East River Esplanade

The Daily Plant : Monday, February 10, 2003


The following individuals were awarded Employee of the Month for January on February 3, 2003.

Rodney Collazo is Citywide Services’ Employee of the Month.

Rodney is an Associate Urban Park Ranger and has been with Parks since September 13, 1993. He started with Central Communications and stood out for his ability to handle complaints and emergency situations. Currently a Sergeant in Manhattan, Rodney spends most of his time in the highly visible Riverside Park, addressing issues such as homelessness and dogs off leash, while overseeing the security contract for Riverside South. On multiple occasions he and his officers have pulled patrons to safety from the Hudson River. Sgt. Collazzo has developed excellent working relationships with NYPD and M&O, and has assisted with security issues at 5-Boro. An enthusiastic and dedicated Parkie, Rodney was nominated by Inspector Richard Gentles and Chief Alex Brash.

Ines Santana is Management’s Employee of the Month.

Ines began with Parks on August 4, 1999 and was promoted last year to Supervisor of the Contracts Unit at Purchasing and Accounting. Ines oversees bids, registration, and invoice payments, and helps monitor 100 formal contracts totaling over $16 million per year in areas as diverse as forestry, trades, stadia, and automotive. She has taken on a critical role in implementing our new $1 million USDA funded contract for chipping host material for the Asian Long Horn Beetle. Ines has a BA in International Affairs from Hunter College and is working on her Masters degree in Public Affairs at Baruch College. She was nominated by Chief of Management Services Parmod Tripathi.

Amy T. Taylor is the Manhattan Employee of the Month.

Amy is a WEP Crew Chief and has been with Parks since June 27, 1995. She began with the Work Experience Program (WEP) and was hired as a CPW for District 15, East River Esplanade. Amy proved to be so reliable and hard working that she was promoted to Crew Chief for the busy Tompkins Square Park. Amy and her crew keep the park and playgrounds clean and secure each day. The acceptable cleanliness rating for District 3 is 91.2% in the last year. For the past two summers Amy has also served as Pool Supervisor for Dry Dock Pool. Amy is kind and courteous to Parks patrons as well as her fellow Parkies. For her positive attitude and good work, Amy was nominated by PRM Elaine Crowley.

Venice A. Smith is the Queens Employee of the Month.

Venice is a CPW in District 8 and has been with Parks since March 17, 1975. Working with the mobile and trim crews, Venice helps keep numerous playgrounds and parks clean and beautiful. Her trim crew was responsible for all of the trimming in the district last summer. Venice also operates a snowplow, has acted as a WEP Crew Chief, and was stepped up to seasonal APSW to drive heavy equipment such as packers, leaf vacuums, and rack trucks. District 8 has received a 92% acceptable cleanliness rating in the last year. In addition, Venice assists with all special events at Cunningham Park, and works with volunteer groups. Responsible and independent, Venice was nominated by SPMO James P. Rooney.

Patrick De Cicco is the Staten Island Employee of the Month.

Patrick is a Letterer and has been with Parks since August 20, 1984. A talented sign maker, Patrick prepares most of the silkscreen signs and banners posted throughout Staten Island. He has designed a large number of signs, and has worked with all parts of the borough on special projects and events. Patrick takes pride in his work, ensuring that signs are sharp, correct and aesthetically pleasing. For his skill and service to Staten Island, Patrick was nominated by Deputy Chief of Operations Christine Rumpf.


By Hannah Gersen

Here’s a second look at Washington Square Park from Mary McCarthy’s The Group, published in 1954.

"She left a message: ‘Miss Renfrew is waiting in Washington Square, on a bench.’ Going back to the square, she was sorry she had left the message, because, after that, she did not dare annoy the landlady by calling back again. It now seemed strange to her that Dick had not rung her up at the Vassar Club, just to say hello, in the two and a half days that had passed since she left him. She considered calling there, to ask if there were any messages for her…the park was getting dark, and the benches were filling up with pairs of lovers. It was after nine o’clock when she resolved to leave because men had started to accost her and a policeman had stared at her curiously."


"The human species, according to the best theory I can form of it,

is composed of two distinct races, the men who borrow and the men who lend."

Charles Lamb

(February 10, 1775-1834)

Park Information

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