Happy Champagne’s 223rd Birthday, UESiders!

Yup, and of course, its inventor on that happy day was none other than Monsieur Perignon!

We thank him big time!

Liriodendron tulipifera

Liriodendron tulipifera

May there be a most bubbly week ahead:

Friday, August 7th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino prepares us for the upcoming Perseid meteor shower!  And we quote, “This annual, dependible and reliable show of shooting stars comes in predawn hours of August 12th and 13th. In 2015, conditions are more favorable because there is no Moon in the sky to veil the dimmer meteors.”  Free.

Saturday, August 8th & Sunday, August 9th:  Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

Flushing Meadows Park, Queens,  8am-5:30pm

Two days of colorful, highly contested dragon boat races…  Music…  Dance…  An ethnic food court…  And it’s all free!!  For the full, rich details (and directions)

Saturday,  August 8th:   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 Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

Samascott will have strawberries, people!

Then there’s Alewife’s beautiful romaine (both green and speckled!), their pickling melons and kohlrabi! 

Fabulous tomatoes, corn and basil on offer from Cherry Lane and Gajeski!

And the winners of last week’s Guess the Number of Plums in the Bottle will be revealed!!

(Fingers crossed that our Master Knife Sharpener will be present and revved up to hone!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  66 lbs. batteries; 12 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of glasses; 8 1/2 compost bins;  22 bags of clothes.

Another 8-plus bin week!!

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Wager’s Cider Mill, Ole Mother Hubbert, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms…  And DePaolo Turkey returns!

Last week’s recycling totals:  6 lbs. batteries: 4 lbs. corks, cellphones, cartridges and cords;   3 bins of compost.

Outstanding!!

Sunday, August 9th:  Green Park Gardeners’ Monthly Volunteer Day

Andrew Haswell Green Park, East River Esplanade/60th to 63rd Street, 2-5pm

Get to know and learn from some of the UESide’s most accomplished gardeners!  Learn about the garden’s many nataive plants…  Help with weeding, watering or composting…  Or partake of all of the above!   Bring a trowel and gloves and best to wear a long-sleeved shirt.  Rain will cancel the event!

Saturdays, August 8th & 15th:  Summer Streets 2015

Central Park at 72nd Street to Park Avenue to Brooklyn Bridge, 7am-1pm

Totally free of automobiles and packed with great activities/attractions for all ages, be they propelled by foot, cycle, skatesor whatever non-car!  Better every year!! For further details   

Saturday, August 15th:  Brooklyn Army Terminal Tour

Meet at Brooklyn Army Terminal A, 58th & 1st Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, 2-4pm

Companion piece to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, designed by Cass Gilbert and supply base for our armed services over two World Wars, today the Terminal’s home to 100-plus companies from tech to biotech to fashion to a chocolatier!  Organized by the ever-interesting Obscura Society and Turnstile Tours. $22. For more and tickets

carex-utriculata

carex-utriculata

As ever, pretty darned miscellaneous miscellany:

For all some whinging from those representing coal-producing states, the people of Appalachia seem to feel differently about EPA’s clean power plan…  (And if you’d like to support them…)

And where and with what forms are we presently powering the U.S.? Well, there’s a map for that! 

Meanwhile, Norway’s looking to store its overabundance of green power in neighboring nations!

Then there’s the map chronicling NYC’s subway deserts  

No fun living in rural Minnesota and being awash in pesticides keeping future McDonald’s fries free of beetles…  (If you think that, in 2015, McD should be favoring better farming practices…)

On to the good foot:

Of course, there’ll be an appeal but, for now, the Ag Gag Law’s been overturned

Lest anyone wonder why Shigeru Ban won the Pritzker Prize:  His brilliant emergency/transitional housing solution for earthquake-ravaged Nepal!  

No surprise to us New Yorkers at how much trees add to our quality – quantity, too – of life…  But always nice when science underscores perception as in the recent study of Toronto and its trees! (Thanks to the great 1001 Friends for the tip!)

It did take 5 years but, at long last, Fraunces Tavern will be receiving the required federal funds to repair Sandy-caused damage!

Speaking of storms and their effects, scientists are hard at work creating an army of oat grass plants to defend our coastline!

Got a way to go till it’s ready for prime time in our homes, but one of the these days we could be reading by algae – yes, algae – light!

An 8-week online urban food growing course?   Bring it on!  

Amazing it didn’t exist before, but it’s in development now…  A braille smartphone!

Then there’s an Uber-like adaptation for tractor use in Nigeria!  (And it boosts farm productivity as much as 200%!)

And the 12 longest inhabited cities in the world are

(And NYC’s most expensive hotel rooms…!)

first for us, too…   Voting in Green America’s People & Planet Green Business Awards!  To cast your ballot

Going micro:

And the 12 most desirable yard sale items are

Colorful…  Thought-provoking…  Temporary…  And seen on the sidewalks of the UES… 

eriogonum-kennedyi

eriogonum-kennedyi

In the critter department:

If it’s August, the Maine Puffin Cam’s up and running!

In the Just Deserts Department:  A man shoots an armadillo and…  You’ll see!  (Thanks to reader Carol Rinzler!)

Yes, people!  Williams-Sonoma is now selling chicken coops!

Those funny speckles/bumps you see on leaves of bushes and trees?  Baby gall wasps waiting to born!  (Thanks to Christine LeBeau for the insight!) 

Whew!  California’s just and finally banned bobcat trapping!

Another NYC cat cafe’s soon to open!  (Making 2, both downtown…  How about cat folks on the UES?  Our cup runneth over with Biscuits & Baths!)

Love that a bunch of our city bees tried to consume a bike

NYPD’s on the case of the 100 pigeons missing from Washington Square Park

Always good to wind down with a tidbit from the Hudson River Almanac:

7/21 – Manhattan, New York City: Found a red-eared slider today underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Someone’s recently-released pet? Escapee from a freshwater park pond? I wondered if the turtle could survive in the highly brackish water. At the Brooklyn Bridge, there’s wide variation in salinity: On an incoming tides, water from the Hudson can make it somewhat fresher – 15 parts per thousand [ppt]. However, on the outgoing tide (I was there at 5:30pm) it may have been as high as 23 ppt. (72% of seawater salinity). The turtle may have been there for a while or came out because of the shifting salinity, but I doubt that a small animal has much power against East River currents.  – Kate Boicourt, NY-NJ Harbor and Estuary Program

[The red-eared slider is native to southern U.S., but is a popular pet and is widely established through releases. Multiple references in the literature cite their ability to tolerate brackish water with comments such as “occasional” or “for short periods of time”.  That may be what we saw here. Tom Lake.]

In everlasting greenness,

UGS

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