The barrier fence installed smack in the middle of Dag Plaza by 333 E. 46th Street for repair work on its rear facade has now delayed the park’s capital renovation for one month as DOB, DPR and the architect for the residential building wrestle with how to come to terms with this collision of agencies. The Department of Parks (DPR) was blindsided by the installation when the building’s management failed to inform DPR and work out a feasible solution for a safety fence. DOB permits are posted on the lobby entrance, but not on the scaffolding and barrier fence. (scroll down, please)
All the buildings overlooking the park’s retaining wall have required repairs to their rear facades and even demolition and construction (UAE), but NEVER BEFORE has any safety fencing extended beyond the line of the Plaza’s seating wall. In fact, this photo shows a prior safety barrier for repair work ON THE SAME BUILDING. The fence followed the line of seating wall between the two center fountains. It was winter, and Friends decorated the green panels with stencils of white birch trees and red cardinals.
Midtown East parkland is characterized by plazas and esplanades with gardens and river views, BUT a paucity of lawns. The latest casino pitch for the 6.7 acre site on 1st Avenue between 38th and 41st Street offers 4.5 acres of lawn and recreation with the casino and parking located underground, accessible from FDR Drive. Another sweetener in the package is a recently introduced community reinvestment fund amounting to $5 million annually or 2 percent of net profits from the casino, whichever is larger, no strings attached. A museum, a hotel, condominium and rental towers flank the public greenspace with retail on the ground floor of the 5-star hotel.
What about public housing? The Sololiev Group has committed to 513 units of affordable housing made economically possible by the Mohegan-operated casino and integrated into one of two residential towers. As a result of c ommunity groups, including MECA and St. Vartan Park Conservancy, engaging in dialogue with the developer, the original proposal has evolved into a more innovative landscape design.
Who Decides? In order to advance to the state level in March, the Sololiev Group proposal requires support from two-thirds of a Community Advisory Committee comprised of the Governor, the Mayor, NY State Senator Kristen Gonzalez, Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Council Member Keith Powers.So three of six negative votes kill the plan.
FDHP is keeping a close eye on what the proposal offers in terms of privately maintained green public space with public access. As the period of public engagement draws to a close with developers vying for one of the three downstate casino licenses, the latest version of “Freedom Plaza” calls for close examination.
Each year, we hold the Annual Meeting for FDHP members to elect our organization’s Officers and Directors. Join us to celebrate a year of stellar achievements and a look at what’s to come. Hear from local officials and NYPD about their initiatives to improve and protect public space, the environment and public health.
RENOVATION STARTS IN SPRING The construction contract for Dag Plaza’s renovation (Phase 1) has been awarded with work scheduled to begin spring 2024. This major overhaul of the fountains, masonry, electrical systems and other infrastructure would not have happened without Friends’ tireless advocacy, working with CB6, City Council and NYC Parks & Recreation.
IT’S YOUR TURN! Renew your commitment to a safe and inviting park, meet your neighbors and learn how you can help beautify and preserve Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Only by building a broad base of support can Friends sustain all that we do: organizing events, tending the garden, addressing security and service gaps, and advocating for a fair share of government resources.
Many thanks for being a generous Friend of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and its Katharine Hepburn Garden.
If you cannot attend, please vote by proxy by using the attached letter or web link.
PRESIDENT: Sherrill Kazan VICE PRESIDENTS: Lesley Nan Haberman, Michael Resnick TREASURER: Consuelo Gallego SECRETARY: Linfei Yang DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT: Anne Hersh DIRECTORS (VOTING) Kyle Athayde Kim Baker Meryl Brodsky Paul Crawford Bradley Frederick Bozena Massey Tricia Striano Skoler
Oktoberfest will take place from 1PM to 4 PM on SUNDAY 10/22 due to Saturday’s gloomy rain forecast. Dress warm for a windy October day and enjoy pumpkin painting, balloon artist, face painter and chocolate wheel. Experience Dag Plaza’s transformation to a country farm with hundreds of pumpkins, witchy corn stalks and hay bales. Kids and pets parade in costume, sure to make you smile!
We welcome the Vanderbilt YMCA as our partner for this community event.
HELP WITH OKTOBEFEST: Volunteer Call
On SUNDAY morning at 10 AM, help decorate for Oktoberfest and plant mums. Later, at 1 PM help out at the pumpkin painting tables. To lend a hand, email email@example.com. with your contact information and arrival time.
Corina Bartra returns with a full orchestra following her popular sextet in July, with a new take on the sensual rhythms of Peruvian-Afro Jazz. Enjoy cool breezes in Dag Plaza with a lovely garden to explore.
Corina Bartra is a singer, composer, orchestra leader and recording artist. She is widely known in jazz circles as an acclaimed pioneer of Afro-Peruvian jazz with infusions of Latin trends. Download the attached flyer and bring your friends.
Have fun, get grounded, and make new friends as we work together to beautify the park’s Katharine Hepburn Garden and nurture a green, sustainable environment. We need helping hands for a major plant installation on Friday 8/18 and Saturday 8/19. No experience necessary. Tools and gloves supplied. Wear sturdy shoes (no open toes) and bring beverage–we recommend a slicker and athletic wear if there’s showers forecast (synthetics dry fast).
Time: 9:30 am to 1 pm BOTH DAYS. We ask that volunteers serve at least 2 hours.
Meeting Place: look for garden shed behind fountain nearest vacant cafe “glass house”. Enter through gate on cobble platform with flowering trees in black planters.
Park location: East 47th Street between 1st & 2nd Aves, Manhattan.
When was the last time you had a good laugh? It’s even more fun to laugh together! We teamed up with NY Laughs to bring you a great show this coming Tuesday. FREE!
Cancellation due to inclement weather will be announced one-hour before showtime, so check our website www. dagplaza.org.
JORDAN CARLOS (HEADLINER) Writer, stand-up comedian and actor, Jordan co-starred and wrote for the first season of “Everything’s Trash” (Freeform). He has also written for “Divorce” (HBO), written/performed for “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” (Comedy Central), and “First Wives Club” (BET) and appeared on Black Mirror (Netflix), and the “Home Alone” reboot on Disney Plus.
VANESSA HOLLINGSHEAD Vanessa appeared in the ground-breaking Showtime Special, “Funny Women of a Certain Age,” hosted by Fran Drescher, the network’s highest-rated premiere of a stand-up special in 2019. Listed on Oxygen’s TV Special Fifty of the Funniest Women Alive, she was featured at the New York Comedy Festival and in a special on Comedy Central. She taped her fourth stand-up DVD/CD at New York Comedy Club.
PEDRO GONZALEZ Pedro is the first Colombian-born comedian to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Arriving in the U.S. at age-19, his humor bounces off of what it’s like to date, work, and live in America when you have an accent and your name is Pedro. With rapeir wit, Pedro punctures stereotypes and challenges commonly held points of view.
EMAN EL-HUSSEINI A Canadian-Palestinian comedian currently living in NYC, Eman has performed at festivals in Montreal Toronto and Australia ” She and her female partner Jess, “The El-Salomons, ” have appearted at the “Just for Laughs” Festival and the “Boston Women in Comedy Festival.” Eman has recorded two comedy albums, “Unveiled” and “Handsome Daughter.”
JESS SALOMON Comedian Jess Salomon is a former U.N. war crimes lawyer who has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and handles dark, sometimes off-color and often political topics with a light touch.
YOUR HOSTS: FRIENDS OF DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PLAZA AND THE TURTLE BAY ASSOCATION
We are excited to present this program by New York Laughs, a nonprofit 501c3 organization that brings live stand-up comics to NYC public venues. By connecting New Yorkers through humor with free performances, the organization strives to deepen an appreciation of comedy as a cultural asset unique to this city and to foster a happier, healthier NYC. NYLaughs.org
Volunteers join in the citywide It’s My Parks Day in Dag Plaza on Friday, May 19, from 9:30 AM to 1 PM to clean and plant, but there will be no garden meetup on Saturday, May 20, when thousands of Turkish Americans gather in Hammarskjold Plaza to celebrate the 40th edition of the Turkish Day Parade. Barricades will be erected early to protect the landscaping.
One of the largest cultural events to be staged on the 1.5 acre Plaza, the parade starts at 12:00 noon at 53rd street and Madison Avenue New York and culinates at 47th Street and 2nd Avenue with great ceremony.
Enjoy Turkish food, shop at Turkish gift vendors and watch musical and dance performances. Organized by the Federation of Turkish American Association, Inc. (TADF), the year’s celebration marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. The parade traditionally promotes Turkish culture and heritage in the United States.
Did you know the tulip orignated in Turkey, formerly known as Persia? The tulip is widely depicted in the decorative arts and ceremonial dress. Nobody knows for sure who brought tulips from the Ottoman Empire to Western Europe, but it is credited to an ambassador of the Habsburg Empire in Constantinople (Istanbul) who brought some tulip bulbs to Vienna. Botanist Carolus Clusius increased the popularity of tulips in the late 16th century.
Once again, in the merry month of May, our midtown east community comes together to celebrate Katharine Hepburn’s birthday with a garden party in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza featuring FREE music, birthday cake and garden tours. Meet your neighbors, greet city officials and enjoy the unfolding flower parade. (Rain date May 28, same time).
The long-standing tradition dates back to 1997 and the park’s reconstruction when the community dedicated the newly designed garden to the celebrated actress and good neighbor who fought to save the trees, sunlight and charming character of Turtle Bay. Ever since, Friends of DHP has organized the event, co-hosted with the Turtle Bay Association.
Note: NYC Parks denied permit request for Saturday so the date was switched to Sunday with rain date the following Sunday.
ENTERTAINMENT: Award-winning vocalist Kimberly Hawkey makes a return appearance with favorites from the Great American Songbook and the Golden Age of Hollywood. Winner of the NYC Cabaret Showdown and recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, her performance style and musical virtuosity continues to wow fans and earn plaudits. BroadwayWorld.com calls her “a delightfully fresh-voiced treat,” while Cabaret Scenes notes Kimberly’s “exceptional musicality”. New York Music Daily praises “an irrepressibly cheery update on 30s and 40s sounds,” while the Observer promises “a smile on your face.”
YOUR TURN: This event kicks off FDHP’s spring fund-raisng campaign and volunteer drive. “We need helping hands and generous donors. Our Garden Party in May signals the start of peak season in city parks,” notes FDHP President Sherrill Kazan. “Stay tuned for park news and community announcements.”
Join Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on Sunday, April 23, 1 PM to 3 PM, to celebrate Earth Day featuring Funikijam World Music and family fun. Learn what you can do to help Planet Earth in our parks and green spaces. Discover “Earthing” for health, our urban forest, the role of pollinators and composting. Visit the kids/adults coloring table and play earth-wise games. Enjoy the flower parade in the Katharine Hepburn Garden. Find out how you can make a difference.
At 2 PM, a special ceremony will celebrate the legacy of “Tree Spirit”, William (Bill) Huxley, who served as president of the Turtle Bay Tree Fund, a member of CB6 Parks Committee, a founding officer of FDHP and board member of the Turtle Bay Association. For many years, he organized our Oktoberfest in Dag Plaza, engaging his niece, Haley, who will share remembrances along with the Huxley family and friends as we dedicate “Bill’s bench” and recognize our Volunteer Heroes.
Sign up to lend a hand in Friends’ many park activities.
The Earth Day program is presented with the support of our good neighbors: The Turtle Bay Association, the Haley Foundation, the Turtle Bay Tree Fund, the Vanderbilt YMCA and The Family School in cooperation with NYC Parks & Recreation.
Make your Weekend an Earth Day Exploration
According to the Parks Permit office, another organization is holding an Earth Day Celebration in Dag Plaza on Saturday, April 22. In addition, Sutton Parks Conservancy holds their Earth Day Celebration on Saturday. Enjoy our outdoor spaces and become an agent of change for the environment and Planet Earth.
Support the environment and our Spring Green-up Campaign with your generous, tax-deductible donation.