Monday, September 26, 2016
Part of a community garden reappears 16 years after it was bulldozed
Landscaping aside, work appears to be complete in the long-empty lot between Eastville Gardens and 115 Avenue C (between Eighth Street and Seventh Street)...
Eastville Gardens, the apartment complex whose official address is 342 E. Eighth St., is on the site once occupied by El Jardin de la Esperanza. The 22-year-old garden was bulldozed in February 2000 to make way for the new development, which includes 20 percent affordable housing. (The New York Times weighed in with an editorial on this here.)
The site was the scene of several protests in early 2000. Dozens of people were arrested, as the Times reported.
Some people have said that there was an agreement between the developer, Donald Capoccia of BFC Partners, and local residents that this plot of land would be returned for use as a community garden.
L+M Development Partners bought the 7-story building that includes the Associated for $44 million back in the spring.
In any event, this Sunrise Garden is named for Carmen Pabon... (You can watch a video biography of Pabon here.)
No word at the moment when (or if) this will actually be open to the public (or maybe just Eastville residents?) ... and who was ultimately responsible for making this happen. Capoccia? L+M Development Partners? Local elected officials?
Thanks to Dave on 7th for the photos!
Posted by Grieve at 4:31 AM
Labels: Carmen Pabon, community gardens
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It's hopefully not gonna be some bullshit where it is locked most of the time except those accessing from the building - I can see that.
Gardens are, by their very nature, organic, colorful, slightly messy, and welcoming. This one is sterile, hard-edged, monochromatic and cold - and that right there is the very definition of the old versus the new East Village. I knew Carmen Pabon, and don't think she would recognize this highly-regulated and precisely laid out construction as any kind of garden she had ever seen or worked in.
A note about Jardin d'Esperanza. The garden that was bulldozed was the garden cared for and run people on 7th Street around the corner next to 219 East 7th. On the lot where there was a garden is Eastville Gardens 7th Street. Alicia Torres, her family and neighbors tended to and loved this garden. We all watched as the activists were arrested and the garden bulldozed. There is a great movie about it all by Yael Bitton, NOT FOR SALE. The garden on Avenue C in the photos has been a gated empty lot for many years, and it is still a mystery as to why it was finally made into the garden and if it will be open to the public.
TRULY lipstick on a pig!
31 people were arrested when Esperanza was bulldozed; I was one of the 31. (I also spent the night in jail, and it was my last time—so far—in jail.)
Oh…and for what it's worth, it just occurred to me that the reason this is still a plot of land and not part of the "Eastville Gardens" development—meaning a structure—is that it is the original site of Carmen Pabon's garden.
This garden—and the mural on the building adjacent to it have been preserved "in perpetuity." We'll just have to see if "perpetuity" is longer than "until the building is demolished for an ugly chrome-and-glass tower."
Walk past it after dark and dozens literally dozens of rats are running around the place. It is like scene out of Willard...
Enough! Stop with the negativity. It may have not surpassed everyone's expectations or wishes, but it looks much better now than before.
Amen to that.
True but the rats are an issue like it or not!
I noticed they are keeping outdoor lights on to suppress the rat farm from coming above they need an exterminator with those rents they can afford it.
Thank you anonymous and scuba diva for reminding us of the hard fought battle for that land and the murals that memorialize Loisaida It is amazing how we are living through the rewrite of our own past. What has been created reminds me of the interior of a shopping mall. The narrow walkways allow passage for one at at time. No gatherings. This is the anti-Community Garden. As for the comment that it looks better now. I don't think so. Before -it was a native plant garden. They would mow it down once a year and then it would sprout glorious weeds. All that place needed was t have the sculpture restored and a couple of benches. O yes and the gate opened. Who has the key to that gate?
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