Happy Earth Hour Saturday, UESiders,

And do – easy now that we’re back on Daylight Savings – flip those light switches into the off-position for that one hour…  Then follow the event as it travels and is celebrated around our world!

Meanwhile…  Isn’t great we dodged that most recent snow/blizzard bullet?

In celebration, herewith this excerpt from Robert Frost (courtesy of reader Kathleen Treat):

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.



Until it’s well and truly here, we’re adopting this antidote to winter blues… Giving a tree a great, big hug…  Science-proven to make us humans feel better Honest!

So what if it’s rainy, it’s going to be in the fifties this Saturday:

Now to June 30th:  Steinway & Sons Tour

1 Steinway Place, Astoria, 9:30am-12pm

Founded in 1853 by German immigrant Henry Engelhard Steinway in a Manhattan loft on Varick Street, Steinway creates some of the most wonderful pianos in the world, used by over 90 percent of concert pianists. For more than a century, Steinway & Sons’ manufacturing process was a closely guarded secret, but about 10 years ago, the company started guided tours of their factory, offering just one tour a week for 15 visitors and requiring booking well in advance:  info@steinway.com or 718-721-2600. 

Now till…They Don’t Say:  Ponds, Pipes, and People Exhibit

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, 110th Street and Central Park North, 7 days a week, 10am-5pm

Explore the many ways water figures in the great park’s history and design, the park’s vibrant aquatic ecosystems, and the Conservancy’s care of 150 acres of water in the middle of a dense urban landscape. Free.  Gallery tours for visitor and school groups are available with minimum two-weeks advance registration: 212-860-1370.  For more

Now – September 7th:  Palaces for the People – Guastavino and the Art of Structure Tile

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avene between 103rd & 104th

If you’ve ever been to the Food Emporium under the 59th Street Bridge, you’ve experienced the UES exemplar of the Guastinvos’ – father and son – inspired work.  Or if you’ve been on the Grand Central’s lower level around and in the Oyster Bar…  High time the pair, their art and innovations are given the accolade of a museum exhibition.  For more and hours…  

P.S. Check out Christopher Gray on Upper West Side row houses designed by father Rafael Guastavino Sr.  

Saturday, March 29th:  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!  

Darn!  Another week chicken livers sold out before we arrived!

She won’t be with us this week, but shall we say folks were happy to see her last Saturday:

The Master Knife Sharpener Holds Court

The Master Knife Sharpener Holds Court

Last week’s recycling totals:  62 lbs batteries;  19 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses; 8 bins of compost; 15 bags of clothes.

Another “slow” week…

(Do keep in mind,Wearable Collection’s Earth Month Shoe Drive!)

Upon us soon:

Saturday, April 5th:  13 Steps Around Dutch Kills Tour

Meet at the Albert E. Short Triangle Park, corner of Jackson Avenue and 23rd Street, Long Island City,  11am-2pm  

Really and we quote:  “In 13 steps, Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman will show attendees the then and now of the Dutch Kills tributary, once known as the “workshop of the United States.”  Another great Obscura Society event.  $20 and advance tickets required.  For more and to reserve your place…  

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

Thursday, April 24th:  Exploration of the Past and Present State of the East River Waterfront

House of the Redeemer, 7 East 95th Street, 6:30pm

Architectural historian John Kriskiewicz and landscape architect Signe Nielson explore the history of East River waterfront and in the library of the former Fabbri Mansion, now (and landmarked) House of the Redeemer.  Suggested donation, $10.  Registration requested. Call 212-289-0399 or info@redeem.org.

Saturday, April 26th & Sunday, April 27th:  Green Festival

Pier 94, 55th Street & the West Side Highway, 10am-6pm

Some years it’s great, some years a bit blah, but good equals a ton of green products you can get up close with and grill their makers/inventors. Think food, fashion, health,  energy, construction, design and activities designed for families. Goldstar’s offering bargain tickets, too ($5-$10)! 

Monday, April 28th:  Friends of the Esplanade (60th-120th) Benefit

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd Street, 6:30-8:30pm

We’ll be beating the drum non-stop on this until the day…  And keep pointing out that as with so many things in this life – even with the Feds, State and City contributing bigtime – we of the UES’ll get the Esplanade we pay for…  BUT you’ll be getting great wine, eats and raffle/silent bidding fun with your generous contribution!   So head on over to the event page

Sooner than we think:

Tuesday, May 20th:  Citizen Tree Pruner Class

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

Definitely one of the best things ever: Trees New York’s signature Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course, 5 sessions long and offering New Yorkers a comprehensive curriculum covering basic tree biology, street tree identification, pruning and care. Graduates emerge with a license empowering them to legally prune their neighborhood’s street trees!   A bargain at $100.  For further details and to sign up



And with that, on to things miscellaneous:

First in the queue:   Guess what?  We have our very own nuclear waste site in NYS!  Even more incredible?  Our State Senate’s attempting to cut funds for a long, long overdue clean-up!  If you disagree with that move

In the same realm of incredibility?  Elements in our House of Representatives wishing to prohibit the creation of any more national parks!  If you feel otherwise… 

But let’s talk local outrage, albeit of considerably smaller scale…  This past Tuesday, as Related Companies excavated what was once Ruppert Playground, a vestige of the once great Ruppert Brewery was unearthed. Just a few brick arches but a meaningful bit of Yorkville’s past, partially demolished before archeologists were given access and allowed only the briefest to document before bulldozers leveled it.   Really.

Of course, all the antibiotics fed/applied to what we humans eat would have effects on us…  One being the surge in our weight.

Yes, it seems endless, but there are those who keeping wanting to shoot wolves… This while others who support science and maintaining their endangered species protection.  If you’re a protector… 

And should you also think that Congress should maintain funding for all endangered species at its present current (drastically reduced since 2008) levels rather than cutting it further

And if proliferation of crude oil being transported via the Hudson River is one of your concerns… 

As it bears on demands on UES infrastructure, pedestrian and traffic flow, density and so much more, this from Council Member Garodnick on wisest modernizaton of neighboring East Midtown

Bite the bullet, friends, and if you haven’t already, read The Times on ourcity’s decrepit maze of underground pipes.

On the much brighter side:

The mayor’s named an interesting new Parks Commissioner:  Mitchell Silver.

The EPA’s just proposed a rule that’ll restore Clean Water Act protections to streams, wetlands, and the drinking water affecting 117 million Americans nationwide!  

Our new Borough President has made her feelings plain about NYPL’s plans for dramatic alterations in the main branch and sale of Mid-Manhattan in her letter of March 25th…   (She very much disapproves.)

Attendance has been so high at the year-old Museum of Mathematics, they’re looking to expand!

Prospect Park Zoo’s a finalist for IKEA’s 2014 “Life Improvement Project” makeover in Brooklyn and we can help!  Vote today and the zoo could win a much-needed IKEA-designed space!  

For those who’ve seen (and been shocked) by graffiti on First under the 59th Street Bridge, DOT’s promising to remove it within 30 days…  Cross you fingers!  (Won’t hurt if you also call 311, too.) 

We’ve become total fans of our state DEC’s online tip sheet, Green Living! Of course, we UESiders already know about bird bath cleaning…  But burping trout? What to do with those leftover earthworms you took fishing? The journey clothes/fabric you give to Wearable Collections can take?  Green Living’s great!

Buildings covered in bougainvillea…  Surrounded by jasmine and Jacaranda trees…  Doesn’t get more cutting-edge and beautiful than this design for a medium-rise development in Morocco

Meanwhile, if you’ve noted Robert A.M. Stern’s recent appearances around town…  Here’s why…  Another luxury behemoth and here on the UES,  

Transition time:

Craving a Zagat’s Restaurat guide?  Review a few of the eateries you frequent and receive a guide as reward!

In case you missed news of this world-shaking development…  The UES cupcake ATM!




Is the red-winged blackbird beautiful or what?  Plus it braves NY winters…  Making it wild and crazy, too!

So bats are afflicted by a  deadly white fungus visible on their noses…  Now, it’s a virulent eye disease spreading among House Finches.  The good news is that Citizen Scientists are making big contributions to understanding the killer pathogen!

It’s a heavy decision but you be the judge:  Who’s the best alarm clock?  Cats…? Or dogs?

Then there’s this from the wonderful Hudson River Almanac: 

3/14 – Croton-on-Hudson: A large, healthy-looking German shepherd-sized canine loped through the woods at the edge of my yard. Was it a tan-and-gray of a coyote?  No, too big to be one. It made its way over a rock wall to the road, disappeared down the slope to the Croton Reservoir and I caught glimpses of it running across the frozen expanse. Hope it made the other side safely as the reservoir was beginning to thaw in places. It was probably the same critter that’s made larger-than-coyote prints all around my back door each fresh snowfall. I was always armed with my guide to animal tracks but never made a satisfying identification.  – Robin Fox

[Identifying animal tracks in snow, unless they are extremely fresh, can be very tricky. The walls of the print tend to move, melt, or crumble, generally increasing in size. This description sounds like a healthy eastern coyote (“Woyote”).  – Tom Lake.]

Our bracket is green (with some white) for Michigan State,



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