Happy First Day of Spring 2014, UESiders!

So what if the Weather Service and NOAA are saying – due to our mind-boggling winter – solid spring weather will likely be delayed at least 2 weeks…   We’re seeing the little green tips of crocus and daffodil leaves poking up in planters and tree beds!

March 20th some 18 years past, we were on I-40 on day two of the three-and-half day scramble NYC-to-L.A. when the sky darkened at the southern edge, moving fast due north and towards us…  Pretty scary till you made out the leading edge of a way beyond a Mississippi-wide river of migrating birds.

What else to do but pull over, get out and look up with reverence…   Along with everyone else in a car or 18-wheeler…  To a one, in tears, laughing, feeling tiny but together in that moment…

Not as intense as our experience, but this gives an idea

As the next few weeks unfold, do check what’s in bloom at Schurz Park then go over and see for yourself!

Plenty of great things coming up on our dance card:

Friday, March 21st:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-9:30pm 

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time out:  The two new spring evening planets, Mars & Saturn…  Visible in Manhattan with or without equipment. Always a treat and free.  

Saturday, March 22th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us on what’s projected to be a 60-degree day will be the great people of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Yellowbell, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms!  

We’re making soup with Gajeski’s baby spinach!

Last week’s recycling totals:  59 lbs batteries;  21 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 13 pair of eye glasses; 8 1/2 bins of compost; 17 bags of clothes.

And, as of 12pm, we thought it was going to be a slow composting day…  HA! 

Wednesday, May 26th:  Pledge2Protect Demonstration

City Hall, Park Row Entrance (west side City Hall, adjacent to 4-5-6), 12:30-2:30pm

Last week’s demonstration was a slam-dunk success…  Wear your P2P t-shirts and buttons…  Wave signs…  Get fact sheets into the hands electeds and everyone else entering the inner sanctum!  Do RSVP… 

Tuesday, March 25th:  Paradise Planned – The Garden Suburb and the Modern City Lecture

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 6:30pm

Star-Architect Robert A.M. Stern shares his wisdom on the evolution of suburbia and the important lessons it holds for present-day cities.  Members, $18.  Non-members, $30.  For tickets and more...

Wednesday,March 26th:  Take Wing and Fly Here – An Evening in Conversation with Prianka Kumar and Jane Alexander

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

Author Kumar and Academy-nominated and Audubon Society board member Alexander discuss conservation and birds in art.  Free.  Presented by the Audubon.  For more

Thursday, March 27th:  NYC Clean Heat Meeting

McCaulay Honors College, 35 West 67th Street, 6:30-8pm

We’ve all looked out and seen those freaky black plumes gushing out of chimneys across the street…  The end result of burning most polluting #4 and #6  heating oil.    Could be your building’s…  Well…  Being equally naughty.  Check it out on the Spot the Soot Map and get yourself over to 67th for the lowdown on conversion and what you can do to make it a cleaner air a reality!  Free but best to RSVP

On the horizon:

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.  For more and tickets

Monday, March 31st: Archeology in the Seaport

South Street Seaport, 6pm

Alyssa Loorya, president and principal investigator of Chrysalis Archaeological Consultants, leads a tour highlighting archaeological discoveries unearthed from beneath this storied commercial district’s streets during its redevelopment and revitalization. The tour will end with a rare, hands-on survey of recent archaeological finds.  Organized by Open House New York.  Members, $15.  Non-members, $25.  For tickets

Tuesday, April 1st:  NYC Beekeepers Association Meeting

Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street, 7pm

This month’s special guest:  Sarah Red-Laird, AKA Bee Girl, founder/Executive Director of the Bee Girl Organization and degreed bee researcher. Honestly, this is the kind of interest/activity that makes NYC the place that is.  Free.  Be there at 6pm if you like to sign up as bee apprentice.

Out there but coming up fast:

Saturday, April 26th:  Run for the Wild

The Bronx Zoo, Runners – 8am, Family Fun Run/Walkers – 8:45am

Proceeds from this year’s 5K event will support 96 elephants…  The number killed each day for their ivory.  You can even make a virtual run at home on your treadmill!  Registration for adults, $40.  Kids & Seniors, $30. Register by March 24th and receive $5 off.  For more and to sign up

Thursday, April 10th:  Urban Agriculture Webinar 

At Home in Front of Your Computer, 10:30am-12pm

Join Hone Strategic LLC and the Pace Law School Land Use Law Center to explore barriers to urban food production and how to surmount them through comprehensive planning and zoning.  Staff from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will also discuss technical and financial support for urban agriculture.  Organized by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Free.  For more and to sign up

Sunday, April 13th:  4th Annual Tour de Staten Island

Commencing at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George, registration at 8am 

Ever biked to the beaches of Staten Island?  Pedaled through a landfill-turned-park?  Admired Lower Manhattan from across New York Harbor? Here’s your shot at  all that and more!  Members, $15.k  Non-members, $20.  Riders limited to 1,000 so sign up soon!



Time for miscellany…  Excellent, good and migraine-inducing: 

Wow!  We will soon – as of April 1st – now have a new Sanitation Commissioner…  Ms. Kathryn Garcia!

Last week we noted approval of that uber-upscale restaurant in Union Square… A city move that’s inspired a petition calling out the increasing privatization of our parks.  Should you object to this – our city’s present – strategy…  (And please forward on…) 

Meanwhile and thankfully, the 1914 East 77th Street Ardsley Garage’s been proposed for landmarking!  Should you support preservation of this lovely utilitarian structure and learn more

Mayor Mike may be history but the development steamroller remains…  In this instance in the name of funding Hudson River Park...  With the probably result of a farthest West Side corseted by high rises…

Okay, so now they’re wanting to build a natural gas line from Pennsylvania fracking country to Schoharie County, New York en route to northeastern markets.  Of course, it’ll be crossing numerous aquifers, watersheds, wetlands… You name it and decision-making is moving fast.  If you believe more time and thought are required…    

And, no, vampire-like the desire of West Virginia coal companies to engage in mountaintop removal has yet to have a stake permanently driven through its heart…    (If you disapprove of the practice…) 

Believe it or not but there are elements out in Indiana trying to rescind the state’s successful energy efficiency program

Kudos to the Hilton Hotel chain that they’ll no longer have shark fins on the menus!  (If you’d like to give them a thank-you…)

Interesting stuff in Consumer Reports’ most recent newsletter…  Where we are on getting antibiotics out of orchards…  When and/or if farmed fish can be organic…  Action to take on misleading food labels…  

Would have been great if there’d been even more, but 80,000 green jobs were created last year!

Then there’s this:

Wonder no more why that Time Warner bill is going and will continue to go through the roof



We’re ready for animals:

You bet, Blossom the baby bat is totally cute…

Push-ups with a walrus

On World Happiness Day we’re joyfully green,




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