Monthly Archives: July 2014

Happy 75th-Plus-One-Day Birthday to Batman and National Moth Week, UESiders!

Yes, National Moth Week.

Believe it or not, there’re a host of serious Moth Week events that’ll be held across this nation of ours… 

Pretty amazing as are these 5 facts about the little winged creatures

rosy maple moth

rosy maple moth

Hope your week ahead is as good as ours, moths: 

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 25th, 26th & 27th: 36th Annual Thunderbird American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow

Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens

And we quote, “New York City’s oldest and largest pow wow featuring 3 days of inter-tribal Native American dance competitions.”  More than 40 Indian nations will be represented and the setting couldn’t be more lovely (the museum’s apple orchard).  Adults, $10.  Children under 12, $7.  For directions and more

Saturday, July 26th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish Farms and Valley Shepherd Creamery!

FYI:  Garden of Spices will be absent and on family vacation!  They’ll be back on August 2nd.

This week it’s possible Samascott and/or Rising Sun may have eggs.

Then there’re these latest market news flashes from our great new Manager Jessie:

“Last week, shoppers enjoyed our first new apple of the 2014 season: Samascott Orchards brought a brand new Geneva right off the tree.

This week, we look forward to more corn, more eggplants, LOTS more tomatoes, and more and more fresh fruit and apples from Samascott (as if their line wasn’t long enough!), as well as more great cheese, butter and yogurt, beef and seafood from our incredible vendors at this wonderfully eclectic market.”

PLUS…

On our music menu this Saturday:  The guitarist/vocalist we loved so much last year when she performed with Marion Cowlings – Andrea Wright!

You bet, Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be on hand, as well!

Last week’s recycling totals: 62 lbs batteries;  20 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 10 pair of eye glasses; 7 1/4 bins of compost; 25 bags of clothes.

Brilliant!!

Yet again:  Britta filters and CDs/DVD can be recycled in your building’s  recycling bins!

Sunday, July 27th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

With us will be Atlantic Seafood, Gonzales, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms, Bread Alone, Hammond Dairy and Meredith’s Bakery.

If you didn’t get your hands on Margaret’s vegetable borscht recipe last Sunday, make it your mission this week!

Tomatoes…  Corn…  Need we say more?

Last week’s recycling totals:  42 lbs batteries;  7 lbs cords, cellphones and cartridges; 3 1/4 bins of compost;  1 giant bin of clothes (the equivalent of 2 giant bags at 82nd Street).

Add to that the 2 giant bins (4 bags) of clothes collected week one and 1 bin (2 bags) week two…  Making for a 2014 total to date of 9 bags! 

Sunday, July 27th:  Shadows of Nieuw Amsterdam Tour

In front of the American IndianMuseum, 1 Bowling Green, 12:15-2:15pm

“Rogue” historian Dan Veksler shares his perspective on the history of lower Manhattan, the oldest settled part our great  city.  Organized by the Obscura Society.  $25.  For more

Sunday, July 27th:  West Harlem Stop ‘N Swap Event

Soha Square Greenmarket, 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (Eighth Avenue), 12-3pm

Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, house wares, games, books and toys that you no longer need, and take home something new-to-you and free! But you don’t have to bring something to take something. But no furniture or large items, please!  (You’ll enjoy yourself!)  For further details

Wednesday, July 30th:  Build Your Own HDTV Television Antenna Class

190 Underhill Avenue, Brooklyn, 4:30-730pm

As if Aereo’s defeat in court was the end of free over-the-air TV…  And who could resist constructing something that looks like this and actually works:

HDTV Antenna

From the folks at the Brooklyn Brainery, of course.  $42.  For more and to register… 

Now through Sunday, August 17th:  Self-Taught Genius -Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue at 66th Street

For those unexposed to the range and gorgeous expressiveness of folk artists, this exhibition is the place start…  For devotees, “treasures” is absolutely the right word.  Free.  For days and hours

Now through Sunday, September 7th:  Rescuing the Past in New York City

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden,  421 East 61st Street

Once this UES treasure languished among giant Con Ed fuel tanks and survived only because the company decided it was less expensive to leave it standing!  Now (back off, Batman!) in celebration of the Museum’s 75th anniversary, it’s giving us the chance to view archival photos, documents, and objects detailing preservation of the building from the 1939 day when it opened to the public as the Abigail Adams Smith House.  Free for members. Adults, $8.  Seniors and Students, $7.  Children under 12 free. For further details

Right on the horizon:

Mondays, August 4th & 18th:  CM Kallos’ Housing Clinic

The Council Member’s Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 3-6pm

Free legal advice on your housing problems on the first and third Mondays of every month.  A volunteer attorney will be on hand for consultation, too.   To RSVP (and you should to speak to the attorney):  212-860-1930, RSVP@Ben.Kallos.com or online

Salicornia-bigelovii

Salicornia-bigelovii

Ever more miscellaneous:

Let’s talk construction and the new administration’s desire to hasten the pace of major infrastructure projects while reducing cost…  (Be nice if the folks at the helm are up to the task.)

And why do we doubt that capability?  

Square the Port Authority’s intention to spend $90M to update our sorry, used-by-thousands-a-day, 64-year old bus terminal with the $800K allocated by our Council Speaker to renovate some handball courts... 

On an infinitely smaller scale, how come a minimal number of building owners are aware of new NYC guidelines for tree bed size when sidewalks are replaced?   (Beds’re required to be bigger to help absorb stormwater runoff…  Check page 3  of the Parks’ manual  then note there’s no page 23!)…

Meanwhile, how could we have let Philadelphia – of all places – get ahead of us in stormwater management!

Going national:  Seems certain elements would like to erode expansion of/protections afforded by our National Monuments system.  Should you object to this approach

And what week would be complete without citing the loss of significant architecture

On with our smiley faces:

The just-released Federal Office of Energy Projects report states that wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydropower account for 55.7% of newly installed generating capacity in the U.S. for the first half of 2014!

Attention, prospective citizen scientists/swimming pool owners!  NYS would love your help in a survey of invasive insects!

For those fortunate few with a rent-stabilized living quarters, some tips on remaining in place… 

If you read the Sunday Times piece on  model agency immortal and UES resident Eileen Ford, likely you figured out she shopped our 82nd Street Market! 

And on the fringe:

Yes, you’re reading this right:  A DIY air conditioner for $15!  (For video instructions…)  Then there’s the $8 version

Beginning fly fishing classes for women.. .  (Upstate, yes, but still…) 

 syringa-sweginzowii-superba

syringa-sweginzowii-superba

On to the animal kingdom:

Free endangered species ringtones?

Endangered plants and animals that might be hiding in or near NYC via your cellphone?

Awwwww….  Here’s what to do if you should come upon a stray kitten/kittens

Love The Bird of the Week…  The beautiful Inca Tern!

Five NYC places where your dog can swim

How to discourage black bears that might be making a nuisance of themselves… 

As ever, some tidbits from the Hudson River Almanac:

7/9 – Manhattan, HRM:  I was walking along the Battery Park City Esplanade in late afternoon when a fisherman caught what appeared to be two small sharks. – Matthew Fenton

smoothdogfishhra_original

[Photos revealed that these were smooth dogfish.  Smooth dogfish (Triakidae), plus the spiny dogfish (Squalidae), are by far the most common sharks found in the lower estuary and New York Harbor. Both can reach about five feet in length, but neither is a threat to humans. The smooth dogfish favors shellfish while the spiny dogfish is more of a fish eater. We have encountered both of these dogfish as far upriver as Englewood (NJ), river mile 13. That is not to say that both might venture farther upriver if conditions suit them. – Tom Lake.]

Everlastingly green,

UGS

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Happy We’re Not Going to Have a LIRR Strike, UESiders!

How about we set things in motion with one lovely, true life story as told by Michael Swaine, professor at UC Berkeley, Mills College and the California College of the Arts and founder of the Free Mending Library:

Swaine photo“Around 12 years ago, a friend and I were walking by an abandoned alley in San Francisco, and she asked, ‘If you could do anything with this space, what would you do?’ I had just found this old treadle sewing machine, so I said, kind of impulsively, ‘I would set up my sewing machine and just sew for the neighbors.’ 

“Somehow the stars aligned for this strange idea. The Luggage Store, a nonprofit art gallery in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, offered to let me use the alley next to them. I sew from noon to sundown on the 15th of each month. 

“Eighty percent of the people who show up live in nearby low-income housing. I hem a lot of pants and patch a lot of holes. But I don’t say no to anything. Once I sewed a little pink dog collar. Often people sew with me–grandmothers who are losing their vision and can’t thread the needle anymore, people who live in cramped apartments and don’t have a sewing machine. Neighbors help neighbors. The conversations start with sewing and end up someplace else. Sometimes people just want to talk about the hard day they’ve had.

“The thing I love most about the Free Mending Library is that it’s out on the streets. Businessmen sit next to recovering drug addicts or the minister who runs the domestic violence shelter down the street. Having this kind of shared experience has made me see how the conveniences of modern society, like Netflix and air-conditioning, make us stay home and in some inherent way start to fear our neighbor. 

“There are a lot of things we need to do for our environment, like buying less and sharing more. But sharing requires that first step of trust. The fear that’s between people gets in the way of good solutions.” 

Really, community building can happen just about anywhere…  

It surely happens every week at our Greenmarkets:

Saturday, July 19th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

At tables piled high with summer bounty will be great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms and Valley Shepherd Creamery!

PLUS…

Summer music – in the form of the blue grass band we all love so much – returns to the market this Saturday!

Grand Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be with us, too!

Last week’s recycling totals: 66 lbs batteries;  17 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses; 7 bins of compost; 8 bags of clothes.

You’ll note:  Britta filters and CDs/DVD are no longer included in our totals…  Reason being those items are now recyclable in your building’s very own recycling bins!

Great how our city’s moving forward, yes?!

Saturday, July 19th:  Holmes Residents Family Day

Plaza in front of 1780 First Avenue, between 92nd and 93rd Streets, 12pm

Our neighbors’ great annual party of music, dancing and fabulous food in the Caribbean mode!  Plenty of tables offering great community info, as well!  See you there!

Sunday, July 20th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothing Collection 9am-1pm

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

Yes, we know, Hammond Dairy was MIA last week…  But they and that incredible Ronnybrook milk will be back this Sunday!

PLUS:

Weekdays, he’s our City Council Member nailing down millions to repair our Esplanade…  But some weekends…  He morphs into the chef-clothes-and-apron-wearing/market-food-loving/slicer and dicer who’ll be bringing us this Sunday’s special market event:  Cooking With Kallos! 

Be there at 11am and ready to eat, people! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  38 lbs batteries;  11 lbs Britta filters, cords, cellphones and cartridges; 3 bins of compost;  1 giant bin of clothes (the equivalent of 2 giant bags at 82nd Street).

The veterans on collection duty last week didn’t have previous weeks’ totals, but they’ll be getting them for us!  

Thursday, July 24th:  An Evening Wolf Howl

Wolf Conservation Center, South Salem, New York, 5-10m

And we quote, “Leave city lights behind and head north to Westchester and a visit with these rare and highly misunderstood animals at their favorite hour, dusk.”  Has to be pretty incredible!  (Think there’s at least one wolf pup!)  Organized by the Obscura Society. $60 which includes transport by van, wine and cheese! For more and tickets…Atlas Obscura is Going to the Wolves!

pereskiopsis-aquosa

pereskiopsis-aquosa

Miscellany and – as ever – all over the landscape:

Reason 8 zillion and 4 to love GrowNYC:  The 800-acre new farm they’ve established on Governor’s Island where, each Saturday, we’re all invited to lend a hand!

Love governmental transparency and that we can now so easily see where the City Council’s discretionary moneys are going this Fiscal Year 2015! Check those numbers out!!

Fantastic – as you’ll read – that we now have a central NYC Archeological Repository!

Continuing in the past mode, we say Christopher Gray outdid himself with last Sunday’s piece on pix of NYC as it was during construction of  subways over the last century!

In the OF COURSE! category is India’s move to – a la the Third World spread of mobile phones sans need of poles and wires – gridless solar to bring electricity to its vast population of rural poor.

(At least half of the food India produces is rendered inedible for want for refrigeration.)

For those of us mourning the loss of a fig tree in our hood (there was a lovely one on the Isaacs campus)… 

Alllium-cristophii

Alllium-cristophii

Meanwhile, what would a week be without constructive railing:

Okay, so there’s a NYC ferry to Martha’s Vineyard but not up the East River or the Hamptons??

Hard to believe (ha!) Congress’s one move on the soon to expire Highway Trust Fund bill is one of their worst financial slight-of-hands to date

Been wondering how much paper’s produced per tree…?  

As if fracking weren’t injury enough, presumably we’re not alone in not realizing the size (42 inches in diameter) or the right-of-ways (50 feet) pipelines require…  Requirements/damage that loom even larger when it’s your family farm that’s involved

weigela-coraeensis

weigela-coraeensis

Back on the cheerful path:

So who are the people – or at least one of them – who pilot those banner-dragging planes?  (Pretty darned daring!)  

Feeling compulsive?  There’s an effort afoot to convince more magazines to use recycled paper (like “The New Yorker”)  and Green America’s compiled an impressive email list at said publications to which we can send encouragement!   

So there’s the origami of the little tweeting bird and the little crane… Then there’s the orgami of Robert J. Lang and his ilk!  (And  their video how-to’s!) 

We volunteer to do the road-testing of this reusuable food wrap!  (Crossed fingers it works!)

Carpinus-fangiana

Carpinus-fangiana

Animals:

So sorry to note – but note we will – that the Pacific bluefin tuna population is down to 4% of what it once was, pre epidemic over-fishing… 

Three wonderful-sounding books reviewed in last Sunday’s Times…  Elephant Company “The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar”…  and (we’re talking giant squids) “Preparing the Ghost”… 

Yet another great cam…  The Brown Bear and Salmon Cam…  As in brown bears catching salmon and eating them (poor salmon!) in the midst of Alaska’s beautiful, wild Brooks Falls!

Trust the Cornell Ornithology Lab to advise us on the most bird-friendly bird houses!

Onward in greenness,

UGS

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Happy National Margarita Day, UESiders,

Here’s a link to one of the many news stories on the jack hammer chisel episode… 

Now, let’s get right down on the days ahead:

fragaria-chiloensis

fragaria-chiloensis

Friday, July 11th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-8:30pm 

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this out:  The Wonders of Our Summer Sky with the classical groups of Scorpius, Sagittarius, Aquila, Lyra, and Cygnus shine in the south and overhead!  (Wow!)  Free.

Saturday, July 12th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be the great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms and new Valley Shepherd Creamery!

Our Master Knife Sharpener will be on hand, too!

Gajeski has corn!

Love Fresh Radish’s purslane and Cherry Lane’s heirloom tomatoes!

Valley Shepherd will likely have mozzarella this week!

Last week’s recycling totals: 59 lbs batteries;  14 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 5 1/2 bins of compost; 16 bags of clothes.

Definitely held our recycling own over the holiday!

Saturday, July 12th:  City of Water Day 2014

All Along Our Fabulous  NYC Waterfront

Presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and over 700 partners, the Festival will be held in waterfront locations throughout the area, with most happening (fishing, ferry rides, food and so much more) on Governor’s Island, Pier 42 and at Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken!   For the total lowdown …  

Sunday, July 13th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

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 and Hammond Dairy!

We have two words for you this time round : PEACH YOGURT!

Last week’s recycling totals:  43 lbs batteries;  8 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 15 pairs of eye glasses; 3 bins of compost;  TBA bags of clothes.

(The elusive veterans left early last Sunday!  Stay tuned!) 

Sunday, July 13th:  Japan’s Star Festival 

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street, 2pm

Family-friendly to the max as legendary folk characters are brought to life via storytelling and traditional crafts (think origami and tanzaku, thin paper strips for writing wishes to decorate bamboo branches). Recommended for children ages 3-10 and their parents.  Adults: $12. Children: $5.  For tickets (advance purchase advised) and more… 

And then:

Saturday, July 26th:  The Race Underground

The New York Transit Museum, Boerum Place at Schermerhorn Street, 5:30-8:00pm

It was New York against Boston in the great subway construction race and historian and author Doug Most relates events that framed this great American rivalry! The Obscura Society strikes again!  Free and complete with a beer and wine reception!  For more and tickets… 

Sunday, July 27th:  West Harlem Stop ‘N Swap Event

Soha Square Greenmarket, 117th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard (Eighth Avenue), 12-3pm

Bring clean, reusable, portable items such as clothing, house wares, games, books and toys that you no longer need, and take home something new-to-you and free! But you don’t have to bring something to take something. But no furniture or large items, please!  (These things are fun!)  For further details

eucalyptus-racemosa

eucalyptus-racemosa

What-Are-They-Thinking-Of miscellany first:

Remember that devastating West Virginia chemical spill of a few months ago?  And the fine that’s just been announced?  A big, fat $11,000.

Under the Who’s-Minding-the-Store heading:  Small potatoes compared to the mega-theft of CityTime, but the company chosen to set up free WiFi throughout the city has just gone bankrupt...

Hummmm…  Seems the City’s contemplating allowing property owners to construct their own flood barriers…  Yeah, there’re governing rules… But enforcement…?  

What the heck’s with Governor Christie?  He’s back trying to short-circuit regs on carbon emissions in NJ

Yes, and the Brooklyn Yard Development Corporation’s threatening Admiral’s Row again

In the middle ground:

A new study says clean energy can hold off the worst of climate change by 2050, if only by a hair

Entirely on the good foot:

Glad tidings on the Midtown rezoning front:  BP Brewer and CM Garodnick will be heading the newly-formed steering committee!

(Be interesting to learn how they feel about the 67-story tower proposed across from Grand Central…)

The Forces of Darkness attempting to overthrow Australia’s carbon tax legislation were defeated!

For those of us not lucky enough to have an actual Greenmarket near at hand…  The farm-to-table movement’s now online and virtual, too!

How’s this for a green contest:  Be a NYC property owner, live in a combined sewer area and have a great infrastructure design idea that’ll control at least 1 inch of storm water runoff!  Submit that brilliant notion to NYC’s DEP and win a grant 

Then enter to win a $1,000 Container Store makeover for the deserving UES classroom of your choice! 

Then…  Study and follow the DEC’s just-issued green living tips!

And now for a pause in the Twilight Zone:

A specialized interest to be sure, but NYC’s now digitized it’s prison records archives!  (Wonder what info required in the present…)

Like to know your rights as an air traveler?  (These days, do we ever need to know!)

Interested in your apartment’s – that place you’re living in – history?

cedrus-brevifolia

cedrus-brevifolia

We’re not forgetting those animals:

No way you should miss this week’s (PBS) “Nature” on which an orphaned baby sea otter is raised by a surrogate otter mom and returned to the wild…

Individuals are fishing our young Hudson River glass eels for sale to the Asian market?!  (Not for long.  NYS DEC is hot on their heels!)

And on our home turf:

6/27 – Manhattan, HRM 0.1: With reports of few, if any, monarch butterflies sightings this season, I wanted to let you know that I saw one today in Battery Park City on the river promenade. –  Matthew Wills

6/30 – Manhattan, HRM 13.5: On the inlet of Spuyten Duyvil Creek, 2 dozen Canada geese were gathered near a white mulberry tree on the bank.  A boy was shaking the branches and tossing the ripe berries to them.  I tasted a couple – they were amazingly sweet. Nearby, some hybrid of yarrow was blooming yellow, along with a few flowers of purple echinacea (coneflowers) and blue, ragged-petaled chicory.

Further along the shore, plant growth urgently filled the space between the water and the fence, plants crowding, intertwining, climbing on each other. Curly dock made a pole for field bindweed. Bittersweet nightshade, its purple-and-yellow blossoms now fading, insinuated its fruiting stems among plants I cannot name, while field pepper grass, Pennsylvania smartweed and white sweet clover bloomed between them along with black nightshade and foliage of porcelain berry, mugwort, and burdock.

Up on the ridge at Inwood Hill Park, the day-lilies were now blooming! Hundreds of them fairly glowed in sunlight along many paths, so that it was easy to overlook the other plants.  Poison ivy now had berries and some black raspberries were ripening.  Mulberries, both red and white, were falling on paths, and some crab apples as well.

I saw one lovely long-fruited anemone (Anenome cylindrica) on my way down to Broadway. – Thomas Shoesmith

Ah, summer and its bountiful green…

UGS

 

 

 

 

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Happiest July 4th, UESiders!

For Inside the Apple‘s nice, brief take on early July 1776 and a NYC vestige of that world-changing time… 

Bring on the hot dogs, fireworks and one great holiday weekend…  All that while keeping  Hurricane Arthur at arm’s length…

amelanchier-gymnosporangium

amelanchier-gymnosporangium

And savoring the great days after the storm’s passed:

Saturday, July 5th:  82nd Street Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

With us will be the great American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Cherry Lane, Gajeski, Rising Sun Beef, Fresh Radish and Garden of Spices Farms and new Valley Shepherd Creamery!

Cherry Lane’s big, beautiful bunches of basil are heavenly!

Last week’s recycling totals: 63 lbs batteries;  11 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 5 1/4 bins of compost; 15 bags of clothes.

Not bad for a pre-holiday weekend, people!

Sunday, July 6th:  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 Hammond Dairy!

Yup, Norwich Meadows Farm has returned!

And we have one word for you:  TOMATOES!

Last 2 week’s recycling totals:  8 lbs batteries;  6 lbs Britta filters, cords, CDs/DVDs, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 bins of compost;  TBA bags of clothes.

3 compost bins Week 1 of the market!  4 bins last week!!

(The veterans collecting clothes managed to depart before we nailed down their totals, but they won’t escape us this week!) 

Now through Sunday, October 19th:  Madeleine in New York – The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street

Could an exhibition be more family-friendly?  Readers past and present will be treated to 90-plus artworks, not a few from astonishing sources (like the Onassis yacht)!  There’re also any number of special events designed around the show.  For the total rundown

Throughout July:  New York Historical Society Summer Lecture Series

Bryant Park Reading Room, Sixth Avenue between 40th & 42nd Streets, 7pm

Yet another assembly of fabulous talks by some of America’s leading historians!  Subjects range from the Civil War to Teddy Roosevelt.  And thanks to the generosity of Bernard and Irene Schwartz, they’re totally free!  For full details… 

Now through Saturday, September 6th:  Open to the Public – Civic Space Now

AIA Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place

No question but public space – adequate, aesthetic public space – is central to urban health and this exhibition from the American Institute of Architecture explores the many and unfolding  interpretations of that truth!  For full details

And then:   

Saturday, July 12th:  City of Water Day 2014

All Along Our Fabulous Waterfront

Presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and over 700 partners , the Festival will be held in waterfront locations throughout the area, with most happening (fishing, ferry rides, food and so much more) on Governor’s Island, Pier 42 and at Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken!   For the total lowdown …  

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

Monday, July 14th:  The Map Thief

ACME Studios, 63 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, 8:30pm

And we quote, “…An evening discussion of cartography, the rare-map trade and the notorious art thief who garnered a fortune stealing and dealing invaluable maps.”  Presented by the great Obscura Society.  $20. For tickets and more

berberis-vulgaris

berberis-vulgaris

Ready or not…  Miscellany:

Contrary to public wishes and turning a blind eye to the state of NYState’s water infrastructure, the DEC is “loaning” $511M to construct the new Tappan Zee Bridge

Prepare yourself for the Municipal Art Society’s recently published detailing air rights and present and coming swaths of shadow

Los Angeles’s now extending it’s plastic bag ban beyond chains and supermarkets to small-scale groceries

Lot’s of discussion re an upgrade of paving along what will be our dramatically improved Esplanade…   Our vote going something – happily – Park’s already using here and there:  permeable paving stones!  (Do scroll down…)

Holy crow!  Con Ed’s wanting us to reduce our reliance on giant power plants!

Pretty much beating a dead horse, but yet another voice’s raising doubt as the the Second Ave Subway’s completion date

Reason #976 Why for an East River Esplanade conservancy:  Even with its $16.25 budget increase, Parks will have only 260 Enforcement Patrol officers to cover all Manhattan (along with shortages in maintenance and cleaning staff)…  Really.  

gentiana-douglasiana

gentiana-douglasiana

On the other hand:

DEC minutely redeems itself with these first-rate green living tips… (Includes best NYS otter-watching sites!)

And with another great issue of its online Outdoor Discovery Newsletter (includes the hike of the Month)!

Can’t stop the great ideas for re-using aged smart phones…  Like nailing rogue rainforest loggers!

Just getting used to Citi Bikes and bike islands?  Get ready for bike-train-bike

We were totally stunned to learn that Neanderthal’s ate vegetables!

Why aren’t we New Yorkers visiting the Van Cortlandt House – where George Washington actually  slept and more than once – in droves?   (This tidbit from “Inside the Apple” sure is encouragement…)

Bocce?  Pool?  Karoke?  You name it!  Our Gotham has a organized league for virtually every activity!

And, of course, there’s a site dedicated to critiquing swimming pools

Yes, there is such a thing as yarn bombing

Just like there’s a Mason jar trick!

Yes, we’ll be booking a flight to take in the world’s clearest lake

eriophyllum-lanatum

eriophyllum-lanatum

As for 4th of July animals:

With its habitat under threat, the world’s tiniest turtle – the little Kemp’s Ridley turtle – needs our help!

Hippos as an invasive species?  Thanks to infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, they’re on the loose and breeding in Colombia!

Think we’d like to join these golden retrievers as they…  Well, you’ll see

A puffin chick (AKA a puffling) has hatched!!

More tiny feathered babies are being born on old piers on Governor’s Island!

baby common tern

Then  there’s this adorable snoring kitty…  (Far from those baby birds!)

What better way to close than with the Hudson River Almanac and butterflies:

6/19 – Town of Indian Lake, HRM 257: Just a note on the sighting of Karner blue butterflies near North Creek. These were most likely either spring azures or eastern tailed blues, or possibly silvery blues that are almost identical to Karner blues but much more widespread and not specialized on their food plants. This sighting occurred about 50 miles northwest of Queensbury, the northern limit of our Karner blue sites. While in flight all of these species look blue; they are different on the underside of the wings. The azures and silvery blues have no orange crescents, and eastern tails have only two tiny dots.  – Kathleen O’Brien, NYSDEC

[The Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) is both a New York State and federally-listed endangered species. Within its range, the Karner blue is restricted to dry sandy areas with open woods and clearings supporting wild blue lupine. A sighting of this species far outside its known range would be extraordinary; though one learns never to say “never” with wildlife, such records require extraordinary evidence – a sharp, close-up photograph for example. Tom Lake.]

Here’s to the red, white and blue,

UGS

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