Open Thread Wednesday 5/13/09

Flickr photo by nycurbandecay

Flickr photo by nycurbandecay

What’s on your mind.  Comment away!

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  • Biff Champion

    Has there been any discussion on this board of the soccer players who constantly hog almost all or all of the Cadman Plaza field? I was there a couple of weekends ago with my kids and there was not on free inch of turf to play on. I set up to play soccer in a small section of the corner and the players said “you’re going to get hurt”. They said it’s basically first come, first served. Anybody else encounter this problem? Just don’t want to reinvent the wheel if people are already organizing a campaign to get the players off or to share more of the field at least. I fear some child is going to get injured by a fast moving flying ball at some point. Being my cynical self, I don’t imagine going to that washroom area behind the memorial to get a parks employee will do anything.

  • Biff Champion

    There’s also the issue of dogs going on the turf (and pooping), but I’m trying to deal with one issue at a time.

  • alex

    Just wanted to thank everyone who gave me advice last week about calming a new dog with daytime separation anxiety. While we still have some work ahead of us, we’ve already gone from 8 full hours of barking a day to only 2. I’m sure my neighbors are grateful!

  • T.K. Small

    Last week I bumped into everyone’s favorite Muhamed, formerly of Key Food. With his usual cheerful presence he explained his current plans of creating a Moving Company. His business is called Low Rate Movers.

    Since he gave me his business card, I do not think you would find that I share his contact information. To make a reservation or schedule a free estimate, call: 212-662-4536 or 917-721-9337.

  • Bart

    I noticed the the soccer players. They seemed very well organized with teams each having their own colored vests. They seemed like they were from a foreign country, perhaps Haiti because I heard French being spoken among them. And they were good. While I was entertained by their adept playing, they did seem to take up a huge swathe of turf. And the seriousness of their playing meant that they probably could run into people who were nearby.

    So while I’m kind of against an organized sport taking place on the turf, there were a lot of players and if they were to lie out on blankets they probably would have taken up about the same amount of space.

  • Biff Champion

    Bart, if they weren’t playing soccer, I am pretty certain they wouldn’t all be there lying together on blankets on the astroturf. Let’s be serious; they go there strictly to play soccer. But if they actually decided to lie down on blankets, at least other people could use the space and they wouldn’t be risking hurting any little kids also on the turf. And what does the fact they might be from a foreign country or speaking French have to do with anything?

  • alex

    Biff, I can certainly understand your annoyance about not being able to enjoy the soccer fields with your kids, but public space is public space, and I honestly don’t see how you’d have a case for driving those players out, or even limiting their playing time. What do you think would be a good solution?

  • Bart


    It was just a description of them to ensure they are indeed the soccer players being discussed. I’m sorry you were offended.

  • AEB

    No, wait: if these guys are taking up the field EVERY weekend, thus depriving ANYBODY else of using it, then there’s something definitely wrong.

    You know: finders don’t always get to be keepers.

    The thing to do, I’d say, is find out who oversees the use of park space in this case and complain, as odious as that may be.

    Surely the park is meant for everyone’s use–particularly by the young.

  • Montague Mike

    Has anyone ever found out the story about the turtles that live under the Brooklyn Bridge? There’s a huge tank in one of the vaults under the Washington Street overpass with lots and lots of turtles.

  • AEB

    Anyone know where Sqadron stands on equal marriage rights? I believe he’s solidly pro, but…..

  • nabeguy

    Welcome Biff. As you can see, things can get as snarky over here as they do on Brownstoner. I’m kind of on your side on this one, although I get the first-come-first served aspect. However, I do find it a bit greedy on the part of soccer players who pretend that the park is Wembly Stadium, and take up the whole thing, regardless of how early they stake their claim.

  • Anon

    First come, first serve. So long as they’re not using cleats or anything else against the rule, why shouldn’t they use the field? Just go on the other side if you want. You could also be something of a dick and just get there before them and setup a blanket in the middle of the field. Again, first come, first serve.

  • Claude Scales

    AEB: I checked with Sen. Squadron’s office and got confirmation of my understanding: “he is a co-sponsor of the marriage equality bill and is advocating unequivocally for its passage.”

  • AEB

    Thanks so much, Claude. I thought as much.

    By the way, for any interested, this Sunday, May 17, there will be a rally held by New York City Marriage Equality at 6th Ave and 45th St. It’s co-sponsored by Broadway Cares, HRC, Civil Rights Front, and Empire State Pride Agenda.

    Performances by:

    Audra McDonald
    Gavin Creel
    Cheyenne Jackson
    The Cast of HAIR

    Appearances by:

    Cynthia Nixon
    Kristin Davis
    David Hyde Pierce
    Senator Tom Duane
    Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell

    Sounds like a good, energizing thing to attend.

    Forgive this infomercial, but…..

  • AEB

    Time is 5:00-7:00. Sorry!

  • Alan

    Has anybody heard that the July 4th fireworks are being moved to the Hudson this year?

  • AEB
  • Biff Champion

    Thanks all for your thoughts on the field. Bart, sorry, I didn’t mean to sound harsh in my response to you. I do appreciate your thoughts. Alex, I agree that public space is public space, but to me it’s like a baseball team deciding to set up shop on the Sheep Meadow in Central Park and taking up the whole space. My issue is they use almost the entire turf. AEB, seems we are on the same page. nabeguy, I guess my Brownstoner reputation proceeds me :-). I have a feeling however that it is far more genteel on this blog.

  • nabeguy

    Yeah, you’re right Biff. We only have The Where, not The What, to contend with.

  • kd

    Does anyone have an update on the wine bar (or lack thereof) that was scheduled to reopen on Henry? I thought I read on here that the bar was reopening in April. Or was it March? Regardless, brown paper has been up in the windows for weeks, and it seems no progress is being made. My neighbors and I want our wine bar back!

  • josh

    I’m with Biff on the soccer playing. I always half expect to see some poor kid whacked in the head with a ball. Here’s a link to the official park page:

    On another note, when looking up the park i also found an article talking about peregrine falcons being seen in cadman. has anyone ever seen one there?

    kd: i think they are in the process of getting a liquor license.

  • Me

    I am often annoyed by the complete over-running of Cadmen park with soccer players. I love soccer, my kids love soccer but these guys leave no room for anyone else. I have been there early in the middle of the field and been asked to move and then once their whole group gets there, its too dangerous to be anywhere near when play begins. Its not just the weekends, its now the early evening hours too! Im not interested in ruingin anyones game or getting confrontational with anyone but I think it would make sense to have a set schedule of times that soccer matches are allowed to take place.

  • Biff Champion

    Josh, thanks for the link. I will look at it and see how and where we might be able to organize a complaint.

    Me, you are so right. They say first come, first served, but it’s not like they won’t try to intimidate me and my kids to leave if we’re sitting in the middle of the field.

  • cv

    Last year, I was able to bring my child to Cadman Plaza for picnics and fun in the early evening on week nights, and during the weekend. Now, it is too dangerous, pretty much at all times — there is nowhere to go. The balls are all over the place and it’s frightening.

  • Mike

    I have no idea why anyone would want sit on a blanket and have a picnic in that spot. Makes no sense, and there must be somewhere else for small children to play. Why would anyone want to sit in the middle of that field? Weird!

  • sue

    Are people not using the park down the block from the soccer field for blankets and small children with wiffle bats? The round area with the path around it is perfect for that, and has been as long as I can remember (43 yrs)

  • No One Of Consequence

    It’s true, while they may not directly ask you to move, they’ll just start warming up and taking up more and more space until you are compelled to move lest you become an obstacle.
    Truthfully, I never feel completely safe around there with my kids even when we’re not on the turf as errant balls frequently careen onto the walkways.

  • Biff Champion

    cv, because it is a clean open spot (relatively speaking since I’ve seen dogs poop on the turn too) and all of the other areas are areas where dog owners often let their dogs loose to run around and poop, despite there being a dog run for that nearby.

    I lodged a complaint via this link. If others also do so, maybe we can get some response on what to do to reclaim the space or at least have the soccer players use less of it.

  • Biff Champion

    Oops! Sorry cv, my first paragraph was a response to Mike and sue, not you. Apologies.