Monthly Archives: January 2016

Happy National Legume Appreciation Month, UESiders!

So the big snow’s come, is mostly gone and didn’t we all wish a lot more of neighborhood sidewalk shoveling was more than minimal?

So, here’re the basics the City requires… 

(We of the low Sixties are now politely nagging corner merchants into clearing bike island crosswalks, too.  After all, Sanitation’s started plowing bikes lanes simultaneously with the Ave!)

Meanwhile, for those residing beyond easy reach of a Greenmarket…  There’s the Winter Fresh Food Box Program!  A slick $12 buys participants a generous GrowNYC-curated selection of fresh produce with Lenox Hill Neighborhood House as the pick-up point!  For full details

blizzard weather map

And now for the week ahead:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Back after the blizzard!!

At their bounty-packed tables will be the great Rising Sun Beef, American Seafood, Ballard’s Honey, Bread Alone, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski, Alewife and Consider Bardwell Farms!

Can’t wait for chocolate milk, beets, eggs, cider, multi-grade bread, fish, ground beef and cheese!! 

2016 Recycling Totals coming soon!!

Sunday, January 31st:  Waste Less, Live Better Workshop

Park Slope United Methodist Church, 410 Sixth Avenue, Brooklyn, 1-3pm

State-of-the-art, user-friendly recycling methodology from UESider and We Hate to Waste Founder, Jacqueline Ottman.  Free!

Monday, February 1st:  The Land Where Water Runs Uphill – Exploring Antarctica During Internation Polar Year Lecture

The Explorers Club, 46 East 70th Street, 6-8pm

Renowned glaciologist (!) Robin Bell describes her team’s exploration of the last unknown mountain range on earth where they discovered water beneath the ice sheet running uphill!  And if you’ve never been inside the Explorers Club…  It’s a knockout.   Free to members.  Non-members, $20.  Students, $5.  For more and reservations (a must): reservations@explorers.org or 212-628-8383. 

Tuesday, February 2nd:  Gracie Mansion Tour

Carl Schurz, 88th Street & East End Avenue, 10-10:50am

Yup, a fat 50 minutes to take in “The People’s House”, the new art installation and view of the MTS. Free.  For more and to reserve a place

Closing in:

Thursday, February 11th:  Staying Warm with Clean Energy Webinar

On Your Computer Screen, 10:30am-12pm

Air- and ground-source heat pumps…  Most modern methods of air sealing and insulation…  The impressive impact of  these and other cutting edge technologies are having up to our north, in chilly Tompkins County! Free.  To sign up… 

Saturday, February 20th:  Shred-A-Thon – Prohibition Repealed Edition

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

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.

(Thank you, Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for making our Shred-A-Thons possible!)

new_york_blizzard-550x450-rd10

Miscellany galore:

Good news!  The MTA’s going to be testing a new subway car prototype!  Bad news!  Prototypes won’t be on the rails till early 2020’s!  Worse news!  If the new design works for NYC, it won’t be in wide use till the 2070’s!!  Worse news still!!  We’ll then be something like 70-plus years behind other global capitals’ transit systems!!

Could be worse news!  Chain/national store presence in Manhattan minutely declined by .01%, from 2,807 to 2,804!  (For more on the subject…) (Down on Greenwich Village Historic Preservation Society turf, their presence has declined by 5%.)

Uncategorizable news!  Citizens of Flint, Michigan are still being charged for their poisoned water!! (Should you object…)

Just plain good news!!  Campbell’s now supports GMO labeling!

Reservations about the mayor’s zoning plan?  Here’s activist group Human Scale’s latest, one-click letter to sign!

More reservations still about deB’s and NYCHA’s infill brainstorm that’ll so impact our neighbors at Isaacs and Holmes…

(Zoning opponents should only be as clever as this pro-development tidbit illustrated with…  Cats!) 

Yet another NYC classic under threat…  This time the U.N. Plaza Hotel’s Ambassador Grill.  (If you favor preservation…)

Uh, what?  State funds for public libraries stay flat in 2016?  (If you take exception…)

Short notice, but how about lending your energy and IQ to the Solid Waste Advisory Board of Manhattan?  (Simple application has to be in by tomorrow 1/29/16.)

And/or give the great folks at the Neighborhood Preservation Center with a short survey their conducting (and maybe win a Kiehl’s gift certificate!)

In the bizarrely green department:  We‘re now running some of the U.S. Navy on oil and beef fat!

An Airbnb igloo for your out-of-town guests…?  

Ten NYC buildings that’ve changed colors over the years (not all for the better)… 

Signs of the income divide:  The Harvard Business Review on Whole Foods’ magazine racks…  Sweet wines served in custom-designed crystal spoons… 

New York Botanical Garden’s spring class catalog just hit the net! 

When in Baltimore or Wisconsin…  How about a  Serial” and “Making of a Murderer” Tour

snow cat

What would a week be without animals:

Those black squirrels frolicking around in City Hall Park?  They’re a genetic variation/sub-group of the eastern gray squirrel and termed “melanistic”.  Not considered rare, but biologists estimate that only 1 in 10,000 gray squirrels is melanistic!

OMG…  Young Trumps hunting African game…?!!

We close with a couple items from the great Hudson River Almanac:

1/16 – Manhattan: There were two snow geese and an Iceland gull at the north end of the Reservoir in Central Park today. Pretty unusual! There were ring-necked ducks at the southern end. – Kai Sheffield

snow geese

snow geese

Iceland gull

Iceland gull

ring-necked duck

ring-necked duck

1/17 – Manhattan: A Cooper’s hawk is an annual visitor to the central square between 8th and 9th avenues at 21st and 22nd streets in Manhattan. This accipiter checks in on the local squirrels and other small critters.  – Andrew Salcius

Cooper's hawk

Cooper’s hawk

Yours in greenness,

UGS

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Onward to 2016, UESiders!

happynyearcat

How about we launch into things miscellaneous first for once:

*Lots of deserving hands held out this past holiday season, still continuing and when it comes to donating food…  Here’s The Times on the most efficient/dollar-stretching way to go 

*One hundred participants – one a babe-in-arms – recorded a total of 4,264 birds of 55 different species in this year’s Audubon Central Park Christmas Bird Count! Highlights included a female Wilson’s warbler in the north end, an orange-crowned warbler near the Met and the great horned owl that’s been hanging out in the park for several weeks!

*A protected bike lane will be coming to Second Avenue (a la First Avenue), even before subway construction is complete… 

*How about light rail along the Brooklyn-Queens waterfront?  (Or is such a notion not expensive or disruptive or retrograde enough for our city fathers?)

*Been following this young engineer’s plan to tackle the million square mile plastic horribleness of the Pacific Gyre…   As described most recently by NBC Nightly News.

*President Obama signed the bill banning microbeads on December 28th!

*While most local drop-off locations are now closed, you can still donate much-needed winter coats 9am-5pm  at New York Cares, 157 West 31st Street (between Sixth & Seventh).  Just call 646-801-4022 when you arrive!

*At last!  Compost in biodegradable plastic bags will now be accepted at the 82nd Street Greenmarket Not perfect (we double bag to prevent leaks) and likely you’ll have to transport in plastic…  But better a single plastic bag than several!!  Many biodegradable brands out there and here’s a sampling

*Major impediment to residential building energy waste?   Archaic steam heating systems updatable with simple fixes/updatesi

*Fixes that’ll be coming soon to nine 100-year old buildings in Bushwick

*Could be Governor Cuomo’s about to mandate that 50% NYState power be renewable by 2030!

*All we need is a cheap, zillion-times reusable battery…  And we’re getting closer

*The Gov’s pushing for a new Penn Station, too…  (Leave the name alone, please, and let us pray on a decent design.) (We’d rebuild the demolished structure line-for-line.)

*Three NYS DEC courses we like the sound of a lot:  Managing Your Private Woodlot, “Women’s Learn to Snowshoe Workshop” and “The Annual Ice Fishing Clinic!

*Aesthetics and NYC residential garbage bins?  It’s happening, people!!

*Twenty-five years to de-clutter a barn?  Why not, given this result…!  

 *Just how crazy are we human beings?  We shop more when a store is cluttered

*Who wouldn’t want to know the history of the pink plastic flamingo!flamingos

And now for the week ahead:

Now Until Sunday, May 29th:  The Butterfly Conservatory

American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street

Doesn’t get any better than a half-hour spent among flowering plants and hundreds of gorgeous, free-flying butterflies!  

Friday, January 8th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino launches into ’16 with an overview of starry winter skies dominated by constellation Orion (with satellite groups Taurus, Gemini, the Canes, Auriga,  Lepus, Monoceros, Lynx and Eridanus)!  Free.

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

At their tables will be the great Rising Sun Beef, American Seafood, Ballard’s Honey, Bread Alone, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski and Alewife Farms!

PLUS…  With us for the winter season is Consider Bardwell Farm, award-winning Vermont cheese makers who’ll also be stocking maple syrup, goat meat and milk-fed veal!!  

See you Saturday!!

Last 4 weeks’/2015 recycling totals:  TBA.

Saturday, January 9th & Sunday, January 10th:  Mulchfest 2016

Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street & East End Avenue, 10am-2pm

Remove lights, tinsel, decorations and stand, transport to Schurz Park and have your once beautiful Christmas tree turned into gorgeous mulch!  You’ll even leave with a bag of fabulous stuff (bring your own bag) to lay around street trees or on the gardens in your hood!  (There’re also numerous drop-off locations or just leave that tree curbside for Sanitation to collect and chip January 2nd to 10th!) 

Saturday, January 9th:  The Rise & Fall of Vertical Travel

Elevator Historical Society, 43-39 21st Street, Suite 206, Long Island City, 1pm

Who else but the Obscura Society would be organizing a tour of the world’s only museum devoted to not just elevators…  But escalators, too?!!  $18.  For further details

Wednesday, January 13th:  Perils of Indian Point – No Way Out?

Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street, 2nd Floor, 6:30pm

Speakers Susan Shapiro and Gary Shaw of the Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition and Christopher Len, Riverkeeper’s Hudson River Program Director, lay out the facts and what each of us can do. Presented by the Sierra Club NYC Group Sustainability Series and moderated by the UES’s own Bonnie Webber.  Free.  For more...
Right around the corner:

Saturday, February 20th:  Shred-A-Thon – Prohibition Repealed Edition

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

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.

(Thank you, Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for making our Shred-A-Thons possible!)

And do mark your calendar:

Saturday, March 26th – Sunday, April 3rd:  Discretionary Budgeting Vote

Sites and hours TBA

We do want that $1,000,000 spent to greatest good effect!!

photinia-fraseri

photinia-fraseri

Bring on the animals:
Two weeks ago, the State of Montana made history when Governor Steve Bullock announced the state was moving forward with providing year-round habitat for wild bison (as opposed to hazing or killing the animals) outside Yellowstone National Park!.
Love unlikely critter friendships…  Like these two BFFs who’re presently rocking the online world: Siberian tiger Amur and Timur the goat
How about some owl portraits…?!
We have a wildlife rehab facility right here in Manhattan!   The Wild Bird Fund Center on Columbus Ave and 88th 
Feeling really green in 2016,
UGS

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