Monthly Archives: December 2016

Happy Countdown To Christmas, UESiders!!

Yup, we’re going to be brief…

Herewith, the week:

Friday, December 16th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pasmino discusses the way the moon moves about in our sky as she – the moon, in Mr. Pazmino’s parlance! – orbits the Earth and figures in world culture!  Free and wonderful.

Saturday, December 17th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be our full winter line-up…  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

PLUS…   Barring snow falling or drenching rain, 11am-1pm, old friends The Opera Collective will be joining us for caroling as only they can!! 

AND… Even if the weather’s most foul, you can drop off those dull knives of yours – along with your phone number and address – with Market Manager Guramrit!  The Master Knife Sharpener will swoop down as the market closes, take them home for honing and deliver to your residence on Monday!

Last week’s recycling totals:  66 lbs. batteries; 17 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 31 bags of clothes.

Yet again!!  10 bins!!  

Thursday, December 22 & Wednesday, December 28th:  Park Avenue Armory Holiday Tour

643 Park Avenue & 67th Street, 10am

A beautiful building as its loveliest in festive mode…  Get over there!!  For more and tickets… 

As the New Year begins:

Saturday, January 7th & Sunday, January 8th:  MULCHFEST!!

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

Sure, Sanitation picks up trees curbside, but…  Remove lights (all of ’em), ornaments and netting, get that tree up to the Schurz Park tree chipping site and go home with a bag of mulch that your block’s street trees will love!!

Thursday, January 12th: Climate-Adaptive Design – Creating Resilient Waterfronts Webinar

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

And isn’t this a concern a community like ours, bounded by a flood-inclined estuary/river?  Learn from experts from the CAD Studio (a partnership between Cornell Landscape Architecture, Cornell Water Resources Institute, and the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program) in the comfort of your own home!  For more and how to participate/tune in…  (Think our Sanitation Department’s availed itself of CAD’s wisdom?)

Thursday, January 12th & the Second Thursday of Every Month:  Monthly Land Use Clinic 

CM Kallos’ Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 5-6pm

The ins and outs of Landmark and Historic District creation…  How the Landmarks Commission, the Department of Buildings, zoning and land use work…  Mysterious stuff, but experts from the Historic Districts Council have the lowdown!!  Sponsored and hosted by the CM.  Free but a reservation’s required:  212-860- 1950. 

A dash of mid-December miscellaneousness: 

Giant congrats to South Villagers, CM Corey Johnson, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and more for their ultimate success in a years’ long campaign that’s landmarked 1,250 (That’s right! 1250!) meaningful buildings since 2003!! 

As the USDA creeps ever so slowly towards prohibiting carrageenan in food labeled organic

Three decades of global water change…  And is there ever change!  As per The Times…and Nature 

Really?  A Museum of Ice…?

Who sold the most CDs in 2016?  (Hint:  Initials are W.A.M.!)

The New York American Museum of Natural History is now the oldest, most iconic, and most recent science museum to cut its ties to fossil fuels! 

Add a thimble-full of the adorably furry:

koala hug

And of the grandly finned from the Hudson River Almanac:  

12/1 – New York Harbor, Upper Bay: This year we’ve had more than 100 recorded whale sightings and have added more than 20 individual whales to our Gotham Whale/New York City Humpback Whale Catalog. The catalog keeps track of identifying individual fluke patterns of humpback whales – their fluke markings are quite unique, almost like fingerprints. This year’s whale sightings occurred in the Lower Bay of New York Harbor and off Long Island’s south shore.  A year ago, a humpback whale was sighted directly under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, almost making it into the Upper Bay.  However, recent humpback whale “Gotham,” NYC0055 in our catalog, was the first to make it into the Upper Bay as far upriver as the George Washington Bridge, 22 miles north of the Narrows. – Paul L. Sieswerda

Yes, our yule log will be green,



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Happy International Human Rights Day, UESiders!!

Not exactly a worldwide high watermark happening in that regard of late, but we are reminded what the aspiration  is and should be…

Example:  The $11,348,182.62 donated by 29,783 individuals to 898 NY non-profits a week ago Tuesday, November 29th!  (Take NYGives’ short survey and win another $50 for the non-profit of your choice!) 

And this week’s suggested good holiday deed:  Food Bank of NYC and Borough President Brewer’s Holiday Diaper Drive benefiting homeless and low-income parents and little ones!   So easily done via the Food Bank’s Amazon Wish List!

Meanwhile, the official Pantone Color of the Year 2017?  Greenery…   Err…  Greenery, no less!!

But let’s talk the coming week:

Saturday, December 10th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be our full winter line-up…  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

PLUS At the manager’s table will be guest chefs, neighbors and contributors to the Studio Apartment Cookery InstagramAlex and Andre! 

Barring below 32 weather, the Master Knife Sharpener will be with us as well!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 21 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 22 bags of clothes.

Never gets old…  Those 10 bins!!  (So full, even our great Sanitation bin pick-up guy is pleading for at least another bin…  If not 2 more!!

Sunday, December 11th:  Czech Center Annual Holiday Festival

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, 2-6pm

And we quote, “Come taste the flavor of Czech Christmas…”  Complete with traditional music, brilliant Czech voices, animated films for the youngsters and a Czech Christmas market!  Free!

Sunday, December 11th:  Blessing of the Animals

Christ Church, 524 Park Avenue at 60th Street, 2pm 

And we quote, “This service includes a procession of animals to the altar for blessing. All pets must be accompanied by their owners; all owners must be accompanied by their pets. Hosted by Cindy Adams, the New York Post, and Christ Church. Seating on first come first served basis. Space is limited. No RSVP required.”  Free and one lovely thing.

Monday, December 12th:  Historic Holiday Cooking Workshop

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 6:30pm

Prepare and then devour 19th Century holiday classics plum pudding and ginger nuts in the Museum’s 19th Century kitchen!!   Members and students with I.D., $20.  Non-members, $25.  Reservations required:  212-838-6878.

And then:

Sunday, December 18th:  117th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

South Pump Station of the Reservoir, 85th Street & Fifth Avenue, 8am 

Be a part of American’s the longest running citizen science bird project, ever more essential to measuring of avian health!  And what’s better than citizen science followed by partying down with great treats at the Central Park Arsenal?!!  For the total rundown (including counts in all 5 boroughs)

Thursday, December 15th:  Beneath the Battlefield Archival Exploration

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 6pm

Not exactly holiday themed, still… Explore the Battle of Gettysburg – America’s bloodiest – as experienced by the ordinary soldier and via original documents lodged in the unequaled Gilder Lehrman Collection!  Organized by Atlas Obscura.  $35.  For more and tickets...

Miscellany both local and from abroad:

Lovely to see our previous Council Member Jessica Lappin ( now president of the Downtown Alliance but still living up our way) highlighted in last Sunday’s Times!

It’s that time of the year again…  The time when you can apply to become a Community Board 8 member!  (No question but in these challenging times, Community Board 8 wants and needs us!!)

We’re thinking with you on-board powers-would-be as responsive to us as they are to folks downtown/the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Further on the subject of preservation to our south, a current target for splinter building replacement:  137 Centre Street…  (Should you disapprove…) 

What??!!  Two-thirds of the food ads on Nickleodeon are for junk food??!!   (If you disapprove…)

Oh and some parties would like to be drilling near Chaco Canyon!!  (Should you disagree…) 

That while 4 cities announce they’ll be banning diesel vehicles!

Lightening up:

The best December Central Park walk…

Be especially interesting after reading Atlas Obscura’s graphic take on the Central Park before it was

Don’t we love our NYC Recycling Heroes…  Case and point:  Rick Schulman of the Upper West Side!  (Thanks for reader Jacquelyn Ottman for the tip!)

Happily, close to zero action in our neck of the woods, but if you’re elsewhere, here’s how to stay well out of SantaCon’s path

Cheerleading as an Olympic sport?

Bring on the animals:

Sure, it’s a 100 miles off our coast and underwater, but the deep-as-Grand-Canyon Hudson Canyon’s been nominated as a national marine sanctuary!!

rescued red-tailed hawk released in – where else? – Central Park!!   

A 100 year-old, 23 pound lobster (no kidding, is the thing huge or what?) returned to the wild… Thanks to a vegan!!


After an absence of 75 years, fishers (AKA fisher cats) return to Mount Ranier Park!!

Meanwhile, in 2016, we’re harvesting turtles in NYState!  (Should you think the practice should end…)

Rest in peace, Eagle #629-03142…  At age 38, our oldest banded bald eagle and witness to his species near death and recovery…

This week’s migration update!

rogue beaver as Dollar Store burglary perp…  (Hat tip to reader Katherine Winkleman!) 

And one baaaad kitty already under arrest…  (Thanks reader Rita Donaghy!)


Not enough cuteness for you so far…  Try mother cat and purring baby squirrel!!

Our holiday dreams are so green,


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Happy, International Dog Film Festival Week, UESiders!!

Kind of strange Dog Film Festival Week’s in December when the actual festival happens in October… Next up: October of ’17…   But who cares?!  It’s great there is one and it’ll be in NYC!  And, as forewarned is forearmed, you have 10 long months ahead to conceive, shoot, edit and enter your canine oeuvre


Yet another way to easily give:  Amazon Smile!   You sign up, shop and Amazon contributes .05% of your purchase to a non-profit of your choice!  Any number of great organizations participate, even the most local and tiny!  For more…  

Be ready for a busy week:

Friday, December 2nd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Starmaster John Pasmino examines the world of star atlases throughout history, be those atlases print, digital or both!  Come with your own favorite!  As ever, great and free! 

Saturday, December 3rd:   82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

A lot of folks in post-Thanksgiving recovery last Saturday, but there’ll be a full house this week… American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Alewife, Ole Mother Hubbert, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

And, yes, Consider Bardwell Cheese will be present and making their season debut!

AND, joining us for the first time ever, will be the great Nolasco Farm with their wonderful vegs from from both fields and greenhouse!! 

NEWSFLASH: Cooler weather or no, the Master Knife Sharpener will be present and honing!!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  61 lbs. batteries; 10 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 41 bags of clothes.

Yes, yet again, a big, fat 10 bins!!!

Sunday, December 4th:  Holiday Tree Lighting at Schurz Park

86th Street and East End Avenue, 5-6pm

An Upper East Side family classic  complete with the Cantori Choir, Orbital Brass, candlelight, candy canes, hot chocolate and caroling!  

Tuesday, December 6th:  Council Member Kallos’ Holiday Party!

The CM’s District Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 5-7pm

Seasonal cheer and a prime opportunity to get acquainted with the CM and staff members who so devote themselves to tackling our many UES challenges!

Wednesday, December 7th:  Kill Your TV Book Group Discusses “Dracula”!

Logos Bookstore, 1575 York Avenue, 7pm

The spooky timeless tale gets a workover from fine UESide minds!  Casual, free and attendees get a 20% discount that evening.  (Parents:  Lily’s Story Time for the under-5 set Mondays at 11am is a bonafide neighborhood treasure!) 

Thursday, December 8th:  A Call to Action – From Your House to the White House

High School of Art & Design, 245 East 56th Street at Second Avenue, 6:30pm

And we quote, “Join Council Member Dan Garodnick and local organizations to learn how you can get involved and fight for the values that make New York City great!”  Now and always, you’re needed!   For more…  And to RSVP:

Thursday, December 8th:  Zoning at New Heights 

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, 6:30pm

A forum/lecture/Q&A with a panel of experts deliberating existing NYC zoning laws – in particular, those pertaining to building height – and whether they’re working in 2016…  Hummmm.  An accompaniment to another of the Museum’s new shows:  “Mastering the Metropolis:  Zoning 1916-2016”.  Co-organized by the Municipal Art Society.  Adults, $14.  Seniors & Students, $10. For more and tickets… 

Thursday, December 8th:  Wreath Making at the Green Thumb Workshop

The Arsenal, 830 Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, 6-7:30pm

Learn how to make your very own, personalized, all-natural, uber-holiday wreath…  Plus, take in the Arsenal’s lovely 34th Annual Wreath Expressions exhibit!  All supplies provided, including pine cones and ribbon!  Free but you do need to register

Friday, December 9th:  Eric Sanderson – A Historical Perspective on Water in New York

Hunter College, West Building, Room 615, 7-8:30pm

You know Eric Sanderson…  Scientist/eminent landscape ecologist/visionary/author of the ground-breaking “Mannahatta” who’s now turned his great mind to the rest of NYC with his Welikia Project and, now, our city’s once varied and great streamscape!  You want to be there!  Free but a reservation is advised… 

Saturday, December 10th:  Create a Botanical Mini-Building

Watson Room 101, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 9:30am-4pm

Love the Botanical Garden’s Holiday Train Show?  Well, with instructor Madeline Yani’s guidance, you can create your own enchanting little structure from pods, bark and branches!  Members, $169.  Non-members, $189.  All materials provided but do bring a lunch and a box to transport your masterpiece home!  For more and to reserve a place

Coming up: 

Wednesday, December 21st:  Winter Telescope Party

Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Natural History, Central Park at 79th Street, 7pm

Steve Beyer, Brian Levine and Ted Williams guide us star-loving amateurs on a journey across the winter sky within the Planetarium and – if weather allows – out on the terrace looking through actual telescopes!!  (It really is unbelievable how much is visible even in our bright NYC skies!)  Members, $12.  Non-members, $15. Non-member Seniors and Students, $13.50. For more and tickets

On to miscellany:

Could be the Indian Point Nuclear Plant will soon be history… 

Last week it was folks wanting to dump waste in the Long Island Sound, this week and way out west,  it’s partially treated sewage in the Puget Sound!  (Should you object…)

Opposed to de-forestation?  There are companies out there turning Third World trees into fabric!  (If you think they shouldn’t

We could have something to learn from the effect of direct action by riders on Atlanta public transit

Not that we’re mean-spirited or stingy but, given our challenges, how come Sao Paulo, Brazil won the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayor’s Challenge?!  (Did NYC even enter?)

Love these indoor farm boxes!!  (You grow produce in them… In your home!)

And if you think Amazon should move to 100% renewable power for its servers… 

The 11 National Parks Americans most want to visit

Understanding your radiators

And the week in animals:

An abiding mystery:  Just why do cats love knocking things over…?

L.A.’s just added another hefty piece of real estate to its wildlife corridor

Meanwhile, the embattled sage grouse could use more of our help

Good gravy!  Just in case we’d forgotten the diversity of NYState, some New Yorkers need their wildlife pelts “sealed”…! 

Yup, there is a Bat Conservation International!!  (Check out the board of directors!)

A retirement home for whales

Doesn’t get any sweeter than “Parenting Help in ‘Kitten Season'”

The Hudson River Almanac never fails:

11/12/16 -11/18/16 – 11/17 – Hudson River Watershed: The season has arrived when we need to give thought to our wildlife viewing and photography habits. Cold weather can be especially challenging for birds. They run on a strict energy budget, balancing calories-in with calories-out, instinctively adhering to a conservation of energy. Every time we flush a winter bird by trying to get closer, the calories needed to escape deplete their reservoir. If they are near evening roost time, they will need to replenish to keep their “furnace” stoked all night. “Getting closer” should be much more a function of our optics than our legs.  – Tom Lake

Yours in contented greenness,


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