Just like mr. Anderton and others, she believed that this infringement of Mr. Ali’s intent was linked to Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to dismantle the city’s homeless camps, which the parks department denies. Either way, the Adams administration seems to be waging an indiscriminate war on the aesthetically unpleasant people, tampering with the possessions of the poor, but neglecting the graphitized and decaying plywood granaries with a similar sense of urgency.
At first Mrs. Davis was also shocked by the tents, but that impression did not last. “When I saw the engagement,” she told me, it was just lovely. The city must expand on what he founded, not take away. Health and fitness should be number 1 in this community.” The park spans East and Central Harlem, where childhood asthma rates are more than twice that of the rest of the city, and the obesity rate is also above average.
While real estate prices in this part of Manhattan have skyrocketed in recent years — earlier this month a mansion near the park set a record and closed at $6.4 million — Marcus Garvey hasn’t been on the receiving end of massive amounts of capital. , whether public or private, which could restore it to its former glory. Conservationists managed to secure nearly $8 million in city funding for the renovation of a historically significant watchtower in the park, which was completed three years ago. And while other improvements have been made, Marcus Garvey looks like a park that has been largely ignored.
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Ali visits Connie Lee, an influential supporter who chaired the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance for six years and is now a member of the local community council. Ideally, the city would create a state-of-the-art outdoor gym in the park so that Mr. Ali wouldn’t be needed. “Mel” — as Ms. Lee and others call him — “and all the men who work out in the park have set a good example by setting a tone for inclusivity and inviting everyone to be a part of the fitness community,” wrote she me. the next day. “Marcus Garvey is a culturally significant public space that Mel contributes to every day.”
Ms. Lee said that during her tenure with the alliance, she campaigned for a master plan for the park that would lead to rehabilitation. To start with, there were too few bathrooms. The cost would add up to about $35 million, she estimated, but raising even half of that philanthropic was an unlikely proposition in a place where there weren’t hordes of people writing huge checks, like in Central Park, for example. Some major companies had offered to donate money to the park, but wanted branding opportunities in return.
Bureaucracies always have a way of explaining away inequalities, but it was hard to overlook the fact that just days after Ali’s outfit was dismantled, the city’s largest rooftop park opened at Pier 57 on the Hudson River, near West 15th Street and adjacent to Extraordinary Riches. The pier will also house Google offices. When I asked the parks department what would happen next regarding Mr. Ali, a spokeswoman, Crystal Howard, offered the following: “Our priority here has always been to ensure a clean and safe park accessible to all its users. We are grateful to the community advocates who helped bridge a conversation between Parks and Mr Ali, and look forward to finalizing the resolution of this matter.”
Essential to his theories of landscaping, Frederick Law Olmsted famously stated, “Service must precede art.” For too long, in parks far from the eyes of the ruling class, those in power have given neither priority.