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

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