Manhattan Community Board Six Out In Full Force This Summer
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine (in suit and tie) and a third of CB6 members at Sutton Place Parks Conservancy’s Manhattanhenge Celebration. Photo Credit: Mariana Otalora (IG @marianaotalora_photography) and PhotoUno Photography School (IG@photouno)
As Community Board meetings across the city wind down during the summer, Manhattan Community Board Six (CB6) is using the opportunity to go outside and celebrate the many wonderful corners of our district. On July 12th CB6 members joined Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine in attending the Sutton Place Parks Conservancy’s Manhattanhenge event at Sutton Place Park (see photo above).
CB6 started August with our yearly participation in National Night Out. We thank our local Community Councils for the 13th and 17th police Precincts for their tireless work in organizing the festivities. We hope you were able to stop by and say hello. September will be here before we know it, and that means our regular schedule of meetings will resume. In the meantime, CB6 will enjoy getting outside to say hello to all the wonderful residents of our beloved Manhattan Community District 6!
CB6 Members Neil Barclay, Mike Devereaux, Rupal Kakkad, Brian Van Nieuwenhoven, and Jerry Weinstein (left to right) at the NYPD 13th Precinct National Night Out!
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Receives $4 Million from Council Member Powers
Three cheers for $4 million in capital funding for Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. Front row, from left to right: Robert Soret, Jean Dugan, Michael Patrizio, Sherrill Kazan, Council Member Keith Powers, Elisa Devito, Kim Baker, Bob Stinson, and Harriet Galvin. Back row from left to right: Andrew Horowitz, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Manhattan Borough Commissioner Anthony Perez, and Manhattan Community Board Six Environment & Parks Committee Chair Neil Barclay. Photo Credit: New York City Council Staff Photographer Emil Cohen
Three years ago, Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza reached out to CB6 Chair Kyle Athayde regarding long needed repairs and requests, which had caused the plaza to fall into disrepair. Within months, CB6 was able to install LED lighting, and worked with the 17th precinct to rid the area of hypodermic needles, and to increase safety. Through continued advocacy and monitoring of plaza conditions over the past three years, we are pleased to celebrate the recent announcement of $4 million in capital funding from the Mayor and Council Member Keith Powers for the reconstruction of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. This is the result of the longtime advocacy of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and Community Board 6, and could not have been possible without the leadership of Council Member Powers – special thanks to him and his staff for this momentous achievement!
Population Capacity Crisis at Animal Shelters: How You Can Help
Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC), the city’s only open admission shelter, is facing crisis level population capacity in all their care centers. They have run out of space; they have animals in all nooks and crannies of each facility. Staff and Volunteers are doing all that they can to make each animal’s stay with us as best as possible, but they still need help.
This is how you can help:
- ACC is kicking off a promotion to engage the community looking to open their homes to new pets! Their Summer 2023 – “No Vacancy” promo – adoption fees will be $5.00 for large dogs and adult cats. You can find ACC’s adoption app here: www.nycacc.app
- Food Drive – One of the easiest ways to help ACC during this crisis time. They need more food and supplies than ever! These items are also necessary to help with surrender prevention, there is no better way to reduce population in the shelters than allowing folks the opportunity to keep their pets! You can assist by checking out their Cuddly Wish list which will have items sent directly to their Care Centers. If you have unopened, unexpired DRY dog and cat food, that can also be dropped off directly at any of their Care Centers.
- Manhattan Care Center – https://cuddly.com/pantry/4908079/acc-of-nyc-manhattan
- Brooklyn Care Center – https://cuddly.com/pantry/4908081/acc-of-nyc-brooklyn
- Staten Island Care Center – https://cuddly.com/pantry/4908082/acc-of-nyc-staten-island
By taking quick action, you can help make a difference during this time of crisis and make a new 4-legged friend.
Keeping Cool This Summer
Are you feeling the heat? Here are some ways you can help keep yourself cool this summer:
- When the weather is particularly hot, cooling centers will be activated throughout New York City, including in our district. If you can’t keep cool in your apartment, keep an eye out for cooling center locations.
- Even when cooling centers aren’t activated, the City has put out a map of all the places to cool off outside. This interactive map shows parks that have shade, outdoor pools, and water fountains. There are even places to cool off in our district, such as the Asser Levy Pool, the newly reconstructed Bellevue South Park, and St. Vartan Park! View the map here.
If you are a homeowner who doesn’t have air conditioning because you can’t afford it, you may want to consider applying for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). HEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills. Learn more about HEAP here.
Don’t Forget to Check the Air Quality!
As we all know, at various points this summer we have contended with poor air quality coming from wildfire smoke in Canada.
Before heading out, don’t forget to check the air quality! Go to https://fire.airnow.gov/ to see what the air quality is like near you.
CB6 Gets Things Done
CB6 was informed that two large buildings in Kips Bay were not receiving mail from the United States Postal Service (USPS). Between these two buildings, hundreds of district residents were affected by unreliable mail service, which therefore also impacts someone’s ability to get critical things like bills and prescriptions.
When we learned about each of these issues, CB6 reached out to our contacts at the USPS about them. By doing that, the USPS was able to figure out why there were mail delivery issues, so that they could get resolved. Because of that, residents of both buildings are now getting their mail on time again, meaning that the aforementioned bills and prescriptions are coming in a more timely manner!
How to Learn About Construction in Our Neighborhood
Sometimes, you might wonder: “What’s going on with this construction near where I live (or work)?”
If you’re wondering, you may want to look up the “Building on My Block” page on the NYC Department of Buildings website. This page will help you look up new building construction, upcoming demolitions, major alterations to nearby buildings, and more! You can visit this page here. NOTE: When you visit the page, you might get an initial message saying that the request is being processed; give it a few seconds for the page to load, and if the page doesn’t load, then refresh the page.
If you are not able to come to this info session, worry not–there are other opportunities to learn about programs for various fare discounts! The MTA and their partners in city government will be conducting in-person outreach at several “hub” locations throughout New York City, including at 3rd Avenue and East 31st Street in front of the Kips Bay Library. This will happen from August 14th to September 10th. Additionally, on August 15th at 4 PM, there will be a Transit Talk with MTA leadership at this location.
New York City will have Open Streets in all five boroughs this summer! These Open Streets, when available, provide pedestrians and cyclists alike more room to enjoy their public space. Learn more about the different Open Streets this summer by clicking on the image above! One of the Open Streets will be much of Park Avenue, a part of which is in Manhattan Community District 6.
Updates on Proposed City of Yes Zoning Text Amendments
The Mayor’s City of Yes initiative seeks to amend zoning rules to help the City recover more quickly from the pandemic, to create a greener city, to support small business growth, and to incentivize the creation of housing, at all levels, in all New York City neighborhoods. There are three proposed zoning text amendments that would be part of this initiative:
aims to modernize the zoning regulations in support of the City’s climate goals. The changes would focus on supporting a renewable energy grid, making our buildings clean and efficient, support for electric vehicle charging and micro-mobility options, and reducing waste and storm water. The text amendment was formally presented to the New York City Planning Commission on April 24th (you can view the video here), and is now in the public review process. The matter was heard at the May 22nd meeting of the Land Use & Waterfront Committee. The committee decided to vote favorably on Zoning for Carbon Neutrality, and a corresponding resolution on this Text Amendment passed our June Full Board meeting. You can find the resolution here.
is focused on providing small businesses with the flexibility needed for them to change and grow, especially as the city recovers from the pandemic. The proposals would remove certain limitations on small businesses and ensure that our storefronts are occupied, and our neighborhoods remain lively spaces. This proposal had a public information session in June 13th and another on July 11th. You can listen to a YouTube video from the June 13th session here and from the July 11th session here.
is a direct response to our City’s housing crisis. This text amendment seeks to ensure that every neighborhood does its part to help meet housing needs and provide equitable access to housing for all New Yorkers.
To learn more about City of Yes, visit the Department of City Planning’s website
Skip the Stuff: Restrictions on Providing Utensils, Condiments, Napkins and Containers
Effective now, New York City food service establishments* providing take-out and delivery service must comply with these restrictions:
- Do not provide utensils, condiment packets, napkins, or extra containers to take-out or delivery customers, unless requested by the customer.
- Your online ordering and delivery apps must be set to a default of not providing these items. You must provide customers with the option to request these items only if you offer them.
- Delivery and courier services may not provide these items unless such items are requested by the customer.
*These restrictions do not apply to self-serve stations inside a food service establishment.
For more details on the regulations, and enforcement of the regulations, please visit the Department of Sanitation’s website.
How to Visit NYC Cultural Institutions for Free
Do you want to visit NYC Cultural Institutions for free? If so, you can get a Culture Pass! If you have a library card from the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens Public Library, or New York Public Library, you can reserve a Culture Pass so that you can visit 80+ cultural institutions in NYC for free.
Learn more about the Culture Pass here.
New York City’s Free Summer Meals Program
Breakfasts and lunches are available beyond the instructional school year. The Summer Meals Program is available throughout New York City to anyone ages 18 years old and under. Designated public schools, community pool centers, parks, and food trucks will be open for service. No registration, documentation, or ID is necessary to receive a free breakfast or lunch meal.
This service will continue until Friday, September 1st.
There are currently two participating sites for this program in Manhattan Community District 6: The American Sign Language and English Secondary School at 223 East 23rd Street, and the Asser Levy Pool at 392 Asser Levy Place at East 23rd Street.
Visit the NYC Department of Education’s website for more information on the program.
Effective August 6th, toll hikes will come into effect at MTA Bridges and Tunnels. And, effective August 20th, fare hikes will come into effect for MTA buses, subways, and commuter railroads. Of note are the increase in the base fare for subways, paratransit, and local buses from $2.75 to $2.90; the increase in the 7-day unlimited pass from $33 to $34; and the increase in the cost of the 30-day unlimited ride from $127 to $132. Find all the details about the fare hikes here.
How to Support Asylum Seekers:
Are you wondering how to support asylum seekers coming to New York City? If so, check out the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs website, which goes into detail on where help is needed for asylum seekers right now, and which donations are most needed.
Newsletter for East Side Coastal Resiliency Project:
In recent weeks, the 2023 First and Second Quarter Newsletter for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project was released. You can find the newsletter here.
Implementation of pedestrian safety improvements to Second Avenue between East 30th and East 33rd Streets:
This fall, the New York City Department of Transportation is scheduled to implement pedestrian safety improvements on Second Avenue between East 30th and East 33rd Streets, including widening the concrete median, moving the existing Citi Bike station on the east side of the median to the west side of the median, and replacing the channelization and vertical plastic barriers at East 30th Street with a concrete median tip extension. CB6 received a presentation on this project in March 2020, which may be viewed here. Minutes of the March 2020 Transportation Committee meeting may be viewed here.