You are reading

Waterfront parks have been plagued by trash, residents learn who should be cleaning it up

LIC Landing

May 7, 2017 By Christian Murray

Several residents went to a meeting in Long Island City Tuesday to express their concerns about quality-of-life issues that they say are negatively affecting the enjoyment of the waterfront parks.

The meeting, hosted by the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy in tandem with the Hunters Point Civic Association, provided the nearly 50 attendees with an opportunity to ask city and state officials—as well as the owner of LIC Landing—what is being done to combat litter, wayward dogs, pot-smoking teenagers and the increased number of food venders who are allegedly clogging up Center Boulevard by the parks.

Residents were initially given a breakdown as to who was responsible for maintaining the parks.

Frank (Turtle) Raffaele, CEO of LIC Landing/Coffeed, outlined that his company is responsible for keeping clean a large chunk of Hunters Point South Park, which includes the park area covered by wooden decking as well as the concrete areas that include his restaurant and event space.

One resident questioned Raffaele about garbage being left in the restaurant/cafe area.

“Over the weekend it is kind of abandoned in terms of garbage pickup. I don’t know if you are responsible for that—but it is in your space—usually Saturdays and Sundays and it brings rats,” the resident said. “Who is in charge of picking up the garbage over the weekend?“

Raffaelle acknowledged that it is his firm’s responsibility to clean this trash but said that LIC Landing is getting on top of the problem.

“We do have staff that monitor and empty the trash cans,” he said, but noted that earlier this year he wasn’t fully staffed since the warmer season had yet to kick in.

“The last couple of weekends we have been at full staff and so are porters and maintenance crew have been there doing a great job to get the garbage to a level it should be.”

Raffaele said that his company currently has 3 porters working who are responsible for cleaning the areas of the park his firm is responsible for. He said that he would also be adding trash receptacles.

The rest of the Hunters Point South Park is maintained by the New York City Parks Department.

Speakers

Norman Chan, who manages the park on behalf of the Parks Department, said the city is responsible for cleaning the artificial turf, the grassy area adjacent to it, as well as the sand box area and playground.

He said that during the off season he has three workers in charge of cleaning the area, with the number increased to six during peak season.

He said there have been times lately when his staff numbers have been down. He said that over the Easter period two of his three workers were sick, making it difficult to keep the park clean.

He was asked whether the parks department would be adding trash cans, which he was unable to answer.

“When the park was designed it was designed with a certain number of garbage cans built in,” he said. “We are exploring ways to get them, something we are working on.”

Many of the trash problems arise overnight Chan said.

He said his workers typically work 8am- 4:30 pm shifts, which sometimes results in trash building up in the late evenings and mornings. He said that he will be modifying staff hours so they can finish later.

Residents wanted to know who was in charge of keeping an eye on the park overnight.

“People are trashing it overnight,” one resident said. “I see graffiti in the mornings, syringes on the ground…kids in the playground smashing things, smoking pot and drinking.”

Capt. Ralph Forgione, the commanding officer of the 108th Police Precinct, was at the meeting and said that his “conditions team,” which works overnight, will clamp down on the problem.

He said that he had recently received a letter from Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer outlining some of the overnight problems at Hunters Point South Park and that he would be on top of it.  He told attendees: “I assure you you’ll see a difference by the next [Civic Association] meeting.”

The meeting focused very little on Gantry Plaza State Park, which is managed by the state and has separate employees to oversee it. The state has three employees working the morning shift and another three working the afternoon/evening shift who are tasked to clean and maintain it.

The park only became part of the conversation when the issue of dogs was raised.

Andrew Williams, park manager for Gantry Plaza State Park, said dogs are permitted on leashes in the plaza area in front of the Gantries as well as on piers 1 through 4. However, beyond that dogs are generally not permitted, whether they are on a leash or not.

Williams said that he is aware that many dog owners don’t obey these rules.

Meanwhile, at Hunters Point South Park, dogs are permitted on leashes throughout the park, with the exception of the synthetic turf, the playground area and the sandbox area. They are permitted on the lawn area.

One resident complained that there was not enough space for dogs to run. She said that three dog runs in the area are filled with river rocks—where dogs are prone to injury– and another is just not big enough for dogs to run.

“If you have a big dog, there is no place for the dog to actually run,” she said.

Another issue raised was the proliferation of food trucks on Center Boulevard on weekends. One resident complained that the operators of these trucks don’t have enough trash cans which is adding to the litter problem.

However, the biggest problem with the trucks is that they are illegally parked, residents said, blocking the line of vision for pedestrians crossing the street. The area of great concern was Center Boulevard and 51st Avenue.

Forgione said that he would look into the problem and residents would see results by the June meeting.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

62 Comments

Click for Comments 
DO

Coffeed contributes to local representatives, also supports the park conservancy, which promotes “events,” not cleanup. There is rampant weed growth, vines cover rose bushes. No use of the words “Park” and “Conservancy fits this event-planning operation. Take a look at Central Park if you care about a proper example for our precious slice of nature.
It’s a park, not a beer and Sangria swigging outdoor bar, with adult themed music at hideous noise levels, designed to sonically push out the children,
the non alcohol drinkers and aiming for quick turnover.

Reply
Yasss

Why don’t you all pitch in and clean up the trash every once in a while. Instead of staring and complaining about it you can be part of the solution.
God what entitlement!

Here in Astoria we clean up our own fucking parks alongside city efforts

Reply
Be responsible

What a bunch of Bull Dinky. The garbage cans Coffeed are responsible for are full due to no one at all emptying them for days on end. It is not just the weekends or in high season; it is most of the time all year round. I take the ferry and see the same garbage there day after day- yes, lol- I can tell it is the same garbage. Please give back to the community you make your living from.

Reply
brooklynmc

That place could be one of the most popular places in NYC to have drink or some lunch. When will this Coffeed guy run out money so that we can get a good business in here? Please!

Reply
LIC fly

Additionally, he is now charging $10 for beer. Pretty sure he doesn’t care about the neighborhood. If he couldn’t make $8 beer work, there is something fundamentally wrong with the biz.

Reply
brooklynmc

Can someone please explain why on earth there is an anonymous troll who spends his days voting people down? Does this troll actually sign in and out hundreds of times or is there some troll trick. A normal person can vote once. It is just mind boggling to me that someone would actually spend their time doing this. Super creepy, super strange, super pathetic.

Reply
Anonymous

If you can’t use the Like/Dislike counter to give you a sense of what everyone is thinking, then the whole concept of the board is ruined. I’m with brooklynmc. Whoever this guy is — and it can only be some sad man doing this — go find a job with the NSA, Wikileaks or the Russians and leave us alone to moan in peace!

Reply
Basta

I was at the meeting, and the discourse seemed to be an accurate reflection of the current population of LIC, and the city as a whole. A vocal and fairly sizable group of pushy, self-centered do-gooders obsessing about minor or non-issues to the point of ridiculousness.

The climax of the folly was when Forgione gleefully informed the crowd that they had just arrested someone for smoking pot in the park, and the majority of people in attendance broke out into giddy laughter and scattered applause, the fruits of their quasi witch hunt having been borne almost immediately.

It was a pathetic display of insolence and ignorance from people who clearly have no idea just how good they have it.

Reply
Basta

Yep. If you can’t deal with some people smoking pot in the park, you need to get the fuck out of NYC. It’s not the place for you.

Reply
um

How much pot did they have to warrant an arrest? Isn’t it basically legal!?

LIONEL Q DEVERAUX

Why is loud partying wrong? is it wrong that some moron drives down the street with his windows wide open blasting music at levels that can only be making him deaf? honestly, if you want to head to the park & listen to music, that is great. but the whole park doesn’t have to hear your music…and you are correct, wither the state or the city should take over the entire park. the city would be better at it and less expensive since they have the resources at hand to handle any issues that arise. maybe van bramer can put this on his “to do” list (after “get picture taken for Woodside Herald of course).

Reply
mike

thank god i moved from this area

i saw this debacle coming a mile away

as soon as the park was finished the type of crowd it attracted

changed for the worse

anyone who lives on or near the waterfront knows during the week its great

come the weekend head for the hills the animals come in

Reply
Anonymous

While I don’t agree 100% I knew a long time ago the park would hit a point where it attracted too many and the problems would multiple. Not as enjoyable as it once was but it’s still not a bad park although I miss the tranquility it had years ago.

Reply
Anonymous

@Mike – Tell me exactly how you know the type of crowd that is at the park on the weekends if you have moved away?? Or are you visiting over the weekend and you are the animals that you are eluding to?

The park is lovely on the weekend and the weekday. You just sound bitter that you had to leave the area now want to rationalize it in your head..

Reply
Basta

You could see it coming a mile away, yet you still can’t find your shift key? And thank god you escaped all the heathens that don’t live in your ivory tower.

Reply
Anonymous

I don’t have any problem with anyone who wants to come to the neighborhood and enjoy the park. What I do want is for them — and everyone who goes to the park, including residents — to take some responsibility for themselves and clean up after themselves and not act like a piece of lowlife trash. Simple.

Reply
Anonymous

Here is an alternate point of view.
I have been to the park the previous three weekends with a blanket, dog and cooler of food and drinks (gasp…most of it has alcohol). To me the kids running around with their balls landing on my blanket or constantly trying to play with my leashed dog is annoying. But guess what…it is a park for us all to use. For me the best part about the park is the fact that music is playing and you can lay in the grass with a beer in hand and enjoy the weather and view. I have seen no wild partying or issues just everyone enjoying the park. . We can both exist at the same time even if we are not doing the same thing. The fact that I am there drinking beer on a blanket in no way impacts you or your kids enjoyment of the same park.

The funniest thing I read here is policing “loud partying” in a park! It is an outside park in the middle of a city. What is “loud partying” and why is that wrong and kids screaming and yelling while they play not “loud partying”.

Some people need to lighten up. It’s not bad at the park. In fact I think the park is amazing just the way it is. Please don’t change it except for a few more garbage cans.

Reply
Basta

Agreed. However it is only going to get worse. They keep building monstrosities on every available street corner in the neighborhood, and the park is starting to become known as a tourist/visitor hot spot. It will continue to get more and more crowded…

Reply
LIONEL Q DEVERAUX

We all share the concerns…but until Van Bramer takes time out from his photo ops and actually does something useful, nothing will get accomplished. I live in Sunnyside and can’t remember the last time a saw I patrol car in the area.

Here’s an idea…NYC Sanitation should be responsible for refuse pickup there, and NYPD should be responsible for security of the area. Do we really need the city parks department and the state parks department policing one very small area?

Reply
Anonymous

The state parks dept actually does a very good job imo. They’re diligent in maintaining their section and I always see them undertaking a project of some sort. The city parks department, not so much. The employees seem half hearted at best and move like they’re still asleep (with the exception of one, the gardener). As for the police, the state parks cops are good for assisting at large events but as for everyday enforcement they’re useless. They seldom enter the park leaving enforcement duties to the park employees. When they do enter it’s a brief walk that addresses nothing then they’re back in their vehicles doing traffic stops on taxis. The 108 pct will address park problems after they handle all the priorities first like burglaries, assaults, domestic abuses, missing children, traffic accidents, injuries…..in other words they’re not showing up. Overall the best in terms of park maintenance would be if the state took over the whole park yet let the nypd handle the enforcement. Give the 108 a small portion of the city parks budget for addressing park conditions in the form of overtime blocks ($$) and you’ll see tickets written.

Reply
DO

The CEO of Coffeed sells wine out of giant tubs from the side–off premises?– as sangria by the pitcher or glass during the summer. Last summer, that is. No ID needed folks, as two rather young looking baristas proffered their wares at the long table set up by the irresponsible owner. He built the outdoor beer hall enclosure that makes “private” what was an open area. Loud music plays all day, to add to the raffish bar atmosphere. Please put a leash on this outrage. Take away the wine and beer concession, or truly police the loud partying.

Reply
LocalResidentToo

I happen to like the music and the sangria. The park is large enough to accommodate one lively spot and several very quiet ones, and soon it will get even bigger with the completion on the new southern extension.

Reply
brooklynmc

I like that alcohol is sold there. That is really the only draw for me since the food is terrible, the service is very slow, the music is way too loud and it is really an unpleasant purchasing experience.

Reply
Anonymous

Maybe people should pick up their own trash? Maybe people should confront dog owners who are flaunting the rules? Sure, they will resist and yell at you as you do…but at the very least, they may think twice for the next time, lest they be confronted again. This community needs to police and take care of itself as best as it can because complaining to the sky is getting nowhere.

Reply
Time's Up

Well I did my part by recently yelling at a woman who had her giant dog on the sand. The sand was filled with kids playing on a Friday evening and her dog just HAD to walk the sand too.

So, I called her out for it. Granted, I was a bit hostile (it was the third dog I saw there that day so I lost my patience). But did she do the right thing and immediately walk away with her dog? Of course not. Instead she has to engage in a heated argument with me while I have a baby in my lap.

There’s something truly wrong with some of these people. No offense to the good ones, but she seemed to be a typical clueless transplant. Instead of acknowledging that she’s wrong and just leaving she chooses to argue with me in front of my kids while her dog remained (and I think pissed) on the sand – all because I didn’t point out her gross inconsideration in a nicer manner.

And just to be clear, I love dogs, but they don’t belong on the sand. Just like my kids don’t run around the dog park.

Reply
Anonymous

My point exactly, which I just posted below. I confronted someone myself, probably more politely than you did (though I understand why you didn’t). She clearly had no interest in what I was saying and wasn’t about to change her habits because of me. These people are cold, hostile and narcissistic. I was shocked that someone who shares space with me in the area could be so uncaring. There’s no way that antisocial behavior will be changed unless the police crack down on them with steep summonses.

Reply
Anonymous

Whether dogs are allowed on the sand or not is almost irreverent at this point because it seems everyone claims their dog to be a ‘service dog’. No documentation is needed and authority can only ask you two questions in regards. Service dogs are permitted anywhere so exclusion zones become irrelevant. To denies them use is to violate their rights and the law.

Reply
brooklynmc

You can buy a service dog license on the internet. I work with a woman who is quite proud of her fake ID. She brings her dog to restaurants that don’t allow dogs. I realize the world has bigger problems but it would be nice if someone could do something about these fake IDs.

Reply
Fed Up

Good for you for speaking up! I’ve seen so many dogs walk in the middle of bushes and flowers piss and shit in the soil, dogs in the oval running around, piss and shitting where all the people have their blankets out for picnic on the outskirt of the ovals. I too wanted to say something each time or show them a picture of the sign that says NO DOGS IN THE OVAL. I didn’t to avoid heated arguments. People don’t take it well when people not in uniforms tell them what to do, no matter what it is. NExt time I too shall speak up, it’s totally getting out of hand! OH! and I too am a dog lover …

Reply
Basta

Well, we could also say that sand-boxes don’t really have a place in NYC, so you shouldn’t be freaking out if they aren’t pristine. Non-transplants know and understand that when you have a kid in the city, you either move to the burbs or accept the fact that you will have a city-kid. (And there is absolutely nothing wrong with a city-kid, that’s just the reality of the situation).

Reply
brooklynmc

I was going to agree with you till you called her a transplant. That has nothing to do with anything. Being a lifelong resident of a neighborhood gets you nothing.

Reply
Basta

Well, it gets you an understanding of what you should realistically expect in NYC. And no, expecting it to transform into your suburb of preference is not realistic.

Reply
brooklynmc

If I wanted to live in the suburbs I would move there. I am going on 26 years in the city. Do I get some kind of badge or something? Or is that not long enough for you? You need to grow up and stop looking for fights.

brooklynmc

What is with you and the hostile takeover of a small digital publications comments section anyways? This is a neighborhood site and we should be able to have mature discussions that don’t turn into childish troll wars. Can we just agree to disagree for the sake of anyone else who might like to enjoy these boards? It would be easier for me to avoid you if you would pick one personality and stick with it. Just how many different names do you have? And why?

Anonymous

I once literally called after and then chased a young woman down my street (she lives around the corner) holding the dog shit in a plastic bag that her mutt just dumped in the middle my sidewalk. I handed it to her and asked her politely to please be considerate and clean up after her dog. She looked at me with a snarl on her face as if I were from Mars. Sure enough, days later, I saw her let her dog do its business in the very same spot! My god, how are you supposed to deal with this problem if you have such irresponsible, selfish people living with you? They simply don’t care about their neighbors. Are we supposed to be up all night, like dog shit sentries, watching for offenders? No, the city needs to go after these people and harshly penalize them and keep me out of it.

Reply
Fed Up

Good for you! Kudos to you for being able to pick up someone elses dog shit and chase after them! I probably couldn’t do it but I look at you in admiration! I agree dog owners should be responsible for their own dog waste and if putting up signs and telling them won’t work then hit it where it hurts! Their wallet!

How would you feel if I took a dump in front of your building and left it there for you to see as you exit your building, not so nice then is it? HOW inconsiderate! right? dog waste and human waste is the same SHIT.

Reply
Anonymous

i would love to see FINES enforced for littering- but that would involve more of a police presence.

Reply
Lionel Q. Deveraux

We all share the concerns…but until Van Bramer takes time out from his photo ops and actually does something useful, nothing will get accomplished. i live in Sunnyside and can’t remember the last time a saw I patrol car in the area.

Here’s an idea…NYC Sanitation should be responsible for refuse pickup there, and NYPD should be responsible for security of the area. Do we really need the city parks department and the state parks department policing one very small area?

Reply
Steinway resident

Look at Steinway street between 25th Ave and 28th Ave. it’s disgusting and full of litter. It’s a CONSTANT headache with the double parking. There are businesses that are bringing in night club culture who litter the streets with cups, bottles, pizza boxes, coffee cups and so in. You can’t walk down that strip without stepping over garbage. No one cares. We complain, small businesses complain because it’s destroying our quality of life not to mention it’s u safe. The crime has gone up drastically in that area. Cops don’t care nor does the city. I think it’s time STEINWAY STREET represents itself in these meetings! We have a voice and will be heard!

Reply
HB

This meeting was about parks. Steinway St. is not a park and also has a different councilman. Talk to Costa’s office.

Reply
Migroschrott

“If you have a big dog, there is no place for the dog to actually run”.

Well, how about not getting a big dog in the first place?! NYC is a jam-packed city, why should it be somehow responsible for your huge-ass dog’s own run? Move upstate, plenty of room for your dog.

Reply
lawrence ellison

“i bought this huge ass yacht. why isn’t there enough affordable parking to dock my huge ass yacht in LIC?”

Reply
LIC_fly

My family loves dogs (medium to large only). Small dogs don’t count. For this very reason we made a decision not to have one while living in an apt. Pretty selfish to keep a medium to large dog in apt living unless you have a weekend home setup out of the city to allow the dog to run like they were meant to.

Reply
Anonymous

Exactly! I feel so sad for big dogs in NYC. It is animal cruelty for someone to own a big dog in a small apartment.

Reply
Dog owner, not lazy.

Or take your fur friend over to the vernon run, the run at Murray Park or up to astoria Park. Center Blvd is not the center of ANYTHING and it’s definitely not its own town, despite how they feel the need to bus your lazy butts to the subways station. For all this entitlement they can’t just be standard Millennials, they must have come from the stepford program.

Reply
Anonymous

The “conditions” team will be responsible, says the captain of the 108th. It’s called that because their ability to ever do anything is “conditional” on the rare times when the cops happen to give a crap about the neighborhood.

Reply
Basta

What’s your problem? The neighborhood is pretty darn safe, and the cops shouldn’t be wasting their time chasing around a few pot smokers.

Reply
brooklynmc

I am with you 100%. The police ignore the waterfront area. Center Boulevard needs a police presence. I bet stop signs are ignored or missed at least 100 times a day. This, on a street that is filled with strollers and children. Even the little yellow school bus army that invades the neighborhood every morning is a pedestrian danger. A kid will be killed. Definitely. Amazing it has not already happened. Blend on the Water should be closed. There is not enough parking, the customers speed down Center Blvd and loud, drunk, large groups that end up in the park don’t fit in to a quiet, family neighborhood.

Reply
Anonymous

So, you think a business should business be closed b/c there isn’t enough parking? W/ that logic most businesses in the city would be closed due to no parking. Also, what about the other businesses that produce loud and drunk people especially the bars on Vernon…should they not close? Take your lame ass arguments elsewhere…maybe back to brooklyn?

Reply
Anonymous 2

You never seemed to have any problem with loud drunks bothering people who live on Vernon. But when it happens next to where you live, suddenly you go all NIMBY Westport on the board. Try a little consistency.

Reply
brooklynmc

The loud people part is a small problem. The fast cars and lack of parking is a big problem. No, I generally don’t have a problem with noise that I can’t hear. That is someone else’s problem and no, I do not agree that most businesses in NYC rely on car traffic. That is ridiculous. NYC has the lowest car ownership in the United States. 60% of NYC households are car free.

Lionel Q. Deveraux

So let me understand this, we have three medium sized parcels of waterfront land in Long Island City that has three entities responsible for its maintenance.
Coffeed is responsible for the southern parcel, the city is responsible for the middle parcel, and the state is responsible for the northern parcel. Where does this make sense? i can see Coffeed responsible for their parcel, but to divide that remaining parcel up between the city & state is a joke. there is not enough land there for one entity to maintain. Maybe Van Bramer (when he is not posing for photographs), might try to consolidate the city & state parks. The parks will run more efficiently, and the taxpayers will not be paying double.

Reply
DO

Coffeed creates the noise, alcohol use and trash. Event promotion is the job of the LIC Parks “Conservancy.” This feeds crowds for Coffeed. I feel a partnership.
As well, roses are covered in weed vines. Who pays the folks at the Conservancy?

Reply
David Trottie

I am a resident and also share all the concerns raised in the meeting.

Reply
Anonymous

gee this is rather odd because we the people that live in Sunnyside/Woodside can’t get our areas clean —

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: grand larcenies down across borough, rapes halved in the north, robberies decrease in the south

Apr. 17, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of grand larcenies across Queens was down during the 28-day period from March 18 to April 14, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Monday. At the same time, rapes and robberies decreased significantly in northern and southern Queens, respectively.