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Thread: Bryant Park

  1. #16


    I could put up a rink for $250,000.If I put half an effort into it I could probably find 1,100 green chairs with writing surface and cupholders right here in the USA.I might even be able to narrow it down to New York State.

  2. #17

  3. #18
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    When I was there on Thursday, the grass on the southwest corner of the lawn had ben worn down to nothing. Is that normal for this time of year? How often is the lawn reseeded?

  4. #19
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown

    Default Ice Skating in Bryant Park

    Bryant Park Forecast: Ice in October

    By TIMOTHY WILLIAMSOctober 6, 2005

    The Bryant Park lawn, well known for its pristine grass and the near-perfect bodies that lounge upon it in summer, will soon also be known for the blades gliding across it in winter.

    The Pond at Bryant Park, scheduled to open on Oct. 28, will be a portable, Olympic-size rink large enough for 500 skaters to pirouette upon (or slip and fall) among the high-rises of Midtown Manhattan.

    A rarity among the handful of ice rinks in Manhattan, it will have no admission charge, and organizers hope it will attract crowds during the winter when the park is nearly empty.

    "It's freezing out there from Nov. 1 to March 31 and sometimes later - and so for five months we do nothing," said Daniel A. Biederman, executive director of the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation. "So we said, 'Let's make Bryant Park usable in the winter.' "

    Despite the presence of skating rinks nearby at Rockefeller Center and in Central Park, Mr. Biederman is counting on the population of about 80,000 office workers in the 10-block area around Bryant Park, combined with tourists and visitors to the New York Public Library next door, to fill the rink. On many winter days, particularly weekends, there are long waits at both Wollman Rink in Central Park and the rink at Rockefeller Center.

    "People are jumping all over themselves to have more ice in Manhattan," said Ethan Lercher, Bryant Park's director of events. The rink will end its season on Jan. 15, when it will close to make way for the annual spring fashion shows held in the park.

    Frank O'Connell/The New York Times

    The Bryant Park rink will take two weeks to put into place and cost $4 million.
    At 17,000 square feet, it will be about half the size of the Wollman Rink
    in Central Park and twice as big as the rink at Rockefeller Center.
    The rink ends its season on Jan. 15.

    In interviews, the rink's organizers take pains to say that their pond will in no way compete with its neighbors, which have been New York institutions for years.

    Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe agreed. "Wollman Rink in Central Park is often very crowded at peak hours," Mr. Benepe said in an e-mail message. "We don't believe at this point visitation there will be diminished, and in any event, the public good of another skating venue, especially without large capital and expense costs to the city, outweighs any potential marginal loss of income."

    The Parks Department operates Wollman Rink with the Trump Organization.

    "We are also anxious to see how well the temporary rink technology works," Mr. Benepe said in the e-mail message, "to see if we can try this out in other areas of the city where local elected officials have suggested installing rinks."
    A Rockefeller Center spokeswoman said the center was happy to see more ice. "We think a rink at Bryant Park will be a great addition to what New York City has to offer as a winter wonderland," said the spokeswoman, Suzanne Halpin. "Welcome!"

    The Bryant Park rink, which will take two weeks to put in place and cost $4 million, will measure 17,000 square feet - about half the size of Wollman and about twice the size of the Rockefeller Center rink. The temporary rink will be put directly onto Bryant Park's sod, necessitating that the lawn's crown - built to keep rain and snow melt from pooling - be flattened first. The rink's three-inch surface of ice will be laid atop layers of plastic and foam.

    Mr. Biederman originally considered placing a more permanent rink in the park, but engineers concluded that a portable facility would have to do, given that the public library's underground annex sits directly below the park in a climate-controlled setting to help preserve its books.

    Library officials had originally not been keen on the idea of an ice rink in their backyard, but the library now says it has no objection.

    "We have closely reviewed the plans for the Bryant Park ice rink to make sure its installation is safe for the library's collections and building," Herb Scher, the library's spokesman, said in a statement. "The concerns we've raised are being addressed, and we know that Bryant Park, with its views of the library's Beaux-Arts facade, will provide a beautiful setting for skating this winter."

    One consideration was the weight of the rink, but engineers determined that a portable rink, even with a 6,000-pound Zamboni ice-cleaning machine and a rink full of skaters, would still weigh less than a typical crowd at the fall and spring fashion shows at which the park is host each year.

    While Wollman, Rockefeller Center and Manhattan's other ice skating rinks charge admission fees, the Bryant Park rink will be free, as long as you bring your own skates. (Skate rentals there will be $7.50 a day.)

    By comparison, when the rink at Rockefeller Center opens on Saturday, adults will be charged a $13 fee on Fridays through Sundays and holidays, plus a $7 charge for renting skates for an hour and a half of skating. After Dec. 17, the admission fee will rise to $17 for adults plus $8 for skate rentals.
    At Wollman, which opens on Oct. 15, the charge will be $11 for adult weekend skating and $3.75 to rent skates.

    Mr. Biederman first came up with the idea for a rink in Bryant Park in the mid-1990's, but it was dropped because the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, which operates the park, could not afford it. The proposal was revisited in 2001 but dropped again.

    "We said, 'We'll figure it out someday'; we never give up on an idea," Mr. Biederman said.

    This year, the organization paired with ID&A L.L.C., a New York company that operates Bryant Park's holiday market, which was able to negotiate a corporate sponsorship deal with Citigroup. Texas-based will install and operate the rink.

    "The business concept is this helps the market and the market helps this," Mr. Biederman said. "It all creates an ambience that this is the place to be, and the 'wow factor' it gives us means the park will be more operationally successful."

    In Midtown, Kendra Andrews, 24, who goes ice skating two or three times each winter, said she would go more often if it were more affordable. "Where I'm from in Canada, you don't pay; you go to the pond with your skates and that's that," she said. "An outdoor place for free skating would be wonderful."

    Her friend, Brian Drew, 27, said he had never tried ice skating but was willing to give it a shot, adding, "There's not much excuse anymore if it's free and it's right in the middle of Midtown Manhattan."

  5. #20


    The people who run this park seem to do everything right.

    Then again, the rest of New York's park system's pretty good too. Something to be proud of.

  6. #21


    The people who run this park seem to do everything right.
    Well, if you enjoy the fact that it's often pimped out to fashion moguls and other exclusive access events which turn it into the equivalent of a gated and locked Grammercy Park moreso than a public square...

  7. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by czsz
    Well, if you enjoy the fact that it's often pimped out to fashion moguls and other exclusive access events which turn it into the equivalent of a gated and locked Grammercy Park moreso than a public square...
    Fine with me; gets them the funds to keep it just so. Every time I'm there I think I'm in Paris.

  8. #23


    I thought the idea of the public-private partnership in these cases was that most of the funds came from local businesses eager to improve the condition of their environment. That should be well enough, considering the formidable corporations which surround the park. Further concessions by the public sphere are superfluous.

  9. #24
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Remember back to what Bryant Park was like in the bad old days?

    For a flashback get the Andy Warhol / Paul Morrissey film "FLESH" ; some scenes shot around Bryant Park 1968:
    Last edited by lofter1; October 6th, 2005 at 09:03 PM.

  10. #25

    NY1 News
    Lace Up Your Skates For A Free Spin On Bryant Park's New Rink
    October 29, 2005

    That chill in the air means ice skating season is upon New York and now there's a new place to strap on your skates.

    A new free rink opened Friday in Bryant Park.

    The Rangers and performers from the Big Apple circus were on hand for the event.

    "This is great. I work across the street, and for several years now they've had the holiday village. And this is just the perfect accent to the holiday village," said one enthusiast.

    "It allows people to not be fearful and to just have fun," added another. "And it's something that's romantic. You can just get out here and you can feel the ambience of the city, and you're actually, it kind of brings, like a Midwest. All of a sudden you've got the pond right in the middle, dropped in for the holidays."

    The portable, $4 million, Olympic-size rink is free to use thanks to the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation. Skate rentals run $7.50.

    Bryant Park's skating season will end in mid-January to make room for the spring fashion show tents.

  11. #26


    Quote Originally Posted by Law & Order
    Ahh, 6th Avenue and 42nd street is developing to fast, good for you guys, but not so good for me. Soon there will be a tall ass skyscraper on the corner, another one at least.
    What are they building there anyways?

  12. #27

  13. #28


    December 5, 2005

    In Manhattan Park's Rebirth, Unease at Corporate Presence

    During the late 1980's, when Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan was frequented by more drug dealers than sunbathers, the city turned the park's management over to a private group to try to revitalize a public space that many thought of as a lost cause.

    That group, the nonprofit Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, helped transform the park into one of the city's most heavily used and beloved public spaces. But a major concern has come with the transformation: that Bryant Park is being operated in such a businesslike fashion - including charging fees for holding events, and allowing corporate sponsorships - that it barely seems like a public space anymore.

    "It's come to the point where it impinges on the park to be used in a public sense," said Vikki Barbero, a neighborhood resident who is vice chairwoman of Community Board 5, a neighborhood advisory board.

    No one can deny that the park is more beautiful and accessible than it was 20 years ago, and many of the events that take place in it are open to the public - if seats are available. Nevertheless, even though Bryant Park receives no public financing, the heavy rotation of private events has raised questions about how a park in the middle of the city can best serve the people. There are suggestions that Bryant Park has reached the saturation point and indications that the number of events in it may be reduced.

    Similar complaints have been lodged in recent years at other parks, including Union Square and Madison Square Parks. Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, Democrat of Manhattan, expressed concern at what he called a trend toward commercialization in parks.

    "Parks have never in this city's history been thought of as entities that would fund themselves, and I think that's a dangerous concept," Mr. Gottfried said. "This takes us way down the road of a public park becoming a theme park."

    No park managers have embraced commercialism with the enthusiasm of the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, which runs the only public park in the city that receives no public money.

    In the past few months, Bryant Park has played host to Fashion Week, sponsored by Olympus; summer movies underwritten by HBO; a concert series put on by ABC; and a book fair supported by The New York Times. Much of the eight-acre park is currently occupied by a privately operated holiday market and by an ice-skating rink sponsored by Citi. Each sponsor generally pays a rental fee and is allowed to post its corporate name as part of the event.

    There are so many requests for private events that the corporation employs a small staff to sort through applications seeking permits for corporate parties, family celebrations and promotional events for new products, including Microsoft Windows Media Edition and Coffee-Mate, which had representatives dressed in cow suits passing out samples last spring. The fees vary, depending on factors including whether the event is open to the public.

    Also, parts of the park - which is at Avenue of the Americas and 42nd Street, behind the New York Public Library - are closed at times to accommodate film and video crews. Commercial photographers are assessed hourly fees, determined in part by the "publicity potential for Bryant Park," the park's Web site says. Even the park's carousel can be rented for birthday parties or corporate events.

    Daniel A. Biederman, executive director of the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, said the events were necessary to produce revenue for park operations and to keep the park in use year-round. As part of its 1985 operating agreement with the city, the corporation is given wide latitude in financing park operations through commercial events.

    "Most of the events in the park are free and open to everyone," Mr. Biederman said. "The concerts and movies often have a name attached, but so what? The public gets to go for free."

    Mr. Biederman, a graduate of Harvard Business School who is also president of both the Bryant Park Management Corporation and the 34th Street Partnership, said that on most days the park has only a few conspicuous sponsorships, including a half-dozen signs saying that the free wireless access in the park is sponsored by Google.

    "We understand there are people who come to the park as an escape, who are sensitive to commercial intrusions, and we try to be sensitive to that," Mr. Biederman said, adding that there had been few complaints.

    Mr. Biederman said most of the events and attractions brought many more people to the park than would otherwise use it - including the rink, which is free, though the private firm that operates it charges $7.50 to rent skates and $5 to rent a locker.

    User fees collected by the corporation have gone from zero in 1993 to $1.7 million in 2004. Under the 1985 agreement, the city paid a relatively small amount for the park's upkeep for several years but now pays nothing. The shift to a reliance on user and restaurant fees has coincided with the doubling of Bryant Park's revenue since 1993, to $4.2 million in 2004 - even as assessments on local businesses for the upkeep of the park have been reduced.

    In response for what it sees as too many commercial events, Community
    Board 5 recently rejected an application for a liquor license by restaurant overlooking the ice rink.

    And in a letter sent to the parks department last week, the board was critical of the multiplicity of commercial events held at Bryant Park and at Madison Square Park and said neighbors of those parks had been excluded from the decision-making process. "The conservancies that run Madison Square Park and Bryant Park need to be reminded that these are public parklands, not private revenue-generating venues," wrote David Diamond, chairman of the board.

    William T. Castro, the borough commissioner of parks, said the city's Department of Parks and Recreation supported Bryant Park's management, but he added that the number of events at the park was likely to be reduced.

    "I'm pretty confident that will be addressed," he said. "They run a very good park, but they can always do better."

  14. #29

    Default 2 the Moderator

    I stopped by the Bryant Park holiday festival a couple of times since last friday and I loved it. I wanted to find a vendor list online somehow, so I can track stuff that I bought already. I'm having such a hard time, do you think you can help?

  15. #30


    They have a website at but no list of vendors

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