Last night Mr. Heather elected to attend the planning meeting for the India Street Park. Feeling a bit antisocial, I opted to stay home. In hindsight I wish I had gone just to have a Parks official explain to me with a straight face why they are endeavoring to build a waterfront park that will not have a view of the city. Yes, you heard me right. Here are Mr. Heather’s notes from the meeting. Read them and learn why:
It was stressed that the Kaplan Fund and the Borough President’s office is the source of money for this project. This is a temporary park. The man from the Parks Department said they alloted at least $35,000 and it should last at least 5 years. To get around DEP requirements* they can only place on top of existing pavement. They cannot rip out or change any existing structure or pavement. They are going to pave over with colored concrete, remove the chain link fence and replace it with concrete barriers (similar to what is along highways) This might be topped with steel fence. It could be up to 12 feet high. This barrier could very well block all views of Manhattan. All plants will be in planters and will be no access to the waterfront. But we get bike racks and benches that come from either the 1939 or 1964 World’s Fair. Also there is an existing business that has a loading dock which cuts into the planned park space.
The Parks Department is really pushing this. The intend for this park to be completed by July 4th of this year. Why?
There is also going to be a feral cat colony displaced by this project. Some of the ideas presented at this meeting were shot down by the Parks Department because they would encourage “homeless boogeymen to appear“.
After being assured repeatedly by Mr. Heather that the terminology “homeless boogeymen” was indeed invoked by a New York City Parks employee in GREENPOINT, we put our collective heads together and made a conceptual rendering of what this park will be like. Here it is.
You know, I can’t shake the feeling all that poured concrete and a twelve foot high fence is going to make a certain segment of the population here (“homeless boogeymen” notwithstanding) feel right at home. It’ll be like Perestroika never happened.
*because, among other things, a sinkhole is located at this site.