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”.

Frog Prince and Wood Fairy Sculpture by Ailene Fields

Ailene Fields is an American sculptor who works in stone, bronze and acrylic. Themes in her work are evocative of dreams and magic, calling forth the qualities that make us human. Her sculptures often feature animals, mythological figures and architectural elements.


Starting in late 2019 and running through summer 2020, in conjunction with Six Summit Gallery, Fields is exhibiting three public art installations of fantastical representational works at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Bella Abzug Park at Hudson Yards and Port Authority Bus Terminal. The two pieces in Hammarskjold Plaza are titled Frog Prince and Wood Fairy

Born Eileen Rubin in 1948 in Brooklyn, New York, she graduated with a degree in English and Greek mythology from Lehman College in 1973. A self-taught potter, she studied the human figure with Bruno Lucchesi at The New School for Social Research in 1980. Lucchesi sent her to Sculpture Center, New York City to further her practical education as a sculptor.

Fields’ first one-person exhibition was in 1987 at the Lavaggi Gallery in New York City. Since then, her work has been continually exhibited in American art galleries, and she has been represented at over 25 group exhibitions in the U.S. Solo museum exhibitions include the Bergen Museum of Art & Science, Paramus, New Jersey, and The Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Florida. She has taught stone carving at Sculpture Center and The Educational Alliance in NYC and is currently teaching at The Compleat Sculptor in New York City, one of the largest sculpture suppliers in the world, which she co-owns with her husband, Marc Fields.


Covid 19 Park Update

DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PLAZA REMAINS OPEN with social distancing enforced. Visit the Wednesday Greenmarket and enjoy the spring parade of flowers.

For all updates on park service changes and closures, refer to the NYC Parks website: https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/health-and-safety-guide/coronavirus.
For more information and guidance about COVID-19, refer to the DOHMH website: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page.

STUCK INDOORS? Explore the NYC’s diversity of parks with park rangers and tour guides, while sheltering from home. VIRTUAL TOURS AND INDOOR FITNESS AND ACTIVIIES: Get more information here: https://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/parks-at-home.

DOG RUNS CLOSED: As part of the city’s ongoing effort to maintain social distancing in public spaces, as of 4/6/20, NYC Parks will be closing dog runs to the public until further notice.
ATHLETIC COURTS CLOSED. Additionally, the Mayor has directed NYC Parks to begin implementing closures of all Tennis Courts, Handball Courts, and Basketball Courts located outside of Playgrounds (which were previously closed to the public), until further notice. Any existing fences or gates around these park features will be locked, elements such as tennis nets and basketball rims will be removed, and advisory signage will be posted.
Soccer fields will continue to remain open, but will be carefully monitored. 


Earth Day, April 22, 2020, is more than a “feel good” celebration; the interconnections of all living things has come home to roost.  Remember the  Bee Exhibit in the park’s entrance dome and its  theme of colony collapse?  Now  global pandemics pose a threat to human survival. WE ARE THE HIVE! 

Enjoy  Earth Day with activities that raise awareness, stimulate dialogue and celebrate nature. Think global, act local. We are ALL stewards of Planet Earth. 

“Many sculpture exhibits in Hammarskjold Plaza draw on environmental themes,”  notes FDHP President Sherrill Kazan, who has sourced more than 20  sculpture artists. Working in collaboration with NYC Parks Art & Antiquities/Art in the Parks, she taps her global connections through World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN).“I want to personally invite you to tune in at 11 am on YouTube to Art in the Time of Coronavirus for a panel discussion featuring NY Magazine Art Critic Jerry Salt, Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternack and other experts, moderated by the cultural representative for World Health Organization (WHO.) This Earth Day program is the first in a series to engage the arts and culture sector in UN global policy discussions and implementation efforts to address an ecological emergency. The one-hour discussion will be followed by a public Q&A and conclude with an invitation to join a global reading of Letters to the Earth.”



Gorilla sculpture: Dag Plaza will have its own 800 pound  gorilla to hug. Cast in bronze by Nora Bornstein, the artist and NYC Parks Department will coordinate installation.  Meanwhile, tune into National Geographic’s Earth Day with the premiere of Jane Goodall: The Hope, a two-hour documentary that covers the vast legacy of Dr. Goodall’s decades of research and advocacy work for chimpanzees.


Enjoy fun activities and virtual tours at home brought to you by Partnerships for Parks.  https://www.nycgovparks.org/highlights/parks-at-home.

NYC Parks reports that all  events in parks are cancelled through June 30  and no permit applications are  being reviewed until further notice. 

ARE YOU SAFE OUTDOORS? The latest research reveals that the Cover-19  virus can be infectious for several days before producing symptoms and some infected people never experience symptoms. So to protect yourself and others, practice social distancing of at least 6 ft. and wear a face mask. Covid-19 can spread between two people who are just talking in close proximity. Outdoors, the viral load dilutes and disburses so it becomes LESS contagious than in enclosed spaces like elevators and lobbies, BUT group sports and games or co-mingling are prohibited for good reason. Steer clear of joggers and anyone who is creating an airstream by huffing and puffing. 

SHOP THE GREENMARKET: Health precautions are being enforced, and six vendors continue to  offer fresh, locally sourced produce and seafood  on Wednesdays in Dag Plaza.  HELP keep Dag Plaza’s market open by observing all health guidelines. Support regional farmers and fishermen! 

DOG OWNERS ALERT: NYC Parks Department has closed dog runs because people were co-mingling. We expect  more dog walkers in Dag Plaza. Please do your part to avoid spreading secondary bacterial infections. Scoop the poop. NO excuses! 

 We all have a role to play in public health and hygiene. 

Special thanks to our volunteer gardeners who plant thousands of flower bulbs in autumn which bloom in spring and warm our hearts on Earth Day. ENJOY!  Gazing  at flowers is guaranteed to  relieve stress. 



 When we first learned of the Covid 19 pandemic, we delayed this year’s annual appeal for membership. Now City Council grant funding for 2020 is suspended, and we must rely on private funding to sustain our work to keep Hammarskjold Plaza clean, green and healthy. Please do what you can to support our park and its Katharine Hepburn Garden. You may choose to honor and/or remember a loved one by entering text in the box provided during the online process. 

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM @friendsofdagplaza


Holiday Tree and Menorah Lightings, Thurs. Dec. 19

Join FRIENDS for the Holiday Tree Lighting in Dag Park, Thursday, Dec. 19th, starting at 5:30 PM. Prior to the event, The Family School children and parents will light the menorah in center of park between 4:30 and 5:00 pm, then join the celebration at entrance dome on 2nd Avenue. Family School Headmistress and Friends’ VP Lesley Nan Haberman extends a warm welcome to the community to attend the menorah lighting ceremony.

The Tree Lighting celebration features the Manhattan Holiday Carolers and visits with Santa. Gotta a doggie? Dress em in holiday garb for the Pooch Parade! Kids can pose with the 7 ft Frosty snowman. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies. Bungle up; we’ll wrap the show in one hour!

This year, Hanukkah begins at sunset on Sunday, Dec. 22 and ends Dec. 30th, while Christmas is celebrated Wednesday Dec. 25th and continues for 12 days.

Our annual tree lighting ceremony in Dag Plaza starts at 5:30 PM. Enjoy the Manhattan Holiday Carolers and if you have a doggie, dress in festive garb for the Pooch Parade. Free sweets and cocoa.

Free Puppet Show: Bessie’s Big Shot, Oct. 16

This traveling production of Bessie’s Big Shot puppet show comes to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza on Wednesday, October 16 at 11 am. Kids are encouraged to follow their dreams as Bessie attempts the impossible and searches for her special talents.

Bessie the cow dreams of joining the circus. But can she lift more than Ziegfried, the strongest man in the world? Fly on the trapeze high above the crowd?

The CityParks PuppetMobile presents free performances and puppet-making workshops in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and schools throughout New York City. Performances are made possible by City Parks Foundation.

Oktoberfest at Dag Plaza, 10/12

Celebrate autumn’s beauty in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Children decorate pumpkins; the clown paints their faces and twists balloons into fantastical shapes. Kids pose as cats, spiderman and goblins amid hay bales and corn stalks. Photo ops galore. Family fun for all.

Hydrangea Fest Garden Celebration

We celebrate the summer garden when the hydrangeas bloom. Take a garden tour and learn about the 5 diffferent varieties in our collection and how to use these popular shrubs and vines  in stunning  arrangements, patio plantings and shade gardens. 

On Thursday, July 25th, 6 PM to & PM, violinist Susan Kessler will play from her extensive repertoire. Sample the new cafe menu with a  picnic plate for purchase from the Peace Garden Cafe. Free ice tea for all! 

On Friday, July 26, the tours continue and a  giant inflatable unicorn that sprays water from its horn will keep the kids cool and happy.


Sing for Hope Piano, Anyone Can Play

The Sing for Hope Piano is back for its third year at Hammarskjold Plaza, bringing music  to the park’s new cafe for a two week stint, starting July 19 and ending August 3. Anyone can play and we encourage all musicians, both professional and amateur to tickle the keys. The Sing for Hope nonprofit organization donates the pianos to schools. Artists contribute their creative expression to paint each piano with a unique design.

We need PIANO BUDDIES  to cover the piano with it’s fitted tarp  at night  and when  rain is forecast   If you can help, please contact fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org or leave a message at 212-826-8980. Let us know what days you are available for the two weeks ending August 3.

New Cafe Opens, Peace Garden

“I have a lifelong interest in diplomacy and good food,” said Shashanka Karlen at the cafe’s opening reception on July 18. “I want to create an oasis of peaceful dining and show that vegetarian and vegan food can be delicious as well as good for people and the planet.” Karlen took over  the remaining 3-year lease of the park’s cafe concession from Hospitality Holdings after being vetted by  NYC Parks & Recreation. He has owned two restaurants in Queens and is eager to apply  his culinary experience to the cafe  that serves  Turtle Bay residents and workers, including the UN community.

Blue awnings and white furniture evoke a tranquil mood. Tropical plants in colorful pots adorn  tables hand-crafted  from repurposed wood and metal,  making  a seamless transition  to the park’s garden and fountains.  

The menu includes poke bowls  with grilled vegetables, fruits and  grains  dressed with mango lime and peanut sauces.   Salad lovers can choose from Avocado Goat Cheese, Green Goddess, and Kale  Power.  For those who crave meat, try the soy-based Bliss Burger, Spare Ribs or Fried Chicken accompanied by fries, both  traditional and sweet potato. Coffee drinks abound with  Macchiato to beat the heat. Cold drinks include Ginger Mint Cooler and  Mango Lassi of yogurt, sour cream, and cardimon. Yum! Chill out with soft serve ice cream, vegan or dailry. 

During the start-up phase, the cafe will be open 11 am to 6 PM Monday to Saturday, and closed Sunday. Evening hours featuring music and cultural events will be announced.

“The cafe is integral to the park experience, and we welcome the new concession,” said Sherrill Kazan, president of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza.  The Sing for Hope Piano in the cafe area for a two-week stint adds to the summer fun.”