Monthly Archives: April 2017

Happy International Seeds Day and National Volunteer Week, UESiders!!

Oh!  Really?

Wasn’t Volunteer Week last week when all that mulching went down?  Followed by a day fighting the Great Crab Grass Removal Battle at Isaacs Park?

Of course, it’s Volunteer Week now, too, since UESiders’ll be back in Isaacs Park finishing the big clean-up this Sunday!

Might as well toss the week of May 7th into the VW mix, as well…  Seeing as yet another bunch of  UES volunteers will be out on the Esplanade NS painting its classic railings!

Yes.  Amazing how deep the volunteer tradition runs in our neck of the woods.

So what else’s happening over the 7 days ahead:

Saturday, April 29th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables 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, Sikking and Gajeski Farms!!

PLUS…

This Saturday, the great Alewife Farm with their astonishing greens be returning to our 82nd Street fold!!

PLUS…

Master Knife Sharpener Barbara Hess will be back with us, too!!  Bring on the dull cutlery!!

PLUS…

Come Saturday, May 27th, the wonderful Greenmarket Grains Project will be paying our market another visit!!

Meanwhile, be thinking ramps and asparagus!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  TBA  (It’s My Park Day street tree mulching ran late!)

Saturday, April 29th:  DEA Drug Take Back  Day

Sites Around the City, 10am-2pm

Yeah, there’re lots of sites but still zero on UES!!  So annoying!!  Still, let’s not give up hope entirely…  And it’s not like a trip over to Precinct 20, 120 East 82nd Street is so very far away.  Meanwhile, do keep checking the DEA list!

Sunday, April 30th:  It’s My Park Spring Cleaning Day – Isaacs Park – Part 2

Stanley Isaacs Park, 96th Street and First Avenue, 11am-5pm

Just in case you’re wondering about the quality of UES volunteers…  Those gathered last Sunday decided there was still more to do so they wanted to come back!!  Of course, we said yes and you can lend a hand, too!!  We’ll be clearing crab grass and planting.  Of course, tools and refreshments provided!!  (Very fun having the roller hockey guys playing while we garden!)

And then it’s full-on May:

Saturday, May 6th:  Pier 90East Project

Pier 90, East River Esplanade, 12-3pm  (Rain date:   Sunday, May 13th)

More great music – this time from Grupo Guateca…  More delicious treats from Coffeed…   More restorative time just looking out on our wonderful East River…  Another great Esplanade Friends event!!  See you there!! 

Wednesday, May 10th:  Water Issues Big and Small Forum

Seafarers and International House, 123 East 25th Street corner of Irving Place, 6:30pm 

From the sustainability of our water to a possible ban on selling bottled water in to parks…  Council Member Ben Kallos, David Lipsky (sustainability maven at the NYC DEC) and Lucy Robson (of New Yorkers for Parks) weigh in! The 4th in the Sierra Club NYC’s Sustainability Series 2017.  Free. 

Thursday, May 11th:  Lessons Learned from NYS 5 Cities Energy Program 

On Your Computer, 10:30am-12pm

What – aside from plenty – has our state learned since initiating its 2015 study of how smart municipal energy planning benefits communities?  Learn all about it

Thursday, May 11th:  Community Board 8 Rat Academy Forum

New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street, 6:30pm

Got rats on your block?  Rat free (or as free as anywhere in NYC can be)?  NYC “Rat Academy” head and bonafide expert, Catherine Bragdon tells us how to get rid of the wretched creatures and/or keep them at a distance!  (Maybe more like Rat University!)  Free, of course.     

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.  

Tuesday, May 16th:  EsplanadeFriends Spring Benefit 2017

Bar Felice, 1591 First Avenue between 82nd & 83rd Streets, 6:30-8:30pm 

Can it really be Friends’ 4th Annual Benefit?  Indeed, it is and 2016 was one amazing year of achievement, front and center of which is the opening of Pier 90 for all New York’s enjoyment, even on those weekends when there’s no live music, free cookies and ice cream!!  Coming up:  More public art, more greenery, rebirth of the erstwhile Con Edison site and so much more!!  But first, the benefit with Bar Felice’s great eats and atmosphere, Friends’ wonderful supporters and the best darned roundup of raffle prizes ever!!  You do want to be an Esplanade Friend, too!!     

Saturday, May 20th:  Shred-A-Thon –  Pre-Memorial Day Edition

82nd Street/St. Stephen Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First &  York, 10am-2pm (rain or shine) 

You know how it goes:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Donate your hardcovers at Goodwill or Housing Works.)

As always, thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their multiple years of generous Shred-A-Thon support and Assembly Member Seawright for sponsoring yet another shredding event!

Wednesday, May 24th:  First Annual Upper East Side Garden Party

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 6-8pm

Calling all UES gardeners!!   Come meet folks who like you make our parks, Greenstreets, bicycle islands, Esplanade gardens and street tree beds bloom!!  Yup, those who till UES earth and beautify it will be meeting, greeting and sharing all we’ve learned about making things grow in NYC!!   Sponsored by Assembly Member Seawright and Council Members Kallos and  Garodnick!  RSVP an absolute must and do include where you garden:  uppergreenside@gmail.com!   

Miscellany, extreme kudos first up:

Great that Congresswoman Maloney’s co-sponsoring a bill to designate certain National Forest System lands and certain public lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior in the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming as wilderness, wild and scenic rivers, wildland recovery areas, and biological connecting corridors, and for other purposes.”

First came Eric Sanderson’s awesome “Mannahatta”…  Presently being built upon with his 5-borough-wide Weilikia Project…  Now, adding to those 2 great shoulders:  “Sounds of 17th-century natural life in Manhattan — chirps, caws, groans, croaks, screeches — are now available on the website Unsung.NYC, where they’ree stitched adjacent to our (mostly) human-made 21st-century clamor. The result, “Calling Thunder,” is an aural bridge across four centuries. It builds on Dr. Sanderson’s stunning work, with Markley Boyer, in creating visualizations of the rolling landscape of 1609 Manhattan — known by the Lenape people as Mannahatta, “the island of many hills” — (Thanks for alert, NYTimes!) 

NYC Sanitation’s e-cycleNYC program’s just been awarded the Ash Center’s Government Innovators Network Bright Idea designation!  (Scroll down…)  (Sign your 10-unit or more building up!!)

All hail the humble but gifted wax worm!!  Those gazillions of plastic bags larding our landfills?  Wax worms – albeit slowly – eat them!!

Unfamiliar with “CB8 Speaks“?  You want to be watching, especially the show’s most recent interview with Caroline Bragdon, Director of Neighborhood Intervention for Pest Intervention (AKA “The Rat Academy”) with   Ms. Bragdon brimming with info and warm!!     (See the above noted May 11th CB8  “Rat Academy” event!)   

Major to mini carps: 

Have a stiff drink and read Bill McKibben on our environmental challenges

So, the mayor’s just announced $100M to close the 53rd-60th gap in the 32-mile-Manhattan-encircling Esplanade…  (How ’bout the sink hole-ridden 60th-120th, sir?)

No $ amount quoted (but High Line designers are leading the charge), but take a gander at the soon-to-be Domino Park

At the other end of the public money expenditure scale…  The NYS DEC announced $1.8 million in Land Trust grants to safeguard water quality, boost tourism, farmland protection and public access… 

Another distinctive building lost to NYC…  (Thanks a whole lot, Extell.)

The actionable:

Should you believe that an oil refinery shouldn’t be built 3 miles from the (North Dakota) Theodore Roosevelt National Park… 

Or that fracking in the NY/NJ Delaware River basin should remain banned

All over the lot: 

Never an end to NYC’s urban archaeological discoveries…  This time at the Puck Building!!

How to maximize the good effect of all our NYC walking

NYS teens are becoming masters of archery!!

And what have our NYS Forest Rangers been up to these past few days?

A lot of Stonehenge buildings on the UES…  Can’t wait for them all to have a signature canopies!!  (Be even better if there was a fabulous canopy war!) 

Feel like being humbled?  Take the NYTimes’ copy editing quiz… 

The lowdown on April showers bringing May flowers

American Gothic” is right in Iowa

Yes, animals:

A beaver herding cattle

This bit from the Spring 2017 Living Bird Magazine:

“Recently the National Weather Service reported a bizarre cloud formation moving erratically over southern Illinois.  The “biological targets” as the NWS called them, turned out to be a huge swarm of monarch butterflies migrating south.  Despite risks related to drought and dwindling milkweed, they were headed to Mexico.  If your an insect that weighs less than a postage stamp, how do you even consider a trip across the border?  What if your brain is no bigger than the tip of a pencil, then what?”

NYS’s snapping turtles…  Remnants of chelonian life dating back 90 million years!

Always good to close on a Hudson River Almanac note:

4/11 – Manhattan:  At noon we went to check our collection gear at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. Shore shrimp (51) were plentiful; six were larger than we usually see. We also caught our first “large” mud crab (1.5 millimeters carapace width), an isopod and a few amphipods. In one killifish trap we caught a northern sea robin (40 mm), our first of the year and only our third in ten years of sampling.  – Jayson Breton, Jacqueline Wu

Striped (L) and Northern (R) Sea Robins

[The northern sea robin (Prionotus carolinus), a temperate marine stray, is a unique-looking fish with broad wing-like pectoral fins. Their coloration, chestnut brown to orange-and-white, mimics the American robin, thus the common name. This species and the striped sea robin (Prionotus evolans) are occasionally found in the warm waters of the lower estuary where they cruise over sandy and gravelly bottoms from spring through fall. – Tom Lake.]

Living in green,

UGS

 

 

 

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Happy Earth Day, UESiders!

Whether you garden, march, head over to the Esplanade for some music or just laze around at home (in a really green way)…

This Week in Central Park (thanks to reader Roger)

Let Earth Day and Earth Weekend 2017 begin:

Friday, April 21st:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Star master John Pasmino and lucky attendees explore the moon’s surface with binoculars!!  Free and, as always, fascinating!

Saturday, April 22nd:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables 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!!

AND…

It was a last minute decision to return to the market last week after their winter hiatus, but they came and bearing bunches of lilacs!!  Who knows what flowers they’ll have for this week?  All we know is that great Sikking Farms is back at 82nd Street!!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  54 lbs. batteries; 19 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 11 1/4 compost bins; 31 bags of clothes.

So impressive!! 

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

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

Join the great group of volunteers from Redeemer Presbyterian Church as they (us, too!)  cultivate and mulch street beds 60th-72nd Street mulch!!    Tools, treats and excellent company provided!!

And the day’s not over yet:

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

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

The quintessential UES Earth Day experience!!  Complete with live music, food treats galore, fishing with free bait, and comfortable seating where you can just kick back and enjoy the river view!!  Then, at 3:30 pm, environmental educator/ecologist/urban naturalist Gabriel Willow arrives to lead a green riverside tour!  Entirely free, folks!! (We’ll be heading up after mulching!)

Still more fun:

Saturday, April 22nd:  EARTH DAY on Union Square

Union Square, 12-7pm 

Because you don’t want to miss the exploring the possibilities offer by the 70-plus environmental non-profits and businesses and their green services and wares.  Lots of kids eco on offer, too!with the latest and greenest…  Live performances and a  myriad of kids’ eco activities, too!  Free!!  

Almost but not quite done: 

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

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

For a moment there, seemed like the day would be one mess of rain…  Now, they’re calling for some rain early morning…  So, we’re going for it, people!!  Especially as Isaacs Park is a primo First Ave connection to the Esplanade!  Bed cultivation,  plants installed, mulch applied, kids’ play equipment given a spray down and maybe – if Parks allows – some of the Belgian stone choking tree beds pried out !  As ever, tools and refreshments provided. See you there!!

Coming up:

Saturday, April 29th:  DEA Drug Take Back  Day

Sites Around the City, 10am-2pm

The good news is there’re now a host of NYC collection sites.  The bad?  Still – so far – no UES locations!  And this with traditional site Lenox Hill/Northwell Hospital ready, will and able to host again!!  Let’s all keep fingers crossed and keep checking the DEA list!

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!!  Fun even if just checking out what others have brought!! Free.

Back in the great UES volunteer mode:

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.  Days of endless, sad-looking railings on our Esplanade are past!!  Now that neglected metal’s the focus of a classic Esplanade Friends’ spruce up!  As always, painting gear (you do want to have the new painting glove experience!), refreshments and great company are supplied!

Let’s get this out of the way:

The new EPA administrator has his own way of celebrating Earth Day:  Rejecting a scientific study and approving an agricultural chemical that lowers IQs in children and causes memory loss and neurological disorders in adults.

On the other hand:

There’s this lovely bit of human goodness

Moving into our usual miscellaneous miscellany mode: 

Among the several landmarked buildings recognized for superior restorations are 5 located on the UES!! 

MUG (as in Manhattan User’s Guide) some choice bits of Carnegie Hill this week…  (Thank you, reader Kathleen Treat!)

NYC’s not alone in beginning to weigh giant storage buildings against the need for more housing for humans… 

What will Elon Musk get up to next?  Answer:  Electric semi trucks!!

Some IKEA stores are now accepting gently used furniture…  Rewarding those who bring it with a $20-off purchases of $150 or more…

Of course, we want our NYC grass cared for sustainably!!

Seven commonly made recycling errors…   (And we don’t want to make any, do we?!) (Thanks to reader John Steinberg for the tip!)

Unlikely items that can not only be recycled – even by great art institutions – turned into art

Advice for those lucky enough to have rent-stabilized apartments

How to stop at least some of those wretched robo calls

Ten mysterious NYC bridges

Art from orange peels…  (Even has a history!)

Time for a few animals:

A baby chick, bad feet and a happy ending…  (Do these critters grow fast or what?!) 

Upcoming local pet adoption events…  (Love “rabbits only”!)

11 signs your cat is happy

And the latest gem from the Hudson River Almanac: 

4/6 – Stanfordville: A river otter was busily fishing in a pond near here today. In the few minutes I watched, the otter caught four fish, including a large bluegill sunfish. – Deborah Tracy-Kral

That River Otter

[The river otter (Lontra canadensis) is native to New York State and a member of the Mustelidae family (mustela, Latin for weasel) along with other mammals such as the mink, fisher, pine marten, and various other smaller weasels. For more on river otters, visit DEC river otter web page. Tom Lake]

The greenest of Earth Days to one and all,

UGS

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A Most Happy Passover and Easter, UESiders!!

Eat, drink and bathe in the glow of family… 

Then prepare for all the great stuff coming our way on this year’s Earth Day!!

But first, there’s the pretty darned green week ahead: 

Saturday, April 8th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

Present to cater to all your holiday needs 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!!

(One more time:  Have you tried Hudson Valley Duck’s duck breast?!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 21 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs eye glasses; 12 compost bins; 30 bags of clothes.

Yes, people, ANOTHER 12 BIN WEEK!! 

7 days later and Earth Day’s upon us:

Wednesday, April 19th:  Protecting Cultural Heritage in Times of Conflict Meeting

United Nations Headquarters Conference Room 1, First Avenue and 46th Street, 3-5pm

For sure, we’ve got to come up with way to mitigate the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage sites, organized looting and illicit trafficking of precious artifacts and this conference is beginning!!  And so the discussion/strategy begins…  Free.  To RSVP (a must)…

Then, at last:

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

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

We’ll all be brimming with gratitude to the great group from Redeemer Presbyterian Church who’ll be cultivating and slavering First Avenue street tree beds with mulch 60th-72nd Street mulch!!  But you’re welcome, too!    Tools, treats and excellent company provided!!

After which you’ll need another kind of fun:

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

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

The quintessential UES Earth Day experience!!  Complete with live music, food treats galore, fishing and free bait, seating where you can just sit and savor the river view!!  Then, around 3pm, environmental educator/ecologist/urban naturalist Gabriel Willow arrives to lead a green riverside tour!  Entirely free, folks!!  (Remember when this wonderful space was inaccessible, behind gates?)

Restored, we’ll be heading downtown:

Saturday, April 22nd:  EARTH DAY on Union Square

Union Square, 12-7pm 

Because you don’t want to miss the exploring the possibilities offer by the 70-plus environmental non-profits and businesses and their green services and wares.  Lots of kids eco on offer, too!with the latest and greenest…  Live performances and a  myriad of kids’ eco activities, too!  Free!!  

Then, if you haven’t already pitched in on a neighborhood beautification: 

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

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

No way we don’t want one of the premier vamps to our Esplanade and that gorgeous planter at 96th to look anything but its best, too…  Earth turned, flowering plants installed, mulch applied, kids’ play equipment spiffed and maybe – if Parks allows – some of the Belgian stone choking tree beds pried out !  As ever, tools and excellent refreshments provided…  Even knee-pads and gloves for you volunteers to keep!!   Be there!!

Saturday, April 29th:  DEA Drug Take Back  Day

Sites Around the City

But – so far – no UES locations and nobody knows why!  HOWEVER,  our electeds, along with Precinct 19 and Community Affairs at Lenox Hill/Northwell Hospital – both collection points of long-standing – are bearing down on  Drug Enforcement to provide us with at least one site!!    As of now, closest is Precinct 20, 120 West 82nd, BUT you can easily check on the list of  locations as the DEA adds to it!   (We’ll be watching, too!)

Miscellany, sigh-inducing stuff first:

It’s back…  As in the plan for a 700-foot tower/thing on 58th Street

Huh?!  NYState’s wild turkey season commences May lst?  (Yikes! Even more weird, NYS Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend’s set on Earth Day weekend, April 22nd-23rd!)

No, the FDA’s not presently testing for glyphosate, Round-up’s primary ingredient.  (If you think it should…)

On the other hand:

S.C. Johnson’ll soon be removing poisonous galaxolide from 80-plus of its products (like Windex, Glade and Pledge)!! 

Really, just what exactly does “non-GMO” mean…?

And in our hood:

Looks like NYC DOT’s intending to adjust timing of some 19 lights on York Avenue, making them more pedestrian friendly/safe…  Those lights being.:

York Avenue @ East 65th Street,  York Avenue @ East 68th Street, York Avenue @ East 70th Street, York Avenue @ East 71st Street, York Avenue @ East 74th Street, York Avenue @ East 75th Street, York Avenue @ East 76th Street, York Avenue @ East 78 Street, York Avenue @ East 80th Street, York Avenue @ East 81st Street, York Avenue @ East 82nd Street, York Avenue @ East 83rd Street, York Avenue @ East 84th Street, York Avenue @ East 85th Street,York Avenue @ East 86 Street, York Avenue @ East 87th Street, York Avenue @ East 88th Street, York Avenue @ East 89th Street and York Avenue @ East 90th Street!!

Who knows?  Somewhere on the UES might well be chosen for a DOT “shared streets” experiment…

All over the reservation:

How to keep your (Greenmarket) produce primo longer…  (Many a tip was news to us!)

Amazing, this collection of vintage pix of 42nd Street…  (Thanks you, reader Kathleen Treat!)

Yeah, so they’ve got a new butterfly preserve in south Texas…  We’ll soon be putting in Monarch/butterfly-friendly milkweed plants on First Ave islands!! 

And our favorite miscellany of this week is:

The 94-year old science brainiac who’s most recently made dramatic improvements in the solid state battery!! 

Ready for animals:

Scroll down to Page 9 to learn why NYS is “Bluebird Country” and how we can do to keep it that way!

Of course, baby armadillos are cute!!

A teen fox and a golf ball

Cats have their own thing about mail

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

3/25 – Norrie Point, HRM 85: I watched a ring-billed gull drifting out in the river. Something it had in its mouth caught my attention. A photo revealed that it was a palm-sized hogchoker. The gull was struggling to get the fish headed in the right direction before swallowing it. How the gull got the hogchoker was a mystery. Gulls do not dive like loons or cormorants, so the fish had to be on the surface. Yet hogchokers inhabit the bottom in the deeper reaches of the river– Justin Schmidt

A Hogchoker!

[Hogchokers (Trinectes maculatus) are flatfish, delightful little soles, ranging in size from a penny to the palm of your hand. Their coloring is mottled light and dark “squiggly” patterns of perfect camouflage and, like fingerprints and snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. If you stroke these little flatfish from head to tail, they are incredibly smooth. However, if you run your finger from tail to head, it will feel like fine teeth on a saw. Wise predators have learned to swallow hogchokers head first, to avoid “choking.” –  Tom Lake.]

Happiness is greenness,

UGS

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Happy National Teflon and Burrito Day, UESiders!!

All well and good, of course, but how about it’s a No Fooling Around, From Now On It’s National Solid Springtime Till Summer Arrives??!! 

Okay, we’ll take just seven days of continuous, cloudless, sunny skies, so we can fully enjoy: 

Friday, April 7th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Star master John Pasmino explains the usefulness of astrology software to astronomers!!  (The two “disciplines” do use many of the same planetary alignments!)  Free and, as ever, so fun!

Saturday, April 8th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

Could we actually experience sun on a Saturday??!!   (Knock on wood!!)

With us 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!!

Per usual, Nolasco Farm may or may not appear!  (But we want them to!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  33 lbs. batteries; 13 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 12 compost bins; 23 bags of clothes.

YES!!  WE ARE BACK IN THE 12 BIN MODE!!

Saturday, April 8th:  Baby Animal 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… 

We want sun and gentle breezes on Earth Day, too:

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

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

Yup, First Ave 72nd-79th’s been looking pretty perky since it received its February mulch/beauty treatment!!  But just wait till 60th-72nd gets it’s mini-makeover!!  So amazing the difference a couple of hours, a little soil cultivation and mulch makes!!   Tools, treats, good company all provided and in abundance.  No way it won’t be one wonderful Earth Day!!

UES Earth Day just gets better:

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

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

No better spot to celebrate Mother Earth!!  Absolutely, Esplanade Friends have laid the good stuff on with a trowel:    Think live music, food treats galore, fishing and free bait, seating where you can just sit and look out at our wonderful river!!  Then, long about 3pm, environmental educator/ecologist/urban naturalist Gabriel Willow arrives to lead a green riverside tour!  Entirely free, folks!!  (And this pier used a big, fat, empty zero!!)

Then, late afternoon/evening:

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!  

Add to the Earth Day weekend mix: 

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!!  Fun even if just checking out what others have brought!! Free.

Back in the great UES volunteer mode:

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.  Days of endless, sad looking railings on our Esplanade are past!!  Bit by bit, that neglected metal is a classic Esplanade Friends’ spruce up!  As always, painting gear (you do want to have the new painting glove experience!), refreshments and company are supplied!

Then:

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, May 9th,10th & 11th:   3rd Annual Animated Spirits – New Animation from Europe Festival

Austrian Cultural Forum, 180 Maiden Lane, Hungarian Consulate General

So much going on in the world of animation way beyond and above Pixar!!   Details TBA but here’s what’s known right now!! 

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 TBA, but get the date onto that calendar!!

Been a pretty miscellaneous week:

Three extremely loud cheers for NYS for standing up for our environmental regulations!!

Looks likely, too, that the NYS budget will include some $300M for environmental protection  

Kudos, too, for to the startup brewery that’s developed edible, biodegradable six-pack rings that neither entrap nor clog the digestive tracts of wildlife!!   (If you think other beverage producers – like Coke – should get right on board…)

In the Lest We Forget (But Poor Amtrak Won’t Let Us) Department:  Governor Christie’s 2010 cancellation of NJ’s share of funds to construct a new train tunnel under the Hudson River

Yes, we’ve noted this professional path before but, come on, waste water treatment plant training?!  

Should you be wondering why park conservancies exist…  (and/or why it’s great they share resources!)

Inevitable that developers’ attention would fix on the Garment Center district as prime for rezoning, high irises and luxury housing…  (But should you think the fashion, garment and ancillary businesses/jobs  should remain in place, retained and supported …) 

Worry not!!  Far from closing, Just Bulbs and its 36,000 light bulb inventory is just moving to larger quarters at 222 East 58th!  

Pretty snazzy new ferry to be plying East River waters…  (May more UES stops be added to it’s itinerary!) 

One piece each in print and on TV this week on the subject of waste/recycling (with NYC efforts coming of as pretty lame in comparison)…   (For crying out loud, India’s working to reduce dumps/landfill!!)

CB8’s been on the flat screen, too!  Catch our former Council Member Lappin – now president of the Alliance for Downtown New York! –  and host Will Sanchez on his MNN show, “Gotta Run” which wanders enjoyably around the subject of – you guessed it! – running!!  

Spring fun in NYS Parks…  Commencing with trout fishing!

Yikes!  The 92ndY ‘s just announced its summer course schedule!! 

In the animal world:

The great Monarch Watch’s put out the word for their new Monarch Watch Citizen Scientist Project…  Which entails – that’s right! – watching for monarch butterflies as they migrate through our city!!  (Do they ever pass through NYC; we’ve seen them with our very own eyes!)

Indeed, there is such a thing as a therapy goat

How do you train a dog to…  Well,  just watch!

And from the ever stellar Hudson River Almanac:

3/13 – Croton Point: I was walking around the Point at low tide this evening and came upon live oysters, one after another, not thousands, but maybe a few per square meter along that depth line. [Due to the vulnerability of these shellfish to illegal harvest in uncertified waters, the exact location is not stated.] – Gareth Hougham

Some of those oysters!

[Croton Point is well known for its ancient oyster shells (Crassostrea virginica), many that date to 4,000 years ago when the salinity regime in the estuary was optimal for their growth. The empty shells that have eroded out of middens are the residue of Native American harvesting at a time when the water quality was near pristine.  – Tom Lake.]

[With warm, dry summers and autumns, as well as relatively high salinities, the Tappan Zee remnant wild reefs oyster population, ten miles downriver, has been doing very well. We monitor recruitment as far north as Irvington (river mile 25) and each year in the early fall we observe a pulse in newly settled spat (larvae) upriver. The Croton Point oysters could very well be an extension of that recruitment. – Katie McFarland, Cornell University.]

With evergreenness,

UGS

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