Gilbert Ramirez Park
The Daily Plant : Tuesday, April 23, 2002
AN IMPORTANT LESSON LEARNED AT JUSTICE GILBERT RAMIREZ PARK
The message was clear last Wednesday— anything is possible. On April 17, the ribbon was cut at the newly renamed Justice Gilbert Ramirez Park in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. First and foremost, the admirers of Justice Ramirez gathered at the park to praise his accomplishments as a judge. His physical setbacks, his blindness and small body frame were just some of the hardships he faced in his life and his career.
Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Julius Spiegel was joined by City Clerk Victor L. Robles, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Carlos Ortiz, a former law clerk to Ramirez, and Ramirez’s daughter Diana to cut the ribbon after a $1.5 million renovation. The park, opened in 1936, was originally named McKibben Park after the street on which it is located. The accomplished judge’s legacy lives on in the memories of his friends and family, as well as in Justice Gilbert Ramirez Park.
The theme of the park, the city’s subway system, is appropriate given the subway lines that run beneath the site. The playground features subway entrances and exits, there’s a subway token in the ground that’s "Good for One Play," and a steel panel fences depict neighborhood scenes. The entire park was updated with new play equipment and safety surfacing, handball courts, 1½ basketball courts, water service with a spray shower and drinking fountain, musical chimes, game tables, and a north arrow compass and flagpole.
Justice Gilbert Ramirez was born in Puerto Rico and became the first Puerto Rican elected to the New York State Assembly in 1965. After a few years in the State Assembly, Ramirez was appointed to the Family Court Bench and in 1975 he was elected to the State Supreme Court. He was an active and vocal member of the East Williamsburg/ Bushwick sections of Brooklyn. He was a leader in the Latino community for his professional achievements, attending Brooklyn Law School not only blind, but also Puerto Rican and therefore a minority.
Each of the distinguished guests spoke to the 30 public school children that attended the ribbon cutting. The resounding message, that anything is possible, was meant to inspire and encourage the children. The purpose of the park is that children learn from Gilbert Ramirez’s life (and also to provide some good and safe fun).
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Tuesday, April 30, 1989)
RECREATION TO HOLD U.S. YOUTH GAMES TRYOUTS
Parks has begun tryouts for the annual United States Youth Games, which will be held from Monday, August 7 through Sunday, August 13, in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Games are a major competitive sports event for boys and girls between the ages of nine and fifteen. Originally called the Eastern Sports Festival, the first Games took place in 1966 and included teams from New York City, Boston and Washington D.C.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired;
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:"
(April 23, 1564–1616)