Salon Talks at 6 PM with Cafe Picnic, Thursdays in July

We’re excited to tell you about our first two Cafe Salon Talks featuring neighborhood notables and a pre-paid picnic box full of tasty goodies and ready for pickup before each show. All food sales are advance order only so the one-hour programs can start at 6 PM. Keep scrolling for the full scoop!

“Getting to Know You, Turtle Bay”

Thursday, July 1. Pamela Hanlon is the author of Manhattan’s Turtle Bay and A Worldly Affair, which explores the relationship between New York City and the UN, but “don’t expect a book talk,” says the long-time Turtle Bay resident, who will chat about neighborhood landmarks and local history with behind-the-scene stories, including interviews with luminaries like Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim, a Turtle Bay resident. Pamela has given numerous talks and tours of the area and regards Dag Hammarskjold Plaza as a  neighborhood  treasure. 

Thursday, July 8,  Teri Black, Break a Leg Productions. An actress and producer, Teri brings a wealth of theatrical experience to our second Salon Talk, presenting two staged readings of short plays by LA writer Scott Mullen, directed by Valerie Adami Juhlin and brought to life by a professional cast of four actors. Teri loves Dag Plaza…it’s right across the street from her apartment. 

DOG PARK: Anthony and Kelly meet at a dog park and might have more in common than their Jack Russell Terriers. 

HOME: A woman tries to convince her mother-in-law to move in with her and her family, even though they dislike each other.

Cast: Teri Black, Elisa London, Sean Phillips and Sara Taylor, all members of Actor’s Equity Association. For more about the Break a Leg Productions, click here 

Now that’s value! A show and a picnic. $10 includes sandwich (4 choices), beverage (4 choices), salad, chips and a cookie, a great value! Your picnic box(s) will be ready for pick-up on the program date(s) you select. Please arrive at 5:45 PM, claim your order and take your seat so sessions can start on time. You will know it ‘s time to be seated when the bells of the Holy Family Church ring at 6 PM. 

PLACE YOUR PICNIC ORDER(S)  NOW FOR THE  SALON DATES OF YOUR CHOICE: 

JULY 1 Sorry, Window to order has closed

JULY 8 Sorry, the Cafe discontinued this offer as of July 6 due to the cost of perishables and labor when inclement weather cancels event. All who purchased in advance will be issued a refund by Pink Moose Cafe.

RAIN DATES:  Salon takes place the following day. Visit our website for last-minute announcements if summer showers have you guessing. 

We welcome your feedback: email fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org 

Jazz on the Terrace & Cafe Salon Talks

Join Friends on Thursdays, 6 PM to 7 PM, starting with the June 24 concert and following in July with Salon Talks featuring Turtle Bay notables and New Yorkers in the know. 

To turbocharge your Afro-Peruvian Jazz groove, the Pink Moose is offering specialty roasted Peruvian coffee on its menu for Corina Barthose concert. Cafe tables reserved for customers; open seating on the benches.

SALON TALKS & PINK MOOSE PICNIC BOX: Check this site every week for announcements about the upcoming Salon Talk with a link to advance purchase a Pink Moose picnic box @$10  that guarantees cafe seating. This convenience enables us to start each program on time. Of course, there’s open seating on the benches and seating wall.

Jazz Concert at Dag’s Pink Moose Cafe, June 24, 6 PM

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Enjoy sensual rhythms of Afro-Peruvian Latin Jazz with the CORINA BARTRA SEXTET on the Garden Terrance. Cafe tables reserved for customers; open seating on the benches. This blend of intoxicating rhythms will have you moving and grooving to a caffeine high. (Of course, if you prefer decaf, the Pink Moose will provide.)

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.

Join Friends to celebrate our “coming out party” as public space plays a vital role in New York City’s renewal.

Peace Gorilla Sculpture Welcomes All, including the Blind and Visually Impaired

“Public art is for everyone,” says artist Noa Bornstein, who recently  attached a tactile QR code linked to an audio recording on the base of her  bronze sculpture on display in the historic UN gateway, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, through August. “Many venues  discourage visitors from touching objects of art, but Peace Gorilla welcomes human touch.” 

The gorilla’s outstretched arm elicits “high-fives” from  park visitors while kids delight in climbing  on her  body. The word “Friend” is cast in 90 languages on the concrete base, and Bornstein is always exploring  ways to engage the public through playful interaction. 

To make the popular sculpture user-friendly to the blind and visually impaired, Bornstein consulted with disability specialists. Then during a week of Earth Day celebrations, three visually impaired musicians from the Lions Club LB Band, escorted by Joy Bieder, a Certified Orientation and Mobility specialist, assembled on a bench next to Peace Gorilla  and after a spirited drum session, held  their cell phones to the  tactile QR code and listened to Bornstein’s recorded  description.  Julie Spodnick, a Certified Vision Rehab Teacher assisted. She and  Joy Bieder  also work for VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 

Lions Club LB Band: Musicans Robert Weeks, Alex Barrera, Braulio Thorne

What’s next? A label in Braille and English will be mounted next to the  tactile QR code, which was  produced in brass by Visual Mechanics, a neighbor of Bornstein’s studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn  

The tactile QR code was suggested by Nitza Danieli, who works as a contract artist educator with the visually impaired at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Bornstein also consulted with Maia Scott, a blind artist and teacher in San Francisco,  and actress Dawn Del Orbe, who records audio guides for museums. The “look but don’t touch” rule is giving way to more inclusive approaches. Some exhibits include “beacons ” that emit pleasant natural sounds to guide the  blind to a location. 

Also on display through August are three sculptures of larger-than-life  human figures by Jim Rennert curated by Sherrill Kazan, president of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, in collaboration with NYC Parks Arts & Antiquities. 

“Public art is  a universal language and integral to the city’s renewal. Both exhibits invite public interaction,” says Kazan. “It’s fitting that Peace Gorilla is located in this hub of diversity, a park named after Nobel Peace Laureate Dag Hammarskjold,  the second Secretary General of the United Nations.” 

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is located on East 47th Street between UN Plaza (1st Ave.) and 2nd Ave, Manhattan. Public art exhibitions are organized through NYC Art in the Parks.

(CLICK ON THIS LINK): Photos and Video – Peace Gorilla Says (noabornstein.com)

ARTIST’S DESCRIPTION OF PEACE GORILLA

Sculpture: Bronze, 45” h x 48” x 48”, 400 lbs

Base: Concrete, 8” h x 48” x 48”, 400 lbs

On the top of the base, “Friend” in the six official languages of the United Nations appears under the title “Peace Gorilla”followed by the subtitle: “Shalom, Salaam, Tomodachi” (“Hello, Peace, Friend,” in Hebrew, Arabic, and Japanese). These are the words that Bornstein, a perpetual language student, seemed to hear as the gorilla “reached out her arm” during the process of creation. 

The word “Friend” in 90 languages is set into the four sides and top of the base  from templates made by Visual Mechanics. The concrete base was created by Oso Industries with assistance from Wellstone NYC Custom Woodworking—all neighbors of Bornstein in the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC). The original gorilla was made of sisal fiber and burlap in structolite and plaster over wire mesh and metal. The bronze casting was produced at Bedi-Makky Art Foundry in Greenpoint Brooklyn, using the traditional French sand-casting method.

END

Wanted: Food-scraps for Compost

Banana Cutting: Councilman Keith Powers in celebration of Earth Day visits food scrap collection site in Hammarskjold Plaza with (Left) Lia Lucero, LES Ecology Center and (Right) FDHP President Sherrill Kazan.

We have partnered with LES Ecology Center through the NYC Compost Program to bring this environmentally sustainable food-scrap collection program to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. We provide the the collection site and LES Ecology Center transports the food scraps to East River Park to be transformed into compost. A pioneer in urban composting, The LES Ecology Center operation is new to the Plaza and while this program is no longer part of the Greenmarket, GrowNYC is still involved with bringing awareness about the benefits of composting. Food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste comprise 30 percent of New Yorkers trash. By diverting the waste from landfills, the compost builds healthy soils for schools, parks and community gardens.

WHERE: Look for the GREEN BINS  behind Pink Moose cafe and observe the signs which clarify the rules.

WHAT IS ACCEPTED: 

  • YES: Fruit and veggies, coffee, tea, nuts, grains and baked goods. 
  • NO: meat, fish or dairy products.  
  • NO: plastics or paper products, and absolutely NO dog poop! 

WHEN: The bins will be open for collection every Wednesday from approximately 8:30 AM to 3 PM. After that, the bins are locked down to deter vermin and misuse until the Ecology Center collects the waste for transport to East River Park Compost Yard for processing. Finished compost is donated to community greening groups. As the program gets underway, more bins will  be added to meet demand. 

We welcome your feedback: email fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org 

Pink Moose Coffee Bar

Whether you crave coffee or tea, you can get your fix at the Pink Moose Cafe, open since early Spring in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Concessionaire Bass Fatikih, who also owns the Pink Moose cafe on 1st Avenue and 59th Street, roasts his own coffee, sourcing the finest beans. He has applied for a license to sell beer, wine and sparkling cider. The cafe will increase open hours in June.

High Fives for Peace Gorilla

Friend in 90 Languages

Since last November 2020, when Noa Bornstein installed her life-size Peace Gorilla in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, park visitors have responded to the ape’s outstretched arm with a friendly “high five.” The sculpture is mounted on a low concrete base inscribed with the word for friend in 90 languages—beginning with the six official languages of the UN. “The gorilla extended her arm to me as I was making her,” Bornstein notes. I was able to interpret the gesture: ‘Shalom, Salaam, Tomodachi—Hello, Peace, Friend,’ in Hebrew, Arabic, and Japanese.”

Fitting Location 

A perfect size for kids, they can’t resist climbing on the gorilla’s back and giving her a hug.

“Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is a fitting location for Peace Gorilla, given the park’s historic role at UN Gateway and its namesake, Dag  Hammarskjold, who was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The  gorilla also reminds us of our commitment to the UN Goals for Sustainable Development, which includes caring for our environment and endangered species,” noted FDHP President Sherrill Kazan. 

Cast in bronze, the sculpture will be on display through August 2021. Peace Gorilla is one of the many public art projects exhibited under the Arts in the Parks program of NYC Parks Department.  Funding was made possible in part by the Puffin Foundation.

Finding a Connection 

Based in Brooklyn, Noa Bornstein created the original piece out of sisal fiber and burlap in structolite and plaster over an armature of wire mesh and plumbing sections. It was cast in bronze this year at Bedi-Makky Art Foundry in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Bornstein’s previous public projects include Live Well, a small bronze installed in 2000 in TriBeCa Park, followed by touring exhibits in several other states. Her more recent public sculptures are of other fellow creatures who look for a connection with us, Praying Mantis Seeks Friends and Pig Seeks Friends, both temporary installations through NYC Parks and City Parks Foundation in 2017 and 2018.

Other public works include large-scale murals: Magritte in Los Angeles, and Striving Together, Mural at the Harlem Rehabilitation Center. Bornstein has exhibited at numerous galleries and her work has been featured in Artnews, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Le Soir, in Brussels. 

For over 50 years, NYC Parks Art in the Parks program has brought contemporary public artworks to the city’s parks, making New York City one of the world’s largest open-air galleries. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with arts organizations and artists to produce over 2,000 public artworks by 1,300 notable and emerging artists in over 200 parks.                                                                                                                  

For additional/interactive content please visit (click on link): PEACE GORILLA  

Primary website: www.noabornstein.com  Instagram: @noabornstein 

Working Together for Clean and Safe Public Space

Streets and Parks Survival Guide

Councilman Keith Powers held a video conference with neighborhood associations on October 22 to address sanitation issues and introduce ACE, a cleaning service funded by his office to help stem the tide of trash in our district.  FDHP directors were  assured that Hammarskjold Plaza will be included in the needs of Council District 4, which  extends on the East Side from 14th Street north to 98th Street and widens in midtown to the West Side. ACE works with men and women who are experiencing homelessness, offering them job training, work experience and a support network to help achieve economic self-sufficiency. 

Budget Cuts = Trash Surge: With over  $100 million in budget cuts to Sanitation and $84 million slashed from NYC Parks, the trash problem escalated during the summer. Parks lost 1,700 seasonal workers who help pick up litter in the warm season. Complaints to 311 about litter in our public parks  increased  from 547 in July 2019 to 1024 complaints  in July 2020 and from 442 to 1158 in August.

Hammarskjold Plaza was largely spared from the garbage contagion, thanks to all who contributed to help fund Raymond, our park custodian. Raymond currently services the park  on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, picking up fallen limbs, leaves and storm debris, discarded liquor and soda bottles, food, soiled toilet paper, syringes, mattresses, cardboard boxes, rugs and more.  His presence has curbed homeless encampments and unlawful behavior. On the days when he is present, the park appears groomed and inviting. In between, the work piles up. FDHP contracts the Doe Fund to empty the Plaza’s 19 trash bins twice daily year-round, placing the bags on the curb for pickup. 

FDHP President Sherrill Kazan noted, “The supplemental service from ACE and Councilman Powers is urgently needed to preserve quality of life  and public health in Turtle Bay and Sutton neighborhoods. Litter is a reality of public space. We have received many compliments on the work Raymond is doing, but he is only one person. The plaza and garden require constant attention. Our campaign to fund a full-time park custodian continues, and we depend upon donations to sustain our work. Many thanks to the Turtle Bay Association for a contribution to FDHP of $2,500.” 

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver launched a campaign on August 28 to involve the public and recruit volunteers. “Now more than ever, our parks and green spaces are places of refuge and we have been working hard despite the ongoing pandemic and budget reductions to keep them clean for all to enjoy, ” said the Commissioner. “We are urging all New Yorkers to help out by disposing trash in designated receptacles or taking it with them when they leave.” Throughout the city, neighborhood groups have mobilized to pick up trash in streets and parks, helping to preserve quality of life.  Our garden shed is stocked with “grabbers,” which make it easy to pick up litter  without bending over and touching the trash. 

Volunteers Turn Out for It’s My Park Day

We  pledged 10 volunteers for this citywide effort (Oct. 17) and 18 individuals signed up, thanks to the Turtle Bay Association’s e-blast, which bolstered our outreach. FDHP organized the activity in accordance with NYC Parks Covid safety and horticultural guidelines. NYC Parks Deputy Commissioner of Operations Liam Kavanagh made a surprise visit and took an impromptu tour of the Katharine Hepburn Garden, noting the lush variety of healthy plants and volunteers at work. Partnerships for Parks Coordinator Ashley Kuenneke also checked in, making sure tools and supplies had been delivered, including a big pile of mulch, recycled from fallen  trees and last year’s discarded Christmas trees

Volunteers of all ages tied on aprons, grabbed tools and tucked into the earth approximately 1000 flower bulbs, which lie dormant until the warmth of spring signals them to sprout and bloom in a splendid show of flower power from March through May.  CLICK ON LINK TO ENJOY: PHOTO SHOW. 

8 Trees Planted in Empty Beds: Last week, NYC Parks replanted trees in 8 out of 12 empty tree beds on the Plaza. Three of the remaining beds require stump removal and and the fourth (near Citibike stand) is marked to flag underground conduits. The lamp post that snapped off in a summer storm was also replaced. Aside from their beauty, trees are the lungs of the city, absorbing carbon dioxide and other toxic gases through tiny pores (stomata) while increasing the oxygen supply through photosynthesis.

The Trees and Sidewalks program took an $11.75 million cut in the fiscal 2021 budget, as well as $7.2 million in tree pruning contracts and $1.5 million in tree stump removal contracts. 

WORKING TOGETHER FOR SAFE PARKS AND STREETS

1.  If you haven’t donated yet, please click the DONATE BUTTON to help support a full-time park attendant. At present, Raymond services Hammarskjold Plaza 3 times per week  He is our “eyes and ears,” providing custodial care at at time when city services face huge budget shortfalls. 

2. Call 311. These calls are logged into a database and dispatched to the appropriate agency.  Take photos and post to 311 with date, time and location. If the problem occurs  in Hammarskjold Plaza, send FDHP the 311 complaint ticket number and we will follow up.  If the situation is life threatening, call 911. 

3. Organize a block clean-up. You can form a group via Nextdoor.com and work with your Councilman to organize tools and supplies. Notify TBA and other neighborhood associations. 

We welcome your feedback: email fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org 

Volunteers, It’s My Park Day

1000 Bulbs Planted for Spring Bloom

We  pledged 10 volunteers for this citywide effort (Oct. 17) and 18 individuals signed up, thanks to the Turtle Bay Association’s e-blast, which bolstered our outreach. FDHP organized the activity in accordance with NYC Parks Covid safety and horticultural guidelines. NYC Parks Deputy Commissioner of Operations Liam Kavanagh made a surprise visit and took an impromptu tour of the Katharine Hepburn Garden, noting the lush variety of healthy plants and volunteers at work. Partnerships for Parks Coordinator Ashley Kuenneke also checked in, making sure tools and supplies had been delivered, including a big pile of mulch, recycled from fallen  trees and last year’s discarded Christmas trees

Volunteers of all ages tied on aprons, grabbed tools and tucked into the earth approximately 1000 flower bulbs, which lie dormant until the warmth of spring signals them to sprout and bloom in a splendid show of flower power from March through May.  CLICK ON LINK TO ENJOY: PHOTO SHOW.