Post tagged with


After Closing Scare, Creative Little Garden Turns Over New Leaf

Steve RoseMelvin Felix Steve Rose in the garden.

On May 26, less than three weeks after the Creative Little Garden was touted as the best community garden in the city by readers of the Daily News, a message appeared on the garden’s Facebook page: “Without new volunteers our garden may close at the end of this summer.”

For the past five years, Steve Rose, a “semi-retired” 62-year-old resident of the block, has opened the garden’s green gates every morning at 11 a.m and watered its azaleas, hydrangeas and ferns. He closes the park at sundown — to prevent vagrants or late-night partiers from entering — and when it’s used for events: 14 weddings were held at the Creative Little Garden last year, and a “Saturday Night Live” skit was filmed there. But earlier this summer, Mr. Rose decided he would no longer be involved with the garden, citing personal reasons he did not want to discuss on the record.

Most East Village gardens are run in a communal fashion, meaning the loss of one member wouldn’t bring on a closing scare. But Mr. Rose runs the garden if not with an iron fist, then with a very green thumb. “The good thing about our garden is that it’s run by one guy,” he said. “That’s why it looks the way it does. It’s not a whole bunch of people complaining and compromising — which is most gardens, where it gets political. I sort of became the dictator and did everything when no one else did and it just worked out easily that way.”

Mr. Rose did get assistance from Ron Curtis, a friend who built the garden’s 66 birdhouses and has been involved with it since it opened in 1978. But Mr. Curtis wasn’t an ideal replacement, since he travels constantly. (This summer, he’s in Nova Scotia.) Read more…

Suggestions for Bike-Share Locations Just Keep Rolling In

CB3 community planning bike shareKathryn Doyle

At a planning workshop on Monday night, the Department of Transportation asked residents of the East Village and Lower East Side to help it pare down a glut of suggestions about where it should place bicycles when it debuts its bike-share program this summer – but by the end of the session, its map had only grown denser with recommendations.

At the workshop, sponsored in part by the program’s operator, Alta Bicycle Share – which has launched similar programs in Boston, Montreal, and Washington, D.C. – the department unveiled a map in which its own preferences for kiosk locations were marked in blue and the suggestions of local business owners were marked in purple. The department had divided the map into 1,000-square-foot quadrants. By May, it hopes to decide where each kiosk will be placed – about one per every quadrant, or roughly one every four blocks.

With a multitude of suggested locations and just 600 stations planned in an area that includes Manhattan south of 79th Street and parts of Brooklyn plus satellite locations in the Bronx and Staten Island, the department asked residents to help it identify the worthiest locations and eliminate others. But the workshop’s couple dozen participants didn’t do much to narrow things down. Read more…