A decades-long fight to reopen a park house, once a thriving community center in a working-class neighborhood, has taken on new urgency during the pandemic.
The neighborhood speaks:
“It gets neglected,” said Alysha Lewis, a former chairwoman of the local community board. “The parks department really treats it like it’s a stepchild.”
Sandra Dupal, who owns a bakery, offered in 2017 to pay for a kiosk to sell sandwiches and snacks so that more people could enjoy the park. She never got an answer from park officials. “The park has untapped potential,” she said.
Reynaldo Belen, 20, who recently graduated from a high school across from the park, said it should be used to bring people together. “That could kind of stop some of the violence in the area,”