Siempre Verde garden on the Lower East Side. (Photo: Siempre Verde)
In 2012, a blighted sliver of land between two buildings at 181 Stanton Street was transformed into a blooming green space by the hands of local volunteers. Siempre Verde is one of the most recent additions to the number of miniscule community gardens dotting the Lower East Side, but its existence is already threatened by a proposal for luxury housing. More →
Supporters of the development-threatened Simper Verde Garden on the Lower East Side are claiming victory after learning that the city will reportedly transfer control of the garden to the Parks Department. [The Lo-Down NY]
This week Mayor de Blasio pledged to keep the potential Bushwick Inlet Park real estate condominium-free. [Brooklyn Paper]
A $10K online fundraising campaign is underway to help those who’ve been homeless since Tuesday’s deadly fire at 30 Richardson Street in Williamsburg. [DNA Info]
All week, we’re bringing you a series of deep dives into the surprising histories of storied addresses. Back to our usual after the New Year.
(Photo: D.M. Mackey)
A walk past the place where the Bowery meets East Houston gives not the slightest hint that until 40 years ago, this lush, fresh air respite called the Liz Christy Community Garden sheltered everyone from immigrants to swindlers, eventually deteriorating by the middle of the 20th century into an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot. In 1973, a group of local college students hauled away the trash, lay dirt and planted seeds. Later, the plot took the name of the art student who spearheaded the project. More →
Steel drum performers Jahlani Roberts, Khuent Rose, and Matthew Best at Bed-Stuy Community Garden (Photo: Nightlight)
Last Tuesday night, the Bed-Stuy Community Garden was a bit livelier than usual. Passersby craned their necks to see what was popping underneath the racket of steel drums. But George, the omnipresent senior presiding over the spot was holding court per usual.
“Lock your bike!” he croaked at me. But his grumpy-old-man abruptness subsided into a smile when I approached him. “Pose for a photo,” he instructed me and another woman I’d never seen before. Without hesitation she gripped my shoulder and smiled big into George’s iPhone. “That’s it!” George howled with laughter.
Walking down Soho’s Elizabeth Street can feel like a neverending vortex of high-class retail, where the designer clothing racks outnumber the people. That is, until you arrive at the lush, green Elizabeth Street Garden, between Prince and Spring Streets. The green “oasis” (as many have dubbed it) and community hub is once again being actively considered for a site for affordable senior housing, a decision that has long been opposed by Community Board 2 but supported by the area’s City Council member Margaret Chin.
The 20,000-square-foot garden is city-owned, but privately leased by gallerist Allan Reiver, who initially planned to use it to store his sculptures but opened it up as a unique respite from the city’s concrete surroundings, full of colorful flowers, green grass, seating areas, and many eye-catching sculptures. Volunteer-run, the garden has been used for community events, education, performances, film screenings, and an annual Harvest Festival. Some of these events draw hundreds of people, located in a neighborhood the NYC Parks Department has previously identified as “underserved by open space.”
Last week, news surfaced that the NYC Housing and Preservation Development (HPD) had officially issued a Request for Proposals to develop the land the garden stands on. Wednesday afternoon, dozens gathered in the garden for a press conference, bearing signs and passionately asserting their garden’s right to remain where it is.
On 4th of July, Silent Barn hosts the Glenn Jones Album release party for ‘Garden State, My Garden State’ on Thrill Jockey Records. The event will also feature D. Charles Speer and the Helix , as well as beer, a dunk tank (possibly), and a healthy dose of patriotic fervor.
One of the East Village’s most beautiful community gardens, La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez, celebrates its 40th anniversary on Saturday with a free outdoor party featuring some neighborhood legends. More →
In Greenpoint, the WNYC Transmitter Park volunteers, who want the city to turn an empty building on the premises into a botanical learning center, were dismayed Thursday when the Parks Department instead began soliciting proposals for a (liquor license optional) restaurant.
Police patrolling Bushwick seem to be increasingly less hospital to ephemera-selling street vendors. [Bushwick Daily]
Adelina’s on Greenpoint Avenue will host a $50, five-course vegan dinner tonight, with the proceeds benefitting Woodstock Animal Sanctuary. Tickets available here. [Greenpointers]