Happy Empire State Building’s 84th Birthday and Opening of the New Whitney, UESiders!

Hope you partake at least one of many Whitney celebratory events…  

(We’re especially looking forward to the amazing light show that’ll be playing out on the happy birthday building – the Empire State – commencing at 8pm tonight!)



As for the next 7 days (complete with colossally jam-packed Saturday):

Friday, Saturday & Sunday, May 1st, 2nd & 3rd:  Jane’s Walks 2015

Length & Breadth of our City

Two hundred-plus NYC tours ranging from the historic Bronx Post Office to the city’s most enduring Latin record store to the haunts of Mafiosi of Little Italy. All in honor of the woman for whom the descriptor “urbanist” was coined:  Jane Jacobs!  Free!  For the full schedule…  

Saturday, May 2nd:  The Great Saunter

Register at Fraunces Tavern, 54 Pearl Street, 7am

And we quote, “See New York City as never before in the Shorewalker’s epic urban hike, the 30th Annual Great Saunter covering 32-miles of beautiful waterfront and more than 20 parks along Manhattan’s incredible shorelines!” (We all have do this once in our lives!)  Free.  For more and additional registration site en route

(For recollections of many another city walk, check out this week’s NYTimes Magazine!)

Saturday, May 2nd:  Esplanade Friends’ PAKA Afro-Caribbean Music Event

East River Esplanade at 103rd Street, 11am-2pm  (Rain Date:  Sunday, May 4th) 

No stopping the new life, beauty and fun Friends are bringing to our long-neglected Esplanade!   This time out:  The totally amazing PAKA drummers and dancers!!   (A lot of drummers and dancers!)   Free!

Saturday, May 2nd:  FDNY 150th Anniversary Open House Celebration!

Ladder 13, 157 East 67th Street, 1-3pm & Ladder 16, 159 East 85th Street, 11am-3pm

And do NY’s Bravest ever know how to throw a celebratory party!!  Think firehouse and EMS station tours!  Great, free fire safety and FDNY career info! Best of all, the chance to meet the great people who so often stand between us and harm:  Our own UES firefighters, paramedics and EMTs! (For more firehouses across the city…)  

Saturday,  May 2nd:   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, Alewife and Garden of Spices Farms! Floral Beauty Greenhouses will be on hand, too!

Look for Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess to be present and raring to hone, as well!

NEWS FLASH:  Get to the market early to lay hands on Gayeski’s first-of-the-season asparagus AND  ramps from Samascott!

Got to try Alewife’s pea shoots, too!   And check out Floral Beauty’s multi-colored ranunculus! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  111 lbs. batteries: 24 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs eyeglasses; 7 1/2 compost bins;  15 bags of clothes.

Can’t stop the recycling!

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 crowd of great and determined people!  An honoree that’s pointing the way to the Esplanade of the future:  Rockefeller University!  (We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You’ll be eating our dust one day soon, Riverside Park!)  For your tickets and more

And then:

Friday, May 8th:  “East River Flows” Unfurling & Community Celebration

Applebee’s, 117th Street at the East River Plaza, 6-8pm

Thanks to generous Applebee’s for hosting 2 hours during which great East Harlemites/Yorkvillians/UESiders can eat, drink, pat ourselves on the back and shake the hand of Esplanade Friends’ president and founder, Jennifer Ratner, whose unflagging determination brought “East River Flows” – light painting/photography pioneer Vicki DaSilva ‘s gorgeous, haunting, sprawling banner – into being and displayed on our Esplanade at 103rd Street! Free but you must RSVP at EastRiverEsplanade@gmail.com!  

Sunday, May 10th:  Meet the Fledglings!

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 2-4pm

A chance for one’s child to feed a baby bird?  Build a nest for that same orphaned bird?  Add a host of digestible-by-human-youngsters bird info?   Does kid friendly get any better?!    Member child, $5.  Non-member child, $12.  Free to member adults.  Non-member adults, $19.  For more



Never has there been more miscellany:

As much we’ve all enjoyed the moral superiority of our NYS’s fracking ban, surely we won’t  let California (where they’re still debating whether or not to frack) get the jump on us with more and better emission control?!

Not so proud of the recently released American Meal Gap Map

(Or the starving of our NYC libraries…)

Sure seems odd that Starbucks continues bottling California’s scant water resources

Water that’s already in such short enough supply throughout the West that power produced by the likes of Hoover Dam’s been significantly reduced

Short enough supply that it may bring an end to avocado cultivation!

Meanwhile, Chipotle’s the latest chain to announce it’ll be getting rid of all GMO-containing ingredients!

Earth to NYC Sanitation:  Chicago garbage trucks pick up inside high rises leaving streets free of mounds of black garbage bags 7 days a week!

This while Hong Kong – rather like the Roosevelt Island system – vacuum-tubes its waste to a central pick-up point.



Closer to home:

Building up our 

Haven’t noticed an increase on UES turf, but they’re experiencing a bit of Styrofoam snow storm to our west and south...

Let us hope a new Bronx program actually results – as the things rarely do – in retention of affordable housing units…

Won’t let it escape our notice next time (and there’s bound to be one) the French Institute does a philosophy marathon!

Meanwhile, you do know New Yorkers are setting up on line radio stations?

Return of the Lichens!!  Means NYC trees are getting healthier!!  (Check ’em out on the north sides of some of the young bike island trees on First Ave!)

Still on the fauna beat:  We now have our own version of the horribly invasive kudzu vine in the form of the porcelain berry plant

On the other hand, there’re these 9 unusual but great vegs to grow

Best way to assuage sadness at the many meaningful NYC buildings we lost?  The Museum of the City of New York’s new “Saving Place” show...

And reflect on this small wonder or wonders!  Rather than a rendezvous with a wrecking ball, a vintage – but unlandmarked – building is being somewhat restored!

Remember that long ago time when we were all addictive viewers of “Project Runway” and maybe even paid a visit to the featured Mood Fabrics?  At least on the fabric score, a bit of our interest is revived now that Mood’s offering a sewing course!  $299 or free with purchase of an equal amount of sewing supplies.

NYC Pop Quiz:  How much do you know about (interesting) Inwood?  

Inwood point-of-interest not included in the quiz:  The Ring Butterfly Garden with its milkweed pod sculpture!  (Thanks to reader Katherine Winkleman for the tip and pix!)


Milkweed Pod Sculpture

Milkweed Pod Sculpture


(Fingers crossed that all the the milkweed pods we’ve sown in First Ave bicycle islands lure some Monarchs down this way!)

Moving off the reservation:

Check out the new White House china

Tulipa Van Doc

Tulipa Van Doc


Bring on the quote marks!!  Trapping – and get a load of the kind of traps – is allowed in our National Wildlife “Refuges”!!  (If you think it should be banned completely…)

ICK!  California bobcat pelts are being traded to Russia?! Okay, the state just ended the practice on the outskirts of National Parks and Refuges, but it’s still happening elsewhere…  Enough with trapping in 2015!! 

Double ick…  There now a designated  “Flameproof/Most Polluted Bird”

Is this one big manta ray or what?

New York Rat Paths…!  

OMG…  Newborn baby lemurs!

Always good to sign off with a snippet from the Hudson River Almanac:

4/22 – Manhattan: They came as an Earth Day gift: a flock of 40 brant geese flew in and landed in the water close to the east side of the Hudson River at Spuyten Duyvil, just north of the Amtrak swing bridge where the Harlem River meets the Hudson. They feasted on the bright green algae growing on rocks along the shore before flying north up the river in separate groups. It was such a treat to see them. –  Jennifer Scarlott

brandt geese

In memory of the great Ben E. King, we’ll stand (green) by him,


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