Garden Day in M’Finda Kalunga Garden

Lots of hard working gardeners today: Hideyo, Dan, Eddie, Lanza, Kevin and others!

Supervision supplied by Head Gardener’s Kate Fitzgerald and Bob Humber.

Deacon Hopper stopped by looking very fit!

Plus a cardinal tweeting up a storm…


On Homelessness: From Rachel Moran’s book “Paid For”

From “Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution

On Homelessness:

We humans are so constituted that we need a sense of our own social significance. Nothing can give us more pleasure than the sense that we are wanted and useful. Conversely, nothing is more productive of despair than a sense that we are useless and unwanted.” Dr. M Scott Peck, People of the Lie

“I think people usually use the term ‘homelessness’ without ever really being able to understand what it means… Not to be flippant, homelessness actually means sofalessness, cookerlessness, showerlessness…and, worst of all, bedlessness…

The word ‘homeless’ seems to present the condition as a single lack, but homelessness is actually many individual deficiencies combined. The worst of them are emotional: but to mention the physical challenges first: the single worst bodily aspect of homelessness is exhaustion. It is caused by several different factors including sleep-deprivation, hunger, and a constant need to remain on the move…

..When I became homeless, the first shock to me was the constant ceaseless need to remain in transit, and finding somewhere to simply be was a far bigger problem than I could have previously imagined. Nowhere you go are you left alone. Nowhere can you expect that luxury, because of course, all the private places of the world are closed to you and all the public places offer no privacy. Many of them do not even grant you admittance

…nowhere that offers dryness, safety, cleanliness, warmth and comfort. A park bench may be dry, if it is not raining, and it may be clean, if you are lucky, but it is not safe, warm or comfortable…

…the real and deepest damage of homelessness: the loneliness…

…It’s the experience of being utterly unwanted, of your very presence being an undesirable commodity in all places and all situations. Wherever you are, as a homeless person, you are unwelcome. When a person is homeless, their sense of social significance is reduced to zero. It doesn’t exist. Their sense of themselves is of being worthless and unwanted; a social pariah, an exile, an outsider whose very body is an unwanted intrusion they must carry with them wherever they go. They are unwanted in the most literal sense of the term. They are redundancy embodied. I felt these feelings in homelessness. All homeless people do. It’s unavoidable…

[Homelessness] is joylessness, and for many, hopelessness also.

In homelessness, you are not invisible to people, but rather not worth looking at.

One of the strangest things about my experience with homelessness, and probably the one of those most worth recording, is the feelings I remember of my very first time on the street. There was the feeling of an irresistible and seductive pleasure to destitution in disguise, but it was a fragile creature and it perished like a little bird in the depths of an unendurable winter. I had morphed destitution into freedom in my own mind, but the ruse didn’t last long.”

Expand & Upgrade America’s Recycling Infrastructure

Tweeted by Rob Watson:

Federal Budget & America’s Recycling Infrastructure

“the American Recycling infrastructure… provides three-quarters of a million jobs and tens of billions of dollars in economic activity…”

Written Bob Gedert, President, National Recycling Coalition; Senior Recycling Consultant, RRS; SWEEP Steering Committee Member

“..The President’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) … budget allocation is proposed to be cut by one third [eliminate] over 50 programs and 3,200 jobs. …including the Sustainable Materials Management program and the Waste Reduction Model. [Reducing] ..critical support of recycling and negatively impact the American recycling industry.

…in order to have any chance of reaching for Zero Waste, our country requires an upgraded recycling infrastructure….

..Instead of shipping nearly half of all recovered recyclables to overseas markets, a refreshed recycling infrastructure will support new American end markets…

Investing in American recycling infrastructure will also lower impacts on climate change. The energy required to make new products from recovered material is a fraction of that to create them from virgin materials and tighter, closed loop systems lower transportation impacts.

Contact your local Congressional Representative: ask for support of the US EPA budget, as well as infrastructure support for the American recycling system…”

Request for Full Liquor License for Cafe Henrie on Sara Roosevelt Park perimeter

We were informed by a neighbor of this hearing (not by the tavern itself – though we are listed with CB3 as a local community organization and this establishment is on the park):

Item #7.    Cafe Henrie (Downtown Cafe LLC), 110 Forsyth St (aka 114 Forsyth St) (upgrade to op)

View the applicants questionnaire answers here. Application below.

op means full liquor license – unlike a beer and wine license.

SLA & DCA Licensing Committee: Meets:
Monday, July 17 at 6:30pm — Public Hotel – 215 Chrystie Street (btwn Houston & Stanton Sts)

Generally we oppose additional liquor licenses surrounding the Park especially locations that have never been licensed before (the license stays even if the bar fails).

  • Our Park is already well endowed with op licenses. New hotels with lots of OP licenses. (Around the corner on Broome is the former Happy Ending – which was anything but – for this neighborhood). Took a long time and many sleepless nights to remove them.
  • Liquor licensed establishments tend to drive other small businesses out – landlords often prefer the more lucrative alcohol establishments to a bodega, a shoe repair, tailor or barber. Businesses that serve our neighborhood.
  • This one is 200 feet from a Church (see 200 foot rule below)
  • We have a songbird sanctuary across from this site.
  • We have 7 high schools, one Middle School and one Pre-School on Forsyth Street that line this park.
  • We have a burgeoning homeless population that is often heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol.
  • There is no ‘public benefit’ that offsets the difficulties these op licenses bring to the majority of the neighborhood.

We have supported licenses when their main function is not to get people drunk. When the entity offers a public benefit as their key mission (like Dixon Place with the arts) or when stipulations are all we can hope for to curb excesses.

No matter what, new licenses mean the public must become the watchdogs of bars and clubs. We think we have better things to do with our time.



Design Trust 5 Finalists: Includes the Stanton Building Task Force in SDR Park!

Proud to be in such good company on this award! Thank you Design Trust for Public Space!

– Stanton Building Task Force (University Settlement, Green Map System and the Sara Roosevelt Park Coalition)

Request for a Full Liquor License on Forsyth Street along the Park

We were informed by a neighbor of this hearing (not by the tavern itself – though we are listed with CB3 as a local community organization and this establishment is on the park):

Item #7.    Cafe Henrie (Downtown Cafe LLC), 110 Forsyth St (aka 114 Forsyth St) (upgrade to op)

View the applicants questionnaire answers here. Application below.

op means full liquor license – unlike a beer and wine license.

SLA & DCA Licensing Committee: Meets:
Monday, July 17 at 6:30pm — Public Hotel – 215 Chrystie Street (btwn Houston & Stanton Sts)

Generally we oppose additional liquor licenses surrounding the Park especially locations that have never been licensed before (the license stays even if the bar fails).

Free Breakfast and Lunch for Children Food Truck is Back!

Some local “good news”

Our Free Breakfast Lunch for Children Food Truck is Back! Invigorating the space near the children’s playground at Rivington Street with generosity and welcome and a terrific staff. Menu.

Flyers below.


“…the world truly is becoming a better place” Nicholas Kristof NYT

Nicholas Kristof in NYT:

“…Indeed, 2017 is likely to be the best year in the history of humanity…Just since 1990, more than 100 million children’s lives have been saved through vaccinations and improved nutrition and medical care. They’re no longer dying of malaria, diarrhea or unpleasant causes like having one’s intestines blocked by wriggling worms….

…For most of history, probably more than 90 percent of the world population lived in extreme poverty, plunging to fewer than 10% today. Every day…250,000 people graduate from extreme poverty…About 300,000 get electricity for the first time. Some 285,000 get their first access to clean drinking water….now more than 85% [of adults] can read. Family planning leads parents to have fewer babies and invest more in each. The number of global war deaths is far below what it was in the 1950s through the 1990s…

The truth is that the world today is not depressing but inspiring…. The most important historical force in the world today is not President Trump, and it’s not terrorists. Rather, it’s the stunning gains on our watch against extreme poverty, illiteracy and disease…”

Build the Block: Connecting Communities to Local Policing

First, and foremost, our hearts go out to the family of Officer Miosotis Familia after she perished in a senseless attack yesterday. We honor her service.

In the hopes of inoculating our communities from all forms of violence in the future we believe community policing is a vital step in the right direction.
Learn more here:

Find a local Meeting here


From the website:

Neighborhood Policing is the new direction of the NYPD, and the inspiration behind a new deployment model being implemented throughout the city, precinct by precinct. Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) are already assigned in over half of New York’s precincts.  They aren’t the only officers serving your area, but they are leading the coordination of policing services and problem solving in your sector.  If you live in a precinct that has already incorporated the neighborhood policing deployment model, we hope you will attend Neighborhood Safety meetings and get to know your cops.  If your precinct hasn’t yet been assigned NCOs,  we hope you will sign up for email updates as the model expands.


Under Neighborhood Policing, Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) work every day in specific neighborhoods rather than being deployed in different spots around the city. This lets New Yorkers get to know their cops, and helps officers get to know the people, the challenges, and what it takes to make everyone in their neighborhood feel safe over time.


Neighborhood Policing ensures that NCOs and all officers spend significant time ‘off the radio,’ not simply racing from emergency to emergency. This gives officers more time to learn about and address problems in the neighborhood – and to work with community members toward collaborative and creative solutions.


Neighborhood Policing helps officers fight crime, while also finding ways to defuse and solve problems by engaging in collaborative problem solving with the people of their community.



Annual Count Finds 40% Increase in Street Homeless

“Outreach workers have requested more pop-up homeless outreach sites. We think the Stanton Building could serve that purpose. We have a crisis. Intelligently shared resources must be committed to solve the reality of climate change and the burgeoning homeless population.  As we take the (realistically) slow but concrete and steady steps to end these crises, these are rational and humane ways forward.

We get a park anchor for safety, a community meeting site in the evenings, a climate resiliency lab and emergency hub, a youth after-school training center in all things ‘Green’. Everyone wins. No one is left behind.” – SDR Coalition.

From Politico NY:

“An annual count of the city’s unsheltered population showed a 40 percent increase in homeless people on city streets, despite the efforts of the de Blasio administration to curb the rising rate of homelessness.

…It was the largest number since 2005, when the city first began estimating the unsheltered population.

“The de Blasio administration has dramatically increased funding for services for unsheltered homeless people, increasing funding by 250% since 2013 …

[Commissioner Steve] Banks said these services will have their full effect this year, as 260 more Safe Haven beds … 500 new supportive housing units, and the increased outreach staff will be in the field long enough to have developed relationships with homeless people. He said it takes on average five months to develop a relationship and bring someone in off the street.

“To us the most important thing is…the individuals that we are working with on a daily basis to bring them in off the streets,” Banks said. He noted that outreach teams helped 748 individuals come in off the streets last year.

The estimated number of unsheltered homeless people confirms what outreach teams…were seeing… The teams have a list of more than 2,000 individuals who they know by name and a list of more than 1,500 additional individuals they know of and are trying to work with.

…One goal and product of the increased outreach funding was to identify every unsheltered homeless person and have them included in the city’s caseload.”