Monthly Archives: January 2017

Happy National Green Juice and Peanut Brittle Day, UESiders!

But most of all a Happy (Chinese) New Year of the Rooster!!

Let’s start the 2017 round of newsletters with a particularly beautiful NYC initiative:  The Breast Milk Bank… Especially beneficial for pre-term babies…  Spread the word!

Add some great NYC-area news:  Off-shore wind power’s coming to Long Island!  

Then mix with some Upper East Side positivity:  Another stumbling block for the proposed and vehemently opposed 850-foot 58th Street skyscraper

Breathe deeply.

On to the fine week ahead:

Saturday, January 28th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

On hand will be our full winter-season crew:  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!

Do check out Gajeski’s tiny, delicious pea shoots and Valley Duck’s amazing duck breast!!

Recycling totals 1/7, 1/14 & 1/21/17 – 52, 74 & 46 lbs. batteries; 10, 11 & 28 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  1/14 –   2 pairs eye glasses;  1/7, 1/14 & 1/21 – 10, 11 & 9 compost bins; 1/7, 1/14 & 1/21 – 25, 31 & 27 bags of clothes.

One great way to kick off  ’17:  A NEW RECORD – 11 COMPOST BINS!!  

Saturday, January 29th:  Central Park Winter Jam

Bandshell Area (enter at 72nd Street), 11am-3pm

Arctic golf…  Ice bowling…  A sleeping bag stuffing competition… Frost-friendly music… A dozen more fun/quirky winter events for all ages…  There’s even a warming tent!!  Totally free, people!   For full details

Sunday, January 29th:  Real/Fake Science – An Inter-Active Experiment Salon

63 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, 7:30-10:00pm

Six maybe/maybe-not  scientists test attendees’ ability to discern real scientific fact from baloney!!  Got to be so fun!!  $30.  For more and tickets

Sunday, February 4th:  18th Annual Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

At Grand & Forsythe Streets in Sara Delano Roosevelt Park, 12pm-4:30pm

Steep yourselves in the fun, food and all-around culture in Manhattan’s our own, great  Chinatown!!   Free for one and all!!  For the total rundown… 

On the horizon:

Sunday, February 12th:  Second Avenue Winter DayLife 

LowLine Lab, 140 Esssex Street between Rivington & Stanton Streets, 11am-4pm

Pickle dogs?  Pizza balls?  Portobello subs?  All that and more from food meccas of the great Essex Street Market and served up in the miraculous LowLine Lab underground garden!   Free!  For more

Friday, February 24th:  Modern Art Foundry Tour

Steinway Mansion Carriage House, 18-33 41st Street, Astoria, 12:30pm 

Three generations of the Spring Family have cast works as diverse as Central Park’s Alice in Wonderland and this year’s Breeder’s Cup!  They’ll even be pouring molten bronze during the tour!! Organized by Unmapped Cities.  $35.  For more and tickets… 

Plenty of miscellany, bad foot first:

Albeit not yet approved by either the NYC Landmarks or Community Board 8’s Landmarks Committee, somehow second-rate crafts store Michael’s is angling to be next tenant in the drop-dead beautiful Gustavino-tiled space under the 59th Street Bridge (site of the erstwhile Food Emporium and in lieu of the neighbor’s deeply felt wish for a Trader Joe’s).  The chain might even be permitted to install visible ductwork and otherwise tinker with the irreplaceable tile because… You guessed it…  While the bridge itself is landmarked, the interior space is not!!   Stay tuned…

Have to say we were surprised that the condition of our UES streets rank among the city’s worst

No surprise, there’s going to be concerted pressure to do lots of drilling on public lands…  With World Heritage Site Chaco Canyon – even pre-Trump – in the cross hairs.  (Should you object…)  

Could there possibly be an excuse for lead paint still posing a threat to the health/development of American children in 2017…??!!  (If you think this problem should be addressed…)

Of course, we’re not alone in our garbage dump misery…  A sorry state shared with a North Brooklyn neighborhood

And now there’s a Frankenstein GMO grass 


A pair of Staten Islanders were caught falsifying docs that gasoline-contaminated soil had been fully remediated…   When it wasn’t…  And still isn’t.

Sun shining now:

Huge tip of the hat to Florida for its November defeat of a ballot initiative seeking to make it harder and more expensive to switch to rooftop solar power! 

Same to this Harlem tenement restoration/conversion to modern affordable housing…  Complete with architectural detail!  (Hello, NYCHA!!)

Ditto for the Central Park Conservancy for joining forces with Best Buddies International and adding New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities to its staff !!

And good on Walmart for ramping up its “How2Recycle” label…  

And great there’s increasing use of geo-location to confirm that electronics recycling firms deserve their eSteward designations

Excellent history of the hundred-year Second Avenue Subway saga…  

What’s Ron Gonen (the brilliant young guy who brought total plastic recycling and compost collection to NYC) been up to since he departed Sanitation?

No kidding, NYState isn’t in the streamline mode when it comes to its infrastructure projects

Still in the transport mode, herewith 5 possible routes for one-seat public transport to JFK

History and movement in another form…  As in centuries of amazing NYC records – stuff it’s hard to believe still exists – headed to new homes here and in Albany for restoration, digitization and continuing care

The Lower East Side Ecology Center has two positions open:  Project Manager and Organics Recovery Coordinator!

Ten ways to be greener when we fly

The science of holiday scent(including potato latkes)...

Neglected  but still standing (unlike our Penn Station!) and with prospects, check out Buffalo’s once-upon-a-time train station…  (In the Americans-Need-Their-Heads-Examined Department:  Rather than rehab this deco jewel, another station was built…?)  

Micro breweries are SO 2016…  Especially now that NYC has its first and very own meadery!

The science of snowflakes

Ten of the quietest places on our earth

The best gear for our outdoor adventures

NYState summer camps for 11 to 17-year olds

That stalwart NYC street tree, the London Plane

So what’s the big deal about the cinchona tree?  (Hint:  Where malaria and gin and tonic cross paths!)

Yet another installment in the Hidden NYC Story

Not so hidden?  That 2 shots in “The Seven-Year Itch” were filmed outside 164 East 61st Street!

NYC’s first restaurant

Stepping off the reservation:

Best decor colors for your astrological sign

Up at Mount Sinai, they’re making 3D copies of New Yorkers skulls!  (All to the good!!)

Humphrey Bogart, chess aficionado…?!  (Woody Harrelson, too!!??)  (Continue scrolling down for NYC’s oldest water tank!) 

Critter time:

No kidding, you don’t have look like an animal to be one

Yes, cats get the flu and they’ve been coming down with bad cases of it here in NYC!!

And, of course, there’s a (sort of) cat encyclopedia

Who knew some blue jays reside year round in NYC…? 

Or that there were rescue (from hoarding!) ducks…?

Really?  Moths vs. bats…!

And from the great Hudson River Almanac:

12/28 – Manhattan:  At a midday low tide, we went to check our fish traps for the last time in 2016 at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park.  As has been the case lately, all four crab pots were empty, but our killifish traps yielded isopods, colonial tunicates, a few sand and shore shrimp, a mud crab and one long-clawed hermit crab.  Though sea squirts were still present on many of our traps, we’re beginning to see them fall off as a result of dropping temperatures.  Our most exciting finds of the day were skilletfish and a rock gunnel! – Nina Zain, Melissa Rex  

(Rock gunnels are small (usually less than 300mm long), slender fish of northern waters, often mistaken for eels, but actually related to tropical blennies.  Their scientific name Pholis refers to “one who lurks in a dark place”.  Rock gunnels have an adaptation that allows them to briefly remain in sheltered and wet intertidal habitats above the tide line and breathe atmospheric oxygen.  – Tom Lake)

12/31 – Beacon – Yesterday I found a first-year Iceland gull on the Beacon waterfront.  Late this afternoon, among many other gulls, I spotted two first-year Iceland gulls. – Curt McDermott

(In the 23 years of the Hudson River Almanac, we have recorded 14 species of gulls in the watershed along the tidewater Hudson, the Mohawk River and adjacent uplands:  Bonaparte’s gull, Franklin’s gull, glaucous gull, greater black-back gull, herring gull, Iceland gull, ivory gull, laughing gull, lesser black-backed gull, little gull, greater black-backed gull, herring gull, Iceland gull, ivory gull, laughing gull, lesser black-backed gull, little gull, mew gull, ring-billed gull and slaty-backed gull. – Tom Lake)


1/13 – Manhattan:  We went to check our gear midday at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25.  As has been the case recently, we caught no fish in our pots and traps.  However we did catch four grass shrimp, eight sand shrimp, two small mud crabs, isopods and amphipods.  – Jackie Wu, Melissa Rex

(Students are often surprised to hear that there are shrimp in the Hudson River.  Shore shrimp and sand shrimp are small, usually not more than 40 millimeters long, but are real shrimp.  While larger commercial shrimp are rarely found in the estuary, we did catch one in our seine on September 19, 2000 at Englewood, N.J. This was a brown shrimp (Pennaeus aztecus), a true commercial ocean shrimp and identified by state ichthyologist Bob Daniels.  While this one measured only 80 millimeters, they can grow up to 230 millimeters. Tom Lake)  

red fox

The World’s Most Successful Carnivore – The Red Fox

Yours in perpetual greenness,



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