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RE: NYTimes.com Article: Mayor's Proposal Envisions Lower Manhattan as an Urban Hamlet

  • Subject: RE: [cg] NYTimes.com Article: Mayor's Proposal Envisions Lower Manhattan as an Urban Hamlet
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com
  • Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 10:26:31 -0500

In all honesty, the incorporation of a community garden in the new proposed
"high rent" Urban Hamlet of the NY Times article would have to be under some
kind of ecological, educational or volunteerist aegis: "community managed
public green space" would be the tack we would have to take. With the
skyscraper advocates, the Port Authority of NY/NJ and the constuction
industry all clamoring for a piece, open space advocates and community
gardeners are like small mammals in the midst of large dinosaurs. It is easy
to get squashed here. 

However, evolution is possible. The Hon. Alan Gerson, the NYC Councilperson
who represents the WTC lower Manhattan area spoke at the Battery Park City
Rededication of the Liberty Community Garden / Seattle Million Flower
Compost Ceremony last October. Councilperson Gerson, formerly a high powered
corporate litigator sees high value in the incorporation of open green space
requirements in the pending revision of the NYC zoning resolution.  In
attendance at the Manhattan Parks and Open Green Space Coalition cocktail
party welcoming new Parks Commissioner Benepe last Spring at the Clinton
Community Garden, Councilperson Gerson told me thought a citizen run garden
with a beehive in the midst of sky scrapers was a "remarkable and unexpected
public amenity." He will be an interesting voice as this initiative unfolds.
But we are dealing in the high stakes world of egos, power and money, money,

Bette Middler, of NY Restoration Project sang at Mayor Bloomberg's
inauguration, so that's one garden voice in the mayor's ear. Gerson will
have many fish to fry with the mayor - but it's hard times here. To give you
an idea, here is an article by Patrick Markee, director of the Partnership
for the Homeless. Mr. Markee is also friend of community gardens. When
former Mayor Giuliani claimed that he could not build housing for the
homeless because of "selfish" community gardeners, I reached out to Mr.
Markee for a statement on the issue. Mr. Markee, who knew that there were
8,000 empty lots that could be built upon in NYC before a single community
garden was touched was happy to oblige and even delivered his message to the
first Manhattan Parks and Greenspace Coalition meeting for the Parks 2001
effort (1% for parks.) 

This article, by our friend, gives you an idea of what the most vulnerable
of us are up against in this city:

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman 



-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Winterbottom [mailto:nina@u.washington.edu]
Sent: Friday, December 13, 2002 11:01 PM
To: adam.honigman@bowne.com
Cc: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: Re: [cg] NYTimes.com Article: Mayor's Proposal Envisions Lower
Manhattan as an Urban Hamlet

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