“I’ve got to sit down,” said Maggie, her face taut with anxiety. It was “I have to sit down now.”
We were walking on Bleecker and with half of her right lung excised by cancer and radiation,
she could not walk another step, not another step.
Yet there was no place to sit down.
I eyed a shop across the street and as we entered, I noted a bench-like display rack and I asked if
Maggie could sit.
“This is not a sitting shop,” the prissy clerk sneered. “Go across the street, there is a bench.”
We use to plan a trip to the bank or cleaners in terms of the benches we might sit on going and
coming (Maggie knew every one).
So, when the city introduced a program for restaurants to create sitting areas in front where parked
cars were perpetually positioned, I thought, why not create pocket parks with a bench for oldsters to sit.
Shirley Secunda, Chair of the CB 2 Traffic Committee, sent me an article
from the Regional Planning Association that stated that such “parklets” are being built in cities like San
Francisco and Philadelphia.
Shirley also offered that the Department of Transportation (DOT) was planning to do such a program and she
suggested I submit a formal proposal to DOT, which her committee would then review; I plan to do so.
I have asked the WestView Architecture Editor Brian Pape for an illustration of what a “parklet” might look like.
To facilitate it, you have to secure sponsorship from a restaurant, shop, block association or somebody and also keep it clean.
I will prepare a proposal for the first vest pocket park in New York City to be opened, hopefully some time this coming spring
and it will have a plaque with Andromache (Maggie) Capsis’s name on it.
“I need to sit – I need to sit right now.”