Wednesday, March 19th:

Happy Clocks Spring Forward Weekend, UESiders!

Hardly seems possible that we’ll be moving to Daylight Saving Time when there’re still crusty patches of snow around street trees…

Even so, as those of you with western exposures have likely observed, late last week, the afternoon sun’s angle changed and its light is now much more direct... This while there’re many a tree branch with those little swellings that will, in just another few weeks, be leaves!

Can’t wait!!



But there’re great days in the present:

Saturday, March 7th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Could be we’ll be enjoying an above-freezing market day!  Even if we’re not so lucky, at their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Yellowbell, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms.  

Fingers crossed on Ballard Honey!


Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs batteries;  41 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 6 pairs of eye glasses; 8 1/2 bins of compost; 15 bags of clothes.

Yes, people, that’s a record-breaking 8 1/2 compost bins!!  (The gentleman in charge of pick-up was really pleased with himself for allocating a 9th bin to 82nd Street!)

And then there’s that Shred-A-Thon total of 9,424 pounds!

(For ultra-last-minute market updates, check 

Tuesday, March 11th:  “Created Equal – America’s Civil Rights Struggle”  Screening

Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium, 417 East 61st Street between First & York, 6:30pm

Organized by The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden with The Museum of Tolerance and Restore NYC, the screening will be followed by a discussion of our nation’s ongoing efforts to create equal rights for all.   Free but please RSVP at 212-838-6878.



And then:

Saturday, March 15th:  Block Party Workshop!

Bowne Printers, 211 Water Street, 11am-2pm
Bowne Printers is one of the joys of the new South Street Seaport, offering wonderful classes like this one:  The basics of block carving and printing with Resident Printer Ali Osborn.  (We’re thinking bookplates!)  Members, $45.  Non-members, $50.  For more and to reserve a spot: or 646-628-2707.

Wednesday, March 19th:  Green Infrastructure Grant Workshop

Tishman Auditorium, New School University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, 6-7:30pm

Been contemplating a green roof for your building?  Replacing cracked and crumbling neighborhood sidewalk with porous pavemen?   Installing a rain garden?  Or…?  Whatever your pet project might be, our NYC Department of Environmental Protection has $6 million in grant money for residents to tap into and engineers to offer advice and refinements to what you’ve got in mind.  (Spring grant applications due May 5th.)  For full details

Wednesday, March 19th:  Murals of New York City Lecture

The Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, 6:30pm

And what are the 30 most timeless and influential of our city’s murals? Artist, restorer and author Glenn Palmer-Smith weighs in on the subject of this talk and his new book.  Members, $15.  Non-members, $20.  Both include an invitation of the Society’s pre-lecture happy hour!  For more and tickets

Thursday, March 20th:  Designing with Native Plants Lecture

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

For those unfamiliar with lecturer Thomas Rainer, he’s among the foremost American proponents of landscaping with our native flora and obviously a fellow from which we have much to learn.  Members, $31.  Non-members, $35.  For tickets, directions and more…   

Thursday, March 20th:  Impact of the New Organics Law Meeting

290 Broadway, 30th Floor,  Room 3, 9:30am-12pm

Yet another sign that NYC couldn’t be more serious about composting expansion: Intro 1162-A which bans the landfilling of food scraps from large restaurants, food retailers, caterers, sports arenas, and other establishments larger than 25,000 square feet.   And great the federal  E.P.A.’s supporting this brave, great new development with this informational gathering.  Free.  For full details and to reserve a place

Tuesday, March 25th:  Green Your Restaurant!

Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship, Baruch College, 55 Lexington Avenue at 25th Street, Suite 2-140, 2-4pm

Can’t have enough sources of info on the brave new world of composting by businesses…  In this instance, guest speakers from Con Edison’s Green Team, The Green Restaurant Association, The Mayor’s Office of Composting and more.  Free but pre-registration advised.  For more and to sign up

Saturday, March 29th:  30th Annual Green Thumb Grow Together Conference

Hostos Community College, 500 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, 8:30am-4pm

And we quote, “Join thousands of NYC community gardeners and greening professional for a day of learning, sharing, networking, greening inspiration and handds-on workshops!”  Pre-registration (and guaranteed breakfast, lunch and t-shirt), $5.  … 



And then, next month and thereafter:

Sunday, April 6th:  Central Park North Woods Hike

We’ve had this great experience and, yup, there are more than a few moments when you imagine yourself in some remote, beautiful, faraway woodland!   Free.  Organized by American Forests, details will be revealed when you RSVP…  

Thursday, Friday &  Saturday, May 1st to May 3rd and Friday, May 9th & May 10th:  GrowNYC Annual Spring Plant Sale

Hattie Carthan Community Garden, Brooklyn and College Avenue Garden, The Bronx 

Yet another of GrowNYC’s many, many good works:  Perennial and annual flowering plants, herbs, and vegetables…  All cultivated by Greenmarket farmers and made available to us at wholesale prices! For how order, full schedule details and more



For once, we’re light on the miscellany…  Well, not that light:

So, guess what?!  Flooded with petitions, both Kroger and Safeway – #1 and #2 conventional grocery store giants – will no longer be carrying unlabeled GMO salmon!  (Costco next…!)

Maybe our governor needs some of the same medicine given that he’s proposed cutting library funding by 4%.  If you object, you can call and tell him so at 518-474-8390 or 212-681-4580!

Meanwhile, it’s America’s water under siege…  Fracking and industrial agriculture waste everywhere!

But, happily for NYC turf, was this week’s announcement that settlement moneys from that massive Exxon oil spill in Greenpoint are beginning to flow

Thanks to reader Karen Lane for this compilation of info graphic stats as to which age groups are best and worst environmental stewards…  (Hold your heads high, mature people!)

Packed with PR, but Recycling Today‘s article covering the opening of the Sims Sunset Park recovery facility – the place where our recycled residential glass/metal/plastic  is processed – is informative reading.

Scroll further down the page and rejoice that in only another year and a quarter – while industry vainly tries to prove that “dirty foam” can be viably be recycled – and NYC will be banning styrofoam altogether!  

Thanks to park champion Carol Rinzler, 1000+ Friends of Parks and Michael Powell of The Times for keeping us in the loop re the expensive eatery that’ll soon be occupying precious space in Union Square Park.

Amazing that this is the first we hear about Queens’ John Bowne High School!

Moving well off the reservation:

Ever wonder what the real status – rent controlled, rent stabilized, market rate – of your apartment might be?  Here’s how to approach finding out… 

On the subject of NYC apartments past, there’s this lovely Christopher Gray piece on his first residence…  A second-floor railroad flat on Third south of 81st!   

And on UES real estate in the present



Hummm…  Animals:

You bet there’s a best way to clean your birdfeeders and birdbaths and stamp out avian diseases like Songbird Fever!  

Best animal name of the week?  The adorable Timberdoodle!

And then there’re these two little gems from the great Hudson River Alamanac:

2/19 – Manhattan, HRM 1: While checking our traps off the steamship Lilac at Pier 25 we caught our first glass eel of the year. The River Project interns found the water temperature to be 36 degrees Fahrenheit and the salinity to be 12.0 parts per thousand. (In 2013, our first glass eels were taken in Yonkers on February 22.) – Nina Zain

glass eels

(Freshwater eels have survived global cataclysms for millions of year, but now some populations appear to be diminishing – even disappearing – worldwide and scientists are not quite certain why. Compared to other fishes, their lives are cloaked in mystery. While American eels are considered freshwater fish, they are born at sea and many of them spend much of their lives in tidewater. Glass eels are one of their juvenile life stages. They arrive by the millions in the estuary each spring following a six-month to year-long journey from the Sargasso Sea where they were born. “Glass eel” is a colloquial name owing to their lack of pigment and near transparency. This is a particularly vulnerable time for them, about which little is known. In anywhere from 12-30 years, depending upon their sex, they will leave the Hudson River watershed for the sea, where they will spawn once and then die … or so we think. Tom Lake.

2/27 – Fishkill:  I watched a gray squirrel this morning scamper across the snow-covered yard, carrying nesting materials in its mouth. It proceeded high up into a white pine where there once was a crow’s nest which Ms./Mr. Squirrel was refurbishing.  – Ed Spaeth

It’s a wonderful green world,



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