What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time, TBA was planning our annual meeting and election of Directors, our annual Holiday Party/Toy Drive and even the annual Valentine Party. At this time, we are in the middle of a pandemic and are facing major racial and economic issues.
During these past months, The Turtle Bay Association has continued to meet the concerns of our neighborhood. We are dealing with the closing and then the re-opening of our businesses; with the homeless, protests and crime in our area.
As the pandemic reaches a new phase here in the fall, TBA has started a program of highlighting businesses, restaurants, and institutions on our website pages as they begin to open up — all this at a time when many of the hotels in the area in contrast, are beginning to close for good. The impact on our area doesn’t stop there however. The Vanderbilt Y, facing the possibility of permanently closing itself, entered into a six month contract to establish transitional housing in their building on 47th Street. TBA has received many letters of concern fearing a deterioration of conditions in the neighborhood. To their credit, our elected officials have set up a task force, with TBA being a member, to specifically work to diminish the impact of the homeless on Turtle Bay and the surrounding neighborhoods.
And as you might guess, this great city continues to reinvent itself — pandemic or not — and TBA is still at work keeping up with it all. We continue to monitor the Greater Midtown Rezoning, to make sure large office towers are not permitted in a designated area near our landmarks, Turtle Bay Gardens and Amster Yard. We continue to support the building of the Greenway — a continuous bike and pedestrian pathway along the East River waterfront. Then there is the matter of the 112 missing trees in the Turtle Bay area — with the City’s priorities gone elsewhere — that project is once again on hold. But at the earliest opportunity TBA will be ready to fight for those trees. TBA is still at work keeping up with it all.
The Association is in the final stages of a new and improved website working to increase digital newsletters, membership data and email notices. We should be up and running shortly and will let you know when you can check it out.
We urge all TBA members to stay safe in the next months and to vote in the upcoming General Election on November 3rd.