Happy First Day of Spring/National Proposal Day, UESiders!

(Celebrations/getting down on one knee will commence once snow is shoveled!)

ceanothus-thyrsiflorus

ceanothus-thyrsiflorus

As we contemplate the daffs and tulips and crocuses soon to come: 

Saturday,  March 21st:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Fingers crossed the white stuff that’s still falling as we write  won’t impede our farmers;/fisherman’s/bakers travel into NYC and that Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Ole Mother Hubbert (formerly Back to the Future) Farms will all be at their tables!  (Bet they will!)

Last week’s recycling totals: 55 lbs batteries: TBA cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 compost bins;  12 bags of clothes.

Yes!  7 bins and 12 bags on that horrible rainy day! 

Thursday, March 26th:   Midtown Public Library Campus Public Planning Session

42nd Street Main Library Branch at Fifth Avenue, enter on 41st Street (between the lions), 6-8pm

$18M wasted on a wrong-headed star-architect’s redesign plan…  Sale of the erstwhile Science and Business Branch on 34th…  Smoke and mirrors about interior space landmarking, location and safety of research materials… The continuing uncertain fate of Mid-Manhattan…  Plenty for We the People to weigh in on and be heard by library “trustees”!  To RSVP…   

Thursday, March 26th:  Obscura Society Tour of the NY Academy of Medicine & Public Health

1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, 6:30pm

If you’ve ever wondered just what goes on in the lovely building across the street from the Museum of City of New York…  Important things that’ve impacted on the well-being of NYC for generations and brought to life as only the wild and crazy folks of the Obscura Society outings can. $30.  $100 for the 5-part series. For more and tickets… 

And then:

Sunday, March 29th: NY Road Runners Health & Fitness Clinic for Kids

PS 59, 233 East 56th Street between Second & Third, 1-4pm

Yes, fitness events for the K-6 complete with expert advice…  Add nutrition workshops and  a “Finding Fun in Fitness” talk by “Biggest Loser’s” Olivia Ward!   Sponsored by Council Member Dan Garodnick. Totally free but you do want to RSVP…  (Flyer attached to the cover email or call the CM’s office:  212-788-7393!) 

Tuesday, March 31st: Meet Atka the Wolf!

Broken Land, 105 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, 6pm

Incredible that one of America’s pre-eminent wolf conservation centers is located just an hour plus to our north, up in Westchester County…  Not to mention that its most famous resident will soon be journeying to Green Point to meet us!  Who else but the Obscura Society could/would put this event together!   $28.  Advance purchase mandatory.  For more and tickets…  

Then in April (!): 

Saturday, April 11th –  Sunday, April 19th: Participatory Budgeting VOTE!

Various UES and Roosevelt Island Locations TBA

Is up to us to decide how $1 million in city funds get spent on projects on our home turf, District 5!   Check out the worthy nominees (ballot attached to the cover email) …  Sign the Pledge to Vote…  Check the entries out up-close and personal at one of the project expos…  Then VOTE! 

Saturday, April 18th:  Cares’ Spring Cleanup NYC Day

All Over Our City

Even without this year’s ferocious weather, NYC emerges from any winter season as something of a mess. The remedy?  Turning out for a few hours to tidy up shorelines, tree beds and public spaces of all kinds!  (Perfect prelude to It’s My Park Days!)  For projects and to sign up… 

Sunday, April 19th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade

You know the drill…  Getting the 96th Street Planter – where we put in those hundreds of bulbs last fall – up to spring/summer snuff… Expanding our signature professional-grade railing scraping and painting beyond its present, amazing 2 block extent!…  Trimming, pruning, sweeping, partaking of great, fortifying snacks and more!  Be there, people!

elaeocarpus-angustifolius1

Miscellany…  Alternating the good and the bad this time out:

Applies only to federal land, but there’re now actual rules regulating fracking and the 100,000 wells on our public acreage!

Municipal Art Society’s analysis of  the 421-a tax abatement program‘s non-contribution to NYC’s affordable housing could hardly be more scathing… 

Seems like new-fangled, wonderful  (and traffic-taming) greenness form is springing up round about our city:  The Greenway!  Planning of a beautiful Brooklyn iteration – to be known as The Brooklyn Strand –  is well underway, with more in the planning stage.  (Thanks to reader Karen Lane for the tip!)  Here in Manhattan, a bunch of inspired dreamers have launched a Kickstarter campaign to install a PopUp mini-forest in Times Square

But we do not at all like what the powers-that-be are allowing to happen to yet another historic bit of NYC life, the venerable Essex Street Market!

Elsewhere in the world (Denmark and even D.C.), they’re running some pretty amusing ads for their public transport…  (Note absence of peeling paint, grimy tiles and chewing gum-speckled platforms.)

Beating that same poor horse, seems like NYC will soon be home to the world’s longest, most taxing and inconvenient way of getting to an airport…  But maybe we’re just not seeing the genius of the proposed Air Trans route to LaGuardia

Then there’s our crumbling Port Authority Bus Terminal…   (Think they know the City’s wanting to spend a quarter billion on obsolete technology at 91st Street?) 

Yup, we’ve got 10 National Parks in and around NYC‘s harbor!

So wouldn’t be great if that harbor water were infinitely more sewage free?  (If you agree, here’s how to tell NYState…)

Be prepared for some surprises in Cornucopia’s yogurt healthfulness ratings

Herewith, a Nat Geo review of antibiotic (over)use in factory farming… 

Who knows how recycling announcements like this wind up in UGS’s mailbox, but we like when they do…  We’re talking U.S. Government liquidation of items like tank tracks!

actinidia-deliciosa

actinidia-deliciosa

Time for some animals:

Haven’t we all wondered what goes into removing animals from the endangered list?

Amazing that it took till 2015 for those same folks at Fish & Wildlife to ban the import of “constrictor” snakes… (Except for the boa that’s now totally and likely irreversibly infested the Everglades.)

Cornell’s bird people have really upped their online game with “All About Fancy Males!

Okay, it’s pathetic, but we LOVE the Geico free-range chicken commercial 

chicken

Ever notice the unusual black squirrels who make their homes in the trees in City Hall Park? Trust the Hudson River Almanac to have the lowdown, albeit as an observation on a Hudson Valley black squirrel:

3/8 – East Fishkill, HRM 67: I came upon a black squirrel foraging for and finding peanuts under the snow near Emmadine Pond. – Rich Taylor

[Melanistic or black squirrels are genetic variants of the eastern gray squirrel that have increased melanin, resulting in black fur. Biologists have suggested that black squirrels may have a selective advantage over gray squirrels due to an increased cold tolerance. While not particularly rare overall – they are common in parts of Canada – it is estimated that only about one in 10,000 gray squirrels is melanistic. – Tom Lake.]

There’s green beneath that snow,

UGS

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