Monthly Archives: December 2015

A joyous Hanukkah, UESiders!

And a Merry Christmas in advance because…

As those of you’ve who’ve seen us hobbling about the last few weeks have likely thought, “Bet another visit to HHS will be happening soon!”

And it is…  Which will have UGS absent from 82nd Street till after the New Year!

In the meantime, be great if you kept those batteries/cords/corks/etc. on ice at home…  Or, should you happen to be in the vicinity of the 86th/Lex Best Buy, drop off batteries, cords and unwanted tech while there!

Yup, we’re constantly reminding you, but do keep in mind:         

               CFL Light Bulbs     –      Recycle at Home Depot

               Britta Filters          –       Into your building’s recycling  bins

Just because we won’t be gadding about, doesn’t mean there won’t be newsletters coming your way in the interim!

And in case you’re wondering what we’d like Santa to have in his bag for us…  How about you wonderful readers pay a visit to the P2P site and compose a 1-2 sentence original letter to Comptroller Stringer demanding that MTS audit?!

Much better than sugar plums, we say! 

Happiest Holidays to all!!

And one great week ahead:

Now to Thursday, January 7th:  Annual Wreath Show

The Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 9am-5pm

Fifty artists of every aesthetic stripe present their interpretations of the classic holiday symbol.  Free.  For more

Friday, December 4th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino weighs in on just how far away stars are! Free.

Friday, December 4th & Saturday, December 5th:  Holiday Candlelight Tours

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 6:15pm & 7:30pm

And we quote:  “Step into the holiday season of 1830, take a tour by the warm glow of candlelight, enjoy historic caroling, and sample traditional confections and beverages, including mulled wine.” Friday’s extra fun:  An encounter with kitchen helper “Flora”.  Saturday’s added treat: The PACC Recorder Consort performs period holiday music!   Members, $10.  Non-members, $20; Kids under 12, $5.   Best to make reservations:  212-838-6878.

Saturday,  December 5th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

On to the hardcore of the holiday season….

With our most hardcore farmers/fishermen/bakers on hand:

Samascott with their luscious fruit and choice vegs…  Rising Sun Beef with the best beef, pork and chicken…  American Seafood and the freshest seafood going…  Ballards Honey and every form of the sweet stuff, plus bee pollen and decorative candles…  Alewife and their chemical free vegetables…  Garden of Spices with their amazing chicken, duck, eggs, mushrooms and yogurt… Bread Alone and their amazing array of baked deliciousness…  Ole Mother Hubbard and her 5-star milk, eggs, yogurt, cheddar cheese and insanely fabulous chocolate milk!!
(Yes, Cherry Lane and Valley Shepherd’s seasons are at end.)

And, YES, Master Knife Sharpener will be at her table to ready to restore your cutlery – dulled by that extensive turkey carving – for Hanukkah/Christmas action!

Last week’s recycling totals:  71 lbs. batteries; 18 lbs. cords, corks, cellphone and cartridges; 9 compost bins; 46 bags of clothes.

Yet another 9 bin week!!  

Saturday, December 4th:  Operation Slumber!

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, W. Twelfth Avenue at 46th Street, 6pm to 8am (Saturday)

Does family friendly adventure get any better than a night spent aboard a World War II aircraft carrier?!!  We think not…  Especially as it’s jammed-packed with educational activities like a visit inside the Space Shuttle Pavilion, a flashlight tour of the flight deck and a ride in a flight simulator!  Museum Members, $99.  Non-members, $120.  Meals and snacks included.  For more… 

Sunday, December 6th: The Manhattan Menorah Lighting

Grand Army Plaza, Fifth Avenue at 59th Street, 5:30pm

Manhattan celebrates Hanukkah – the Festival of Lights – with illumination of the beautiful 32-foot menorah in one of the city’s loveliest spaces.  For more, including the lighting schedule over coming days…   

Thursday, December 10th: The Red Tape Commission Meeting 

Civic Hall, 156 Fifth Avenue, 2nd Floor, 8:30am-10am

Thank BP Brewer, Comptroller Stringer and our erstwhile Council Member/now president of the Downtown Alliance Jessica Lappin for this chance to unburden yourself of a miserable NYC business experience!  For further details… 

And then:

Sunday, December 13th:  Origamifest

Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 77th Street, 30-minute sessions from 10:30am-2:30pm

Fold, crease and – with the help of volunteers from OrigamiUSA – create an origami menagerie! There’ll be a display of OrigamiUSA’s most intricately awesome creations, too…  And a milk and cookie snack!!  $5.  For members and family only but a great reason to join! Reservations required:  212-769-5200!

Sunday, December 20th: The 116th Annual Christmas Bird Count

Outside Your Windows

You, too, might spot a golden eagle on a Manhattan tree branch…  Or one of the 156 other bird species ID’d by by NYC participants in all 5 boroughs in 2014…  All making a major contribution to America’s longest running citizen science projects!!   Manhattanites:  Contact coordinator Debra Kriensky at

(Holy crow!  A painted bunting’s been spotted in Brooklyn and the news made The Times!)

Before we know it:

Saturday, March 5th:   Mini-Sampler Lecture and Workshop

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Textile and needlework scholar Christine Griffith provides the historical/cultural landscape from which samplers sprang… Inspiration for you to create your own mini-sampler…  With whatever help you need from needle-wise New York Nineteenth Century Society members!  $10 (with materials provided). RSVP required: 212-838-6878.  


We’ve been wondering what the great former Deputy Sanitation Commissioner Ron Gonen – the guy who expanded plastics recycling and made compost collection happen – was up to since not being kept in place by the deB administration.  Answer:  As per last Sunday’s Times:  More innovation!

(And, you bet, we’ve queried reporter David Gelles re a significant omission in his coverage:  Just how much – for want of cutting-edge facilities – NYC recycling actually winds up in landfill… While a quarter billion gets spent constructing a circa 19th-Century dump!) 

Tip of the hat to Tribeca Trust’s astonishingly energetic opposition to the mayor’s upward zoning plan and the most recent questionable bone TT’s picking in that regard…  

Must (and good) reading:  The GOOD Guide to Recycling!   (Like, in a perfect recycling world, what should  happen to plastic en route to recycling heaven?)

So why the heck aren’t there “how to recycle” instructions included on all packaging labels?

And how about a QR code that tells the sorter/scanner just what grade of plastic a given item is?

Excellent that Home Depot’s  just announced it’s now removed 80% of bee-killing neonics from its garden center plants and committed itself to phasing out neonics in all plants it sells by 2018!

(If you think Ace and True Value should do the same…  And move even more quickly…)   

So how do our UES Senators and Representatives rate on the Food Policy Action scorecard…?

Yikes!  We’re up to our ears in terrible ideas!!  As in NYC park land up for rent and unavailable to residents for summer weeks at a time…?  

How about a visit to the summer homes of white storks – there’re a lot of them! – scattered across the length and breadth of Poland…? 

Interested in signing on as a NYC lifeguard this coming summer?

A single critter note this time out but it’s choice:

Ladies and gents, we give you “Cats vs. Cucumbers” 

Yours in perpetual greenness,





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