Monthly Archives: January 2018

Happy National Peanut Brittle Day, UESiders!!

And in that spirit, how ’bout some we slaver on some more good news?

As in…

*Colgate Palmolive’s just announced it’ll be including how-to-recycle instructions on its product labels!!

 *Dow Chemical’s now funding a pair of grants focused on turning presently unrecyclable chip bags, juice pouches and more into energy sources!!  

As for the great week ahead: 

Saturday, January 27th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With on this balmy Saturday will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Consider Bardwell,  Samascott, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert,  Gajeski and Hawthorne Farms!!

(You have tried Gayeski’s micro greens, yes?)

Last week’s recycling totals:  71 lbs. batteries; 20 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 11 compost bins; 35 bags of clothes   

Not so long ago 11 bins was outstanding…  But now…

Saturday, January 27th:  Central Park 2018 Winter Jam 

Naumberg Bandshell, enter at 72nd & FIfth, 11am-3pm

Forget it’ll be a warm weekend!!  Learn to ski…  Learn to snowshoe…  Sled and play Arctic golf…  Watch ice sculpting live…  Eat up a storm at the Taste NY Winter Market…  All near at UES-hand in Central Park!!  Free!!  For more…   (And a NYTimes preview…)

Sunday, January 28th:  Second Annual H2O System Trivia Contest

Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 2-3:30m

Inspired by the famous 1939 relief map of NYC’s watershed system (and a map with a fabulous history), put together a team of up to 4 water-savvy enthusiasts and compete for a mystery prize!!  Totally family friendly!!  Tickets, free to $25.  For total details…  

Wednesday, January 31st:  The Role of Offshore Wind in the Development of the Greener Grid Forum

The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, Manhattan, 7pm

We of NYState have committed ourselves to 50% renewable power by 2030 with, natch, wind being a major component.  So how are we going to do it?  Let’s let experts – Doreen Harris oNYSERDAClint Plummer, Vice President of  Deepwater Wind and Christer Geijerstam of Empire Wind  – tell us how!  General admission, $25.  Students, $10 For more and tickets

Suddenly it’s February: 

Thursday, February 8th:  Historic Cocktail Workshop – A Brief History of Flip!

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 630pm

Of course, cocktails have a history…  Mixology, too!  Learn all about the venerable flip and other historic libations from food historian and coctail expert Rebecca Silverman!  Tastings and recipes included!!  Members, $15.  Non-members, $20.  To reserve your place:  212-838-6878…

Miscellany:

Wondering how the new tariff will affect your plans to install solar panels…?

How Paris tackled (and conquered) its traffic congestion challenges…  

And Minnesota’s scoping out its highway infrastructure in need of repair… 

Measures deployed as U.S. traffic fatalities rise

Surprise!  NYS Environmental Conservation Police are active in NYC!!  (Scroll down!)

AHA!  And NYS’s fining a major NJ beverage distributor $550K for not collecting bottle deposits for 4 years!!

No surprise that a new study finds biodeisel a far greener truck (AKA heavy-duty transportation) fuel than plain old diesel…   (And there’ve been steps forward in how it’s produced!)

Consumer Reports on how to best weather this miserable flu season… 

But what would a week be without a bit of activism:

If you take issue with drilling a stone’s throw away from the Chaco Culture National Historic Park… 

If you believe American food crops shouldn’t be irrigated with oil-tainted waste water… 

Back on a lighter note:

Ten really interesting facts about plants… 

Basics of being a restaurant critic

And then there’re animals:

All hail the Amur leopard bent on saving his species from extinction…  (Are these felines gorgeous or what?)

Yup, there’s a flu shot for dogs!

Ten fascinating facts about squirrels… 

One really fast dog

The 12th Century inventor of ornithology

But of course, NYC has its own Parrot Whisperer!!

The Hudson Upstate

The Frozen Hudson Upstate

Yours in enduring greenness,

UGS  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Year of the Bird and Happy 50th Birthday of the National Trail System, UESiders!!

How about we begin the new UGS year with The Eight Domains of Livability as evaluated by the WHO, AARP and stumbled upon by us in NYS DEC’s “Conservationist Magazine”…  Those 8 being:

Domain 1:
Outdoor spaces and buildings
Domain 2:
Transportation
Domain 3:
Housing
Domain 4:
Social Participation
Domain 5:
Respect and Social Inclusion
Domain 6:
Work and Civic Engagement
Domain 7:
Communication and Information
Domain 8:
Community and Health Services

We bring this up in relation our city’s recent moves speaking to Domain 1…  The co-opting of public space and new buildings of astonishing heights…  Think the Marx Brothers Playground, The Oval and the defeated Sutton Place highrise in our neck of the woods.  Same further downtown, but with the addition of threatened community gardens. 

Of course, we need more housing of all kinds (especially if there are some architectural aesthetics involved), but restful green spaces are vital too. 

Yes.

On to the week ahead:

Thursday, January 19th – Thursday, February 8th:  10th Anniversary of Bohemian National Hall’s Restoration Celebration/Show

Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street

Hard to believe this UES gem was not so long ago a crumbling shambles!  It’s gorgeous now and the photographs in this exhibition chronicle how the building and its place in our community’s history were saved!  Free.  Check for hours. 

Friday, January 19th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-9:30pm 

Star master John Pasmino’s subject this Friday:  The upcoming Supermoon, Blue Moon, Lunar Eclipse and Selenhelon ( an eclipse occuring at sunrise or sunset)…  All 4 phenomena set to converge on Wednesday, January 31st!!  Free!! 

Saturday, January 20th:  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, Consider Bardwell,  Samascott, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert,  Gajeski and Hawthorne Farms!!

Delighted to say our Master Knife Sharpener will be with us, too!!  

Last 5 weeks’ recycling totals:  12/15/17 – 86 lbs. batteries; 24 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 13 compost bins; 31 bags of clothes;    12/22/17 – 67 lbs. batteries; 17 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 13 compost bins; 28 bags of clothes;    12/29/17 – 55 lbs. batteries; 21 lbs. cords, cords, cellphones and cartridges; 10 compost bins; 38 bags of clothes;  1/6/18 – (Frosty) Market Closed;  1/13/18 – 92 lbs. batteries; 23 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 13 1/4 compost bins; 40 bags of clothes!!  

No way, come spring,  DSNY will be able to take us back down to a paltry 12 empty bins!!

Sunday, January 21st:  15th Annual After the Holidays E-waste Collection Event

92nd Street Y, Lexington between 91st & 92nd, 10am-4pm

Accepting computers, monitors, printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, phones, audio/visual equipment, video games, tablets and PDAs!!  (NO air conditioners, microwaves and household appliances, please!)  (And don’t forget 86th Street Best Buy takes your electronic recycling year ’round!)

Thursday, January 25th:  Nature in the City – The Transit Connection

Transit Center, 1 Whitehall Street, 17th Floor, 6-8pm

Underscoring AARP’s Eight Domains of Livability:  Be it the A train to the Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge or Metro North Railroad to the Breakneck Ridge trail head, walks through nature and transit rides through the city are complementary aspects to healthy urban life!!  So come and hear author Tony Hiss (“The Experience of Place and In Motion: The Experience of Travel”) , Sarah Charlop-Powers (NAC) and Susan Trautman (Great Rivers Greenway) as they discuss how access to nature and robust transit systems together improve the quality of life and social connection in large cities!  Free!  RSVP (a must) to events@transitcenter.org.  

Saturday, January 27th:  Night of Philosophy and Idea

Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, 7pm Saturday to 7am Sunday

Never wonder why we live in NYC when there’re events like this on our urban dance card:   An all-night marathon of philosophical debate, exchange of ideas,  performances, screenings, readings, music and featuring  top philosophers from around the world!!  Free!!  Just show up…  (For more…)

Sunday, Januaary 28th:  Second Annual H2O System Trivia Contest

Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 2-3:30m

Inspired by the famous 1939 relief map of NYC’s watershed system (and a map with a fabulous history), put together a team of up to 4 water-savvy enthusiasts and compete for a mystery prize!!  Totally family friendly!!  Tickets, free to $25.  For total details…  

Wednesday, January 31st:  The Role of Offshore Wind in the Development of the Greener Grid Forum

The Greene Space, 44 Charlton Street, Manhattan, 7pm

We of NYState have committed ourselves to 50% renewable power by 2030 with, natch, wind being a major component.  So how are we going to do it?  Let’s let experts – Doreen Harris of NYSERDA, Clint Plummer, Vice President of  Deepwater Wind and Christer Geijerstam of Empire Wind  – tell us how!  General admission, $25.  Students, $10.  For more and tickets

Tuesdays, February 6th, 13th, 19th & 26th:  Researching the History of NYC Buildings Master Class

Municipal Art Society, 488 Madison Avenue,  Suite 1900, 6:30-8pm

Architectural historian and renowned MAS tour guide Anthony W. Robins iinstructs on the amazingly diverse resources that allow one to unearth much of the past of virtually any NYC structure…  From the Department of Buildings to the Genealogical Society!!  Add a field trip to the 4 classes noted above.  You’ll even earn an AIA credit!!  MAS and Landmarks Conservancy Members, $300.  Non-members, $375.  There’re also community rate tickets available to non-profits.  For the total rundown and to register… 

Thursday, February 8th:  Historic Cocktail Workshoop – A Brief History of Flip!

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 630pm

Of course, cocktails have a history…  Mixology, too!  Learn all about the venerable flip and other historic libations from food historian and coctail expert Rebecca Silverman!  Tastings and recipes included!!  Members, $15.  Non-members, $20.  To reserve your place:  212-838-6878… 

Saturday, February 24th:  Green Park GardenersNYC  Monarch Butterfly Lecture

67th Street Library Branch, 328 East 67th Street, TBA (but the afternoon)

Another in GPG NYC’s series of great, Manhattan-centric gardening talks…  This time out:  Christina del Fico – Roosevelt Island community gardener par excellance and Monarch afficianado – fills us in on the challenges of the butterfly’s life cycle, epic migration and how we can make our hood an ever more inviting rest stop on this wonderful insect’s way!  Free.

Miscellany, in the activist orbit first off:

HURRAH!  The Constitution Pipeline’s – proposed to convey fracked material – lost the latest round in court!!  

If you think salt in school lunches – make that school food overall – should be at healthy levels

As certain elements push to renew Arctic drilling…  Check out the pix of now-abandoned, “restored” well pad

Be good if you READ and COMMENTED on the 4th National Climate Assessment – formulated by some of America’s most prominent scientists – HERE!! 

Okay, so NYC’s survived the first round in the Amazon competition, but some are and have been questioning the benefits of these bidding wars…  (Who knew Ralph Nader was even alive?!)

Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts posed the question at this week’s deBlasio town hall:   “Is there a UES place for a residential building with a 150 feet of empty space (inserted to amp the structure’s views)? 

Not even the tiniest blip on our TV news, but BBC’s been on the current, epic Capetown,  South Africa drought…     

Lighter now:

Something to think about for next New Year’s Day…  A First Day Hike in one of our beautiful NYState parks!   (Scroll down to page 20!)

Yearning to be an official NYS Outdoors Woman??!!  That wish will nearer to being fulfilled once, say, you’ve mastered a DEC orienting course (sounds like fun!)…  Then add on some archery, fly tying, outdoor photography and more!! 

Ten – count ’em – secrets of the NYC Subways

Downsizing/decluttering…  into self-storage space…?

Got an accordian needing attention?  Of course, there’s an expert in the NYC metro area!!

An Irish Village in crochet

Incredible forest art...

Yes, NYS DEC even supplies us with “Shellfish News”!!

No shortage of critter tidbits in 2018:

YES!!  The Rwandan Mountain Gorilla Sanctuary – Africa’s oldest park and home to the critically endangered Mountain Gorilla – has been expanded for the first time in 30-years!!  

NO!!  The federal program that, since 1966, bred and reintroduced whooping cranes has ended due to a “shortage of funds”!! 

YES!!!  Could be an answer to the devastating white-nose bat disease!!

Somehow, it doesn’t make us feel all that great about our proliferating NYC rats that their ancestors likely weren’t responsible for spreading the bubonic plague

Who knew a foreign-born, eminent, published ornithologist  was at work in America 30 years before Audubon appeared on the scene…  one Alexander Wilson

The Times speaks on the “coywolf” debate 

Not so long ago, beekeeping then being an illegal activity, the New York Beekeepers was a totally underground group, rarely in contact and meeting in secrecy…  Now?   You can order mail order bees from them…  Take teir Beekeeper Apprentice course…  Check ’em out!! 

Meanwhile, up in Alaska, they’ve identified the first new bumblebee species discovered in 100 years:  Bombus kluanensis!!

A new lemur species’s been discovered, too!!

How could we not have known about our adorable furry fellow New Yorkers, the meadow vole and the eastern cottontail!

museum of seafaring pets… (Including a cat and dog awarded a military medals!!)

Then there’s this from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/5 – Yonkers, HRM 18: It looked like someone had pulled the plug out of the bath tub. At low tide outside the mouth of the Saw Mill River, a mud flat appeared between the bulkhead and the Science Barge and I could see live oysters attached to the steel structure. I had not seen the tide so low in more than a decade. – Bob Walters

[Three days of north-northwest winds culminated in a blowout tide. Blowout tides are not common. They occur most frequently following several days of steady and strong north-northwest winds. According to Dr. Alan F. Blumberg, director of the Center for Maritime Systems at the Stevens Institute of Technology, blowout tides result from these winds acting on the ocean off New York Harbor, causing extremely low tides there and in turn up the Hudson. It culminates in an ebb tide that seems to go seaward forever, draining tide marshes and inshore shallows to give us a glimpse of seldom seen parts of river bottom.  – Tom Lake, Steve Stanne.]

Last but hardly least, what some of our neighbors were up to on MLK Day:

 

The Student Conservation Association kicked off the MLK Day weekend by bringing out almost 250 volunteers in New York City to transform St. Nicholas Park in Harlem — site of the historic home of Alexander Hamilton. After two weeks of Code Blue temperatures in New York, the sun finally came out for the day of service. Volunteers took to the trails to clear out cobblestone culverts — long clogged with leaves and sediment — to improve drainage on the trails, reduce erosion, and improve stormwater management.
 
Elsewhere around the park, participants spread wood chips around newly planted seedlings to help protect them for the winter, pulled thickets of invasive mugwort that had encroached on trails, and raked up 250 bags of leaves and litter to clean up park playgrounds and ball courts.
 
NYC Parks Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh brought his granddaughter out to work side-by-side with volunteers — and thanked them for making MLK Day a day on, not a day off. “Martin Luther King, Jr. said that anyone can be great because anyone can serve,” the Commissioner said, “and I see a lot of truly great young people out here serving today!”

As we embark on a new, ever more green year,

UGS 

 

 

 

 

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