Oktoberfest is ON for Saturday, Raffle tickets for fab prizes


Our volunteers arose early to meet the pumpkin delivery and setup for Oktoberfest. So head over at 1 PM start time to Dag Plaza for a fun day. Be sure to load up on raffle tickets. Prizes include seats for  Broadway hit shows, summer camp tuition, restaurants, gift shops and salon vouchers. The kids will have the time of their life painting pumpkins and wielding their balloon animals and swords with faces painted for photo ops. There’s even a tennis camp for tots and teens  to work off steam.

Proceeds from donations go to bringing you more community events and park beautification.

Expect Protests and High Security, Largest Diplomatic Gathering in World, September 16 to October 1


As the the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 69) convened at UN Headquarters on Tuesday, September 16, local residents braced for mid-town gridlock and the parade of protests aimed at UN leaders. Once again, we’re reminded of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza‘s historic role as Gateway to the UN, enshrining the Rights of Public Assembly and Peaceful Protest. Until the close on October 1, high-level security will extend to the park and surrounding neighborhood Security details are posted on roof tops while boats patrol the East River.

The Assembly’s “General Debate” presents 196 speakers over a period of six days on major issues of international concern, comprising all the 193 UN Member States, as well as the Observer State of the Holy See, the Observer State of Palestine and the delegation of the European Union. In addition, 2000 media accreditations have been processed.

This year’s theme is “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda” but much of the discussion will focus on urgent crises arising from ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and South Sudan.

Among the high-level meetings, President Barrack Obama chairs a Security Council Summit on Wednesday to address the growing, pervasive threat of terrorism and ISIS. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convenes a session on Thursday to focus on the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Climate change is also of great concern. For the first time, at Tuesday’s Climate Change Summit , China committed to making its economy more carbon efficient.  President Obama said climate change was moving faster than efforts to address it, and that the US and China had a responsibility to lead other nations. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the collective sense of urgency, saying “never before have so many leaders gathered to commit to action on climate change”.

Tulips on Parade

Tulips are the joy of spring gardens, emerging in April and May from bulbs planted in autumn . We have learned to choose varieties with strong stems that can stand up to the wind in Hammarskjold Plaza. Tulips are classified as early, middle and late, and the trick is to select a varieties for each bloom period to achieve a longer floral display. Hopefully, the late-season tulips will be in their glory when we celebrate the Katharine Hepburn Garden Party around May 12, her birthday,

Red was Hepburn’s favorite color and we make sure to include a vivid red in our selection.

Also blooming in May is the fragrant cherry laurel shrub. Your nose will let you know when the lacy flowers emerge.

Katharine Hepburn Garden Party, May 14, Live Music and Tours

Join us on May 14, 1 PM to 3 PM to celebrate Katharine Hepburn’s birthday (May 12) with a garden party in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th Street, Manhattan, featuring FREE live music, refreshments and garden tours. Meet your neighbors, greet city officials and enjoy the unfolding flower palette of spring. (Rain date May 15, same time).

The long-standing tradition dates back to 1997 and the park’s reconstruction when the community dedicated the new garden to the celebrated actress and good neighbor who fought to save the trees, sunlight and the charming character of Turtle Bay. Since then, Friends of DHP has organized the event, co-hosted with the Turtle Bay Association.

Award-winning vocalist Kimberly Hawkey and her band will perform tunes from the Great American Songbook and the Golden Age of Hollywood. Twice-winner of the NYC Cabaret Showdown and a recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, her performance style and musical virtuosity continue 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.” She has performed at Birdland Jazz Club, the Iridium, Symphony Space,   and the acclaimed Caramoor Center (Katonah, NY). Her international booking circuit includes the Northeast corridor with frequent appearances in the Hudson River Valley and Catskills.  

Kimberly has produced three genre-spanning CDs, showcasing both her intimate chanteuse/piano offerings, and her versatility as a bandleader. Her brand, Elvanelle Music, conveys story through song with concerts, education programs, and music for special events that bring communities together and transcend time. 

This year, the Bryn Mawr Club, NYC, will be joining the festivities. Hepburn began acting at Bryn Mawr College and graduated in 1928 with a degree in history and philosophy. The actress remained loyal to her alma mater, speaking at graduation ceremonies and other events. In 2006, Bryn Mawr established the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center and Medal, honoring both the actress and her mother, an 1889 alum, suffragist, and reproductive rights activist. The Hepburn Medal recognizes women whose work embodies the intelligence and independence of the 4-time Oscar winner known for her speaking her mind and breaking the Hollywood mold.  

LOCATION: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is located on the south side of East 47th Street between 1st Ave (UN Plaza) and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. The performance will be in the center of park known as the “colonnade performance circle.”

The Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is  a tax exempt, nonprofit 501(c)(3) community organization serving in cooperation with NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation.


Contact: fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org

Annual Members Meeting, via Zoom, 6 PM, Thurs. Dec. 9, 2021

This year’s Annual Meeting will be VIRTUAL. Members/Donors of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza will receive an email invitation to attend via ZOOM 24 hours in advance of the meeting set for Thursday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 PM.  At this meeting, members vote for the proposed slate of officers and directors. An annual review is presented, including financial statements and committee reports.

Even with  cuts to city services, the garden flourished and Dag Hammarskjold Plaza provided a welcoming public space. Summer concerts and Cafe Salon Talks brought us together, and the Annual Tree and Menorah Lighting closes out the year with Santa and holiday carolers.  Our cleanliness program includes the services of  a part-time custodian and the Doe Fund. We meet with city officials and agencies about public health and safety, and keep you informed through timely e-blasts. 

None of this would happen without the dedicated volunteers who serve as FDHP Officers and Directors. 



Volunteer! It’s My Park Day, Sat. 9/16, Rain 9/17, 10am – 1pm

In autumn, thousands of volunteers across New York City join together to spruce up our public parks. In the Plaza’s Katharine Hepburn Garden, we plant flower bulbs for spring bloom, clean, paint, rake leaves and enjoy the beauty of autumn. No experience necessary, tools and supplies provided. Children age 9 and up are welcome under the supervision of an adult Public health guidelines remain in effect. Volunteers receive a souvenir floral postcard. 

Arrive any time between 9:30 am and 12 Noon, and work for at least one hour. Please us know if you would like to participate so we can plan ahead!

HOW TO REGISTER: Email fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org and provide your contact info: name, phone and approximate time of arrival and departure. On event day, report to  welcome table at garden gate behind Pink Moose cafe. Early birds, OK to  show up at 9 AM. If weather is “iffy” check our website for updates. 

Note: Fridays between 10 and Noon remain regular garden volunteer sessions.  

Healthy parks make healthy neighborhoods! 

Concert Changed to Raindate: Friday, Aug. 20, 6 pm

Due to possible pop-up shower this Thursday afternoon, and 11 musicians traveling from all points, we cannot risk equipment and safety, so concert date is now Friday 8/20 at 6 PM. 

Enjoy sensual rhythms of the New Trends Orchestra led by Corina  Bartra, widely known in jazz circles as an acclaimed pioneer of Afro-Peruvian jazz with infusions of Latin trends. She has toured in Europe and USA, including appearances at the UN, Kennedy Center, and major jazz festivals.  


Night Out Against Crime and Park Blackout…where does the buck stop?

Tonight National Night Out Against Crime takes place  in 70 NYC locations, including Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. The 17th Precinct hosts the event from 5 PM to 8 PM, offering crime-prevention tips (watch out for those phone scams), kids activities, live entertainment and free food, courtesy of Ali Baba Restaurant. With all the hoopla, don’t get distracted from the subject at hand: how can we work together for the safety of our streets and parks? 

Last week,  the park lamps failed to light up after dark. As of last night, the plaza was still in blackout mode. Not safe. Ironically, the focus  of tonight’s event  is crime prevention. At what point does a 311 complaint escalate to an emergency? Are  311 and 911 our only option? 


FDHP President Sherrill Kazan made phone calls. When she met  Manhattan Parks Manager Wesley Hamilton at  the Plaza to discuss the location of a sculpture exhibit, she asked, “who is  responsible for repairing the electrical outage?”  Hamilton said he would alert DOT (Dept. of Transportation).  That was more than a week ago; the Plaza  was still  dark last night.

Linfei Yang, who frequents the park, stated, “It was pitch black, you couldn’t see what anyone on the benches was doing. I definitely wouldn’t feel safe walking the Plaza,  and it’s been that way for at least a week.” An FDHP director who walks her dog on the Plaza at all hours  sent SOS emails to CB6 and city officials, citing  the large turn-out for tonight’s event. We reached out to CB6, Councilman Keith Powers office, and the 17th Precinct, alerting then to the electrical outage. Word finally trickled through and the lamps are back on. Yet we still don’t have a direct line to DOT to request service when this type of electrical failure occurs. In the past,  we were told that the Department of Parks (DPR) is responsible for the lamps located on the Plaza while street lamps fall under the jurisdiction of DOT.


We encourage you to attend the 17th Precinct Community Council and Build the Block meetings. Get to know our 17th Precinct officers. NYPD has a big job on their hands and we need them to do their job. Our block officers Christopher Carlucci and John Lamneck do patrol  the park but there’s no set schedule. We want patrolmen to get out of their cars and walk the beat. We understand that police authority is limited by civil liberties, but their presence helps curb illegal activity. 

You also have a role to play. It’s time to speak up about the safety of the general public in our parks and streets. Public space is for everyone. 


We  serve as community “watch dog” for Midtown East’s largest park and garden.  FDHP custodian Raymond recently reported that 11 flood lamps on the  retaining wall of the garden were out. He happened to notice when he left his cell phone in the  park shed  and returned  at night to retrieve it.  The city provides the power,  but we  purchase the light bulbs, expensive LED floods with a long-life. Just one of the many ways we keep our park clean, green and safe. 

Join Friends to support the beautification and safety of our park by clicking on the green button below. Ask your neighbors to join too. Healthy parks make healthy neighborhoods. 



 a community-based, tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization.   

Pamela Hanlon Salon Talk on Turtle Bay History Changed to Friday, July 30th, 6 PM

With a  Thursday forecast of stormy weather and sunny skies expected  Friday, the date of the final Salon Talk at the cafe in Dag Plaza has been changed to Friday, July 30 at 6 PM. 

Getting to Know You, Turtle Bay 

PAMELA HANLON, author of Manhattan’s Turtle Bay and A Worldly Affair: New York, the UN and the Story Behind Their Unlikely Bond; highlights  neighborhood landmarks and history with behind-the-scene stories, including her interviews with celebrities like Broadway musical composer Stephen Sondheim. Pamela has given numerous talks and tours of the area and regards Dag Plaza as a neighborhood treasure. 

Meet your neighbors and community organizations. 

WHERE: Pink Moose Cafe in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th St. betw. 1st and 2nd Aves. 

Thurs. July 22, 6 PM Salon Talk: Architecture, Up Close & Green, and the story behind Katharine Hepburn’s Bench…

Join us at Dag Plaza’s Pink Moose Cafe…NYC park architect GEORGE VELLONAKIS recounts his lunch with Katharine Hepburn at her family’s Saybrook, CT estate,  and how he and Hepburn fan Millie Margiotta  saved Kate’s bench from the auction block for the garden that bears her name. Vellonakis reflects on his design inspiration for the fountains, latticed pergolas, entrance dome and the park’s naturalized garden.   

CHARLES HARRISarchitect from the prestigious firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, recounts the collaborative process, aesthetics, and “green design”  of  the United Arab Emirates building, which now overlooks the retaining wall of the Katharine Hepburn Garden, enhancing the Plaza landscape. The building meshes  traditional New York City architecture with  Middle Eastern aesthetics.

NEXT WEEK; July  29, author PAMELA HANLON talks about  historic Turtle Bay. Join Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and the Turtle Bay Association for a grand finale celebration of our community. More about Pam’s historical talk next week! 

Enjoy the Garden’s Reopening: Now that the UAE construction fence has been removed, you can walk the entire garden path  and enjoy Kate’s bench and  the engraved stepping stones bearing quotes by Katharine Hepburn.  Volunteers have been pruning and weeding under the guidance of Parks Gardener Maria Mendez  and plantsman Robert Soret. 

We appreciate your interest and look forward to a great summer in  Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. We welcome your feedback: email fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org