Workshop

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 1pm

Does it get any better than making your own classic 19th-Century doll?  For kids 4 and older.  Supplies provided.  Member and children under 12, $10.  Non-members, $15.   For more and tickets:  212-838-6878.

Tuesday, December 17th:  Working with Historic Buildings – It’s a (Brick) House Lecture 

Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, 9am 

All one has to do is raise your eyes on any avenue to take in at least one horrible, mismatched patch job on a brick facade.  (Yeah, there’s the question of missing pediments, too.)  Anyway, here’s a primer on how to do that brickwork right. Friends of the Historic Districts Council Members, $25.  Non-members, $35.  For more details and tickets

rhododendron-ericoides

rhododendron-ericoides

Miscellany…  Knocks to the naughty first:

Dissatisfaction – to put it mildly – with the Central Library Plan continues and rises as per this recent, superb, in-the-round New Criteron article… 

And should you wish to let our mayor-to-be know your feelings on the subject, give him a call: 212-669-7250. 

Hummm…  So developer with greenish pretentions Douglas Durst (don’t we all recall his Bryant Park LEED building that turned out to be an energy hog) was recognized with Greenroof of the Week…   A tiny thing surrounded by lots of heat island grey/black surfaces!  (You bet, we’ve written Greenroofs!)

On to the good:

Think Solar One’s come up with a nice design for their new, storm-resistant educational center down at Stuyvesant Cove…  15 feet above grade!

As of December 2nd and courtesy of Intro 132-A – legislation authored by our soon-to-be Borough President Gail Brewer – all city agencies, committees, task forces, and the City Council are required to  record their open meetings imand webcast them live when practicable.   (Love that transparency, people!)

Love this new, couldn’t-be-greener approach to autumn leaves...  No more raking… Just mow ’em!!

Love even more this suggested trip tracing places that shaped Woody Guthrie’s oeuvre

Our literary recommend of the week:  “Viva La Pizza:  The Art of the Pizza Box”! 

And this programming note:  Seeking islands of sanity/information/entertainment during the latest round of alienating PBS fundraising? Check out channels 164 (LIW World and virtually all docs), 156 (BBC World), 501 (France 24 – French news channel in English) and 649 (the Smithsonian Channel).

Ummmm…  Animals:

First impression is that Jonathan Bird might need to increase his meds, but then…  Well, give his take on nurturing sturgeon in the St. Lawrence River a look

Turning to birds themselves these two items from bird-rich Bryant Park and the Hudson River Almanac:

11/23 – Manhattan, HRM 3.5: I spotted a hummingbird in some purple flowers along the north side of the rink in Bryant Park late this afternoon. I was not sure of the identification, but guessed that it may have  been a Selasphorus species – maybe a rufous hummingbird. Also seen were white-throated and swamp sparrows, gray catbird, and hermit thrush. – Alice Deutsch

11/24 – Manhattan, HRM 3.5: In response to a reported bird sighting in Bryant Park, and as I was showing a group of birders an image of the bird they most likely saw, the bird itself flew in – an American woodcock. They had been seeing it for over a week. – Ben Cacace

woodcockhra_original

lot of messages in this NYTimes piece…  The closest to home, Parks ongoing deployment of gingko and zelkova trees… 

Like our critters aren’t observing and mastering our skill set all the time…  Witness kitty’s determination to deal with a closed door… 

Looking toward a green Christmas,

UGS

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