The Daily Plant : Wednesday, June 27, 2001
CITYWIDE TALENT ON VIEW
On Friday, June 8, 2001, the lights dimmed in Lost Battalion Hall's gymnasium. One by one, performers ages 5 to 18 took the stage. Amid a nearly continual rumble of talk, laughter, and song from the peanut gallery, 24 acts, winners of the borough talent shows, entertained the crowd and a panel of judges that included a talent scout, a European Basketball star, and Ms. Teen New York. Emcees Jessica (Maraschino) Cherry and Fernando (Pepsi) Rosa helped generate borough spirit and led the crowd in cheers and waves. The audience enjoyed the show so thoroughly that they booed at intermission.
Performers competed as individuals or with a group. For each, there were three age categories. And the winners were Big Ty from Sorrentinto, Nadia Janni from Manhattan, Ronny Mercedes from Manhattan, Hot Boys from St. James, and Hudson Guild Youth Dance Company. Second place winners were Brianna Cusmano from Staten Island, Linnea Conelli from Staten Island, Dian Sentino from Von King, PAC Break Dancers from Playground for all Children, and St. John's Goodwill's Finest from St. Johns. Each of the winners received gold statues made to resemble Oscars.
The performers' talent has been fostered in garage bands and highschool bands, in recreation centers and afterschool classes. Some of the Parkies who organized the show have also been great coaches, supporters, and artistic directors. Thanks to the borough coordinators, Christine Bilardi, Eileen (Xena) Gillen, Kelly (She-ra) Gillen, Kenya (Volcano) Lewis, Ivan Listhcut, Khadijah (Sweet Talk) McCullars, Divina Moore, and Fernando Rosa. With their hard work, 300 were treated to quality performances, the best our recreation centers offer.
BERRY PLAYGROUND IS RIPE FOR PLAY
With $585,000 from Council Member Victor (Whip) Robles, Berry Playground was whipped into shape for summertime. A basketball court and sprinkler were added. New pavement, fences, and curbs will make the park safer, and the addition of benches and shady trees will make it more comfortable. Also added were a bear surrounded by bayberry shrubs and a colorful cement berry, not as tasty as the spread available at the ribbon cutting on Monday, June 18, but fun to play on nonetheless.
The playground is named for Dr. Abraham J. Berry, a neighborhood hero. He was born in 1799 in New York City and grew up to be Williamsburgh's first mayor. As mayor, he created a ferry system to Manhattan and he dropped the "h" that sat at the end of the name Williamsburg. A trained physician, Dr. Berry was a devoted doctor during the cholera outbreak of 1832 and also in the Civil War. Mayor Berry is remembered in the name of the neighboring street, and the name and design of the playground's 0.3 acres.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, June 29, 1988)
RIVERSIDE PARK ARTS FESTIVAL FEATURES
MUSIC AND DANCE STARTING JULY 1
The free fourth annual Riverside Park Arts Festival, presented by Parks and the Riverside Park Fund in association with Jazz Forum Arts, will bring summer-long dance, classical and contemporary and jazz and ethnic music to New York's longest waterfront park starting Friday, July 1. The festival takes place on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:00 p.m., and Sundays at 4:00 p.m. at the Riverside Park Rotunda near the West 79th Street Boat Basin in Manhattan.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Allmy shows are great. Some of them are bad. But they are all great."
Lew Grade (b. 1906)