NYC's Decennial Street Tree Census Will Enter the Digital Age This Year

Categories: Parks

Photo credit: Gane via Compfight cc
The decennial street tree census is almost here.
No one would mistake New York City for an arboreal haven. There's a reason New Yorkers drive to Vermont in the fall.

More »

Will Brooklyn's Insane Real Estate Market Doom This Long-Stalled Park?

Courtesy NYC Parks Department
Bushwick Inlet Park, as it stands now in its nine acres of glory
Hundreds of Brooklynites flooded City Hall on Thursday to protest the city's slow action on buying land for Bushwick Inlet Park, as real estate prices have soared in line with condo construction along the East River.

More »

Reverend Billy Arrested After Trying to Stop Removal of 130-Year-Old 'Bendy Tree'

Image via Facebook
Reverend Billy stands atop a Parks Department truck during the demolition.
Activist preacher and frequently arrested person Reverend Billy Talen took another trip to the Tombs this weekend, this time for trying to halt the removal of a 130-year-old, much-beloved, very crooked tree in Tompkins Square Park. As East Village blog EV Grieve was first to report, the tree, known affectionately as "Bendy Tree," was condemned by an arborist with the city Parks Department, found to be "structurally unsound" and a danger to the public.

More »

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

Categories: Housing, Parks

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.

More »

Adam Yauch Park Opens in Brooklyn to Honor MCA

Categories: Parks

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.)

More »

Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Park Now Officially Open in Brooklyn

Categories: Art, Parks

"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.


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

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.

More »

Suspected Murderer Eugene Palmer Could Really Screw Up Your Weekend

Categories: Parks
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.

More »

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

Categories: Con Men, Parks
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."

More »

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

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.

More »