Sunset Park

The Daily Plant : Tuesday, March 20, 2001


The surface of the state pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a textured map of New York State, but until two weeks ago, to look at the site, you might not have known it. Since the end of the 1964 World's Fair, for which the pavilion was designed, its gates have been closed and its back rooms used as storage space for the Queens Theatre in the Park. The pavilion is closed to the public, but Parks cares for it and cleans it nonetheless. Since the pavilion's last cleaning, weeds have grown between the crevices and soil and debris collected on its surface. The pavilion was built with an exceptional acoustic feature: from its center point, without aid of electronic amplification, sounds-even whispers-bloom in the air at impressive volumes.

From Wednesday, February 28 to Friday, March 2, a team of 15 from District 15 cleared the pavilion of debris with hand tools, which were because they are unintrusive to the intricate surface of the floor. The crew smoothed the ground with ice scrapers and shovels. They weeded and cleared out follow pots with cultivators. The entire area was cleaned with blowers and then a sweeper. In total, over 20 cubic yards of weeds, dirt, and miscellaneous debris were removed from the site. According to Larry (Hollywood) Kalman, PRM, for fun, the crew quizzed on another on obscure sites in New York State through boom of the amplifier.


Sharing tradesmen between boroughs is now a standard operating procedure at Parks. Since January 15, on any given day, tradesmen representing one of several trades at Parks-including standards like blacksmithing, carpentry, and plumbing, as well as specialties like cement masonry, steam fitting, and lettering-are detailed to a borough where the backlog looms large. Thus far, electricians have been dispatched to Brooklyn, blacksmiths and carpenters to Manhattan, and plumbers and carpenters to Queens for two-week focus periods, or backlog blitzes. The system is designed to plug gaps in one borough with additional manpower from the others. The system is balanced such that each borough both gives and receives assistance to improve shops' efficiency citywide.

Additional skilled labor has helped reduce the backlog of outstanding work orders in some cases by as much as fifty percent. In Parks' very first shop share, in Brooklyn, five electricians from out of the borough lent their skills and a total of 168 hours to fulfill outstanding work orders. Full time, Brooklyn employs one electrician. With five times the manpower, the borough was able to halve their backlog in 10 working days. According to Nancy (Liberty) Barthold; Brooklyn Chief of Operations, "It was a huge help and made a significant dent in our backlog." In the most recent instance of shop sharing, in Queens, a list of jobs from leaky faucets to running toilets were assigned to the additional tradesmen who completed the jobs and crossed them off the list of outstanding work orders.

In November 2000, Deputy Commissioner Alan (Northside) Moss, suggested reorganizing Parks' shops for greater efficiency. He asked staff to consider how the backlog in work orders might be reduced. Artie (Stallion) Rollins, Deputy Chief of Technical Services at Five Boro first proposed the formalized sharing of tradesmen when he noticed the disproportionate backlog in electrical jobs in Brooklyn in a review of work orders at a Deputy Chiefs meeting. Two weeks later, five electricians made the trip to Brooklyn. The array of trades represented differs among Parks' six shops. Likewise, the operational needs of each are determined by their unique facilities. The shop sharing initiative is but one example of how can Parks benefit from coordinating the activities of all six shops.

Like 5x5s, shop sharing enables crews who focus on different tasks and locations, to join forces and concentrate their skills in one area where they are needed. Because the efforts are intensified, the results are dramatic. Anyone who's ever watched papers pile up on their desk, knows that a growing problem cut off at the source is a boost to efficiency and morale. For Parks' shops, sharing tradesmen has been a big help. Stacy (Tigress) Sonnenberg, Chief of Five Boro Technical Services, Jeremy (Snowball) Peterson, Director of Operations & Management Planning and James (Stroker) Sattler, Analyst for Operations & Management Planning oversee the continuation of the initiative, carried out by about 200 shops staff citywide.

(Tuesday, March 29, 1988)


Spring has sprung in New York City's parks, offering both simple pleasures and exciting weekend events. Form bird watching to egg rolling, the Parks Department has planned a number of ways to celebrate the glories of the season. Here are some:

Saturday, April 2: Parks and Recreation Easter Carnival-featuring a bunny hop race: Easter Egg roll; carnival games, clowns, puppets; stories and refreshments; and prizes for ages 5-11. Sunset Park, 6th Avenue and 43rd Street. Register on site at 10:00 A.M.


"In every age and clime we see
Two of a trade can never agree."

John Gay (1688-1732)

Directions to Sunset Park

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