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.


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


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,




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