Two residents of New York’s exclusive Gramercy Park neighborhood are embroiled in a fierce battle over the strict rules of Manhattan’s only private park, which bans photography, ball games, smoking and dog walking.
Arlene Harrison, president of the Gramercy Park Block Association, has a long-standing rivalry with A.Former Gramercy Park National Arts Club president ldon James is reported by the New York Post.
James accused Harrison of applying “exorbitant” rules to two-acre parks accessible via paid keys to residents of Gramercy Park, such as Jimmy Fallon and his heiress Tara Rockefeller.
The nearly 200-year-old park is shared by residents of 39 surrounding townhouses, apartments and clubs and is managed by five trustees of the Gramercy Park Trust.
Gramercy Park is shared by residents of 39 surrounding townhouses, apartments and clubs and is managed by five trustees of the Gramercy Park Trust.
Interior view of Glamor Sea Park, a nearly 200-year-old park at the center of conflict between locals
Gramercy Park Block Association president Arlene Harrison (left) has a long-standing rivalry with Aldon James (right), former president of the Gramercy Park National Arts Club.
No alcohol, no games, no pets, no entertainment – and avoid weed: rules for those with the keys to Gramercy Park
The decorations and park signs provide a long list of rules for residents who handed over the $ 350 key. These include:
- Use of the park is “limited to day and gravel roads”
- No alcoholic drinks or illegal substances
- Does not damage or destroy plants
- Do not feed birds and other wildlife
- No dogs or other animals
- No frisbee, football, baseball, tennis balls, soccer balls
- No professional photos or films
- No tours, groups or parties
- No musicals, plays or other entertainment
- There is no furniture such as chairs
- Children must be accompanied by an adult to monitor their behavior
Gramercy Park residents pay $ 350 for individual keys, and buildings within the park radius pay $ 10,000 for two keys, Post reported.
James says Harrison uses the clipboard to patrol the park daily to ensure that the rules outlined on the park’s exterior and interior plaques are followed.
A long list of rules has been reported including smoking, drinking, biking, taking photos, walking dogs, playing sports, throwing Frisbees and feeding wildlife.
According to James, a recent addition to the list is the ban on all kinds of musical entertainment.
James is now opposed to Harrison, raising the question of whether a 78-year-old woman, who claims to be the ‘mayor of Gramercy Park’, has earned a six-figure salary as president of the nonprofit Gramercy Park Block Association.
Harrison says he works 70 hours a week in the park, including outreach, on behalf of nonprofits.
But James said on the message:
“I didn’t see her there 70 hours a week. She does not take a rake or a shovel.
“They have cameras all over the park. Get videos from them. Can they prove that she is there 70 hours a week? I live my life to say no I lie down. ”
The post reported that the gravel road did not appear to have been scraped for weeks and that leaves and plantings appeared to be ignored.
Reporters say many of the park’s benches, including those with ornaments commemorating Constance Gibson, the legendary park administrator who oversaw the park for around 50 years until her death in 1997 at the age of 94. , was dirty with bird droppings and dirt.
Residents of Gramercy Park pay $ 350 for individual keys to access the park, while buildings within the park radius pay $ 10,000 for both keys.
A historic ornament outside Gramercy Park, the center of a long-standing feud between residents of upscale New York City
Harrison earned $ 119,312 in 2019, according to a nonprofit tax return.
Harrison’s salary was $ 165,385 when the association received a donation of $ 368,966 in 2015, the publication said.
According to the website of a nonprofit organization, it is possible to educate residents of the neighborhood known as Gramercy Park about the safety and security issues of this historic neighborhood and improve citizens to promote their well-being. Those who live and / or work in the larger area of Gramercy Park, which is considered a mission.
However, the publication reports that the association donated $ 15,000 to Staten Island professional police, Blue Lives Matter in 2018.
When the Post asked them to comment on the financial statements, Harrison, Vice President Tara Rockefeller, Treasurer Norman Carlan and Officer Camel Boutros did not respond, the newspaper said.
James says the lack of transparency is not surprising.
“Arlene and her companions are very secretive,” said James. “They run this place like the Mafia.”
And this isn’t the first time James has called Harrison and other park administrators.
James said that 21 years ago, when he helped a minority child take a field trip from a nearby public school to the park, one of the administrators called the police to report the student. The children. “
When James contacted a local newspaper about the incident, businessman and political activist Bill Samuels, who had served on the Arts Club board of directors for many years, read the story and said confronted the president of the board of directors of the park.
Harrison, then president of the Block Society, “helped them all by driving them out of the park,” Samuels said. “I was shocked that this kind of racism was happening so quickly on the pitch. “
“I spoke to some of my parents at that time,” Samuels said. “Their children are back in tears.
Outraged Samuels filed a lawsuit in federal court against Gramercy Park Trust, alleging they had discriminated against children.
Samuels demanded a settlement of $ 15,000 with each child for the right to visit the park every day from Martin Luther King.
Instead, park administrators released $ 40,000 for each student in exchange for not being allowed to visit once a year, the publication reported.
“Arlene was one of the key people who didn’t want kids there,” Samuels said. “Aldon James is a hero.”
However, James is not universally loved. He was fired as president of the National Arts Club and eventually paid $ 950,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging he was running the club for his own benefit.
James claimed and said he hadn’t done anything wrong His feud with Harrison is partly due to what he said was malicious against him.
New York’s elites fight for tough rules in Manhattan’s only private park, which costs $ 350
Source link New York’s elites fight for tough rules in Manhattan’s only private park, which costs $ 350