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



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,





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