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Re: The 150K Community Garden Plus

  • Subject: Re: [cg] The 150K Community Garden Plus
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 26 Oct 2002 12:50:40 EDT


I read this your story (with my first cup of coffee, thank you) before a day 
filled with meetings.  It is impossible to create a community garden without 
grassroots community support propelling it forward.

You story is classic, a prime example of how a Mother (or Father) Bountiful 
gets a project idea in their heads and plows straight ahead without asking 
anyone if they really want this pair of large Indian elephants that they 
bought for a song in India. Listen to the argument, " They live on peanuts, 
slow but non-fossil fuel transportation, they're great at earth moving and 
that garden of yours will never want for high quality manure."  Anybody out 
there want these elephants? Today?

Do-gooders who don't take in the facts, study local conditions and ask 
questions have a 50% -50% chance at best.  You have to, in the words of 
advertising guy, Jerry Della Femina, "get out of your office, go down the 
elevator, buy lunch from a hot dog vendor. While you're stuffing your face, 
listen to what the guys on the street are saying. Ask a few questions ... the 
answers may surprise you!"

A story: A friend of a friend was meeting me at the garden for an impromptu 
tour our the neighborhood. This is a  newly  divorced real estate executive 
(my friends have odd friends, what can I tell ya).  
 Alimony and child support have "sunk-in" and the fellow is looking for 
"interesting, nontraditional living arrangements in Midtown Manhattan."  He 
shook his head and says that the CCG's  third of an acre in increasingly 
gentrified Hell's Kitchen would have been worth between $5 -- $10 Million 
Dollars during the last real estate boom.  He seemed genuinely pained to hear 
the Clinton Community Garden had been mapped as parkland.  I then proceeded 
to show him the plantings, bee hive and explained that out of our 4,000 key 
holders he might find congenial company should he decide to make our 
neighborhood his new home.  I also explained that the garden was child 
friendly, well worth a visit between a museum and Mickey Des on the weekends 
when he had the kids.

I directed him to some newly renovated overpriced "luxury apartments" in the 
area (2 - 3 grand seemed reasonable to this chap) did the "firm handshake" 
thing and walked off from our five to ten million dollar garden with car 
fare, a pair of shined shoes and the reassurance that the garden, with its' 
late season lushness would be there that evening when I watered. 

Best wishes,
Adam Honigman

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