Monthly Archives: August 2016

Happy Olympics and – much closer to home – Second Annual U.S. National Drone Race Championship, UESiders!

Yes, this weekend the air over Governor’s Island will thick with the pesky little things… 150 selected from the 1,000 who applied with some whizzing at speeds up to 60 mph and all, hopefully, drug/doping free!! 

A fitting prelude to the pretty fun-filled 7 days ahead: 

Friday, August 5th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pazmino’s subject this time out:  Meteor showers and the Perseids!!   Free, fun and totally interesting!

Saturdays, August 6th, 13th & 20th:  2016 Summer Streets!

Central Park & 72nd Street to the Brooklyn Bridge, 7am-1pm

Car-free and packed with a ton of truly fun activities – zip line, anyone? – for 6.7 miles!  One of the great NYC summer happenings!!  Some of our farmers are getting in early so they can head over to Park Ave for taste! Scroll down for the map…  

Saturday, August 6th:  “It’s Kitten Season” Adoption Event

Urban Outfitters Across the City

Another chance for feline-loving New Yorkers to give that kitten or cat they’ve be wanting a forever home! Organized by BestFriends.  Free.   For locations, times and adoption requirements

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their full-to-overflowing tables will be American Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Valley Shepherd Creamery, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Alewife, Ole Mother Hubbert, Cherry Lane, Samascott, Gajeski, Green Pastures and Sikking Farms!

Field Tomato Alert:  They’re on our farmers’ tables in abundance and deliciousness!!  

Flower Arranging Alert:  Acquire tips from the Sikking experts!!

Happy to say the Master Knife Sharpener will be returning to her accustomed place!  (Appearing around 11am.)

Market Manager Guramrit’s back with us, too!

And…  AND wonderful Andrea Wright returns with more lovely Greenmarket music!! 

Last week’s recycling totals: 98 lbs. batteries; 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair of eye glasses; 8 compost bins; 60 bags of clothes.

Another 8 bin midsummer week!  Amazing!!

Sunday, August 7th:  92nd Street Greenmarket

First Avenue between 92nd & 93rd Street, 9am-4pm

Compost Collection, 9am–1pm 

With us will be American Seafood, Meredith’s Bakery and Bread Alone, Ole Mother Hubbert, Phillips, Norwich Meadows, Stannart and the Angel Family Farms!

Double Field Tomato Alert:  Our Market Tables Runneth Over With Real, Locally Grown Tomato-ness! (Manager Ryan will be featuring them in this Sunday’s demo!) 

Last week’s recycling totals:  15 lbs. batteries; 2 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 compost bins!

Yet another 2 bin week!!

Sundays, August 7th:   Summer Sizzle II on Pier 90!

The East River Esplanade at 90th Street, 10am-2pm

NO RAIN THIS SUNDAY!!  Just more music from the great Grupo Guateca!!  More fabulous refreshments from the generous folks of COFFEED!  More of the 80-degree weather and breezes that makes spending minutes or hours on a Pier 90 bench golden time!  Pat yourself on the back, UESiders!  You’ve made more of these Sundays happen through Labor Day!!  Totally free!!

Sunday, August 7th:  “Star Wars” Marathon

King’s Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, Doors Opening at 1pm

Fasten your spaceship belts for end-to-end “A New Hope”, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” and in the magnificently restored King’s Theatre!  $55-$70.  For tickets

Tuesday, August 9th: Silent Cinema Classic “The Man Who Laughs” Screening 

Rooftop, Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm for pre-film cocktails, sunset for the film

Sure, there’s the cocktails, good company and fab rooftop location…  But this week there’s even more on offer…  In the form of live musical accompaniment’s by Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Marco Refosco!!    Suggested attire:  Masks, capes and Dracula teeth!!  Czech Film Club Members, $15. Non-members via Event-Brite, $20. At the door, $25.  For more and tickets

And then:

Thursday, August 11th:  Cool – Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned City 

New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, 6:30pm

Where inside wasn’t it air-conditioned during last week’s heat wave?  Necessary to city life as it’s become, those zillions of kilowatts and fossil fuels it takes to provide the power aren’t without more than dollar cost… And might their be alternatives?  Atlantic Magazine “Brave Thinker” Stan Cox has some ideas!  Organized by the Museum of the City of New York.  Free but you have to register… 

Sunday, August 13th:  Fifth Annual Great Hudson River Estuary Fish Count

Banks of the Hudson from NYC to Albany, All Day

Of course, naturalists will be leading the count, assisted by any number of green organizations, but the rest of us are more than welcome to lend a hand, too…  Citizen science is the best, people!!  For full details

Tuesday, August 16th:  Astronomy Live – Constellations of the Zodiac

Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 77th Street, 7pm

Folks of the ancient world looked up at the sky and confected some of the best stories ever!  Even if you if you know them, Irene Pease and Lydia Maria Petrosino will be making them new as the constellations/signs of the zodiac play overhead!  Members, $12.  Non-members, $15.  Non-member seniors, $13.50.  For more (more great programs, too) and tickets… 

Fast approaching:

Wednesday, August 31st:  Navigating New York’s Busy Ocean Panel Discussion

4-D Theater at the Central Park Zoo, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, Reception at 6pm, Panel 7-8:30pm

No question but whales are frequenting our harbor and in ever greater numbers…  Sufficiently so that the issue of whale/ship collision is now well on the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s radar!   Thus, this panel…  With the DEC even serving up refreshments to attendees!  Free but you must reserve a place

On to miscellany:

Time was when collecting plastic bottles and soft drink cans was how our most unfortunate made a few dollars a day.  Now, scavenging the city’s most valuable recyclables is a big and highly organized business…  Illustrated by the fellow at 65th and First observed as he iphoned that he and his ten, humungous, full-to-bursting bags of cans were ready for pick up!

The City’s recycling stats are enlightening 

Meanwhile, NYC’s now signed an “order on consent” to upgrade it’s water treatment facilities

Citizen Science Opportunity Alert:  NYS’s looking for folks with pools to assist in an (invasive) longhorn beetle survey

Yet another luxury high rise’s going up on the UES

Let’s cross fingers this Keith Haring mural‘s saved…

How gorgeous even our most humble public structures once were…  Even those that dealt with our waste. Witness the once London Sewage Pumping Station...  Now a museum!  (Take a good, long look, NYC Department of “Design” & Construction!)

Impressive what’s been going on at UES’s own Mount Vernon Hotel Museum this summer!

There’re actually 10 relics of the Erie Canal remaining in NYC!

Not absolutely perfect, but one of the better waste bin installations around:


(Thanks to reader Rita Donaghy for the tip!)

Couldn’t get up to the Botanical Garden for the Corpse Flower’s blooming?  There’s a time lapse record of the event ! (With Chicago’s Corpse Flower added in for good measure!)

Still on the subject of flowers:  Incredible Ukranian flower crowns!  (FYI, the Ukranian Museum on East 8th Street is first rate!)

And always animals:

Aw, seems like humpback whales have taken to saving other fish from dread orcas!

Five facts about ladybugs

Birds with superpowers

Last thing an extreme marathoner – what they rightfully call individuals running a 155-mile course mid-summer in the Gobi desert – thought he’d come home with was

For the latest on this year’s monarch butterfly migration

Essential that we know the difference between cicadas and katydids:

  • Crickets and katydids both “sing” by rubbing their forewings together quickly, while cicadas “sing” by compressing and vibrating their entire body – making cicadas easily the loudest in the summer insect choir!
  • Hear that? Crickets produce a relatively pure, low frequency that’s easy on the human ear – cicadas and katydids, on the other hand, “sing” at higher, less pure, and often more irritating frequencies!
  • If it’s nighttime, it’s not a cicada – cicadas call during the daytime and dusk. When the sun’s down, it’s time for the katydids and crickets to shine.
  • When we say cicadas are loud…cicada song has been measured at up to 100 decibels – roughly equivalent to a jackhammer!

The Bird of the Week is Brazilian:

Kaempfers Woodpecker

Kaempfers Woodpecker

And the best overall wildlife photo of the week:

Mr. Fox

Some Hudson River Almanac to tide you over while we’re away:

5/11 – Kowawese: The day was warm, the sky was blue, and the tide was perfect on the beach. All of that made the modest catch of our seine secondary. To the teachers, the spottail shiners, golden shiners, tessellated darters, and banded killifish, seemed ordinary. But through the eyes of the 105 fifth-graders from Lakeview Elementary in Mahopac, many of whom had never been to the river before, they were magic. Following a half-dozen hauls of the net, and the subsequent investigation of 50 fish by the students, we topped off the day with an eel race. – Penny Wieser, Tom McDowell, Tom Lake and T.R. Jackson

[The eel race is held on a beach, preferably with a gentle slope to the water. Five-gallon buckets, a quarter-full of water, are lined up a short distance apart, parallel to and about ten feet from the water’s edge. An American eel (trained “racing eel”) is placed in each. A group of eager elementary school students are assigned to each entry. Competing groups can be boys/girls, teachers/students, blue eyes/brown eyes, earth signs/sun signs, or any other meaningful assemblage. The eels are given honorary names like Eelie, Slimy, Snakey, or Fred, which makes cheering much easier. At the chosen moment the buckets are slowly tipped over. The length of the race is a product of factors such as distance to travel, gradient of the beach, how well we watered the “race track,” wind velocity, barometric pressure, enthusiasm of the cheering fans, and the individual eel’s competitive nature. With luck, and about ten seconds, there is a winner. Today’s eels were named “Bull” and “Dog” (Lakeview mascot is the Bulldog). Both eels had a slow start, unsure which way to the river. Eventually, however, amidst the loud cheers of his fans, “Bull” slithered first into the swash. – Tom Lake.]

Until September (and it’ll be green, we’re totally sure),


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