McGolrick Park Photos Du Jour: What Is Wrong With This Picture?
Filed under: 11222, Greenpoint, Greenpoint Brooklyn, Greenpoint Magic
(Or: Heart Of Glass)
Ever had one of those moments when you’re like “Ah, that’s kind of neat!” and then you look more closely and find yourself muttering:
Well last Saturday I had one such moment at the Bathtub Race at McGolrick Park.
I like bathtubs— and balloons!
Watching two of New York’s Finest remove an intoxicated individual (who, it should be noted was not a member of the Lion’s Club) is another matter altogether.
Our Park’s Czar/Executive Director of OSANB (Open Space Alliance North Brooklyn) Stephanie Thayer, was (fairly recently) paraphrased by the New York Times as saying (in regards to a public art project located in said park):
…that vandalism occurred in the park daily, and that someone had once poured concrete down the toilets*. “For no good reason,” she added.
I beg to differ. I have not seen vandalism per se at this park. What I have seen is (on any given day) is anywhere between 10-12 seemingly homeless people— many of whom appear to have addiction “issues”— and a manifold number of empty “baggies”. The previous consider this park to be their living room (because, in fact, it is). Obviously drug dealers like to ply their trade here as well. I have also heard rumblings that used hypodermic needles have been found here. I have yet to find any. But I have seen gentlemen “nodding off” so obviously something is going on. As for concrete being poured down toilets all I have to say is this:
I make it a point to avoid the “comfort stations” at this park** if at all possible— because they are anything but. Comforting. They were and remain to be utterly disgusting. Perhaps this act of intransigence was a critique of the condition of said “facilities” and Ms. Thayer’s “management” of them? Who knows? Greenpoint works in mysterious ways.
Ms. Thayer (in the above-mentioned article) also opines:
Because this is such a good monument to humanity and compassion, it is really necessary to keep it in play.
While no one can argue with the above statement (It’d be sort of like saying “Yes, I’m all for clubbing baby seals!” and it was undoubtedly willfully and deliberately word-smithed for this chilling effect) I would like to humbly suggest Ms. Thayer get a better grip on the parks under her “watch” and the humanity who use and, in this case, inhabit them. Public art is nice (and I’m all for it) but this park (and many others in Greenpoint) have much more urgent matters requiring Ms. Thayer’s compassion. Some attention to the bathrooms— a very human amenity— and an acknowledgment that this park is a haven for people who clearly have substance abuse problems— if not out rightly homeless— would be nice for starters.
*If my memory serves me correctly this came to pass well before Ms. Thayer came on the scene. I could be wrong. Verification/fact-checking, anyone?
**I hold it and go to Cooper. The bathrooms are always in a reasonable state of repair and the Parks employees there are very nice. For those of you who have heartier bladders I also recommend Maria Hernandez Park (always neat) or, best yet: Sternberg. The latter is— by north Brooklyn standards, anyway— plush.