Happy Read Across America  and Banana Cream Pie Days, UESiders!

Don’t know if by accident or design, but lovely that Read Across America coincides with Dr. Suess’s birthday! (He’d be 113 today!)

seemannia sylvarica

seemannia sylvarica

Now, fasten your seat belts firmly for at least the four weeks ahead:

Friday, March 3rd:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-8:30pm 

Starmaster John Pasmino explores the new bright planet in our night sky… Replacing Venus which shone over us all winter and now is rapidly sinking into western twilight is Jupiter, soon-to-be dominant feature of our evening sky. Free!

Saturday, March 4th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

Even if it’s below 32, with us will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

Same ify-ness re Nolasco Farm this Saturday…  Their winter stores are running low.

REMINDER:  Coming up March 25th:  Our market hosts GrowNYC’s Regional Grain Project and it’s mouth-watering selection of food and drink, all made with NYS’s home-grown grain!!  Yet another special event we can thank the great GrowNYC and Manhattan Market Manager Margaret for!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  64 lbs. batteries; 28 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 1 pair eye glasses; 11 compost bins; 25 bags of clothes.

YES!!  Back in the 11-bin groove!!

Wednesday, March 8th: Bomb Trains, Oil Barge Anchorages & Trumpish Happenings F0rum

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

The Sierra Club in the persons of Roger Downs (of the Albany chapter) and author Rachel Makleff weigh in on all the above.  Moderated by NYC’s Bonnie Weber. A 28-minute clip from “The Hudson River at Risk” – detailing the the bomb train and oil barge threats – will be screened for attendees.  Free.

Thursday, March 9th:  Free Mammogram Screening

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright’s Office, 1365 First Avenue between 73rd & 74th, commencing at 9am

All insurances accepted.  Fees and co-payments all waived.  Free for uninsured women over 40 who’ve not had a mammogram in more than a year.  All anyone needs is an appointment (and it’s a must):  800-564-6868!  

Thursday, March 9th:  Spa Day in the 19th Century – Making Up For a Night on the Town

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

So how did great-great-great-great-grandmother come by flawless complexion and soft-as-can-be hands?   With an array of all-natural cream and make-up concoctions we make ourselves with the help of the UES experts on all things 19th Century!!  (Then take in the Museum newest exhibit:  “Dressing for 19th Century New York City!) Members and students, $15.  Non-members, $20. Reservations advised:  212-838-6278. 

The waiting will be over:

Saturday, March 11th:  Shred-A-Thon –  Ides of March Edition

82nd Street/St. Stephen Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First &  York, 10am-2pm (rain or shine) 

A week and a day and counting…

But do remember:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Donate those hardcovers at Goodwill or Housing Works.)

Our thanks to Council Members Garodnick and Kallos for their many years of generous Shred-A-Thon support and Assembly Member Seawright for sponsoring the event!

Saturday, March 11th: Welcoming Royalty to Our Parks & Backyards Lecture

Garden Room, 67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street, 2-4pm

The “royalty” being their majesties, monarch butterflies!!  Eminent natural and butterfly expert Don Riepe shares his wisdom not just about monarchs – their life cycles, their amazing migrations, the threats to their continuing existence – but how we can lend helping hands to all butterflies once common to NYC.  Presented by GreenParkGardenersNYC via a Partnership4Parks grant. Free and with a fabulous door prize:  A gift certificate to the Natural History Museum’s Live Butterfly exhibit!!

Coming up soon:

Friday, March 24th:  A Hudson River School Legacy Exhibition

New York Historical Society, Central Park West at 77th Street

Whether or not you’re familiar with what’s considered the first American school of art, you’ll be wowed by the amazing assemblage of paintings that’ll be on the Society’s gallery walls…  Our Hudson River Valley seen and rendered by brilliant 19th Century eyes and hands.  Members free.  Non-members, $20.  Seniors,$15. Students, $12.  Children, $6. For more…   

More and more active:

Saturday, April 8th:  Randall’s Island Spring Waterway Cleanup

10am-12pm

Sponsored by outdoor brands United by Blue and REI (their efforts resulted  in 177 cleanups and removal of 995,291 pounds of trash in 2016), here’s yet another brilliant volunteer opportunity as we prepare our UES for spring/summer enjoyment!!  All cleanup supplies provided!  Volunteers eligible to win United By Blue prizes! More details to follow…

Saturday, April 22nd:  EARTH DAY with the Pier 90 Project!

Pier 90, East River Esplanade at 90th Street, 12pm

A particularly special place to celebrate Mother Earth…  Among fellow UESiders, on our own East River and enjoying the lovely pier that only months ago community will revived and reclaimed as public space!  Oh, yes, there’ll also be live music and ice cream!!  Then, long about 3pm, environmental educator/ecologist/urban naturalist Gabriel Willow arrives to lead a green riverside tour!  Doesn’t get any better folks!   Yes, and it’s free!!

Thereafter, head south:

Saturday, April 22nd:  EARTH DAY on Union Square

Union Square, 12-7pm 

Seventy-plus environmental non-profits and businesses with the latest and greenest…  A  myriad of kids’ eco activities…  Live performances…  Even more free pleasure, folks!  

Sunday, April 23rd:  It’s My Park Spring Cleaning Day

Stanley Isaacs Park, 96th Street and First Avenue, 11am-3pm

Last fall, Harlem teens and families from Shiray Tefila cultivated, raked and planted who knows how many daffodil, tulip and grape hyacinth bulbs.  Come late April it’ll be time to plant and tidy for park goers’ summer enjoyment!  Tools, plants and excellent refreshments provided…  Even knee-pads for you volunteers to keep!!  See you there!!

Saturday, April 29th: People’s Climate March

All Across the Nation and NYC

As has always been the case, it falls to plain old Americans to stand tall for the integrity of our land, air, water and the people living on this Earth.  Stay tuned…

May already:

Sunday, May 7th:  It’s My Park Day – Esplanade Edition

East River Esplanade at 96th Street, 11am-3pm

Year 3 of the Scrape/Paint Esplanade Railings Project.  Remember when every inch of classic railings north and south of 96th was peeling and/or rusting out??  No more and we’ll be spiffing up another block’s worth in ’17… Especially as we’ll now be equipped with revolutionary (at least to us!) new painting mitts (in lieu of brushes and fantastic for doing railings)!!  As always, best painting gear, refreshment and company is provided!!    

acer palmatum

acer palmatum

 As ever, worrying miscellany up first:

What can one say except that American companies are deeply involved:  “Deforestation Roars Back”…   

Pretty outrageous NYC sold the magnificent Immigrant Savings Bank building (once home to GrowNYC, OROE, TreesNY and many more city/green non-profits)…  But at least the structure and ground floor entrance will survive, albeit as features of luxury housing

Way over to the bright side: 

At last!  The City’ll be bearing down on buildings without numbers!!

Much wisdom UESider Jacquelyn Ottman’s take on NYC recycling in NYC…  (Especially love The Library of Things approach!)  

Yes, indeed, deodorized recycled plastic exists and it’s really good!

That P.C. Richard on East 14th?  Not long for this world

Who was the man with so buildings and institutions carrying the Lehman name?

Interesting Pratt’s done a report on the importance of auto repair shops!

Robots take a quantum leap…  (Happily, they’re American-made!) 

turraea nilotica

turraea nilotica

Hey, animals:

Really? There’re presently but a handful of grizzly bears in the uber wilderness North Cascade Mountains… Grizzlies that are an integral part of the clean water/abundant wildlife equation!!  (If you support the Park Service’s effort to increase the Cascade’s grizzly population…)

New species?  Not that it excuses the many – known and unknown – disappearing from Planet Earth, but to paraphrase “Smithsonian Magazine”, in the present we’re identifying new-to-us-humans-life at an astonishing rate!!

New species alert!!  As in the candy-striped hermit crab

How weird and wonderful is this:  Some magic component of Komodo dragon blood could well end our antibiotic crisis!! 

How about this for an arcane NYS activity to pursue with one’s dog…  Horn hunting!!

Russia has not 1 but 2 cat museums and we have none….??!!!  (Yes, we missed March 1st being World Cat Day…)

All hail the New Yorkers who assisted a raccoon marooned for hours atop a pole!

What would a week be without some Hudson River Almanac wisdom:

2/14 – Croton Point, HRM 35: While beachcombing today, I found some large bivalves (clams) along the tide line. I had never seen them this large or abundant. – Gareth Hougham

Wedge Rangia

Wedge Rangia

[Wedge rangia (Rangia cuneata) are a bivalve mollusk native to more southerly coastal and inshore brackish waters such as Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. It is believed that they were inadvertently introduced to the lower Hudson River 25 years ago through the ballast water of commercial vessels. They are now found as far upriver as Newburgh. – Dave Strayer.]

We dream in green,

UGS

 


 

 

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Happy WWII Flag Raising on Iwo Jima, UESiders…

Moments in history don’t get more symbolic, pivotal or worthy of remembrance…  

Or dwarfing of the date’s other designation:  Love Your Pet Day.

(You bet you’re loved, Fido/Fluffy/Tweetie Bird/Mr. Gerbil!!)

On to the week ahead: 

Saturday, February 25th:  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, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

Fingers crossed but ify on the Nolasco Farm front…  Their winter stores are running thin.

REMINDER:  Coming up March 25th at our Market:  We’ll be hosting GrowNYC’s Regional Grain Project and it’s amazing array of food and drink all made with NYState-grown grain!!  Yet another special event brought to us by the fabulous GrowNYC and Manhattan Market Manager Margaret!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  77 lbs. batteries; 32 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs eye glasses; 10 1/2 compost bins; 28 bags of clothes.

Yes!!  We like 10-plus bin weeks!!

By February 28th:  Vote for the One Book All New Yorkers Should Read!!

Head immediately to http://www1.nyc.gov/site/mome/initiatives/1book1ny.page!!! (Winner will be announced in March!)

Thursday, March 9th:  Free Mammogram Screening

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright’s Office, 1365 First Avenue between 73rd & 74th, commencing at 9am

All insurances accepted.  Fees and co-payments all waived.  Free for uninsured women over 40 who’ve not had a mammogram in more than a year.  All anyone needs is an appointment (and it’s a must):  800-564-6868!  

Saturday, March 11th:  Shred-A-Thon –  Ides of March Edition

82nd Street/St. Stephen Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First &  York, 10am-2pm (rain or shine) 

Closer and closer… 

Just keep in mind:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Donate those hardcovers at Goodwill or Housing Works.)

As ever, a giant thank you to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their many years of generous Shred-A-Thon grants and Assembly Member Seawright for sponsoring the event!

Sunday, March 12th:  New York Theater Ballet’s “Cinderella”

Schimmel Center, 3 Spruce Street, 3pm

The Dancing Clock…  Those not-so-nice stepsisters…  Everyone’s favorite princess-to-be…  And–  Well, you know the story.  Made all the better when dancing’s added!  With choreography by Donald Mahler, costumes by Metropolitan Opera’s  Sylvia Taalsohn Nolan and sets by Gillian Bradshaw Smith.  Perfect for kids of all ages! (Come at 2pm for fun like prince/princess crown decorating, Cinderella’s magic pumpkin game and a royal photo booth!)   Adults, $20.  Children, $10.  For more and tickets... 

By Monday, March 13th:  Nominate  Your Favorite Library Branch!!

Go immediately to http://www.nyclibraryawards.org

Five NYC Library Grand Prize Award winners score a fat $20,000!!  Five finalists win $10,000!!  The 67th Street Branch…  The 96th Street Branch…  The Webster Branch…  The Roosevelt Island Branch…   The Yorkville Library…  Lots of libraries to love on the UES!!

Miscellany…  Miscellaneous wrong-footedness first:

Say what?  Governor Cuomo’s budget includes a 4% cut in library funding?  (Should you disagree…)

Must read:  The Times’ “The Bee Mogul”!!   (Made the international edition, too!)  

Or that the Nuclear Regulatory Agency considering approval of a new dump for radioactive material in West Texas, with shipping through major population centers to a poor, largely Hispanic hamlet? (Just the facts, people.)

Like what more Appalachian streams’ll be looking like now that coal slag and tailings can be dumped in them again:

coal_stream_pollution_fb-375x211 

Not that NYState doesn’t have water problems of its own…  Immediately coming to mind:  Newburgh (lots of residents still haven’t had their blood tested) and Lake Erie...    

Into sunlight:

LOVE this idea:  The Empire State Trail…  750-miles long…  Multi-use…  Extending from the New York harbor through the Adirondacks and as far north as the state extends to Lake Erie (!) and Buffalo!!  Set to be finished in 2020!!

Beginning with this from Justmeans:  The good news in the European Commission’s “Second Report on the State of the Energy Union” has almost been lost amid the angst over the future of the European Union. The report finds that “renewable energy is now cost-competitive and sometimes cheaper than fossil fuels, employs over one million people in Europe, attracts more investments than many other sectors, and has reduced our fossil fuels imports bill by €16 billion.” These facts support the report’s assertion that Europe is on track to meet its ambitious 2020 energy and climate targets. And its larger perspective conclusion is truly eye opening: during 1990 to 2015, the EU’s combined GDP grew by 50% while total emissions fell by 22%. Now that’s a bottom line that adds up to both literal profits and air-clearing benefits.

Abundant cheers for Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Monarch Research Project  and the 1,000 of bee-friendly acres they’ll be creating!!   (The first 199 acres will be seeded this spring!!) (There’ll be bee and butterfly plant havens in the Green Park Garden and Bicycle Island Gardens, too!!) 

We’re used to see Lewis B. & Dorothy Cullman’s names at the beginning of countless hours of PBS programming, but who knew they were plant people too?  So, here’s the lowdown on Cullman-funded plant research at the Botanical Garden!

Trust the Greenwich Village Historical Society to get the job done…  i.e. prevent tampering with one of NYC’s 3 remaining Seamen’s hotels and barring the way for another deed restriction lift!  

Unsatisfied with your internet speed?  NYS Attorney General Schneiderman would like to know!!  Read…  Then measure that speed and send to the AG

Live in a building with 10 or more units?  Yeah, there’s a (free) training course involved, BUT you and fellow residents are eligible for free electronics pick-up or even – for 100-plus units – a free E-recycling bin!  10-plus unit buildings can have their own clothes recycling bin, too!! 

Think the EPA should move ahead with banning two toxic chemicals – methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) – found in common paint removers/strippers…?

Toronto’s sure taking an interesting approach to dealing with apartment quality/repair and problem landlords

For those wondering why St. John the Divine was landmarked just last week..

If only this guy (and his machine) would come to First Avenue…

Wine and your health?  The latest from “Consumer Reports”

Holy crow!  Competitive eating has a pre-Coney Island history

Ready for animals: 

Guess what?  Just as references to climate change have magically disappeared from federal government sites, so have docs and records relevant to animal cruelty..  Puppy mills, horse soring (gait improvement via injected irritants, roadside zoos and more would now seem to be AOK.  (Should you object…)  

Meanwhile in Africa…  A hero’s providing water to drought-stricken animals!   

The reputedly oldest rug in the world ‘s woven in the shape of a – what else? – cat!

Year round New Yorker, the Northern Cardinal

An agricultural fair in Paris?  Paris, France??  Salon International de l’Agriculture, no less!!  (Black cow “Fine” is the official mascot and current media star!) 

Rescue dogs as ball boys at the Brazil Tennis Open...?!  (They’ll be returning for Year 2 duty on February 27th!) 

What better way to close than a Hudson River Almanac excerpt:

2/4 – Manhattan: On a recent bicycle ride in downtown Manhattan, I spotted a lone bufflehead on the Hudson River across from Battery Park. In Battery Park there were dozens of brant and Canada geese eating grass. Continuing up along the East Rover I came upon two double-crested cormorants. Although I see fewer of them in winter, these two were actively fishing. I also saw a single pair of common mergansers; the female’s head feathers make her look like a little maestro!   

Female Common Merganser

Female Common                         Merganser

[The hen common merganser is quite gorgeous. With her fly-away red-feathered head, she always reminds me of Elsa Lanchester’s “Bride of Frankenstein.” – Tom Lake.]

2/8 – Manhattan: In early afternoon we went to check our collection gear at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park. It was low tide and unseasonably warm. Our crab pots were empty but one of our killifish traps had caught a young-of-the-year striped bass (85 millimeters). We also caught far more tiny mud crabs (about the size of a lima bean) than we had been lately. –  Melissa Rex, Jacqueline Wu

[In the early 1980s, there was an environmental battle to stop a project called Westway that would have substantially altered the inshore ecology of the Hudson River along the west side of Manhattan by destroying piers and filling in the areas between the water’s edge and the pier-head lines. One of the arguments that helped stop the project as proposed was the theory that young-of-year [YOY] and yearling striped bass (Morone saxatilis), such as the one captured today by the River Project, wintered in the inter-pier areas. Researchers tagged and released many YOY and yearling striped bass from the piers in the fall and then recaptured them in late winter in the same locations, indicating that they were wintering there. Other scientists demonstrated that a substantial portion of the total Hudson River population of these juvenile fish was present along Manhattan’s west side during winter months. After the project was halted, the west side of Manhattan was developed into an ecologically-sound park, and the adjacent water areas were designated an estuarine sanctuary. –  Dennis Suszkowski.]

We live to be green,

UGS

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Happy President’s Day, UESiders!!

Another 3-day weekend!  

And mighty fine days thereafter:

Friday, February 17th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-8:30pm 

Starmaster John Pasmino illuminates the astronomy in the saying “March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb” and identifies the bright stars of spring!  Free and always fabulous.

Saturday, February 11th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

Back at their tables will be American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

NEWS FLASH and coming up March 25th:  With us will be GrowNYC’s Regional Grain project!!

Hard to believe that not so long ago, near to no grains were grown in our state.  Then GrowNYC stepped in and – come 3/25 –  we’ll be treated to the fruit of the NYS grain-growing renaissance they’ve created…  From pasta to beer to crackers to spirits and more!  (And, of course, the fabulous Greenmarket baked goods we enjoy every week are all made with the NYS grain!)  Yet another special event devised by uber Market Manager Margaret who’s always making our markets that much better!

Last week’s recycling totals:  73 lbs. batteries; 22 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 10 compost bins; 27 bags of clothes.

Excellent for a miserably cold day!!  

Saturday, February 18th & Sunday, February 19th:  NYS Free Fishing Weekend

Statewide

Been longing to get your–  Let’s say…  Hands wet and experience the joys of angling?  Here’s your chance – especially if your focus is ice fishing – and it’s totally free!!  For more, including info/advice for beginners…   

Saturday, February 18th & Sunday, February 26th:  “Saving Jamaica Bay” Documentary

Saturday – Channel 13, 1pm & Sunday – WLIW Channel 21, 9pm

How one relentless NY community is overcoming the one-two-three punch of years of pollution, Hurricane Sandy and enduring government inertia!  You go, Jamaica Bay people!!  (To see the trailer…)

Coming up fast:

Tuesday, February 28th:  “In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront” Talk

Reidy Hall, Unitarian Church of All Souls,1175 Lexington Avenue between 79th & 80th, 7pm

When avid birder Heather Wolf moved from Florida to NYC, she wondered how many feather friends she might find in nearby Brooklyn Bridge.  And the answer was…?  A lot!!  So many she wrote a book about her experience and the enjoyment she’s had.   Free. 

Friday, March 10th:  Preserving the Mighty Oak Forum

Ross Lecture Hall, New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, The Bronx, 8:30am-1:30pm

Four reigning experts weigh on how to meet the challenge of the increasing number of invasive pests and diseases now threatening a tree that’s central to our northeast landscape/environment and national iconography.  NYBG members, $30. Non-members, $35.  For more and tickets… 

Saturday, March 11th:  Shred-A-Thon –  Ides of March Edition

82nd Street/St. Stephen Greenmarket, 82nd Street between First &  York, 10am-2pm (rain or shine) 

Better start sorting!!

Just keep in mind:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Donate those hardcovers at Goodwill or Housing Works.)

As ever, we thank Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their many years of generous Shred-A-Thon grants and Assembly Member Seawright for sponsoring the event!

Sundays through March 13th:  Winter Seals & Water Birds Eco Cruises

Pier 16, South Street Seaport, 12-2pm

Amazing the wildlife that calls our city home during the snowy months…  Common and red-throated loons, horned grebes, bufflehead and red-breasted mergansers, greater scaup. cormorants , long-tailed ducks and harbor seals to name but a few!  Hot chocolate included!!  Adults, $35.  Children, $25.  (NYC Audubon members get a $5 discount!)  For more and tickets

Out there:

Wednesdays, April 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th:  Historic Districts Council’s Spring Preservation School

Neighborhood Preservation Center, 232 East 11th Street, 6pm

Think  Preservation 101…  From land use to architectural styles to reading architectural renderings to waging a preservation campaign and beyond!  Choose 1 session or all 4!!   $15 per class or $50 for all 4.  For more and to sign up… 

On to the miscellaneous, bad foot first:

In the Are-They-Kidding/What’s-Wrong-With-Us Department:  Bad enough that Frederick Law Olmsted’s Staten Island home is crumbling, BUT the original Erasmus Hall – construction largely funded by Alexander Hamilton – is also falling apart!!  

Neutral ground:

giant cement plant’s coming to Queens

And here’s what going up catty-corner from Bloomingdale’s on Third

Smiling now:

NYS DEC’s just updated the design of their Trail Supporter Patch:

patchblue200

Recognition for those who donate $5 to the fund devoted to maintaining, enhancing and expanding our hiking, biking and horseback trails.  And what trails might there be in NYC, you ask?  Some of the state’s most highly recommended!  As in Staten Island’s Clay Pit Ponds State Park and Saint Francis Woodland, New York Botanical Gardens and Central Park!   

Circa 1850 Brooklyn cheese aging caves

A giant tunnel borer buried under Park Avenue

Critter time:

Have to say some pre-2016 “predator control”/trophy hunting practices once allowed in Alaskan wildlife refuges were pretty grotesque… Like shooting pups and cubs while they’re still so young they’re in their birthing dens. Should you think new, more humane regulations should be maintained

Meanwhile and no surprise, the new administration’s postponed endangered designation for bees…  

This beautiful barred owl was spotted in Harlem last week:

Barred Owl

Barred Owl

An airport animal control manager that’s a…  Dog!!

A kitty with titanium implants

Don’t miss PBS’s great “Spy in the Wild”!! 

Okay, mea culpa that February 9th was Alligators in Sewers Day and we missed it…  A goodly number of our sister/fellow New Yorkers not only did not, but competed in a AISD/NYC trivia contest, received their own rubber alliga–  Well, you read!!    

We close with a bit of youthful poetry from the Hudson River Almanac:

2/1 – Putnam County, HRM 52:

– On a Mountain Top
On a mountain top the flowers are sleeping and the snow is falling.
The snowflakes are coming and this means winter is coming to us.
The winds are calm and the cocoa is ready in the cabin.
The deer are going home; the squirrels are sleeping.
And we are waking on a mountain top.
     – Thea Nazario, 3rd Grade, Lakeview Elementary, Mahopac

Our best,

UGS

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Happy Valentine’s Day and International Day of Women & Girls in Science, UESiders!!

Love and science…  What a combo!!

Let there only be more!!

As for the busy week ahead:

Saturday, February 11th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will the amazingly frost-resistant  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

Last week’s recycling totals:  67 lbs. batteries; 16 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 9 compost bins; 28 bags of clothes.

Just shows how far we’ve come…  9 bins now feels kind of puny and sad.  

As we resume our 11 bin groove…!  

Saturday, February 11th:  6th Annual Central Park Ice Festival!

Naumburg Bandshell, mid-Park from 66th to 72nd Streets, 3-7pm

11-inches of snow?  Consider ourselves prepared to relish an afternoon of ice-sculpting with chain saws, molding your own miniature version of a CP classic sculpture, CP trivia, the festival’s signature Silent Disco and food truck treats from Wafels & Dinges, Crepe Crave, Uncle Gussy Greek and the Don Cafe!  Free!!  For more and to RSVP...

Sunday, February 12th:  Second Avenue Winter DayLife 

LowLine Lab, 140 Esssex Street between Rivington & Stanton Streets, 11am-4pm

Pickle dogs?  Pizza balls?  Portobello subs?  All that and more from food meccas of the great Essex Street Market and served up in the miraculous LowLine Lab underground garden!   Free!  For more

Mondays, February 13th to April 17th at the Webster Library Branch (11am-3pm) & Fridays, February 10th to April 14th at the 67th Street Library Branch (10am-2pm):   FREE AARP Tax Preparation!

Webster Branch, 1465 York Avenue at 78th Street / 67th Street Branch, 328 East 67th Street

AARP volunteers – certified by the IRS –  prepare all returns at zero cost to you for preparation or electronic filing! Do make sure you bring all necessary docs (W-2s, 1099s, support for expenses and deductions).  First come, first served.  And, yes, that right…  100% free!

Thursday, February 16th: How Do We Keep Ourselves from Freezing and Keep the Planet from Burning Forum

Patagonia Soho,  72 Greene Street, 6-8:30pm

Arjun Makhijani, Project Scientist at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, fills us in how we can make “Residential Heating and Cooling Climate-Friendly in New York State.”  Couldn’t be more timely as Governor Cuomo just announced a proposed $15M rebate program for renewable heating and cooling.  Organized by Alliance for a Green Economy.  Free!

Sunday, February 19th:  Washington’s Birthday Ball

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 61st Street, 

Yes, you can celebrate the birthday of our Nation’s First President as New Yorkers did in the 19th Century! Costumed dancers perform and teach traditional country dances.  Festivities include toasts to the great Washington and historic refreshments, including Washington Cake!  Museum tour and family-friendly scavenger hunt are also included.  Members and kids under 12, $10.  Non-members, $15 Adults.  Reservations required  or call the Museum:  212-838-6878.
Then:

Saturday, February 25th:  Practice ACT, SAT & SHSAT Tests

67th Street Library, 328 East 67th Street 

Think test run…  After which you learn your teen’s strengths and weaknesses so they can be addressed for max performance on the real thing!   Free.  For more and/or to register:  info@praxistutors.com.

Thursday, March 2nd to Wednesday, March 8th:  10th Annual NY ReelAbilities Film Festival

Numerous Venues and Various Times

And we quote:  “The ReelAbilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities.”  Just right after Oscar Season. Check out the great line-up!  

Yes, you’ve been waiting:

Saturday, March 12th:  Shred-A-Thon –  Ides of March Edition

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

RAIN OR SHINE!!

Will we or will we not fill the shredding truck to the brim again?  (The Shredding Force seems to be with us!) 

Will we average more than a Shredee every 30 seconds?  (Smart money’s says we will!!)

Just remember:

NO cardboard or plastic-handled shopping bags.

REMOVE paper clips and spiral bindings. 

NO HARDCOVER BOOKS.   (But paperbacks are fine.)

(Donate your hardcovers at Goodwill or Housing Works.)

As always our thanks to Council Members Kallos and Garodnick for their many years of generous Shred-A-Thon grants and Assembly Member Seawright for sponsoring the event!

Mark those calendars:

Saturday, April 8th:  Randall’s Island Spring Waterway Cleanup

10am-12pm

Sponsored by outdoor brands United by Blue and REI (their efforts resulted  in 177 cleanups and removal of 995,291 pounds of trash in 2016), here’s yet another brilliant volunteer opportunity as we prepare our UES for spring/summer enjoyment!!  All cleanup supplies provided!  Volunteers eligible to win United By Blue prizes! More details to follow…

Saturday, April 29th: People’s Climate March

All Across the Nation and NYC

As has always been the case, it falls to Americans to stand tall for the integrity of our land, air, water and the people living on Mother Earth.  Stay tuned…

Pinus Ponderosa

Pinus Ponderosa

Miscellany, a contentious item first:

As in the debate concerning the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims located at Fifth and 103rd

Happier now:

Tip of the hat to IKEA for its reusable flat-pack refugee housing

Good on Target, too, for phasing out personal care products containing poisons like formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates and more.    (If you think personal care product giant Unilever should do the same…)   (And time to start reading labels, if you aren’t already!) 

More like a mini-nod to Starbucks for pledging to serve up poultry free of “routinely used antibiotics” by 2020… 

Need updated posters/info materials for your recycling area

Check out this 248-year old NYBG daisy plant… 

Sigh…  Oak wilt’s spreading in our city and it’s amazing/shocking how it spreads

Oh, yeah, it’s hardy, but ivy around trees

A kelp forest off the British Columbia coast

A kelp forest off the British Columbia coast

Yes, animals:

Indeed, squids do have their own language… 

The latest great American zoo rivalry?  Which can tweet the cutest animal pix!  (NYC’s doing well!)

kitten and bubble gum

And from the Hudson River Almanac:

1/20 – Atlantic Ocean: A year ago today we received our final satellite transmission indicating the whereabouts of the gray seal rescued from the Hudson River in Saratoga County, 175 miles from the sea, by the Riverhead Foundation on December 4, 2015. This was possibly only the second gray seal ever recorded for the Hudson. The seal had become marooned above the federal dam in Troy, trapped at Lock One of the Hudson-Champlain Canal in Half Moon. Named “Charlie” by the Riverhead Foundation, it was rehabilitated, fitted with a tag (150975) and satellite transmitter, and released on December 10 at Ponquogue Beach, Hampton Bays, Long Island.

Over the next 41 days Charlie, monitored by satellite, traveled northeast past Block Island, then north into Narragansett Bay, past Newport, Rhode Island, through the Cape Cod Canal into Cape Cod Bay where he spent three weeks. He then left Cape Cod Bay and moved south past Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket Island, and into the open sea. Our final transmission occurred on January 20, 2016, indicating that Charlie was moving toward Little Gull Island in Block Island Sound, a place where gray seals are known to congregate in winter. At that point, it was thought that the battery on his transmitter had failed.

This was another wonderful example of the connectivity between the Hudson River and the greater western Atlantic Ocean. – Tom Lake.

1/25 – Brooklyn: I spotted six tundra swans flying northeast to southwest over Brooklyn today. Keep your eyes open for them. –  Shane Blodgett

[Tundra swans are often called “America’s native swan.” Their common name refers to their summer nesting range north of Hudson Bay in the Arctic tundra. They can usually be heard calling long before they are seen, which leads to another frequently used colloquial name, “whistling swan.” David Sibley remarks that distant flocks sound like “baying hounds.” Tundra swans are occasional visitors to the Hudson Valley during spring and fall migrations. Tom Lake.]

A warm and fuzzy adieu on a snowy afternoon… 

Yours in greenness,

UGS

 

 

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Happy National Green Juice and Peanut Brittle Day, UESiders!

But most of all a Happy (Chinese) New Year of the Rooster!!

Let’s start the 2017 round of newsletters with a particularly beautiful NYC initiative:  The Breast Milk Bank… Especially beneficial for pre-term babies…  Spread the word!

Add some great NYC-area news:  Off-shore wind power’s coming to Long Island!  

Then mix with some Upper East Side positivity:  Another stumbling block for the proposed and vehemently opposed 850-foot 58th Street skyscraper

Breathe deeply.

On to the fine week ahead:

Saturday, January 28th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

On hand will be our full winter-season crew:  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

Do check out Gajeski’s tiny, delicious pea shoots and Valley Duck’s amazing duck breast!!

Recycling totals 1/7, 1/14 & 1/21/17 – 52, 74 & 46 lbs. batteries; 10, 11 & 28 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges;  1/14 –   2 pairs eye glasses;  1/7, 1/14 & 1/21 – 10, 11 & 9 compost bins; 1/7, 1/14 & 1/21 – 25, 31 & 27 bags of clothes.

One great way to kick off  ’17:  A NEW RECORD – 11 COMPOST BINS!!  

Saturday, January 29th:  Central Park Winter Jam

Bandshell Area (enter at 72nd Street), 11am-3pm

Arctic golf…  Ice bowling…  A sleeping bag stuffing competition… Frost-friendly music… A dozen more fun/quirky winter events for all ages…  There’s even a warming tent!!  Totally free, people!   For full details

Sunday, January 29th:  Real/Fake Science – An Inter-Active Experiment Salon

63 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, 7:30-10:00pm

Six maybe/maybe-not  scientists test attendees’ ability to discern real scientific fact from baloney!!  Got to be so fun!!  $30.  For more and tickets

Sunday, February 4th:  18th Annual Lunar New Year Parade & Festival

At Grand & Forsythe Streets in Sara Delano Roosevelt Park, 12pm-4:30pm

Steep yourselves in the fun, food and all-around culture in Manhattan’s our own, great  Chinatown!!   Free for one and all!!  For the total rundown… 

On the horizon:

Sunday, February 12th:  Second Avenue Winter DayLife 

LowLine Lab, 140 Esssex Street between Rivington & Stanton Streets, 11am-4pm

Pickle dogs?  Pizza balls?  Portobello subs?  All that and more from food meccas of the great Essex Street Market and served up in the miraculous LowLine Lab underground garden!   Free!  For more

Friday, February 24th:  Modern Art Foundry Tour

Steinway Mansion Carriage House, 18-33 41st Street, Astoria, 12:30pm 

Three generations of the Spring Family have cast works as diverse as Central Park’s Alice in Wonderland and this year’s Breeder’s Cup!  They’ll even be pouring molten bronze during the tour!! Organized by Unmapped Cities.  $35.  For more and tickets… 

Plenty of miscellany, bad foot first:

Albeit not yet approved by either the NYC Landmarks or Community Board 8’s Landmarks Committee, somehow second-rate crafts store Michael’s is angling to be next tenant in the drop-dead beautiful Gustavino-tiled space under the 59th Street Bridge (site of the erstwhile Food Emporium and in lieu of the neighbor’s deeply felt wish for a Trader Joe’s).  The chain might even be permitted to install visible ductwork and otherwise tinker with the irreplaceable tile because… You guessed it…  While the bridge itself is landmarked, the interior space is not!!   Stay tuned…

Have to say we were surprised that the condition of our UES streets rank among the city’s worst

No surprise, there’s going to be concerted pressure to do lots of drilling on public lands…  With World Heritage Site Chaco Canyon – even pre-Trump – in the cross hairs.  (Should you object…)  

Could there possibly be an excuse for lead paint still posing a threat to the health/development of American children in 2017…??!!  (If you think this problem should be addressed…)

Of course, we’re not alone in our garbage dump misery…  A sorry state shared with a North Brooklyn neighborhood

And now there’s a Frankenstein GMO grass 

50/50:

A pair of Staten Islanders were caught falsifying docs that gasoline-contaminated soil had been fully remediated…   When it wasn’t…  And still isn’t.

Sun shining now:

Huge tip of the hat to Florida for its November defeat of a ballot initiative seeking to make it harder and more expensive to switch to rooftop solar power! 

Same to this Harlem tenement restoration/conversion to modern affordable housing…  Complete with architectural detail!  (Hello, NYCHA!!)

Ditto for the Central Park Conservancy for joining forces with Best Buddies International and adding New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities to its staff !!

And good on Walmart for ramping up its “How2Recycle” label…  

And great there’s increasing use of geo-location to confirm that electronics recycling firms deserve their eSteward designations

Excellent history of the hundred-year Second Avenue Subway saga…  

What’s Ron Gonen (the brilliant young guy who brought total plastic recycling and compost collection to NYC) been up to since he departed Sanitation?

No kidding, NYState isn’t in the streamline mode when it comes to its infrastructure projects

Still in the transport mode, herewith 5 possible routes for one-seat public transport to JFK

History and movement in another form…  As in centuries of amazing NYC records – stuff it’s hard to believe still exists – headed to new homes here and in Albany for restoration, digitization and continuing care

The Lower East Side Ecology Center has two positions open:  Project Manager and Organics Recovery Coordinator!

Ten ways to be greener when we fly

The science of holiday scent(including potato latkes)...

Neglected  but still standing (unlike our Penn Station!) and with prospects, check out Buffalo’s once-upon-a-time train station…  (In the Americans-Need-Their-Heads-Examined Department:  Rather than rehab this deco jewel, another station was built…?)  

Micro breweries are SO 2016…  Especially now that NYC has its first and very own meadery!

The science of snowflakes

Ten of the quietest places on our earth

The best gear for our outdoor adventures

NYState summer camps for 11 to 17-year olds

That stalwart NYC street tree, the London Plane

So what’s the big deal about the cinchona tree?  (Hint:  Where malaria and gin and tonic cross paths!)

Yet another installment in the Hidden NYC Story

Not so hidden?  That 2 shots in “The Seven-Year Itch” were filmed outside 164 East 61st Street!

NYC’s first restaurant

Stepping off the reservation:

Best decor colors for your astrological sign

Up at Mount Sinai, they’re making 3D copies of New Yorkers skulls!  (All to the good!!)

Humphrey Bogart, chess aficionado…?!  (Woody Harrelson, too!!??)  (Continue scrolling down for NYC’s oldest water tank!) 

Critter time:

No kidding, you don’t have look like an animal to be one

Yes, cats get the flu and they’ve been coming down with bad cases of it here in NYC!!

And, of course, there’s a (sort of) cat encyclopedia

Who knew some blue jays reside year round in NYC…? 

Or that there were rescue (from hoarding!) ducks…?

Really?  Moths vs. bats…!

And from the great Hudson River Almanac:

12/28 – Manhattan:  At a midday low tide, we went to check our fish traps for the last time in 2016 at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25 in Hudson River Park.  As has been the case lately, all four crab pots were empty, but our killifish traps yielded isopods, colonial tunicates, a few sand and shore shrimp, a mud crab and one long-clawed hermit crab.  Though sea squirts were still present on many of our traps, we’re beginning to see them fall off as a result of dropping temperatures.  Our most exciting finds of the day were skilletfish and a rock gunnel! – Nina Zain, Melissa Rex  

(Rock gunnels are small (usually less than 300mm long), slender fish of northern waters, often mistaken for eels, but actually related to tropical blennies.  Their scientific name Pholis refers to “one who lurks in a dark place”.  Rock gunnels have an adaptation that allows them to briefly remain in sheltered and wet intertidal habitats above the tide line and breathe atmospheric oxygen.  – Tom Lake)

12/31 – Beacon – Yesterday I found a first-year Iceland gull on the Beacon waterfront.  Late this afternoon, among many other gulls, I spotted two first-year Iceland gulls. – Curt McDermott

(In the 23 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:  Bonaparte’s gull, Franklin’s gull, glaucous gull, greater black-back gull, herring gull, Iceland gull, ivory gull, laughing gull, lesser black-backed gull, little gull, greater black-backed gull, herring gull, Iceland gull, ivory gull, laughing gull, lesser black-backed gull, little gull, mew gull, ring-billed gull and slaty-backed gull. – Tom Lake)

WOW! 

1/13 – Manhattan:  We went to check our gear midday at the River Project’s sampling station on the lighthouse tender Lilac at Pier 25.  As has been the case recently, we caught no fish in our pots and traps.  However we did catch four grass shrimp, eight sand shrimp, two small mud crabs, isopods and amphipods.  – Jackie Wu, Melissa Rex

(Students are often surprised to hear that there are shrimp in the Hudson River.  Shore shrimp and sand shrimp are small, usually not more than 40 millimeters long, but are real shrimp.  While larger commercial shrimp are rarely found in the estuary, we did catch one in our seine on September 19, 2000 at Englewood, N.J. This was a brown shrimp (Pennaeus aztecus), a true commercial ocean shrimp and identified by state ichthyologist Bob Daniels.  While this one measured only 80 millimeters, they can grow up to 230 millimeters. Tom Lake)  

red fox

The World’s Most Successful Carnivore – The Red Fox

Yours in perpetual greenness,

UGS

 

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Happy Countdown To Christmas, UESiders!!

Yup, we’re going to be brief…

Herewith, the week:

Friday, December 16th:  NYSkies Astronomy Seminar

McBurney House, 125 West 14th Street between Sixth & Seventh, 6:30-8:30pm 

Starmaster John Pasmino discusses the way the moon moves about in our sky as she – the moon, in Mr. Pazmino’s parlance! – orbits the Earth and figures in world culture!  Free and wonderful.

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

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be our full winter line-up…  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Hawthorne Valley, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

PLUS…   Barring snow falling or drenching rain, 11am-1pm, old friends The Opera Collective will be joining us for caroling as only they can!! 

AND… Even if the weather’s most foul, you can drop off those dull knives of yours – along with your phone number and address – with Market Manager Guramrit!  The Master Knife Sharpener will swoop down as the market closes, take them home for honing and deliver to your residence on Monday!

Last week’s recycling totals:  66 lbs. batteries; 17 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 2 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 31 bags of clothes.

Yet again!!  10 bins!!  

Thursday, December 22 & Wednesday, December 28th:  Park Avenue Armory Holiday Tour

643 Park Avenue & 67th Street, 10am

A beautiful building as its loveliest in festive mode…  Get over there!!  For more and tickets… 

As the New Year begins:

Saturday, January 7th & Sunday, January 8th:  MULCHFEST!!

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

Sure, Sanitation picks up trees curbside, but…  Remove lights (all of ’em), ornaments and netting, get that tree up to the Schurz Park tree chipping site and go home with a bag of mulch that your block’s street trees will love!!

Thursday, January 12th: Climate-Adaptive Design – Creating Resilient Waterfronts Webinar

On Your Computer Screen, 10:30am-12pm

And isn’t this a concern a community like ours, bounded by a flood-inclined estuary/river?  Learn from experts from the CAD Studio (a partnership between Cornell Landscape Architecture, Cornell Water Resources Institute, and the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program) in the comfort of your own home!  For more and how to participate/tune in…  (Think our Sanitation Department’s availed itself of CAD’s wisdom?)

Thursday, January 12th & the Second Thursday of Every Month:  Monthly Land Use Clinic 

CM Kallos’ Office, 244 East 93rd Street, 5-6pm

The ins and outs of Landmark and Historic District creation…  How the Landmarks Commission, the Department of Buildings, zoning and land use work…  Mysterious stuff, but experts from the Historic Districts Council have the lowdown!!  Sponsored and hosted by the CM.  Free but a reservation’s required:  212-860- 1950. 

A dash of mid-December miscellaneousness: 

Giant congrats to South Villagers, CM Corey Johnson, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and more for their ultimate success in a years’ long campaign that’s landmarked 1,250 (That’s right! 1250!) meaningful buildings since 2003!! 

As the USDA creeps ever so slowly towards prohibiting carrageenan in food labeled organic

Three decades of global water change…  And is there ever change!  As per The Times…and Nature 

Really?  A Museum of Ice…?

Who sold the most CDs in 2016?  (Hint:  Initials are W.A.M.!)

The New York American Museum of Natural History is now the oldest, most iconic, and most recent science museum to cut its ties to fossil fuels! 

Add a thimble-full of the adorably furry:

koala hug

And of the grandly finned from the Hudson River Almanac:  

12/1 – New York Harbor, Upper Bay: This year we’ve had more than 100 recorded whale sightings and have added more than 20 individual whales to our Gotham Whale/New York City Humpback Whale Catalog. The catalog keeps track of identifying individual fluke patterns of humpback whales – their fluke markings are quite unique, almost like fingerprints. This year’s whale sightings occurred in the Lower Bay of New York Harbor and off Long Island’s south shore.  A year ago, a humpback whale was sighted directly under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, almost making it into the Upper Bay.  However, recent humpback whale “Gotham,” NYC0055 in our catalog, was the first to make it into the Upper Bay as far upriver as the George Washington Bridge, 22 miles north of the Narrows. – Paul L. Sieswerda

Yes, our yule log will be green,

UGS

 

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Happy International Human Rights Day, UESiders!!

Not exactly a worldwide high watermark happening in that regard of late, but we are reminded what the aspiration  is and should be…

Example:  The $11,348,182.62 donated by 29,783 individuals to 898 NY non-profits a week ago Tuesday, November 29th!  (Take NYGives’ short survey and win another $50 for the non-profit of your choice!) 

And this week’s suggested good holiday deed:  Food Bank of NYC and Borough President Brewer’s Holiday Diaper Drive benefiting homeless and low-income parents and little ones!   So easily done via the Food Bank’s Amazon Wish List!

Meanwhile, the official Pantone Color of the Year 2017?  Greenery…   Err…  Greenery, no less!!

But let’s talk the coming week:

Saturday, December 10th:  82nd Street/St. Stephen’s Greenmarket

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

Compost & Clothes Collection, 9am–1pm

At their tables will be our full winter line-up…  American Pride Seafood, Bread Alone, Ballard’s Honey, Hudson Valley Duck, Rising Sun Beef, Comfort Bardwell Cheese, Alewife, Nolasco, Ole Mother Hubbert, Samascott and Gajeski Farms!

PLUS At the manager’s table will be guest chefs, neighbors and contributors to the Studio Apartment Cookery InstagramAlex and Andre! 

Barring below 32 weather, the Master Knife Sharpener will be with us as well!!

Last week’s recycling totals:  76 lbs. batteries; 21 lbs. cords, corks, cellphones and cartridges; 4 pairs of eye glasses; 10 compost bins; 22 bags of clothes.

Never gets old…  Those 10 bins!!  (So full, even our great Sanitation bin pick-up guy is pleading for at least another bin…  If not 2 more!!

Sunday, December 11th:  Czech Center Annual Holiday Festival

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, 2-6pm

And we quote, “Come taste the flavor of Czech Christmas…”  Complete with traditional music, brilliant Czech voices, animated films for the youngsters and a Czech Christmas market!  Free!

Sunday, December 11th:  Blessing of the Animals

Christ Church, 524 Park Avenue at 60th Street, 2pm 

And we quote, “This service includes a procession of animals to the altar for blessing. All pets must be accompanied by their owners; all owners must be accompanied by their pets. Hosted by Cindy Adams, the New York Post, and Christ Church. Seating on first come first served basis. Space is limited. No RSVP required.”  Free and one lovely thing.

Monday, December 12th:  Historic Holiday Cooking Workshop

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

Prepare and then devour 19th Century holiday classics plum pudding and ginger nuts in the Museum’s 19th Century kitchen!!   Members and students with I.D., $20.  Non-members, $25.  Reservations required:  212-838-6878.

And then:

Sunday, December 18th:  117th Annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count

South Pump Station of the Reservoir, 85th Street & Fifth Avenue, 8am 

Be a part of American’s the longest running citizen science bird project, ever more essential to measuring of avian health!  And what’s better than citizen science followed by partying down with great treats at the Central Park Arsenal?!!  For the total rundown (including counts in all 5 boroughs)

Thursday, December 15th:  Beneath the Battlefield Archival Exploration

New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77th Street, 6pm

Not exactly holiday themed, still… Explore the Battle of Gettysburg – America’s bloodiest – as experienced by the ordinary soldier and via original documents lodged in the unequaled Gilder Lehrman Collection!  Organized by Atlas Obscura.  $35.  For more and tickets...

Miscellany both local and from abroad:

Lovely to see our previous Council Member Jessica Lappin ( now president of the Downtown Alliance but still living up our way) highlighted in last Sunday’s Times!

It’s that time of the year again…  The time when you can apply to become a Community Board 8 member!  (No question but in these challenging times, Community Board 8 wants and needs us!!)

We’re thinking with you on-board powers-would-be as responsive to us as they are to folks downtown/the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

Further on the subject of preservation to our south, a current target for splinter building replacement:  137 Centre Street…  (Should you disapprove…) 

What??!!  Two-thirds of the food ads on Nickleodeon are for junk food??!!   (If you disapprove…)

Oh and some parties would like to be drilling near Chaco Canyon!!  (Should you disagree…) 

That while 4 cities announce they’ll be banning diesel vehicles!

Lightening up:

The best December Central Park walk…

Be especially interesting after reading Atlas Obscura’s graphic take on the Central Park before it was

Don’t we love our NYC Recycling Heroes…  Case and point:  Rick Schulman of the Upper West Side!  (Thanks for reader Jacquelyn Ottman for the tip!)

Happily, close to zero action in our neck of the woods, but if you’re elsewhere, here’s how to stay well out of SantaCon’s path

Cheerleading as an Olympic sport?

Bring on the animals:

Sure, it’s a 100 miles off our coast and underwater, but the deep-as-Grand-Canyon Hudson Canyon’s been nominated as a national marine sanctuary!!

rescued red-tailed hawk released in – where else? – Central Park!!   

A 100 year-old, 23 pound lobster (no kidding, is the thing huge or what?) returned to the wild… Thanks to a vegan!!

giant-lobster

After an absence of 75 years, fishers (AKA fisher cats) return to Mount Ranier Park!!

Meanwhile, in 2016, we’re harvesting turtles in NYState!  (Should you think the practice should end…)

Rest in peace, Eagle #629-03142…  At age 38, our oldest banded bald eagle and witness to his species near death and recovery…

This week’s migration update!

rogue beaver as Dollar Store burglary perp…  (Hat tip to reader Katherine Winkleman!) 

And one baaaad kitty already under arrest…  (Thanks reader Rita Donaghy!)

funny-cat-pictures-guilty-cat

Not enough cuteness for you so far…  Try mother cat and purring baby squirrel!!

Our holiday dreams are so green,

UGS

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