Happy Upcoming Alligators in the Sewers Day, UESiders!

Plenty of time to get the champagne on ice as the official date is Sunday the 9th.

One of the great urban myths, needless to say, harking back to 1935 when – or so it’s said –  a sad, little, discarded souvenir-of-Florida gator was discovered in a manhole and promptly beaten to death!



And on that cheerful note, let us proceed to what’s up this week:

Now through Sunday, April 27th:  The Little Prince – A New York Story Exhibition

The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Avenue

Caught us by surprise that the classic was written in NYC… Just before Saint-Exupéry returned to a Europe engulfed in WWII.  On display are original pages, drawings and an array of printed editions from the Morgan’s collection.  Museum admission:  Members free.  Adults, $18.  Seniors, students and children, $12.  For more

Friday, February 7th:  Last Day of NYCares Annual Coat Drive

Many drop-off locations

No question, this weather is all the more encouragement to get that seldom if ever worn winterwear out of the closet and onto the person of someone in need!

Friday, February 7th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

The subject:  Supernova SN2014J in Galazy M82!  As if you didn’t know there’d been a supernova eruption in Galaxy M82 (near the Big Dipper) and presently visible in the sky above us!  Star man extraordinaire John Pazmino has the lowdown.  Free. 

Saturday, February 8th:   82nd Street Greenmarket

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

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

Who knows what the heck the weather will be up to but if snow holds off till Saturday night, American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Yellowbell, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms and Ballard Honey will all be at their tables!

But should snow/sleet/temperature plummet occur and you’re wondering who may or may not have had to hunker down on the farm, check GrowNYC’s site for latest – likely even later than UGS’s – details: www.GrowNYC.org

As for last Saturday…

Eight (8) compost bins, people!!   Twenty-five (25) bags of clothes!!


Last week’s recycling totals:  61 lbs batteries;  27 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses; 8 bins of compost; 25 bags of clothes.

Truly astonishing.

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… 

You’ve been waiting and now it’s here:

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 Dan Garodnick for the generous grant that’s funding the event!) 

And then:

Tuesday, February 18th:  “The Rise and Fall of Penn Station” Screening 

The Loft at Professor Thom’s Bar & Restaurant, 219 Second Avenue between 13th & 14th, Short Program at 8:30pm, Screening at 9:00pm

If you didn’t catch the film on PBS’s “American Experience”, it’s a first- rate account of all-too short life of one of NYC’s most glorious buildings.  (We say rebuild it line-for-line!)  Free but reservations required:  212-228-2781 or info@neighborhoodpreservationcenter.org.  For further details (scroll down)…

Thursday, February 20th:  Sculpting the Land Lecture

Ross Hall, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, 10am-12pm

Doesn’t get more gorgeous than what landscape architect Kim Wilkie does with moving bits of earth and adding swaths of grass.  The gentleman’s noted for his work on grand British estates, but it’s applicable to small and urban turf. Members, $31.  Non-members, $35. For more and to reserve a place

Saturday, March 1st:  Silver Lake Reservoir Talk

Noble Maritime Museum, Snug Harbor, Staten Island, 2pm

We count on NYCH2O for the most curious and vital info on our city’s water supply…  This time out, the subject’s the 19th Century reservoir that’s the end point of the Catskill  Water System!   Presented by historian and author Patricia M. Salmon.  (Her most recent book is Murder and Mayhem on Staten Island!) Suggested museum donation, $5.  For more, tickets and directions

Saturday, March 1st & Sunday, March 2nd:  New York Vegetarian Food Festival

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 15th Street, 11am-6pm

The first NYC event of its kind (or so we’re told) with demos, samples, speakers and a chance to meet a host of vendors in what’s no longer a niche!  One day pass, $30,  Two-day pass, $50 if purchased online in advance.  For tickets and more… 



And now…  Miscellaneous bad:

First up:  This disturbing Times piece on the state of our Parks Department

And – as if we weren’t already plenty steamed about threats to the Rizzoli Bookstore and doubt as to landmarking of Park Avenue – there’s the USPS’s latest uber stupidity:  Sale of the beautiful FDR-era Bronx General Post Office Building!

And then there NYState…  Instead of West Chelsea’s erstwhile Seaman’s YMCA/Bayview Correctional Facility being converted into affordable apartments, Empire State Development’s offering it up for sale to the usual suspects/developers of luxury housing

We all have heard there’s a concern about a chemical used to color colas, right?

And Subway’s been including plastic foam used in yoga mats in their bread?!!  (Presumably to preserve its signature creepy soft squishiness!)

Miscellaneous much better:

Forkgate fun continues with our mayor’s appearance on Monday’s Jon Stewart show…  (And some serious talk, too.) 

D.C.’s just announced its Water Green Infrastructure Challenge Design Phase Winners.  Plenty of interesting ideas!    (How about bike lanes with a permeable  surface?) 

Wish we’d had this pre-Polar Vortex…  Wish we didn’t still need it now:  The Science of Stay Warm

In the let’s hope the wave’s moving further south department:  Following in Maine and Connecticut’a (Connecticut?!) footsteps, Rhode Island’s just introduced a GMO labeling bill... 

And isn’t it great that the windpower industry’s doing so well in spite of the federal tax exemption having expired?

Can these two giant sculptures be as beautiful as they are in pix…?  We hope so and can’t wait to see them up close!

There’s a Museum of the American Gangster on St. Mark’s Place?  Indeed there is…  And it’s #27 on a Manhattan User’s Guide’s list of off-beat museums scattered across our five boroughs

Program Note #1: Can’t stop the “Monuments Men” promotions and tie-ins… One of the best being National Geographic Channel’s docHunting Hitler’s Stolen Treasures: The Monuments Men” , the story of two middle-aged art scholar/rescuers of priceless Nazi-looted art.

Program Note #2:  Check out “American Promise”,  Sundance Festival doc stand-out, included in Channel 13 Black History Month presentations and set in considerable part in UES’s Dalton School. 

Program Note #3:  Two members of Pussy Riot guested on Stephen Colbert this past Wednesday and are those Russian girls super-smart and funny on top of being super-brave!

Yes, we cast our net wide…  As in instructions on how to best clean your cast iron pans!  (And we add our own hint:  A razor blade paint scraper for quick and clean dislodging of the most stubborn residue.)

Holy crow!  Who would have thought such a person existed in NYC?  A leather/vinyl furniture repairman who does the work in your apartment!




Onward to animals:

Might we be coining a/the term “animal tourism”?  If critters in their natural settings are what inspires a individual’s travel plans (and why not!), here’re are gems to add to that person’s list

Been a while since we’ve come across new unlikely animal pals like kitty and ferrets

Did Keyboard Cat’s look a tad stiff/arthritic during his Puppy Bowl performance (So what!  We love him!)

Yes, of course, there are people out there studying mole locomotion and we’re glad that they are! 

That while architects design custom housing for NYC feral cats!

We close with the usual tidbit of NYC’s natural world from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/26 – New York Harbor (Upper Bay-Lower Bay): Out on New York City Audubon Winter Birds and Seals Eco-Cruise today saw several large rafts of scaup sheltering along Governor’s Island and the Red Hook shore, totaling about 400 birds.  Also dozens of bufflehead, red-breasted and  hooded mergansers.

Beyond the Verrazano Narrows into the Lower Bay, near Swinburne and Hoffman Islands, many long-tailed ducks, common golden eyes, a common loon, a horned grebe and a half-dozen, unusually acrobatic harbor seals,, splashing with their flippers and “porpoising” clear of the water. – Gabriel Willow

We’d be green even if it was 40 below,


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