Sunday, April 28, 2013

Suggest A bench in Chelsea/ Hells Kitchen

From Chekpeds News


Pedestrian delight: New benches on 10th Avenue

We received wonderful pictures and note from Richard Kent Green:
“Attached and below, please find photos of the benches on 10th Ave, between 45th and 46th Streets, which, as you see, are constantly being enjoyed when the weather’s nice . There’s a serendipitous nature to the placement…one image004
is on the sidewalk in front of the Ryan Clinic, the other is in front of the Thriftway Pharmacy across the street. One can wait for a family member in the fresh air outside the clinic, then wait across the avenue, in the sun, for them to get their prescription filled at the drug store! (or the laundry is drying at the laundromat.”
This past winter, Martin Treat, Chair of Chekpeds, undertook to identify potential locations for benches , at the urge of Bob Arnold of Chelsea who identified their added benefits for seniors who want to remain active.
Thank You Richard for the feedback, and Bob and Martin for the initiative.
To order a bench on your block please Click Here to use our new visual tool. They are particularly well suited to bus stops which do not have a shelter.
Suggest a benchplease Click Here,

Chelsea bench Pictures

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Park hells Kitchen Map

View Publicly-accessible outdoor spaces in Park Chelsea... in a larger map

Active and Social Recreation            
 Bicycle Path-15
Board Games-8
 Chess- 8
Community Gardening-11,13,J
Dog Run-1,6,X
 Field Sports-2
Fitness Equipment-2
 Ice Skating-8
 Kayacking -9
 Kids Playspace-1-7,10,Z,B,C,H
Lawn sitting:6,8
Moveable Seating- 8
Soccer- 1
Ping Pong-8
Reading Room:8
Table Hockey-8,
 Toy loan*?? 2,3

View ParkChelsea-Planned and Suggested Recreation Sites in a larger map

View Park Hells Kitchen in a larger map

View Park Hells Kitchen in a larger map

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Walking and wandering are two very different things

Between Walking and Wandering, Power in Presence


Walking and wandering are two very different things. Walking is functional; it is merely the act of getting from A to B on our own two legs. But when we wander, it is the journey–not the destination–that matters. Somewhere between these two, there has to be a happy medium. In many of today’s sprawling cities, traveling on foot can be difficult, if not impossible. Even when sidewalks and crosswalks are available, many suburban and urban landscapes are so debased that they provide little inspiration for wandering. To get lost on foot in Paris is a pastime; in Phoenix, it’s a headache.


Park Chelsea's Wandering Trails-Hike it Your Way
"Several decades ago, when William H. (Holly) Whyte was doing his "street life" research and observing people walking in cities, he concluded that people will walk many blocks if the walk is interesting”
As part of its effort to facilitate interesting walks Park Chelsea is  introducing “Hike it your way” wandering trails. Pick a start and end point,  then create your own unique trail between them. By including sidestreets that you would never normally transverse you'll create a  journey of discovery through the hood.  “Hike it your way” allows you to create a different experience on each walk.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Getting to the 3 Minute Park

The PlaNYC 2030   goal to ensure than all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk to a park by 2030. But is this sufficient?. Well here's a thought...
Many years ago in the book A Pattern language by Christopher Alexander the idea was presented that for people to use a park on a daily basis it had to be within a 3 minute walk.

A pattern language

He goes on to say that these parks should be 60,000 SF at 1500 foot intervals. Now there is no way  that this can be done in today's Manhattan. Curious thing is that this was what we had in the Manhattan of yesterday( and will again occur in the Manhattan once again sometime after between 2018 and  2035.)

Alexander's findings have been corroborated by William H Whyte
LocationHow far will people walk to urban parks? The effective market radius is about three blockslink

 Distance to parks has also been been cooberated with active recreation useage
A recent multiple-site study of public park and objectively-measured physical activity for adolescent girls in the US shows that park access (the presence and density of parks in local neighborhoods and proximity to neighborhood parks) was associated with higher levels of nonschool moderate-to-vigorous physical activity  link


- .  In the days before our streets were usurped by automobiles, they were our parks

Chasing  pigs on 23rd St and 6th ave Circa 1886 from Letters to Phil

In this photograph from 1941 we see children gathering in a parking spot, a pushcart in the parking spot to their immediate right and on the sidewalk chairs where  adults would gather to chat.

"The New York street has been a play space to children from early times to the present."
From New York, New York by Lawrence Halprin (1968)

  "For Most of History, city streets were for everyone. the road was a market,
 a playground, a park, and yes a throughfare,"   The Happy City (p69-70)

Dual use of city  streets as play spaces and for transportation continued until sometime in the 20th century, when the automobile industry finally won its decades long battle to to claim our streets for the exclusive use of automobiles, with humans usage of streets being relegated to use of crosswalk only . Our high speed automobile dominated streets have resulted in "over 15,000 pedestrians and cyclists were injured in New York City traffic in 2012, and 155 were killed", Link  It is with good reason that we "Zebras" have ceded our streets to the "Lions" and "Hyenas" 

Over the past few years new concepts in public space have  started  to appear... 

  The NYC Citybench program intends to install 1500 benches throughout the city.
 In Hell's Kitchen (above) and Chelsea (below) adding a bench at curbside, transforms a sidewalk normally used for circulation, into a "sidewalk park". These benches cost $2,000 each.  Building new centralized parks is expensive. A  New York Post article showed the cost of building some parks, the lowest cost was $3.8 million. . Just the  renovation of Matthews Palmer playground in Hell's Kitchen will cost $1.8 million dollars.   For $200,000, a neighborhood can have 100 decentralized sidewalk parks , scattered throughout the community meeting a good part of the goal of a "park" within 3 minutes walking distance. 

The Hanptons Inn Sidewalk park on West 24th St off 6th ave, offers a quiet spot with a garden view

Add a bookcase  to a sidewalk park and you have an outdoor reading room
Revolution Books Sidewalk Park/Outdoor Reading Room, West 26th St off 7th Ave

Sidewalk park benches are great but they do have limitations. There is no table or moveable seating in a sidewalk bench. The concept of the Parklet, a  small park placed in the roadbed and replacing several car parking spots helps get around this limitation while creating the 3 Minute Park,


 This Pop Up cafe on Sullivan St   has no purchase necessary.


 Boulevard 41 between 5th and 6th avenues. Over 30 parklets will be placed on this block

Replacing 3 parking spots this Los Angeles parklet combines active and social recreation  . Los Angeles intends to install hundreds of parklets.  This parklet is reminiscent of the above 1941 Broome Street photo. A parklet generally  cost $10,000-20,000.

Through a combination of existing centralized parks, plazas, and privately owned public spaces  along with newfangled  sidewalk park benches and  parklets the goal of a 3 minute park can be achieved not by 2030, but in the near future. 

This map shows all the Public outdoor Passive recreation seating locations in Chelsea. It shows that Chelsea now (or will soon)  offer a place to sit outdoors within  a 3 minute walk of all Chelsea residents with the exception of the small shaded area in south east Chelsea. link

 Driverless Car Video

About 20 years from now driverless cars are coming that will hopefully
reduce accident rates by 90%

 get up to 90% of current vehicles off our streets

If these new cars meet their promise, then the future of our parks will be like our  past where our streets will once again be safe they to play in again freeing them  to one again be our parks just like the old days.

Photo Credit:

 Kids pushing an inflatable wheel with another kid inside

 NYC's Play streets program is a harbinger of a future where  most NYC side streets will once again be safe enough for our streets to once again become our parks and playgrounds.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Seeing Eye People

I was on 22nd st and 5th when I saw a bunch of people in orange vests that were walking people who were texting across the block.

I talked to a leader of the group who said NYC DOT was doing this to make people aware of walking and texting. I suggested they celebrating April Fools day a bit late this year.

I suspect they were members of Improv Everywhere who did this Chelsea Best Buys gag several years ago...

Best Buy

DV Cams: Agents Shafer, EMartin, Reeves, Carlson
Digital Photography: Agents Nicholson, Todd
Mission Inspired By: Agent Slavinsky
The idea for this mission was submitted by a stranger via email. Agent Slavinsky wrote in to suggest I get either a large group of people in blue polo shirts and khakis to enter a Best Buy or a group in red polo shirts and khakis to enter a Target. Wearing clothing almost identical to the store’s uniform, the agents would not claim to work at the store but would be friendly and helpful if anyone had a question. There aren’t any Targets in Manhattan, so I decided to go with the two-story Best Buy on 23rd Street.

I staked out the Best Buy a few times leading up to the mission. I wanted to figure out the exact shade of blue they used for their uniforms. One detail I noticed is that all employees wore belts and black shoes. I figured it would be against policy to film in the store, so any cameras we used would have to be somewhat hidden. In addition cameras could also be “hidden” in plain sight by using Best Buy’s demo cameras to document the mission. All we would have to do is bring in blank tapes and memory cards to insert in their own video and still cameras.

Improv Everywhere Best Buys Video

Improv Everywhere Chelsea Home Depot
Slo-Mo Home Depot
August 19, 2006

*Just found this....

The only drawback is the never-ending stream of kids who want to pet him.
OK, so this isn't a real thing, but it should be. In actuality it's (probably, but unconfirmed) part of an upcoming Improv Everywhere stunt that may or may not be published next week. But, this photo is making the rounds today because, let's be honest, we'd all feel a lot safer on the sidewalks if Seeing Eye Persons were a real thing for people who are handicapped by their phone addictions...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chelsea Outdoors 2013 Part 1

Chelsea Outdoors 2013 

1-Park events calendars
2-Street fairs and parades
3 -Recurring outdoor events
4-Passive. Active, social recreation locations


34th Street Partnership
Bryant Park
Chelsea Triangle
High Line
Hudson River park
Madison Square park
Union Square Park



Eighth Avenue Festival April 27, 2013 11am-6pm
Between 14th and 23rd St

The Sikh Cultural Society April 27, 2013
Madison Avenue between 27th and 38th St


  Hudson Guild Spring Bazaar 119 9th Ave @ 17th st 12-4pm  May 4, 2013  Indoors  

300 W Block Association Stoop Sale May 4th 22nd st 7th to 10th Avenue (rain date May 5th)
To participate, you must be a resident : set up a table or use your building stoop & sell books, toys, clothes & small items. Please make a contribution from your profit to your Block Association. No food or large furniture.  This is a community event - NO COMMERCIAL VENDORS ARE PERMITTED TO SET UP.

Broadway Festival May 12, 2013 11am-6pm
Broadway between 14th and 8th St

7th Annual New York Dance Parade  May 18, 2013  1pm
21st Street and Broadway and ends at St. Marks, Tompkins Square Park

Sixth Avenue Festival May 18, 2013
6th Avenue between 23rd and 14th St

Passport To Taiwan Festival   May 26, 2013  12pm-5pm
Union Square North

Penn South Street fair June1  26th st 8th-9th Ave 

PS 11 Crafts Fair Saturday, June 1, 2013 11am-4pm
21st Street between 8th/9th Avenues

80+ craft vendors, food, kids' arts & crafts, face painting, bake sale, garden sale and live entertainment!

Jane Street Fair June 1 ,2013 btwn 8th Ave & Hudson St 11am-5pm  "What Street Fairs used to be before the Tube Sock onslaught"    Marianne N.

Big Apple BBQ Block Party  June 8-9, 2013 11am-6pm
Madison Square Park, 23rd St between Madison Ave and 5th Ave

Sixth Avenue Summerfest June 22, 2013 10am-6pm
Sixth Avenue between 34th St and 42nd St

New  York City Gay Pride March Parade June 30, 2013  12 noon
5th Avenue at 36th Street to Christopher Street

NYC Pridefest  June 30, 2013  11am-6pm
Hudson between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street

Sixth Avenue Festival July 6, 2013 11am-7pm
6th Avenue between 14th St and 23rd St

Eighth Avenue Festival  July 20, 2013
8th Avenue between 14th St and 23rd St

The Sierra Club and Children’s Leukemia Research Assoc. Fair  July 20, 2013
Broadway between 35th St and 39th St


32nd Annual Dominican Day Parade  August 11, 2013  2pm-5pm
Sixth Avenue between 36th St and 52nd St

Federation of Indian Association Parade  August 18, 2012  12:30pm-3:30pm
Madison Avenue between 38th and 27th St

India Day Parade Street Festival  August 18, 2013  11am-6pm
Madison Avenue between 23rd and 26th St

Pakistan Independence Day Parade and Street Fair  August 25, 2013 1pm-3:30pm
Madison Avenue between 37th St to 23rd St

St Eleftherios Greek festival  September ??  ( see updates for date) 10am-5pm
359 west 24th St    Greek Food and Flea market (indoors)

London Terrace Street Fair  Sept ?? ( see updates for date)
Madelyn at 212 366-0550

Church of Holy Apostles NYC  296 9th @28th Sept ?? ( see updates for date)

Fourth Avenue Festival  September 1, 2013  11am-6pm
Fourth Avenue between 9th Street and 14th Street

Mexican Day Parade September 15, 2013 12pm-4pm
Madison Avenue between 27th St and 38th St

Parking Day-Sept 20 2013 Various locations around Chelsea ( see updates for locations)
 PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks


PS 11 Fall Festival Oct ??? 9th Ave @ 26th St ( see updates for locations)
 A handmade festival presented by PS 11 PTA and Etsy New York with over 100 NYC-based independent artists, designers and crafters. Featuring jewelry, clothing, art, bath and body, photography, ceramics, fashion and home accessories, kids apparel and toys. Plus, bouncy castles and indoor crafts for the kids, baked goods and delicious food vendors on hand! Benefiting PS 11's arts curricula and other vital education programs.

Korea Times Parade October 5, 2013 12pm-3pm
Sixth Avenue between 27th St and 38th St

Pulaski Day Parade October 6, 2013 12:30pm-3pm
Fifth Ave at 38th St

29th Street Repertory Fair  October 13, 2013  11am-5pm
West 33rd St between 6th Avenue and 7th Avenue

Union Square Broadway Festival  October 27, 2013  11am-6pm
Union Square/Broadway between 17th St and 23rd St


Sixth Avenue Autumn Fair November 3, 2013 10am-6pm
Sixth Avenue between 34th and 42nd St

Gramercy Park Block Association Street Fair  November 9, 2013  10am-6pm
Broadway between 17th and 23rd S

Veteran’s Day Parade November 11, 2013 11:15 am-3:30pm
Fifth Avenue between 26th St and 52nd St

Albanian Parade  November 28, 2013 11am-3pm
Madison Avenue between 23rd st and 56th St

**Please note, that all dates are pending NYC Mayor’s Office permit approval and are subject to change**

For street events in other areas of Manhattan click here

3-Ongoing Street Events

Union Square Greenmarket

North and West sides of Union Square Park  [map]
Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

Located on West 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues and open 9 AM – 5 PM every Saturday and Sunday all year long (weather pending), Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market includes vendors from The Annex, formerly located in Chelsea.  The market’s Hell’s Kitchen South location is near the Port Authority Bus Terminal and Times Square.

West 25th Street Market 

Located on West 25th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue and open 9AM – 5PM, every Saturday & Sunday all year long (weather pending), the West 25th Street Market features up to 125 vendors selling antiques, collectibles, and other types of vintage and mid-century modern items.

PS11 Farm Market
The PS11 Farm Market has been in operation since June 2008 and operates Wednesday mornings from 8am to 10am in front of PS11, 320 West 21st Street from mid-June through late November.

4-Passive, Active and Social Recreation Locations

Click here for map details

Recreation Activities                                 
 Bicycle Path:1,22
 Board Games:8
Community Garden:21,22,J
 Dog Run:3,7,6
 Farming: h
Field Sports:2,3
Fitness Equipment:2
Kids Playspace-2,3,4,5,6,7,23,9,11,Z
 Lawn sitting: 1,3,6,7,8,11.12,C,E
Moveable Seating&Table(bring your games): A,H,Q,E,6,11-15,8
 Ping Pong:8
  Sidewalk Games-5
Stair Climbing- 11,M
Table Hockey:8
WiFi:4,12, 6,7,11,8,16