Letters to the editor, Aug. 24

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Keep park goers safe, prune the trees

The following is an open letter to William T. Castro, Manhattan Borough Commissioner of Parks, from Michael Alcamo, executive director of friends of Stuyvesant Square Park: Alcamo sent the letter a day after an oversized tree fell in Central Park, injuring a woman and her three children.

Dear Commissioner Castro:

We are writing to ask for a review of the tree safety and lighting conditions in Stuyvesant Square Park. Due to the wet weather this spring, and the recent hot, sunny days, trees in the western park are flourishing. We normally view this laudable; however, several trees are now obscuring lamp posts in the western park fountain plaza.

Neighbors have recently remarked how dark the park can be after sunset. With the shorter days approaching, we wish to bring this to your attention and ask for your assistance proactively.

The two lamp posts in question are in the northeast corner and the southwest corner of the fountain plaza. In the evening, the lamp posts barely cast any light into the fountain plaza, much less the surrounding areas of the park.

We wish to ask that in the interest of safety, a pruning crew visit the park and trim these trees of low-hanging branches. Secondly, we wish to ask the Parks Department to conduct a tree safety audit of all of the lighting and tree branches in Stuyvesant Square Park, in order to prevent crime and ensure that there are no injuries from falling tree branches.

Thank you and kind regards,

Michael Alcamo, director,
Friends of Stuyvesant Square Park

Traveling in time while staying local

Re: “Weekly historic tours bring Flatiron District’s past back to life,” T&V, Aug. 10

Last Sunday, I took guide Miriam Berman’s free, historic walking tour of the Flatiron District. I have taken a lot of walking tours over the years and, without doubt, hers was one of the best I have ever been on. Her enthusiasm was so infectious and she was so knowledgeable that I can’t recommend this tour highly enough to anyone who is interested in the history of the Flatiron/Madison Square area.

In T&V’s article about Miriam and the tour, it said that walks typically last from 90 minutes to 2 hours, but Miriam will continue if people don’t have to leave for other appointments and want her to. Everyone else on our tour had to leave at a certain point, but a gentleman from Vienna, Austria, and I did not, so Miriam happily continued on for the two of us. We stopped after three hours, but, even then, I’m sure we hadn’t heard all the stories that Miriam had to tell.

A.J. Miller, ST


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