Letters to the editor, Sept. 19

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

City’s plan will hurt Stuy Cove

In response to the ad in the September 5 issue of T&V, the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association received a number of comments and questions. The following letter has been sent to elected representatives in Washington, Albany and New York. The SCPA thanks to all those who took the time to contact them.

On Monday, October 21, the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association will hold its annual Friends of Stuyvesant Cove Park meeting. The meeting will take place at the Stuyvesant Town Community Center, located at 449 East 16th Street. Among our agenda items is the planned razing of Stuyvesant Cove Park as part of the East Coast Resiliency Project.

It is the opinion of this body that the planned destruction and modification of the park, a project estimated to deprive the community use of the park for two years or more, will do nothing to prevent flooding in Stuyvesant Cove Park in the future. In addition, despite the surge in 2012, regular park-goers observed that within months, most of the flora was alive and well, with only a few exceptions, and within six months, you would not know anything had happened. All this in spite of the fact that the park had been under four feet of river water.

We understand that funds are being provided by the federal government. However, spending money simply because it is available should not be confused with justification and we are in total disagreement with the city’s decision to choose years of construction, hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and no discernible new protections for the park itself. Moreover, Stuyvesant Cove Park’s natural resiliency in the wake of Hurricane Sandy proves that this is an ill-conceived over reaction to this event.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Stuyvesant Cove concerts canceled, here’s why

The John Colianni Quintet performing at Stuyvesant Cove Park

By Jo-Ann Polise, event organizer for the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association

After more than a dozen years the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association will not be sponsoring the free concert series at Stuyvesant Cove Park this summer. The cancellation, first announced in an e-mail sent out to Friends of Stuyvesant Cove Park on April 4, prompted many to respond with expressions of sadness and disappointment over the decision as well as praise and appreciation for seasons past.

The series cancellation was not due to funds being cut; Councilmember Keith Powers, like his predecessor, had made discretionary funds available to the organization for the program. However, the process of applying for the funds and the additional work required to receive payment of the funds has, over the years, become much too complicated and time consuming for an all-volunteer organization.

Additionally, the SCPA had been notified that its arrangement with Solar 1 was changing. In addition to paying a fee to Solar 1 for each event held at the Park, the SCPA would also have to purchase their own insurance to cover future events. This additional expense would undoubtedly result in a reduction in the number of concerts.

Unlike some organizations that have dedicated, paid staff to handle grant applications, the SCPA consists of members of the community who donate their time for the love of the Park.

Continue reading

Letters to the Editor, Mar. 30

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Making Stuyvesant Cove flourish

Re: “Spring is here: The proof is in the park,” T&V, Mar. 23

Kudos to Liza Mindemann, park manager at Stuyvesant Cove Park, for her work at the park and her T&V article about the park. And our thanks to her for mentioning that the park exists today because of sustained community advocacy.

Members of our community, some now gone, led the fight that succeeded in defeating the planned over-development that would have blocked access to the waterfront. It is so easy for this effort to be forgotten when area populations and demographics change as much as our neighborhood has over the last several decades.

Many people know the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association as the group responsible for presenting the free concert series in the park each summer. But the SCPA has a long history of assisting Solar One by recruiting volunteers, purchasing mulch, providing funds to replace plants swept away by Hurricane Sandy or paying for fencing to protect those plants as they took root and established themselves.

Continue reading

Republican Club president running against Kavanagh

Stuyvesant Town resident Frank Scala, also the president of the Albano Republican Club, at  the barber shop he owns, La Scala Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Stuyvesant Town resident Frank Scala, also the president of the Albano Republican Club, at the barber shop he owns, La Scala (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

For Stuyvesant Town resident Frank Scala, this is not his first time running for office in a race as a longshot candidate. In fact, it was just two years ago when Scala, who’s also the president of the Albano Republican Club, entered a race without even trying to win. He was completely inactive, merely giving Republican voters a chance to enter the name of someone from their own party.

This time, he’s running as a candidate for the New York State Assembly, 74th District, against Brian Kavanagh. In the last state election cycle in 2014, Scala ran against State Senator Brad Hoylman.

“Most of the time, people don’t vote for the person, they vote for the party,” said Scala, a native of Sicily, who, after over half a century living in the United States, still has the accent of his homeland intact.

For the past 40 years he’s been a barber at La Scala, a shop he owns, in an office building on Fifth Avenue. Ryant Serhant, a realtor featured on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York,” is a weekly client as are a number of others in show business, Scala said, along with more corporate types.

Overwhelming positive Yelp reviews commend his haircutting style and his providing of a “man’s man” environment, complete with racecar art on the walls and a stash of Playboys to peruse through.

Continue reading

Concerts still running at the Cove

Vocalist Jamie Rae at John Colianni’s first concert this season in June Photos by Jo-Ann Polise/Stuyvesant Cove Park Association)

Vocalist Jamie Rae at John Colianni’s first concert this season in June (Photo by Jo-Ann Polise)

In what has become an annual tradition at Stuyvesant Cove Park, a series of free concerts that kicked off at the end of June is still in full swing.

The concerts include a variety of music styles including swing, jazz, blues and bluegrass as well as an upcoming evening of traditional Irish music and dance.

Performers include John Colianni, the Rutkowski Family Trio, Sean Mahony and David Hershey-Webb. New to the roster are Jason Green and The Labor of Love, New Harvest and Niall O’Leary and friends.

On Mon., July 27 at 6:30-8 p.m., Niall O’Leary & Friends will bring accordion, bodhran and spoons for an evening of traditional Irish music and dance. Rain date is July 28.

On Saturday, August 1 from 7-8 p.m., folk dancing with Christine Meyerson, no experience necessary. Rain date is Aug. 2.

The series is organized by the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association. For more information, visit the Association’s website.

Investing in Stuyvesant Cove Park and planning for the community

Four members of the John Colianni Quintet at a previous concert at the Cove (Photo courtesy of Stuyvesant Cove Park Association)

Four members of the John Colianni Quintet at a previous concert at the Cove (Photo courtesy of Stuyvesant Cove Park Association)

By Jo-Ann Polise

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association is stepping up again this year to help improve conditions at Stuyvesant Cove and to lure area residents to the river with a series of free outdoor concerts.

The concerts are offered free of charge to all and include a variety of styles including swing, jazz, blues and bluegrass as well as an evening of traditional Irish music and dance.

Plans for the annual series begin in March and among this year’s musicians are several past performers including John Colianni, the Rutkowski Family Trio, Sean Mahony and David Hershey-Webb. New to the roster are Jason Green and The Labor of Love, New Harvest and Niall O’Leary and friends.

I serve on the board of The SCPA and am the coordinator for the annual concert series. I met Jason Green when I went to hear another artist perform at an East Village restaurant. I spoke to the guitarist during the break and Jason Green and The Labor of Love will be opening the concert series later this month. In a similar fashion, fiddle player Clarence Ferrari was part of a group that performed last year and will be performing country and bluegrass with New Harvest in July.

Continue reading

Outdoor concerts taking place this week

Several free, outdoor concerts are scheduled for this week. Read on for details.

The Rutkowski Trio at a concert last year at Stuyvesant Cove Park

The Rutkowski Family Trio at a concert last year at Stuyvesant Cove Park

The Stuyvesant Cove Park Association 2014 Concert Series continues with Paul Sachs, Amy Allison and Dave Murphy on Monday, July 21 from 6:30-8 p.m. Rain date is July 22. Later in the week on Wednesday, July 23, the Rutkowski Family Trio (pictured), joined by friends and vocalist Lisa Gary, will perform a repertoire of traditional jazz from 7-8 p.m. The rain date is Thursday, July 24. All concerts in the series are free and take place in the park at 23rd Street and the East River.

 

IMG_1203

Better Than Ezra

Music on the Oval has returned to Stuyvesant Town. All ST/PCV residents and their guests are invited to attend two concerts on Wed., July 23 and Thurs., July 24 at 6 p.m. both evenings. On July 23, Better Than Ezra will perform. Big Wake will open the show. On July 24, Ed Kowalczyk will perform. Sylvana Joyce + The Moment will open.

 

Jon Cleary

Jon Cleary

The Madison Square Park Conservancy presents Mad Sq. Music: Oval Lawn Series, featuring award-winning performers in a range of genres  such as jazz, soul, R&B, funk, folk, world, Americana, and bluegrass.  On July 23 from 7-8:30 p.m. Jon Cleary will perform. Concerts take place on the Oval Lawn of Madison Square Park.

 

Waterside Plaza will conclude its summer concert series, “Music Under the Stars” with a performance by Nu D’lux on July 23 at 7 p.m. There will be a beer and wine bar, with snacks available at the concession stand or hardier fare at the Robbins Nest cafe. Seating is limited. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome.

For information on even more concerts and other events taking place in the community, see Town & Village’s Around & About page. For information on free events taking place this week throughout the city, see Cutting Corners.