Happy Soon-To-Be Jackie Robinson’s 100th Birthday, Grand Central Terminal’s 106th B’day and National Groundhog Day, UESiders!!

Don’t miss the Museum of the City of New York’s wonderful Robinson show (running through September 15th) and there’re any number of great things to do in and around Grand Central!! 

As for ye olde Groundhog Day…


After the past 2 days, do we not all have fingers crossed that his furriness is all but stunned by the magnitude of its shadow!!

(And stay tuned to rumored activities of Staten Island Phil supporters determined to take a bite out Punxsutawney Phil’s present pre-eminence in the end-of–winter prediction game!!)  

On to the (hopefully warmer) week ahead:

Saturday, February 2nd:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

With us will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Samascott, Ole Mother Hubbert, SunFed Beef, Hawthorne Valley, Ballard Honey, Consider Bardwell, Gayeski and Nolasco Farms!!

News flash:  Walnut Hill may not now be present tent-wise, but you can still find their wonderful edibles at Consider Bardwell’s table!!)

Meanwhile, it’s Super Bowl Weekend at the Greenmarket!!  Meaning Manager Tutu to be whipping up perfect treats for watching and rooting!! 

Last Week’s Recycling Totals –  75 lbs batteries;  28 lbs cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;   9 pairs of eye glasses;  12 compost bins, PLUS 10 large bags full of compost ;  42 bags of clothes 

Saturday, February 2nd:  Electrifying Mapmaking Embroidery

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East 61st Street, 2pm

Home to some of the most fun workshops going, this time the MVHM’s offering a “hands-on mash-up of 19th Century sewing and early science…”  As in embroidering a map of New York and then sewing on circuits to light it up at points of special interest!!  All materials provided and no experience necessary.   Best for adults ($15; members and students, $10) and kids 10-plus ($10).  For more and tickets

Satruday, February 2nd:  Save The Trees Rally

Museum of Natural History Steps, Central Park West at 79th Street, 12pm

As was true of the 42nd Street Library and for all we support our great NYC institutions, not every plan they float is a winner…  Especially when park space and greenery is on the chopping block…

Sunday, February 3rd:  DOROT’s Winter Visit & Package Delivery Program Training

DOROT Main Office, 11 West 85th Street or Sutton Place Synogogue, 225 East 51st Street, 10am 

Again we quote, “Bring warmth and companionship to an older neighbor with a Sunday visit.  Sign up for orientation, package pick-up and a home visit assignment” at either of two Manhattan locations!!  A beautiful thing!!  But registering is required, as is an email to Lauren at lskolnick@dorotusa.org to let her know you’ll be volunteering!!

Wednesdays, February 6th, March 6th and April 10th:  Introduction to Bushcraft

Mighty Hatchet/1 Cyclery, 254 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, 7-9pm

Think building shelters, tying knots, sharpening knives, navigation, cooking and so many more skills needed  when we  frolic about in the great outdoors!!  Professor in charge:  FreeStone Expeditions’ Greg Wilson.  (So far, equal number of men and women signed up!!)  Early bird enrollers, $25 per class.     For more and tickets...

Thursday, February 7th:  Frick Collection Open House

1 East 70th Street, 6:30 – pm

Take in the masterpieces, partake of gallery talks, visit the second floor…  All while savoring the ambiance of the remarkable Frick mansion!!  Free but you must RSVP …

Friday, February 8th:  Heart Month CPR Training with New York Presbyterian

AM Seawright’s Community Office, 1485 York Avenue, 11am-1pm

The more of us who have this knowledge/skill under our belts…  How could one be a better neighbor!!  Free, of course.  To sign up… 

Friday, February 8th:  Opening of Museum of the Dog

101 Park Avenue, 10am – 4pm

Debuting with its first exhibition, “For the Love of All Things Dog: Highlights from the AKC Museum of the Dog and Collection of the American Kennel Club”!!  Then there’re the museum’s digital experiences, i.e. seeing what breed you most resemble (at the “Find Your Match Kiosk”) and/or learn about all 193 AKC recognized breeds (at the “Meet the Breeds” table)!!  Adults, $15.  Seniors, Students, Active and Retired Military, $10.  Children under 12, $5.  For tickets and more

Just over the horizon:

Friday, February 15th to Monday, February 18th:  The Great Backyard Bird Count 

Across America and Greenspaces all over NYC

In 2018, more than 160,000 people of all ages and walks of life joined in the four-day count that creates an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of American birds!! This year, you could be 160,001!!  For the lowdown

Sunday, February 16th:  Free Mammograms/Breast Examination on Roosevelt Island

Good Shepherd Plaza, 543 Main Street, 9am-4:30pm

To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 40-79, a NYC resident and not had a mammogram over the last 12 months.  There’re no fees or co-pays and deductibles are waived.   Uninsured patients are welcome, too.  Made possible by a host of organizations including the Italian-American Cancer Foundation.  To make your appointment, 877-628-9090!! 

Monday, February 17th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

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

Quote the Museum, “Bring the whole family to celebrate the birthday of the first POTUS with a ball, a museum hunt and tastings of historic recipes.”  Plus learn 19th-century dances, eat Washington Cake and send little family members on a museum search for objects that our former presidents would have used!!”  Non-members, $15.  Members and children under 12, $10.  For more and tickets  anemone-occidentalis-1

Anemone Occidentalis

Ready yourselves for some activism: 

Should you oppose Arctic oil/gas drilling

If you like some of your wilderness without off-road vehicles

If you oppose the sale of Plum Island, unspoiled NYS space in the Long Island Sound…

The Berkeley, CA approach to recycling

Math-driven organics policy…  (Let’s hope DSNY is or soon-to-be onboard…)

Closer to home:

Don’t we all know Eleanor Roosevelt High’s been needing a real gym for the longest…  Thus, how ’bout we pile up signatures on CM Kallos’ petition to Mayor deB… 

Be so great if remnants of the 19th Century St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum recently revealed on 90th Street could be preserved…  Take a look!!

A reusable packaging pilot program coming soon to somewhere in the NYC area… 

Keep an eye on developments vis-a-vis “Jointly Operated Playgrounds”, those being playgrounds and parks which share the same space – of which there are some 260 in NYC – and none of them with the same protection from development as plain old park space.  Case and point:  The developer-threatened Marx Brothers Playground on 96th…

 Amazon’s investing $10M in the Closed Loop Fund, monies that’ll be deployed to support recycling infrastructure  and curbside recycling for some 3 million American homes, much of which is Amazon packaging, of course!!  (You recall, Closed Loop partner Ron Gonen who brought compost collection to NYC!!) 

Just plain wide-ranging miscellany now: 

Seems LA County Public Transportation’s use by women is substantially affected by harassment concerns

Like we didn’t already know (but it’s always great to see in print) that recycled plastics reduce energy consumption and GHG (AKA green house gases)… 

Handy guides/help on how to boost reycling in your building…  

There’re now camera-equipped dumpsters!!   

Our local Organizing Goddess weighs in on how best to manage receipts for/records of charitable donations... 

How about this for a green – and gorgeous – railroad station

On the NYS beat: 

What Conservation Officers have been up to of late (epic dumping/lots of critters)…

Good on NYS for its grants for LED street lights!! 

Add to that research into ocean acidifcation in NYC’s ocean bight!!

Who knew there was an Adirondack Corps…?  (Scroll to page 20…)

Or a Fly Fishing Hall of Fame…?    (Scroll to page 28…)


Anemone Occidentalis

It’s animal time (heavy on birds this time out):

What to do if you spot a banded bird

Just before the big freeze set in, reader Teri Dupuy spotted this rotund robin on our UES streets:


That Robin

 (Yup, we know they fluff up feathers to retain warmth!)

How invertibrates survive the big freeze…  (Scroll down to page 2!!) 

The Milwaukee Bucks open the world’s first bird-friendly arena…  (Scroll down to page 6!!)

NYS school kids help save threatened bobwhite quail!!  (Scroll to page 17!!)

Not forgetting the Hudson River Almanac:

2/20 – New York Harbor, Upper Bay: Having read the cackling geese reports from Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, I went out to Randall’s Island this afternoon between the storm and the deep freeze to see what may have blown in. I spotted a small whitish finch flitting around the edge of the northwestern-most ball field. I considered that it might be a possible snow bunting. However, a better look revealed a common redpoll. That may have been a first of the species for Randall’s Island.  – Alan Drogin

common redpoll

A “Common” Redpoll

And the Fish of the Week is:

1/25 – Hudson Valley Estuary: This week’s fish is the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), species number 155 (of 228) on our watershed list of fishes. Largemouth bass is a freshwater member of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) and a very popular gamefish. The New York State angling record is 11 lb. 4 oz., a fish that was caught in Buckhorn Lake, Otsego County in 1987. If you would like a copy of our watershed fish list, e-mail: trlake7@aol.com.

large-mouthed bass

A Largemouth Bass

As an apprentice in the school of Hudson River fishes, our mentors taught us that the largemouth bass was an introduced species into New York from the Great Lakes region. As good students, however, we were also taught to never pass up an opportunity to question the dogma of our lessons.

Fort William Henry, on Lake George in Warren County, was a Colonial fortification that helped guard the Hudson and Mohawk valleys, then known as “the frontier,” during the French and Indian War. For those of us who are curious by old accounts of unfamiliar fish names, we find reading the journal of Caleb Rea, the regimental surgeon for the English garrison at Fort William Henry (1755-1757), intriguing. The surgeon wrote how he “enjoyed fishing on Lake George.” After one successful trip he noted that he had “… caught Oswego bass, perch, roach, trout, etc. … but ye bass is ye biggest and counted ye best.” The perch were likely yellow perch; roach may have been golden shiners; and trout could have been either brook trout or lake trout. All of these fish are native to Lake George and our watershed.

The “Oswego” bass” was the odd fish. Oswego bass have long been a regionally colloquial name for largemouth bass and conventional thinking has been that they were introduced into New York State from the Midwest in the middle of the 19th century. Therefore, they could not have been Caleb’s “ye biggest and counted ye best.”

But, with the help of ichthyologist Bob Schmidt and DEC fisheries manager Scott Wells, we investigated the local origin of largemouth bass and discovered in the 1896 Annual Report of the New York Fisheries, Game and Forest Commission this statement: “Lake George is believed to be the natural habitat of black bass [largemouth bass], and the fish probably found its way at an early period from the St. Lawrence through Lake Champlain into Lake George.” Apparently, they were there in 1755. This gives us yet another story to tell our students about the lives and legends of New York State fishes. – Tom Lake

[While very close to the border of the Hudson River watershed, Lake George is in the Saint Lawrence River watershed. Tom Lake]

We’re even more green at 30 below, 





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