Monthly Archives: April 2015

Happy National Pretzel Day, UESiders!

While we await news of what won last week’s Participatory Budgeting vote…

cirsium-discolor

cirsium-discolor

Let’s get down on the 7 days ahead:

Saturday,  April 25th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Garden of Spices Farms!  And lucky we are to have Floral Beauty Greenhouses with us, too!

AND there’ll be yet another great, new farm joining our great veterans:  organic, no-till Alewife Farm of Duchess County, New York!  (Check out their vegs on Instagram!)

AND…  Yes and can’t say it enough…  Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be returning to her table!!

AND…  Compost/Clothes Collection/Recycling will be at a new market location… Out on 82nd, in front of the St. Stephen!  (So much easier for Sanitation and Wearable Collections to load their trucks with all the stuff we’ve brought!) 

Going to be the best Greenmarket spring/summer yet!

Last week’s recycling totals:  80 lbs. batteries: 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 7 3/4 compost bins;  25 bags of clothes.

Crazy green, people!!   

Saturdays, April 25th to October 2015:  Queens Night Markets  

Parking Lot, New York Hall of Science, Flushing Meadow, Corona, Queens, 6-12pm

Think an ever-growing number of food vendors (25 at least) offering treats from Nagoya chicken wings, grilled squid skewers, takoyaki balls, tapioca bubble coffee, arepas, Burmese iced desserts, palata, choclo, Ecuadorian juices, and mini cakes…  Just for openers and screened for cultural authenticity! Free entry.  For more and directions...

Sunday, April 26th: Founders Day Mass & Italian Heritage Celebration

Our Lady of Peace Church, 237 East 62nd, 11:30am

From out of the past and in an effort to preserve the lovely interior of the church (its exterior is landmarked) which forms the west end of the UES Tredwell Historic District…  Worshippers carrying the church’s statue of the Virgin Mary will process west on 62nd to Second Avenue, down Second to 61st, west on 61st to Third Avenue, then up Third Avenue to 62nd Street and back to the church. Used to be a fairly regular southern East Sixties neighborhood happening up to the late 1950’s!  Got to be amazing…  

Monday, May 4th:  Esplanade Friends Second Annual Spring Benefit!

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 6-8pm

Great food!  Great raffle prizes!!  A fantastic honoree:  Friends’ great, generous and UES-committed Rockefeller University!  We’re on our way to reinventing the Esplanade we deserve!  (You’ll be eating our dust one day soon, Riverside Park!)  For your tickets and more

Sunday, May 10th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade, 11am – 4pm

Bit by bit, we’re turning that 96th Street Planter and environs into one citizen-created masterpiece!  So get ready to weed, clean, plant, scrape, paint and snack on great eats!  Be there, people, for an hour or two or more!  It’s so lovely along our beautiful East River…

Sunday, May 17th:  19th Precinct Shredding & E-Waste Collection Event

151 East 86th Street (in front of the NYSports Club, 10am-1pm

Bring on the paper!  All that unwanted tech, too, with all working devices receiving free data destruction!  There’ll also be free electronics registration with the NYPD’s Operation ID!   Did we say everything’s free?!  (But businesses are limited to 2 banker’s boxes of paper.)  

fissidens-obtusifolius

fissidens-obtusifolius

O’ Miscellany:

First and foremost, one PRIME JOB OPPORTUNITY…  A job which our great Market Manager Margaret describes:  “Love local food and want to spend the next 7 months at NYC’s Greenmarkets? Apply to be a market manager!!  (And spread the word!)   Market locations include Washington Heights, Inwood, the Bronx and the Upper West Side!

On to some disgruntlement:

And the winner of the incomprehensibly worst Earth Day ad ever is…  Glock! 

glock

(We kid you not.)

Of course, we’re used to associating the cruise ship industry with mass assorted food-borne illnesses and mechanical failures (and the occasional encounter with reefs and shoals) but, until now, not so much with pollution of several kinds…  For a look at what and how much’s being spewed and who’re the bad actors

For those of us who’ve traveled I-40 from Texas to L.A., no mystery why methane levels at the Four Corners is off the charts…  One of the biggest coal-burning power plants ever built blights the point – and country for miles around it – where AZ/CO/UT/NM meet.   

Grrrr…  Bad news:  While many states have banned personal products containing wretched microbeads – unfilterable by water treatment plants – NYS isn’t one of them (although a bill was proposed).  Good news:  Attorney General Schneiderman just reintroduced that bill! 

Then there’s what’s going on with Iowa’s water quality

And how are some power companies reacting to the encroachment of solar…?

On the totally good foot now:

Our own NYS could be on the verge of a transformation of our power grid and sources that’d point the way for the other 49 states

Nice Gina Bellafante piece on Particpatory Budgeting as it’s evolving across our city…

Meanwhile, NYC Council just approved a pair of enviro-centric bills:  (1) Expansion of BRT and (2) First update to our air quality code standards in 40 years!  (Be nice if they connected the dots of residential neighborhood – hundreds of garbage trucks – public housing – kids on playing fields – abysmal UES air!)

Happy to say WNET’s backed off and will – wisely – be leaving “Independent Lens” and   “POV” in place on Channel 13’s schedule! 

Holy crow, what’s with McDonald’s?!  They’ve just pledged – and they’re the first fast food chain to do so – to eliminate deforestation from their global supply chain.  Add that to their recent commitment to ensure that the palm oil, beef, fbier-based packaging, coffee and poultry in their products don’t contribute to tropical deforestation and peatland destruction!!  (Could McTofu be far behind?!)  

This just in from Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health and entitled, “Civic Engagement May Stave Off Brain Atrophy, Improve Memory.  Instead of shrinking as expected, as part of the normal aging process, the memory center in the brains of seniors maintained their size and, in men, grew modestly after two years in a program that engaged them in meaningful and social activities.”  (Thanks to reader Carol Rinzler for the tip!)  (The Esplanade Friends’ benefit and It’s My Park Day are calling you…) 

On our must read list: The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson!

Chocolate milk a healthy drink?  YES!!

acer-caudatifolium

acer-caudatifolium

Bring on the critters:

Hey, Colorado Parks and Wildlife!!  No killing prarie dogs!!  (If you agree…)

prairie dogs

 

Some 3 weeks ago we encountered Teva, an especially adorable senior citizen dachshund, delicately making her way along 12th Street.   Owner Sandi generously forwarded some great Teva pix she had on file.

Teva

 

This last from the Hudson River Alamanac:

4/16 – Manhattan, HRM 13.5: On the path up through the Clove at Inwood Hill Park, the snowdrops had finished, but Dutchman’s breeches were beginning to bloom – i’ts said that this is the only place on Manhattan Island where they grow. Spicebush was beginning to bloom, too – it has blossoms before leaves – making the path fragrant. Young leaves of garlic mustard were abundant and also some of lesser celandine. The seed I spread brought only three mourning doves and a white-throated sparrow, but I heard a blue jay scolding, a woodpecker drumming, and watched a downy working its way up an oak. Up on the ridge, forsythia was fully blown, periwinkle was blooming in sunny spots and the woods, mostly bare, were sprinkled throughout with the little yellow spicebush blossoms. – Thomas Shoesmith

Greenness rules, 

UGS

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Happy Volunteer Week, UESiders, 

Plenty of opportunities, as you keep reading here and with this objective:

“We want to see landscaped streets at every turn, flower boxes on windowsills and masses of flowers where masses pass. We want to see more historic buildings, churches and monuments aglow with light. We want to hear more fountains splashing with water. We want more parks and plazas open to the sky with benches where we can enjoy the vistas.”

— Lady Bird Johnson, May, 1965 at the NYC Salute to Spring Ceremony

dianthus-moondust

dianthus-moondust

Hold that thought as we proceed towards Earth Day 2015:

Now to Sunday, April 19th:  Participatory Budgeting VOTE!

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

Won’t stop banging this drum:  You’ve still got 2 more days to weigh in on the worthy projects on which we – the citizens of District 5 – should spend $1 million city bucks (AKA our tax dollars)!  Check out the nominees… THEN VOTE!   (Here’s where!)

Every Weekday through October 30th:  Bryant Park Juggling 

Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street, 12-1pm

Haven’t we all wanted to learn how to juggle 3-4-5 brightly colored rubber balls…?  Bowling pins…? Fiery torches…?   The moment has come!  100% free!  Equipment supplied and we’re talking colored balls.

Saturday,  April 18th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Another of our summer friends returns to the fold!  Valley Shepherd with their amazing cheese (re)joins Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and (back with us last week) Garden of Spices Farms!

Plus!  Floral Beauty Greenhouses – with an array of plants and flowers for indoors and out – will be with us for the next few weeks!

PLUS!!  82nd Street’s live music season commences with blue grass band Live Culture!

To quote Market Manager Margaret, “Spring has sprung!!”

(Yet again, if you’d like to express your support for Ole Mother Hubbert’s – with their fantastic chicken, eggs, milk and cheese – inclusion year round, tell GrowNYC:  info@grownyc.org!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  48 lbs. batteries: TBA lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; TBA eye glasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  35 bags of clothes.

Whoa!  8 1/2 compost bins!!   

Sunday, April 19th:  The Science Channel Celebrates Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th Anniversary

Time Warner Channel 136

“Mission Critical: Hubble” airing at 8pm… “How the Universe Works: Big Bang” at 9pm and “How the Universe Works: Alien Galaxies” at 10pm.

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day NYC

All Over NYC, All Day

For the ever-expanding list of green awareness-building and fun activities celebrating our beloved, beautiful Mother Earth! 

earth

Friday, April 24th to Sunday, April 26th:  New York City Green Festival

Javitts Center, 655 West 34th Street

And we quote, “The Green Festival is America’s largest and longest-running sustainability and green living event, bringing together the world’s most trusted companies, innovative brands, national and local businesses, pioneering thinkers, and conscious consumers in one place to promote the best in sustainability and green living.”  We’ll be there!  Tickets from $12 to $32.  For full details

Coming up:

Saturday, April 25th:  Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Past, Present & Future Tour 

Meet at the Navy Yard Building 92, 11am-1pm

From its establishment as a U.S. Navy shipyard in 1806 to home of tech start-ups and sound stages in 2015, there’s a lot to know and be seen!  Organized by the wild and crazy folks of the Obscura Society. $30.  For details, directions, tickets and more… 

Thursdays, April 30th to May 21st & Saturday, May 16th:  Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

Trees New York’s signature program educates New Yorkers in all things tree – identification, care, biology and pruning.  Four evenings, a half day (total 12 hours) and a test and you join the 11,000-plus Gothamites certified to minister to street trees throughout our city!  $100. For more and to sign up  

Monday, May 4th:  Esplanade Friends Second Annual Spring Benefit!

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 6-8pm

Even more convivial, community-building and fun than last spring’s gathering… Especially so as the event’s in honor of new Friends’ partner, the great, generous and UES-committed Rockefeller University!  This is how we reinvent the Esplanade we deserve, folks!  For your tickets and more

opuntia-fragilis

opuntia-fragilis

This week’s dollops of miscellany:

Sometimes it seems…  Make that pretty much all of the time New Yorkers are beating back one craziness after another.  Most recent addition to the UES List of Bad Ideas: Proposed expansion of the Frick.  

Just located this lurking at the back of our files: A lucrative niche business connecting companies with cost-effective hauling and recycling.  

Aper Consumer Reports, grocery store chains rating lowest in overall satisfaction were, in descending order, Walmart Supercenters, Waldbaums and A&Ps.

Of course, we love folks who lean towards (healthy) extremes in pursuit of greenness…  Like   chef/florist/green renegade, Joost Bakker!

(One last food note:  Should you think the FDA could do better by it’s food additive approval process…)

Love as much if not more the Citizen Scientist movement!  (Absolutely possible in NYC and only enhanced now the world’s gone digital!) 

Who knew we – as in the U.S. of A. – put the world’s first solar-powered satellite into orbit in 1958! Or that, 57 years later, the Vanguard I  is still providing data?!  (We had solar power in 1958?!!) 

Back here on earth:

What are the 3 most searched NYC tourist destinations?  1.  High Line, 2. Lower East Side and     3. Columbus Circle.

Oh yeah, of course!  We’ve got actual castles in NYState!

And there are NYC apartments with showers in their kitchens! 

Huge kudos to Upper West Side gardener Costello Caldwell and his inspired moves to save an injured tree

Fountain pen aficianados, ahoy!  There’s a NYC urgent care facility for that pen when it’s ailing!

Lampranthus spectabilis

Lampranthus spectabilis

Time for some animals:

Honest, they are really cute…  Baby (and orphaned) bats!   (Residents of the Australian Bat Clinic!)

How about this as an indication of over-fishing:   NYS DEC’s new Coastal Striped Bass Limit for all recreational anglers in coastal waters (off Long Island, Westchester County and NYCity south of the George Washington Bridge) during the April 15th – December 15th season is…  1 fish, 28 inches or larger!

And the bird of the week is:

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Definitely touching, this return of wood bison (the variety that once roamed our East Coast) to the wild, led by a snowmobile… 

Even more affecting:  A kidnapped baby elephant’s reunion with its mother

Putting us all in the perfect mood to avail ourselves of a new app that’ll match us up with the perfect pet!

Of course, we close with this from the Hudson River Almanac and a bunch of local citizen scientists:

4/7 – New York City: We were an intrepid group of seiners checking out spots for the Great Fishing Event to be run as part of the World Science Festival on May 30. We started at Soundview Park in the Bronx, where a serene pocket of park borders the mouth of the Bronx River and the East River. The tides were extremely low and our net was not productive. Moving on to Randall’s Island, we seined in both the reconstructed saltwater marsh and the Bronx Kill, pulling in a few mummichogs. Then we headed to Brooklyn’s Valentino Pier to test our luck and netted three Atlantic silversides and several dozen sand shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa) that displayed their small claws as we shared them with visitors. A nice end to a beautiful day. 

Crangon septemspinosa (AKA a sand shrimp)

Crangon septemspinosa (AKA sand shrimp)

Ever greener,

UGS

  

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On the 150th Anniversary of the Surrender at Appomattox, 

More like an eternity ago than a century and a half, yes?

For a first-rate, mini recap of events pre/on/after the day and vintage images of Grant’s Tomb and its surrounds as they once were, as usual Inside the Apple totally delivers…  (As do their tours.)

Meanwhile…

Happy 50th Anniversary, NYC Landmarks Law!!

Happy 25th Birthday, Earth Day!!

Happy 25th Anniversary, Hubble Telescope!!

And, UES ladies, happy Spa Week!  (To check out NYC participants…)

On to the week ahead:

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

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

It’s up to us – everyone age 16 and older – 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) … Check out the worthy candidates… Then VOTE!   (Here’s where!)

Saturday,  April 11th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With (reputedly) warmer weather comes a bit of a spring change-up in our great group of farmers/fisherman’s/bakers: Add to Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski and, Rising Sun Farms…  The returning Garden of Spices Farms!

(Yet again, if you’d like to express your support for Ole Mother Hubbert’s – with their fantastic chicken, eggs, milk and cheese – inclusion year round, tell GrowNYC:  info@grownyc.org!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  67 lbs batteries: 18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pair of eye glasses; 7 compost bins;  31 bags of clothes.

7 compost bins!!

Sunday, April 12th:_Latin Beat on the Esplanade!

East River Esplanade just south of the 103rd Street Footbridge, 11am-2pm 

The weather’s changed and Esplanade Friends are back in high gear and showing us all how wonderful our river space can be!  This time out: Live music and treats!!  As in the Latin conga, flute and guitar of the great Guataca Na’ Ma’ AND free ice cream sandwiches from meltbakery for the first 100 Sunday strollers/skaters/cyclists to stop by!  For more and directions  (See you there!)

Tuesday, April 14th, Wednesday, April 22nd & Friday, May 1st:  NYSERDA Co-Generation Tours

Various Locations

Get yourself and your building up to speed on the cutting edge approach to heating/cooling via co-generation – AKA CHP (combined heat and power)… Including actually seeing the heart of a functioning system in a NYC structure! (We’ll be doing the Palace Hotel session!)  Free.  For more and to reserve a place… 

Coming up fast:

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day NYC

All Over NYC, All Day

For an ever-expanding list of awareness-building and fun activities celebrating our Mother Earth…! 

Wednesday, April 22nd:  Earth Day at the New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, All Day

Really and we -adding deserved superlatives – quote, “What better place to celebrate Earth Day and its gifts than at NYBG?  Bring the family to learn how to make and maintain a worm compost bin, look for wildlife such as birds, frogs, and turtles—or simply enjoy the landscape of this urban oasis.  Come evening, take in the NYC premiere of award-winning doc on 20th Century landscape genius, Jens Jenson.   Tickets available at various levels and in various combinations.  For more… 

Thursday, April 23rd:  Spending Through the Roof – Fixing the Problem Panel

SEIU Auditorim, 25 West 18th Street, 6-8pm

And how are we collectively wasting $11M a year in heat loss?  Leaky elevator shafts in high rises! Ridiculous and eminently solvable…  As are many an other sealing problems and with innovative methods.  Learn all about ’em!  Free to Urban Green members.  Non-members, $15.  To register

Saturday, April 25th:  Master Class – Getting the Shot

Municipal Art Society Office, 488 Madison Avenue, Suite 1900, 11am

Immortalize your townhouse, apartment building, street, neighborhood…  Well, you get the idea…  All under the instruction of master architectural photographer Timothy Schenck!  From the mechanical to visual techniques.  MAS members, $30.  Non-members, $45.  To reserve a place

Sunday, April 26th: Founders Day Mass & Italian Heritage Celebration

Our Lady of Peace Church, 237 East 62nd, 11:30am

From out of the past and in an effort to preserve the lovely interior of the church (its exterior is landmarked) forming the west end of the Tredwell Historic District…  Worshippers carrying the church’s statue of the Virgin Mary will process west on 62nd to Second Avenue, down Second to 61st, west on 61st to Third Avenue, then up Third Avenue to 62nd Street and back to the church. Used to be a fairly regular neighborhood happening as recently as the late 1950’s,  still somewhat customary in parts of Europe…   We’ll be there to take the pagentry in!  

Thursdays, April 30th to May 21st & Saturday, May 16th:  Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course

The Arsenal, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street

Trees New York’s signature program trains us New Yorkers in all things tree – identification, care, biology and pruning.  Four evenings, a half day (total 12 hours) and test later and you join the 11,000-plus  Gothamites certified to minister to street trees throughout our city!  A bargain $100. (We count this as one of the best and most fun things ever!)  For more and to sign up  

Sooner than we think:

Monday, May 4th:  Esplanade Friends Second Annual Spring Benefit!

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd, 6-8pm

Even more convivial, community-building and fun than last spring’s gathering… Especially so as the event’s in honor of new Friends’ partner, the great, generous and UES-committed Rockefeller University!  This is how we reinvent the Esplanade we deserve, folks!  For your tickets and more

Sunday, May 10th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade, 11am – 4pm

Bit by bit, we’re turning that 96th Street Planter and environs into one citizen-created masterpiece!  So get ready to weed, clean, plant, scrape, paint and snack on great eats!  Be there, people, for an hour or two or more!  You’re needed!!

Sunday, May 17th:  19th Precinct Shredding & E-Waste Collection Event

151 East 86th Street (in front of the NYSports Club, 10am-1pm

Bring on the paper!  All that unwanted tech, too, with all working devices receiving free data destruction!  There’ll also be free electronics registration with the NYPD’s Operation ID!   Did we say everything’s free?!  (But businesses are limited to 2 banker’s boxes of paper.)  

Miscellany:

Ripped from the pages of Consumer Reports:  America’s Best, Freshest Supermarkets…  (For all we’re happy to have them in the hood, Whole Foods rates #8 in freshness…)  

Steady on the muck-racking bent:  Check out The NYTimes on “Private Eyes in the Grocery Aisles

And the scope of the California drought

What the heck?  Nestle’s still being allowed to bottle California’s scant water?!  (Should you object on behalf of our CA friends…)

Of course, negotiations on the reconstruction/glorification of Hudson River Park’s Pier 54 transpired in the stratosphere…  But there’re lessons in this NYTimes’ piece as we move to convert our Esplanade into the great public asset the UES wants and needs!  

Like the sound of this:  In NYC schools that’ve adopted free lunches for all, the number of kids eating lunch increased every month, hitting 9.7% more from September to December 2014!

Very much like this as well (clean water funds for communities across NYS)!!

Then there’re these tips to “heal” our home environments… 

Add in this wonderful new book from The Times Sam Robert’s, “A History of New York in 101 Objects”! 

Aspiring filmmakers with a social conscience…  Here a competition for you: Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Short Film Contest!

Talk about a good idea…  Online farming courses!

Where were these when we were cooking last week’s holiday meal..  Ten Cooking Hacks?!  

And where’s the NYState Hike of the Month?  In none other than NYC’s own Pelham Bay Park! (Which is also NYC’s largest!) (Scroll down for The Hike!) 

(Wherever you might hike – and even get lost – know that our Forest Rangers are there are to assist!)  (Love DEC’s bare-bones rescue accounts!)

As for this week in Fauna World:

Yes, we and our pets need to know how to be safe around those new visitors to/inhabitants of our island, COYOTES

After this long, harsh winter, it’s expected fish die-off (from oxygen-depleted water) will be affecting ponds all but certainly in western NYS, but possibly elsewhere, too.  For details

Always have loved the word “wombat”, not to mention the endangered critter who bears that name!  (Should you wish to lend some particularly embattled wombats a hand…) 

wombat

 

Why wouldn’t the evolution of that adorable fuzziness – the bunny – be totally fascinating/surprising?  (Good bunny pix, too!)

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

 

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It’s the 8th Annual World Autism Awareness Day, UESiders!

Which is why you’ll be seeing so many of our signature spires on our skyline lit up bright blue!

We’ve never suggested you wonderful readers pony up for any particular cause or group, but for those who’d like to lend a hand with conquering this mysterious and proliferating state-of-being in some way…

(Think about it, Mr. Mayor…  As particulate matter like that generated by garbage trucks is ever more frequently associated with autism and ADHD.)

primula-denticulata

primula-denticulata

So, here we are Week #1 April:

Friday, April 3rd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

Friday, April 3rd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time out:  How the mix of deepsky objects line up in the sky according to their location relative to the Milky Way. (Example: Spring isn’t so favorable for open clusters but is wonderful for hunting galaxies!) Free.

Tuesday, April 7th to Saturday, April 11th: Spring Break Crafts and Games at the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

421 East 61st Street, 11am-4pm

Engaging and fun 19th Century games and crafts for both kids and adults and in the warmly historic atmosphere of the UES’s best-kept-secret museum!  Free for members and kids under 12.  Adults, $8.  Seniors and students, $7.  For further details

Saturday,  April 4th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am – 1pm 

Better rain than snow and better a bit of rain on Saturday and sunny Easter Sunday!

With us and with tables loaded with Easter goodness will be our friends of Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, American Seafood, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun and Ole Mother Hubbert!

(We’re officially addicted to Ole Mother Hubbert’s chocolate milk!)

Last week’s recycling totals: 71 lbs batteries: 13 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses; 8 3/4 compost bins;  18 bags of clothes.

8 3/4 compost bins!!

Friday, April 10th:  “The Chlorine Revolution” Lecture

Hunter College, Lexington Avenue & 68th Street Entrance, Room HW714, 7pm

Author Dr. Michael McGuire recounts why and how chlorine became essential to disease-free public water.  Another great water-related event from NYCH2O. Free but reservations a must.  To RSVP

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

Many Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island Locations

It’s up to us – everyone age 16 and older – 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) … Check out the entries… Then VOTE!   (Here’s where!)

Then:

Saturday, April 11th:  Hell’s Kitchen Kitchen Project Spring Kick-Off!

Metro Baptist Church Roof, 410 West 40th Street, 10am-1pm

Five years ago, we lent a hand with in the fabulous community effort – pretty much a bucket brigade – that moved 7 tons of rich soil up to the church roof and into an array of kids’ wading pools in just three hours! Since, volunteers have raised hundreds and hundreds of pounds of vegs in those little pools and distributed them to the needy!   It’s the loveliest experience to be a part of the annual planting!  All ages welcome!  For more and to check out those pools…   

Sunday, April 12th:  Latin Beat on the Esplanade!

East River Esplanade just south of the 103rd Street Footbridge, 11am-2pm 

The weather’s changed and Esplanade Friends are back in high gear and showing us all that our wonderful river space can be!  This time out: Live music and treats!!  As in the Latin conga, flute and guitar of the great Guataca Na’ Ma’ AND free ice cream sandwiches from meltbakery for the first 100 Sunday strollers/skaters/cyclists to stop by!  For more and directions…  (See you there!)

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… 

Saturday, April 18th:  Starting Seeds in a Greenhouse or Indoors

Maggie’s Magic Garden, 1574 Lexington Avenue between 100th & 101st, 11am – 1pm

Get gardening early and with all the right techniques for making sure your seedlings thrive in the great NYC out-of-doors!  Free…  With registered Green Thumb Gardens and Grow to Learn schools receiving free seed starting kits!  For more and to RSVP

Sunday, April 19th:  Earth Day NYC 2015!

Union Square, 12-7pm 

A host of events to both educate and entertain!  Can’t wait! 

earth

Thursday, April 23rd:  Graphic Storytelling From Cuneiform Tablets to New York’s New Pedestrian Maps Lecture

Metropolitan Museum, Fifth Avenue at 82nd, 6pm

Curator Kim Benzel, graphic artist Michael Bierut and public radio’s Julie Burstein make the timeless connections between words, pictures, design and communication… Think cuneiform to, yes, our new NYC pedestrian maps!   $30.  For further details and tickets… 

Sunday, May 10th:  It’s My Park Day – Spring Edition – Part 1

On the Esplanade, 11am – 4pm

Bit by bit, we’re turning that 96th Street Planter and environs into one citizen-created masterpiece!  So get ready to weed, clean, plant, scrape, paint and snack on great eats!  Be there, people, for an hour or two or more!

Just below the horizon:

Sundays, July 19th & August 2nd:  DEC Women’s Fishing Trip

Oswego Marina (on Lake Ontario), Oswego, New York, 5am and 1:30pm outings

And we quote, “Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead with Captain Dave Wilson aboard his 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing!”  (They’ve thought of everything!)  $125-$150, depending on number of participants. For more and to sign up…  

datura-wrightii

datura-wrightii

As ever, all-over-the-reservation miscellany:

Without further ado, after many an abysmal edition, NYMagazine comes up with a total winner in the (first ever) Annual Yesteryear Issue: After Midnight detailing late night NYC from the distant past to the almost present.  Pix… Captions… Squibs…  All great!

Always new and improved ways to deal with America’s shameful waste of food…  Uneaten or spoiled or how it’s handled as “garbage”…  But dumpster dive cuisine by an uber chef?!  YES!! (And thanks to reader Gerry Levine for the tip!)

Then there’s unreal food…  As in the lowdown on sugar substitutes

Should you have an adverse reaction to the unwanted piles of Yellow Pages that turn up on our doorsteps this time of year, here’s a petition for you!

And the 5 best and worst American cities for spring pollen are

New York State’s running a host of free webinars on many an aspect of building efficiency/sustainability… 

Also from NYS, it’s draft plan to protect and nourish the several Hudson River estuaries up and downstate…

Yup, you’re right, there’s a TON of construction underway on the UES.  Witness this map… 

So Brooklyn seems to be action central of the NYC passive house construction/retrofitting movement...  (Let’s get on our game Manhattan/UES!  Passive design is good-looking, too!) 

Meanwhile, Queens Council Member Donovan Richards is proposing a new post at the Department of Buildings:  A Solar Ombudsperson who’d collect and disperse info on the productivity/durability/maintenance of building solar arrays which’re soon to proliferate (we earnestly hope)…

As for critters:

Indeed, we all should have should have the 4 most essential emergency supplies on hand to tend to injured pets...

Ever more nesting bird cams back on line…  As in Maine ospreys!  Great horned owls!  And those ever popular long-eared owls

bunnies

May your Passover and Easter be warm, filled with family and green,

UGS

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