Find a Leafier Place to Live With a "Green Heat Map"

Categories: Housing, Parks

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Courtesy of Rentenna
In New York, some times you just want a little bit more jungle in your concrete jungle. Rentenna, another addition to the city's growing stable of artisanal housing market startups, has compiled just where in New York City you might find a little bit of green space sprucing up (ha!) the cement grid. Calling it the Green Heatmap, service charts the proximity of apartment listings to trees, green spaces, and farmers' markets across the city.

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Adam Yauch Park Opens in Brooklyn to Honor MCA

Categories: Parks

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On May 3rd, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation renamed Palmetto Playground on Columbia Street in Brooklyn Heights "Adam Yauch Park" to honor the Beastie Boy who passed away one year ago. Our photographer, Mark Hewko, was there. (See more of his photos here.)

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Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Park Now Officially Open in Brooklyn

Categories: Art, Parks
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"This is Brooklyn's park. This is America's park. But specifically, this is the Adam Yauch Park," Ad-Rock told the New York City Department of Parks and Rec. The site will go down in city history as one more public space dedicated to a legend who made lasting art in the '80s and died far too young.

[@sydbrownstone][sbrownstone@villagevoice.com]

Faced With A Lawsuit, J.P. Morgan Chase Claims Plaza is Private

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The disputed fences around Chase Manhattan Plaza.
A year and a half after the fences first went up around Chase Manhattan Plaza, new court filings show the fight over public access to the space is still heated.

We've written extensively about the fight over the fences, which were first erected the day before Occupy Wall Street protesters first gathered in Lower Manhattan. Open space activists initially challenged Chase's unilateral closure of a treasured downtown plaza on the grounds that the fencing violated prohibitions against altering the exterior of landmarked buildings. Chase countered that the fencing was only temporary, and was needed not to keep out the bank's critics, but rather to protect the public during scheduled maintenance on the plaza. The landmarks challenge fizzled, and the fences stayed up, though neighborhood residents saw little if any maintenance work being performed behind the fences.

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Suspected Murderer Eugene Palmer Could Really Screw Up Your Weekend

Categories: Parks
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Eugene Palmer is suspected of murdering his daughter-in-law earlier this week. Police suspect he's been hiding out in a state park ever since.
If you plan on escaping the city and visiting Harriman State Park this weekend, you may want to reconsider -- police say a suspected murderer is hiding out in the upstate park's 45,000 acres.

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission is advising people to avoid hiking in the park's back country this weekend as police continue their search for suspected murderer Eugene Palmer.

Palmer is eyed in the murder of his daughter-in-law, Tammy Palmer, following an argument about her estranged husband/Eugene Palmer's son.

Police say Palmer confessed to family members that he fatally shot Tammy Palmer on Monday.

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Joseph Sdao Will Spend a Whole 12 Weekends in Jail for Bronx Playground Construction Scam

Categories: Con Men, Parks
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Joseph Sdao is basically grounded for 12 weekends.
A city judge essentially sentenced Joseph Sdao -- a corrupt former project manager for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, who defrauded the city out of more than $30,000 -- to a 12-weekend timeout yesterday.

Judge Martin Marcus of Bronx County Supreme Court sentenced Sdao, 69, of Westbury, New York, to 12 weekends in jail and five years probation for a second-degree felony bribery charge that Sdao plead guilty to in August.

Apparently Sdao was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. So "justice" was theoretically served.

"Corruption is insidious, especially when a city manager betrays the public trust by sharing confidential contract information in order to pad his pockets with cash," Rose Gill Hearn, New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner, says. "This defendant's corrupt conduct earned him a conviction and jail sentence."

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Don't Count Your Cosmos Before They've Hatched: Queens MLS Franchise Still Faces Multiple Obstacles

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Ever since the Post's Albany columnist Fred Dicker reported on Monday -- based solely on two unnamed sources -- that a deal for an MLS stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is "close to being wrapped up" and that construction "could begin early next year," the story has bounced around the journoverse like a free kick off Tobin Heath. WNYC chimed in with the news that Mayor Bloomberg had cited the project semi-approvingly ("My understanding is there's a lot of sentiment in Albany that they would be willing to do it"), while Bloomberg News did the same for Gov. Cuomo ("We support bringing major league soccer to New York and are working with MLS to make that a reality"). Deadspin, meanwhile, went off on an unnamed-source tangent of its own, insisting that "a really rich dude from the UAE" is in the lead to buy a Queens expansion franchise, which may or may not end up being a revival of the New York Cosmos.

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Who Will Run Washington Square, Union Square Parks? (UPDATE)

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Some are now reporting that Becky Ferguson, administrator of Washington Square and Union Square Parks, is leaving her position.

As mentioned in The Villager, "Becky Ferguson has left her job as administrator of not just Washington Square Park but also Union Square Park for a plum position with the National Parks Service, we're told. A search is ongoing for a new Washington Square administrator."

We reached out to the Department Parks and Recreation to see what's up, and we will def let you know what we hear.

However, there's good reason to pay attention to this kind of development (as boringly administrative and bureaucratic as might seem), even though it's still unconfirmed.

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New York City Hit With Another Park Artist Lawsuit, Allegations of B.S. Arrest

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Another day, another report of legal drama between New York artists and City admins, it seems.

Here's what's going on today: as we reported just yesterday, there are currently two lawsuits -- one filed at the state level, the other filed at the federal level -- which will basically decide whether New York's artist vendors have a right to freely sell their wares in the City's parks.

It's a convoluted topic -- with significant Constitutional implications -- and it's been debated off and on in court pretty much since the Giuliani administration.

(Read all the Voice's past coverage here.)

Anyway, today brings a THIRD lawsuit to the table.

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Park Artist Decision Faces Additional Delays

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Looks like it's going to a long, long time before the legal disagreement between New York's artists and the Department of Parks and Recreation gets settled.

The Voice was furnished with info that one of the lawsuits artists had filed against the City -- the "Dua" case -- will be adjourned until October, meaning that there probably won't be any significant developments for a few months.

Here's why the Dua delay is important, though.

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