Monthly Archives: June 2015

Happy…  Make That Ecstatic DEC Public Comment Period, UESiders!

Let’s get busy writing those letters…  From everyone – young,old and in between – in your family… Your neighbors and friends throughout the city…  Colleagues and professional acquaintances if they’re city residents (we’re been unashamedly puting the bite on both)…

Letters don’t have to be long…  Don’t have to be masterpieces of English Lit…  The plain facts that so argue against the MTS are abundant and once noted  don’t require scholarly elaboration.

But passion is welcome!!

Meanwhile…

Yes, you can submit to the local DEC office noted in the Commission’s press release, but – once again for purposes of recording vital head count and preventing letters going strangely astray once received – is to forward via  P2P’s site

Good to also copy your remarks to our various electeds:  CMs Kallos (bkallos@benkallos.com) and Garodnick (DGarodnick@council.nyc.gov), State Senator Kreuger (liz@lizkrueger.com) and Assembly Members Seawright (SeawrightR@assembly.state.ny.us) and Quart (quartd@assembly.state.ny.us).

The big, fat bottom line:

We’ve been given a primo and totally democratic opportunity, so let us pile on!! 

Sarcococca Confusa

Sarcococca Confusa

And now for more in the week to come:

Saturday,  June 27th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Yes, it’s a full house with our friends Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert and Garden of Spices Farms! 

Our Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table, too!!

This just in from new Market Manager Andrei:  “ Cherries are here and you’ll find the first potatoes of 2015 at Gajeski!!”

Last week’s recycling totals:  84 lbs. batteries; 25 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  36 bags of clothes.

(Closer and closer to that ton o’ batteries mark!)

Saturday, June 27th:  Central Park Family Picnic Event!

Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Inside the Park between Fith & Lenox Avenues, 12-3pm

Fill that picnic basket with goodies and head off for an afternoon of music, lawn games, fishing, and just plain getting to know fabulous Central Park that much better!  Need we say, it’s free!  For more...    

Sundays, June 28th – November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket Grand Re-Opening!!

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

All of our old farmer/baker/fisherman/dairy friends and their fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, milk, yogurt, cheese, cider and fabulous seafood from the 92nd market…  A mere 2 blocks further north!!

And joining us in 2015:  Dipaolas Turkey!!

You want…  You need to be there!!

Sunday, June 28th:  Green Park Gardeners Volunteer Day

East River Esplanade at 60th Street, near the 60th Street ramp, 2:30-5pm

Ever wondered who’s been making our low-Sixties Esplanade so gorgeous?  Green Park Gardeners, that’s who and here’s a fine moment to pitch in…  And acquire some of the group’s extensive garden knowledge!!  Just equip yourself with an inexpensive trowel with inches marked and garden gloves (both available at Home Depot)!

Wednesdays, July 1st to August 19th:  Socrates Park International Film Festival

Socrates Park, Long Island City, 7pm

Film Forum in partnership with Rooftop Films put together a schedule from D.A. Pennebaker’s ultra classic USA doc “Don’t Look Back” to films ranging from India to Saudi Arabia to Argentina and beyond.  For the complete program…  

Thursdays During the Growing Season:  Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project Volunteering

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

Four years ago, we joined 40 others from all over NYC in raising 7 tons of earth to Metro’s rooftop bucket brigade-style (believe it or not, only took a few hours!). Fast forward to one of the cleverest and most productive city farming projects going (utilizing kids’ wading pools), providing fresh produce to the needy of the area!  Couldn’t be a better outing for out-of-school youngsters.  Can’t beat the view either!  For more

Right around the corner:

Sunday, July 12th:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Bastille Day Edition

First Avenue between 94th & 95th Streets, 11am-2pm

Just two weeks and we’ll be pulverizing tons of paper on First Avenue!

And you’re only too familiar with the drill:

NO cardboard or handled shopping bags.

And please do remove paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But we do accept paperbacks.)

Take your hardcovers over to Goodwill.

(Thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their green and generous grants!)

photinia-fraseri

photinia-fraseri

Our usual mixed bag of miscellany:

Should you object to those crude oil-laden trains traveling the rails across our state… 

Congrats to the deserving winners of this year’s Historic Districts’ Grassroots Awards which include our own CM Garodnick and life-long UES resident and much-missed CB8 Board member, Teri Slater. 

Still on the subject of things historic, happy to see the for-many-years-lost pedestal of the northern 59th Street Bridge lamp (removed because the Tram wasn’t engineered at sufficient height; the only parts of the lamp so far found) has been restored…  BUT not to its rightful place…  BUT now lives on Roosevelt Island and not on our side of the river…  We say it’s infinitely more “relevant” to a spot near its original location.

Parks of every description are coalescing all around us…  Got to bode well for our own East River Esplanade, yes?!!

Craving a NYC saltwater fishing map?

Lucky us!  Two of the best NYC public swimming pools are either right in or within easy reach of the UES!  And they’re opening this weekend!!

If you’ve come across a worse “apartment, we want to see it!  (Really!)

citrus-trifoliata

citrus-trifoliata

Animals:

Believe it or not, there’s a fur-trapping business and its championing re-introduction of the 19th Century-vintage foot-hold trap!  (If you find fault with this method…)  

Yes, we’ll stoop to anything when there’re baby animals involved…   More so when a kitten-saving NYPD officer is involved… 

Soda-drinking German shepherds/Alsatians…?

Yoga at a cat cafe…?

Of course, like every other living thing in California, the state’s rare (and totally adorable) flying squirrels are getting slammed by the endless drought. (Should you think they deserve endangered species protection…)

Okay,  there actually is such a thing as a cute octopus:

Dumbo Octopus

Dumbo Octopus

Meanwhile there’s a newly discovered crab – rather furry-looking crab – living in Antarctic waters! The yeti crab!!

There’s green in that LGBTQ rainbow,

UGS

 

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A Belated Happy Birthday to the Magna Carta, UESiders!!

Britains have also been celebrating the 2,000-2,500th (best they’re able to determine) birthday of the Ankerwycke Yew, the ancient tree under which King John signed on the dotted line!

(For those who haven’t ever made the comparison, the parallels between the M.C. and our Constitution are pretty amazing…)

hibiscus-palustris

hibiscus-palustris

But let’s move on to present and the week ahead:

Friday, June 19th:  The U.S. Contraband Ivory Crush!

Times Square, 10:30am

Sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a host of other conservation groups, this is the second such event in America!  The aim:  Underscore the elephant poaching crisis that could soon have the animal extinct in the wild.  For more

Friday, June 19th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Your chance to relate the origins of your passion for astronomy to fellow enthusiasts of NYSkies! And we quote Starmaster John Pazmino:  “I myself got into this profession in, uh, 1954 by witnessing a partial solar eclipse from Brooklyn. I may be the longest enduring astronomer in NYSkies but I’m ready for an older fellow to surprise me at this meeting!”  Free and great!

Saturday,  June 20th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be our all star line-up of Bread Alone, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane, Ole Mother Hubbert and Garden of Spices Farms! 

Add to that our Master Knife Sharpener, too!!

This just in from new Market Manager Andrei:  “Peas of all type are plentiful and there’s lots of broccoli rabe in the market!  Samascott & Gajeski have strawberries & rhubarb!  Cherry Lane has greenhouse tomatoes of many varieties.  And for you fava fans, Alewife has fava beans!!

(Do introduce yourself to Andrei!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  82 lbs. batteries; 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  40 bags of clothes.

(We’re closing in on a ton of batteries, folks!)

Saturday, June 21st & Sunday, June 22:  The Seed Experience –  4th Annual Environmental & Healthy Living Festival

Brooklyn Expo Center, 72 Noble Street, Brooklyn, 10am-6pm

Exhibits, lectures, tons of environmentally-friendly/cruelty-free products, films…  Well, you get it! $15 or $25 for both days.  For more info, directions and tickets

Sunday, June 21st:  Make Music New York at Schurz Park

86th & East End Avenue, 4-7pm

We quote, “An evening of music and refreshments with a diverse group of performance artists.” These Schurz summer events are never anything less than pure fun and relaxation!  Free.

Sundays, Now to August 16th:  Sunset Ecocruises to the Harbor Heron Islands

Leave from Pier 16, South Street Seaport, 6-9pm

An annual NY Audubon super treat focusing on our neighboring Brother, Hoffman and Swinburne Islands, Jamaica Bay and the large egret, heron, ibis and cormorant colonies that inhabit them! For complete details, tickets and prices…  

Every Tuesday:  Rowing with the East River Crew

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 4:30pm

Row or just go out on the water for the ride and a most wonderful, later afternoon summer experience! Truly, one of the UES’s treasures.  Open to one and all and, unbelievably…  Free.  For more... 

Wednesday, June 24th:  NYS DEC Sea Level Rise Projection Meeting

Hunter College, 67th Street & Lexington Avenue, West Building, Room 511, 10am

DEC Announces Sea-level Rise Projection Meetings – A New DEC Press Release

Of course we Sandy veterans have a lot at stake with this issue and – albeit likely window-dressing – it’s our chance to speak up on proposed regulations!  For more, including how our state sees the issue and what it’s proposing

Coming up soon:

Sundays, June 28th – November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket Grand Re-Opening!!

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

All of our old farmer/baker/fisherman/dairy friends and their fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, milk, yogurt, cheese, cider and fabulous seafood from the 92nd market…  A mere 2 blocks further north!!   See you there!!

And then:

Every Tuesday during July & August:  2015 Rooftop Cinema & Concerts

Czech Center New York, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

The usual great roster of early film classics, both Czech & American, with silent films accompanied by live music.  A totally delightful environment with a refreshment stand!   Free to members.  Non-members, $15.  (For the schedule…)

Wednesday, July 22nd:  Clean Air Compliance Operating Permit Fee Hearing

Federal Building, 90 Church Street, 4th Floor Board Room, 7pm

For those of us who yearn to bathe in governmental regulation minutia, don’t miss this one of several statewide gatherings at which costs to producers of CO2 are considered/assessed!  For (riveting) details

argyroxiphium-sandwicense

argyroxiphium-sandwicense

Miscellany…  Sobering items first in line:

Like there’s more species extinction going on than previously recognized

And whatever’s going on with the deB appointed Landmarks Commission?  Attempts to de-calendar important structures under consideration…   And, now, moves to constrict previously established boundaries of proposed historic districts

But most sobering of all:

Truly a hold the wastebasket moment as NYC DEC fields a request for public comment on 3 alternative methods of sealing rail cars loaded with “municipal solid waste” …  

Hummm…  Wonder what muncipality’s solid waste this might be?

Wonder if – as the supposedly state-of-the-art, tight-as-drum rail cars members of MTS Advisory Group were shown during a 2014 field trip featured dripping rivulets of ick –  this might especially pertain to NYC solid waste…?

Which, as we all recall, our city’s Neanderthal solid waste “plan” envisions shipping many hundreds of miles away and at 3 times current cost to landfills near poor upstate New York, Pennsylvania and Carolina communities.

Which is to say, do weigh in!

(In our none-too-humble opinion, no waste should be shipped anywhere until rail cars are proven to be 100% and long-term leak-proof!) 

Sun breaking through:

A solar panel factory’s setting up shop in Buffalo!  (Let’s hope the thousands of jobs predicted materialize!)

Not like there were a zillion examples in how Mediterranean countries deal with water, but and finally a smidgen of California’s acting to hoard precious rain water!

This while NYC experiences its own particular kind of water woes…  Like rising rates and folks not paying their bills!

Still on the subject of water:

Yes, why indeed is the ocean salty?  (Worth enduring the NatGeo ads to learn and then savor other “Campfire Stories”.) 

And what’s in it:

As in best seafood – for the ocean and its inhabitants – for us to be eating… (All of it in Warren’s icy cases!) 

Going scattershot:

The New York Historical Society now has 60,000 images – from the Revolution to near present – online!

Has to have considerably more tamper/graffiti/vandal resistance designed in to survive in NYC, but we love the idea of the Cooper Lumen wifi post!

Somewhere in Manhattan…  There’s a cabin atop a highrise roof!!

This while there’s a cottage on an East 13th Street walk-up!

While down on UES streets, your neighbors have launched our hood’s 2015 Tree Census!

Censusistas   

Hello, animals:

So what have they been doing up in Albany while rent regulations languish?  Pondering dog-centric legislation, that’s what!

Could be a churchyard, backyard or any community real estate…  We can – and why not –  turn that greenish space into a bird haven!

Very sorry to report that America’s oldest known eagle has passed away…  The good news being that the bird was 38 years old…  The oldest banded eagle on record in U.S. history!!  (Mr. Eagle has a great life story, too!)

You bet there’s a New York Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network!

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

6/5 – Manhattan, HRM 1: This week we caught a male seahorse 75 millimeters [mm] long at The River Project on Hudson River Park’s Pier 40; we could see its brood pouch. We also caught a blackfish (tautog, 37 mm), a juvenile striped bass, and two juvenile oyster toadfish. –  Jessica Bonamusa

pregnant male seahorse!

pregnant male seahorse!

[Male sea horses and pipefishes have a brood pouch in which they carry fertilized eggs deposited by the females. In one of the rare instances in the animal kingdom, it is the males that give live birth. Tom Lake.]

A very green farewell to you, o’ styrofoam,

UGS

 

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Happy World Ocean Day, UESiders!

And a less happy first NYC Air Quality Health Alert Day of 2015…

Pretty early in the season and all the more reason to devote ourselves to the UESide’s trees and tree beds, parks, Greenstreets, Bicycle Island Gardens, East River Esplanade…  Well, any and all of the green spaces that make NYC life aesthetic and – most of all – healthier.

A good frame of mind in which to familiarize yourself with the present administration’s proposed financial commitment to our Parks...  

Calochortus-tiburonensis

Calochortus-tiburonensis

Then get down on the pleasures of the week ahead:

From Now On:  Visit High Bridge Park!

Washington Heights, Manhattan, 7am-8pm

With thanks to all those who saved this NYC gorgeousness…  From Mayors Guiliani to Bloomberg…  The City Parks Foundation… Congressman Serrano… Friends of High Bridge Park… Go and marvel!   (For Park history, directions and more…)

Friday, June 12th – Sunday, June 21st:  Human Rights Film Festival

IFC Film Center, 323 Sixth Avenue

Thirty-plus years on, Human Rights Watch’s put together yet another great roster of film chronicling present global challenges and those meeting them.  (For the schedule, times and more…) 

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.  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… 

Saturdays, June 13th, 20th & 27th:  Fly Fishing in Bryant Park

Fifth Avenue Terrace, Bryant Park, 10am-12pm

Learn the art of casting and more from the uber fishing/hunting gear masters of Orvis!  Free and it’d be good to reserve a spot:  212-827-0698.  (For further details…)

Saturday,  June 13th:   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, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Ballard Honey, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Garden of Spices Farms…  

PLUS…  We’ll no longer have to content ourselves with Ole Mother Hubbert’s milk.  The lady herself will be with us, along with her full array of wares (soon to include gelato)!

Yes, and the Master Knife Sharpener will be present as well!!

Scallops have never been better, people!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  74 lbs. batteries; 18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 8 1/4 compost bins;  35 bags of clothes.

Tuesday, June 16th:  Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden Summer Garden Concert

421 East 61st Street, 6pm

Commencing the season with a harpsichord performance!  Music, a gorgeous garden, a museum tour and a cocktail!  Doesn’t get any better!  Free to members and babies under 1 year old.  Non-members, $15.  Children under 12, $5.  For more…  Or call 212-838-6878.

Tuesday, June 16th:  Divine Felines – Cats of Ancient Egypt Lecture

National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, 6:30pm

The unique roles of cats and lions in Egyptian kingship, mythology and long ago everyday Egyptian life.  Presented by Yekaterina Barbash of the Brooklyn Museum.  Free! 

Just over the horizon:

Saturday, June 20th:  Coney Island Mermaid Parade

1pm

A NYC classic!  Looks like you can even still sign up to participate!  For total rundown

Sundays, June 28th – November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket Grand Re-Opening!!

First Avenue between 94th & 96th Street, 9am-5pm

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

All of our old farmer/baker/fisherman/dairy friends and their fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, milk, yogurt, cheese, cider and fabulous seafood from the 92nd market…  A mere 2 blocks further north!!   See you there!!

Sunday, June 28th:  NYC Safe Disposal Event

Columbia University/Teachers College, 120th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam, 10am-4pm (If coming by car, approach from Seminary Drive down Amsterdam Avenue.)

Recycling of the heavy duty kind:  Transmission fluid, paint, medications, car batteries, oven cleaner, anything with the skull-and-crossbones/poison on its label…  You get the drift, but for the complete list of what you can recycle

cladonia-bellidiflora

cladonia-bellidiflora

Feel good miscellany up first:

Esplanade Friends’ great public art banner made The Wall Street Journal!

The EPA’s finally moving to cut aircraft emissions!

New fuel economy regulations automobile-style are expected soon…

For once, a developer recognizes and SAVES at least some elements of an architecturally (but unlandmarked, natch) building!

Then:

Why are we not surprised at EPA’s timidly couched conclusion that fracking affects water quality???

Over the objections of some that the bill included too much money for infrastructure (!) and especially Amtrak (!!), the House passed not very generous funding for transportation and housing… 

Back with good cheer:

How about a mozzarella-making class..?!   (Yes!!)

Or a 1930’s Brooklyn trolley map…?

bit of East Side character that endures in the form of First and 55th Street’s Jennings TV

How about this for a well-designed logo:

HDC-GrassLogo-HIRES.indd

 

As for those animals:

Yet another osprey chick has hatched!  A third is coming…  (Parents are Rachel and Steve!)

At the other end of the spectrum, 9 of the world’s smallest (adult) birds

As we move into summer, battle with the rapacious southern pine beetle resumes

Rarely shill, but there’s a worthy, endorsed by NYC Audubon and absurdly low-cost wildlife series in the making (“The Creature Show”:  Episode I –  The Jefferson Salamander)

How about we bring down the curtain with the teeny bit of extreme cuteness born in Queens this week… 

And these NYC-centric excerpts from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/30 – As a part of the eighth annual World Science Festival on May 30, a Great Fish Count took place fourteen locations in the greater New York City area, from Staten Island to southern Westchester County, and Jamaica Bay to the Palisades Interstate Park in New Jersey. A few highlights follow.

Habirshaw Park, Yonkers, HRM 18: Many small seiners covered the beach at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak, helping to haul in an amazing eight eels, seven striped bass, a hogchoker, a mummichog, five white perch, and five blue crabs, along with shrimp and softshell clams. The diversity was impressive and the river kept producing seine after seine. The salinity was 5.0 parts per thousand [ppt} and the dissolved oxygen concentration was 10.0 milligrams per liter [mg/L]. – Margie Turrin

Inwood Hill Park, Harlem River, HRM 13.5: We scooped up netfuls of wriggling mummichogs, most no more than two to three inches long. The males were striking in their mating colors, with bright yellow bellies and pelvic fins, an eye-spot marking on their dorsal fin, and silvery striped bars on their sides. Many of the females were carrying eggs. The group intently counted each of 103 fish. Salinity was 10.0 ppt and dissolved oxygen was 10.0 mg/L. – Margie Turrin

Ft. Washington Park, Manhattan, HRM 11: The first net came in with just two small striped bass, but the group of participants at greeted their appearance with great enthusiasm. The second net brought in a blue crab and, as we watched, it began to moult. It suddenly went very still as we set it in a bucket; concern mounted that perhaps it had died. But its eyes began to shift back and forth, and then – with a final push – it was free of its old shell. The crowd erupted into cheers! The next net brought in an old barbeque filled with debris and an assortment of small mud crabs and blue crabs (two more were softshells), more than a dozen shrimp, and two small summer flounder perfectly camouflaged against the sand. A final seine pulled in a northern pipefish. Salinity was 12.0 ppt, dissolved oxygen was 11.0 mg/L, and the water temperature was a warm 72 degrees F.  –  Margie Turrin

molting blue crab

Photo of blue crab molting courtesy of Margie Turrin

Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan: Near the junction of the Harlem and East Rivers, we seined at the mouth of a tidal creek winding its way out of a recently restored salt marsh. Two young of the year [YOY] Atlantic tomcod were the surprise of the day – pretty amazing that these little guys, no more than two inches long and hatched in the freshwater Hudson in late winter, had already made it downriver to Randall’s Island. As the tide fell in early afternoon, large numbers of small fish gathered to feed where the dwindling salt marsh creek entered a shallow bay of the Harlem River. With Advanced Inquiry Program master’s degree students from the Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo, we netted over 900 mummichogs in two hauls of the seine. Among them were a few striped killifish (the first time I’ve found them in Manhattan waters) and at least 20 yearling striped bass. –  Steve Stanne

Valentino Pier, Red Hook, Brooklyn: At this park’s short beach, not a hundred feet wide, the water was a cool and refreshing 63 degrees F in contrast to the 84 degree air temperature. Three dozen beachgoers willingly shared the waterfront with us, as did wading children and Labrador retrievers chasing tennis balls. With the help of volunteers, we hauled our seine, captured three species of native fishes – striped bass 92-102 millimeters [mm] long, winter flounder (119-140 mm), and windowpane flounder (45-60 mm) – and returned them safely to the bay. We also found shore shrimp (Palaemonetes species) and mud dog whelks (Ilyassoma obsoleta) in the net. The salinity was 23.0 ppt; dissolved oxygen was 9.0 mg/L.   – Rebecca Houser, Kacie Giuliano & Tom Lake

Lemon Creek Park, Raritan Bay, Staten Island: We seined at two sites here. The first was a constructed tidal pond. The water was warm and salty (84 degrees F, 27.0 ppt) with a lot of sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) but plenty of fish as well. They included dozens of striped killifish, mummichogs, fourspine sticklebacks, Atlantic silversides, an alewife, and an American eel whose efforts to leap out of the bucket and escape delighted everyone. Invertebrates included mud dog whelks, shore shrimp, two green crabs, and several feisty blue crabs. The strangest catch of the day was a small drone (remotely operated vehicle) that someone must have accidentally crashed in the pond. We then moved to the beach on the bay side (77 degrees F, 24.0 ppt). Several hauls resulted in six lady crabs, two dozen bay anchovies, many silversides, and a northern pipefish. Invertebrates included a dime-sized blue crab, both sand and shore shrimp, dog whelks, and a seemingly endless supply of hermit crabs. The young beachcombers among us found a decaying bluefish and an ancient-looking but live horseshoe crab, its carapace covered with a thick layer of barnacles.  – Chris Bowser, Katie Friedman, Carl and Lucy Alderson, Michelle Luebke, Orion Weldon & Mary Lee

female (top) and male (bottom) mummichogs

Photo of female (top) and male (bottom) mummichogs courtesy of Steve Stanne.

Here’re the fish species reported to date from the World Science Festival Great Fish Count:
1. Mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitis) – 1,077; high count 943 from Randall’s Island ]
2. Striped killifish (Fundulus majalis) – 64; high count 60 from the tidal pond at Lemon Creek Park
3. Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia) – 45; high count 30 from the beach at Lemon Creek Park
4. Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) – 43; high count 30 from Randall’s Island
5. Bay anchovy (Anchoa mitchilli) – 36; high count 25 from the beach at Lemon Creek Park
6. Fourspine stickleback (Apeltes quadracus) – 20, all from the tidal pond at Lemon Creek Park
7. Winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus) – 12; high count 10 from the seaplane ramp, Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn
8. American eel (Anguilla rostrata) – 9; high count 8 from the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak
9. White perch (Morone americana) – 8; high count 5 from the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak
10. Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus) – 3; two from Ft. Washington Park and one from Bloomers Beach, Palisades Interstate Park, Englewood, NJ
11. Atlantic tomcod (Microgadus tomcod) – 2 from the salt marsh creek at Randall’s Island
12. Banded killifish (Fundulus diaphanus) – 2 from Inwood Hill Park
13. Northern pipefish (Syngnathus fuscus) – 2; one each from Ft. Washington Park and the beach at Lemon Creek Park
14. Windowpane (Scophthalmus aquosus) – 2 from Valentino Pier
15. Alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) – 1 from the tidal pond at Lemon Creek Park
16. Hogchoker (Trinectes maculatus) – 1 from the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak
17. Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) – 1 found dead on the beach at Lemon Creek Park

Whew…  That was one big, green mouthful!

(And what a formidable fish incubator Randall’s Island is!)

UGS

 

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Happy National Donut and Gingerbread Day, UESiders!

How about we celebrate this pair of delectables with a couple of right-here-on-the-Upper-East-Side stories:

*Concerning recent events at the 77th Street Lifshitz Gallery

And…

*Author Thomas R. Pryor’s enduring love for his native Yorkville and school, St. Stephen of Hungary… (Thanks to reader Ellen Brecher for sending along!)

delonix-regia

delonix-regia

On to the week ahead:

Friday, June 4th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s topic this time around:  The New Horizons Spaceprobe!  (After some 10 years on the road, it’s approaching planet Pluto and already producing fantastic pix of that most faraway world!)  Free.

Saturday,  June 6th:   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, Floral Beauty Greenhouses, Samascott, Gajeski, Rising Sun, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Garden of Spices Farms… A record 12 farmers/bakers/fish and plant people! 

Add to that our own Master Knife Sharpener will be back and honing like crazy!!

Newsflash from Market Manager Supreme Margaret:  There’ll be strawberries in abundance and sugar snaps are coming in!

Yes, and Rising Sun now has Ole Mother Hubbert’s chocolate milk, too!

Last week’s recycling totals:  82 lbs. batteries: 13 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eyeglasses; 9 extremely full compost bins;  30 bags of clothes.  

(Holly’s asking for a 10th bin this week!!)

Saturday, June 6th & Sunday, June 7th:  Rose Garden Weekend at the NYBG

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 11am-4pm

And we quote, “Immerse yourself in a sea of blooming beauty… Warm color, flush with the reds, whites, yellows, and pinks of nearly 700 rose cultivars. In celebration of the delicate beauty that defines this collection, as well as the peak of its seasonal color, stop by for two days of live music, plant care demonstrations and tours with expert rosarians, and light spring refreshments in the shade of the garden’s overlooks.”  Be there!  Free to members.  Non-members, $25.  Seniors, $22. Children (2-12), $10.

Wednesday, June 10th:  Free Eye Screenings

Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, 210 East 64th Street, Great Hall,, 1st Floor, 10am-2pm

Get your annual General Eye Chart & Intraocular Pressure Tests out of the way.  (No way we want glaucoma, cataracts or age-related macular degeneration getting in the way of great NYC life!)   To schedule an appointment, call 212-702-7676.

Thursday, June 11th:  NY15 Passive House Conference

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, 8am-6:30pm

How to best passive-fy virtually every kind of residential structure and more.  Our fave:  How Brussels became the first city to adopt mandatory passive home construction!  $225.  For full details

Tuesday, June 14th:  Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden Summer Garden Concert

421 East 61st Street, 6pm

Commencing the season with a harpsichord performance!  Music, a gorgeous garden, a museum tour and a cocktail!  Doesn’t get any better!  Free to members and babies under 1 year old.  Non-members, $15.  Children under 12, $5.  For more…  Or call 212-838-6878.

And then:

Sunday, June 28th:  NYC Safe Disposal Event

Columbia University/Teachers College, 120th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam, 10am-4pm (If coming by car, approach from Seminary Drive down Amsterdam Avenue.)

Recycling of the heavy duty kind:  Transmission fluid, paint, medications, car batteries, oven cleaner, anything with the skull-and-crossbones/poison on its label…  You get the drift, but for a complete list

davidia-involucrata

davidia-involucrata

A week of action-provoking miscellany:

Want to feel better about our air and water?  Check out conditions in Delhi, India!

What’s going on in North Carolina?   Latest of their retrograde legislation:  An Ag-Gag Law, criminalizing undercover reporting or whistle blowing about practices/animal care at agricultural establishments...

Here in NYS, the usual suspects are attempting to keep microbead-containing products on store shelves and contaminating water for yet another year!  (If you’d prefer that state legislators ban the darned things now…)

Same for expanding NYS residents’ choices for clean energy!  (If you’d like NY Senate’s Energy Committee to get a move on…)

And think we should be saying an emphatic no (as in “NO!”) to construction of a tar sands boiler (are they kidding) in Albany!! 

On the other hand, we live in a state where we can chose whether to get sewage spill notices by text, email or phone!

And with a fabulous online Outdoor Discovery Magazine!  (You do need to know what the hike of the month is!!)

Herewith the Hudson Riverkeeper first-of-2015 water quality report…  (That one NYC red dot’s in Queens…)

On home turf, if you’re of the opinion our libraries and the land they’re built on should remain in city hands….

Yes, last Friday’s Manhattanhenge was more of a opportunity for deprecatory (but pretty amusing) wordplay than astronomically magic moment… 

Next time you pass by a Mr. Softee, contemplate this solar powered ice cream truck!  (Spotted in Central Park by reader Karen Lane!)

Solar Powered Ice Cream Truck

Easing up:

Of course, you’ve always wanted to drive a subway train!  Now that dream can come – virtually – true at the Second Avenue Subway Info Center 

Vegetable gardening (and safe for those below) in window boxes…? 

Wow!  The NY Botanical Garden has just debuted a bedding collection at Bed Bath!

Definitely recommend signing up for Council Member Kallos’ info-packed newsletter, folks!

Hello, animals:

And the Top Ten New Species (yes, we know one’s a plant) are

Fantastic the proliferation of animal cams…  Osprey (chicks have hatched), penguin, walrus, polar bear, hummingbird, sea dragon, sea nettle and (of course) kitten cams…  And a ton more!  

No, you weren’t dreaming…  It was a chipmunk you saw in the Ramble!  They’ve returned to Central Park!!

This while NYC squirrels express their dissatisfaction with subway service Several times over!

crazy squirrel

NYC even has an amphibian with a distinctive Big Apple croak:  The little Fowler toad!  

We sign over-and-out with a snippet from the Hudson River Almanac:

5/22 – Manhattan, HRM 1: The River Project’s highlight catches this week at Hudson River Park’s Piers 25 and 40 were three grubbies (Myoxocephalus aenaeus), our first of the season. The grubby is a sculpin, a bottom-dwelling fish that shares a niche with toadfish, cunner, tautog, and others. All three were about 70 mm long. We also caught two more oyster toadfish (90 mm and 260 mm), a northern pipefish (130 mm), a juvenile striped bass, and a cunner.  – Jessica Bonamusa

cunner

cunner

[Cunners (Tautogolabrus adspersus) are a member of the wrasse family, Labridae, closely related to the tautog or blackfish. They are commonly found in the lower estuary in many habitats, but prefer rocky areas where they feed on small shellfish and mollusks. Anglers know them, colloquially, as “bergalls,” and in New England they are called “chogies.” Tom Lake.]

Thanking you, Green Spirit, for the rain,

UGS

 

 

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