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!!


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


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


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,





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