“Some Lower East Side Park Projects Receive Funding, While Others Languish”

Read the article on the Stanton Street Building in SDR Park in the Lo-Down.

“Where the Parks Department sees a place to store stacks of pristine work gloves, rakes and other supplies, local activists envision a community center. Reconciling the two designs on a Stanton Street building within Sara D. Roosevelt Park remains as elusive now as 20 years ago….”

-story reported by Zach Williams.

Much thanks to the LoDown for their continued interest and thorough reporting in the park and it’s surroundings.

LESReady Town Hall – on Community-based research report

On February 25th, LES Ready: The Lower East Side Long Term Recovery Group will be hosting a town hall meeting to share findings and recommendations from a recent community-based research report. The report focuses on what worked well in the recovery effort following Hurricane Sandy, what could be improved, and documents the resources that CBOs in the Lower East Side had in place during Sandy, as well as their capacity to respond to future disasters. At the meeting, LES Ready will be distributing a newsprint that includes tips for disaster preparedness, and a map of where community resources can be found during disaster emergencies.


Wednesday, February 25th from 6-8pm

Grand Street Settlement, 80 Pitt Street.

Free! All are welcome!

For more information, please contact Lilah Mejia at lesreadyinfo@gmail.com.

Seantor Squadron on Parks Equity -

We appreciate Senator Squadron’s ongoing commitment to establishing and then ensuring equity in our parks. Our public parks are “The Commons” where the entire city meets.


“…local parks in some of the wealthiest parts of the city are doing very well.. .. the disinvestment in the parks system of the past years has not registered with many … Our marquee parks are doing better than ever, but we cannot let most parks fall behind while others thrive.

…we started the focus on parks equity nearly two years ago, it was clear that there was a limited understanding, and scant data, about the significant role conservancies play in our parks system. This bill would provide important information by requiring the Department of Parks & Recreation to gather regular information from conservancies that have contracts with the City on their total expenditures for maintenance and operation of their respective parks.

Beyond … transparency, Intro 384-A would also force stakeholders to truly understand the costs, and stark realities of government disinvestment, of current park operation. …

… Significant public dissemination and discussion of the information is critical, so it serves the goal of allowing the public, elected officials, parks advocates, and the conservancies themselves, to understand the impact different conservancies have, identify who is doing more with less, and help point to the most efficient and effective ways to improve parks throughout the system — those with conservancies and without…”

Join Public Hearings & Register Your Comments for the Rebuild by Design Projects

Tonight! Bike safety on Chrystie Street…Transportation & Public Safety / Environment Committee!!

A plea from local bike activists:

Chrystie Street has a problem. The road is simply not safe enough for the thousands of daily users traversing it on two feet, two wheels, or behind the wheels of a vehicle. The last major change to Chrystie street happened more than six years ago, before Citibikes were a way of life and Vision Zero was the Mayor’s master plan for safer streets. Now in 2015, NYC’s Department of Transportation is looking to repave the roadway and so the time is right to re-examine the roadway and re-allocate space to better serve all those who use it. Join the conversation and help bring positive change to Chrystie Street. 

Contact: Paco Abraham, dave.paco.abraham@gmail.com

Transportation & Public Safety / Environment Committee
Thursday, January 8 at 6:30pm — University Settlement at Houston Street Center – 273 Bowery

1.    Approval of previous month’s minutes
2.    Request for traffic control at Corlears Hook Park
3.    Request for traffic safety measures on Clinton St at mid-block crossing
4.    Informational presentation on the Chinatown Curbside Management Pilot Study Findings (click for info)
5.    Presentation on Safety Concerns in the Chrystie Street Bike Lane
6.    Consideration of state legislation to address the K2 legal/enforcement problems
7.    Possible sites for relocation of 18 Allen St bus stop

Sara Roosevelt Park article in Next City

We Found Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses’ Love Child



“This is Sara D. Roosevelt Park, a hard-working public space in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Opened in 1934, it cuts a seven-block-long, roughly seven-acre swath through neighborhoods that have long been, and still are, home to a heterogeneous mix of communities….”


Read the full article in the link above.

Call for proposals for the IDEAS CITY Festival street activities

We invite your organization to submit a proposal for the IDEAS CITY Festival street activities taking place on Saturday May 30, 2015. We welcome collaborative projects if you choose to apply in partnership with other groups. Your project must relate to the theme of The Invisible City.

Click: to submit your proposal.
for more information about IDEAS CITY.

Festival of New Ideas_NYC_2013_Benoit PailleyOPEN HOUSE
Wednesday December 10, 6–8 PM
New Museum Sky Room

Interested participants are invited to an Open House at the New Museum on Wednesday December 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. to learn about plans for the 2015 Festival and meet other neighbors. Space is limited. Please RSVP by December 5 to info@ideas-city.org.

IDEAS CITY explores the future of cities with culture as a driving force. Through talks, panels, workshops, projects, performances, and exhibitions, IDEAS CITY investigates key issues, proposes solutions, and seeds concrete actions. Founded by the New Museum in 2011, it is a major collaborative initiative between hundreds of arts, education, and civic organizations. A biennial IDEAS CITY Festival (2011, 2013, 2015, etc.) takes place every other May in New York City, while Global Conferences are organized in cities around the world. Both New York Festivals brought over fifty thousand people to the Bowery neighborhood in 2011 and 2013, respectively. In 2013, IDEAS CITY explored the theme of Untapped Capital. We are excited to announce the next IDEAS CITY Festival in New York City, which will take place May 28–30, 2015.

2015 Theme: The Invisible City

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
—Italo Calvino,
Invisible Cities

Welcome to The Invisible City. It is composed of invisible citizens with invisible problems, supported by invisible infrastructures, and run by invisible officials.

Invisibility is not a state of being but rather a product of perception. It is both self-elective blindness and a deliberate escape from a culture of insistent surveillance. Self-imposed invisibility can offer the illusion of privacy but there are levels of invisibility that are absolute and absolutely exclusionary. The desire for invisibility is often driven by a rebellion against victimization, of being reduced to a cipher—of becoming data without privacy or intimacy. However, when invisibility is not a choice, one is alone—unseen and unheard.

Fear is one of invisibility’s most important allies. Anxiety about the invisible creates an atmosphere of paranoia and an unwillingness to provide contexts and names for what we don’t want to think about or be touched by. How do we respond to The Invisible City? Expose it. Map it. Question it. Try to understand it. Change it (or not). Interact with it!

This is an open application; please feel free to share it with other downtown NYC organizations.


Heather Lubov: new Executive Director of City Parks Foundation


From the new Executive Director of City Parks Foundation:

I am enormously excited to be on board working to support the hundreds of programs that City Parks Foundation provides to dedicated fans and supporters like you.  As a born-and-bred New Yorker, a culture consumer, and an avid walker who takes advantage of the many fantastic opportunities our city offers, I have attended countless SummerStage concerts over the years and have benefited from many of our City’s parks and green spaces.  So I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the City that I love and to an organization from which I have directly benefited.

As Executive Director I will work tirelessly to raise awareness for and money to support the work of City Parks Foundation, work that helps to transform our City’s parks into active spaces for healthy and vibrant communities.  We want to see more golf clubs and tennis racquets put into the hands of children who will learn the discipline of a sport while gaining self-esteem.  We want more young people to participate in environmental education programs that help develop an appreciation for science and teach them to become stewards of our City’s precious natural resources. We want more communities to experience the energy of live performance — be it music, dance, opera, or the spoken word.  And we want to provide more neighborhood volunteers with the tools and resources needed to help foster change within their own communities.

Each year City Parks Foundation presents programs of the highest quality to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers across the city.  In 2015, we’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of our iconic festival, SummerStage. I look forward to meeting you at a concert, at a track meet, or at a neighborhood visioning program. See you in the park!

Heather Lubov

Executive Director, City Parks Foundation


Job Training Fair November 24, 2014 6-8pm


Senator Daniel Squadron Testimony before City Council this morning:


Prepared Testimony of State Senator Daniel Squadron to New York City Council Committee on Parks and Recreation Regarding the Parks Department’s Community Parks Initiative November 5, 2014

My name is Daniel Squadron, and I represent the 26th District in the New York State Senate. My district includes the Manhattan neighborhoods of Tribeca, Battery Park City, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Greenwich Village, Little Italy, SoHo and the East Village and the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, Fulton Ferry, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens. I thank Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine for convening today’s hearing on the Community Parks Initiative, and for the opportunity to testify.

The Community Parks Initiative’s focus on local, neighborhood parks goes to the heart of what it means to talk about equity in the parks system. Real credit is due to the Parks Department for identifying the neighborhoods to begin CPI, including some in my district: Luther Gulick Park, and Sol Lain and Henry M. Jackson playgrounds on the Lower East Side.

But, today, CPI is still only in 35 parks. We know the Parks Department has identified more than 200 additional parks with a real need.

It is critical that the Parks Department expand upon CPI’s important and impressive foundation, with a goal to reach even more parks and communities in need over time. Doing that successfully requires keeping the parks equity push going. It requires a continued focus on inequities in the system, as well as a greater overall investment in the public parks budget, which commands just over one half of one percent of the City’s budget.

As I have long said, the way to do that is to continue to change the dynamic around the way parks are funded. This year’s discussion of parks funding and equity has been robust, with real leadership from the Mayor, Commissioner Silver, Chair Levine, and the City Council.

But we must create a dynamic that will continue over the long term. In 2001 we had the 1% For Parks campaign, but it died out and wasn’t really replaced until last year, an inadvertent consequence of the success of some of the wealthiest conservancies. In some of the most powerful and wealthiest parts of the city, the local parks are doing better than ever – to the great credit and generosity of donors and the effectiveness of the conservancies. But as a result, the disinvestment in the parks system is invisible in some of the most powerful parts of the city. It’s hard to get excited about a campaign to nearly double the parks budget to one percent when your local park is doing so well.

I am continuing to work with the Mayor, Commissioner Silver, Chair Levine, advocates, and the conservancies to expand the structural impact of the Community Parks Initiative, by ensuring the conservancies play a meaningful role long into the future, which the conservancies have expressed a real openness to.

Whatever final form it takes, participation by the conservancies must fundamentally link them and their patrons, to the overall system. This year we had the parks equity push. In 2001, we had the 1% For Parks campaign. It is critical that the stakeholders and this committee work together to ensure that the parks equity push is not something that comes up every twelve years, but something that comes up every year until the crisis is solved.

This year’s conversations, including those with the conservancies, have helped to change the dynamic, and I am hopeful that, at the end of this year, we will have a fundamentally different structure that ensures the dynamic is changed going forward.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.