Category Archives: Uncategorized

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,

UGS

 

 

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Happy First Week of the Olympics, Forest Friday and soon-to-be Happy Valentine’s Day, UESiders!!

As the curling competition quietly whooshes in the background, let’s talk…  Sanitation.

Likely you’ve heard the NYC Sanitation’s been contemplating a commercial collection plan that would have carting companies picking up from assigned geographic zones.    Sounded both more efficient and – given far fewer trucks – better for a neighborhood’s air.   Then news started dribbling in on the results of a similar approach deployed by Los Angeles… With disastrous results, especially according to this editorial.   

Likely the truth lies somewhere in between but, as we’ve all experienced of late, those in charge of our city have proved pretty poor in both conception and execution and utterly resistent to public desire.

Witness the MTS and the brushing aside of the successful 79th Street pilot project that had trash placed curbside in the early morning, as opposed to sitting out as rat banquet-fare from 4pm till morning.

We shall have to be watchful, people.

On to the week ahead:

Saturday, February 10th:  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, Ballard’s Honey, Consider Bardwell,  Samascott, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert,  Gajeski and Hawthorne Farms!!

(We’ll be sustaining ourselves through Week One of the Olympics with a couple of gallons of Samascott cider!)

Last week’s recycling totals:  91 lbs. batteries; 10 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 12 compost bins; 33 bags of clothes   

YET ANOTHER 12 BINS!!

Saturday, February 10th:  Schurz Park Volunteer Gardening Day

East End Avenue & 86th Street, 9:30am-12:30pm 

Yes, spring’s right around the corner and it’s time to get UES gardens ready!   So what if the weather’s a little damp this weekend…  It’ll also be in the 50-degree range!!  For more and to sign up

Sunday, February 11th:  Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Course

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, 4-30 minute classes 12-2pm

Create a heart-shaped masterpiece composed of classic cookie icing, sprinkles and candies!  And your cookie decorating professor will be…?  None other than Amy of Amy’s Bread!  Free with museum admission!  For more and to reserve your place

Thursday, February 15th:  Free Mammogram Screening

Stanley Isaacs Community Center, 415 East 93rd Street, 10am-4:30pm

Thanks to CM Kallos and the Italian American Cancer Foundation, mammograms will be available to any woman over 40 at no cost!!  All that’s required is that you call and make an appointment at  877-638-9090!! 

Saturday, February 17th:  Biscuits & Bath Forever Home Event

1064 First Avenue at 58th Street, 12-4pm 

Given the huge crowd at last week’s Union Square Petco adoption event, February’s a prime month to adopt the puppy/dog of our dreams!!  (And this is canines only.) Sponsored by the Animal Care Centers of NYC.  

Sunday, February 18th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

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

Celebrate the birthday of America’s first president in true 19th-Century style with costumed dancers performing and teaching traditional country dances of the time!!   Festivities include toasts to George Washington and historic refreshments!!  Members and children, $10.  Non-members, $15.   Reservations required

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 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.  

On to the week in miscellany and activism:

Commencing with the crusade that will not die:  Limitations on plastic bags!!  (And from yet another green group in a world where metrics are all!)

If you support early voting in NYState

If you object to the 20 billion gallons of sewage that find their way into NYC water each year… 

Or 72% cuts in U.S. clean energy programs

Giant Waste Management – so active and many times fined in all over the USA and in NYC –  is currently on the ropes for air quality violations at one of its upstate landfills!!  (Cross fingers no NYC waste’s buried there!)

Takes some nerve, but ag company (appropriately named) Grimmway Enterprises is actually suing Food & Water Watch for revealing that G.E.’s using oil waste water to irrigate crops!! 

No surprise given China’s import ban that U.S. stocks of contaminated scrap plastics and paper are growing at recycling facilities…  “Contaminated” plastics as in they went in bins dirty!  (We UESiders know what we recycle should be 100%/soap-and- water clean!) 

Time for Amazon to join Walmart, Lowe’s,  Home Depot, etc. and stop selling bee-toxic products!  

But:

Good on Johnson Controls – world’s largest car battery maker – for investing in Aqua Metals and its revolutionary lead extraction process!!  (Auto batteries contain lots of lead!)

For those unfamiliar with Story Corps always affirming animated shorts, click here

Sigh…  Yes, some 2,500 U.S. chemical sites are vulnerable to flooding

Looks like America’s tallest timber-framed mini-high rise will be going up in Newark…  (When it can be used, timber’s viewed as more sustainable…)

hemlock

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

We’ve seen these ugly white beads on NYC hemlocks…  Let us know if you do too,  and where the tree is!! 

Of course, there’s a NYS water well contractor certification program!!

The Times’ Bookshelf/Sam Roberts recommends these two items of NYC reading 

For those not under the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts newsletter, a ton worth knowing in those pages, including a grant to research Yorkville building deserving of landmark status!

Animals:

Say what?  Some scorpions are developing more potent venoms!

hundred year-old spider

Moving further along the insect road:  Are ants amazing or what?!

Adorable NYS critter, the American marten, has retractable claws like cats!

Winter footwear for Gotham’s canines

What it takes to save one cute little Florida sparrow species

One “bad” NYC bird…   

On which the Hudson River Almanac comments:

In 24 years of the Hudson River Almanac, we have recorded 14 species of gulls in the watershed, along the tidewater Hudson, the Mohawk River, and adjacent uplands: black-headed gull, Bonaparte’s gull, Franklin’s gull, glaucous gull, greater black-backed gull, herring gull, Iceland gull, ivory gull, laughing gull, lesser black-backed gull, little gull, mew gull (common gull), ring-billed gull, slaty-backed gull.  – Tom Lake

And adds:

1/26 – Manhattan:  Perhaps it was the weather, the ice, or just the season, but for two weeks fish have managed to avoid our collection gear in Hudson River Park at The River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25. The net of our collection today included shore shrimp, a sea anemone, and a lone, juvenile spider crab. –  Siddhartha Hayes

Common Spider Crab

[The common spider crab (Libinia emarginata) is found in Atlantic coastal waters from the Canadian Maritimes to the Gulf of Mexico. Their body is palm-size but their legs can grow to a foot-long. They will become more common in late winter and spring as the water warms. – Tom Lake]

1/29 – Town of Poughkeepsie:  Our group, the Soul of NY62, became concerned today when photos revealed what looked like monofilament fishing line around the foot and talons of the male bird from bald eagle nest NY62.  This is one of those times when you’d like to be able to intervene, but realistically know that the eagle will have to face the challenge by himself.  (In subsequent days, it appeared that the line either fell off or the eagle managed to cope.) – Justin Schmidt, Kate Connolly, Bob Rightmyer 

(If you spend time walking along the Hudson River, especially at popular fishing locations, you will frequently find balls of snarled fishing line and fish hooks, a reminder of the importance to carry out what is carried in during the pursuit of outdoor activities.  To not do so, risks injury or death to eagles, osprey, wading birds and shore birds, as well as other wildlife as they forage among our leavings. – Tom Lake)

1/31 –  Hudson Valley:  We had a full moon today that was also a “Blue Moon”, so named for the second full mooon in one month.  They are not common, thus the axiom “once in a blue moon”.  This was also the third of three consecutive Super Moons beginning with November’s full moon.  Our view of tonight’s full moon eclipse, also called a “Blood Moon”, was limited by our locationin the eastern U.S.  If we think of the full moon as being “white”, we could say we had, albeit briefly, a  Red, White and Blue Super Moon!! – Dave Lindemann

Even our valentine’s are green,

UGS

 

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Happy Ground Hog Day, UEsiders!! 

(Shadow or not, Staten Island Chuck will be heaving a sigh of relief…  No up close and personal with and being dropped by the mayor in 2018!!) 

Let’s stay with the good news drum beat:

*Vermont’s the first state to require producers/manufacturers to finance the collection and recycling of single-use, non-rechargable batteries!   

*Girls Who Code will be offering 2-week courses in two UES schools this summer!!

*New Yorkers are so clever and green!!  Witness what these ten and their companies are up to!!

*Then add the efforts of this gentleman/entrepreneur!!

Good on us, people!! 

salvia-microphylla

salvia microphylla

On to the next seven days:

Friday, February 2nd:  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 astronomical factors influencing changes in Earth’s climate!!    As ever, free and amazing!

Saturday, February 3rd:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their pre-Super Bowl 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!!

Market Manager G offers this sage advice:   Grab your game day essentials from our local farmers!  Pick up a Super Bowl Snack Packet from the market info tent and even taste a sample around noon!”

Last week’s recycling totals:  83 lbs. batteries; 14 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 12 compost bins; 31 bags of clothes   

12 bins filled by an incredible 394 composters last week!!!  

394!!

Saturday, February 3rd & Sunday, February 4th:  FixUp!!

Gramercy, Bowery, Meatpacking, Soho, Inwood and Sunnyside, Time open varies location to location

GrowNYC’s newest boon to its fellow/sister New Yorkers…  Bam!!  You’ve got a broken (fill in the blank)?  More than likely one of the FixUp crew can get it back in good running order for a most modest charge!   For full details

On the horizon:

Saturday, February 10th:  Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour

329 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, multiple time slots

And we quote, “Show your Valentine you care with unobstructed views of the Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens skylines from an observation deck and a stroll through a glass-enclosed walkway built atop NYC’s shimmering silver, state-of-the art digester eggs”!!  We’re talking LOVE and it’s free!!  For more, directions  and to register… 

Sunday, February 11th:  Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Course

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, 4-30 minute classes 12-2pm

Create a heart-shaped masterpiece composed of classic cookie icing, sprinkles and candies!  And your cookie decorating professor will be…?  None other than Amy of Amy’s Bread!  Free with museum admission!  For more and to reserve your place

Wednesday, February 14th:  Manolo:  The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards Screening

Czech Center, 321 East 73rd Street, 7pm

Manolo as in Manolo Blahnick, of course.  And the film, a doc chronicling the non pareille shoe designer’s life and inspiration!   Free but with limited seating, you must RSVP

Friday, February 17th:  Free Mammogram Screening

Stanley Isaacs Community Center, 415 East 93rd Street, 10am-4:30pm

Thanks to CM Kallos and the Italian American Cancer Foundation, mammograms will be available to any woman over 40 at no cost!!  All that’s required is that you call and make an appointment at  877-638-9090!! 

Saturday, February 18th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

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

Celebrate the birthday of America’s first president in true 19th-Century style with costumed dancers performing and teaching traditional country dances of the time!!   Festivities include toasts to George Washington and historic refreshments!!  Members and children, $10.  Non-members, $15.   Reservations required

Coming up fast:

Tuesday, February 20th:  NY Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling – NYC Chapter Meeting

290 Broadway, Room 27A, 9:30am

Topics will include sustainable materials management, plastic bags, commercial recycling, and organic waste…  Plus there’ll be updates on current recycling legislation at the federal, state, and local level.  Free and open to all, but you do need to register

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 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.  

quercus-robur.jpg

Quercus-robur

All over the lot with miscellany…  Heaviness first:

If you believe Marx Brothers Park is a park (as opposed to space to be gobbled up by highrise development)…

Should you believe that NYState shouldn’t reduce funds for our libraries… 

Betwixed and between:

So when lots of Norwegian ice melts, some really interesting artifacts are being revealed… 

Cheerier now:

The Historic District Council’s 2018 six NYC buildings/neighborhoods in need of preservation are… 

Hummm…  This week Ithaca became NYState’s 18th Certified Climate Smart Community…  Might not the most reasonable aspiration for a city as varied and sprawling as NYC?  Your thoughts…? 

No figures on what might wind up in the air, but otherwise this upstate waste-to- energy pilot project’s sounding promising..  

A waste-to-energy plant focused on New England medical waste will be opening mid-2018…  (Wonder where UES hospital waste winds up and how it’s handled?)

How much stuff do we average Americans own…?  (Hint:  Plenty more than we think!!) (Thanks to reader John Steinberg for the tip!)

Are these NYS DEC Forest Rangers wild and crazy guys or what??!!  (Vertical training, indeed!)

anemone-occidentalis-1.jpg

Anemone-occidentalis

In the critter department:

Sigh…  As of 1/28/18, the eastern cougar is officially extinct.  Or is it…?

Meanwhile, our NYS DEC is asking that we the people report sightings of beavers, gray foxes, weasels, minks, coyotes, and skunks on Long Island and New York City!!

Your choice:  Penguin, coral reef, reef lagoon and/or Farallon Island live cams!!

Why do cats meow…?

How could we have not previously known about the incredibly cute little quoll (and there’s plenty to know): 

Quolls

Yours in greenness,

UGS

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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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Happy Dawn of Regenerative Agriculture, UESiders!!

That’s the new term for a possible agricultural revolution focused on restoration of soil health (without chemicals) and, as that renewed soil health is achieved,  increased productivity and carbon sequestration!!   

Pretty much under the radar, then BOOM!  Within a week, The Times covers it in the last Sunday’s Review and a new organization –  Re(Store) It – pops up!

Stay tuned in 2018!!

But first, the wonderful December ahead: 

Friday, December 8th:  Eric Sanderson New York Streams Lecture

Hunter College, 68th Street & Lexington, 7pm

What does the man who gave us the brilliant and fun  “Mannahatta” have to say about our city’s mostly buried and forgotten streams?  Organized by the all-things-water group, NYC H2O.  Free!!

Saturday, December 9th:  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, Ballard’s Honey, Consider Bardwell,  Samascott, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert, Alewife, Gajeski and Hawthorne Farms!! 

So great that Nalesco Farms is back at 82nd, too!!

PLUS, our Master Knife Sharpener will be on hand and honing as well!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 24 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 21 pairs of eye glasses; TBA compost bins; TBA bags of clothes; 10,300 lbs of paper!!

Ah…  Breaking records is so very sweet!!

Saturday, December 9th:  The First New York Cat Film Festival 

SVA Theater, 333 West 23rd Street, 3pm & 4:30pm

You read it right!  And have to say, the 2-part program each composed of several cat-themed films sounds really good!  $15 for each program.  For film programs/summaries and tickets

Sunday, December 10th:  Third New York Dog Film Festival

SVA Theater, 333 West 23rd Street, 2:45pm & 4:45pm

Yes, there’s a Dog Film Festival!!  And what better way to keep our animal film life in perfect balance!!  Same 2-part program.  $15 for each program.  For the films and tickets…   

Tuesday, December 12th: First Avenue Estates Oral Arguments

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, 2pm

From what we understand, this is the infamous Stahl Corporation’s last stand…  After decades of crying poverty, neglect and desecration of the landmarked First Avenue Estates York Avenue buildings (they’d purchased with intent to demolish), they have this one final appeal remaining.   With kudos to the many organizations – especially Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts – we can’t wait to hear the pitiful pleadings of guys in thousand dollar suits!!  (For a history of these sad goings-on…)

Tuesday, December 12th:  Historic Cooking Workshop – Sugar Plums and Wassail

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East  61st Street, 6:30pm

Guess what?  There’re no plums in sugar plums!!  And there’re plenty more 19th Century holiday treat-making twists and turns to explore!!  Members and students, $20.  Non-members, $25.   For reservations (required) or 212-838-6878!

Wednesday, December 13th:  NYC Wastewater Hearing

Council Chambers, City Hall, 10am

So, guess what?  Our city has the highest level of sewage polllution in all the U.S.A.  What’s more, 7 of the 11 long-range plans/solutions required by the Clean Water Act – many involving untested metholdology and chemical cocktails – have been approved without one bit of public input.   Time for sunshine!!  Time for spending city bucks bringing our waste water system out of the Dark Ages (as opposed to building garbage transfer stations).  Time for swimable/fishable NYC water!!   For more

Wednesday, December 13th:  Plastics – Killing Oceans, Killing Us

Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Street, 6:30pm

Plastic Free Water Partnership members Dr. JudyWeis and Sarah Edward-Eunomia spell out the more than looming threat and how its challenges could be met.   Fourth in the Sierra Club New York City’s 2017-2018 Sustainability Series.  Free.

Saturday, December 16th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their holiday tables will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Consider Bardwell,  Samascott, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert, Alewife, Gajeski, Hawthorne and NalescoFarms!! 

Adding to the market’s holiday spirit will be visits by the amazing Breuckelen Distilling and GrowNYC’s fabulous Regional Grains Project!!)  

Suddenly, it’s 2018:

Saturday, January 6th & Sunday, January 7th:  MULCHFEST!!

Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street & East End Avenue, 10am-2pm

Join the NYC Parks, the New York Department of Sanitation and GreeNYC and turn that once gorgeous Christmas tree into wood chips/mulch that’ll be nourishing our wonderful street trees throughout 2018!!  You’ll even be given a bag to take home!!  And keep this in mind:   More than 26,000 trees were recycled in 2017!!  We totally want to leave that number in the dust!!

Wednesday, January 10th:  Issues From Transportation Hell

Seafarers & International House, 123 East 15th Stret, 6:30pm

Willliam Henderson (Executive Director of the Riders Council to MTA), Nick Sifuentes (Executive Director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign) and NYC Public Advocate Letitia James fill us on steps underway and envisioned to arrest NYC’s great subway meltdown.  Free.

Just a couple of activist items in our December miscellany file:

If you think our  designated National Monuments should remain intact…   (Then scroll down and check out the many fabulous tbirds, insects (and plants) near at hand on Long Island 

Should you believe The Clean Power Plan should stay in place

That net neutrality should be retained

And wolves continue to be protected

Casting a wider net:

For those who treated themselves to the moving segment on the subject of peaceful intra-family political disagreement, StoryCorps new project builds on how others have found common ground and their stories…  Could be even yours!!  For details… 

Some really good tips on making our holidays considerably that much greener!!

Seems like pesticides are on minds all over NYState…  Witness this message from NYS DEC that includes  instructions of how we must identify, track and totally understand the proper usage of all pesticides in our homes…  Here in the NYC, that would include items like Raid. 

And winners of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation 2017 Awards are… 

Green Mountain Power – those folks urging us to shed Con Ed and go green at both markets was featured on  the PBS News Hours this past Wednesday night… 

Connecticut’s standardized its recycling regs statewide (great!)… Wherever recycling’s available (huh?!!)…

In the We Should Be So Organized category, tip of hat to publisher Veolia for its book detailing, in multiple languages European, recycled paper grades!

Meanwhile, Boston’s on the verge of banning single-use plastic bags, offering shoppers the choice of reusable bags, recyclable paper bags or compostable plastic bags for a charge of 5-cents instead!!  (A compostable bag option!!)

There’s a new master plan for the 42nd Street Library and we the public are invited to attend its (second) public presentation

All praise to glasses company Warby Parker which’s already provided eye exams/vision screenings and 20,000 pairs of free glasses for kids in 130 NYC schools and is now expanding that program to include all 227 community schools!!  They’ve even designed an array of stylish frames for those one in five kids (!) needing glasses to choose from!  Wow, yes!!

Wandering off the reservation:

If not the world’s most dangerous plant, it’s right up there…  The Giant Hogweed!!

Time for some critters:

Remember how New Yorkers should care for baby birds fallen from nests?  Here’s more about  the great place the little ones should taken (if they can’t be returned to nest):  The Wild Bird Fund on Columbus and 87th!! 

Dogs opening Christmas presents…  Or not!

Best squirrel and chipmunk videos

Why cats are afraid of cucumbers

Wishing you the most wonderful holiday season,

UGS

 

 

 

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Happy Mason Jar Day, UESiders!!

Also National Fritter and Bartender Appreciation Day!!

No reason why we can’t choose to designate a Happiness Is Being Upper East Sider Day, right?

Let’s get on it in 2018, people!!

But, first things first…  i.e. The active week ahead:  

Friday, December 1st:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

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

Star master John Pasmino’s subject this Friday:  Preparing to view Northern Lights!!  Yes, we have to get lucky, but it’s possible even given NYC’s own bright lights!!    As ever, free and amazing!

Friday & Saturday,  December 1st & Second:  Holiday Candlelight Tours of the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

421 East 61st Street, 6:15pm & 7:30pm

You’re right…  A ton going on at the MV Museum and no more charming way to commence the holiday season than a visit and step back into pre-Christmas 1830…  Complete with traditional confections and live period music!!  Couldn’t be more family friendly.  Members, $10.  Non-members, $20.  Children, $5.  Reservations required or 212-838-6878!  

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

Some of the gang vacayed last week, but the full winter crew’s back this Saturday!!  Yup, American Pride Seafood (of course!), Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Consider Bardwell,  Samascott, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Old Mother Hubbert, Alewife, Gajeski and Hawthorne Farms!!

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

Last week’s recycling totals:  81 lbs. batteries; 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 12 1/4 compost bins; 35 bags of clothes.

Yes, now that the seasonal 57th Street Market is closed, DSNY is finally able to give 82nd Street its rightful increase in bins…  Well, they gave us 12, so make that “rightful increase in bin”…  And we filled it and then some!!

Saturday, December 2nd:  Shred-A-Thon – Pre-Santa Edition 

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

Last of the year, people!!

Just keep in mind…

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Take your hardcovers to Goodwill or Housing Works.)

Thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick and Assembly Member Seawright for their so generous shredding grants!!

Sunday, December 3rd:  Carl Schurz Park Tree Lighting

86th Street and East End Avenue, 5pm

Can’t say it better than this, “Gather ’round the tree at 86th Street for caroling, hot chocolate, candy canes, and Insomnia cookies (while supplies last)!”   What’s more, your voices’ll be joining those of the the great choral group Cantori New York and accompanied by Orbital Brass!!

Tuesday, December 5th:  Meet the Author – “The Living Forest”

TreesNY, 100 Gold Street, 3rd Floor, 6-8pm

And we quote, “From the leaves and branches of the canopy to the roots and soil of the understory, the forest is a complex, interconnected ecosystem filled with plants, birds, mannals, insects and fungi.  Some of it is easily discovered, but many parts remain difficult or impossible for the human eye to see.  Until now…”    Secret beauty now made visible by the writer/photographer team of Joan Maloof and Robert Llewellyn.   Organized by the fabulous people of TreesNY.  Free.  For more and to RSVP 

Tuesday, December 5th:  Greening the Grid – New York’s Energy Future Forum

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, 6:30pm

Leading  thinkers (check ’em out) propose ways New York can adopt and even thrive as a coastal city in an age of rising waters!  Members, $15.  Non-members, $25.  Seniors, students and educators, $20.  For more and tickets…  

Then:

Monday, December 11th, Friday, December 15th & Friday, December 29th:  Kids Holiday Workshop at the Swedish Marionette Theater

Swedish Marionette Theater, Central Park, West 79th Street & West Drive  

After they take in the Theater’s great “Three Bears Holiday Bash” show, young ones’ll have the additional treat of decorating a dreidel (12/11), making an elf stick puppet (12/15) or a Kwanzaa stick puppet (12/29)!!   Kids, $8.  Adults, $12.   For more and tickets

Tuesday, December 12th:  Historic Cooking Workshop – Sugar Plums and Wassail

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, 421 East  61st Street, 6:30pm

Guess what?  There’re no plums in sugar plums!!  And there’re plenty more 19th Century holiday treat-making twists and turns to explore!!  Members and students, $20.  Non-members, $25.   For reservations (required) or 212-838-6878!

Suddenly, it’s 2018:

Saturday, January 6th & Sunday, January 7th:  MULCHFEST!!

Carl Schurz Park, 86th Street & East End Avenue, 10am-2pm

Join the NYC Parks, the New York Department of Sanitation and GreeNYC and turn that once gorgeous Christmas tree into nourishing wood chips/mulch that’ll be nourishing our wonderful street trees throughout 2018!!  You’ll even be given a bag to take home!!  And keep this in mind:   More than 26,000 trees were recycled in 2017!!  We totally want to leave that number in the dust!!

Miscellany, commencing with the usual activist items:

If you think harmful chemicals should be removed from our household goods

And/or you believe that NYS needs an infinitely greener single-use plastic bag policy… 

If you believe the Clean Air Act should remain in place

In the general mode:

Winter storm safety tips

Further on the safety subject:  Four vaccines that are – depending on age – pretty much a must

Moving onto items NYC:

Going to take outrageously inspired/innovative solutions to master our housing crisis and here’s one

As our weird fall weather continues, still time to get in final touches to that garden of yours!

Truly NYC has almost every landscape, even the exurban.  Case and point, the wilds of Staten Islands and two derelict building complexes (happily, soon to be rehabbed!)…

We’ve got important Revolutionary War sites, too!!

Plus we have wild black walnuts!!

And light shows – in Madison Park and the Seaport District – all over town!!

But, so far, no  wooden (semi) skyscrapers

From The Times travel section,:  36 Hours in Latino New York!

That and how to choose the best – if not perfect – Christmas tree!!

NYC’s pre-Thanksgiving Day parades

(And the real story of Plymouth Rock…)

Last but hardly least:

On the abiding problem of email inbox clutter, the Organzing Goddess has really solid advice

Animal time:

Okay…  Reintroducing beavers via parachute in the 1950’s??!!  (And how Idaho’s going about it today!)

The Ultimate Wild Turkey Guide

Here’re some of those turkeys – along with a whole lot of other critters – in New Jersey woodlands

fish that thrives at 26,000 feet under

Question answered:  Where’s that bird going with that seed/nut in its bill?

We say it’s the greenest time of the year,

UGS

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