Editor’s note: Please accept my apologies that some editing and link work must be redone due to a wifi interruption and WordPress/Word glitch. It will be done tonight, but for now you can see the events and most of the needed information.
ALERT! Break out the “sacrificial” champagne. It’s time for Manhattanhenge! Come see the sun set through the grid of Manhattan as in this photo by astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson. Both Thursday and Friday nights are good for this little wonder. Major cross streets like 42nd and 57th are especially good for viewing if you are on the East Side, in Queens or Brooklyn, or on the East River.
And now, looking to the week ahead, we have lots of other FREE stuff to do in nature in the city! Seining and cycling, paddling and gardening, birding and stargazing!
FRIDAY, MAY 30
What can I say? It’s Critical Mass! Celebrate bicycles for their promise of a cleaner and safer city, and remind drivers through a great, peaceful, and friendly presence that the roads are public and to be shared.
Gather up at 7PM in Union Square. The ride concludes at about 10PM and the route is not determined.
Come see Mars, Saturn, and the Summer Triangle with dedicated members of the Amateur Astronomers Association from dusk until 10PM at Carl Schurz Park esplanade in Manhattan (where East 86th Street meets the water). If you have a telescope, bring it!
Contact Rik Davis for more information at 646-873-0252.
BIKING AND WALKING, BROOKLYN
Be an assuring presence on two wheels for fellow New Yorkers making their way home with SafeWalk, a program of RightRides for Women’s Safety. The program provides the protection of companionship to all, because simply not walking alone is a strong defense from muggings, sexual assault, and hate crimes. All you and other volunteer team members need to do is bike to the location of a caller and walk that person to a destination within a 10-15 block radius. Right now coverage includes the hours of 11PM-2AM and the neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and downtown Brooklyn.
Sign up as a volunteer and get an orientation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you need this service, don’t hesitate to call 866-977-9255 (walk)
SATURDAY, MAY 31
Roll out of bed and roll down the road (I always recommend biking) to the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park, Brooklyn by 8AM to see a wide variety of upland and estuary birds. The Urban Park Rangers will teach you the basics…starting with the fact that no matter how good you get, birding will always involve an amount of early rising! But the rewards of open trails, fascinating creatures, and time to gather your thoughts is worth the initial bleariness. The center is at East 33rd Street and Avenue U. Call 718-421-2021 for more information.
The increasingly interconnected greenways of New York City include some gorgeous vistas, like the western Long Island Sound. Get to know the Little Neck Bay section (and Fort Totten and Little Bay Park) and while you’re at it, join Transportation Alternatives in lobbying for full bike access across the East River’s bridges linking Queens to the Bronx!
Meet up is at 10AM, at the Cryders Lane entrance of Little Bay Park.
SOLAR OBSERVING, MANHATTAN
You’re “not the only one, staring at the sun”…At least you won’t be on Saturday morning from 10AM until noon in Central Park, at the model sailboat-filled Conservatory Water (enter at 5th Avenue and 72nd Street). The Amateur Astronomers Association would like you to safely (approved filters) look at the surface of the sun, and learn about this average yet precious star. And while you’re there, check out the red-tailed hawk, Pale Male!
If you’re bitten by the astronomy bug, join the friendly stargazers at their 1PM meeting: 1 PM, AA HQ (1010 Park Avenue, at 85th Street). Call Rik Davis for more information: 646-873-0252
Teach your child how to bike and take in old growth forests in a single outing by heading up to the Inwood Hill Park Nature Center at 10AM. The event lasts until 1PM.
You’ll need to pre-register for this effective no-pedal instruction method (see this video to learn more) by calling 311 or visiting this page.
CHILDREN AND NATURE, MANHATTAN
We expect our kids to pick up languages fast, and to know how to make our newest gadgets work. Imagine what they could do as the family’s naturalists! Bring `em out to Highbridge Park where kids 4-12 years old can learn about seeds (how they spread, why they are so important to plants and animals) on Saturday afternoon, from 2PM until 330PM. You must accompany your child to the Tower Terrace (enter the park at East 172 St. or East 174 St. and walk to the water) and register for the class with Linda Huntington by calling her at 212-795-1388 or emailing email@example.com.