Happy Yonkers is the Healthiest U.S. City, UESiders!

Yonkers??!!  Really…

If it’s any consolation,itt only makes that or any grade on only one list and that online Livability Magazine


It is the first time a NYS city has been so designated by anyone…


NYC shouldn’t be taking this lying down, right??!

(Could local leadership’s inclination to build garbage dumps next to public housing, athletic facilities and toddler parks detract from a healthy image?)  



With that in mind, on to the week ahead:

Wednesday, May 27th – Sunday, May 31st:  World Science Festival

All Around Town

What Is Sleep(!)?  The NASA Orbit Pavilion!  Reality Since Einstein?  A Better Brain?  Navigation on the Open Sea with a NASA Astronaut (and on the schooner)!  Botany at the Bar!  Five jammed-packed days of fascinating stuff!!  Every year more and better!  For the lowdown and tickets  (Look for our friend Starman John Pazmino in Washington Square Park on Sunday!)

Friday, May 29th:  Manhattanhenge!!

As far east as you can get without losing view of New Jersey…  Good spots are major cross streets 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th Streets, 8:15pm

The setting sunlight aligns with our NYC grid!!  An absolute marvel!! 

Saturday,  May 30th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife and Garden of Spices Farms…

PLUS:  Cherry Lane Farm returns!!  And they’ll have strawberries!!  (Fingers crossed they bring that new baby, too!)

Those of us who formed an immediate addiction to Margaret’s brilliant salad dressing of 2 weeks ago:  Alewife’s lovage is the essential ingredient!  Yum!  (Ask Margaret for the recipe!)

Apologies for our mistaken advice re the Master Knife Sharpener still being out west last Saturday… She was back and at the market…  HOWEVER…  This week – for sure – she won’t be at her table but reading paws at Pet Expo!! 

Last week’s recycling totals:  75 lbs. batteries: 15 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 9 very full compost bins;  35 bags of clothes.  

Most awesome!!

Saturday, May 30th:  Community Fun Fair!

67th Street Library between First & Second and St. Catherine’s Park, First between 67th & 68th, 12-2pm

Storytime…  Crafts…  Computer classes…  Balloon animals…  It’s all happening, free, couldn’t be more family-friendly and you’re invited!

Saturday, May 30th:  Jamaica Bay Ecology Cruise

Meet at Pier 2, Sheepshead Bay, 3-6pm

Learn the history, management, ecology, and wildlife of the bay aboard the  100′ boat “Golden Sunshine”…  Take in nesting  egrets, herons, ibis and many another inhabitant of the Bay’s backwater marshes, guided by noted local naturalists Don Riepe and Mickey Maxwell Cohen…  All while consuming good wine, fruit and cheese.  Organized by NYC  Audubon, Gateway NRA and NYC Sierra Club.  Adults,  $55.  Kids under 16, $20.  For more, directions and tickets

Sunday, May 31st:  Spring Migration on Randall’s Island

Meet on the NW corner of 102nd Street and the East River Esplanade, 9am-2pm

Who knew Randall’s Island is home to restored freshwater wetlands and a salt marsh..  Not to mention it’s a premier stopping-off point for migrating water and land birds!   Outing organized by NYC Audubon.  $40.

And then:

Friday, June 12th:  Clearsky Starviewing in Central Park

Great Lawn, 8pm

Brought to us by TotL (Top of the Lawn), an amateur astronomy group with a yen to introduce the rest of us to what happening in skies above us.  They’ve got the telescopes and knowledge, we’ve just got to get ourselves there!  (And it’s amazing what’s visible even with the naked eye!)  Free. For more… 

Thursday, June 18th:  New York Philarmonic in Central Park

Great Lawn, enter at Fifth Avenue at 84th Street,  

Inaugurating the 50th season of fabulous music, Charles Dutoit and the Orchestra will play Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture; Saint-Saëns’s Violin Concerto No. 3, with Renaud Capuçon as soloist; Stravinsky’s Petrushka (1911 version); and Ravel’s La Valse!   Then comes the fireworks!! Free!  For more, including the Philarmonic’s full summer schedule

Sunday, June 14th – Sunday, June 21st:  National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place

For the first time ever, the major Jewish arts organizations of the world will be uniting for 8 days and nights jam-packed with great plays, concerts, films, and lectures in NYC! Can’t be anything but great!  For complete details and tickets

Thursday, June 19th:  Real Time Sub-Metering – What, Why & How 

The Mohawk Group, 71 West 23rd Street, 18th Floor, 6pm

Master the in-and-outs of determining not just the energy the whole of your building’s system’s consuming, but the efficiency of the individual parts of that system, local law efficiency requirements and the paths to improvement. Organized by the Urban Green Council.  Student & EP Members, $5.  Core Members, $10.  Non-members, $15. 

preissia-quadrata (liverwort)

preissia-quadrata (liverwort)

(And a preissia-quadrata liverwort is…)

The week in miscellany…  Heavy-going up first:

Okay, so NYState has an exemption that allows the landfilling of fracking waste…  AND we’ve accepted a half million tons and thousands of barrels of that poisonous sludge the last 5 years!! (Should you object…)

Surprise-surprise!  Seems like we’re not getting the subway system we are and have been paying for

(Check out pix of the Moscow Metro – turning 80 this year…)

Meanwhile, of course, there’re individuals among us who’re doing their best to weaken clean power efforts…  (Should you prefer your power ungrungy…)

Sun breaking through:

As we approach the UES Tree Count 2015, check out the results of the 2005 effort…  Then and now comparisons have got to be fascinating!

Another take on our all-five-boroughs grid…  NYC as it was in photos… (Thanks to a reader for tipping us to these last two!)

Next time a Citizen Science opportunity appears in these pages know – in these times of under-funded research of every kind – just how important contributions we Ordinary Joes make can be

Deep dip of the hat to Cornell for its assistance in assembling the Hudson Valley Natural Resource Map…  (Our river has a lot of them!)

And to Oakland, CA for its efforts replanting its long lost – uh-hum – its oak trees!

AND to the Center for Biological Diversity’s inspired Endangered Species Mural Project!

Congrats to Dolly Parton who’s just had a newly discovered lichen species – most prevalent in Tennessee and South Carolina – named in her honor:  Japewiella dollypartoniana!

One last tribute (in the crazy column):  The Mad Max 2 Museum!

Amazing how much there is to know about olive oil…  With – natch – The Times providing basics… (Great pix, too!)

The Maiden Lane Clock…  The William Barnacle Tavern…    135th Street Walk of Fame…  Just 3 of MUG’s list of colorful/meaningful NYC sights to take in now that we’ve exited the 40-degree weather zone… 

More wonderful, enduring, endangered, local NYC colorfulness from The Times

Just a partial list (i.e. Bryant Park hasn’t announced its line-up yet), but here’re some of the many venues for out-of-doors film watching this summer!  (Scroll down for Schurz Park’s schedule…)

Then there’s the summer outdoor concert schedule!  (Schurz’s is also on the above link!)

All right!  Seems like chocolate milk is a great/healthy after-workout treat!



Let there be animals:

Pretty much a critter we despise, but one we can’t ignore…  Therefore NYS’s newly adopted regulations to beat back the awful emerald ash borer.  (There’re some common-sense precautions!)

We confess to a growing affection for NYS’s own sleek muskellunge fish  (AKA muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge…  Got to be a Native American name, right?)  Anyway, we can start reeling them in as of May 30th:       tiger_musky

Prepare the hankies…  Andre the Injured Turtle is returning to the wide ocean

And a frequent and long distance flyer award for the amazing red knot!!  

What would a week be without something from the Hudson River Almanac: 

5/11 – Inwood Hill Park, HRM 13.5:  Now that the weather had turned warm after the long winter, the plants seemed to be rushing to make up for lost time. Star of Bethlehem was suddenly blooming and the little bedstraw called cleavers had both its tiny blossoms and the sticky burrs that are its fruit. A little mustard called shepherd’s purse was blooming; its basal leaves look like miniature dandelion rosettes. Up on the ridge, oak pollen lay in windrows on the paths and petals fell like snow. Every plant seemed to be growing urgently. Stinging nettle was much more widespread than last year. Celandine was blooming more extensively than it had been, as were wild geranium and Herb-Robert, and I saw more common mallow flowers than usual. False Solomon’s seal was also more abundant, but not yet flowering, and poison ivy, always prolific, was setting a new standard. The population of garlic mustard had exploded! It was suddenly everywhere and becoming a real problem. Still, a few little clumps of Spanish bluebells were blooming in the woods.  – Thomas Shoesmith

With hope the Green Spirit gives us some rain,





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