Monthly Archives: January 2014

Happy Chinese New Year/Super Bowl, UESiders!

Crossed fingers that they’ll be recycling like crazy in and around MetLife Stadium!

For sure, in acknowledgement of their horrendous air, the Chinese are dramatically cutting back on celebratory but highly polluting fireworks!  Really!  They are!

ipomoea-pileata

ipomoea-pileata

Can’t be anything but a great week coming up:

Now through November 15th:  From the Western Front and Beyond – The Writings of World War I

Society Library, 53 East 79th Street

Who knew (but why are we surprised) that the war intended to all wars found the likes of Conan Doyle and Kipling writing propaganda?  The library’s also gathered a splendid array of memoirs, poetry and first-hand accounts of soldiers, nurses, priests and journalists for this moving exhibition marking the conflict’s 100th anniversary.  For a taste…   And for further details and hours…   

Saturday, February 1st:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes/Fabric Collection – 9am – 1pm 

The weatherman’s claiming we’ll be above freezing so we should have a full compliment of our fabulous providers of produce, beef, chicken, goat, cheese, seafood, bread, pastries and honey…  American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Yellowbell, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms and Ballard Honey!

But let us return to last Saturday…

Not even an orgy of snow and ultimate chill got in the way of the new normal in compost accumulation…

We’re talking not just 7 bins…  But 7 1/2 bins (from 196 composters)…  Topped off by 18 bags of clothes (from 53 individuals)! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  26 lbs batteries;  23 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 1/2 bins of compost; 18 bags of clothes.

We salute you, recyclers!

Coming up fast:

Saturday, February 8th:  Pattern Drafting Workshop

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Plaza/Columbus Avenue at 66th Street, 12pem

For your inner couturier:  The fundamentals of how to turn your particular fashion bent into a concrete garment with the guidance of designer Jenny Lau.  (The renewed museum is offering a ton of these great workshops!)  $250.  For details and to register

Wednesday, February 12th:  OHNY Brooklyn Library Tour Lottery

280 Cadman Plaza West, Brooklyn, 6pm

Not a Open HouseNY member yet?  Here’s a significant enticement to do the deed:  A free members-only tour of Brooklyn’s beautiful Moderne library and overview of its collections led by head librarian Richard Reyes-Gavilan.  As we said, free for members!   For further details, to join and be entered in the lottery

Wednesday, February 12th:  Pledge2Protect Community Update Meeting

Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 E 88th Street between First & Second, 6:30pm

It’s a new year with a new mayor, new allies and avenues to bring the powers-that-be to their senses!  Come hear all  about it!  Come lend a hand in making sure this health-hazardous/retrograde/fiscally insane facility bites the dust!  For more and to RSVP… 

Friday, February 14th:  Show Bees Some Love Valentine Swarm

Home Depot, 980 First Avenue at 59th Street, 10022

Don’t we all want Lowe’s and Home Depot to stop selling insecticides that kill our bees?  Easy way to make the point?  Drop it off or mail a Friends of the Earth valentine at the address above!  To get that valentine

Saturday, February 15th:  Shred-A-Thon Post-Valentine’s Day 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 remove paper clips and metal and plastic spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But falling-apart paperbacks are just fine.

(Take those unwanted hardcovers to Goodwill or HousingWorks!)

(Thanks to Council Member Garodnick for the generous grant that’s funding the event!) 

delosperma-jewel-of-desert

delosperma-jewel-of-desert

In the miscellaneous column…  As always, a bit of the heavy up first:

Have a water tower sitting atop your more than 5-story building?  NYTimes investigators advise that it be inspected

But then:

You might recall the surprising news that the UES had its very own Brownfield Clean-Up Site?   Property at 94th and Third that’s now certified as clean as whistle!

We’re talking one of the best volunteer opportunities EVER for a teen(s) of your acquaintance with a digital/media interest/gift:   Lending a hand at one of our city’s zoos (Central Park, Bronx, Queens or Prospect Park)…  An opporunity that’ll bring into play a love of wildlife, dedication to a sustainable world, producing/creating/experimenting with/designing a whole range of projects…  For more and to apply!

Needless to say, there’re already a ton of UES teens accomplishing great things…  Case and point:  Hewitt student Susannah Meyer who’s just been honored with an Aspirations in Computing Award

Of course, you’ve noted the spike in nut prices the last couple of years.  Reason why?  Drought throughout prime nut-growing states (like California and Texas), increased export to China and theft by grove raiders who proceed to sell on an evolving nut black market!

This new-to-us site is pretty much a double threat:  Entitled “Children & Nature Network“, it’s great for grown-ups’ perceptions, too…

Has New York street life changed dramatically these last 30 years?  Not in the ways that matter most says Project for Public Spaces!

(Even so, near the top of our list of recent additions to our cityscape it’d be lovely to see disappear:  The ever-proliferating plague of 7-11s!

Vancouver Island Marmot

Vancouver Island Marmot

Yikes!  Some strange scribbling about animals these last few days::

As in this article describing a creature that’s just what NYC needs…  Another cockroach variety!  One than can survive winter!!  

This week’s New York Magazine‘s given us extensive roach coverage, too…  Along with “alien squirrels” and the coyotes who’d like to be among us!

The Times puts their oar in with (really cute in the picture) opossums… And an Englishman’s obsession with the evils of…  Sheep!

Then there’s our old, bad friend, the invasive, feral Eurasian boar!  (Hard to believe NYState had to pass a law prohibiting the “possession, sale, trade or transport” of these wild and crazy critters!)

No kidding, we need the relief of:

Puppy Bowl!  Which now includes an adoption event!

Good news from Idaho:  The voice of the people was heard (in the form of a ton of petitions) and the state’s now curtailed its wolf culling program!

Meanwhile, kids in Chelsea are raising tilapia) – like 10,000 of them – in their high school’s basement 

Fall short in the bird ID department?  (Our talent in this regard begins and ends with robins and jays.)  But not a problem now that Cornell’s Ornithology Lab’s devised their new and intensely clever Merlin Bird ID App!  Totally free!  For details

Courtesy of the Hudson River Almanac’s Tom Lake, we now know 14 species of gulls reside in the river’s watershed:

  • black-headed gull
  • – Bonaparte’s gull
  • – Franklin’s gull
  • – glaucous gull
  • – great black-backed gull
  • – herring gull
  • – Iceland gull
  • – ivory gull
  • – laughing gull
  • – lesser black-backed gull
  • – little gull
  • – mew gull (common gull)
  • – ring-billed gull
  • – slaty-backed gull

And from Brooklyn, there’s this:

1/20 –  It was late in the ebbing tide yesterday when we set a plankton net for 30 minutes at the corner of Pier 1 on the south side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Today the students from my oceanography class identified numerous diatoms and swarms of trocophore larvae, some identifiable as annelid worms. We took a few representative shots with cell-phone cameras through microscopes. One stalked ciliate (typical of wastewater treatment) was found among the detritus. Salinity was measured by refractometer at 17.0 parts per thousand. –  Timothy Anderson

[A plankton net is an extremely small mesh net drawn through water or set in the tidal current, as in this instance, to trap minute animals and plants. Trocophore larvae are a life stage of some aquatic invertebrates, including mollusks and worms; they are spherical or pear-shaped, with a ring of cilia – tiny hairs which wave in coordination to move the animal through the water.  – Tom Lake, Steve Stanne.]

Doesn’t get any better than being green,

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

Let’s get right down on the coming week:

Saturday, January 18th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

On yet another frigid Saturday – likely with some snowfall added in – look for the stalwart American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Yellowbell, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms!

Fingers crossed on Ballard Honey.

Note:  Rabbits’ Run has baby onions!

Meanwhile…

Last week’s recycling totals:  62 lbs batteries;  23 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of glasses; 7 bins of compost; 25 bags of clothes.

Okay…  We know 10 bins was – for now – an extraordkinary event.  HOWEVER, let’s get real.  Last week’s 7 bin total has now become our new and amazing normal (as opposed to the 6-pluses we racked up all summer and fall.)

Just incredible!

Saturday, February 1st through Sunday, June 29th:  “Bessie’s Big Shot” Puppet Show

Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, Central Park

Bessie dreams of life in the circus…  But could a cow possibly fit in under the big top?  Surely not as trapeze artist or bareback rider or  acrobat.  This charming show – in a charming park building – details one unlikely odyssey to stardom.  Family friendly, needless to say.  Kids under 12:  $7.  Everybody else:  $10.  For more and tickets

Saturday, February 15th:  Shred-A-Thon Post-Valentine’s Day 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 remove paper clips and metal and plastic spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But falling-apart paperbacks are just fine.

(Take unwanted hardcovers to Goodwill or HousingWorks.)

Let there be miscellany:

Herewith, the committees to which City Council Members have recently been assigned

And this bullet point from Governor Cuomo’s  2014 priorities for the state:  “Protect our state’s greatest resource – our environment – by increasing the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), expanding outdoor recreational opportunities and access to NY-grown agricultural products, and providing a new round of NY Works capital funding for environmental facilities.”

Meanwhile, add to the many righteous battles in which New Yorkers are presently engaged the preservation of our great public library system and the irreplaceable real estate on which its buildings are sited (think Brooklyn, Mid-Manhattan, the Library of Science, Business & Industry to name but a few).  And we do all recall that our new mayor promised to stop this bad music?  So how about we hold him to his pledge?  (We wrote:  “Fulfill your campaign promise.  Prevent the destruction of New York’s great library system.  You promised us, sir.”

Yes, there’s the huge black mark of Park Avenue falling off the To Be Plowed List, but the mayor did earn a partial star this week when he approved Rockaway Ferry service for another 3 months.

Further on the subject of Park Avenue:  We’ve made our admiration for The Times great Christopher Gray abundantly clear, but his recent article on the Park Avenue Historic District…  Well, sir, we take truly deep issue with your tepidness!

You will be impressed by the mind-boggling array of online maps on offer by NYS Department of Environmental Protection…  Everything from Significant Natural Communities to boat launch sites to an inventory of NYS dams to trails designed for the disabled!

Sure are going solar out in Brooklyn…  Now 23 homes and counting in Ditmas Park alone!

Last week’s green-walled Paris building was a beauty and now this…  A most buccolic green roof…  (For more pix…) 

For sure, Manhattan’s lost way too many of the eccentric little shops that used to dot its byways…  But hardly all.  Example:  The Tiny Doll House!

On the subject of the tiny, if only one felt the least little bit better about the mess that is Second Avenue subway construction when comparing with this view of the East River shoreline when the FDR was a-building…  (And, yes, for sure, River House/Club has always been deluxe!) 

Who knew that their was a competition as to where Ulysses Grant would be buried?  And that NYC prevailed over a host of rivals, including Galena, Illinois where the man was born?  For the lowdown

Further on the subject of monuments:  Seems like the majority of the 800 adorning our city deserve an easily accessible biography/histography.  

And now for a U-turn: 

Doesn’t get any better than this beautifully simple solution to an age-old, endemic problem: An Iron Fish in Every Pot…  (Cast iron cookware delivers the same vitmineral to us!)

How about a Maine vacation in a yurt?  (Yes, you’ll be reading it right…  Rates are higher in winter!)

We want animals, too:  

Darned ridiculous that survival of the wonderful, totemic-of-the-American-West sage grouse remains in doubt…  (But should you want to speak out on the beleagured bird’s behalf...) 

Surely the right and left hands are not in contact what with the (so-called) Wildlife Service culling (as in killing) in the neighborhood of 1.5 million endangered animals –  bears, wolves, ferrets – last year.  (If you object to this policy…)

But proud to say NYS is shaping up to protect the Northern Cricket Frog!

He’ll be spending only a couple of years in San Antonio, but we’ll be happy when NY Aquarium’s post-Sandy repairs are complete and Mitik the walrus calf returns to his place in the aquarium’s marine mammal exhibit (hopefully, without a Texas accent)! 

Can’t stop the folks at the helm of Puppy Bowl X who are now asking fans to vote for the MVP…  That being the Most Valuable Puppy! (Plus Keyboard Cat will be performing Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven” at half-time.)

We leave you with penguins and the knowledge that even an arctic creature is challenged by ice… 

Of course, we dream in green,

UGS

 

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Happy Martin Luther King Day, UESiders!

A holiday that, this year, comes with some very nice news:  As in it’s been 3 years since there been even a single case of polio in India…  A period sufficiently long for the country to be declared polio-free.

That Americans – in the form of the Gates Foundation – played a role…  Well, good works – and our great men and women – are how we want to be known in the world.

So what of the week ahead:

Saturday, January 18th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At their tables will be the precipitation-embracing folks of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farm!

Fingers crossed on Ballard Honey.

Sadly, Blue Oyster Mushrooms is done for the winter season but look for them to return in April.

And this update on Feather Ridge Farm…  They’re moving to a new farm location, changing their name to Yellowbell Farm and, as a result of the move, may not have eggs for a while.  (But do ask.)

Meanwhile…

Last week’s recycling total and YTD (from 1/11/14):  24 lbs batteries;  27 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of glasses; 10 compost bins; 29 bags of clothes.

Can’t say it enough…  10 big fat bins of compost!

Saturday, January 18th & Sunday, January 19th:  Pledge2Protect Volunteer Opportunity

Asphalt Green, 91st Street & York, 12-4pm

Prime Pledge signature gathering opportunity at this weekend’s Asphalt Green’s annual MLK Swim Meet.  Lend a hand pushing the signed Pledge total way past the 30,000 mark and making the MTS ancient history!  An hour or two or more of your time…  For details and to sign up

Thursdays, January 23rd & 30th:  Roosevelt Island Knitting and Crotchet Group

Roosevelt Island Public Library, 524 Main Street, 11:30am-12:30pm
 
For sure, knitting and crochet are making a major comeback!  Whether you’re a novice or further down the skill pike, bring your current project, questions, needles and yarn to the Knitters’ Table!  Free, of course.  
On the horizon:

Saturday, January 25th:  Dendê & Band Concert

El Museo del Barrio, 1230 5th Avenue between 104th & 105th, 3pm, 

And who or what is Dendê & Band?  An eight-piece Brazilian musical group blending Brazil’s rhythm-heavy melodies with Afrobeat, reggae, merengue and more…  That’s who! Presented in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concerts.  Free and all  ages welcome, but you’d better RSVP!  

Wednesday, January 29th:  TreeLC Care Captain Training

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 3rd Floor, 6-8pm  

The next level up, after one’s taken TreesNY’s wonderful Citizen Tree Pruner Course?  NYC Parks’ master class on how best to share those much-needed tree care skills with friends and neighbors and organize your community!  Free.  For full details and to sign up… 

Friday, January 31st:  NYCH2O Old Brooklyn Waterworks Lecture

Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue, 7-9pm 

Once upon a time, Brooklyn was America’s third largest city with a network of reservoirs and water wells reaching out to eastern Long Island.   Even so, the quantity and quality of water couldn’t keep up with demand, ultimately playing a major role in Brooklyn’s decision to consolidate with Manhattan in 1899. Amazing history brought to life by Jeffrey Kroessler, PhD at another great NYCH2O event. Free but donations appreciated.  For tickets, directions and more

Saturday, February 15th:  Shred-A-Thon Post-Valentine’s Day 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 your excess hardcovers to Goodwill.)

Sunday, March 2nd:  National Geographic Photography Seminar

Lighthouse International, 111 East 59th Street, 9am-4pm

Learn from master National Geographic photographers Annie Griffiths and Dan Westergren who’ll take you on a visual journey and share insights as to what creates beauty in photographs.  $195.  For details and to register

Way, way, way out there:

Sunday, June 22nd to Friday, June 27th:  Rails-to-Trails Annual Summer Sojourn

Maryland, Virginia & West Virginia Trails

Be you young or young-at-heart…  Veteran or first-timer…  With your family or going solo…  Here’s a stellar chance experience a choice group of America’s most beautiful trails.  For further details

On to miscellany…  The good, the unnerving and fun: 

Bad New Flash A:  U.S. carbon emissions increased 2% in 2013. Reason why?  Power plants burning more cheap coal.

Bad News Flash B:  Global investment in green energy fell for a second year in a row…

Good News Flash #1:  Lower cost solar panels have spurred panel installation in Europe by 20%.  (Read about both these last two…)

As we all know, only a half-inch of rain and NYC’s waste water system’s overwhelmed, sending millions of gallons of raw sewage into the East and Hudson Rivers.  Our city’s response to date: some larger tree beds and the occasional bio-swale.   

Not so upstate where NYS and 6 Albany-area communties have just agreed to spend $138 million to upgrade their sewer systems in service of a cleaner Hudson.

(Seems a lot better use of big money than building MTSs.)

Meanwhile…  There’s hope on NYC’s waste water horizon!!  A hearing – entitled “NYC Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System Permit Presentation” is set for January 23rd, 1 Centre Street,  10th floor, Room 1019, 6pm.  For more and to reserve a seat… 

Excellent, as well, that NYS’s acting to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species at boat launches!

Returning to the subject of the MTS:  Herewith, new Council Member Kallos on that subject and more

Reason #6 zillion and four why we shop Greenmarkets:  Bacteria-loaded factory-farmed chicken!  

Who would have thought, in 2013, there’d still be toxic chemicals in cosmetics?  BUT…  Thanks to the California Board of Health, there’s now a database detailing what might be lurking in those little bottles and cases!

Of course, the gorgeous Musee de quai Branly (designed by genius Patrick Blanc) has been on our radar for the last three years but great to see it’s now the Greenwall Project of the Week.  (Imagine the Roosevelt Island Tram station similarly cloaked in greenery…)

Moving off the reservation:

Sure Replacements Inc. is source of china, crystal and flatware, but it’s also all about recycling and reuse! 

Non-night owl alert:  Jon Stewart had some fun with those among us who consume pizza with utensils…  A practice/event/news item hereinafter designated as “Forkgate”

Hey, folks!  4 Oscar-nominated films were shot in NYC!

Tine for some animals, we say:

Fabulous that NYS has now outlawed puppy mills!

Most impressive, too, is China’s move to crush 6 tons of contraband ivory

Happy to note, as well, that NOAA’s taken action to protect 5,000 square miles of New England ocean habitat!  (If you’d like to say thanks…)

Okay…  There’s Super Bowl counter-programming and then there’s furry Super Bowl counter-programming…  As in the classic Puppy Bowl.

Now, in 2014, we’ll be treated to – drum roll –  Kitten Bowl!   There’s even a 24/7 Kitten Bowl Training Camp cam…  (On even at night when the athletes are all asleep.)

There’s now finned/scaled Super Bowl counter-programming, too…  As in the Nat Geo Wild’s newly-minted Fish Bowl… Which consists of a single goldfish in a bowl and presented “without filters and with remarkable candor.”

There appears to be a flourishing skunk population up in Inwood Park…  (On the plus side, they like to eat rats!)

Yours in greenness,

UGS

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Greetings, UESiders!

Very good to be back with you as we begin a new year with a new mayor (soon to be living among us), a new City Council Member (Ben Kallos, 244 East 93rd Street, 212-860-1950) and new resolve to improve our already stellar greenness! 

Beginning with the 7 days ahead:

Saturday, January 11th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At their tables will be the freeze-resistant troopers of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Gajeski, Feather Ridge, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farm!

Given higher temps, look for Ballard Honey (they braved the Arctic chill last week) and Blue Oyster Mushrooms!

It is happiness to be re-approved…

2014 Recycling Totals will commence next week!

Saturday, January 11th:  Stop & Swap

MS 167 (Robert F. Wagner), 220 East 76th Street, 12-3pm

Bring your clean, portable anything to pass on to others and see what others have brought for the taking…  All for free.  You don’t even need to have brought something to take something.  But, please, no furniture or other big items. Organized by the great people at O.R.O.E. ( NYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education) and the first Stop & Swap sited on the UES!  

Saturday, January 11th & Sunday, January 12th: Mulchfest!

Carl Schurz Park, East End Avenue & 86th Street, 10am-2pm

Remove decorations and lights and watch as your tree takes on new life as nourishing, protective mulch for the gorgeous landscaping of Schurz Park!

Wednesday, January 15th:  “More Than Honey – The True Value of Bees” Screening

Seafarers & International House , 123 East 15th Street at Irving Place. 6:30pm

Doesn’t get any better than a great doc folllowed by NYC Beekeepers sharing their experience with NYC bees and providing delicious samples of those bees’ handiwork!  The first in the NYC Sierra Club’s 2014 Sustainability Series. Suggested donation:  $10. (To see the trailer...)
Down the way:

Tuesday, February 11th:  Landmarks Hearing on the Park Avenue Historic District

Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, 9th Floor, 4pm

Altogether possible that beautiful but unprotected Park Ave from 79th to 96th could catch glass tower disease…  Especially as, since 2010, 5 historic buildings along that stretch have come down.  If you can’t attend, an email in support would be just great…  (If Greenwich Village preservationists can prevail, so can we!)

Pretty darned miscellaneous miscellany this time out…  Kicking off with our usual rant:

Kinda like there’s a Second Avenue Subway contractor contest to come up with ever more – understatement – annoyances…  As in, “Now that we’re done blasting, how about evicting some residents?”

It’s not just us noticing that – even discounting the mess that snow causes – things around the UES are looking even less tidy than usual…  i.e. Mr. Steinberg’s observations on the environs of John Jay Park… 

Fabulous that the powers-that-be are contemplating more East River Ferry stops. Something less than fabulous that those envisioned stops don’t include 96th Street…  (Couldn’t be because of the proposed MTS, could it?)

Okay, New Yorkers, let’s give ourselves one big pat on the back!! Of the top 1p0 things Care2 says mindfully green folks should be recycling we’re recycling all 10!!

Meanwhile, our NYS neighbors to the north are celebrating the disposal of 138,000 pounds of toxic waste!

Congratulations to Gerber, too, for responding to those many petitions and removing GMO apples from its baby food!

Hopefully, Chobani answers the many asking that the company discontinue purchasing milk from dairies feeding their cattle GMO grain and sugar beets. (Should you agree…)

On the subject of GMOs, this piece from last Sunday’s Times is a must for the well-informed.   (For sure, there’s  a ton we don’t know but – given the consequences – proceeding with extreme caution is a must.) 

Lightening up:

Wow!  Thoroughly modern Community Board 8 is now a YouTube presence in the form of a half hour interview show “CB8 Speaks”.  Check it and area players out

Great that lovely Gracie Mansion’s having a star turn of late… And nice that Curbed‘s provided this short bio of the historic structure…  (Although they did miss its early 1900s service as a school for impoverished city youth.)

Who knows what this crazy winter has in store, so best to have NYC’s Best Sledding Spots on file!

Bar the pheasant hunting, plenty of winter family fun out there in NYState, too

Check out the really great retro result of the New Deal National Park Poster Project

We’ve spoken before of our notion that the new Penn Station should be the rebuilt old Penn Station, yes?  Well, minorly but in that regard, they’re now mulling over plans to reassemble the London’s Euston (Station) Arch… 

Take heart, binge watchers (and we quote from a show biz trade):  “Just released results of a study said binge-watching doesn’t keep viewers on the couch – it can actually get them to the gym. Forty-five percent of respondents said they would be more motivated to exercise if they could watch their favorite shows on-demand, commercial-free. Favorite genre to jog to? Thirty-six percent of respondents said sitcoms.”

Our favorite of The Times’ diverse end-of-year portraits/obits of meaningful individuals was that of Red Burns…   

Moving on to the strange:

They’re not plastic!  They’re not orange, but they are covered with reflective tape!  They rake in millions of dollars!  They are…  Human cones!

Is it peculiar or what that most NYC Christmas trees are trucked in from North Carolina?!

Then there’s the Twilight Zone of the MTA’s lost-and-found!

Yes, bring on those animals:

Commencing with some activism on behalf of dolphins being poisoned by agricultural run-off…  If you think the state of Florida should rein nitrogen over-use in

Our ocean ecosystem could use your assistance too...

More Christmas fodder but so what?  It’s the classic electric eel powering Christmas tree lights!

Two words for you, folks…  Baby pandas!!

We close with a couple of gems from the Hudson River Almanac:

12/24 – Brooklyn: I’m getting used to seeing once rate snowy owls on Floyd Bennett Field’s runways. I passed a nice female bird this morning, sitting in the middle of one of the open grasslands. With the snow melted and nothing but grass exposed, spotting her wasn’t much of a challenge, but she showed no signs of disturbance, almost as if she felt her camouflage was still working.

12/22 – Brooklyn: It was unseasonably warm in downtown Brooklyn as I watched a gray bird of prey maneuver in the windy, pigeon-free skies over Borough Hall. With angular wings it flew north over Columbus Park, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and – after two attempts – landed on louvres of an office building across from Cadman Plaza Post Office. All area pigeons took to the skies, immediately acknowledging the presence of the peregrine falcon. – David Diehl

Evergreen,

UGS

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