Greetings, UESiders!!

Terribly sad but important to note today’s tragic traffic death at 93rd and Second Avenue

Shall we say, it bodes ill for the much larger vehicles/trucks that’d be involved in the 91st Street MTS and the very much smaller and younger people frequenting Asphalt Green.



Let’s be grateful for the week ahead: 

Saturday, May 10th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Rabbits’ Run Farms and Garden of Spices Farms!

Check out Garden of Spices beautiful mushrooms!

Last week’s recycling totals:  55 lbs batteries;  21 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 pair of eye glasses; 7 1/4 bins of compost; 35 bags of clothes.

Looking at this 7 1/4 bins as a total aberration…

Here’s to being back in the 8-bin groove this coming Saturday!

Saturday,May 10th: Carl Schurz Park Conservancy’s Annual Plant Sale

East End Avenue at 86th Street,  9:30am-4:30pm

And we both quote and attest, “Choose from among hundreds of the highest quality plants for your home, terrace, garden or office.”  (You’ll be ensuring the enduring beauty of Carl Schurz Park as well.)

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

Tuesday, May 13th:  East River Crew’s Rowing Season Begins

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 4:30pm

One of the best things ever on our Upper East Side…  Being out on the river in the company of expert boat people, rowing or not rowing yourself, experiencing the world of water and wildlife and our city from a new perspective. Free but donations welcome. No reservations required.  Just show up for the fun.  For more

Wednesday, May 14th:  “Leave it to Beavers”  

Channel 13, 8pm

Could well be our NYState animal will save the nation’s water supply… (Program includes plenty of baby beaver footage, too!)


Saturday, May 17th:  First Bronx Zoo Birdathon

2300 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 8:30am-5:30pm

Bird watchers of all ages and levels of expertise – even total non-expertise – learn and compete for fun and prizes at this first of it’s kind of event and at the peak of the spring migration season!  The Zoo’s got fabulous bird exhibits, too!  Adult Member, $15.  Child Member, $5.  Non-member Adult, $30.  Non-member Child, $15.  For more and tickets

Sunday, May 18th:   Shred Fest!

South Plaza, Union Square & St. Nicholas Park, 135th Street & St. Nicholas Avenue, 10am-4pm at latest

Courtesy of the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs and we quote, “Arrive early! Shredding trucks will be available until 4 p.m. (latest) or until they fill, which may be sooner.”  Free!

Sunday, May 18th: Esplanade Friends Public Art Event & UGS It’s My Park Day – Part II 

East River Esplanade at 103rd Street, 11am-1pm

Yes, friends, it’s two simultaneous Esplanade events!   Head up to 103rd with your kids, let them participate in a children-friendly art project, take in a fantastic group of fabulous mariachi dancers and then join the March of Mariachis over to Randall’s Island’s 14th Annual FLOW Art & Music Festival!

Meanwhile, to the South:

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

We’ll be gardening up a storm!  Roses…  Russian sage…  Milkweed to lure Monarch butterflies… More lavendar…  And who knows what else our landscape maestro Banford Weissman will have us planting!  Yes, of course, we’ll be scraping and painting more railings, too!   See you there!

Sunday, May 18th:  Greek & Roman Architecture on the Upper East Side Lecture & Walk

Pratt Mansions, Formal Parlor, 1026 Fifth Avenue, 11am-2pm

It’s all around us, folks, and our streetscape is the better for it!  Join Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District and the Padella Institute and learn how and why the neo-classical figures so widely in UES architecture. Light brunch will be served.  $25.  For details and to reserve a place… 

Sunday, May 18th:  Happy Birthday Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Gardens

421 East 61st Street between First & York, 1-4pm

Those of us familiar with this Upper East Side treasure know its special gift for merging fun and learning for all ages…  All the more so on the occasion of its 75th birthday party!  We’re talking games, crafts, a giant birthday card, CAKE and more!  Members free.  Non-member adults, $10.  Non-member children, $5.

Out there: 

Wednesday, May 21st:  Photovoltaics – Use of the Sun for Clean, Cheap Energy Lecture

Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

Has to be tremendously informational given the guests:  Marlene Brown of the Federal National Lab and Max Joel of NYSERDA.  Presented by the Sierra Club’s Sustainability Series.  Free but please RSVP:  212-348-7183 or 

Wednesday, May 21st:  “One Man’s Trash”

Ovation, Time Warner Channel 83, 10pm

Six Portland, Oregon artiss create art from an interesting array of – you guessed it – trash!  (Thanks to reader Karen Lane for the tip!)

Saturday, May 31st:  Old Brooklyn Waterworks Bike Tour

Meet at the Ridgewood Reservoir, Brooklyn, 11am

Manhattan Borough Historian, Michael Miscione, leads an exploration of water supply – and its remaining vestages – that served the City of Brooklyn until it was absorbed by the Greater New York in 1898.  Organized by the water crazy guys of NYCH2O!  $25.  For more and tickets

Way out there:

Wednesday, June 18th:  President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

Seafarers & International House, 123 Est 15th Street, 6:30-8:30pm

Hear it and be able to question an authority:  Judith Enk, EPA Adminstrator for New York, New Jersey & Puerto Rico. Presented by the Sierra Club’s Sustainability Series.  Free but please RSVP:  212-348-7183 or

Way, way out there:

August 3rd:  4th Annual Circle Manhattan By Bike Ride!

Commencing on the East River Esplanade at the foot of the 60th Street & York Avenue Ramp, 9am

Ride the Greenway counterclockwise – heading south from 60th Street – around Manhattan for a fantastic 4 hours and 32 miles!  No question, for moderately to better-conditioned riders.  $22.  RSVP required.  To sign up and for further, important details

Never a dearth of miscellany:

In this 2014, can we not devise some other way of dealing with waste – in this case, really toxic waste – than burying it in Mother Earth?   (Do email a comment!) 

In the meantime, we are actually importing facking waste into NYS from Pennsylvania!  WORSE STILL, last week, a bill to end this crazy importation failed to make it out of the State Senate committee!  (Could there be a fracking waste lobby?!)

Think our roads leave something to be desired now?  FYI:  Congress is entertaining a big budgetary cut

And then, much as we all know about state of public transportation, there’s this: Rail tunnels under the Hudson are rapidly aging out!  (Thanks for cancelling those two new tunnels, you genius, Governor Christie.)

Meanwhile, the long-awaited study of New Jersey’s water systems finds two-thirds are contaminated with man-made chemicals!

In the It’s-Come-To-That Department:

Scientists are hard at work developing farm animals better suited to life on a warmer planet!

Last but not least:


On to the What-About-New-York score:

The Feds are allocating $48 billion for three off-shore wind power projects…  Off Virginia, Oregon and New Jersey shores!  (Say what?) 

NOW for the good news:

And we do mean good:  U.S. organic standards will no longer allow antibiotics to be used in organic fruit production!

Props to Bonnie Lane Webber’s “grass-roots” newsletter!  Do check out the perceptive summaries of eco issues and more news of our UES hood.  

All kinds of attention and energy focused on our East River Esplanade these days!  For example… 

We like this:  Send a New Yorkers for Parks’ e-card and a donor buys the group a daffodil bulb for us to plant next next fall!  (Nobody will be keeping your email either…) 

Like this as much and more:  This wonderful picture of the Hell’s Kitchen Kitchen Farm and that they reached their funding goal! 

Who knew the first power grid was located in lower Manhattan, circa 1882. For more on this tidbit of local history

More local lore:  What the contour of Second Ave at 42nd Street once was… And how/why it was reshaped to what we know now

Heads up, fishing enthusiasts!  Our NYS State Department of Environmental Conservation has lots of great info – most important, where the best fishing is! – for you!

(On the international fishing stage, the Pew Charitable Trusts is underwriting satellite technology to clamp down on nefarious, over-harvesting of tuna.) 

Ahoy, folks who boat in upstate waters!  The DEC’s needs our help in containing invasive species!  (Critters like the spiny water flea and Asian clam…) 

a spiny waterflea

a spiny waterflea

asian clams

asian clams

And hikers…  DEC’s alerting us to muddy conditions on Adirondack trails

No more bikes chained to everything vertical in NYC?  Could be now there’s a bicycle that folds up to the size of an umbrella!

Of course, you know what code is…  Now you can learn to write it via online courses and reasonable “membership” fees!.

Let there be animals:

Herewith 10 false animal facts that people believe are true

The Puffin Cam is up and running!

Cornell Ornithology’s now offering free online tutorials to hone bird identification skills!  (Scroll down.)

Doesn’t get better than green,


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