Archive for the tag 'parks'

holocaust Memorial park nyc

The eternal light at the center of Holocaust Memorial Park was extinguished during Superstorm Sandy. Now, 17 months later, the light is shining again.

News came from the offices of Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who said the councilman worked with the Parks Department to repair the facilities there.

“Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once said, ‘To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time,’ with these poignant words in mind, I am proud to announce that my efforts in conjunction with the Holocaust Memorial Park Committee to have the park’s eternal flame relit have been successful,” Deutsch said in a statement. “This flame, which was extinguished during Hurricane Sandy, will once again shine brightly, symbolizing our resiliency, and reminding future generations of one of the darkest periods in the history of man, and insure that we never forget, and never again allow such human injustice and genocide to occur in the future.”

It’s not so clear if the light was actually on before Superstorm Sandy. The 15-foot-tall fixture has been problematic for years, with park stewards complaining that it frequently goes out and can take the Parks Department long stretches to replace it.

During one incident in 2010, the bulb was out for several weeks. Parks Department replaced it, but it failed again several days later.

Delays in replacing it can happen because of the city’s procurement policies. The custom bulb needs to be ordered in bulk, and if none are on hand parkgoers will have to wait for the city’s next big order.

But Deutsch’s office said that the problems from Sandy went far beyond the bulb. The light’s electrical wires were damaged from the salt water and needed to be completely replaced. The department sought to do it in February, but the snowstorms pushed delays to the end of March.

Source: NYC Parks Department

Source: NYC Parks Department

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Chaim Deutsch:

New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn), in an ongoing effort to improve parks in the 48th District, will host a Town Hall Meeting at PS 195 Thursday, April 3rd at 7 PM, inviting community members to share their thoughts and propose upgrades for Manhattan Beach Park, a major recreational park and popular destination.

This is the second in a series of Town Hall Meetings Council Member Deutsch will host in an effort to involve residents in plans to improve our local parks.

“I am working hard to improve our community’s parks,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “I invite all area residents to attend this important Town Hall Meeting, share their vision of the park, and take a hand in shaping its future.”

Manhattan Beach Park, located off Oriental Boulevard between Ocean Avenue and Mackenzie Street, is home to baseball fields, beaches, playgrounds, sprinklers, and a dog run, in addition to basketball, tennis, handball and volleyball courts.

Council Member Deutsch’s Town Hall Meeting will give park goers an opportunity to weigh in on the future of Manhattan Beach Park. Those in attendance are encouraged to share their knowledge of the park, best usage, and point out facilities that may require repair or maintenance. In addition, community members will be given an opportunity to propose capital projects, which Councilman Deutsch will discuss with Parks Department officials for funding consideration.

“Take advantage of this opportunity to make Manhattan Beach Park a better place,” said Councilman Deutsch.

The Town Hall Meeting will be held in the auditorium at PS 195 [131 Irwin St. between Shore and Oriental boulevards] Thursday, April 3, at 7 PM.

The Asser Levy Park bandshell in better days. (Source: senarchitects.com)

The Asser Levy Park bandshell in better days. (Source: senarchitects.com)

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Chaim Deutsch:

New York City Council Member Chaim Deutsch (D-Brooklyn), a strong advocate for improving all parks within the 48th district, will host a town hall meeting at Trump Village on Monday, March 24th, inviting community members to discuss their thoughts regarding necessary upgrades to Asser Levy (Seaside) Park, a popular location for rest, relaxation and recreation, which has fallen into disrepair.

(PREVIOUSLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: Deutsch calls for demolition of Asser Levy Seaside Park bandshell.)

“Asser Levy Park has the potential to become a more enjoyable park,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “It’s time we give the park some overdue attention, and begin working towards regenerating the lost splendor of this valuable resource.”

Asser Levy Park, located off Ocean Parkway between Sea Breeze and Surf Avenues, is home to a playground, hand ball courts, greenery, fitness path and a band shell; all requiring maintenance.

At the town hall meeting, Council Member Deutsch will be asking his constituents to share their vision on how to improve Asser Levy Park. In particular, the Councilman would like to gauge the public’s interests as he determines whether the city’s efforts should be directed towards repairing the rundown facilities currently located at the park, or replacing them with new projects favored by the community. Council Member Deutsch will also explore possibilities for supplementing the park with additional greenery in an effort to enhance the park’s natural beauty.

“Asser Levy Park should become everything that the community wants it to be,” said Council Member Deutsch. “It’s for this reason, that I hope you’ll join me in discussing this important issue and contribute your ideas on how to improve Asser Levy Park.”

The town hall meeting will be held in the Community Room at Trump Village Section 4 [2928 W. Fifth Street between Neptune and Surf Avenues] Monday, March 24, 7 PM.

Photo by Allan Shweky via screwedontheboardwalk.com

Photo by Allan Shweky

Residents of Manhattan Beach weren’t the only ones affected by Superstorm Sandy in that area. Jonathan Pywell, the director of forestry for New York City Parks Department, told community members during a meeting held by the Manhattan Beach Community Group that many of the trees in their area were going to be removed because of damages they sustained during the storm.

“The trees here were devastated,” Pywell said. He then explained that after the storm they had inspected the area and decided to remove 250 trees. “And it sounds like a lot. Well, it is.”

Sandy’s surge doused all of Manhattan Beach, and while many recall the word “surge” as the point of destruction, for the trees in the neighborhood the true damage happened after. As the water seeped into the soil, the salt went to work on the roots, killing much of them. Pywell and his team of six (and only six) use a percentage scale to determine how thorough the damage is. Anything below 50 percent is considered likely to die, at which point the tree has to be removed.

“We’re trying to find a balance between saving trees and public safety,” Pywell told the community members, explaining that once a tree dies there’s a chance of it coming down on people and property. “The reality is there’s a fine line we have to travel.”

The residents in the audience had no doubt witnessed tree removals in the area since the removal process picked up the pace a few months ago. Out of the 250 trees that were slated for removal – using a roofing nail to indicate the unlucky trees – 75 have already been removed. The 180 that are left will be removed over the course of the year.

But the news isn’t all bad. Pywell told Sheepshead Bites that because of all the rain and snow over the winter season, some of the salt left behind by the storm is being washed away.

“What we’re finding is the sites we sampled have less salt,” he said. Just how extensive this reduction may be is still unclear. Pywell and his team will have to first conduct another inspection of the area (as well as other areas in Brooklyn, as his team serves the entire borough) before he will know for sure how much salt has been removed.

Many residents were concerned that the removal of so many trees would leave the neighborhood barren and ugly. But Pywell explained that they are working on replacing the trees in the area. And the city is also still giving away trees for free. And as the city and Pywell begin to replace the trees, they plant with the idea that another storm will come.

“Diversity is important for resiliency,” he said and explained that the majority of the trees in the area were London Plain trees, a type that is especially vulnerable to salt water. And so he said that the city would replace removed trees with ones that can deal with “wet feet,” or a mild exposure to salt water.

“This area could potentially flood again,” he said. “I know you don’t want to hear that.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 4.01.29 PM

The Bill Brown Park’s bathroom can be seen in this screen shot from Google maps.

The Parks Department will be spending $2.6 million to fix the bathroom in Bill Brown Playground in Sheepshead Bay. The money is just for the bathroom – not the whole park – which raises the question of whether or not that’s too much money for one bathroom.

While Sheepshead Bay and the surrounding areas can sometimes have their domestic eccentricities, many residents are questioning the need for a seemingly large amount of money, according to a Daily News article.

Parkgoers were relieved to hear about the restoration, though a few held their nose when told how much it costs.

“The place is a wreck, but that’s a lot of money,” said Serena Schallenberg, 33, as she watched her two kids frolic in the park on Thursday.

But at the same time, the Daily News describes a bathroom that is severely deteriorating”

The red brick, beach-style comfort station, which includes a basement, is falling apart.

Many of the windows and lights are shattered, the roof leaks and the sewer line backs up.

It generally costs about $1 million to repair or install a new park bathroom, park insiders said.

Still, parks officials downplayed what some suggest will be the most expensive public bathroom in Brooklyn.

“There is no standard repair cost,” said Parks spokeswoman Meghan Lalor. “Everything depends on what the scope of repair is.”

But a question that wasn’t addressed why hadn’t repairs been made earlier, when the price of fixing it would’ve been cheaper to do?

This isn’t the first time a recreational space with the namesake of World War I veteran Bill Brown has been the site of an overhaul. We reported in January that the Square near Sheepshead Bay Road had lost all its green grass. Sheepshead Bites contacted the Parks Department at the time for comment.

According to a Parks Department employee, the greenstreet was flooded during Superstorm Sandy, killing the spruce tree and several shrubs at the site. The agency told Sheepshead Bites that they plan to replant the area in the spring, using salt tolerant shrubs.

brownspace

Bill Brown Square just got a whole lot browner.

One of only two green spaces near Sheepshead Bay Road has had all of the green plucked from it. Bill Brown Square, named after the World War I hero who made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of France,  boasted a tree and several sizable shrubs until recently.

But now the square, which is located at Jerome Avenue and East 17th Street and is also home to a plaque honoring football legend and Bay native Vince Lombardi among other notables, is almost entirely barren. Parks Department officials removed all but two dying shrubs from the square in the past week or so.

According to a Parks Department employee, the greenstreet was flooded during Superstorm Sandy, killing the spruce tree and several shrubs at the site. The agency told Sheepshead Bites that they plan to replant the area in the spring, using salt tolerant shrubs.

We’re looking forward to it. Perhaps we can even get a nice new spruce to decorate when the holidays come around.

brigham

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: After many years, proposals, battles and studies, the plans to begin work on Sheepshead Bay’s newest green space, Brigham Street Park, are finally unveiled.

The park will be sited at Brigham Street, sandwiched between Emmons Avenue and the waterfront. The current site is now a rubble-filled lot abutting the entrance to the bike path and greenway leading out to Plumb Beach. That entrance is about to get a whole lot more appealing with what looks like might be the new gem of Emmons Avenue’s eastern terminus.

The park will feature a playground, walking path, picnic tables and lots and lots of greenery.

Let’s take a closer look at the plans currently being circulated to local leaders by the Parks Department, and which will go for approval by the Public Design Commission later this month.

Check out the plans!

Cleanup060

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey brought together more than 80 students and their parents from Manhattan Beach’s Mazel Day School for a cleanup of Holocaust Memorial Park.

Aside from tidying up the place, the event was held to commemorate the first anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, which left Mazel’s former Brighton Beach location in tatters.

“This was a great lesson for the children,” Cymbrowitz said of the event, via a press release. “After destruction, there can be new life.”

Supplies for the event were provided by the Parks Department, and the children planted tulip and daffodil bulbs, leaving the park free of litter and weeds.

Cleanup0144

Source: WFAN via nydailynews.com

Source: WFAN via nydailynews.com

Russ Salzberg, more affectionately known as “The Sweater,” has been a New York City sportscasting mainstay for 25 years. A New York Daily News report reflected on Salzberg’s success and his humble Sheepshead Bay roots.

Those most familiar with the 62-year-old Salzberg know him for his work on New York Giants and Yankees post-game reports and for his local special event television sportscasting activities. Despite all his success, including a long run working the mid-morning show with legendary WFAN host Steve Summers in the 1990s, Salzberg credits all his success to his father Lou, Brooklyn and the streets of Sheepshead Bay.

“I’ve been there 25 years since…What you see is who I am. I’m just Russ Salzberg from Avenue V and this is how I see it. I owe everything, all my success, to Brooklyn,” Salzberg told the Daily News.

In touring the area, Salzberg recounted his memories of the neighborhood that shaped him:

And it all started here in “V Park,” next to 2886 Avenue V of the Sheepshead Bay projects where he was raised and learned to play the sports that became his life.

“My old man was a track worker for the Transit Authority,” he says, walking into the park. “And all my pals here were working-class. Tough, funny, street-smart, loyal, no BS.”

He stands in the asphalt softball field, gazing at this Brooklyn laboratory where he created a helluva good life. “I played softball, stickball, football, hockey here,” he says. “We shot hoops over there. We met girls there on the benches at night. I learned all there was to know about life right here.”

Sometimes he would come here alone, imagining he was a big leaguer, and do a play-by-play aloud. “‘The count is 3-and-2 with two out in the bottom of the ninth with Salzberg at the dish. And here comes the pitch…’”

Salzberg also remembered how his father helped build the Amity Little League fields located at Knapp Street and Avenue V.

“My old man built these fields. He graded the earth, planted the grass, put up the fence. It was called Bedford Bay Little League then. He’d get up at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning, come down, cut the grass, chalk the lines, and by 8 he was coaching my team. And then because my brother was mentally handicapped, he created a league just for handicapped kids. My father was hard as nails, with a heart of pure gold,” Salzberg said.

Tragically, Lou Salzberg died at age 47, three years after the Transit Authority forced him to retire over his bad heart. Salzberg reflected how difficult his father’s loss was for him:

Voice cracking, he smooths his natty suit and shrugs. “He died at 47,” he says. “That wasn’t his worst day. That came three years earlier when the TA forced him to retire because of his bum ticker. Lou Salzberg was a very proud guy. Take away his job and it ripped out his soul. I learned my work ethic from him.”…

Any regrets?

“Just one,” he says. “That my old man never got to see me succeed. Because of all the great people I’ve met, my father was my one true hero.”

This was a great piece by the Daily News and really interesting for people obsessed with listening to WFAN like I am. Growing up in the 90s, I remember fondly listening to humorous antics of the “Sweater and the Schmoozer” on summer days before the Mike and the Mad Dog took over at 1 p.m. To check out the rest of the story, which includes Russ’s story of how he broke into broadcasting, click here.

The following is from our friends at the Brooklyn/Bedford Park 9/11 Memorial Committee:

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