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Central Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, January 3, 2001


The Arsenal Gallery was a theatre for dramatic public process December 19, when over 100 current and would-be concessionaires packed into folding chairs. A table of nine managers, inspectors and representatives from Revenue unsealed 338 envelopes and read their contents to the crowd.

Concessionaires, their bids expired, sought to renew contracts with Parks and in some cases add to their roster of concessions. First time seekers also placed bids for pushcart and mobile truck stations. At 11:00 am, applications, bids and money orders were due at the Gallery. Then, according, to stipulations in the City Charter, these were publicly opened and their contents reviewed. The highest bidder for each site left the opening assured that his or her bid will be the first to receive an executive summary.

The hottest spots for concessions, attracting the most bids and at the highest prices were as follows: the Prospect Park Parade Playground in Brooklyn, Seton Park in the Bronx, Central Park at 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue south of the Metropolitan Museum steps in Manhattan, Wolf's Pond Park at Carnelia Avenue in Staten Island, and Flushing Meadows Corona Park near the Fountain of the Planets in Queens. The number of bids for each property ranged from 1 to 8. Concessionaires placed bids between the $600 minimum and $200,000 for the first year's rent of their sites.

2 to 3 times a year a citywide request for bids is issued two months in advance of the bid. Then the opening is held at the Arsenal, or often at the Zoo Auditorium or the Chess and Checkers House. This opening was organized with great help from the Arsenal Maintenance staff.

Presiding over the event were Assistant Director of Revenue Mark (Punchline) Feinstein, Project Managers Rebecca (Skogan) DeMarinis, Vincent Scotto, Richard (Meadowland) Sedlisky, Jeffrey (Stats) Shatz, and Paul (Cutlass) Tierno, Inspectors Liz (Kitty Kat) Rodriguez and Matthew Sheridan; and Accountants Rimma (Collector) Yukelis, Michael Kaplan, and Martha Dinler.

Without concessions, parkgoers would be thirsty, hungry, and cranky. Urban delicacies like hot dogs and knishes might well fade into historical memory, likewise an outlet for the New York entrepreneur.


In an unlikely Parks location, Personnel Analysts were present at the birth of a baby pigeon. Michael (Albino Raccoon) Szuflita first noticed a mother pigeon with a stalk of broom straw in her beak, atop a windowsill in Arsenal West. "We thought the bird was taking broom straw out of the room to build a nest, but tucked in the corner was nest construction in action." Then, on a Monday morning, Michael spotted the baby pigeon, (Park Name, Percy,) emerging from his cracked shell in the closet of the men's bathroom. The mother and son pair settled in for ten more days and recently flew away into the wilderness of Midtown Manhattan.

(Tuesday, January 5, 1988)


The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx has received a New York State $110,000 Environmental Quality Bond Act (EQBA) grant to rehabilitate the historic Carriage House. Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Parks Administrator Paul C. Berizzi announced.

The Parks Department has committed $50,000 in capital funds to provide electrical service to the Carriage House. The International Garden Club, an historic preservation organization which has operated the Bartow-Pell Mansion since 1914, has raised $150,000 from the Astor, Dana Goelet and Hearst Foundations and individual donors to restore the Carriage House.


"What's great about this country is that America
started the tradition where the richest consumers
buy essentially the same things as the poorest."

Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

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