On a Sudden Yet Completely Explicable Desire To Tell the Central Park Conservancy To Shut Up


In which The Gay Recluse asks The Central Park Conservancy to rethink its mailing-list purchases.

So a few days ago we received a personal note from Douglas Blonsky, President, Central Park Conservancy and Central Park Administrator. Here it is, with our favorite excerpts!

Dear Matthew:

I imagine you treasure Central Park for the oasis that it is, particularly because you live nearby in the Washington Heights area.

With its beauty, open green spaces, and recreational opportunities, Central Park is your urban sanctuary… a place where New Yorkers like you can get away from it all.

And since you live so close to the Park, I’m hoping you’ll do your part to support the Central Park Conservancy so that we can continue to keep Central Park clean and beautiful…

When you send a gift to the Conservancy, you will be affirming that Central Park matters to you…that as a member of the Washington Heights community, you are doing your part to help preserve this urban sanctuary.

Central Park is considered the crown jewel of public urban parks. And you are so lucky you live 60 blocks away so close by.

As a New Yorker, you may remember or have heard about the state of Washington Heights Central Park before the Conservancy was founded. Years of neglect in the 1960s and 1970s and 1980s and 1990s and 2000s had taken their toll and this once-great landmark was on the brink of destruction. Its trees and gardens were untended. Its buildings were falling apart. Even the Jumel Mansion — the oldest free-standing house in Manhattan, where George Washington slept in the Revolutionary War — barely had enough money for a gardener. Museums staffed by racist directors fled the neighborhood. Its trees and gardens were untended. Its lawns were bare dirt and dustbowls. Its bridges and buildings were covered with graffiti, its statues defaced, and its benches falling apart.

I hope you will help us, because this is not only America’s greatest urban park — it is your neighborhood park too. So please, let me hear from you soon.

Thanks for the letter, CPC. Consider us heard from.

Oh and for pictures of the ruined state of parks uptown, click here.

4 Responses to “On a Sudden Yet Completely Explicable Desire To Tell the Central Park Conservancy To Shut Up”

  1. 1 James

    Don’t forget about the jewel of the gilded age, Highbridge Park. Damn that Park is so decrepit now, even the crackheads are organizing cleanups! No but seriously, Fort Tryon and Inwood Hill Park are well kept compared to Highbridge, and damned if it doesnt have some of the best birding in NYC!

    The Straight Talker,


  2. Thanks, James–that is so true. I tend to ignore it myself because I head to the Hudson on most days, but I did a fairly exhaustive trek through the Highbridge Park last summer and was equally astounded by how decrepit it is. (Although they are fixing the footbridge.) I need to do that again, this time with a camera!

  3. 3 jesus

    incidentally, i love the last photograph (and in part, but not only, because it’s the most resolved picture of TGR i’ve ever seen)!

  4. Thanks, Jesus–yeah, I kind of usually go for fuzzier images (or they go for me)!

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