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Conservancy Group Seeks to Rename Hunter’s Point South Park, Aims to Elevate Park’s City-Wide Standing

Hunters Point South Park (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Sept. 27, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A local parks group is pushing to change the name of Long Island City’s popular Hunter’s Point South Park, believing that its current title fails to do the sprawling waterfront park justice.

The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, the non-profit group that helps maintain and program the now 11-acre park along with the neighboring Gantry Plaza State Park, says there are more reasons to change the park’s name than to keep it.

“It’s an amazing park, and the name doesn’t represent how beautiful the park is and how inclusive it is for everyone from Queens and elsewhere,” said Rob Basch, president of the HPPC.

The name, to start, is too long and therefore easy to forget, Basch said. It’s also frequently confused with other sites, like two nearby housing developments with “Hunter’s Point” in the name, and even Hunts Point in the Bronx. The Hunters Point Community Park nearby, additionally, has also tripped up some folks.

The park’s city-wide recognition is also at stake, Basch said, believing that the park, even with its newly-opened section, doesn’t have the standing it deserves.

The group feels it can gather much community support for the renaming. Any historical reasons for keeping the name are not strong, they say.

Plantings at Hunter’s Point South Park. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

City documents show that the area was first named Hunters Point in the early 1800s, and that the neighborhood’s efforts to secede from the former Newtown township started a couple of decades later. The area soon chose to become incorporated into Long Island City.

The HPPC feels the neighborhood’s history shows that mid 19th century residents were already trying to rebrand themselves, and that Queens has changed considerably since then, which warrants a new name.

“We want something inclusive, more majestic,” Basch said.

While the conservancy has recently launched an online survey to solicit ideas for what the park should be named, one possible contender already stands out—Queens Landing Park.

Basch notes that the name, while not officially proposed, depicts the park as an opening into the “World’s Borough”.

Renaming a public park requires a lengthy public review process including approval from the community board and City Council. The conservancy, however, has already begun conversations with NYC Parks on the name change.

“We are generally amendable to the idea, and have asked the Conservancy to bring their proposal before the Community Board,” said Meghan Lalor, NYC Parks spokesperson.

The conservancy may have a point in the park’s name being less than memorable, as several Hunter’s Point South Park-goers the LIC Post spoke to were unable to identify the park they were in.

“I always thought it was Gantry Plaza State Park,” said Sindy Lucio, whose been going to both waterfront parks for several years.

David Hill, a Long Island City resident for 10 years, did not realize that Gantry Plaza State Park and Hunters Point South Park were distinct, with the former run by the state and the latter, to the south, under the city. The parks split at 50th Avenue and Center Boulevard.

Nonetheless, he’d support shortening the city park’s name.

“I’d drop the ‘South’,” he said. “There’s no ‘Hunters Point North’.”

Tenzin Takne, who began heading to the waterfront parks when Gantry Plaza State Park first opened, has generally referred to the entire waterfront park space on Center Boulevard as simply “Vernon-Jackson.”

“I’m pretty indifferent,” she said when asked about supporting a change to the park’s name.

The conservancy first began thinking of a renaming about a year ago, and are now hoping that a change could go through next year if all works out.

“A park as beautiful as it is really deserves something to be remembered by,” Basch said.

Hunter’s Point South Park as seen near Borden Avenue. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

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25 Comments

Stanley Schulman

Why take away a specific name which describes our neighborhood (and ferry dock) and generalize it with the name of an entire borough?

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Mundek

Instead of wasting time trying to rename the park – clean it up! Rats, weeds, dying trees (attacked by fungal infections), trash, empty bottles from non-resident drinking and weed smoking parties.

Cleanup the shoreline while at it too – trash and debris from before Irene and Sandy.

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Walker

Weed is becoming legal in New York just so you know and it’s going to be completely legal Andrew Cuomo has already said this and you cannot get in trouble for smoking weed anymore just so you know. If you don’t like weed smokers don’t go around them. Leave them alone I’m a weed smoker because I have epilepsy and I have to smoke outside because of building rules people like you need to lighten up a little and live a little.

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David

You aren’t allowed to smoke in NYC Parks, weed or tobacco.

That said, it’s not the smoking itself that bothers me much, but the inevitable butts tossed everywhere.

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Walker

if you are not allowed to smoke weed in the park or cigarettes guess what the cops would stop people but they don’t because they can’t people like you who go after people who are just minding thier own business living their lives need to get your own life. And like I said before pot is becoming legal to all you people who keep bringing up pot need to just stop.

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MRLIC

The marijuanas are a hardcore drug you sound like an addict. Trump will clean up these streets no collusions maga again.

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Walker

Oh and Trump can’t do nothing about weed because that’s not what his job is.
Secondly the governor of New York makes the laws for New York not Trump trump don’t run New York and he don’t own New York and no one in New York even really likes him so you really think that you’re going to get your way misses 7A and I really think it’s pathetic that you use all these fake names pretending to be other people just so you can bash weed and weed smokers and stuff.

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Walker

Now you are using another fake name Trump don’t run NYC Andrew Cuomo dose.

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lic-nik

NYC Parks has stepped up lately, cutting the large treelets on the shore, putting up fencing to prevent trampling of plantings. Cleanups have to take place after the massive weekend influx. The NY State park portion is beginning to struggle, though. Dog pee dead spots on some grass, and a new low of teens trampling of decorative grasses under the Pepsi sign while jumping up for selfies.
Names are classic: Gantry Park and Hunters’ Point (or Queen’s Landing–the last honors the history of the land and its development). (Will encourage research.)

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC wrote 2 comments on September 28, 2018. One about the park and the other about Kavanaugh and Roy Moore etc.

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EyeRoller

Here’s a thought…maybe stop defending yourself every time the ‘fake MRLIC’ posts anything? The average reader here knows who is whom

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LIC Neighbor

It will cost the city probably $2 Million dollars to change the name on maps, and replace the signs posted in the park and a dozen CB2 community board meetings, a feasibility study on the linguistics of this name versus that name, a JVB write-in with possible suggested names and then JVB’s sponsored event on our tax-payer dime and his unveiling of the plaque with the new name with obligatory photo op . It’s HPS Park Rob “The Snob” Basch!!!

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James Edstrom

You are right LIC Neighbor. First of all they want to change the name because On Mark Christies (VP Conservancy) page when the new section of the park opened, he posted Queens Landing Party Rental the first day on Instagram, he wasted no time to try and monetize the new section. Now the only thing that makes sense to the conservancy to help make more money off the backs of the neighborhood is to change the name, change the name to match their company name. Rob Basch and Mark Christie and this so called conservancy have turned the park into a everyday party, event after event of booze filled partying with no concern for the residents who live here on the water. They all live blocks away and some conservancy members do not even live here at all, yet they get away with treating the residents like crap so they can all make money. They never throw these parties in Gantry and Rob Basch said it one night at the Irish Center when asked why, he said the state would not let him do these things in Gantry. So what does this tell you? It tells you that they can get away with all this crap in Hunters Point South Park but not in the state park. Most of the events they do not even tell the park staff. There are huge events too, like the AOL- Verizon party a few weeks ago. They took over the whole park, no permits, no nothing. Closed the waterfront, the soccer field, they even set up their own tables in the bathrooms with products. Park Police had to be called, then Revenue who awards these contracts had to be called here. It was a huge mess, but what is the parks department supposed to do, tell them to pack up and leave after they spent all this money and being told by the powers that be AKA The Conservancy and LIC Landing, that they could do this. Then you have Mark Christies DJ Events by the childrens play area. Everyone is drinking when you are not allowed to drink in that area. Garbage littered everywhere, but Mr Christie gets his parties for his friends. Parks Department told him time after time he needs permits, but he just does what he wants. This is our Conservancy. They could care less about the neighbors who live here. Budweiser trucks pulling up for their events, forklifts in and out of the park and all this half the time at 2am in the morning. Then you got tents being set up, food deliveries. You got no parking all over the place, residents cars being towed. For what, for them all to make a buck? Basch notes that the name, while not officially proposed, depicts the park as an opening into the “World’s Borough”. Why would we want to be the worlds Borough? Why? We already have crime, graffiti, litter everywhere, broken bottles, cars smashed into. We did not have all of this when the park first opened. The Conservancy made this park so well known with their crappy events, that now we have all the mess and the crime that we did not have before. Yes I blame the conservancy. Their alcohol fueled Silent Disco events, and all their other events. One only has to go to Mr Christies Instagram page to see the partying conservancy members. The sad fact is they may get their way to change the name. The circle or power always sticks together. Jimmy Van Bramer, The Community Board, The Conservancy and Brent O’Leary from the Irish Center who has been hand picked to take over for Van Bramer when his term is up. I like Brent, but he always does what his friends want, not what the community wants. So the fix is in Kiddies.

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strike

I always referred to the waterfront parks collectively as Gantry Park, not Gantry Plaza State Park (a mouthful), just plain Gantry Park. Does it matter that one section is managed by the city and the other by the state? If so, then calling the city portion Hunters Point Park works for me. It is, afterall, in Hunters Point. As someone said, there’s no Hunters Point North, so just drop the south and be done with it. I don’t care for Queens Landing Park. Sounds like a bad Masterpiece Theatre show.

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brooklynmc

Absolutely ridiculous. Some people need to find hobbies or charities to work with. This is UNIMPORTANT!

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LIC Neighbor

Yup! Totally agree. Local park group has nothing better to do, they want a hip catchy name, to make it them seem even more exclusive.

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MrLIC

This is immensely important. Something with incredible gravitas is needed, as befits our standing as the best neighborhood for dog owners and parents of young children on the entire East Coast.

How about “My furry child is student of the month at PS78 Park”?

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LIC Neighbor

Name it “Jimmy Van Bramer Waterfront Park ” in honor of our great and wonderful CB2 representative and all the deeds he has done for our community, like homeless shelters for all, bike lanes that are underused and a the Hunters Point library with millions in cost overruns and three years overdue.

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MRLIC

We should name it “Brape Kavanaugh Park” in honor of the man that was brave announce to announce he never got laid in high school or college on national TV.

He’s such a great guy that Trump defended him in light of sexual assault allegations, just like he defended Roy Moore after charges sexual molestation of teenage girls, his former staff secretary Rob Porter who allegedly abused his ex-wives, and Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly after the sexual harassment charges against them.

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