Monthly Archives: June 2014

Happy Upcoming National Grilling Month, UESiders!

And congrats to two of our own:  The young gentlemen manning the Gajeski table at 82nd Street!

Shorty graduated from high school last Saturday and will be heading to Lehman College this fall!

Javier took the GED test the previous Saturday.  He won’t know the results for a couple of months, but smart as he is, we say the outcome isn’t in doubt. Then on college for him as well!

Lucky for us that neither’ll be leaving our market even as they move on to higher education.  

Rather a nice prelude to the coming week:

Saturday, June 28th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

A full market dance card this Saturday!

Not only will the great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms all be at their tables…

BUT…

Look for newcomers Valley Shepherd Creamery!  These fabulous folks stock sheep, cow and goat’s milk cheeses, along with butter, cured sausages, sheep’s milk yogurt and raviolis!   Shop them up like crazy!!  We want them to be our new BFF (best farmer forever)…

AND BE AT THE MARKET NO LATER THAN 11:30am…

Because our multi-talented new Council Member will be donning a chef’s apron and debuting “Cooking with Kallos” live and in person and whipping up delicious things with strawberries!  

PLUS…

Delighted to say Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be at her table, too!

Wow!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  59 lbs batteries;  15 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 bins of compost; 22 bags of clothes.

You are just mean composting machines!

Sunday, June 22nd:  92nd Street Greenmarket

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery!

And that new farmer…  Hammond Dairy?  A last minute malfunction with their yogurt machinery kept them out of our line-up last week.  Fingers crossed all is well and they make their 92nd Street debut this Sunday with yogurt plus Ronnybrook milk!

Could be that – if Aurelia’s back from Switzerland –  Norwich Meadows will be returning as well!

Last week’s recycling totals:  Shredding had us so busy, compost and collection departed before we could collect the numbers, but things looked good, especially for a first day!  Stay tuned…

We’re waiting for that big shredding poundage number, too!

Saturday, June 28th:  DEC’s Free Fishing Clinic 

Raritan Bay Festival, Raritan Bay, Staten Island, 11:30am-4:30pm

Don’t know the difference between a fly and a lure?  The NYC Department of Environmental Conservation has a class for you!   No license required. Totally free.  For more and to sign up

Saturday, June 28th:  Solar One Kayaking Event

Stuyvesant Cove Park, East River at 20th Street, 2:30pm

Being out on the East River on a weekend afternoon?   Doesn’t get any better!  Free, of course.  For more…  And reservations a must…  (Another event’s coming up on July 28th!)

Seems like years away:

Sunday, September 7th:  Transportation Alternatives 25th Annual NYC Century Bike Tour

All 5 Boroughs

Time to register for the 2014 outing entitled “The Ride for Vision Zero” and covering – duh – 100 miles…   Although you can chose comfortable segments.  For details and to sign up

Opening the Miscellany File…  Kicking off with the abundantly serious:

As in former Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson on climate change

And the press of  North Dakota fracking operations on Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Moving on to discontent:

Really?!!  NYS’s Environmental Facilities Corporation  is wanting to steer a half-billion dollars in clean-water funds to the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge??!!  (If you think this is a bad move…)

Really?!!  Seems that America’s now importing its own fish!!

Really?!!  There’s a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico?!!

Really?!!  McDonald’s biggest potato supplier is just steps away from getting approval on a GMO potato!!   (If you oppose such unlabeled GMO produce being served up in restaurants and sold in supermarkets…)

Really?!!  One in 10 U.S. beaches doesn’t meet EPA water safety standards!!

Really?!!  Pennsylvania fracking wells are leaking methane?!! 

As for our own Hudson River’s water quality…  Overall, not so bad…  (Whew.)

This while Indiana is numero uno in release of toxins into its waterways

Really?!!  Lowe’s is still selling bee-killing pesticides (when Home Depot’s stopped)?!! (If you’d like to encourage Lowe’s to get that bad stuff off their shelves…)

Surprise.  Surprise.  Not.  When measured against the rest of the world, NYC Subways are on the creaky side.

Oh and of course, delays continue to mount on the Fulton Street Station and 7th Avenue Subway construction

Same for any number of Parks Department projects

Then on to the sunny side of the street:

Two hundred and thirty NYC public school buildings (are some schools in more than one building?) now compost their food waste!   (Is you child’s school on the master list?)

Downright amazing, this new technology which’ll allow us to digitally preserve historic sites around the world!

For those unacquainted with the process, here’s how the NYS DEC launches public discussion of a potential brownfield site, in this case on 110th Street…  

A big tip of the hat to the Netherlands’ regimen of raising livestock with minimal antibiotics…   (We’d bow low if they used none at all!)

Bigger props to L.A. where they’ve enlisted barbers to boost male health!

Yet another smart way to bring the benefits of solar to homes with little roof space and/or lots of shade and it has a lovely name…  A solar garden! 

Two publications we like:  Urban Farmer and Modern Farmer (with an emphasis on urban farming)…

How about making a couple of concrete nesting tables utilizing Lego molds?

For this weekend’s weather and terrain conditions at NYState Parks

Then there’s this instant city garden!

Which has nothing on these lovely ways to introduce even more flora onto terrace or patio

Could be we’ll see some Copenhagen Wheels in that Century Bike Tour!

Another week and Christopher Gray regales us with another UES architectural tale!

Even more miscellaneous:

Like to know why – plaster damage or no – the Museum of the City of NY is deaccessioning an ornate box from the old Metropolitan Opera, but BIG’s got it for sale!  (Let’s hope the museum’s got a spare.)

Believe it!  A bunch of Danes playing “Billie Jean” by blowing into beer bottles!

Benjamin Franklin began his last will and testament, “I Benjamin Franklin, of Philadelkphia, printer”...  (Wish his favored Caslon font was included in Word!).

As for our furry/feathered friends:

In case you missed this last week’s (touching baby) eagle cam saga

Meanwhile, our own Governors Island played an important role in discovering how migrating birds navigate!

The bat fan base is growing all the time…  Witness these young Indianans!   

There’re only 50 ocelots left in the wild in Texas

Meanwhile, down in the Puffin burrow (equipped with cam)

We leave you with this lovely entry from the Hudson River Almanac:

Don’t know how we wound up on the mailing list of Trout Unlimited, but for the fisher persons among us the fish-centric organization has a great join-up offer! (Who can resist a selection of 13 essential flies!)

6/16 – Wallkill River: It was 15 years ago today, as I walked along the edge of a fallow cornfield listening to the “witchity-witchity-witchity” of the common yellowthroat, that I spotted a piece of gray stone (chert) protruding slightly from a crack in the dry earth. It was the thin edge of a small projectile point.  I had found a very old spear point, later dated to about 12,500 years ago.  – Tom Lake

barnes-pointhra_original

[This stone artifact was a Barnes-type fluted spear point, a style that originated in southwestern Ontario about 12,500 calendar years ago. They are a diagnostic tool of what archaeologists believe were the first people, called Paleoindians, to enter the Hudson Valley. The Wallkill River Valley was a seasonal passageway for these hunter-gatherers from Ontario, through the Mohawk River Valley, then south through Greene, Ulster, and Orange Counties, stopping at stone quarries and following game herds.)

Sincerely green,

UGS
 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Summer, UESiders!

No way we’re embarassed about being redundant with our summer glee…  Or about underscoring what to do if you suspect a gas leak:

  • Leave the area immediately and go to a safe location
  • Do not try to locate the source of the leak  
  • Do not do anything that could cause a spark and ignite the gas: 
    • Do not use electrical devices, such as light switches, telephones, or garage door openers
    • Do not use an open flame, matches or lighters 
    • Do not start vehicles parked in the area
  • Do not try to shut off any natural gas valves
  • From a safe location, call 911 to report a gas leak.  
  • Do not re-enter the building or return to the area until fire department or law enforcement personnel deem the area safe for re-entry 

Now, for all the fun stuff on our dance card this coming week:

Friday, June 20th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this round:  Electomagnetic Radiation from Space!  (Can’t tell you how great these meetings are!)  Free.

Saturday, June 21st:  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, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Garden of Spices Farms!

And Fresh Radish Farm and their beautiful, naturally grown veggies from Orange County return for the summer season this Saturday!

And, yes, our own Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table, too!

(Gajeski had baby beets last week!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  64 lbs batteries;  11 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 1/2 bins of compost; 31 bags of clothes.

Do recall that we averaged 5/5 1/2 bins this time last year!

Saturday, June 21st:  An Evening of Music & Food With Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

Carl Schurz Park at John Finley Walk (top of the 86th Street & East End Avenue stairs), 4-8pm

Greet the first day of summer with our new BP, complete with music, refreshments and the beauty of Schurz Park!  Free.  Seating limited so be prepared to stay on your two feet.  (Wheelchair access via the 84th or 86th park entrances.) 

Sunday, June 22nd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Returns!!

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

At their tables will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery!

And there’ll be a new farmer joining us…  Hammond Dairy with their award-winning yogurt and Ronnybrook milk!

(Not to worry!  Norwich Meadows will be return…  Next Sunday or the following Sunday.)

Just to underscore the point:  In addition to compost, we’ll also be collecting clothes/fabrics/hats/belts/shoes at 92nd! 

Sunday, June 22nd:  Holmes Towers Flea Market

1780 First Avenue, adjacent to the Greenmarket, 11am-3pm

Pretty amazing stuff turns up…  From an antique bird cage to vintage Latin vinyl to handcrafted earrings!  All proceeds fund the Holmes Towers Family Day!   

Sunday, June 22nd: Shred-A-Thon – Welcome Back 92nd Greenmarket Edition!

Curbside, West Side of First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd, 11am – 2pm

No better way to celebrate 92nd Street’s return!

You know the drill:

Paper of any and every kind, you brave recyclers!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

Please remove paper clips and metal and plastic spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But falling-apart paperbacks are just fine.

(Take those unwanted hardcovers to Goodwill or HousingWorks!)

(Many thanks to Council Members Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin for their generous grants!) 

Sunday, June 22nd:  Strawberry Festival/Erdbeerfest

Zion-St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 339 East 84th Street, 1-3pm

Okay!  Head to the 92nd Street with your shredding…  Then shop the Greenmarket right across the Ave…  Pop home, then head down to 84th for some strawberry beer, music and German pastries!  $10. For more

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, June 24th, 25th & 26th: Pledge2Protect Picketing

MTS Ramp, 91st Street & York Avenue, 7:30-10am

And we quote:  “We are entering a critical juncture.  While we have a dialogue with the city, it is important that we show our opposition.”  Be there, friends!

Wednesday, June 25th: Bike Lanes Forum

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House,  331 East 70th Street, 6:30pm

Organized by Council Member Kallos…  And haven’t we all got something to say on the subject pro and con!  (Down in our neck-of-the-woods, the lane’s so dingy it’s hard to make out that it’s green!)  To RSVP: rsvp@benkallos.com.

Wednesday, June 25th:  Edible Academy Benefit

Any NYC Whole Foods, all day

Purchase whatever at Whole Foods this coming Wednesday and they’ll donate 5% to this wonderful NY Botanical Garden program that prepares children, their families and teachers for a lifelong interest in gardening and healthful living.  For more on the Edible Academy and it’s work

Then:

Sunday, June 29th: Polepell Island and the Ruins of Bannerman Castle Tour

Meet  at clock in Grand Central Station’s main terminal at 12:30pm

We’ve all seen the beautiful crumbling ruins from the windows of northbound trains on the Hudson Line…  Now and led by the folks from amazing Atlas Obscura, we can walk among them and learn how they came to be!  $50 (train far not included).  For full info…    

Tuesday, July 1st through Tuesday, August 25th:  Summer on the Roof -Rooftop Film Screenings

Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd Street, films commencing at dusk

One truly lovely way to spend a summer evening…  A lightly breezy roof, views across the UES and a schedule of first-rate films that wouldn’t be seen anywhere else given the shortage of NYC – and UES, in particular – art house screens.  $10. For tickets and film info

Thursday, July 3rd:  Coney Island Bike Tour

Meet at 2015 Shore Parkway, Coney Island, 6:30pm

Another great outing from NYCH2O, this time led by educator/geographer Adan Schwartz and tracing the development of the Coney Peninsula from its colonial founding to development at Brighton and Manhattan Beaches to the impact of the Robert Moses’ era.  $25.  For details including a map

Thursday, July 17th:  Creative Garden Design & Native Plant Giveaway

Carolina Garden, 121 east 122nd Street, 5-7pm

Move beyond the same old standard approach to your planting!  Think new forms, new plants and found materials!  Landscape architect Edie Kean will show you how!  A NYC park Department GreenThumb Program. Free.  For more (scroll down)… 

Thursday, July 17th: A Summer Night with Farmers & Chefs

Coenties Slip (Way South Manhattan), 4-8pm

First there were pop-up stores.  Now, we’ve got a pop-up Greenmarket where there’ll be – and we quote –  “farmers selling their farm fresh produce, meats, and cheeses, while sharing a space with a curated roster of restaurants serving prepared foods.”   We’re talking live music, wine and beer, too!  For more and directions to Coenties Slip

We’d win any miscellany competition:

Like another argument against the MTS is needed…  A new study links pollution to autism and schizophrenia

Meanwhile, it’d be nice for the mayor to weigh in on energy efficiency and retrofitting

Believe it or not but one’s cable box  is the second most energy-intensive item in one’s home, after air conditioning! (You bet there should be an infinitely better design!)  

Yikes!  Compounding the dubious distinction of producing one of the more sugar-laden drinks, Kraft also packages 1.4 billion per year portions of Capri Sun in all-but-impossible-to-recycle plastic/aluminum pouches.  Should you feel moved to encourage Kraft to revamp...

Lucky for us – in addition to our fabulous reservoir system – we’ve had our usual adequate rain, but here’re approaches/notions we need to contemplate given an ever drier/thirstier world

Meanwhile, our harbor faces challenges from the ever-increasing abundance of water

We could use a company like San Francisco’s Foam Order that replaces chemical-laden furniture padding with free-of-chemicals polyurethane foam

Great light rail between Minneapolis and St. Paul is near completion…  However…  Light rail on the edge of the world Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is 60% complete (and being built by the Chinese). 

The Federal Highway Trust Fund runs out of money on August 29th…  (One obvious solution:  Raise gas tax in place since 1994.)

As if CM Kallos hasn’t been busy enough, he’s now proposed assistance for Second Avenue businesses that have suffered so greatly from the toils of subway construction!

Another good idea:  CM Rosenthal’s legislation that’d would suspend licenses of all motorists – not just taxi drivers – who seriously injure or kill pedestrians!

In the happy face column: 

Has to sweep the field of ultimate recycling:  Recycling a patient’s blood lost during surgery!  (The mechanics of which can be produced by 3D printing!) 

Given the horrendous tonnage of food we Americans throw out (rightly wanting to be safe rather than sorry), this advance in packaging will be revolutionary!

Then there’re air-purifying billboards! (Cleaning more air that 1,200 trees!)

A floating billboard that cleans polluted water!  (We could use ’em when that 1/2 inch of rain overwhelms our water treatment system!)

Last but hardly least in this week’s chronicle of recycling achievement:  the 2.85 million pounds of compost and 2.7 million pounds of clothing recycled at Greenmarkets since 2011!

Plus:

Kudos to City Harvest for their new program aimed at getting fresh produce into food-desert-located bodegas!

Ever lighter growing mediums are making greenroofs possible where they’ve never been before

NYState’s  considering a new bill that’d allow neighbors with shaded homes to share the output of solar panels with neighbors with homes bathed in sun! To read more and even support…  

While you’re in an activist mode, Citizens Defending Libraries (branch libraries are still under threat) has devised a new petition for the new mayor…  (Good idea to call CM Kallos, too:  212-860-1950!)

Ah, NYC…  Feet in the future but a toe or two in the past…  i.e. our enduring affection for hydrant sprinklers…  

And we think Fifth Avenue’s changed over our life in this city?  Check out Christopher Gray on real estate wars waged by the Vanderbilts of yore

Speaking of yore, look what they’ve unearthed on Governor’s Island!

And, of course, our great city’d  have a fabulous cookbook book store! 

OMG, can we wait for the Cooper-Hewitt to re-open?

Off the reservation, but still:

What can Social Security being thinking of…?  Closing down offices as droves of Boomers – many not net savvy – become eligible?

We’re New Yorkers and we know from small apartments…  So why not cast your vote in Apartment Therapy Coolest Small Home Contest?  (What?!  No NYC finalists?!)

Have a treasured family deviled egg recipe?  Well, our friends at Just Food has a contest for you… The Kegs and Kluckers 2014 Deviled Egg Competition!

Doesn’t get more heart-warming than a 12-year old designing a low-cost braille printer largely made of Legos

That is except for Starbucks new free employee college tuition plan…  (May other corporations soon follow suit…)

On to our animal friends:

Okay, so the International Court of Justice’s ruled against Japan’s whaling in Antarctic waters with Japan currently planning to resume what they term “scientific” expeditions.  Should you think they should cease and desist…  

Reminder:  Komodo dragons – biggest of all  extant reptiles – are now on view at the Bronx Zoo!

All 3 osprey chicks have hatched!

Out in the wilds of Montana, they’ve discovered that wild pollinators (AKA bees) are among first responders in areas devastated by forest fires

In  the less endearing insect department, herewith the eastern tent caterpillar… 

Ever green,

UGS

 

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Happy National Trails Day & National Oceans Month, UESiders!

Wonderful that among the few things our Congress has managed to accomplish was passage of a surprisingly strong Water Resources Reform and Development Bill!  (More than half our national parks contain waterways that don’t meet health standards!)

Prime trail territory:  Our own Adirondacks with a special celebration set for the new Northville- Placid trailhead inauguration. For more…  (Can we believe NYState has 90-year old trails?)

And you can easily check on trail conditions at the NYC DEC’s High Peaks Bulletin… 

On to the week ahead:

Thursday, June 12th – Sunday, June 22nd:  Lower East Side Film Festival

Various Venues

From animation to horror to…  Well, you name it.   We’re talking 12 days of films, panel discussions, parties and a large serving of outrageousness! For the full program…   

Fridays, June 13th – July 4th:  Modern Dance at Bryant Park

Sixth Avenue between 40th-42nd Streets, various times

Four world-class dance companies perform in one of our great city spaces. Free.  For the schedule

Saturday, June 14th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Garden of Spices Farms!

And, you bet, our Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table and ready to hone!

Cherry Lane’s selling out early…

Last week’s recycling totals:  60 lbs batteries;  10 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs of eye glasses; 7 1/2 bins of compost; 23 bags of clothes.

Interesting that we’re bouncing back and forth from 7 1/2 to 8 bins… 

Saturday, June 14th:  Pledge2Protect Canvassing in Brooklyn

Bus departs First & 93rd Street at 10am sharp

Lend a hand canvassing with P2P’s new partner, S.T.R.O.N.G. Southern Brooklyn (Sanitation wants to saddle them with horrendous MTS, too!). This is how alliances are built and prevail, friends!  To RSVP and reserve your bus seat

Saturday, June 14th:  Pepacton Reservoir Paddle

Shavertown Bridge Launch, 11am-2pm

Only since 2012 has NYS DEP been issuing permits for such outings on this most pristine of reservoirs and major supplier of NYC water.  Yes and, of course, NYCH2O’s gotten their green hands on one.  With transportation and canoe, $100.  Without transport but with canoe, $50.  Provide your own transport and canoe, $25.  For more and tickets

Tuesday June 17th & 24th, Tuesday, July 1st:  Mount Vernon Hotel & Museum Summer Concert Series

In the Museum Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 6pm

The choice is wide…  From tavern tunes to Celtic fiddling to a – our favorite – harpsichordist!  All in one of the loveliest gardens on the UES.  Free to members.  Non-member adults, $15.  Non-member children under 12, $5. For full details

Almost upon us:

Friday, June 20th:  Urban Passageways – The Tunnels & Atriums of Midtown Manhattan

Meet at 810 Eighth Avenue, 11am

NYC history buff Robert Amell leads a lucky few on an insider’s tour of the tunnels, pathways and hidden gems of central Manhattan…  From art deco jewels to Lichtenstein murals!  Organized by the Obscura Society.  $20.  For details and tickets… 

Sunday, June 22nd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Returns!!

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

At their tables will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery!

Yup, you read it right!  We’ll also be collecting clothes/fabrics/hats/belts/shoes at 92nd! 

Sunday, June 22nd: Shred-A-Thon – Welcome Back 92nd Greenmarket Edition!

Curbside, West Side of First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd, 11am – 2pm

No better way to celebrate 92nd Street’s return!

We’ll be shredding:

Paper of any and every kind, you brave recyclers!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

Please remove paper clips and metal and plastic spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But falling-apart paperbacks are just fine.

(Take those unwanted hardcovers to Goodwill or HousingWorks!)

(Many thanks to Council Members Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin for their generous grants!) 

Sunday, June 29th:  Bronx River Bike Tour

Meet at the Williamsbridge Oval, 1pm

Explore NYC’s one and only fresh water river  – a river that’s remorphed from Seventies open sewer to present day reasonable and improving health –  with by NYCH2O aqua expert Matt Malina.  $20.  For more and tickets… 

And we do mean miscellany:

Great that HUD’s awarded $920 million for storm resilient design in Sandy-affected areas…  Not so great the cupboard was bare when it came to flood-prone areas of the UES…  

#1 in the here-we-go-again department:  Midtown rezoning, the billions required to provide to transportation to it and the 65-story building – across from Grand Central – that has deBlasio support

(Let’s hope someone familiarizes our mayor with the economic value of vintage buildings…)

#2.  The unhybridized, wheelchair-unfriendly “Taxi of Tomorrow” has been revived by the Court of  Appeals…  

Then:

The great Frick’s expanding again this time to the tune of a 6-story addition…

Props to City Council Member Grace Chin for proposing that restaurants who put their garbage out on our sidewalks in leaky plastic bags be fined!

Meanwhile, cross fingers for the survival of Brooklyn’s Kentile sign

Ummm…  Ten beautiful, mostly uninhabited islands

And the Green Roof of the Week is

Actually, our nominee would be closer to home:  Not only does Lenox Hil Neighborhood House have a green roof, but the green stuff grown on it is served to 1,000 low-income seniors and children daily!

Then there’s the winner of New Yorkers for Parks annual photo contest

More and more telling pictures of the NYC that once was from “American Odyssey: Photos From the Detroit Photographic Company, 1888-1924.  

WOW!  Asphalt Green just broke the previous Guinness record for largest number of people working out on trampolines!

 You bet, animals:

But of course, Animal Planet will have a World Cup-themed show – World Pup with teams of 8 puppies (think French bulldogs vs. Brussels Griffons) squaring off.  For details

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/30 – Manhattan:  Poison ivy was remarkably abundant at Inwood Hill Park, now with  its minute flowers in bloom.  Petals fallen from tulip trees and pasture rose bushes and scattered through the woods were lovely. – Thomas Shoesmith

5/31 – Manhattan:  The falcon nest webcam revealed that the 55 Water Street peregrine scrape had four young falcons. – Matthew Willis

(55 Water Street is a 687-foot high building.  A scrape is the small area of ledge cleared off by a peregrine in order to lay its eggs;  these birds do not build nests. – Tom Lake!)

(Those baby peregrines are tough and roughing it!)

6/3 – North Creek:  Saw a Karner blue butterfly – a subspecies of the Melissa Blue and an endangered species –  in my meadow the other day!  Last year we had none in the meadow but, the year before, there were dozens…  but not a single monarch butterfly.  Happily, there’ve been a few bats in the evenings, so it seems some have survived the dreadful white nose syndrome! – Barbara Dodworth

So grand to be green,

UGS

 

 

 

 

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Happy D-Day 70th Anniversary, UESiders…

There’ll be a ton programming and commentary, but the picture below – taken this week – speaks most loudly to us…

French Students Salute An American Veteran

French Students Salute An American Veteran

(May our American young  be as aware and admiring, too…)

Surely is one fine way to begin a new week:

Friday, June 5th & Saturday, June 6th:  “DamNation” Screening

Patagonia SoHo, 101 Wooster Street, 8pm and Vimeo OnDemand Online

Across the country, we’re dismantling out-dated damns, letting rivers run and fish migrate…  And the film details the how and why.  Free at Patagonia.  $5.99 on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 7th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef and Garden of Spices Farms!

Garden of Spices has the most amazing Greek yogurt!!

And, yes!  Hurrah!  Our Master Knife Sharpener returns!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  64 lbs batteries;  15 lbs filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 12 pairs of eye glasses; 8 1/2 bins of compost; 65 bags of clothes.

Yes, people, another bags-of-clothes record AND we’re back in the land of 8 compost bins again!

We can’t wait:

Sunday, June 22nd:  92nd Street Greenmarket Returns!!

92nd Street and First Avenue, 9am-3pm

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

At their tables will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone and Meredith’s Bakery!

So great that we’ll not only be collecting compost but clothes/fabrics/hats/belts/shoes at 92nd this year! 

Sunday, June 22nd: Shred-A-Thon – Welcome Back 92nd Greenmarket Edition!

Curbside, West Side of First Avenue between 92nd and 93rd, 11am – 2pm

You’ve been waiting…  You’ve been wanting…  And now it’s almost here!!

What a great way to celebrate 92nd Street’s return!

We’ll be shredding:

Paper of any and every kind, you brave recyclers!!

But, please, NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

Please remove paper clips and metal and plastic spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   But falling-apart paperbacks are just fine.

(Take those unwanted hardcovers to Goodwill or HousingWorks!)

(Many thanks to Council Members Dan Garodnick and Jessica Lappin for their most the generous grants!) 

Approaching fast:

Tuesdays, July 15th through August 12th:  Twilight Bat Walks in Central Park

Meet at 103rd Street & Central Park West, 7:45pm

New York Audubon says, “See local bat species in flight and hear them with an echolocator”!  Adult Non-members, $32.  Adult Members, $22,  Non-Member Kids (under 12), $20.  Member Kids, $14.  (Recommended for ages 5 and up.)  For more and to register

Saturday, July 12th:  City of Water Day 2014

All Along Our Shoreline

Organizers are still scheduling events so keep an eye on the MWA site!

Think ricochet miscellany this time round :

Commencing with thanks to great people of 1,000+ Friends of Parks for including this in their newsletter:

 EVERY TREE = A PARK

Trees inspire poetry like Kilmer’s, “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree” or Ogden Nash’s pointedly cynical update, “…unless the billboards fall, I’ll never see a tree at all.”    As far as we’re concerned, given the lack of green space on the Est Side of Manhattan, trees are not only poetry, every one of them is a tiny park unto itself.  Last week, eight Upper East Side residents got themselves arrested when Department of Sanitation, lacking any poetry at all, chopped down trees to make way for a wildly unpopular Marine Transfer Station.  The arrestees included Carol Tweedy of Asphalt Green, Community Board 8 chair and Assembly candidate Gus Christianson, Pledge to Protect (P2P) president, Kelly Nimmo-Guenther, NYCHA organizer Regine LaCourt, and local residents Dara Hunt,  Carol Tichler, Joan Cavanaugh and Barbara Heyman.    Forget occupy Wall Street — how about “occupy your local trees”?  The rest of the story is at http://nypress.com/an-act-of-disobedience.

And then:

Bike enthusiasts ahoy!  Transportation Alternatives has job openings!

Hummm…  Herewith EPA’s chart chronicling average U.S. temperatures since 1900.

All right, so we know they’ve been putting little plastic bits into products like body wash…  But tiny pieces of metal in our yogurt to make it look more white?  (Yikes, Dannon!)

So much for the economic pluses of fracking:  Fracking capital Pennsylvania ranks 48th in non-farm job growth.  (The place is teeming with fancy pick-ups with Texas license plates.)

Our NYS DEC is airing some great webcasts…  From heat islands to Energy Star certification to energy efficiencies.  Aimed at local governments, but we need to know this stuff, too!  For the schedule and to sign up

The Vertical Garden of the Week is…

Here on poor, suffering Second Avenue we have a green fence

Perfect for even smallest city terrace gardening… .!

Then there’s the ubiquitous (and invasive) bit of flora, the the dandelion

The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water a day.  How about you?

Who knew there’s a City Island Nautical Museum?

Or how Cleopatra’s Needle came to be in NYC…

But we’ve been waiting for publication of the haunting new book, North Brother Island:  The Last Unknown Place in New York City

How we end with the best kind of miscellany:  A short tale of human goodness…?

Bring on the animals:

You do know summer brings fireflies to the UES?  (First place we’ve seen them the past 2 years is on the grounds of Isaacs/Holmes.)  We only want more of the pretty things, right?  So, here’s how to encourage them… 

There are beautiful birds and then there are birds like the desert bunting…

desert bunting

desert bunting

Following construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the invasive sea lamprey invaded all 5 of our Great Lakes, decimating one of world’s great fresh-water fish stocks which’s never recovered.  But how come they’re now plaguing land-locked Seneca Lake?  (Probably traveled clinging to boat hulls.)  (Sure wish something other than a “lampricide” was available to control them.)

And from the ever more interesting Hudson River Almanac: 

5/20 – Manhattan, HRM 12.5:   Inwood Hill Park. Lily-of the valley was blooming; lesser celandine that lines the path up through the Clove had no more blossoms but, up on the ridge, the “true” celandine had many. The white starlike flowers of false garlic seemed to be everywhere.  Second-year stalks of garlic mustard were flowering, the first-year basal leaves were abundant, and honeysuckle buds were opening. Tiny flowers of field peppergrass were also open and a few small clumps of Spanish bluebells were bright spots in the woods. Of particular delight was the exquisite little flowers of Kenilworth ivy which, true to its name, was growing in a wall. The lilac bush at the Overlook was also in bloom.   – Thomas Shoesmith

5/25 – East River, NYC:  We have been seeing American eels of all sizes this week, hooked by anglers and in oyster cages.  Our oyster cages (gardens) are hanging off a semi-protected bulkhead in the river about 6 inches below the projected low tide water mark. These are part of the New York Harbor School’s Billion Oyster Project.  A network of students come by periodically and check the growth of the protect spat-on-shell young oysters to determine what locations in the harbor offer good habitat.  The cages also offer protection as the young shellfish grow to a size that will survive on an open reef.  – Daniel Tarnow

(Daniel Tarnow, Education Director, Lower East Side Ecology Center  also writes:  “We’ve had one of our cages for 2 years, and many of the oysters have grown from 4-5mm to 40-50mm.  We use the oyster gardens as a tool to teach students abou the natural history of New York Harbor, oysters’ ability to filter water, the potential of oyster reefs to slow down storm surges, and as a living laboratory to show what happens when you restore a tiny area of shallow estuary habitat.  Along with the oysters, we have found mud crabs, green crabs, slpider crabs, sea squirts, blue mussels, sponges, skilletfish, shrimp and 3-5 inch-long  American eels using the cage.”)  

 

Hudson River Almanac 5/22/14 – 5/28/14

 

It’s a beautiful green world,

UGS

 

 

 

 

 

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