Captain Ralph Forgione

Living in a new community is hard. Living next to a brand new park is even harder because everyone wants the view of Manhattan. 

This all comes with a price. Vandalism. The park is supposed to close at 10 pm, but the parks department refuses to enforce the rule. Every morning we find graffiti, broken bottles and some times even syringes. There was a rape by the Pepsi sign, someone tried to steal a child from a nanny last summer, which she did not report as she was illegal. A body washed up on the shores last week and for months now cars have been broken into up and down 50th street and 54th street as well as 2nd street. Today is was a horror while I went to walk my dog Stitch on 54th street, 6 cars smashed into.

Vandalized cars 54th street

I met with the Captain of the 108th Ralph Forgione around a month ago on the problems in the park and the problems with the park being allowed to stay open after the closing time. I also met with Luis Diaz from community affairs and they made several promises as to what they were going to do to control the park. To their credit, they have kept their word. There are increased patrols, they are pulling over cars that ignore the traffic laws and last night I saw a foot patrol. I am seeing more and more patrol cars but this does not seem to be the answer. The vandalism continues.

I see no other action but to close the park at 10 pm as the rules state, as much as I hate to see this happen, I know good people love a nice late night walk, but these bad apples are destroying not only the park, but the neighborhood. Litter is everywhere. 

When I first moved in a few years ago, you could eat off the sidewalks. Now garbage everywhere. Broken glass everywhere, you can not even walk you dog safely. People parked in their cars smoking pot, doing drugs and drinking then throwing all their litter anywhere and everywhere. This has to stop.

Smashed Windows

I am calling on the police department and the parks department to enforce the law, park closes at 10 pm. I am calling on the police, both the 108th and the parks department police to enforce every law to make these people not want to come here anymore. As the Captain told me last month, when he was growing up and they hung out in a area, if the cops harassed them they would just go someplace else. 

I believe everyone should enjoy the park, day and night. I do not believe in a park closing ever. Some people just like a late night walk, and no other place has the views like we do in Hunters Point South. But until we get these problems under control, I see no other option. Like the captain said, harass them and they go somewhere else. 

The above photos speak for themselves. It breaks my heart to see our neighborhood under siege.