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Madison Square Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, December 11, 2002

A WINTER WONDERLAND IN QUEENS: NEW BRIDLE PATH FOR HORSE LOVERS OPENS IN FOREST PARK


It was a perfect winter scene last week in Forest Park: a majestic grey horse pulling a surrey through blankets of sparkling white snow.

Last Thursday, December 5, the ribbon was cut on the new Forest Park Bridle Path. The 4-mile bridle path winds through the 538-acre Queens park and was improved as part of a $1.7 million capital project. On this particular day, New York City was hit with its first winter storm of the season, but Parkies and Queens residents trekked through the fresh snow to show their support for the project.

Though most of the funding for the project was allocated by former Council Member Tom Ognibene, Council Member Dennis Gallagher was there to celebrate the path’s reopening. Council Member Gallagher represents District 30 in Queens which includes the neighborhoods of Middle Village, Glendale, and Ridgewood. Always a supporter of Parks, Gallagher, appropriately, was dressed in a cowboy hat.

Also in their cowboy hats were Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Queens Borough Commissioner Richard Murphy, celebrating the project that re-graded the bridle path and replaced drainage pipes and dry wells. New curb edging and log barrier rails were installed to improve upon the riding experience. Stone screening now covers the path and erosion control bars were also added. Finally, a beautiful mural was painted on a stone bridge over the path.

"This restored bridle path not only improves the riding experience for horse enthusiasts, but it also renews and preserves Forest Park’s surrounding forest," said Commissioner Benepe. "The new bridle path joins the recently reconstructed Sobelsohn Playground, the Carousel, and a host of other recreational facilities located inside this natural treasure."

"The Forest Park Bridle Path is a Queens jewel that many people don’t know exists," said Commissioner Murphy. "With this renovation, we hope the riding public from across the City will come and give it a try—they’ll be thrilled with the conditions."

As the surrey pulled Benepe and Gallagher, along with the Administrator of Forest Park Debby Kuha, down the snowy path, excited attendees walk along the path enjoying the beautiful scene before them. The path will be used by horse lovers from across the City, especially those from Lynn’s Riding School and Dixie Dew Stables. "Ben" and "Jerry," two of Parks’ Mounted Parks Enforcement Patrol horses were able to "test drive" the new and improved bridle path. Despite the cold air and the frozen ground, everyone at the ribbon cutting ceremony was warmed by their enthusiasm for this project and their excitement for the future of horseback riding in Forest Park.

a literary companion to parks

by Hannah Gersen

Before I moved to New York, I fell in love with the idea of living here from reading about it. Guided by my favorite writers, I imagined landmarks like Central Park, Fifth Avenue, the Plaza, Madison Square Park, and Times Square many times before I actually saw them. Now that I live here, I still find reading about New York inspiring—I enjoy seeing what details the author chose to include in their description and what has changed since their writing.

New York’s parks are often included in these literary descriptions and to celebrate this fact, (and to remind you, in these cold winter months, how lovely our parks are) The Daily Plant will periodically run selections from books, movies, poems, and song lyrics.

To start off, I’ve chosen the conclusion to E.B. White’s essay, "Here Is New York," published in 1949.

"...there is an old willow tree that presides over an interior garden. It is a battered tree, long suffering and much-climbed, held together by strands of wire but beloved of those who know it. In a way it symbolizes the city: life under difficulties, growth against odds, sap-rise in the midst of concrete, and the steady reaching for the sun. Whenever I look at it nowadays, and feel the cold shadow of the planes, I think: "This must be saved, this particular thing, this very tree." If it were to go, all would go—this city, this mischievous and marvelous monument which not to look upon would be like death."

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The Devil is easy to identify. He appears when you're terribly tired and makes a very reasonable request which you know you shouldn't grant."


Fiorello La Guardia

(1882-1947)

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