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



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! 


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



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,



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