Skip to main content

Tales From Parks and Recreation - Can't Please Everyone


Note: I work for a park slowly in continuing development in Manhattan that is five miles along the waterfront of the Hudson River. As a Public Programs Coordinator, yours truly handles anything public related in regards to permitting (athletic facilities, film shoots, photo shoots, weddings, and other small gatherings), and of course, dealing with any questions or inquiries from the public. The following series will present stories, e-mails, phone calls, conversations, interactions, and sights I've seen from the people of New York City in regards to a public park. And yes, these are all real! And are all true!

Welcome to another little snippet of Parks and Recreation.

For some reason, people tend to really care about the resources of their parks more so than their own private uses. It's as if public parks and government entities should be overly concerned with the usage and protection of natural resources. If such parks or government entities follow the same patterns - you know, that we all do -  when handling water, trees, plants, or the air quality, it is a sudden cause for red flags, protests, and notices to the mayors office. It's a huge double-standard. We know. It's part of working for the public. 

The following tale is an example of the different views from the public on minor things such as public resources and how they should be dispersed. Some will believe we are wasting them, while in the same sense, others will believe we are under utilizing them. 

Either way, it is just another example of the craziness that is dealing with the public, and the hard place public complaints places us in. 

Here are two e-mails sent to us on the same day, a typical hot July summer day in the 90's. With a responsible approach to wasting water, the park elected to invest in providing water to park patrons and several dog runs throughout the park. Here is the public's response: 

E-mail #1 

"Hours have passed, and still nothing has been done to water the new plantings on the --- River near --- Street. Every day more plants and trees die. This is heartbreaking! Can you please tell me if anything is being done to save the remaining trees and plants?"

E-mail #2

"To whom this may concern:
I am visiting NY with my children.
Yesterday we took a boat scenic tour out of the ---.
We arrived early and wandered through the park.
Nearby we stop to see the dogs at the dog run adjacent a magnificent eatable garden.
The people that take their dogs put a couple of children plastic pools and using [sic] the hose from the eatable garden let it run until the pool fills and contemplate their dogs while the precious liquid spill over and goes down the drain.
This is outrageous when half of the country is experiencing the toughest draught in history.
And, the world is fighting for the precious liquid.
PLEASE PUT A STOP TO THIS PRACTICE IT IS OFFENSIVE AND A SHOULD BE A CRIME."

Yes, folks. You help the plants, you lose. You help the dogs, you lose. Patrons are never happy in the business of Parks and Recreation. There is always something to complain about. You simply can't please everyone. 

Recent Favorites

Exorcising Demons with a Breen "Double Bang!"

These sorts of moments feel like they don't happen to us.  Well, they happen VERY rarely - I'm talking Larry Johnson's 4-point play-rare. Yeah, it's been THAT long.  But watching this New York Knicks team score eight points in less than thirty-five seconds, including a sequence that will forever live in my fandom, sits right with that LJ garden-rocking shot.  I sat on my couch in absolute shock at what I just saw.  "How the hell did they just win that game?!"  It's the kind of moment this fanbase deserves. It's the moment that releases and exorcises some demons that haunt us from the trauma of experiences.  Namely you, Reggie Miller.  I loved it. And the icing on the cake was Mike Breen - Oh, Mike Breen, the loveable man with the most epic voice that has narrated so much of my basketball-loving fandom - with not one, but two signature "Bang!" calls.  I'll never let this one down. Ever.  I'm not sure where this team will wrap up the se

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/28/24

3 Up 1. DiVincenzo Shot - Yeah, I'm biased. And you know what, I don't care. This moment brought me so many jobs this week, and it still is. "Bang! Bang!"  2. Caitlin Clark Effect - Well, here we go. So many of the WNBA teams have begun moving their games against the Indiana Fever to larger arenas. The upcoming WNBA season is going to be so incredibly interesting. 3. Candace Parker - Rounding out a hoops-heavy "Up" this week is the retirement of Candace Parker. Yes, she drives the Knicks fanbase bonkers, but Parker is one of the greatest to ever lace them up. It's a shame she had to retire due to injury, but nonetheless, she should be proud. I personally will remember the 2021 WNBA Finals where she led her hometown Chicago Sky over the star-studded Phoenix Mercury.  3 Down 1. Campus Protests - I've witnessed them personally at NYU. And we are set to see these protests continue, and likely grow, on campuses over the next few weeks. We are likely to s

Turning 39 - One Last Go-Around in My 30s

I turn 39 today, and everything I read in regards to such a "milestone" is that it's dealing with the anxiety of turning 40. The big 4-0!  Yet, I sit here punching the keys completely unaware of fears, trepidations, and emotions towards the future. Instead, I find myself immersed in the present - in exactly that, 39. I also find myself slightly looking back on the road to get here - my final year in my 30s.  I look back on my thoughts on turning 30 ( Praying on a Cool Thirty ) and, ironically, I very much vibe and can feel the essence of where I was at the time. At the time, turning thirty meant a whoooooooooooole sort of different expectations and responsibilities. I am in that same place - a center of gratitude for the journey. My 30s have been a ride.  For me, I became a father, and I lost my father. I lost one of my best friends, yet, I gained another in my son - and then a second one just recently. I finished coursework on my second Masters degree, and I also watch