nyc parks

Upper West Side 

79th street boat basin, upper west side, houseboats

Photo by Jim Henderson on Wikimedia

The city wants to restore the Upper West Side’s 79th Street Boat Basin as a waterfront resource for the community. Last month, the Parks Department presented a $90 million proposal to Community Board 7 that would reconstruct docks damaged by previous storms, add additional boating berths to increase capacity, and make the area more resilient to climate change. According to the West Side Rag, the board, as well as many residents, support the project.

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Policy

The Central Park Carousel is one of four NYC Parks properties operated by the Trump Organization; image by Shelley Panzarella via Flickr

Manhattan Councilman Mark Levine introduced a resolution on Thursday urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to terminate the Trump Organization’s ongoing contracts with the city, the Daily News reports. The president’s company has four contracts with the Parks Department to operate the Lasker and Wollman Skating Rinks in Central Park, the Central Park Carousel, and the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. Levine—who issued similar demands in 2018 and 2015—argued that the contracts violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and that Trump’s association with the venues is causing the city to lose money.

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Bronx, Urban Design

east river, bronx, floating pool

Photo by Danny Avila for NYC Parks

Although it’s technically safe, you may not want to swim in the East River. Swimming on the East River, however, is an entirely different story. The Floating Pool Lady is not just a pool. It’s a floating pool located in a retrofitted barge that’s currently docked in Barretto Point Park in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx. Best of all, it’s the only floating pool in the country.

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Bronx, Policy

Photo of Hart Island via Flickr

One of the country’s largest burial ground may become a city park. The New York City Council is considering making Hart Island, an island located off of the Bronx coast where roughly one million people have been buried since the Civil War, more accessible to visitors. Because the city’s Department of Correction (DOC) currently maintains the site and hires inmates from Rikers Island to bury bodies there, access remains restricted. During a hearing Thursday, the City Council introduced a package of legislation aimed at improving Hart Island, including one bill that would transfer control of the land from the DOC to the city’s parks department.

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hudson yards

Rendering via MVVA and the Hudson Yards Development Corporation

To make room for New York City’s most expensive park project ever, a handful of properties near the Hudson Yards site face demolition. One of those buildings is Affirmation Arts, a gallery on West 37th run by William Hillman. According to THE CITY, Hillman said he is willing to give his building to the city for free, on the condition it remains a cultural center. “I would like to give this building to the people of New York City to share with the world,” Hillman said during a hearing Tuesday.

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Policy

Comfort station of DeWitt Clinton Park in Hell’s’ Kitchen; via Wikimedia

Bathrooms in the city’s parks are flush with cash. The average comfort station built by the New York City Parks Department costs taxpayers just under $3.6 million, according to a report by Yoav Gonen of THE CITY. The Parks Department spent $1.3 million on average for bathrooms in 2011. Last year, the city finished its most expensive park bathroom to date, a $4.7 million station at the Bronx’s Ferry Point Park West.

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hudson yards, Landscape Architecture

Rendering via MVVA and the Hudson Yards Development Corporation

Update 3/25/19: Tishman Speyer bought last week an auto repair building on West 36th Street for $20 million, the New York Post reported Monday. The company will demolish the two-story building to make way for a greenway that will be the next segment of Bella Abzug Park. In exchange for paying for the new park, Tishman Speyer will get air rights from the city to put up a tower bounded by Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.

The city on Friday renamed a park near Hudson Yards in honor of the late Bella Abzug, a former U.S. Representative of New York and stalwart supporter of the women’s rights movement. The greenspace, formerly Hudson Yards Park, stretches just over two acres between West 33rd and 36th Street. First developed with the extension of the 7 subway line to 34th Street, the park will soon be extended to 39th Street and run over an Amtrak rail cut.

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Midtown East, Upper East Side

east river park, east river promenade, east river greenway, nyc parks

Image: Wikimedia commons.

NYC Parks has announced that Mayor Bill de Blasio has allocated $75 million in additional funding for ongoing East River Esplanade reconstruction projects underway from East Midtown through East Harlem. The new funding has been allocated to three distinct esplanade projects: East Harlem from 114th to East 117th Streets, the Upper East Side from East 90th to East 94th Streets and Midtown East from East 62nd to East 63rd Streets.

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City Living, Policy

Concept rendering of Harlem River Greenway Link view toward RFK Bridge.

The NYCEDC, the NYC Parks department and NYC DOT announced today the results of a study on how to close the 32-mile loop of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway along with plans to invest over $250 million to get the project started in Inwood, Harlem, East Harlem and Midtown. The Manhattan Waterfront Greenway announcement outlines a strategy for connecting open waterfront spaces that total over 1,000 acres that will add about 15 acres of quality open space and integrate the Greenway into surrounding neighborhoods.

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Long Island City

Long Island City, Hunters Point South Park, Queens waterfront

Via Flickr cc

A Long Island City parks group wants to change the name of Hunter’s Point South Park, a waterfront green space in the Queens neighborhood, the LIC Post reported on Thursday. The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that manages the 11-acre park, says despite being a “gem of Queens,” the park does not have “the city-wide recognition it deserves.”

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