Parks and Re-Creation

| 31 Jan 2022 | 11:46

The parks are marching on – Stores are shutting, storefronts are shuttered, some of us are even shuddering. Everything everywhere’s in a state of flux. But the NYC Parks Dept soldiers on and is up and running and raring to go. And things are happening as I write. Two examples, in no particular order. On Monday, Jan 31, the NYC Parks Dept. released an RFP (Request for Proposal) for the operation and maintenance of the café at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the near corner of 47th St. and First Ave. Presently, the Pink Moose Cafe occupies the space. The premises includes the café structure and the bathroom immediately outside of the structure, as well as the area immediately surrounding the café, which may be used for outside seating. Having a café or restaurant in the park is a big plus for the large and diverse community with its large number of residential buildings, UN visitors and employees.

Hard copies of he RFP can be obtained, free, through March 11, 2022 by contacting Phylicia Murray, Project Manager at 212 360-3407 or at The RFP is also available for download through March 11, 2022, on the Parks Dept. website: and click on the “Concessions Opportunities at Parks” link. Once you’re logged in, click on the “download” link that appears adjacent to the RFP’s description. For more info or to request to receive the RFP by mail, prospective proposers may contact Phylicia Murray. Note: One Turtle Bay resident would like to see diverse offerings at the new restaurant with foods, holidays, music performances celebrating the diversity of the community and the UN. Another NYer, from outside the community, suggested having flags representing the UN “just like the UN diner on East 49th St. used to have in their window.” That restaurant’s now closed. Remember this is NY and NYers want what they want – and they want “good coffee!” Sounds fair enough, RFP selectors.

Pooch power – The pooch lobby has been heard. Took a lot of barking, but the city has included two options in its latest plans to revamp Ruppert Park at 91st St. in Yorkville, as reported in Patch. The latest plans include an option for a dog run in response to community objections that the first proposal made no provision for play space for Fidos. At a recent CB 8 meeting the Parks Dept. shared the new plans, after having presented the initial vision for the green space in the park in December. The new plan includes all options in the first plan, but with the addition of an “informal” dog run. The addition of the dog run comes after residents argued that a formal dog run deprives the neighborhood of a place for pets and, as quoted from Patch, would “encourage dog owners to hang out in other parts of the park, leading to sanitation issues.”

Opponents of the addition of a dog run said that “the one-acre park should be devoted entirely to children and families rather than dogs, given the Upper East Side’s dearth of green space.” CB 8’s parks committee voted 5-2 to go along with the dog run plan. The full community board will vote next month whether to recommend the dog run option. IMO, dogs don’t cast ballots, but are very much a part of urban life, and giving them a place to run and play bodes well for all.