“It’s not so good, huh?” laughs Kathleen Webster, president of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition as she refers to the D- grade that the park received from New Yorkers for Parks. The near-failing grade was issued last year by the nonprofit whose research and policy recommendations help in advocating for more equitably distributed, sustainable and well-maintained parks in the city.
Lower East Side stakeholders gathered yesterday evening to discuss how best to rally together as they call for the transformation of a derelict building into a vibrant community center.
This week, we continue our series of deep dives into the histories of storied addresses.
It was a morning for nostalgia when Charles Hart won the bid to demolish Grand Army Hall on February 7, 1898. The building was a Brooklyn icon in sorry disrepair. Its roof leaked, its wooden floors had rotted, and the entire northern wall leaned over Metropolitan Avenue, threatening to collapse onto pedestrians below. Just 35 years ago the building had been constructed as an Armory during the Civil War, and now its very existence was a “menace to life and limb.”
The De Blasio administration pulled off a regular slam dunk with this one — yesterday the Mayor’s office announced the allocation of $130 million to improving some of the city’s most neglected public parks. The Community Parks Initiative, brought to you by the High Line-snubbing mayor, will not just physically improve 35 underdog parks across the city, it will also expand site-specific programming and activities.
Now a Parks Department spokesperson confirms that Rockaway Taco won’t be doing flautas at the 97th Street stand this year. But these places will be back by tomorrow (in fact, they’re opening today, according to this tweet from Motorboat and the Big Banana).
“No urinating or defecating in the pools,” states the NYC Parks Department’s official “Pool Rules.”
Not so at McCarren Park Pool, where swimmers were once made to evacuate the pool when a “brown cloud” dispersed within its waters. And that wasn’t the only cloud hanging over the pool last summer.
Instances of lewd behavior sprang up multiple times alongside more sobering reports of assault and theft, which included a cop getting socked in the face, and lifeguards who were attacked by a bunch of rowdy, backflipping kids.
But that wasn’t enough to deter swimmers when the pool reopened today. By 10:30 a.m., a sizable line had already formed outside its gates.