Monthly Archives: April 2014

Happy “Grapes of Wrath” 75th Anniversary, UESiders!

Striking a serious note right out of the gate, amazing that conditions of field workers in this country of ours aren’t all the different than those the Joad family endured back in that long-ago day.

But enough of that!

Let’s ponder the fact that 60 years ago this week, the fabulous but now defunct Bell Labs announced a new invention:  The photovoltaic solar cell! 

Getting serious again:  On this day 149 years ago, Abraham Lincoln lay in state in our New York City Hall.

Who knew…?! 

flowers along a mountain road

flowers along a mountain road

What we do know is that a great week lies ahead: 

Saturday, April 26th:  National Drug Take Back Collection

Lenox Hill Hospital lobby, 100 East 77th Street between Park and Lexington, 10am-2pm

Great that, at the last moment, the DEA came up with a site conveniently located in our hood!  For more information, speak with Janet Christenson at 212-434-2070.

Saturday, April 26th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Back and with a full house…  American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Rabbits’ Run Farms and Garden of Spices Farms all  at their tables!

Our revered Master Knife Sharpener will be with us, too!

Expecting a giant deluge of compost and clothes!

(This Saturday’s the last day of Wearable Collection’s Earth Month Shoe Drive.)

Saturday, April 26th:  National Neighborday Day

Your building, your neighborhood, your city

Founded by the great people at the GOOD site and Magazine, it’s all about extending a friendly hand to one or two or more of the people down the hall, down the block…  All those familiar faces we’ve never spoken a word to.  The instructions couldn’t be more simple…  (Get acquainted and then collaborate on adopting a bike island garden plot!)

Saturday, April 26th & Sunday, April 27th: Community Water Pollution Days

East River State Park, 90 Kent Avenue at North 8th Street, Brooklyn, 2-5pm

Join the great people of the Human Impacts Institute as they install 300 “No Dumping, Leads to Waterways”  storm drain plaques along the North Brooklyn Waterfront while you give area a Earth Week spring cleaning!  All supplies will be provided.  (Go to the market early, then head out to Brooklyn!) 

Sunday, April 27th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I 

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

Think gently mixing  compost and mulch around blooming daffodils, crocuses, tulips and scores in of other bulbs in a giant planter that’s starting to look like something… Planting some lavendar… Weeding the ribbon of daffs…  Adding more footage to Esplanade railing that’s been painted and scraped! Refreshments, good company, a river view and the thanks of a grateful UES…  Doesn’t get any better!

Monday, April 28th:  Friends of the East River Esplanade Benefit Bash

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

Heard from still more of you…  But just like Edward G. Robinson in “Key Largo” we want more!  Let’s eat, drink, win raffle loot and give ourselves and neighbors the Esplanade we so deserve!  For your invitation

Coming soon:

Saturday, May 3rd:  Great Saunter Day

Meet at Porterhouse at Fraunces Tavern, Time TBA

Walk all or part of the 32-mile Manhattan shoreline in one of our greatest urban adventures!  Individual, $20.  Depending on family size, $30 – $50.  For details and to sign up…  

Saturday, May 10th:  Brooklyn Sewage Bike Tour

Meet at 710-800 Van Sinderen Avenue, Brooklyn, 11am

Who else but NYCH2O could cook up a 9-mile exploration – on bicycles, no less – of the ins, outs, overflows, history and plants of Brooklyn’s sewage handling system!  $25.  For tickets and more

dendroligotrichum-dendroides

dendroligotrichum-dendroides

Time for some miscellaneous mini-rants:

As if we needed another reason to want way better from NYC’s archaic waste handling methodology…   All the methane (greenhouse gas worse than CO2) being emitted from landfills.  

All but impossible to believe but our federal government is loaning Billions to power companies to built nuclear reactors!

No accounting for colossal human stupidity like whomever the ATV riders who disported themselves on protective storm berms along Great Kills beach

And miscelleous sunshine:

Years pass…  Decades pass…  And the role of our city’s public libraries is only more meaningful…  Case and point:  The Brownsville Children’s Library.

Yessssss!  Yesterday, our great New York State approved Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun Solar Program through 2023!  (Meaning solar will be powering at least 500,000 homes!)

Maybe even more than that half million because, clever as we humans are, we’ve now figured out how to produce solar energy at night

More occasion for pride:  NYC – along with several other cities – filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting EPAs power to enforce clean-up goals on Chesapeake Bay polluters!  

Not that we knew there was such a resource, but EPA’s just updated it’s  How’s My Waterway site where we citizens can learn the condition of thousands of America’s lakes, rivers and streams!

Exciting things happening in the neighborhood just to our north… Many of the organized by the great Raphael Benavides who’s just come up with 13 East Harlem Places You/We Must Visit!  

In the Everything Old’s New Again Department, we give a 19th Century pretty-close-to-green wall:

Thorley House of Flowers

Thorley House of Flowers

(Charles Thorley opened his first flower shop in 1871 on West Street.  The shop later moved to West 14th, Broadway and 28th and several more locations on 5th Avenue. Possibly this is Broadway and 28th site. – Manhattan Users Guide)

More greenery in this lovely Times Earth Day piece on a wonderful tree that is no more yet lives on… 

This just in from our renaissance-person Master Knife Sharpener…  A light source we should all have in our emergency kits

Changing gears:

Eleven works of art saved by the Monuments Men are on display at the Met

You bet Wyatt Earp’s significant other was a Jewish girl born in NYC!

What a beautiful project for the new parents among us…  Once-a-week pictures of a child that merge into a time-lapse portrait!… 

If ever there was a must-see NYC-centric doc it’d have to be “Famous Nathan”, the story of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs which just premiered at the Tribeca Festival!  (No way it won’t be at least one NYC theater and be On Demand.)

delphinium-luteum and hummingbird

delphinium-luteum and hummingbird

Hello, you animals:

Definitely double threat when you add mighty cute baby Prince George to an adorable Australian bilby!  (Scroll down.)

Little did we guess that out in Queens a great chicken war was raging…  (Looks like the chickens won!)

As long as we’re talking birds…  Be nice to honor Aubudon’s b’day this Saturday with a visit sometime soon to the New York Historical Society’s wonderful show, “Audubon’s Aviary”!

Audubon owl

Deeply aggravating that the various government entities keeps dithering about the eco-system the sage-grouse needs to survive…  (If you think the bird deserves protected habitat…)

What’s not to love about an organization calling itself Trout Unlimited?  A bunch of activists on behalf of fish?  (If you’d like to help them defend Alaskan salmon from mining interests…)  (Do scroll down to group’s slogan!)

Spring just keeps trying…  As per the Hudson River Almanac: 

4/14 – Highland, HRM 76: Mason bees started emerging in full today. The males were crazy for food and amour. The females started hatching late in the day.  – Vivian Yess Wadlin

[This is a species of leaf-cutter bee, genus Osmia. Their common name, mason bee, comes from their building of mud compartments in their nests, usually found in hollow reeds or holes in wood made by wood-boring insects.  – Tom Lake.]

4/16 – Inwood Hill Park: The cold snap had left small patches of snow, but some trees were budding. The robins were back in full strength; there were dozens on the playing fields where the little field peppergrass was already in bloom. A week ago they were all on the ground, hunting, and silent; today many were singing in the trees and there were dozens in the woods. –  Thomas Shoesmith

Ever greener every Earth Day,

UGS

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Passover, Easter and Earth Day, UESiders!

And our combo holiday gift to you…  These two facts:  

Nine out of ll Saturdays in 2014, you’ve brought more than a 1,000 pounds – as in half a ton –  of compost to 82nd Street!!

One week, you racked up a grand total of 1,234 pounds!!!

A most awesome way to launch into the days ahead:  

 

 rhododendron-sp-triflora

rhododendron-sp-triflora

Saturday, April 19th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

CLOSED THIS SATURDAY. 

Last week’s recycling totals:  54 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.

Yes, indeed, 8 bins is our new normal, up from 5-6 this time last year!

Sunday, April 20th: Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival 

Fifth Avenue, 49th – 57th Streets, 10am-4pm

Don  your finery and take the classic stroll.  Free.  For more

Tuesday, April 22nd:  East River Crew Earth Day Rowing Event

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, Time: TBA

For those of you who’ve been out on river in the Crew’s wonderful boat, Earth Day will be inaugurating the group’s 2014 season! For folks who haven’t had the pleasure, do yourself and, yes, your city dweller soul a giant favor and get out on that river! Free.  (Trips that’ll be the better if you’ve prepped with the Crew’s wonderful Estuary Guide!)

Tuesday, April 22nd:  Green Travel Exhibition

Union Square, 11am-7pm

Green travel destinations…  Green products to travel with… Green travel groups…  Greenest ways to get to that green destination…! 

Wednesday, April 23rd & Thursday, April 24th: Earth Day(s) Celebration 

Grand Central Station & Vanderbilt Avenueat at 43rd Street, 11am-7pm

Always an impressive assortment of green businesses, city and state organizations and non-profits…  From astronomers (your chance to get to know NYSkies) to waste reduction!  

Saturday, April 26th:  Prescription Medicine Collection Event

Sites Around the City, 2-4pm

The powers-that-be don’t have these events even a quarter enough and the drop-off spots this time out aren’t all that convenient for us UESiders…  Still, we are the people who compost in blizzards! For locations

Saturday, April 26th:  Have Brunch with the Cornell Ornithology Lab and Meet Merlin

Cornell Club, 6 East 44th Street, 9:30am

Scott Haber, digital content manager for “Merlin,” the Lab’s groundbreaking, interactive bird identification app for mobile devices, describes how Merlin came to be, how it works and will evolve!  $25.  For more and tickets

Saturday, April 26th & Wednesday, May 7th:  Puppet-Making at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater

Central Park, 2:30pm

No more perfect way to get in the mood for the Theater’s long-running, classic production of “Bessie’s Big Shot”!  Children 12 and under, $7.  Adults 12 and above, $10.  For more, tickets and directions to the theater

Saturday, April 26th – Sunday, April 27th:   Cherry Blossom Festival

Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 150 Eastern Parkway/990 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn

Caught the tail end of last year’s display and even that was mind-bogglingly magnificent!  Children were transfixed.  Members free.  Adults, $10.  Seniors and students, $5.  Kids under 12, free. For directions and hours

Sunday, April 27th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I 

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

Shrugging off rain and snow, daffodils, crocuses, tulips and scores of other bulbs in the planter are beginning to bloom!  Same for the ribbon of daffs!  Going to be one lovely day of soil and mulch turning, planting, weeding along the Esplanade wall, scraping, painting and more!  Refreshments, fresh spring air, an ever-improving Esplanade and a few hours spent in the company of other great UES peeps!   

Monday, April 28th:  Friends of the East River Esplanade Benefit Bash

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

Heard from even more of you…  Wanting to hear from ever more!  Let’s eat, drink, win raffle loot and give ourselves and our neighbors the Esplanade we deserve!    For your invitation

Monday, April 28th: CityParks Spring Seniors Fitness Program Begins

Parks Throughout the City

Free yoga, tennis, and fitness walking classes to New Yorkers ages 60 and over! Did we say free?  For parks,schedules and to register

Monday, April 28th – Saturday, May 4th:  PEN World Voices Festival

Locations Throughout the City

One hundred and fifty plus authors from around the world share their experiences and thoughts about having “stood on the edge”…  i.e. courageously standing on principle.  For events, locations, tickets and more…  

Catch your breath, then:

Saturday, May 3rd: The 19th Annual Big Swim

Asphalt Green Aqua Center, 1750 York Avenue at 91st Street, 10:45am

And we quote, “A swimsational day of free fun swim races for children ages 6-12” that also raises funds for AG’s Fit Kids Fit City campaign!  Olympic and other elite swimmers will also be on hand!  For events, schedules, registration and more… 

Tuesday, May 6th:  “The Street”Lecture & Screening

Downtown Community Television Center, 87 Lafayette, 6:30pm

The first (and most interesting) of a 3-part series presented by the Historic Districts Council and James Sanders, author of “Celluloid Skyline”.  The highlight:  Screening of the Helen Levitt, Janice Loeb and (personal idol) James Agee’s  1948 doc, “In the Street”.  Council friends, seniors and students,  $5. General public, $10.  For tickets and more

Further along:

Sunday, May 11th:  NYC Safe Disposal Event

Union Square, North Plaza (south side of 17th Street between Broadway and Park Avenue), 10am-4pm

The Sanitation Department’s (usually) once-a-year, free event that gives us all a chance to clear our homes of potentially dangerous household items…  Think nail polish…  Anti-freeze… Moth balls…  Old paint…  Pesticides… Stuff that no way should be flushed or poured down a kitchen sink or street drain or just tossed. Electronics, too!  For the complete list and more…   

Sunday, May 18th: Hidden in Plain Sight – The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière

Sites Around Town

And who was Hildreth Meiere?  Brilliant artist whose mosaic murals, wall sculptures, stained glass windows and more grace many of NYC’s most beautiful buildings.  This Open House and International Hildreth Meiere Association self-guided tour takes you to 6 sites of Meiere’s most important work with guest speakers at several.  Non-members, $25.  Members and seniors and students, $15.  For more and tickets… 

Wednesday, May 28th – Sunday, June 1st:  World Science Festival

Washington Square Park and Other Venues in the City

To quote the festival’s site:  “No fallafel or tube socks…  Rather a dizzying array of prominent thought leaders from around the globe for amazing Festival programs about the brain, and time, the origins of the universe…”  And very much kid-friendly. Washington Square fair is free.  For a list of other events and tickets...

solanum-incompletum

solanum-incompletum

Breathe deeply and dive into the ocean of miscellany:

Why are we not surprised that methane produced by natural gas drilling is higher than the EPA predicted?

Then there’s coal and National Geographic‘s absorbing article that answers the question, “Can Coal Ever Be Clean?

Fantastic that our governor has allocated $4 million in grants to make NYC’s transportation system greener… Like making subway tunnel lights more efficient…  Wait!!  You mean it’s 2014 and there’s a vintage light system in those miles of tunnels?!

Sigh.

Grew up with guns and know them well, but…  Say what?!!  The NYState Department of Environmental Conservation’s allocated tax moneys to upgrade municipal shooting ranges??!! 

Are we sick of venerable and grand buildings being demolished or what?  Well, at least we have Christopher Gray chronicling what we’ve lost…  Like the erstwhile New York Club

Abrupt change of mood:

Makes us all the happier that the Moses-era bathhouses at Orchard Beach are likely to be restored!

Ha!  On April 15th, the DC circuit court denied and dismissed legal challenges to the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards!

Double ha!  New research finds that solar panels can produce energy in locations afflicted with lots of cloudy weather!  

Like to see New York State infographics like these compiled for Oregon, envisioning what that state “would look like with 100% renewable energy

At last!  The EPA’s devised a plan to clean up the most toxic portion of New Jersey’s “polluted”- doesn’t-really-do-it-justice Passaic River!

Kudos-plus to the little British Columbian town that voted down having a marine terminal for a tar sands pipeline in its midst!

Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills and Procter & Gamble have agreed to palm oil commitments that protect carbon-rich peatlands and forests (from deforestation)! 

Inside the Apple’s offered up an especially fine vintage – the kind of vintage we like –  Thursday postcard featuring Hester Street at the turn of the last century

Of course, you want to color those Easter eggs with beautiful natural dyes!

How about this from the Hudson River Almanac:

4/5 – Town of Poughkeepsie: Today,along the river, Dutchess Community College Field Archaeology students recovered a small stone tool made and used about 2,500 years ago. It was a projectile point, part of a Stone Age tool kit, that had been hafted (fastened) onto a spear or dart. The makers:  A prehistoric culture referred to as Adena.  – Stephanie Roberg-Lopez & Tom Lake

(The Adena arose in the Midwest and Mid-South and its influence – and tool kits – spread across the Northeast and beyond through trade. Discoveries of the tools of these fishermen and foragers of long ago put a face on one of the several successive human occupations of the Hudson River Valley. Tom Lake.]

Every so often for the benefit of new readers, we feel moved to direct you to Build It Green’s site…  Talk about recycling!  (And great buys!)

For those of you not familiar with National Parks Magazine… It’s great and we especially liked this piece on Alaskan teens and new-to-them career path

Usually despise online charity competitions where the aim is to extract as much personal info as possible and you wind up on a zillion annoying mailing lists…  But here’s a good one with NYC’s great Solar One a possible winner of $25K and all you do is vote

While we’re in the charitable mode…  Artist Simon Verity’s just done a lovely, inexpensive illustrated book/fund raiser for The Committee to Save the New York Public Library… 

Familiar with Alan Wolfson’s NY-centric mini-dioramas?  (And we do mean mini..  And incredibly detailed!)

Hello, animals:

We’re shocked…  Shocked that Oregon and New York share the same state animal:  The (noble if toothy) beaver…  One of the 23 state animals Mother Nature News rates as cute!

These two fluff balls – piping plovers and subject of the winning picture in the DoW photo contest – are so cute they don’t even look real…   (No way we can let them become extinct!)

What would a week be without bits of nature from the Hudson River Almanac:

4/3 – Minerva: I was into sap! When I tapped five sugar maples last weekend, only two had any dripping going on. But after a few days of 40’s and low 50’s, all taps were running…  In spite of the twenty inches of snow on the ground.  – Mike Corey

4/4 – New Paltz: While cutting down an ash tree to replenish a depleted firewood supply I noticed a mourning cloak butterfly dancing about our woods – my first butterfly sighting of the year! – Bob Ottens

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Hope the lovely creature didn’t get frostbite this last Wednesday!

Wishing you greenness in all things,

UGS

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Volunteer Week and Earth Month, UESiders!

And are there ever ways for us all to celebrate each and even together now and in days come!

i.e.:

If you’re not familiar with the wonderful New York Cares…  

Then there’s restoring marsh islands out in Jamaica Bay

And/or clearing the winter-litter-strewn banks of our beautiful Hudson River

Not to mention the orgy weeding/planting/scraping/painting that’ll be happening on the Esplanade on It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition (Part I)! (details below)

Yes, folks, prepare your green selves!

nemastylis-geminiflora

nemastylis-geminiflora

And now for the 7 days ahead:

Friday, April 11th:  “Growing Cities” Screening

Center for Remembering and Sharing, 123 Fourth Avenue between 12th & 13th Streets, 2nd floor, 7pm

Two men set off on a cross-country journey to learn who’s growing what and where in American cities and with what results…  Can’t be anything but interesting! Especially when the film’s followed by Q&A with Bradley Fleming of the Brooklyn Grange.  $10.  For more

Saturday, April 12th:  Carl Schurz Park Easter Egg Hunt

Schurz Park, East End Avenue at between 87th & 88th Streets,  11am

Easter egg bag decorating, Easter egg hunting, a family concert… The usual, wonderful annual event!  Free, of course.  For more and the complete schedule of events

Saturday, April 12th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Who cares if there’s a little rain (we’ve endured much worse)…  American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Rabbits’ Run Farms and Garden of Spices Farms will be at their tables!

Last week’s recycling totals:  58 lbs batteries;  21 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses; 8 1/2 bins of compost; 19 bags of clothes.

Could barely lift the battery bag!  

(Do keep in mind:  April is Wearable Collection’s – the folks who collect clothes at 82nd Street – Earth Month Shoe Drive!)

Sunday, April 13th:  Electronic Recycling Event

Amsterdam Avenue between West 74th and West 75th, 10am-4pm

Working & non-working computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones, and video gaming equipment.  NO household appliances!   (They can go the plastic/metal/glass bins in your building.)   (And do keep in mind, all of the above electronics can be recycled free of charge at any Best Buy!)   For more event details… 

Soon upon us:

Tuesday, April 22nd:  Green Travel Green Exhibition

Union Square, 11am-7pm

Green travel destinations…  Green products to travel with…  Green travel groups…  Greenest ways to get to that green destination…! 

Wednesday, April 23rd & Thursday, April 24th: Earth Day(s) Celebration 

Grand Central Station & Vanderbilt Avenueat at 43rd Street, 11am-7pm

Always an impressive assortment of green businesses, city and state organizations and non-profits…  From astronomers (your chance to get to know NYSkies) to waste reduction!  

Sunday, April 27th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I 

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

Those daffodils, crocuses, tulips and scores of other bulbs in the planter are now 3-4 inches tall with daffs showing tight yellow buds!  Miraculously, the near 100 f00t ribbon of daffodils planted pre-Sandy along the Esplanade/FDR wall are pushing up, too!  Going to be one lovely day of gardening, scraping, painting and more! Refreshments, a river view and the thanks of a grateful UES will be your reward! 

Monday, April 28th:  Friends of the East River Esplanade Benefit Bash

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

Heard from a lot of you…  Wanting to hear from more!  Let’s eat, drink and give ourselves and our neighbors the Esplanade we deserve!  For your invitation

Next month:

Saturday, May 10th:  Brooklyn Sewage Bike Tour

Meet at L Train stop at New Lots Avenue, 710-800 Van Sinderen Avenue, Brooklyn, 11am-2pm

Join sewage enthusiasts (love that that’s how they describe themselves) Matt Malina and Adam Schwartz on a tour of the sewage plants of Southern Brooklyn. They’re talking  3 sewage plants, 1 storm water retention facility and 1 combined sewer overflow point!  $25.  For more and to sign up

Saturday, May 10th:  2014 Hudson River Sweep

All Along the Hudson and All 5 of Our Boroughs 

If you’ve seen what and how much washes up on shorelines over a winter…  Well, nothing’s every made you want to clean up more!  For details and to find a convenient site

Thursday, May 29th & Friday, May 30th: 4th Annual Urban Agricultural Conferance

Various Venues

Co-sponsored by the Horticultural Society & W. Atlee Burpee Company of seed fame, this year’s theme:  Unique urban farming solutions from around the world. Pre-registration commences on April 15th.  Ticket prices, TBA. For further details…   

primula-florindae

primula-florindae

Miscellany…  As usual, winges first:

Please, will USDA Wildlife stop killing swans?  (If you think they should, too...)

And will SeaWorld end including sedatives/drugs in captive orcas’ diet?!

Say what?!  While Senators and Congressmen/women from coal mining states adamantly defend the industry, Health and Human Services is cutting back on black lung disease clinics!

On the subject of lungs:  Of course, there’re any number of NYC building owners dragging their feet – making the usual onerous expense claims – converting to cleaner heating oil.

Hard to imagine what the thinking was behind the decision that there’d be no additional PreK seats in the baby-stroller-land that is the Upper East Side

Think the Landmarks Preservation Commission ought to be entertaining a change in their middle name…  Adding to their all but endless list of sins (like refusing landmark protection to the beautiful Rizzoli Bookstore), they’ve just voted to allow a 9-story hotel to be built right next to the all-but perfectly preserved but easily destabilized 1832 Old Merchant’s House! (No petition to sign yet…)

Many an intriguing flood-taming idea arose from the Rebuild by Design Contest…  Not that – per usual – any addressed challenges faced by our stretch of the East River.  Still, well worth a look and possibly adaptable!

But do we need to re-invent the wheel when the Dutch have so much experience/expertise to draw on and are offering it to us

Meanwhile, here’s how one British coastal town’s dealt with the problem...

We UESiders have been largely unscathed, but – and yet another statement on out-dated, rickety U.S. infrastructure! –  U.S. power outages have doubled since 2003! (Scroll down..)

Yikes and carbon emissions have nearly equaled that sorry record…  2000-2010 compared to the previous 3 decades!

How about some mandatory GMO labeling for baby food

Moving to the middle ground:

Yes, it’s good Walmart’s poised to sell organic food products at lower prices…  But then, not to be too paranoid, it is Walmart…

Was the smell of burning wood in the air this past Monday evening weird or what?  (Let’s not think about the particulate matter…)

Happy we are that Tribeca’s Pier 25 will be hosting historic ship Sherman Zwicker – combo museum/restaurant – for the summer…  While we press to derail a garbage dump on our waterfront! 

Then feeling totally good:

What with Bridge-gate, were we told Governor Christie’s rejection of the Greenhouse Gas Initiative was reversed by New Jersey’s Appellate Court

The Green Roof of the Week is in the Bronx!

Interesting that IKEA’s just bought a wind farm in Illinois…  Its first!

Very much liked this interview with an architect who’s even more a curator of trees

Departing the reservation:

The Library’s added another 30,000 vintage NYC photos to its online collection!

Wonder what it’s like to shop here:

Bing Deli Grocery 
1415 Gravesend Neck Road                                                                             Sheepshead Bay

And we quote from The Times:  “Two weeks ago, The Times asked readers to write a haiku about New York CIty.  Nearly 3,000 came pouring in.  On Saturday, submissions were closed. the reader favorite, so far:

Old man in the park
Teaching Chess to young players
Game reduced to life

(Gets our vote!)

As does this take on classic album covers

ipomoea-pileata

ipomoea-pileata

And now for some animals, pretty much packed with glad tidings:

Yes, friends, the “Kitten Bowl” – Hallmark Channel’s successful Super Bowl counter-programming event – has now inspired a spin-off, “The Kitten Paw-Star Game” aimed at getting ratings and, the network says, “celebrating pets and raising awareness of the plight of shelter animals.”

With all that isn’t getting done down in D.C., somehow the Senate managed to strengthen and ratify an international treaty reining in illegal fishing.

And our Federal government has decided not to oppose state-level shark-fin bans!  (On what possible basis would they defend sharks being de-finned?!) 

What’s more the adorable but badly threatened Mazama gopher is now a (protected) endangered species (all 8 inches of each of them).

Mazama pocket gopher

Then there are these dogs in cars in pictures

Awwww…  A baby harbor seal having fun in our... Harbor! 

Double awwww for baby meerkats

We bid you adieu with two gems from the Hudson River Almanac:

4/2 – Staten Island, New York City: Saint Clare School’s Environmental Team collected 93 glass eels today and one well-developed elver! After weeks of dealing with cold and catching only some killifish, this was a euphoric moment for us! May many more little wigglers find their way to our nets! –  Mary Lee

[An elver is the next life stage of the American eel, following that of the glass eel. These are, for the most part, last year’s glass eels that have matured to the point where they look like miniature adult eels, in both physical characteristics and darker pigmentation. As glass eels are a year old, elvers are at least two-year old, but could well be three to five-year olds, their lengths ranging from four to eight inches. –  Tom Lake]

3/28 – Ulster and Dutchess Counties: An evening of steady rain, fog and temperatures above 40 degrees and Hudson River Estuary Program’s Amphibian Migrations & Road Crossings volunteers (yes, it’s a mouthful) agreed:  2014 amphibian migration activity was near at hand. Amphibian migration??  Indeed, every year forest-dwelling  toads, newts, salamanders, wood frogs and spring peepers set off in search of pools in which they’ll breed, often crossing.roads and getting squished in the process.  That night our volunteers assisted 633 amphibians of nine different species to make safe crossings at 13 sites! – Laura Heady

Spotted Salamander

(For info about the project and/or volunteer…)

Ever green,

UGS

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Official NBA Green Week, UESiders!

Hey, NCAA March Madness!  Get with it!

As we look toward Earth Day…

 rhododendron

rhododendron

Let’s move on to the week ahead:

Friday, April 4th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic:  The TOTAL lunar eclipse on April 15th! (Every blessed one of these lectures – held every second Friday – we’ve attended has been fascinating!)  Free.

Now through Sunday, May llth: “The Islands of New York” Exhibition

Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens 

Don’t we all have an unlimited appetite for photographs of our NYC? Especially its less familiar and often less decorative corners which photographer Accra Shepp so beautifully explores.  For more, directions and hours…  (And this from The Times…)

Now through Friday, May 16:  John Cage – Artist and Naturalist Exhibition

Horticultural Society of New York, 148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor 

Brilliant composer, yes.  Admirer of Thoreau…  Okay.  Mushroom enthusiast… Say what?  Yup, and so avid that he co-founded the New York Mycological Society!  And included them in his collaborative visual art creations which are now on display!   For days, hours and more

Saturday, April 5th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Yes, indeed last Saturday’s weather was pretty nightmarish…  But the tough, green people of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Rabbits’ Run Farms toughed it out… And they’ll all be back at their tables this week!

News flash from Dan at Rabbits’ Run:   “I will have bags of Laurie’s mesclun salad mix (red mustard/red Russian kale/mizuna/tat-soi/and several more flavorful micro-greens)!” 

Even newer news flash from our uber Market Manager, Margaret Hoffman: “We’re be changing poultry producers at 82nd this week…  From Yellow Bell (they’re moving elsewhere) ro Garden of Spices which’ll be with us as of this Saturday. Great news as Garden of Spices offers our shoppers even more great poultry products – chicken, eggs, duck and (sometimes) duck livers and eggs…  Mushroom, too!”

Last week’s recycling totals:  53 lbs batteries;  22 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pair of eye glasses; 8 bins of compost; 16 bags of clothes.

8 bins on a day when only committed composters ventured out of cozy apartments!  

(Remember:  April is Wearable Collection’s – the folks who collect clothes at 82nd Street – Earth Month Shoe Drive!)

Sunday, April 6th:  “Triple Divide” Screening

The Riverside Church,  490 Riverside Drive at West 120th Street, Room 411 MLK, 1pm

Great as “Gasland I and II” were, there’s plenty more to be said on the subject of fracking, its effects close to home and impact on the sources of 3 great rivers… The Allegheny, the Genesee and the Susquehanna…  AKA: The Triple Divide.  Sponsored by the Beloved Earth Community of the Riverside Church, United for Action and West 80s Neighborhood Association.  Suggested donation:  $10

Saturday, April 5th:  Dvorak’s Cello Concerto

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, 6:30pm

An evening devoted to the recently discovered solo cello part of Antonín Dvořák’s beautiful American masterwork, The Cello Concerto:  Exhibition of the manuscript, an interactive performance of the work and discussion by Dvořák experts. (Love that it’s presented by the Dvorak American Heritage Association!) $20.  For more

And then:

Sunday, April 13th:  Electronic Recycling Event

Amsterdam Avenue between West 74th and West 75th, 10am-4pm

Working & non-working computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TV’s, VCR’s, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones, and video gaming equipment.  NO household appliances!   (They can go the plastic/metal/glass bins in your building.)   (And do keep in mind, all of the above electronics can be recycled free of charge at any Best Buy!)   For more event details… 

TUESDAY, APRIL 22nd:  EARTH DAY!

Worldwide, 24 wonderful hours!

For celebratory Manhattan events

Sunday, April 27th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I 

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm

As we write, daffodils, crocuses, tulips and a ton of other bulbs are poking out of what was once a big, dismal planter and is now in the process of being reborn… Come and clear away remnants of our harsh winter (so those bulbs can really bask in tidy glory), scrape and paint railings and more! Refreshments, a river view and the thanks of a grateful UES will be your reward! 

Monday, April 28th:  Friends of the East River Esplanade Benefit Bash

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

Rather than the crumbling wreck we’ve got, we want a gorgeous, soothing ribbon of parkland with state-of-the-art infrastructure!  And on 4/28, we’ll be taking the first step toward that end!  So, eat, drink and help make the future happen!  For further info… 

Way out there:

Friday, May 9th:  Annual GrowNYC Plant Sale

College Avenue Garden, 1420 College Avenue between East 170th & 171st Streets, The Bronx, 12-4pm

Now in its 18th year, the sale’s a wonderful and budget-wise resource for community gardens throughout our city…  And the list of available flower, veg and herb seedlings is impressively long!  For the lowdown, including plants and order form...

Sunday, May 18th:  It’s My Park Day – Part II

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 10am-3pm 

We’ll be turning soil (mixing in compost and mulch but not disturbing the bulbs we put in last fall), installing new landscaping in the planter as per our beautiful new gardening scheme, scraping and painting railings and – as always – more! Refreshments and maybe some surprise entertainment… Be there!

Monday, May 19th – Thursday, May 23rd: Internet Week New York 2014

Metropolitan Pavillion & Other Venues, 125 West 18th Street

Doesn’t fit our green mold, but interesting so what the heck:  A host of tech heavy weights, Webby Award ceremonies, even a a Food & Tech seminar! Passes begin at high-flying $395.  For more

petrea-volubilis

petrea-volubilis

We’ve never been more miscellaneous…  Teeing off with the frown-inspring:

For all we think it’s bad in West Virginia (and it is), coal mining in Poland… Well, downright incredible in 2014. 

Need an argument against nuclear?

You do know that Starbucks is presently using milk produced by cows living in “concentrated” conditions and fed with GMO grains?  Should you think the company could be more closely adhering to its proclaimed corporate responsibility code

Tree people alert!   Sorry to say, the NYS DEC discovered more oak wilt – a fungal disease affecting all oak varieties –  last fall.  Yes, upstate, but we have to keep our eyes peeled!  

You won’t be seeing flats of impatiens – the popular tree-bed/landscape flower – at our Greenmarkets or garden stores.  It’s suffering from what’s still a mystery disease and commercial growers aren’t planting it this year.

Hearts skipped a beat when we first read the headline.  But, no, not a new and less ugly Port Authority Bus Terminal Building…  Rather a terminal annex the Authority would like to build…   Oh, well.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s now rated the world’s best city for commuters. (New York doesn’t rate a mention…  Perhaps judges have ridden the sardine-can Lex line and/or are familiar with Second Ave subway construction.) 

Definitely on the upswing:

big pat on the back for us, fellow/sister Americans!  We favor energy conservation over just burning our way through more oil/coal/gas.

In that regard, pretty fabulous that intensely energy gobbling data centers are getting significantly greener!

Can hardly believe it but in a huge victory for animal rights groups, the International Court of Justice has order Japan to stop whaling immediately!

Meanwhile, as of April 1st, trout season’s opened in New York State! (Just scraping the surface of current outdoor activity on offer all over NYS!

Signed up for the 2014 (now TCS) New York Marathon?  Love our Central Park?  Now you can merge the two by becoming a Team Central Park member and raise bucks for the park’s great conservancy with your every step!

If you’re not familiar with the critiques of proposed alternations to landmarked properties the Historic Districts Council issues every week, here’s one in our hood: 

Item 20

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS – BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN

20 East 63rd Street – Upper East Side Historic District

A rowhouse originally designed by Gage Inslee and built in 1876, and altered by J.M. Beringer in 1954. Application is to install storefront infill and awnings, replace windows, alter the front façade, and install areaway fences.

East 63rd

East 63rd

While we appreciate the effort the applicant has made to redesign a rowhouse that is in need of some work, HDC feels the result is rather overdone.  The Upper East Side Historic District is a balance of grand buildings and elegant, but more subdued ones.  We ask that this balance be maintained with a more toned down new design.  

(Right on, Council members!)

Fingers crossed many more audible signals will soon be assisting disabled folks wishing to cross our streets!

How about some green job avenues?

All we know is that if we were ever to leave NYC, it’d be for this building… (Scroll down.)

Only in New York would one of the essential backbones of its farmers markets be…  Tibetans!  So what do they eat?  We’re dying to find out and Jackson Heights has become a hotbed of  Tibetan cuisine!  

Still on the restaurant beam:  Seems an Eataly-style Mexican food extravaganza is soon to open in the Flatiron District!

On to the obscure:

For those of us who’ve long wondered why the name Muhlenberg’s attached to so many American institutions (even a NYC library branch) but were too lazy to google…  Turns out Frederick Muhlenberg was our first Speaker of the House

The new best way to peel garlic involves a cocktail shaker!

And a programming note:

Science and Discovery Channels will be tracking the Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $30 million competition for privately-funded teams to land an unmanned craft on the moon by December 31, 2015. A mini-series will follow progress of teams from around the world as they race to land a craft on the surface of the moon, travel 500 meters and transmit live pictures and video back to earth!

delosperma-jewel-of-desert

delosperma-jewel-of-desert

Whew!  We need some animals:

Of course, a person has to know how best to deal with mountain goats!

Can’t more strongly recommend the New York Historical Society’s Audubon’s Aviary show.  The prints – the Society has almost every one, thus necessitating three successive exhibitions – are gorgeous and genius curators thought to add the incredible texture with each bird’s particular song/warble/screech.  (Kids were there and rapt the day we visited!) 

We end on a quiet note from the Hudson River Almanac:

3/25 – Manhattan, HRM 2: I came upon a pair of adult red-breasted mergansers yesterday, swimming together off Pier 49. I returned today with a camera hoping to find them feeding again. And sure enough, there they were! –  Andrew Salcius

????????????????

Our greenest,

UGS

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized