Oktoberfest is ON for Saturday, Raffle tickets for fab prizes

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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

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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”.

Katharine Hepburn Garden Party, Sat. May 11, 1 PM to 3 PM

Celebrate Katharine Hepburn’s Birthday with free cake, coffee and live music at our annual garden party in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Saturday, May 11, 1PM to 3 PM. (RAINDATE, Sat. May 25) Look for the tents at west end of Dag Plaza near Second Avenue entrance dome. 

Peter & the Master Keys will perform swing band favorites from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Wear your spring hat and dancing shoes. Meet you neighbors and city officials.

Volunteers  from NYU Langone Health/Tisch Hospital and Bahá’í International Community, UN office, planted hundreds of Impatiens, attended to tree beds, pruned and spruced up the plaza during Earth Week. So even with the  scaffolding, we’re ready to party! 

The tradition of celebrating Kate’s birthday (May 12,1907) started in 1997 when the park’s garden was dedicated to the famous actress for her role as a good neighbor who joined forces with the Turtle Bay Association to preserve the neighborhood’s charming character and fight for the trees on East 49th Street, now known as Katharine Hepburn Way. 

The event is co-presented by Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and the Turtle Bay Association in cooperation with NYC Parks & Recreation. 

Children’s Art Contest “What Earth Day Means to Me”

Children’s environmental awareness starts at home. Join the celebration of Earth Day with this family-friendly project. All children age 1-13 are invited to enter and share their thoughts about Earth Day.   No entry fee.  You may use any medium (paint, crayons, collage. It is up to you. 

  • Deadline April 15, 2023. 
  • One entry per person. 
  • 9 X11 Inches or smaller to fit in the Plaza’s  display cabinet bulletin board. 
  • Winners notified by email and announced  on our website by April 22. 
  • Take a photo of your art and upload it using the Entry Form below.

ENTRY FORM.

Rogue Fencing in Plaza Delays Capital Renovation. One month and the clock is running…

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.

Underground casino, 4.5 acres of public greenspace and affordable housing

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.

JOIN US! Annual Meeting, Wed, Dec 13, 6:30 to 8PM, Vanderbilt Y Conference Rm

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.

CLASS OF 2024 AS PROPOSED BY NOMINATING COMMITTEE

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, Sunday, 10/22/2023

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 fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org. with your contact information and arrival time. 

Corina Bartra Returns with Full Orchestra “New Trends” Concert, 6 PM, Thursday 8/17

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. 

Calling volunteers, Friday 8/18 and Saturday, 8/19

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.

PLEASE REGISTER WITH YOU CONTACT INFO and estimated time of arrival/departure. fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org

NY Laughs Brings Stand-up Comics to Dag Plaza Tues 6/27, 6:30 to 8 PM

FIVE DIVERSE VOICES, a Stellar Line Up!

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

The next venue after Dag Plaza is Lincoln Center.