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.


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!


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,


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