Happy Year of the Dog and World Whale Hippopotomus Days, UESiders!!

Canine lovers (and who isn’t?), last Sunday’s Times surveyed surprising breed preferences by borough and neighborhood!! 

Whales and we human owe the U.S. Coast Guard a vote of thanks for plotting a Bering Sea shipping route that’d minimize interference with wildlife subsistence and minimize pollution!!  (If you like to express that thanks…)

And should you be wishing for the amazing hippo to remain roaming Mother Earth in years to come (their population’s declined 95%)…

On to the week ahead:

Friday, February 16th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Star master John Pasmino’s subject this time out:  The apparition of Venus…  The planet which alternates as morning and evening star!!    Free and always fascinating!!

Saturday, February 17th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their Week 2 Olympic tables will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Consider Bardwell,  Samascott, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert,  Gajeski, Hawthorne and Nolasco Farms!!

Market Manager Supremo Margaret says:  “Yes, Nolasco will be there tomorrow! They’ll have some storage crops and sprouts and shoots from the greenhouse!”

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 10 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 12 1/4 compost bins; 23 bags of clothes   

Moving ever closer to averaging 13 bins…  

Saturday, February 17th:  Moon Over Manhattan Lunar Year Celebration!!

The Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, 1pm

Fun for all the family in the new Year of the Dog begins…  Think Asian lunar year traditions including music, crafts (like lion puppet making), a lion dance and a kung fu demonstration!  Members, $7.  Non-members, $12.  Children under 16 and seniors, $5.  For more and tickets…

Sunday, February 18th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 1-3pm

What better way to celebrate Washington’s b’day than by mastering traditional 19th-Century dances (taught by costumed pros) and toasting our peerless first president with tasty refreshments of that long-ago time!!  Members and children, $10.  Non-members, $15.   Reservations required

Wednesday, February 21st:  Get Involved With Your Park Workshop

Southbridge Towers Community Room (right next door to 100 Gold Street)

As if there was any doubt that our parks are totally in need of our care!  At this introductory workshop, you’ll learn how you and your neighbors can come together to support and improve your community greenspaces! Meet staff members that can help you get started, network with other interested community members and hear from experienced volunteers (like our own great Naomi Moriyama of Samuel Seabury Playground) who are already doing amazing work in their parks!!   To register (click on trainings)...  For more and questions:   Rebecca Elzinga at (212) 602-5342 or relzinga@cityparksfoundation.org.

Sunday, February Saturday, February 24th:  Monarch Butterflies Are New Yorkers Too Lecture

67th Street Library Branch, 328 East 67th Street, 2pm

Another in GPG NYC’s series of great, Manhattan-centric gardening talks…  This time out:  Christina Delfico – Roosevelt Island community gardener par excellance and Monarch afficianado – fills us in on the truly epic saga of the butterfly’s life cycle, thousands-of-miles migration and the many easy ways to make our UES an an appealing stop on the beautiful insect’s way!!  Free.  

Whoa!  Then it’s March:

Saturday, March 3rd to Sunday, April 22nd:  The 16th Annual Botanical Garden Orchid Show

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx

The annual botanical classic showcasing – literally – thousands of orchids on display!!  If not on your NYC bucket list, add forthwith!!    For more and to reserve your tickets

Friday, March 9th; Saturday, March 10th; Monday, March 12th; Tuesday, March 13th & Wednesday, March 14th:  ReelAbilities Film Festival – Reel Shorts! 

67th Street Branch Library, 328 East 67th Street

A meticulously curated series centered on life’s challenges –  from physical limitations to increasing the minimum wage to aging and beyond!!  (Yes, are our neighborhood libraries ever broadening their horizons!!)   Free!  For more and times…   

Wednesday, March 21st:  Mapping New York (AKA “Mappy Hour”) Event!

Explorers Club, 46 East 70th Street, 7pm

NYC Natural Areas Conservancy has a brilliant new program and describes thus:  “We all love New York City, nature, and maps and we’re bringing all three together with the relaunch of our interactive nature map!   Join us at the famed Explorers Club (we’ll also be taking a tour) to learn about the vision for the map that will help anyone with a computer or smartphone find NYC’s wetlands, forests, and trails.”  You’ll even be able to beta test the new map and give feedback on the redesign!  For more and to register (you should)...

Doesn’t get more miscellaneous than this week’s entries…  Commencing with an Olympics flashback from the NYS DEC archives:

Bobsled at Lake Placid

Driver Dana Fox and the rest of the 1936 Olympic bobsled team with their sled at the bottom of the Mount Van Hoevenberg bobsled run in Lake Placid, N.Y.

(No challenging the aerodymics of these athletes’ outfits!) 

UES green thumb alert:  Check out this wisdom for our next fall’s over-wintering gardens!!  (Thanks to reader Jill Bauer for the tip!)

Pause for an activist moment:

Should you oppose construction of a 23-mile long Williams pipeline carrying fracked gas under New York Harbor, tell the Governor by calling 877-235-6537…

Herewith, the proposed design for the Holmes Tower infill project

Meanwhile, seems like there’s a considerable amount of vacant property in our city’s possession...

Really?  They’re talking development on Governors Island??!! 

Not the most salubrious time to be venturing new food legislation but, as per Consumer Reports, there’s way too much arsenic showing up in our rice, including infant rice-based cereals!! 

FYI:  Despite overwhelming support for strengthened rules specifying humane treatment of animals on organic farms, current administrators at the USDA have failed to implement them by extending the effective date multiple times and have even proposed withdrawing them entirely.

Lighter now, including work, internship and volunteer opportunities:

CB8 has an opening for a hard-working, self-starter Community Assistant eager to make a difference in NYC… 

Season’s open to apply for summer internships at the Urban Green Council – prime player in moving NYC buildings to greater sustainability… 

Interested in spending a few summer weeks out of our steamy city?  Think volunteer NYS Adirondack/Catskill Campground Ambassador! 

Moving into another gear: 

Nominate your favorite new NYC building for this year’s MASterworks Awards…  (MAS as in Municipal Art Society!)

Can’t decide if it’s good or bad, but densified wood equal in strength to structural metals

Ah, retirement in Siberia

How about this for a beautiful highrise lobby

Plants turned into lights??

Once upon a time there were bagel famines in NYC??!!

But this week Brooklyn was home to the world’s largest bagel!!

The 100 most nutritious foods

Why NYC sweet gum trees deserve our thanks

NYC’s most interesting deckhand

And what were our NYS Environmental Police Officers up to this past month…?

Time for some animals:

Best compilation of squirrel videos to date…!!

Okay, we couldn’t help but be moved to help this poor, lonely, aging frog… 

So, really, how can nine finches that look so unrelated be genetically almost identical

Seems that the Korean DMZ – quite like the no-man’s-land around Chernobyl – has become an accidental but amazing wildlife sanctuary

Sure it’s post-Valentine’s Day, but it’s always time for an animal sweetheart quiz!!

The burrowing art of the Pacific mole crab

Indeed, why are elk flying over Kentucky??

Here’s to an intensely green Year of the Dog,




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