Happy 20th Read Across America Day, UESiders!!

A day on which we Americans celebrate the power and delight of being a human who reads…  With a particular focus on young humans reading…  With March 2nd the chosen day because it’s the birthday of the one and only Dr. Suess!!

There’ll be events at libraries and bookstores across the city…  And on the UES at the NYPL Yorkville Branch…  At The Society Library on 79th…  At Barnes & Noble on 86th…  


One could pay the joy forward by helping another to learn or improve their reading!!



No better way to begin a maxed-out week:

Friday, March 2nd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Star master John Pasmino fills us in on stars in winter-to-spring transition!!  Free and always so interesting! 


Saturday, March 3rd:  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, Hawthorne and Nolasco Farms!!

Reminder from Uber Market Manager Margaret:  “The Winter Warrior Program continues, so if you have a card, don’t forget to stop by the info tent and get it punched (and claim your prizes after 5 and 10 punches)!!” 

Fingers crossed Mother Hubbert’s chocolate milk returns this Saturday!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  67 lbs. batteries; 10 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs eye glasses; 12 compost bins; 25 bags of clothes.   

Love those 12 bins!! 

Saturday, March 3rd:  24th Annual Historic Districts Preservation Conference

New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, 9:30am-3:30pm (Luncheon included)

Participant-driven sessions, the most telling being – or we say –  on the subject of “Losing Its Way:  The Landmarks Preservation Commission In Our Time”.  No kidding!  Friends and seniors, $25.  General admission, $35.  Students, free.   For complete details

Monday, March 5th: 19th Precinct Monthly Community Council Meeting

19th Precinct, 153 East 67th Street, 7pm

You haven’t ever attended one of these gatherings, you’re missing something really real NYC…  Especially so if you’ve got a neighborhood issue to air.  And it never hurts to make the acquaintance of the men and women keeping us safe.  (There’re even refreshments from Butterfield’s!)

Thursday, March 8th:  Women’s History Month Celebration

Abigail Adams Smith Auditorium, 417 East 61st Street, 6pm

And who better to throw the party than the woman who represents us up Albany way, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright?  To RSVP (you must):  SeawrightR@NYAssembly.gov or 212-288-4607…

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 carefully curated series centered on life challenges –  from physical limitations to increasing the minimum wage to aging and more!!  (No kidding, our neighborhood libraries really are broadening their horizons!!)   Free!  For films, dates and schedule check out the attached flyer… 

Saturday, March 10th:  19th Century Tea Tasting

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 1:30pm

Learn the history of the world’s most popular beverage and how it was prepared in the U.S.A. of the 1800’s…  Then partake of historically faithful teas, herbal infusions and other refreshments of the period, all served in and on 19th-century ceramics!!  Members and students with ID, $15.   Non-members, $20.   For tickets

Deep breath then:

Saturday, March 17th:  The 2018 Ben Kallos Chess Challenge

Eleanor Roosevelt High School, 411 East 76th Street, 10am-3pm (Check in: 8:15-9:30am) 

Last year saw kids (K-12) from 94 schools testing their chess mettle!!  This year…?  We’re prepared to be amazed!  Organized by the great Chess In Schools.  Completely free, but players must registered by Tuesday, March 13th ChessInTheSchools.org


Weekends, March 17th/18th & March 24th/25th:  NYS Maple Sugaring Weekends

Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar,  1:30-3:30pm

Prime opportunity to twirl a brace drill, pound a spile, inspect sap flow in the sugar bush, enjoy the aroma of sap boiling down and take the maple taste test…  All under the mindful eyes of NYS sugaring experts!!  Free.  Organized groups are welcome but are asked to call the Center at 518-475-0291 to register.  For more and directions…  (And to read more about sugaring…)

As spring begins:

Saturdays, April 7th – June 17th:  Jesse Owens Track & Field Program

Thomas Jefferson Park, First Avenue at 111th Street, 10am-12pm

Perfect for young ones – girls and boys – to make the acquaintance of track and field’s classic elements from long jump to hurdles to the javalin and more!  Ages 8-14.   Co-sponsored by the Randall’s Island Park Alliance.  Entirely free!!  For more:  sports@cityparksfoundation.org  

Saturday, April 21st:  Shred-A-Thon – Earth Day Edition 

82nd Street/St. Stephen Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First & York, 10am-2pm

Know you will keep in mind:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Take those hardcovers to Goodwill or Housing Works.)

As always, we thank Council Member Kallos, Assembly Member Seawright and the new fellow on the block, Council Member Powers, for their generous grants!!

Further down the recycling trail:

Sunday, May 20th:  DSNY Spring Safe Disposal Event

120th Street between Broadway & Amsterdam Avenues, 10am-4pm

Bring on those mouldering cans of transmission fluid and paint, unwanted medicines and cosmetics (!), pesticides, electronics and more.  For the complete list, how recyclables should be safely packaged, how to get to the event and more…  

This week’s miscellaneous mix:

Community groups Municipal Art Society, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts, CIVITAS, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, other community groups and residents have filed a revised court petition challenging the proposed mega highrise at 321 East 96th!!   (A highrise which would devour the Marx Brothers Playground!)

Our State Senator Krueger’s co-sponsoring the plastic bag bill introduced last week!  (And if you’d like to show your support to the governor…)

Of course, tariff proposals are of major interest in the recycling world

Construction of the Lower East Side ferry stop has commenced…  

Most sincerely recommend getting yourselves on quarterly Upper West Side Recycles Eco Letter email list…  The current edition featuring great NYC tree wisdom and classic Hard To Recycle List!!

And then there’s the Tree Listener

How N. Rockwell’s Four Freedoms came to be…  And a modern take on each…

Paleourbana‘s our guide to fossils in our midst here in NYC (think Saks and Tiffany) and a host of other cities!!  (For tips on how to know what you’re looking for/at…)

If it’s March it’s time for the 7th Annual Conservation Artwork Contest for NYC kids K-12!!  For the details (scroll down)..   Entries due by March 9th!

Heart-healthy clean air tips…  Many entirely new to us!!

Central Park’s the NYState Hike of the Month!

And what good stuff have our NYS DEC Conservation Officers been up to of late…?



Animal time:

The largest critter none of us have ever heard of…   The national mammal of Bhutan…  The Takin!! 

When NYC red-breasted mergansers seek female companionship… 

Wow!!  There’s a company custom-making milk for rare baby animals!!

Endangered European hamsters

And from the Hudson River Almanac…  A Hudson River mystery:

2/10 – Hudson River Watershed: Our list of fishes for the Hudson River watershed (227 species) largely contains fishes for which we have museum specimens or other incontrovertible evidence that they were found here. There are a few exceptions, such as the 19th century record of a dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus) for which we have only newspaper accounts.

Another record, until now considered dubious, was the barndoor skate, a large saltwater fish (up to six-feet-long). While the type site for this fish was from the East River (Samuel Mitchill,1818), the single record for the Hudson River began with a newspaper story from August 4,1932, when Jack Johnson reportedly caught a barndoor skate on rod and reel in the river at North Albany (river mile 150). For this saltwater species to be found in freshwater made the thinly documented record doubtful.

Clues to the specimen’s fate comes from J.R. Greeley who notes in his A Biological Survey of the Lower Hudson Watershed (1936), “An adult male of this large species is preserved in the collection of the New York State museum. It was contributed by a local fisherman who said he caught it on rod and reel in the Hudson River at North Albany.” However, the specimen could not be located. It appeared lost.

The mystery was solved today. Bob Schmidt, Bryan Weatherwax, and Jeremy J. Wright opened a stainless-steel tank and were surprised to discover that a large skate was squeezed inside. When they accessed the computer records, they discovered that this specimen was the barndoor skate that Jack Johnson caught in 1932. The barndoor skate specimen was a male, measuring 55-inches total length. Schmidt, Weatherwax, and Wright view this specimen as evidence that a barndoor skate was collected in the freshwater tidal portion of the Hudson River in vicinity of North Albany.  – Tom Lake

Skate                                                                    That Skate

[The barndoor skate (Dipturus laevis) is one of two species of the skate family (Rajidae) documented for the watershed, the other being the little skate (Raja erinacea). If you would like a copy of the Checklist of Hudson River Watershed Fishes, please e-mail trlake7@aol.com.

Yours in evergreenness, 



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