NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza

The Daily Plant : Monday, July 30, 2001


The opening of a new concession-Cafe Blue-places the finishing touch on a renovation several years in process. In roughly four years of work, the role of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza has been changed from a pleasing strip of green to a neighborhood meeting place in which and for which communities organize.

In 1999, Parks assembled a pre-fabricated, greenhouse-style, glass concession space to complete the vision of architect George (Spartan) Vellonakis. Since signing their contract with Parks, Pyramid Coffee, which manages Cafe Blue, has completed $130,000 in capital improvements to the interior. With an elegant menu, comfortable places to rest, and a roster of artists and musicians scheduled to share their work, Cafe Blue creates another reason for the flaneur, the diplomat, the neighborhood parent, and the tourist to use a terrific park. The cafe's outdoor seating, its cuisine, and its friendliness to that most European of animals-dogs-fit nicely into the park's international context; the Plaza enjoys an excellent view of the United Nations.

Also new at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is Ladies of Steel, an exhibit of three sculptures by Judith Peck, curated by Adrian (Sassafras) Sas. Peck's three steel figures will remain sunbathing on the hex blocks next to the Katherine Hepburn Garden for seven months.

At a joint celebration of the cafe and the exhibit on Wednesday, July 25, 2001, Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern observed, "Successful parks offer visitors many reasons to enter and remain. I am pleased to add a fine European Cafe and a new art exhibit to this park's impressive list." He also reminded the owners of Cafe Blue to help keep the park clean over the course of their five-year contract.

Speakers at the opening included Commissioner Stern; Joanne (Greenback) Imohiosen, Assistant Commissioner for Revenue; Adrian (A-Train) Benepe, Manhattan Borough Commissioner; Carmine Izzi, Secretary of Pyramid Coffee; Anne (Lady Slipper) Saxon-Hersh, President of the Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza; and William E. (Turtle Bay) Curtis, President of the Turtle Bay Association.


The week of Monday, July 16, the Stewardship for Young Trees and Adopt-A-Greenstreet Program hosted a series of workshops across the city for citizens interested in caring for greenstreets and street trees. The week of workshops proved to be a huge success; 50 community groups attended, and adopted 25 greenstreets and 600 street trees in all five boroughs.

Stewardship for Young Trees and Adopt-A-Greenstreet was launched in February 2001 by the New York Tree Trust, a joint initiative of Parks and the City Parks Foundation created by Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern in 1994. The Stewardship program is designed to fuse neighborhood and institutional resources according to the model established by Partnerships for Parks. Through the program, community groups receive free tools, horticultural training, and technical support. In return, they water, weed, and clean their urban emeralds on a weekly basis. Those who are interested can work with the Stewardship staff to develop planting plans. In this way, they begin an exciting relationship with Parks that improves the life of New York streetscapes. To date, more than 120 different groups have joined the program, pledging to care for approximately 200 greenstreets and 3,000 street trees.

All community workshops were conducted by Bram (Dogwood) Gunther, Deputy Director of Central Forestry, Jennifer (Treeshop) Greenfeld, Director of the Tree Trust, and Michael (Ghost Tree) Hastings-Black, Stewardship Coordinator. "The goal of this program," says Hastings-Black, "is to increase the survival rate of and the community participation in these green spaces. The more communities we reach, the greener our city can be."

If you would like to join the program, or know somebody who would be a good candidate, call Ghost Tree at (212) 360-TREE.

By Michael (Ghost Tree) Hastings-Black


(Monday, August 1, 1988)


Lining the steps of City Hall bright and early this morning, 74 youngsters clad in orange and white uniforms were officially sent off to the 22nd United States Annual Youth Games in Paterson, New Jersey.

Promptly at 8:45 a.m., Mayor Koch joined Deputy Commissioner Robert Russo and Vice President of Con Edison Edward I. Livingston in giving the excited youngsters a pep talk for the noontime blast-off competition.


Tall poplars-human beings of this earth!"

Paul Celan (1920-1970)

Directions to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza


Was this information helpful?