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Journey for Justice for Immigrant Rights

From us:

Our Sara Roosevelt Park was inaugurated by President FDR October 1936. He stood in this Park reminding the neighborhood and the public he commended the immigrants to America for their contributions to American civilization and culture.

From Hand In Hand -The Domestic Employers Network:

Inviting you to join these actions this coming week.


“1. Adhikaar for Human Justice and Social Rights[“rights” in Nepali] is working with a group of NYC organizations, unions and TPS [Temporary Protected Status] holders to hold a  press conference/rally at NY City Hall on Monday at 1pm.


The Journey for Justice, a caravan of TPS holders from different countries and their families, has been traveling since August 17 across the country, over 50+ cities, and will be making a stop in NYC on Monday. If you are in the area and can come out to support and welcome the caravan, that would be amazing!


Especially in light of the unprecedented legal victory on Wednesday night when a Federal Judge ruled to temporarily halt the termination of TPS for Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador & Nicaragua, this is definitely a moment you want to be a part of, especially if your organizations have members with TPS.


2. ICE Out of the Courts Speak Out:  Thursday, Oct 11, 5pm Foley Square.

Petition delivery: Thursday, Oct 11, 4pm, NYS Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s office 25 Beaver Street.

Organized by DSA Immigration Justice Working Group

“In April WNYC reported that ICE had made 150 arrests in and around NYS courthouses since Trump took office, most of those New York City.  Arrests have continued unabated since then. The huge increase in courthouse arrests since 2016 is an attack immigrants’ lives, livelihoods, and access to equal justice. Courthouse arrests keep undocumented immigrants from reporting domestic abuse and landlord harassment, and deter them from appearing for minor charges. Even as public outcry has grown in response, city and state officials have done nothing to stop ICE from entering the courts, exposing the lie of our so-called “sanctuary city.”


Join us Thursday, Oct 11 at 4pm at 25 Beaver St to deliver thousands of petitions calling on Janet DiFiore to take action to end ICE’s courthouse arrest. Then come to Foley Square at 5pm for a Speak Out.”

GreenThumb Awards Last Night Bob Humber: Lifetime Achievement


Bob’s entourage


He got a standing ovation.


Bob’s entourage (some of us)

Great to see Garden supporters Gale Brewer Manhattan Borough President and Liam Kavanagh First Deputy Commissioner of NYC Parks Department and Mathew Washington Deputy Borough President.


Lots of awards, lots of gardeners who fight every day to help make our city beautiful and …ours…




Thanks to all. Especially Bill LoSasso, Director and Anthony Reuter, Outreach Coordinator.

GreenThumb Staff

Why You Don’t Want Term Limits for Community Boards

Term limits may sound like great ‘democracy’ but they leave communities vulnerable to predatory developers who have state-of-the-art, expert help. The best money can buy. Our community boards have, mostly, the expertise of decades of information that community members have learned on the ins and outs of Land Use and who have institutional memory in their communities. We always need new members, but damn, we better also keep people who know Land Use like the back of their hand.

Unless we want to trust the big money developers to guide us.

What Do You Want To See In This Park?

Community Board 3 Public Hearings For District Budget Priorities

From CB3:

“This is an opportunity for organizations and residents to tell their CB budget priorities:

What parks need reconstructing and programming?

Every year the Community Board submits a list of capital and expense budget priorities to city agencies. This hearing is your opportunity to present project /program requests for Board consideration for district priorities. This is how the community partipates in the budget process for local needs.”


Thursday September 27th at 6:30pm Community Board 3 office 59 East 4th Street

Or email your thoughts to 

Community Board 3, Manhattan
59 East 4th Street
New York, NY  10003
Phone: 212-533-5300


From 2006: The Renovation, with Community Input, of Hester Street Playground

Credit Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times



Gathering Neighbors’ Dreams for a Shabby Playground

By Cara Buckley

“If 11-year-old Shuwen Li had her say, which she does, her local playground would be radically different from its current sorry state. It would have swings. It would not smell like urine. Its ground would not be patchy and uneven, nor would it trip up children, twisting ankles and bloodying knees.

Indeed, the Hester Street playground in Sara D. Roosevelt Park, a long, skinny park running through Chinatown, has known better decades. It was built in 1987 with TimberForm, a type of wood once popular in playground making, but which splinters over time. Over the years, as other pockets of the park were overhauled, the Hester Street playground succumbed to the perils of aging, cracking and chipping until it was finally deemed obsolete….

“…All day yesterday, in a peeling basketball court alongside the rickety playground, members of the Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition ran a session intended to give locals input and to foster a sense of stewardship over the park. The organizers of the coalition, an association of residents and planners who want to improve the park, also wanted to bring together the varied groups who use it, and nurture a sense of empowerment about their neighborhood.

“This is about community preservation in a neighborhood facing displacement,” said Anne Frederick, executive director of the Hester Street Collaborative, a nonprofit group that works on designs for public spaces, and one of the lead organizers in yesterday’s event. She said the goal was “for people to think about the park in relation to the larger community as well.”

Common themes and ideas will be culled from yesterday’s session, Ms. Frederick said, and brought to the table when residents and organizers meet with architects and Parks Department design staff on Thursday.

At the park yesterday, elderly Chinese who stretch and practice tai chi there were polled for ideas about bettering the park. Hundreds of children from Middle School 131, among them Shuwen and her friends, and from after-school programs at the Chinatown YMCA, planted crocus bulbs and built model ideal playgrounds. Elderly members of the Bowery Residents’ Committee helped youngsters make paper lanterns.

The lanterns were hung from a wire, where they fluttered like caught butterflies in the chilly wind. On each, the children had written their dreams for the park. “More green,” read one. “More beautiful flowers,” read another. “More space,” read a third.

About 50 feet away, the playground loomed, its clusters of boxy, uneven pillars looking more like an homage to Cubism than a place to play.

“I want it to be not so dirty,” said Shuwen, as she made a small swing for her model playground out of pipe cleaners and Play-Doh. “There’s too much pollution for kids to play in it. We should, like, hose it down.”

Her friend Linda Huang, 11, added, “People use it as a bathroom.”

The Sara D. Roosevelt Park is a curiously shaped, heavily used park that traverses several neighborhoods. It stretches from Houston to Canal Streets and is just one block wide, bordered by Chrystie and Forsyth Streets. Forlorn-looking single-room-occupancy buildings overlook it, as do the shining edifices of new luxury apartment towers.

There is a newly built track at the southern end, where the Manhattan Bridge touches down, basketball courts at the north end, butting up against Houston Street, and a world in between. At 7.8 acres, it is the third largest park in the Lower East Side and one of the biggest around for residents of Chinatown, who treasure it because it offers that rarest of commodities in Manhattan: open space.

“Most people who live on Canal Street have very small apartments,” said Lin-Mei Juan, 52, speaking through a translator. “This is their living environment, their living community, one of the most important things for them.”

The park was created about 70 years ago and fell on hard times in the 1960s and ’70s. In the early ’80s, a local coalition formed to wrest control of the park away from drug addicts and pushers.

One community activist, Robert Humber, used to circle the park on a bicycle with a whistle around his neck, partly to act as safety patrol, partly to defy the dealers. In 1983, Mr. Humber helped start the M’Finda Kalunga Garden, a lush community garden in the park, named in honor of an African-American burial site discovered nearby.

In the years since, different parts of the park have been renovated piecemeal, and now it is the Hester Street playground’s turn.

“The only way that the park really stays taken care of and vital for the community is for the community to take care of it,” said K Webster, who is co-chairwoman of the M’Finda Kalunga Garden and helped children plant bulbs at yesterday’s event. “This is our Central Park.”

2011 Fight for Park51 – How Do We Build Community in Hard Times While Being Pitted Against One Another?


Park51 Islamic Center: Rebuilding a Neighborhood with Care

Rebuilding a Neighborhood with Care

“I was a mile away when the first plane hit the Trade Towers. I was taking my son by stroller to our parent-run day care center. I ran with him to that shelter. We all struggled not to show how afraid we were to the children. We took turns going outside to watch and pray that the towers would hold. We sobbed when they fell. I went out the next day just to listen to people in the lines waiting for news of their friends, children, parents and co-workers – most of whom they would never see again. My beloved brother had died the week before. I felt I understood the shock of loss.

Every community works to make the best possible home for its members to live in. The most promising communities gather and sustain the resources around them to insure that members are cared for and can thrive.

Although Americans come from ancestors and societies of people with similar beliefs and customs, we have always been a far more complex society. Here we have been tasked with reinventing our communities with each new wave of people from across the world. It is our great strength. Our work has been to honor and protect our own ways and beliefs while we guard against becoming exclusive and isolated and therefore limited. We do this despite many of us having prior histories as the targets of intolerance and attack. Not simple. There have been many bumps in that road, but we slowly get better at it.

As in any community, yours too, you decide its course by gathering the thoughts of everyone involved. The vigorous and sometimes rancorous debate around the Park51 Islamic Center’s location was/is necessary and unavoidable. People are made angry, grief struck and fearful by senseless loss. Yet we still have to find a way not to be shackled by those griefs, angers and fears when determining the future. Atrocities have happened here before. We live on Lenape Native land, we have built our homes and lives on their sacred sites. We must remember, honor and learn from all losses and work towards our best hopes for the present and for the future.

The proposed Park51 Islamic Center affords us an opportunity to learn about each other and offers an important resource for Lower Manhattan. Modeled after the Jewish Community Center and the Christian YMCA whose faiths infuse the values of their centers, Park51 will be inspired by the Islamic faith but open to everyone. It intends to provide services to prevent domestic violence, classes to learn English and Arabic, courses in cooking, a place to swim, a memorial to the victims of 9/11 and an Interfaith Center. And, importantly, a Muslim prayer space. Observing one’s faith is an American principle held dear by most people in this country.

The neighborhood leadership, local elected representatives, and the community have resoundingly backed the proposal. The Center offers the possibility of a positive infusion into the life of this neighborhood that was badly scarred by the destruction of 9/11. Local leadership would like more institutions to come and build here. This is no surprise – during the past few years Lower Manhattan has become increasingly residential. This is a neighborhood. It has need of jobs, homes, parks, schools, labor centers, day care, senior housing, shelters, prayer spaces, learning centers, health and recreation centers, and police and fire houses. Far from being disrespectful to build here, every faith must lend their weight towards the restoration of this community.

At the site of the World Trade Towers will stand an enduring memorial to the enduring heartbreak of that day. Nearby, children will splash in a pool, babies will laugh and cry, women will heal, people will learn, a faith will have a place to pray. Life will go on – a direct challenge to the twisted plans of a small group who would have had it otherwise.”

– K Webster

New Open Space at Grand & Lafayette Streets Planning Meeting

SpotLight on Seniors

MKGarden Website (via Gothamist) Film with Audio LES 1934

From M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden’s website:

A film of the neighborhood, with sound, from 1934.

Milton Resnick’s Former Studio Reopens

Brian Buckley/The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation

From Architect’s Newspaper (via The Lo-Down)

“The work in the inaugural display, Milton Resnick: Paintings 1937–1987, shows his paintings and drawings, ranging from colorful figurative works to large-scale monochromatic pieces.”

“Free and open to the public, the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation on Eldridge Street will open to the public on September 15 and 16. The art space is housed in a former synagogue where Resnick (1917-2004) lived and worked, while his wife Passlof (1928-2011) had her own converted synagogue one block over on Forsyth Street. Resnick was one of the original Abstract Expressionist painters and was close friends with Willem de Kooning, through whom he met his wife. Although the foundation is focused on their work, it will also present exhibitions of other artists, readings, performances, and lectures, and welcome scholars.”

Brian Buckley/The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation