Monthly Archives: February 2016

Happy 225th Anniversary of the Bank of the United States, UESiders!

Founded, of course, by Alexander Hamilton!

Thank you, Mr. Hamilton.

And thanks, too, to you 200-plus Shredders from – truly – all across NYC who turned out this past Saturday! We’re talking the UES, Roosevelt Island, Midtown, the UWS, Harlem, Washington Heights, Jackson Heights, Soho, Brooklyn and Inwood!

More Shredders than ever before…  

Can’t believe the poundage shredded won’t be record-breaking, too! 

Fingers crossed to have that big number next week!

Oh!  Compost/Clothes Collection Coordinator Pamela tells us that 7 (rather 6) bins of compost were collected at 82nd on February 7th.  For those of you who follow these things closely, that’ll account for the otherwise mysterious bin increase in the YTD total!

On to the next 7 days:

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Brisk and dry weather predicted…  Perfect for Oscar party shopping at the tables of American Seafood, Bread Alone, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski, Alewife and Consider Bardwell Farms!

Plus, no way Market Manager Guramrit and Market Manager Supremo Margaret won’t be demo-ing up some choice, easy-to-fix Oscar treats for us to duplicate at home…

Oh!  This just in from Margaret: “Satisfy your craving for green and try some delicious & nutritious pea shoots from Alewife or Gajeski. Come early for a full selection of these and other greenhouse greens as they’re really popular and in short supply!” 

Rightly popular, yes?!

(Meanwhile…  As we continue working our way through Consider Bardwell’s array of offerings:  Manchester goat cheese makes some pretty amazing grilled cheese sandwiches, especially on Bread Alone’s sourdough!)

Last week recycling totals:   44 lbs. batteries; 12 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 9 compost bins; 28 bags of clothes; TBA paper shredded.

Yet another, densely-packed 9 bin week!

Saturday, February 27th:  UES Story – Neighborhood Oral History Interviewer Training

67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, Saturday, 3-5pm

Really, you need to think seriously about being a part of this wonderful, couldn’t-be-more-local history project. Some 30 UESiders – teens from the Alliance Francais to avid oldsters – participated in Wednesday’s easily mastered 2-hour training.   The “trainers”:  Committed young 67th Street Branch librarians, one of whom got her stripes with the great Story Corps.  As we said last week, take your place in neighborhood history by recording it!  To sign up for the Saturday training: AlexandraKelly@nypl.org or call Alexandra at 212-621-0552.

Yikes!  March is upon us…  Along with spring gardening activities:

Wednesday, March 2nd:  Community Board 8 Transportation Committee Meeting – Cross Town Bicycle Lanes

New York Blood Center Auditorium, 310 East 67th Street, 6:30pm

In response to CB8’s request to explore the subject, DOT’s proposed 3 pairs of crosstown bike lanes: 67th and 68th, 77th and 78th and 84th and 85th streets.  Count on plenty of adamant pros – largely in the form of bike advocate group Transportation Alternatives – and equally passionate cons to be present.  We’re talking real community theater.

Thursday, March 3rd:  Adult Coloring & Memory Circle

67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, 5-6pm

For the total grown-ups among us and another way to make the past tangible…  To quote the great 67th Street librarians, “Relax, color and share your memories of the Upper East Side.”    

Thursday, March 3rd:  Community Board 8 Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting – Recommendations for De-Privatizing Queensboro Oval Park

Carnegie Room, Brick Presbyterian Church, 62 East 92nd Street, 6:30pm

Hidden under a tennis bubble for the majority of the year, left in all but unusable condition for those months it’s supposed to function as a park, many in the community are now organizing to demand this extraordinary space under the 59th Street Bridge be returned to full-time public use in 2017.  So what should that park be like?  Join the conversation! 

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

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

Ph.D. Christine Griffiths shares her deep textile/needlework knowledge and leads a workshop that’ll introduce lucky participants to basic 19th Century stitchery technique.  The museum really has made a specialty of these lovely, so accessible events.  $10 with reservations required:  212-838-6878.

Wednesday, March 9th:  Healthy Food – A Right for All, Not a Privilege for Some Lecture

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

Speaking to this most concerning point:  Karen Washington (board member of the great Just Food and past president of the NYC Community Garden Coalition) and Bill Logan (NY Botanical Garden faculty member, Urban Arborist president and author of “The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth”) and Patty Lovera of Food & Water Watch.  Free.   

Wednesday, March 9th:  Vertical Gardening I – Pallet Planters

Seward Park Community Center, 56 Essex Street, 6-7:30pm

How do you convert those sad wooden pallets from landfill fodder to planters that’ll add green to walls and a host of small spaces?  GreenThumb can to show us how!  Free.  For more and to sign up… 

And then:

Friday, March 11th:  NYC ReLeaf 2016 Urban Forestry Workshop

Leo Building, Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, The Bronx, 8:30am- All Day

At $1,500 per street tree (baby tree purchase and planting thereof) don’t we all have an investment in soundest planning, management and care of our urban forest?   The eminent treefolks DEC’s set to enlighten us amateurs on how to meet those challenges?  Think Filomena Riganti of NYRP, the great Sam Bishop of TreesNY and more.  Urban Forestry/ReLeaf members, $15.  Non-members, $25. Registering after March 3rd, $35.  Space limited so…  For the full rundown and reserve a place...

Saturday, March 19th:  32nd Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether

Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, 8:30am-4pm

The grand, deservedly loved gathering of – for real! – thousands of community gardeners and greening pros for a “day of sharaing, networking and greening inspiration!  On this year’s agenda:  Workshops ranging from the new and innovative (including hands-on learning for young gardeners) to classic, ever-useful, basic.  Pre-register by March 14th:  $5 for breakfast, workshops, lunch and t-shirts.  Register at the door:  $7 for breakfast and workshops.  For full details and registration… 

Saturday, March 26th:  Participatory Budgeting Vote at Greenmarket

One of Many Voting Sites But So Very Convenient, 10am-2pm

We all do want that $1 million going to the most deserving UES projects!!

Out there but coming up fast:

Saturday, April 16th:  New York Cares Day Spring

The Park of Your Choice, 9:30am-2pm

You bet we’ll be organizing UES It’s My Park Days (to be set soon), but dedicating some time to New York Cares’ projects is always so worthwhile…  They’re intending to clean and green some 70 NYC Parks this one April day!  For full details…  

A miscellaneous on-off again winge-a-thon:

At last!  The FDA’s pulling itself together to test the safety of food sprayed with RoundUp

Some corporate culture at Lumber Liquidators!  As if selling poisonous laminated flooring wasn’t enough… Now they’re paying a $13.1M fine for the felonious importation and sale of wood that was illegally harvested in the Russian Far East!

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania trees being felled along the as-yet-to-be approved in NYState Constitution route need our help!

Can a single Passive House project change a neighborhood? Yup.  Case and point:  The 2012 conversion of a single 1890’s Brooklyn row house have spread to 4 more on the block!  And the good, green reasons why?? 

Seems to be a possible blip on the CUNY portion of the $215M  MSK/CUNY outpost on East 73rd  (Yet another project resisted by the surrounding residential neighborhood.)   

Another great food waste approach to add to our arsenal…   (Scroll down to Comment #1 for yet another!)

Let us hope the proposed $35M to upgrade school kitchens makes it into the Congress’s final budget!  

How many are the ways NYC public transit is – politely put – behind the times?  Herewith but a few

The pitiful result of this antiquation :  A day of 625 system delays as chronicled by New York Mag

Meanwhile, The Times‘s weighed in on the mayor’s proposed Brooklyn-Queens trolley line.

Latest sickening list of structures stricken from the Landmark’s list

But then: 

Hurrah!  Here on the UES,  a wonderful 19th Century wood-frame house’s gained protection!   (Only “under consideration” since 1966.)

Wow!  The dueling pistols used in the Hamilton-Burr duel moved through many hands but came to rest in NYC! 

Happiness!  Russ & Daughters now has an UES outpost!!  (Brilliant move on the museum’s part!) 

Why not – if they don’t already – encourage your alma mater to use recycled paper for their publications?!  (And abandon plastic wrap if they gone that way, too!)

Hamburg, Germany’s poised to ban (the things’re non-recyclable, non-biodegradable) coffee pods!

Once there were portable libraries for lighthouse keepers and their families

Just barely recall the once Disney Water Park

Vote for your favorite Central Park winter activity and you could win a free park tour!

On to the animal kingdom:

Among dumbest questions ever, but Tom Hynes of Untapped Cities was kind enough to answer it for us:  No! No!  No!  Oysters deployed to clean our harbor and bolster its edges against storms are decidedly NOT EDIBLE by humankind!

Koalas under threat??!! 

Isn’t this heron the most gorgeous critter ever!!

Ah, yes.  Monty Python’s classic “Confuse A Cat”!

And this week’s culling from the Hudson River Almanac:

2/17 – Manhattan: Today,  intern Lincoln Zweig, pulled up a very fat, 90-millimeter-long grubby (a fish) from our fish traps at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac, located on at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25. The fish had the antennae of a shrimp sticking out of its mouth! The grubby, a small fish rarely exceeding seven inches in length, spawns in the Upper Bay of New York Harbor in late winter. – Jessica Bonamusa

[The grubby (Myoxocephalus aenaeus) is a member of the sculpin family of fishes (Cottidae). They are a small, bottom-dwelling boreal species, being much more common in the ocean north of New York to Nova Scotia. The grubby is number 133 on our Hudson River Watershed Fish List, between sea raven and long-horned sculpin. A copy of the checklist is available on DEC’s Fish of the Hudson River Estuary website. – Tom Lake]

2/21 – Manhattan: A bit of migration occurred last night. American woodcock showed, or more accurately flushed, in several areas of the northern end of Central Park today and there seemed to be a slight up-tick in the presence of juncos, song sparrows, and a small number of male red-winged blackbirds; a couple of the latter were giving song. – Tom Fiore

Yours in ever so greenness,

UGS,

 

 

 

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Happy World Pangolin Day, UESiders!

Scaly (pangolin) Anteater

Scaly (pangolin) Anteater

Neither fuzzy or cute (pangolin enthusiasts strenuously disagree) but – believe it or not, because of demand for its meat and scales – the world’s most trafficked animal!   Should you think it worthy of Fish & Wildlife protection in the U.S.  (where, believe it or not, there’s a brisk import market for the  poor critters’ parts)…  

On to the wild, crazy and green seven days ahead:

Now to May, 2016:  The Secret Life of 370 Jay Street 

New York Transit Museum, corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn Heights

So, once upon a time, how and where did the MTA move subway and bus fares – paid by strap hangers of the day in coin of the realm – from stations, trains and buses  scattered across 5 borough to…??? Answer: By armored train to a secret room at 370 Jay Street in Brooklyn…  A building that housed a host of mysterious and quirky (the MTA’s descriptor) transit functions and now subject of a show well worth the trip to Brooklyn!  For more…  And hours and directions

Friday, February 19th:  Daylighting Tibbetts Brook Lecture & Alligators in Sewers Celebration

West Building, Hunter College, 121 East 67th Street, Room 714, 7-9pm

Pull out your copy of “Mannahatta” and check the number of streams long covered over, forced into sewer systems, but still gurgling down deep…  Now, in at least one case, Parks intends to reverse the process, unearthing Van Cortlandt Park’s Tibbetts Brook and letting it flow into the Harlem River once more!   Urban explorer Steve Duncan’s underground video and stills detail the present and Parks Director of Wetlands Marit Larson lays out what will be, while Borough Historian Michael Miscione recounts the origins of Alligators in the Sewers Day!  Organized by the great NYC H2O.  Free.  To reserve your seat…  

Friday, February 19th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s subject this time out?  How are black holes formed and where are they? (Who else but J.P. would know that the  first serious idea of blackholes was written in the mid 1700s by a much-underrated astronomer John Michell!)  Free.

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

May not be sunny, but the temp will be in the 50’s…

And at their tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Rising Sun Beef, Ballard Honey, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski, Alewife and Consider Bardwell Farms!

Last week recycling totals:   71 lbs. batteries; 8 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 7 compost bins; 13 bags of clothes.

7 bins on a day 20 degree day!!  Wow!!

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

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

With friends, shredding maestro Scott, assistant-in-chief Carla and the shredding truck…  You waited…  You fretted as the paper piled up…  It’s finally here!!

But, please, folks::

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 Garodnick and Kallos for their generous grants!)

Saturday, February 20th:  How to Create a Pollinator Victory Garden  Lecture 

Community Room, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, 2pm

Environmental horticulturalist Kim Eierman lays out the simple but effective strategies that’ll attract and nurture not only our  threatened butterfly populations but a host of other pollinators essential to our NYC gardens!  Presented by the great Green Park Gardeners.  Free but donations to further GPG/UES/Esplanade gardening efforts gratefully accepted! 

Sunday, February 21st:  Sunday Owl Prowl!

Bartow-Pell Mansion Park, Pelham Bay Park, 895 Shore Road, The Bronx, 8:30-10pm

Expert birder Jack Rothman leads the search for owls – be they great horned, saw-whet, long-eared, or barred – and the many other feathered friends who frequent the mansion’s grounds in winter.  Free.  For full details… 

Sunday, February 21st:  Essex Market Street Pop Up at the Lowline Lab

140 Essex Street between Rivington & Stanton, 11am-5pm

Two-pronged pleasure:  On the one hand, specialties of a great 75-year old great market (and still going strong)…   On the other, the world’s first underground (and we’re talking lush) park!  Free!  For participating merchants and details

Wednesday, February 24th & Saturday, February 27th:  UES Story – Neighborhood Oral History Interviewer Training

67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, Wednesday – 6-8pm, Saturday, 3-5pm

Take your place in neighborhood history by recording it!  A 2-hour training session and you’ll be ready to mine the treasure of UES memories.  To sign up:  AlexandraKelly@nypl.org or call Alexandra at 212-621-0552.

And then:

Wednesday, March 3rd:  Adult Coloring & Memory Circle

67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, 5-6pm

For the total grown-ups among us and another way to make memory tangible…  To quote the librarians, ” Relax, color and share your memories of the Upper East Side.    

Miscellaneous outrages this week:

Yikes!  Wood in our parmesan cheese?   (And a follow up article…)

Double yikes!  America now has its first climate refugees!

Worse NYC landlords?  The UES’s got one in the top 5

But the stoned most disturbing notion of the week: public housing as private philanthropy.  The intent: Funding zillions of needed repairs. 

(Sure, early last century magnates financed the revolutionary for their time First Avenue Estates, The Cherokee and the block-big complex  at 79th and York (shame on us for not knowing its name). 

So much for NYCHA’s competence on every score.

Okay:

Not exactly unbiased, but trust New Yorkers for Human Scale for a 100% complete, blow-by-blow accounting of the mayor’s proposed zoning changes and the powers-that-be’s responses...

Meanwhile, Pratt’s done a short, readable comparison with San Francisco’s – with many analogies/challenges – zoning approach.

Then check out the tower planned for 86th and Lex

HOW, we ask, are conditions like the one afflicting 129 East 97th – no gas since April ’15 – allowed anywhere in our city…  Not to mention the UES??!! 

No fun, we all do need to be thoroughly versed on the subject of lead… 

Further on the subject

As we wait (and wait and wait) for city moneys allocated for basic structural repairs to our Esplanade… The High Line’ll soon have a piazza!

Why wouldn’t lichens be endangered, too?!  (Including a reindeer lichen found in the Metro NYC area!)

On to the bright side:

Farmers are rediscovering soil-nourishing cover crops in lieu of more fertilizer!

Mars has agreed to remove synthetic dyes from M&Ms and “other foods they produce!

Thomas Jefferson Park just to our north is in contention for a Parks Without Borders grant!  Do take a moment and give ’em your vote for a vestpocket space between TJP and an overpass to the Esplanade (and do feel free to crib from the copy below):

A pocket park here will not only provide improved seating, paving, plantings, and adult exercise equipment, but greening the waterside opposite Thomas Jefferson Park will also provide a much welcoming, much needed link to the East River Esplanade and its renaissance. 

Bunch of amazing craft classes happening around NYC!  (Let us at the shoemaking and Beginner’s Lathe!)

Kind of scary but beautiful…  Ice stacking on Lake Superior

Who knew The Times has an ongoing interactive weather chart clocking temps in 3,000-plus cities! (Surprise-surprise…  Not.  90% were warmer in 2015.)

Of course, there’s a club for Leap Year Day Babies

Animals:

A match the bark to the dog quiz...!  (Entitled “The Sound and the Furry”!)

burning question for our time:  Do cats like kissing?

The largest known rodent…?  (Happily, not still with us!) 

We’ve been needing a history of the oyster in and around NYC!

And from the Hudson River Almanac…  Lest we forget:

2/14 – Manhattan: Today was a record breaking -1 degrees F in Central Park, shattering the record from this date in 1916. – Dianne Picciano, Phil Picciano, Kay Martens

Ever greener,

UGS

 

 

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A Very Happy Valentine’s Day, UESiders!

So, how cold will it be?

Cold enough that the Central Park Conservancy’s cancelled their Ice Festival!

But not so cold that our Greenmarket crew won’t be just shrugging it off!!  

valentine's day

See you there and all around town this frosty coming week:

Saturday,  February 13th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

Undeterred by Arctic weather, with us will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski, Alewife and Consider Bardwell Farms!

That is, no Rising Sun or Ballard Honey. 

Just expect that should things turn really foul, folks will be looking to leave before the usual 2pm closing up time. 

And, you bet, not even sub 32 will keep us from downing Ole Mother Hubbard’s chocolate milk while we shop! 

Ready for those long-awaited end of 2015 recycling numbers??

December 12th:  71 lbs. batteries; 10 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 9 compost bins (1241 lbs); 26 bags of clothes.

December 19th:  45 lbs. batteries; 5 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 8 3/4 compost bins (1104 lbs.), 17 bags of clothes.

December 26th:  22 lbs. batteries; 8 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 6 compost bins (829 lbs.); 12 bags of clothes.

ONE MORE TIME:  GRAND TOTALS 1/3/15 to 12/26/15:

3107 lbs batteries; 679 lbs.cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 148 pairs eye glasses;  408 bins of compost; 1182 bags of clothes; 20,742 lbs of paper. 

Last week’s recycling totals:

Just incredible, you fabulous people…

So incredible that Sanitation’s now following 82nd Street’s weekly composting numbers…

Yes.

Saturday, February 13th & Sunday, February 14th:  31st Annual Sword Dancing Festival

Manhattan and Brooklyn

You read it right…   Twelve sword dancing groups will be performing this hitherto unknown to us, ancient English folkway insuring – natch –  good luck in the coming year!  Free with donations gladly accepted.  For the complete rundown

Friday, February 19th:  Daylighting Tibbetts Brook

West Building, Hunter College, 121 East 67th Street, Room 714, 7-9pm

Pull out your copy of “Mannahatta” and check the number of streams long covered over, forced into sewer systems, but still gurgling down deep…  Now, in at least one case, Parks intends to reverse the process, unearthing Van Cortlandt Park’s Tibbetts Brook and letting it flow into Harlem River once more!   Urban explorer Steve Duncan’s underground video and stills detail the present and Parks Director of Wetlands Marit Larson lays out what will be, while Borough Historian Michael Miscione recounts the origins of Alligators in the Sewers Day!  Organized by the great NYC H2O.  Free.  To reserve your seat…  

Only seven days away now:

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

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

Shredding maestro Scott, assistant-in-chief Carla and ye olde shredding truck will be waiting to obliterate how ever much paper you bring!

But, please, folks::

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 Garodnick and Kallos for their generous grants!)

Saturday, February 20th:  How to Create a Pollinator Victory Garden  Lecture 

Community Room, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, 2pm

Environmental horticulturalist Kim Eierman lays out the simple but so effective strategies to attract and nurture not only struggling butterflies but a host of other essential pollinators in our NYC gardens!  Presented by the great Green Park Gardeners.  Free but donations to further UES/Esplanade gardening efforts gratefully accepted! 

Saturday, February 20th, Saturdays March 12th & 19th:  Woolworth Building Tour with Cass Gilbert’s Great Grand Daughter

233 Broadway, 5pm

No guards hustling you through the lobby and onto an elevator as fast they can…  Rather time to soak in the spectacular space, as well as the cellar level, erstwhile subway entrances and stunning mezzanine!  $45.  For tickets…  

And then:

Thursday, February 25th:  “Bag the Plastic” Forum

 Kimmel Center, NYU, 60 Washington Square South, Room 914, 6:30-8pm

In what we’re hoping is revived encouragement for the mayor to sign the bill he finessed on Earth Day 2015, Borough President Brewer and State Senator join forces to discuss the need to “Bag the Plastic”. Free.

Before we know it:

Sunday, March 13th:  Five Remnants of Pennsylvania Station Tour

Pennsylvania Station, LIRR side in front of McDonald’s, time provided with ticket purchase 

Thank goodness there’re more than 5, but these are accessible surviving bits of the lost masterpiece. Organized by Untapped Cities. $30.  For more and tickets

Saturday, March 19th:  32nd Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference

Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, 8:30am – 4pm

Literally thousands of NYC’s community gardeners and professionals will be gathering to mix, learn, share and inspire one another.  $5 pre-registration covers breakfast, lunch and workshops, pay $7 at the door on the day or sign up to volunteer and get it all – plus a t-shirt – for free!  For complete details

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

Sites and hours TBA

So many worthy projects…  And your vote will determine the most worthy of all!

LET’S VOTE!!

cichorium-intybus

cichorium-intybus

What would a week be without miscellany:

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer is now fielding a neighborhood noise survey.  If you’d like to weigh in… 

Meanwhile, next week, the MTA’ll be issuing $500M in “green” bonds to fund projects that’ll slow global warming!

But of course, there’s always something in the What-Are-They-Thinking column…  As in the desire of some up in Albany to deploy environmental protection funds to develop flood-prone areas along the Hudson and other NYS waterfronts

quick look at our magnificent new National Monuments…    

Who knew there were still 4 vintage telephone booths still standing on the streets of NYC?

Incredible that Fairway – never less than wall-to-wall people when we’re there – is on financial ropes

How ’bout some critters:

Cornell’s come up with one amazing bird migration map that also poses a big question:  Some of our feathered friends actually fly north and over the Canadian border in January?

Of course, locating the right live-in companion for your bunny is serious business… 

A cat coat identification quiz

Okay, so now – for crying out loud – ladybugs are in decline!

Making the 2 seen in the Bicycle Island Garden at 64th & First last summer all the more wonderful…

lady bugs

And why we’ll be keeping an eye on our garden insect populations in the Bike Island Citizen Science Project taking off this spring!

Penguins 

Yup, they’re penguins and snapped by lucky UESider Peter Kelvin on a recent trip to Antarctica! Amazing, huh?  (Sort of looks like Mr. Chinstrap Penguin in the foreground is having a wistful thought:  “Bon voyage, visiting humans…”)

Always something choice in the Hudson River Almanac:

2/2 – Manhattan: We caught our first River Project fish of the year today in traps from the Lilac at Pier 25 in the Hudson River Park. It was a threespine stickleback about 58 millimeters long.

Threespine Stickleback

Threespine Stickleback

The three-spine stickleback is a highly adaptive species occurring in salt, brackish and fresh water. In New York State, they occur in Lake Ontario and on Long Island as well as in the lower Hudson River where they enter the estuary in winter and early spring to spawn. We caught our first sticklebacks in ten years in 2015, on January 28 and February 8. Now we’re seeing them again in 2016. – Jessica Bonamusa

[The Lilac is a historic lighthouse tender, between 164 and 174 feet long, docked at Pier 25. She is the last of her kind, dating from 1933. The boat is owned by the Lilac Preservation Project which allows us to hang our 20 minnow traps and four crab pots off the side to sample the river. – Jessica Bonamusa.]

Our Valentine hearts will be beeting green,

UGS

 

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Happy Super Bowl 50 Weekend, UESiders,

We’ll be stocking up on Greenmarket goodies so whatever the quality of the game, our mouths will have had a mighty good time!

As for other high points of the next 7 days: 

Now till May 6th:  Little Red’s Hood

Swedish Marionette Theater, Central Park

Another charming fairy tale update NYC-style – complete with soulful urban wolf – from the Marionette Theater folks!  (The Swedish Colltage’s a treat itself!)  Adults, $10.  Children, $7.  For complete details and tickets

Saturday,  February 6th:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection – 9am–1pm 

With us will be Rising Sun Beef, American Seafood, Ballard’s Honey, Bread Alone, Ole Mother Hubbard, Samascott, Gajeski, Alewife and Consider Bardwell Farms.

Made Bardwell Farms grilled Danby goat cheese sandwiches!  Just great!

Last week’s recycling totals:  102 lbs. batteries; 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphone and cartridges; 8 pairs of eye glasses;  11 1/2 compost bins; 35 bags of clothes.

You read it right…  A new UES record:   11 1/2 compost bins!!  

And especial kudos to those who held their compost for an additional week!

Meanwhile, new compost/collection Manager Pamela assures us she’ll be providing late December/January numbers.

Saturday, February 6th:  First Ever UES Chinese New Year’s Celebration

Madison Avenue, moving from 76th to 54th Street, 11am-12pm 

As dancers move down the Ave, merchants’ll be offering up champagne, candy, sweets, gifts!  There’ll be a ton more activities at 54th from a performance by the NY Eastern Chamber Orchestra to calligraphy and face painting!  Way to ring in the Year of the Monkey!!   For more…   

On the horizon:

Friday, February 19th:  Daylighting Tibbetts Brook

West Building, Hunter College, 121 East 67th Street, Room 714, 7-9pm

Pull out your copy of “Mannahatta” and check the number of streams long covered over, forced into sewer systems, but still gurgling down deep…  Now, in at least one case, Parks intends to reverse the process, unearthing Van Cortlandt Park’s Tibbetts Brook and letting it flow into Harlem River once more!   Urban explorer Steve Duncan’s underground video and stills detail the present and Parks Director of Wetlands Marit Larson lays out what will be, while Borough Historian Michael Miscione recounts the origins of Alligators in the Sewers Day!  Organized by the great NYC H2O.  Free.  To reserve your seat…  

Saturday, February 20th:  How to Create a Pollinator Victory Garden  Lecture 

Community Room, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, 2pm

Environmental horticulturalist Kim Eierman lays out the simple but so effective strategies to attract and nurture not only struggling butterflies but a host of other essential pollinators in our NYC gardens!  Presented by the great Green Park Gardeners.  Free but donations to further UES/Esplanade gardening efforts gratefully accepted! 

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

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

Please, folks::

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 Garodnick and Kallos for their generous grants!)

Saturday, February 20th, Saturdays March 12th & 19th:  Woolworth Building Tour with Cass Gilbert’s Great Grand Daughter

233 Broadway, 5pm

No guards hustling you through the lobby and onto an elevator as fast they can…  Rather time to soak in the spectacular space, as well as the cellar level, erstwhile subway entrances and stunning mezzanine level!  $45.  For tickets…  

Thursday, February 25th:  Bag the Plastic” Forum

 Kimmel Center, NYU, 60 Washington Square South, Room 914, 6:30-8pm

In what we’re hoping is revived encouragement for the mayor to sign the bill he finessed on Earth Day 2015, Borough President Brewer and State Senator join forces to discuss  the need to “Bag the Plastic”.  Free.

Light on the miscellany for once:

Seventeen NYC hotels have pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions 30% or more over the next 10 years!  (Wonder why The Times didn’t name them all in their article…) 

And, as of last count, 77,814 people have applied for the 47 affordable apartments in the still-under-construction 205 East 93rd! 

Here we go again…  Same 95 structures of NYC historic importance…  Still in Real Estate Board  cross hairs…  Still in some vague state of calendarization/review by Landmarks…  Even including a cemetery!!

Yup, there was a fire on 68th Street this past Monday with Con Ed handiwork involved

Scroll down for a review of “Slice Harvester”, memoir of one Colin Atrophy Hagendorf who’s sworn to eat pizza at every joint in NYC!  (He’s got a site, too, complete with map of pizzerias reviewed to date… Many in our hood…

On the level…  Seven fun facts about Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”!

Animals:

German shepherd and orphaned baby elephant pals

For the football adverse:

Animal Planet’s cute-tastic Puppy Bowl XII

And Hallmark’s equally fuzza-wonderful Kitten Bowl III!

Always good to end with a hit from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/22 – Staten Island: Shortly before 4:00 this afternoon, I found an adult mew gull (most likely common gull) at Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island, feeding off a jetty with a large flock of ring-billed and Bonaparte’s gulls. –  Isaac Grant

Mew (Common) Gull

Mew (Common)               Gull

Ring-Billed Gull

Ring-Billed Gull

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte’s Gull

So good to be green,

UGS

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