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!



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!) 



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,



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