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Thread: NYC Parks

  1. #31


    Have you been to Franz Sigel Park? It's just a few blocks south and is actually much nicer.

  2. #32


    Quote Originally Posted by Schadenfrau
    Have you been to Franz Sigel Park? It's just a few blocks south and is actually much nicer.
    Yeah I've been there too, it's a nice park and much bigger than Joyce Kilmer. I like sitting in Joyce Kilmer before Yankees games.

  3. #33


    Another Bronx park that I like is St. Mary's Park (which is about 12 blocks due south of where I live).

  4. #34


    July 6, 2005
    Parks Even the Parks Dept. Won't Claim

    At University Woods, a city park high above the Harlem River in the Bronx, hypodermic needles, feces and used condoms littered the grounds on a recent day. Several large trees lay across the main pathway. Broken animal bones that some said bore traces of Santeria rituals were visible.

    The 3.3-acre municipal park, whose grounds have long been a hideaway for drug users and prostitutes, was named the city's worst small park last month, for the third year in a row, by the advocacy group New Yorkers for Parks.

    Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says city parks are in better condition now than they have been in nearly 40 years. He added, however, that a small percentage of the parkland the city owns - including University Woods - is not conducive to being actively maintained by gardeners, and that to do so would be "a waste of money."

    "That park is not a park," Mr. Benepe said, referring to University Woods. "That park is a vestigial landscape on the side of a hill. It has a series of paths that lead nowhere. It's a cliff side. It will never be a park." He added, "Just because something is in our inventory doesn't mean it's worth taking care of."

    New York City has acquired almost 300 acres of parkland since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office in 2002. But critics say that the city started neglecting some existing parks - most in poor neighborhoods - long before Mr. Bloomberg named Mr. Benepe parks commissioner shortly after taking office.

    Mr. Benepe bristles at the suggestion that the Parks Department favors certain areas of the city over others. "The reality is that across the city in every neighborhood, the parks are better," he said. And while he says there is no formal two-tier system when it comes to maintaining city parks, he acknowledges that some are better cared for than others.

    Just how many of the city's 1,700 public parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities are not actively maintained is not clear, but Mr. Benepe said that a limited number of city parks would "never be great parks" because they are on land unsuitable to be developed as parkland, or because they are in neighborhoods that are no longer significantly residential.

    There is no list, no formal process leading to a park being written off. But it is clear that some parks, over a period of decades, have simply fallen out of favor with the Parks Department, which says that every park is supposed to be cleaned at least once a day.

    The department, which decides how often horticulturists visit each park and what capital projects to pursue, has seen its operating budget increase to $201 million in fiscal 2005 from $152 million in fiscal 1997, and the department's capital budget in the current fiscal year alone is $850 million, up from $550 million last year. Much of that amount will be spent on developing recently acquired parkland and on parks along the waterfront, according to Parks Department figures.

    Despite their unkempt pockets, some parks, like Aqueduct Walk Park in the Bronx, are heavily used. Many others, however, are similar to University Woods, and attract few visitors. Large swaths of Highbridge and Fort Washington Parks in Upper Manhattan, Soundview, Ferry Point and Pelham Bay Parks in the Bronx, Highland Park on the Brooklyn-Queens border and Idlewild Park in Queens, among others, have been designated natural areas by the Parks Department, to preserve wetlands and other natural habitats. Such areas require less rigorous maintenance than others. Some of these are now impassable for all but the most determined parkgoer due to overgrown trails, poison ivy, homeless encampments and garbage. Abandoned cars and boats have been left in some of the parks.

    What these parks have in common is that they rely almost exclusively on city money, while the city's best-maintained parks - Central Park, Bryant Park and Prospect Park among them - are managed in part by private conservancies that raise money and hire workers independent of the Parks Department. The neglected parks also lack the community support and involvement present in the neighborhoods around the city's most successful green spaces.

    "It is completely outrageous that poor communities are given this type of service when other parks are given adequate service," said Geoffrey M. Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates. "Having prostitutes and drug users fill a park when a community needs parks, goes against everything government is supposed to do in terms of providing services and protecting people."

    The Police Department, not the Parks Department, is responsible for tackling serious crime in city parks. But Mr. Croft said that unmaintained areas provided a natural shelter for criminals.

    Mr. Benepe said that any problems that exist are isolated, and that the department has a rigorous inspection process. "This is a big system and you can't address every little problem," he said. Mr. Benepe said a lack of resources was not an issue either. "The challenge is how to spend all the money we've been given," he said.

    In all, the Parks Department's 28,800 acres take up about 14 percent of the total land mass in the city's five boroughs. About 12,000 acres of parkland have been designated natural areas, though some, like Central Park's Ramble, are well maintained and free of the trash and invasive species that plague the natural areas of other parks.

    University Woods, for instance, has failed the Park Department's own cleanliness and general condition inspections for the past three years, and if its current circumstances are any indication, it has little hope of ever being a haven for anyone seeking a respite from city life. The last capital project in the park - which involved repairing fences and walkways that are again in disrepair - took place in 1997.

    On a recent weekend in University Woods, in University Heights, a man and woman were seen having sex against a tree. Encampments for homeless people were scattered in the underbrush. Several areas had been littered with hypodermic needles, used condoms, needle cleaning kits and wrappers for "Savage" and "TKO" brands of heroin. And piles of feces could be seen on staircases.

    The only evidence of the park's benches were rivet holes in the ground. There were no garbage cans, lights, restrooms or staff workers. Visitors have reported seeing a dead goat and the skulls of various animals, apparently after they had been sacrificed.

    Julio Calderon, 31, who was walking a large pit bull outside the park, said he never stepped inside University Woods, though he lives nearby. "The park is dangerous," Mr. Calderon said in Spanish. "People who are in there do things I don't want to see."

    The parks commissioner said he would like to trade University Woods to a developer for more suitable park property, or to fence it off. "You have to be pragmatic about these things," Mr. Benepe said.

    The Bronx borough president, Adolfo Carríon Jr., agreed but called the park's current neglect a "disgrace."

    "University Woods cannot continue to be what it is," he said.

    Not far away, in Highbridge Park, which stretches for two miles across Upper Manhattan, the scene was even more grim on a recent weekend. Huge sections of the 119-acre park set aside as natural areas have been taken over by homeless people who have built permanent shacks made of sheet metal and steel pipes driven into the earth. One of the park's residents is a heroin addict and prostitute who would give her name only as Joanne. Her makeshift house has a bed and a nightstand. She said she had lived there for 13 years. Men smoked crack cocaine a few feet from where a youth baseball game was being played.

    Kelvin, who would not provide a surname, lives in the park underneath a Harlem River Drive entrance ramp. He lifted his shirt to show his heavily bandaged chest, where he said he had been stabbed the week before. He tapped a Bible on his nightstand, which lay atop some pornographic magazines. "I almost died," he said in Spanish. "God was with me." On a concrete wall, someone has scrawled graffiti: "This might be the only place where New York is still New York."

    Mr. Benepe said that while Highbridge Park is "much better than it was 10 years ago," it had been ruined decades ago when freeway ramps were built across it.

    Mr. Benepe, who expressed both skepticism and surprise at the park's condition when told about it, said the city's plan was: "Let nature take its course." "Trees are growing, insects are buzzing, oxygen is being produced, and there's nothing wrong with that," he said.

    Mr. Croft, the parks advocacy group president, said, "Having prostitutes, drug dealers and drug users in parks is not going back to nature."

  5. #35


    I think it is insane that in this day and age, a New York City park can be let go like that... permanent shacks?! People who have lived there for over a decade? wow.

    I just realized that perhaps I should have started a new thread for this, rather than muddying up a nice discussion of New York's very pleasant parks.

    My apologies...

  6. #36


    Actually, it's in the right place.

  7. #37
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    NYC - Downtown


    Tribeca’s Hudson Park construction to begin this fall

    By Ellen Keohane

    Demolition of Piers 25 and 26 along the Tribeca segment of Hudson River Park could be begin this fall with reconstruction of Pier 25 starting in May, followed by Pier 26 next summer, Hudson River Park Trust president Connie Fishman said Monday.

    Work on the Tribeca section of the park can finally move forward now that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has granted the Hudson River Park Trust $70 million in post-9/11 funds for the project. However, it will probably take four to six months of paperwork before the Trust actually receives the money, Fishman said at a Community Board 1 Waterfront Committee meeting July 18. And the entire process may take more than three years, she said.

    The $70 million will be able to fund most of the Trust’s plans for the Tribeca segment of the park, but Fishman said she was confident that they will be able to get whatever additional money that might be needed.

    Some of that money could come from the Water Resources Development Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on July 14. The proposed legislation, which still needs to be approved by the Senate, includes an authorization for $5 million in funding for the Hudson River Park.

    It’s up to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Hudson River Park Trust to determine exactly what the money can be used for, said Reid Cherlin, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who pushed for the legislation. One possible use is a proposed bird sanctuary — “eco-pier” near Canal St. The sanctuary at the Pier 32 site would be visible from the land.

    At Monday night’s committee meeting, Fishman and landscape architect Andrew Lavallee presented the newest version of the plan for the Tribeca segment of the park. Fishman called the new design “60 to 100 percent final.” It will involve rebuilding and extending Piers 25 and 26, which are currently deteriorating.

    The Tribeca-based landscape architecture film, Mathews Nielson, took over the project from the Boston and San Francisco-based firm Sasaki Associates, Inc. For financial reasons, it makes more sense to work with a local firm, Fishman said.

    “After living in Tribeca for 30 years and working on the master plan for the park from 1993-1997, it is a great pleasure to build a part of the park now,” Signe Nielsen, a principal of the Mathews Nielson firm, said in a telephone interview. Nielsen’s firm designed Duane Park in Tribeca as well as the landscaping adjacent to the Hudson River Park along Route 9A.

    The design presented on Monday night included a few changes from what C.B. 1 committee members had seen before. More trees, for example, were added to the design based on public feedback requesting more shade, Fishman said.

    The trapeze school and batting cages are not part of the new design. The trapeze school will have to move, as commercial venues are not allowed on the park’s premises, Fishman said. It may be relocated to Pier 40.

    The Trust owns the batting cages, but Chris Martin, the Trust’s spokesperson, said he did not know of any plans to place them anywhere else in the park.

    The cages are not well used and Mark Costello, vice president of the Downtown Little League, said although they do get some use by the league, they don’t open until the end of the season, they’re too expensive, and the pitches are too fast for many players.

    Several Tribeca residents who attended the committee meeting expressed their collective concern that the “beloved” community feel of Pier 25 will be lost when it is rebuilt.

    “There was always a desire to retain an informality and a spontaneity on Pier 25,” said Nielson in a phone interview following Monday’s meeting. “We’re going to take that very seriously and apply ourselves to achieve that. I plan to go there this weekend and just hang out and absorb it all.”

    Pier 25 will retain many of its current amenities, including a playground, a mini golf course with nine holes and three practice tees, a snack bar and a landing for water taxis. The pier will also have an artificial turf, multipurpose playing field and three sand volleyball courts, said Lavallee, while pointing to a scale drawing of the current park design at Monday’s meeting.

    The plans for Pier 26, in contrast, are still largely undetermined, said Fishman. The Trust is still waiting for the design of the marine life center, which needs to be moved further down the pier to allow for vessel access to the facility. A boathouse with a floating pier for kayaks will also be located on Pier 26. The River Project and the Downtown Boathouse, the pier’s current tenants, are likely candidates to return to the pier.

    The Tribeca segment of the park will also include a basketball court, various seating areas, a skate park, a 65 by 120 foot dog run, a 1,200 square foot dance floor, a restaurant and tennis courts—which have already been built. A building at North Moore St. will house public restrooms as well as skate concession and maintenance facilities. There will also be a mooring field for boats south of Pier 25.

  8. #38
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    ....a restaurant and tennis courts—which have already been built...
    What restaurant was built? I haven't seen it. Is that hamburger shack a "restaurant"?

  9. #39
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Manhattan - South Village


    I think they mean just the tennis courts have already been built. The restaurant, dance floor and etc are to come.

    Too bad the trapeze school has to move, it's a hit with spectators.

  10. #40


    There was an Indian reservation in Inwood Hill Park as recently as the 1930's, when it had a population of about 300. Does anyone know why the Indians moved out, and when?

  11. #41


    August 12, 2005
    Heralded as Parks, but Looking More Like Dumps

    At Pugsley Creek Park in the Bronx, some abandoned cars are prominent. Others are hidden in high weeds.

    A padlocked fence surrounds a trash-strewn lot on Hoe Avenue in the Bronx.

    A few months after the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle, the family of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, one of the seven astronauts killed, stood with Mayor Edward I. Koch in East Harlem to announce the construction of a new park in Dr. McNair's honor.

    There were refreshments, balloons and solemn words about how Dr. McNair, who grew up visiting his father's auto repair shop in East Harlem, would have treasured a tiny green oasis in the middle of the embattled neighborhood.

    Nearly 20 years later, McNair Park is a trash-filled vacant lot. No trees have been planted, no swings have been put up and no one seeks respite among the weeds and garbage there.

    McNair Park is just one of dozens of undeveloped plots of land that have been dedicated as public parks across the city, often with great fanfare, but then never actually developed. Every year, the city buys plots of land from developers, or takes over unused municipal plots, intending to create parks.

    But in scores of cases, nothing happens. Many of the undeveloped plots, which are often in densely populated, poor communities with limited green spaces, exist as de facto garbage dumps and occasional crime scenes.

    Indeed, land that was once maintained by private developers can become worse after the Parks Department takes it over, advocates for parkland say, because the city fails to take care of it, and it becomes littered with abandoned cars, hypodermic needles and the occasional discarded stove.

    Rafael Lebron, 34, who lives across the street from undeveloped parkland in the Clason Point section of the Bronx, said it was little more than a wasteland. Twice, he said, rats from the park have nested in the engine well of his car and chewed through electrical wires, costing him $2,000 in repairs.

    At dusk, he says, he calls his three children inside because of wandering rats. "We don't know what's inside the park, but we know what's coming out," he said. The history of New York City is littered with broken municipal promises and deferred plans. Every mayoral administration proposes plans for new streetscapes, retail hubs and apartment complexes that never come to fruition, and dreams about stadiums that never rise.

    But the failure of the city to develop its promised parks - a problem that predates the Bloomberg administration - is particularly galling to residents of neighborhoods with few green patches, particularly as asthma and obesity rates continue to rise among their children.

    "These are communities that are desperate for parks and open space, and this is what they get," said Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Parks Advocates. "Parks are supposed to be a asset to a community, not a liability."

    Parks Department officials said parks had not been developed for various reasons, including lack of money and insufficient community support. Often the parcels of land are bought by the city with no concrete plans for a park, in anticipation of future opportunities.

    "The city continually grows and changes in ways we can't immediately respond to," said Liam Kavanagh, the Parks Department's first deputy commissioner. "Sometimes it takes us years to put together the money and the support from the community, but usually it is worth the wait."

    But often, grand plans are foiled by money problems. At McNair Park, for instance, the city planned a space-themed park honoring the astronaut's life but then dropped the plan in the late 1980's, a time of budget cuts in the Parks Department, Mr. Kavanagh said.

    Several attempts to jump-start the project have since failed, but Mr. Kavanagh said the department hoped to start work on the park by the end of the year.

    Ronald McNair's brother, Carl McNair Jr., said in a telephone interview from Atlanta that he had no idea the park had never been completed. "I was under the impression that they were building a park," he said. "We're getting near 20 years. I'm surprised it's not there." (There is a monument to Dr. McNair in a Brooklyn park.)

    The Bloomberg administration has made acquiring new parkland a priority. Since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office in 2002, the city has added nearly 300 acres, much of it along the city's waterfront. Almost every day, the parks commissioner, Adrian Benepe, opens a new playground, and the city's capital budget for parks has almost tripled on Mr. Bloomberg's watch.

    But plenty of plots await the shovels. Some are small, like a pack of unnamed parcels in the Rockaways, vacant for decades. Some are larger and overcome by weeds, like Rocks and Roots Park in the South Bronx, Railroad Park in Queens and Clove's Tail Park on Staten Island. Others, like the 78-acre Pugsley Creek Park in the Bronx - a park in name only, it seems - are neighborhood blights.

    On a recent weekday afternoon at Pugsley Creek Park, which sits along the East River near the end of Soundview Avenue, wild pheasants and rabbits were in evidence. But there were also at least 18 abandoned cars and two abandoned boats.

    The Parks Department said it planned to build a small playground and restore a small salt marsh there. But there were no plans to conduct a basic cleaning or weed cutting until officials were told that the park had become a dumping ground for boats, cars, washing machines and construction material. Invasive species like mugwort and Japanese knot weed have grown as tall as 14 feet in some places, making the park virtually impassible.

    Henry J. Stern, who ran the department as parks commissioner for 15 years, said that parks filled with wrecked cars and other debris attracted criminal activity.

    "You can't let it get to that point," said Mr. Stern, who left the department in 2001. "It takes a long time to dump a car in there, but when people see one, before long, you have many cars dumped there."

    Many of the cars have been in the park since at least 1999, however - during Mr. Stern's tenure as commissioner - according to dates that have been written on the vehicles by Parks Department employees. Some are so badly rusted that they are hard to identify by make and model.

    After being informed about the abandoned cars, the Parks Department began removing some vehicles, but officials said workers were unable to find others in the tall weeds.

    The problems at Pugsley Creek Park are not new, according to a June 1998 Parks Department memo. While visiting the park to determine whether to build a bridge there, city workers could barely penetrate the park. "Due to overgrown mugwort, the group could not reach the area where this proposed bridge might be located," the memo reads. Instead of cutting the weeds, the Parks Department relied on aerial photographs. The bridge was never built.

    Linda Mills, 49, who lives across the street from the park, said it would be nice for neighborhood children to have a safe place to "burn off a little energy."

    "A lot of people have little kids with nothing to do," she said. "That's how they get in trouble."

    At the ceremonial opening of another undeveloped park in June 1997, Vernam Barbadoes Preserve in Queens, Mr. Stern, who is known for his love of theatrics, dressed in a helmet and fatigues, a la Gen. George Patton, rode in on a boat and planted a Parks Department flag there, ceremonially claiming it as Parks Department property. Since then, according to a list of Parks Department projects, the 21-acre park has not received any work.

    Former Mayor Koch, who presided over the October 1986 ceremony at McNair Park, said he did not understand why a proper park had not been built. "I can't explain the oversight and the failure to do it," he said. "It would behoove the city of New York to take immediate action."

  12. #42
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Beyond Lady Liberty


    August 15, 2005

    The first commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor, Maria Burks, 53, near her office at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island, oversees 26,000 acres in 22 parks in New York City and northern New Jersey.

    Maria Burks has proved she can corral unruly hordes of nature lovers on Cape Cod. For her next trick, she will try to herd history buffs onto boats in New York Harbor.

    Ms. Burks is the first commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor, and her mission is to draw attention to the parks and beaches beyond the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. She wants people spotting herons in Jamaica Bay, spiraling up the nation's oldest lighthouse at Sandy Hook, N.J., and climbing around the cannons of Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. The solution to getting them there, she believes, is ferries.
    "These parks have been, in the past, divided by the water," said Ms. Burks, sitting outside her office at Fort Wadsworth. "We're saying now we're going to connect them by the water."

    After nine years as the superintendent of the Cape Cod National Seashore in Massachusetts, Ms. Burks, 53, now oversees the largest collection of land on New York Harbor - 26,000 acres in 22 national parks spread around New York City and northern New Jersey. Along with Liberty, Ellis and part of Governors Islands, as well as some landlocked historic sites like the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt, the park service owns Gateway National Recreation Area, which stretches from the Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge to Sandy Hook.

    Ms. Burks's ferry dreams were stoked in October when New York Water Taxi began the first harbor tours sanctioned by the National Park Service. Then, last month Congress included $5 million in the federal transportation bill for ferry docks and other improvements on Governors Island and at Sandy Hook.

    Next, Ms. Burks hopes to pry some money from New York State's ferryboat fund to create new landings at Fort Wadsworth and at Jacob Riis Park in Rockaway, Queens. But before docks can be built and boats leased, there is the rather large task of building awareness.

    Practically everyone who visits New York knows about the Statue of Liberty, and many are also aware of Ellis Island. About three million people are expected to visit Liberty and Ellis Islands this year, the most since before 9/11, Ms. Burks said. The challenge is drawing people to places like Fort Wadsworth, where there was not a single visitor in sight on a recent sunny afternoon.

    Ms. Burks's appointment came after a trial run as acting commissioner that lasted more than a year. The parks she supervises employ 650 people and have a combined annual budget of $52 million. Still, the scope of the operation is not reflected in her trappings. Her office is tiny, with just enough room for a desk and two armless steel chairs, tucked in the corner of a larger suite above the fort's bookstore, a beer bottle's throw from the upper span of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. On a sweltering midsummer day, Ms. Burks is decked out in her drab-green Class A dress uniform, complete with stiff-brim hat, which she wears on formal occasions. She calls the uniform a tool that can help in certain situations but can stiffen up people in others. "It's an honor to wear, but it's not always fun and it's not always comfortable," she said.

    She rarely wore it during her years at the Cape Cod National Seashore. On the Cape, where Ms. Burks still owns a home, she had to navigate the shoals between the claims of the New England traditionalists and the demands of the sun-worshiping masses. She negotiated with local leaders over everything from water rights to driving on the beaches to public nudity in Provincetown.

    "On Cape Cod, we had some very troubled relationships with our local communities," Ms. Burks said. In most of the cases, she said referring to the uniform, "I felt it wasn't helpful to look different from everyone else."

    Brenda J. Boleyn, a longtime member of the National Seashore's advisory commission, said that Ms. Burks melted some of the opposition to the park service's way of doing things by being "very open and candid" in discussing their differences.

    "She's one of the most remarkable administrators I have ever known," she said. "She can create consensus for what she wants to accomplish." But, Ms. Boleyn added, "she would never back down on the regulations of the National Park Service."

    This steadfast defender of the realm fell into the job almost by chance 30 years ago. After receiving an undergraduate degree in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Burks took the advice of her father, a history professor, and applied for work with the park service. "It was that or substitute teaching," she said.

    She landed a 90-day gig leading tours of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and, she recalled, fell in love.

    "I loved the buildings and the sense of understanding something and being able to explain it so that others could appreciate it," she said. "One of the best things about this job is you never know what the day is going to bring."

    Some of those early days were quite heady. When Queen Elizabeth was visiting Philadelphia during the nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976, the park service did not want to buy gloves for all of its female employees who would be shaking hands with the queen, Ms. Burks recalled. So she was assigned to peel gloves off those who had greeted the queen and rush them to others farther along the receiving line.

    On the night the Liberty Bell was being moved, at the stroke of midnight, to a new pavilion across the street, Ms. Burks's role was to hide out of view of the throng of onlookers and cue the action by whispering into a two-way radio, "Move the bell."

    Since then, Ms. Burks has held almost every type of job in the park service that does not require a sidearm. Raised as a Quaker, she said, she was never attracted to the law enforcement aspects of the service and never sought a commission to carry a gun.

    These days, she is likely to tote a briefcase and a calculator, as she tries to arrange partnerships with companies that can handle the business end of transporting and accommodating visitors. But that approach is fraught with resistance.

    Already, the park service is tangled in litigation with a group called Friends of Sandy Hook over plans to lease dilapidated buildings at Fort Hancock to a development company that wants to turn them into offices and, possibly, a bed-and-breakfast. Representative Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat from Long Branch, N.J., has tried to stop the project, calling it inconsistent with the park service's mission.

    The going has been smoother on the water. Tom Fox, the president of New York Water Taxi and a onetime ranger at Sandy Hook, said he was impressed by how quickly Ms. Burks helped pull together the groups involved in the harbor tour. Launched from the South Street Seaport, it circles counterclockwise past the Statue of Liberty and around Governors Island, showing off the forts and batteries that protected the harbor from naval invaders.

    The tour is a production of the two-year-old National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy, a nonprofit group, because the park service is prohibited from operating business ventures of its own. Mr. Fox, whose company provides the boats and pilots, and sells the $12 tickets, said it was drawing about 10,000 riders a month this summer.

    "She gets everybody working as a team," he said. "That's the kind of thing the National Park Service here really needed."

    Students from John Muir Middle School in San Jose, Calif., visiting the Statue of Liberty last year.

    The commissioner hopes to get a boat landing built at Jacob Riis Park, above, in Rockaway, Queens.

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  13. #43

    Default Canal Park

    just wondering ... has the small, triangular "Canal Park" at the western end of Canal St reopened yet ?

    Also, what is the - rather odd looking - building seen in the back in the picture on

  14. #44
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    The building in the rear of the picture is a ventilation tower for the Holland Tunnel. There's another of the same design at the end of the pier on the other side of West Street, and at least one more on the other side of the river in Jersey City.

  15. #45
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    And yes, Canal Park is now open.

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