| U.N. Park To
Nations Garden – a favorite Turtle Bay park that’s been closed
to the public for most of the past three years – will reopen
next year, according to U.N. officials.
The park is currently undergoing a massive
$26 million project to upgrade security. Upon completion, now
scheduled for next June, the park will again be available for
neighbors to enjoy.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney presents the
“Best in Show” award to Anthony Fiorentino at the third
annual Lambda Car Club Empire Autorama, one of many events
held in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park this past summer.
Some 40 classic cars were displayed at the June 26th show,
including Anthony’s 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. At left is
Michael Butler, president of Friends of Dag Hammarsjkold
Hollywood ‘Weekends’ in Turtle
By: Terri Heveran
were surprised and curious one weekend last spring to find East
47th Street from First to Second Avenues completely filled with
huge white trailers and trucks, even spilling around the corner
on to Second Avenue, you might have been even more surprised to
learn that they belonged to moviemakers from Universal
Pictures. And that they would be in
the next 15 weekends, producing the first film ever made inside
the United Nations buildings.
|Artist’s rendering of a
new fence to be installed on the First Avenue side of the
U.N., superimposed on a photo to show its relative height.
Shapes of Things to Come
By: Bruce A. Silberblatt
and Second Avenue blocks that pass through Turtle Bay have
remained relatively unchanged in recent years – a lively
streetscape of local eateries, bars, small supermarkets and
retail shops occupying the ground floor of elderly four- or
five-story buildings. To the west, rising like a mighty,
invincible Macedonian phalanx, stand ranks of Midtown office
towers. The pressure for development of these older buildings
has always been great. Now it is more powerful than ever.
Change, for better or worse, is inevitable.
Fun at MacArthur: Youngsters Flock to the Playground
By: Marie-Louise Handal
residents of Turtle Bay have been flocking in record numbers to
MacArthur Playground – a beautiful gem of a park virtually
hidden at the intersection of East 49th Street and the FDR
Drive. Thanks to park volunteers’ continuing efforts to upgrade
and maintain the playground, several hundred children actively
use the park’s facilities on a daily basis. Parks Department
workers, in turn, have responded by keeping the playground
equipment in good working order and planting new trees and
shrubs in the previously fallow tree and flower beds. Each new
renovation seems to attract more and more people. This past
summer, park usage more than doubled from three years ago.
Sunday at Belmont
“off to the races” for 45 Turtle Bay neighbors and friends who
joined in the fun – and betting – at
Sunday, September 26. The outing, sponsored by the Turtle Bay
Association, included bus transportation to and from the track
and a scrumptious “starting gate” brunch in the clubhouse.
However, it seemed that the betting windows were the location of
choice for most of the group. By all reports, no one lost – or
won – much money, but everyone had a great time.
bus arrived back in Turtle Bay in the early evening, more than
one Turtle Bay neighbor was heard to ask, “When can we go
Did You Know?
late 1840’s, Edgar Allen Poe lived in Turtle Bay in a house
facing the East River at approximately 47th Street. He liked to
row out to the small rocky islands just south of Roosevelt
Island (then called Blackwell’s Island) for an afternoon swim.
York’s Turtle Bay Old & New, by Edmund T. Delaney
‘Night Out’ in the Neighborhood
500 neighbors – lots of children among them – gathered in Dag
Hammarskjold Plaza Park Tuesday evening, August 3, to
commemorate the annual “Night Out Against Crime.”
by the 17th Precinct Community Council, the event is an
opportunity to heighten public awareness of the potential for
crime and how to prevent it.
The evening is geared to both adults and
children, but Detective Frank Bogucki of the 17th Precinct says
it’s a particularly good opportunity to introduce children to
some of the ways in which they can protect themselves and help
their neighborhoods as well. And, indeed, “McGruff,” the
crime-fighting dog, mingled with the kids all evening,
presumably passing along safety tips.
‘McGruff,’ the crime-fighting dog, gave advice to even the
tiniest of neighbors.
showed the latest in crime prevention techniques, and Engine
Company 2 joined the gathering, their fire truck proving a big
hit with the kids.
The Mounted Unit was a
big hit with grown-ups and kids alike. Neighbors enjoyed
talking with Police Officers Kevin Davis (left) and Brian
Hogan, who patrol Turtle Bay’s streets and parks on their
speakers were State Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Jonathan
Bing; Deputy Police Commissioner V. James Onalfo, who
represented Mayor Bloomberg; Assistant Chief Bruce Smolka,
commanding officer of Manhattan South; and Deputy Inspector
Michael J. McEnroy, commanding officer of the 17th Precinct.
State Senator Liz
Krueger and Deputy Inspector Michael McEnroy spoke at the
Against Crime” is part of a national effort to strengthen police
and community relations. It’s estimated that more than 30
million people in neighborhoods across the country took part in
this year’s “Night Out” events. In New York alone, there were
“Night Out” celebrations in more than 75 locations.
Turtle Bay’s own Jonathan Bing, state assemblyman, is engaged to
be married to Meredith Ballew, director of development at Wall
Street Rising. After the wedding, Assemblyman Bing and his
bride will continue to live in Turtle Bay.
long-time TBA Board members Francine Mohink and Dick Irwin are
to be married on December 5. Best wishes to both couples!
Kudos to Merchants.
The Turtle Bay Association thanks merchants and office building
employees who watered the tree beds in front of their buildings
along Second Avenue this past summer. While the Doe Fund is
hired to water the trees twice a week, when merchants also take
the time to water, the tree beds can be planted with additional
greenery. TBA noticed these buildings helped out:
Bay Liquors, 855 Second Avenue near 46th Street
Second Avenue just south of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park
Second Avenue, on the corner of 44th Street and Second Avenue.
Schlesinger to Speak at Historical Society.
Former TBA membership chairman Arthur Schlesinger will take part
in a panel discussion, “Alexander Hamilton’s Constitutional
Vision,” on Thursday, November 18, 6:30 p.m., at the New-York
170 Central Park West. Admission $10; $5, for seniors.
Information: 212-873-3400; www.nyhistory.org.
Losses We Mourn.
Neighbors were saddened to learn of the recent sudden death of
Arthur Zucker, a long-time Turtle Bay pharmacist who residents
describe as an extraordinarily caring man always willing to go
out of his way to help his customers. Mr. Zucker, 62, most
recently had been a pharmacist at Duane Reade at 852 Second
neighbor and friend, Mira Noran, died recently. Mira was a
long-time TBA member and volunteer.
TBA Board at Work
following is a summary of some of the issues and activities
addressed at recent TBA Board meetings, as reflected in the
meeting minutes. The TBA:
• continues to work, as a participant in the East Midtown
Coalition for Sensible Development, on two issues of critical
importance to the neighborhood: opposing the sale of Moses Park
to the United Nations without an equivalent park site being
designated in its place, and monitoring the on-going plans for
the development of the Con Edison Waterside site.
• has sponsored or supported various recent neighborhood events,
including the Turtle Bay Street Fair, a performance for children
at MacArthur Playground, the “Night Out Against Crime” event and
Oktoberfest. Upcoming events include the Annual Holiday Toy
Drive scheduled for Sunday, December 12.
• continues its work to beautify the neighborhood through its
Tree Program and support of the Turtle Bay Tree Fund.
working to produce “A Walking Tour of Turtle Bay,” a small
guidebook to be used as a promotional and educational tool for
current and new members.
proposed a resolution renaming the street on which Katharine
Hepburn lived, 49th Street between Second and Third Avenues, as
Katharine Hepburn Way.
Hotline For Non-Emergencies
Want to report a big pot hole on your
corner, a loud noise on your block, or find out if alternate
side of the street parking is in effect?
That’s the Citizen Service Hotline that handles non-emergency
quality-of-life issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Set
up in March 2003, the 311 Hotline is now receiving nearly
700,000 calls a month citywide.
members Ethel Bendove and Denise Hamilton had a chance to try
311 recently, with good results. They recognized that a deep
hole near the curb on the southwest corner of 49th Street and
Second Avenue was a safety hazard, and reported it to the 311
Hotline. Shortly afterward, the hole was repaired. “It’s
turned me into a real supporter of the new 311 line,” says
other reasons to call 311:
• Find out
if alternate side of the street parking is in effect
the local garbage pickup schedule
information on services for the aging
• Report a
loud noise, blocked driveway or disorderly people
• Report a
broken street light
• Give the
Mayor your opinion
about volunteer activities in the neighborhood
remember: Dial 311 for non-emergencies. And, as always, dial
911 for emergencies.
Letter to the Editor
Editor’s Note: The last issue of
the Newsletter reported that City Councilwoman Moskowitz’s
position regarding the transfer of Robert Moses Park for
development of a United Nations office building was contrary to
TBA’s position that Moses Park should not be transferred until
an equivalent neighborhood substitute is open to the public.
While TBA understands the U.N.’s need to renovate its facilities
and fully appreciates the importance of the United Nations both
to the international community as well as to New York City, TBA
believes an esplanade – a bike and walkway built along the east
side of the U.N. property – is not an adequate substitute for
the loss of the Moses park space. TBA has suggested that a
vacant lot at 685 First Avenue, between 39th and 40th Streets
and part of the Con Edison properties that the utility plans to
sell, could be quickly converted to a replacement park.
Councilwoman Moskowitz replies:
EYE on BUSINESS…Featuring
that help make Turtle Bay a special place to live and work
Steven Bridge says his specialty shop – Bridge Kitchenware – is
all about quality and selection, it’s hard to argue. After all,
this is the store where Julia Child bought her omelette pans,
where legendary food critic Craig Claiborne said he found the
best cooking utensils “this side of Paris,” and where today, the
most famous of New York’s celebrated chefs browse for the latest
in gourmet cookware.
Historic Neighborhood Restaurant Closes
Billy’s – Turtle Bay’s oldest restaurant and one of the most
historic in the city – closed at the end of August after a long
financial struggle over the past several years.
restaurant, located at 948 First Avenue near 52nd Street, was
opened in 1870 by the great grandfather of the current owner
years, the pub-like restaurant’s clientele included a virtual
“Who’s Who” of New York society and entertainment. Marilyn
Monroe, Princess Grace of Monaco, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor
and Jackie Kennedy frequented Billy’s. Arthur Schlesinger,
Barbara Walters and Walter Cronkite were fans. And Academy
Award-winning Director Sydney Pollack got Billy’s on the “big
screen” in “The Way We Were” and “Random Hearts.”
Borkowski vows to re-open. “I’ll be back in operation,” she
says. “I’m not going to let a piece of history and my heritage
another long-time Turtle Bay restaurant and a favorite of many
neighbors – The Leopard – closed during the summer. Located at
253 East 50th Street, The Leopard was 40 years old.
Assemblyman Jonathan Bing joined neighbors at the recent
Oktoberfest at the Patio Café in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park.
Sponsored by the TBA and Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, the
fest included plenty of bratwurst and beer, old German tunes and
neighborhood chatter. Here, Bing visits with Elizabeth Grossich
and her daughter Katherine, while husband and dad, Mark Grossich
– owner of the Patio – was busy helping to “serve up” the
by Walt McGovern
CLICK IMAGE FOR A LARGER VERSION
are reminded of jazz performances at Saint Peter’s Church every
Wednesday at 1 p.m. Admission: $5. Saint Peter’s is at Lexington
Avenue and 54th Street. Information: 212-935-2200;
conjunction with its “Mexico Now Festival,” Instituto Cervantes,
211 East 49th Street, will hold panel discussions exploring
Mexican culture and history on November 16 and 17 at 6 p.m. An
art exhibit, “Spanish Contemporary Drawings,” runs from December
14 to January 20. Free admission to both. Information:
Japan Society Exhibit.
The Japan Society Gallery, 333 East 47th Street, is showing
“Shomei Tomatsu: Skin of a Nation,” an exhibit of Tomatsu’s
photographs, through Jan. 2, 2005. Admission: $5; $3 for
seniors. Information: 212-832-1155;
Mark Your Calendar
Precinct Community Council Open Meeting
Tuesday every month,
Except July, August, December
Sutton Place Synagogue
225 East 51st Street
Board 6 Full Board Meeting
Wednesday every month,
550 First Avenue
(between 30th and 31st Streets)
for Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
The World Bar
845 First Avenue at 48th Street
For information, call 212-969-8820
Holiday Toy Drive
Watch your mail for details
Hammarskjold Plaza Park
Letters to the Editor
In our continued efforts to reach out to the community and get
to know you better, we are initiating a “Letters to the Editor”
segment. So write to us,
e-mail us, as we want to hear from
you. And, yes, we do welcome your suggestions.
Discount Directory Changes
New TBA Business Members
between 53rd and 54th Streets
20% discount for TBA members
between 56th and 57th Streets
Turtle Bay Newsletter
Editor: Pamela Hanlon
Contributors: Mary Beierle, Leah Gadlow, Marie-Louise
Handal, Terri Heveran, Olga Hoffmann, Bill Huxley,
Millie Margiotta, Patricia Q. McDougald, Bruce Silberblatt
Cartoonist: Walt McGovern
Photography: Vivian Gordon
Turtle Bay Association
President: William E. Curtis
Vice Presidents: Millie Margiotta, Dolores Marsh,
Treasurer: Francine Mohink
Secretary: Barbara Connolly
Directors: Jed Abrams, Ethel Bendove, Meryl
Brodsky, Michael Butler, Ralph Compagnone, Barbara Connolly,
William E. Curtis, Denise Hamilton, Marie-Louise Handal, Olga
Hoffmann, Bill Huxley, Richard Irwin, Millie Margiotta,
Dolores Marsh, Patricia Q. McDougald,
Francine Mohink, Michael Resnick, Carol Rinzler, Jeannie Sakol,
Helen Shapiro, Bruce Silberblatt, Kirk Swanson
Check the TBA
On the east side of Second Avenue, 48-49th Streets,
on outside wall of the supermarket.