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Love Thy Neighborhood
By Terri Heveran

An annual tradition in Turtle Bay, celebrated yearly with a Valentine party, was extra special this year, with a surprise visit from Mayor Bloomberg! The surroundings at La Maganette were delightful, with tables festooned with heart shaped balloons and garlands of tiny hearts, music by Norman Curtis (of Oktoberfest fame), and a generous buffet.

The first thing the Mayor mentioned was the success of the new 311 phone number for residents to call for non-emergency information, which now handles over 40,000 calls per day in several languages, easing the load for 911. According to the Mayor, the city is cleaner than ever, the homeless are being taken care of, and the public schools rate from A+ to Zero. His administration is working hard on this problem, with some success, though there is much more to be done. Housing prices are rising in all boroughs, including lower Manhattan – a sign that people are not leaving, and some who did are coming back! But we do have budget problems, and he believes the thing to work on is diversifying the city’s economy. At present one third of our revenues come from Wall Street. Virginia Fields spoke about quality-of-life in the city, and praised Turtle Bay for building a community within the neighborhood. Jonathan Bing also complimented us for not being a NIMBY neighborhood!

After the talks everyone mingled and danced to the music, which was perfect for either listening or dancing. Yours truly met and joined two neighbors – after seven years in the same building I finally had a chance to get to know them – a sign of a successful Love Thy Neighborhood Party!

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

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