Harlem River Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, November 27, 2002


Photo by Spencer T Tucker

On Thursday, November 14, 2002, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe welcomed elected officials, residents, and P.S. 197 students to Harlem River Park, Manhattan’s newest waterfront park and greenway. The Commissioner was joined by Assembly Member Keith Wright, Borough President Representative Jennifer Hoppa, and dozens of community members.

Under beautiful autumn sunshine, the new park’s image bounced off the calm Harlem River and its vision highlighted the new park’s significance to neighborhood residents and to all New Yorkers. The newly rebuilt Harlem River Park offers adults and children in the neighborhood waterfront access for fishing, exercising, reading or relaxing. It also represents Parks’ addition of another piece in the great New York City greenway puzzle.

Within his first 100 days of office, Mayor Bloomberg announced his desire to complete a greenway around Manhattan and to ultimately create a waterfront greenway that will link the farthest corners of the five boroughs along the city’s many waterways. Piece by piece, this vision is coming to fruition.

The project’s funding consisted of $1.1 million from the Borough President’s office, a $1.1 million federal grant, $870,000 from then-Council Member C. Virginia Field, and $250,000 in Mayoral funds. The work, designed by Parks Designer Emmanuel Thingue, included the construction of three distinct plazas with multi-colored pavements, the installation of a whimsical spray shower area for cooling off, the addition of a four-foot high sea rail, the replacement and expansion of the foundation, and the planting of native trees such as London plane, Red oak, and Cherry. The work began June 4, 2001 and was completed on September 12, 2002.

During the festivities, Commissioner Benepe—an avid runner and cyclist—expressed his enthusiasm about the eventual completion of Manhattan’s greenway. "The East Side’s waterfront is finally starting to look more like the West Side’s," said Commissioner Benepe. Echoing the Commissioner’s praise of the park, Assembly Member Wright—who grew up and still lives in the neighborhood—noted the continued importance of the river to his community.

Commissioner Benepe invited children and adults at the event to help turn on the park’s colorful spray showers for a ceremonial sprinkle. Benepe and the Urban Park Rangers joined students in casting fishing lines into the Harlem River.


Way back—before grocery stores and catering companies and ready-made pie crusts; before traffic reports and frequent flier miles and websites; before low-carbohydrate diets and "Black Friday" and enormous balloons shaped like popular animated characters—way back, when the land was wild and the turkeys were lean, the pilgrims (the scared, hungry, and lonely pilgrims) sat down to a big dinner and heaved a collective sigh of relief.

Arsenal West heaved a similar sigh—but one of contentment—last Friday when Parkies there celebrated their own version of Thanksgiving. On the third floor, Purchasing, Accounting, and Timekeeping lined up entrees along a wall of cubicles and spent their lunch hour tasting one another’s homemade casseroles and side dishes. On the fifth floor, in the Manhattan Borough Office, there were more food-laden tables, including a dessert table so decadent it was given its own room.

Arsenal West has been celebrating Thanksgiving for about fifteen years. Over time, their feast has become known throughout the borough and has attracted many guests including former Arsenal West employees, Arsenal bigwigs, Park and District managers, and Parks photographers. Everyone who attends has a great time and comes to share in the wisdom of Arsenal West—that the simple pleasures of Thanksgiving should be celebrated as much as possible.

Written by Hannah Gersen


(Wednesday, December 6, 1989)

Sherman Rides Again!

The sound of the trumpet’s call and the fury of gunshots signalled the return of Civil War hero General William Tecumseh Sherman to Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza in all his former glory.

Approximately 100 people from both the public and private sectors gathered in the cold December air at yesterday’s unveiling ceremony of catch a first glimpse of the historic William Tecumseh Sherman Monument after a $126,000 restoration.


It is another's fault if he be ungrateful,
but it is mine if I do not give.
To find one thankful man,
I will oblige a great many that are not so. Seneca (3 BC - 65 AD)

Directions to Harlem River Park


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