Happy First Time a European Recorded/Wrote the Name “Manhattan” Day, UESiders!

Yes, and we quote Half Moon first mate, Robert Juet, who did that writing on October 2, 1609:

“[W]e saw a very good piece of ground; and hard by it there was a cliff that looked of the colour of white green, as though it were either a copper or silver mine; and I think it to be one of them by the trees that grow upon it; for they be all burned, and the other places are green as grass; it is on that side of the river that is called Manna-hata.”

(For more on the subject…)

Fast forward to last week’s market where – as you likely noticed – another young fellow was filling in for Pablo at the Valley Shepherd table.   A Rutgers grad in food science, that Saturday was his last day of a post grad/hands-on stint at the dairy.  This past Monday, he started work at a dairy giant feeling the heat from the Greek yogurt craze and looking to perk up their product with fresh ideas!

And, of course, every one at those tables has a story…   

A ton of stuff going on October 2015, so let’s plunge in:

Thursday, October 1st –  Sunday, October 4th:  Ocktober Filmfest 2015

Poet’s Den Theater, 309 East 108th Street

Yet again, Poet’s Den impresario Raphael Benavides puts together a first-rate 4 days of shorts, docs and features…  Even  kid-friendly programs!  For the full line-up/schedule

Friday, October 2nd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino explores the subjects of autumn skies and – wow – deep sky objects! PLUS John shares his favorite targets, tips and tricks of fall star observing!   Free.

Saturday,  October 3rd:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us be Bread Alone, Ballard Honey, Valley Shepherd, American Seafood, Samascott, Rising Sun, Garden of Spices, Gajeski, Alewife, Cherry Lane and Ole Mother Hubbert Farms! 

And, yes, our Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table, too!

News Flash from Market Suprema Margaret:  “Samascott has chestnuts…  Cherry Lane’s got broccoli…  Gajeski’s loaded with colorful cauliflower and winter squashes…  Then there’re Alewife’s ginger and radishes to spice things up!  Could well be the LAST WEEK for corn and tomatoes, so contemplate freezing and/or canning some!” 

(You can check on weather and markets at www.grownyc.org.)

Last week’s recycling totals:  55 lbs. batteries; 6 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 9 compost bins; 15 bags of clothes.

Look for September totals (and there are some mighty heavy bags to be sorted!) next week. 

Saturday, October 3 & Sunday, October 4th:  The Gracie Square Art Show

86th Street & East End Avenue, 10am-5pm (rain or shine)

An Upper East Side classic which for 43 great years has been a mainstay of the great Carl Schurz Park Conservancy – NYC’s oldest conservancy!  As always, there’ll an amazing array of oils and watercolors, prints and sculpture, photographs and more by a 100-plus artists… There’re even classes for kids with a MOMA instructor and great casual eating!   For more...

Saturday, October 3rd:  Pop-Up Reading Room at Four Freedoms Park

Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, 12-5pm

Think an 8 X 8 foot cube that unfolds creating seating, shelving, a podium and an array of intriguing books…  A one-day only feature of the Park Conservancy’s Imagination Playground for children.  Free, of course.

Sundays through November 22nd:  94th Street Greenmarket 

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

Compost Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Meredith’s Bakery, Wager’s Cider Mill, Ole Mother Hubbert, Stannart, Norwich Meadows and Phillips Farms!

Think concord grapes and grape juice from Wagers Cider Mill…  Stannard’s beautiful pumpkins…  Ole Mother Hubbert’s fall gelato flavors…  Meredith’s fall pie…  Phillips’ fantastic array of 2015 apples!

(You can check on markets and weather at www.grownyc.org.)

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

(Got to do some sorting before we can update battery/cork/cellphone/cartridge/cord totals!)

But Compost Manager David kept tabs on those big green bins while we were away!  To wit:  August 30th, 4 bins;  September 6th, 3 1/2; September 13th, 4 1/4; September 20th, 3 1/2! 

For a grand total of 15 1/4…  Add to that last week’s 4 and we’re talking 19 1/4!!!!

Way to go, people!!!!

Wednesday, October 7th:  Holmes Towers Stakeholder Engagement Meeting

Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, 415 East 93rd Street, 6pm

Housing Authorities representatives present their arguments for infill housing…  And we, their neighbors, should be attentive and attending.

Saturday, October 10th:  Audubon New York/American Littoral Society Hawk Watch at Fort Tilden

Building 1, Fort Tilden, Queens, 10am-1pm

Yes, hawks…  But there’ll also be  falcons, ospreys and a host of migrating feather friends to take in from various hawk watch platforms, the beach and dunes!  Led by the great Don Riepe.  Free. For more, contact Mr. Riepe at 718-474-0896 or donriepe@gmail.com.

On the horizon:

Saturday,  October 17th:  It’s My Park Day – Part I

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

Daffodil, tulip, crocus and muscari planting, folks…  And a continuation ofthe scraping/painting that’s making the Esplanade railing look so great!  On the Esplanade, yes, but there’ll be planting going on in the presently sad beds on the perimeter of the park at 96th and First  No doubt about it, we’re turning the far east UES into one citizen-created masterpiece!

Saturday, October 17th & Sunday, October 18th:  Lowline Lab Opening Weekend

140 Essex Street, 12-6pm 

Inspired by the Highline and still experimenting as to how to build and maintain a lush,signature garden underground, in an erstwhile subway station, presently situated in what was once the Essex Street Market (which, we’re promised, will be back in operation in new quarters one day soon).   Lots of good science and the experimental plants look gorgeous!! Free and open 12-6 weekends thereafter.  For further details

Thursdays till October 22nd:  Run Like a Pro on Randall’s Island

Ikahn Stadium, Randall’s Island, 6-8pm

Really, how often do we get to pound around a genuine, IAAF-certified track… While contemplating Olympic laurels that might have been!  All are welcome as long as they’re 18.  Free!!

Saturday, October 24th:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Halloween Edition

82nd Street between First and York, 10am-2pm

Bring us your yellowing, unwanted paper yearning to be recycled…

And you know 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.

(As ever, thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their green and generous grants!)

Saturday, October 30th:  It’s My Park Day – Part II

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

More planting with an especial emphasis on the ribbon of daffodils along the FDR wall…  More scraping/painting…  More fun and fabulous snacks!!  We’re making our UES parks truly ours!!

Miscellany and pretty much upbeat:

Happiness is NYMagazine’s climate article of last week!  Coal on the skids… Renewables ever less expensive and expansive…  China taking big steps in the right direction… Wow!

(Please let writer Jonathan Chait’s vision be right.)

Meanwhile, the EPA’s just issued more stringent pesticide rules that’ll give greater protection to farm field workers

And scientists are now able to make ever more accurate measurements on the effects of earth’s forests from the International Space Station!

Add to that that NYS seems to be waking up to the delusion of endless, perpetual landfilling of solid waste and the need to embrace a practice even recently considered so outre…  Composting!

And, hallelujah, our public libraries’ budget is up by $40-some million…  Meaning longer hours in more branches!!  

Plenty less impactful but all the same, happy the State’s allocating $1.4M to outdoor recreation access programs for Central New York State lands this coming fiscal year!   

The great Eric Sanderson’s at it again…  Morphing his genius Mannahatta Project to the all-five-borough-embracing Welikia Project, complete with new site and maps!   

Then there’s Patricio Gonzalez Vivo’s 3-D Manhattan map!


Whew!  That brownfield site up on 110th Street is now pretty darned squeaky clean!

As if we didn’t know how pitifully little park-space exists on the UES…  The new NY4Parks report and map underscores the point…  (“However, Manhattan has proportionately low park and playground acres per residents, with only 1.7 acres of city parks & playground per 1,000 residents..”)

(And NYCHA wants to build on the Holmes Towers’ playground…)

Huh?  Dunbarton High School of Pickering, Ontario – CANADA! –  has been designated the Greenest School on Earth!

Kudos to the U.S. EPA for offering an online Green Sports Resource Directory to help teams, leagues and stadiums reduce carbon emissions and waste and be recognized for being so green! To get the lowdown;… 

Kudos, too, to Anthony Gonzales who co-developed the FITGuard, a mouthguard that measures a hit to the head when folks play sports from football to rugby

Have an opinion on NYC street vendors?  Express it

And in the are-we-totally-crazy column:

Not just build a gas pipeline, but build that pipeline cheek-by-howl with the Indian Point Nuclear Plant!  (If you think it’s a bad idea…) 

Not to immediately appeal NY Supreme Court Judge Chan’s ban of the styrofoam ban decision (What planet is she living on?  What’s up with our mayor?)

Way out in left field:

Very much impressed by – as The Times puts it – Todd Oldham’s life after fashion…  Which includes some great DIY home projects!

Who knew Winslow Homer painted – and painted alot – in our Adirondacks!

As for this installment of animals:

Ben & Jerry?  Really?  Yup.  Many dairies supplying milk for their ice cream dock – as in cut off – their cattle’s tails! If you object… 

Fascinating on a lot of levels are the how, why and survival of the imperiled British Columbia white spirit bear…  (Which is white for the same reason golden retrievers are blonde!) 

Then there’s the saga of snowy owls

That living fossil, the horseshoe crab

And the long-suffering American buffalo…  (And check out these buffalo stats!)

For a feel of numbers and kinds of feathered-friends heading southward, here’re Hawk Mountains stats

And thanks to Cornell’s Ornithology Lab’s BirdCast, we can all track bird migration across our NYC skies!

Cricky!  Are raccoons taking over Brooklyn

And then:

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

8/30 – Staten Island: The Macaulay Honors College and Freshkills Park hosted their annual BioBlitz. During a BioBlitz, a team of biologists intensely surveys wildlife within a designated site for a short duration, usually 24 hours. Bioblitzes involve researchers, students, and the general public working together to identify all species in the location, providing a snapshot of its biodiversity. BioBlitz 2015 included approximately 500 Macaulay Honors College students and twenty biologists from the greater New York area. We surveyed two sites: the Main Creek just east of its junction with Richmond Creek, and a tidal wetland abundant in Spartina about a half mile north.
male striped killifish

male striped killifish

At the creek site, we used quarter-inch minnow traps and beach/kayak seining. Our catch included Atlantic silverside, mummichog, striped killifish, striped bass, bluefish, black drum, bay anchovy, and naked goby. Other aquatic life included fiddler crab, green crab, blue crab, shore shrimp, mud whelk, and comb jellies. The water was 75 degrees F and the salinity was 23.0 ppt.
female striped killifish

female striped killifish

At the wetland site, we used only quarter-inch minnow traps because the bottom was too soft to seine. Our catch included Atlantic silverside, mummichog, striped killifish, and striped bass. The water was 84 degrees F and the salinity was 23.0 ppt.

9/14 – Inwood Hill Park: Columbia University created a little marsh adjacent to the park with areas of salt marsh, freshwater marsh, and damp meadow. Spartina [salt meadow cordgrass] was thriving along with grasses that grow in drier places. Goldenrods and New England aster were blooming. Elsewhere along the water, flowers of yam-leaved clematis were suddenly profuse. There, as well as up in the woods, common dayflower was having an abundant second flowering; the flowers were small and low down, but very beautiful. On the path up The Clove jewelweed was now in full flower and white snakeroot was just budding. – Thomas Shoesmith

Yours in perpetual greenness,



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