Happy National Pencil Day, National Turkey Neck Soup Day and – best of all – Take a Walk in the Park Day, UESiders!!

Our hood popped up plenty in this past Sunday Times

A comment on the Second Ave Subway completion in “The State of Your Block, 2017” (scroll down)…  BP Brewer’s thoughts on”What Does a Borough President Want?”  (Okay, she’s talking about Manhattan in general, but did you know the woman’s parented some 20 foster kids?!!)…  A complimentary overview in “A Neighborhood with Amenities“…   And–

We digress…  With a story we heard maybe a decade ago:

Rightfully impressed by the success of Chicago’s rodent control efforts, someone of importance in the then mayor’s office contacted the exterminator responsible with a very generous offer if that person would relocate to NYC.  “Only if you stop letting piles of garbage bags sit streetside for hours and move to stowing those bags in bins with snap covers,” was the reply. 

And so, The Times’ account of a recent rat control foray on the UES

(Evenings before pick-up, we’re always so impressed when we see the tidy closed bins at the curb in front of a pair of walk-ups on 67th between First and Second.)

On to the week ahead:

Now to Sunday, April 2nd:  Participatory Budgeting Vote

All Over the Upper East Side

You do want to weigh in on how that million dollars is spent in our community!!  (Thank you, CM Kallos!)  For where and when you can cast that ballot (scroll down)

Saturday, April 1st:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

A calmer Saturday after all the activity of last week!!

If only the weather would cooperate!!

Rain or shine, at their tables and under their canopies will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!!

Maybe Nolasco Farm, too!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  51 lbs. batteries; 16 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 3 pairs eye glasses; 11 compost bins; 22 bags of clothes.

3rd week in a row for 11 BINS!!

Saturday, April 1, 2017:  Free Bike Helmet Event!

St. Catherine’s Park, First Avenue between 67th and 68th, 11am-2:30pm

Yup, a free, custom-fitted helmet!  Thanks again, Council Member Kallos!  Thanks to the NYC Department of Transportation, too! For complete details

Saturday, April 8th:  Baby Animals Encounters!

Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 77th Street, 11am, 1pm & 3pm

Zoologist Jarod Miller makes the introduction to some of the animal kingdom’s wildest, most interesting and – oh, yes! – cutest young ‘uns, along with engrossing info as to where and how they live and adapt. Tilted towards kids, of course, but just try and keep the adults away!!  $15 (but a members only event so join up!)  For more… 

Happy Earth Day, beginning with:

Saturday, April 22nd:  EARTH DAY First Avenue Street Tree Mulch-A-Rama

Meet on the SE corner of 60th and First Avenue, 9am-1pm

First came February’s great laying of mulch around First Avenue street trees, 72nd to 79th Streets by the fabulous Christine, Ralph and friends!  Now, the target’s First Ave 60th to 72nd!  Amazing what a little soil cultivation and mulch does for not just our trees but the whole look of an avenue/street!!  Tools, refreshments, good company and the great feeling you’ll have… The start of a perfect Earth Day!!

You’re now deserving of a break:

Saturday, April 22nd:  EARTH DAY with the Pier 90 Project!

Pier 90, East River Esplanade at 90th Street, 12pm

A particularly special place to celebrate Mother Earth…  Among fellow UESiders, on our own East River and enjoying the lovely pier that only months ago community will revived and reclaimed as public space!  Oh, yes, there’ll also be live music and ice cream!!  Then, long about 3pm, environmental educator/ecologist/urban naturalist Gabriel Willow arrives to lead a green riverside tour!  Doesn’t get any better folks!   Yes, and it’s free!!

And there’s no stopping the fun:

Saturday, April 22nd:  EARTH DAY on Union Square

Union Square, 12-7pm 

Seventy-plus environmental non-profits and businesses with the latest and greenest…  A  myriad of kids’ eco activities…  Live performances…  All free and green, folks!  


Sunday, April 23rd:  It’s My Park Spring Cleaning Day

Stanley Isaacs Park, 96th Street and First Avenue, 11am-3pm

Last fall, Harlem teens and families from Shiray Tefila cultivated, raked and planted who knows how many daffodil, tulip and grape hyacinth bulbs.  Come late April, it’ll be time to plant and tidy for park goers’ summer enjoyment!  Tools, plants and excellent refreshments provided…  Even knee-pads for you volunteers to keep!! See you there!!

On the horizon:

Saturday, May 6th:  Identification Day!

Museum of Natural History, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall, Central Park West at 77th Street, 12-4pm

Think “Antiques Roadshow” for that odd bone you found on the beach…    The rock that sure looks like a fossil… Those arrowheads your grandfather left you…  No dollar amounts involved, but the experts sure do weigh in, we wind up with knowledge and maybe natural treasures!!  Free.

Sunday, May 7th:  It’s My Park Day – Esplanade Edition

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

Year 3 of the Scrape/Paint Esplanade Railings Project.  Remember when every inch of classic railings north and south of 96th was peeling and/or rusting out?  No more and we’ll be spiffing up another block’s worth in ’17… Especially as we’ll now be equipped with revolutionary (at least to us!) new painting mitts (in lieu of brushes and fantastic for doing railings)!!  As always, best painting gear, refreshments and company is provided!

Saturday, May 13th:  Attack of the Killer Megatowers – How to Preserve Quality of Life in a Changing UES Forum

St. Jean Baptiste High School, 173 East 75th Street, 10am-1pm

Urban planning consultants George James and Ethel Sheffer conduct a crash course on zoning issues…  Zoning issues thrown into high relief now that the mayhem of Second Ave Subway construction’s come to an end. Organized by Friends of the Upper Historic District.  Members, $10.  Non-members, $20.  

Sunday, May 21st:  Green Park GardenersNYC Volunteer Day

East River Esplanade at 62nd Street, Time TBA

A chance to wield your trowel (and learn plenty) from the UES’s pioneer native plant gardeners!  Details soon, but mark that calendar!!

Our week in miscellany:

Further on the call for the NYC need for a comprehensive 21st Century snow removal policy… 

And on the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s performance… 

Seen the proposed replacement for 666 Fifth Avenue…?

Given that things like engineered housing roll over the hundred-plus year-old structure nightly, no wonder the 59th Street Bridge will be getting $392M in repair work

Returning to the subject of snow, this suggestion for addressing slick sidewalks in lieu of corrosive, plant-kiling salt from our erstwhile 82nd Street compost maven Pamela Davis:   An unscented kitty litter/sand mix. (Cheaper than salt and kinder to paws!  Pamela keeps a bag in her car, too!) 

An oak wilt protection zone’s been established in Brooklyn (one of several in NYS)…

Meanwhile, there’s the tree with the biggest canopy…  (And a list of other “leafy wonders”!)

How about we help a struggling Appalachian community get a grant for a community garden (with easy online votes)?

Google cars switch-hit tracking earth-warming methane leaks… 

Who knew our Liberty Bell once went on a national tour…  (And helped to win WWI!)

Yeah, milkweed’s an actual weed and seems to grow in abundance everywhere but UES gardens where it and its monarch butterfly friends would be so welcome!!

Ready for animals:

Crustacean time!  A brief look at our city’s oysters past, present and future!  (Thanks to reader Jack Donaghy for the tip!)

Oh, joy!!  Oh, rapture!  NYS Oneida Lake walleye egg collection will soon commence!  (We can visit the hatchery!)

Seems like the wasting disease afflicting deer might be on the wane…

Why gulls’ feet don’t freeze

The 100 Most Important Cat Pictures

It is so good to be green,


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