Monday Bulletin: Branch Hits Waitress, Monumental Change in Central Park…and Farming?

Photo by Elaine of neighborliness on 68th Street.

August 10, 2020 Weather: Rain expected in the evening, with a high of 93 degrees.

Our calendar is full of events you can enjoy from home.

A tree branch fell on a waitress at Good Enough to Eat on Columbus and 85th Street during Tropical Storm Isaias last week. “After the storm around 4:00 or 4:30 she went out to set up the tables,” wrote owner Jeremy Wladis in an email. “A giant branch of the tree came down luckily it fell on the tents which softened the blow. Eventually it did hit her but not in the head and she did go to the hospital…The waitress is okay now.”

It’s hard to believe that it has been only 100 years this August since American women won the right to vote. It’s also unbelievable that of all the monuments of famous historical figures in Central Park, not one has been of a woman — until now. On August 26th, a 14-foot-high bronze statue of three leaders of the women’s suffragist movement — Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton — will be unveiled on a prominent spot along the Literary Walk, to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment. “‘I wanted to show women working together,’” Meredith Bergmann, the sculptor chosen from dozens of artists to create the statue, told The New York Times. “‘I kept thinking of women now, working together in some kitchen on a laptop, trying to change the world.’”

A Brooklyn farmer wants to take 14 acres of the 55-acre Great Lawn in Central Park and turn it into “a community farm that would feed under-resourced Manhattanites, many of whom are Black,” Fast Company reported. This story tells of the rise and razing of Seneca Village, a 19th-Century African-American village located between what is now West 85th and 86th Streets. “‘It would be there to pay homage to the ancestors of Seneca Village—that’s the number-one goal,’” said Amber Tamm, the farmer. Tamm said there is precedent “for converting Central Park to more essential uses: Within the first three weeks of the pandemic, after New York City shut down normal operations, field tents with 68 hospital beds went up in Central Park to support Mt. Sinai hospital as it treated COVID-19 patients. Tamm says, ‘if New York City is willing to set aside land for treating sick New Yorkers, why would it not set aside that same land for ensuring that city residents have access to good nutrition.’”

ART, NEWS, OUTDOORS | 35 comments | permalink
    1. weedisgood says:

      Grow weed instead.

    2. nemo paradise says:

      Sure. And we could turn the islands on Park Avenue into truck farms so people who live in urban food deserts have fresh endive and broccoli rabe. The Boat Pond should become a community wading pool, and we need to restore all the zoo animals to their native habitats so that we can erect low-income housing next to all the fresh corn.

      Finally, the Metropolitan Museum should be relocated to Boston, where they like paintings and stuff, and the Temple of Dendur converted into a rave palace for youths.

      Farmer Tamm is too modest. There iss much to be done here.

    3. GG says:

      Re: farming on the Great Lawn?!


    4. burt kozloff says:

      ‘It would be there to pay homage to the ancestors of Seneca Village—that’s the number-one goal,’ said Amber Tamm, the farmer.

      Why not just put up a nice little plaque and 86 the insanely stupid cornfield idea.

      • Can’t believe this says:

        Why not pay homage to the indigenous who lived there before the Dutch arrived?

      • World Peacenik says:


        My brother-in-law’s family hold the deed on a major parcel in Central Park. They are satisfied to view the stained-glass portraits of their ancestors that adorn the Church.

    5. Evan Bando says:

      Ms. Tamm says the precedent for the Central Park “farm” is the field tents during the pandemic. That was only three weeks so it is not a fair analogy. 14 of the 55 acres of the Great Lawn is exactly 25% of the entire space that is used for so many activities by NYers who need the park for respite from the city. Though well-meaning, Ms. Tamm’s chosen location is poor judgement. And the well-intentioned reference to history does not validate it. Feed the poor, yes. But eliminate 25% of the Great Lawn to do it. No.

    6. Mark Moore says:

      There are other ways of accessing good nutrition besides turning part of Central Park into a farm.

    7. Hyman Rosen says:

      Central Park has a meadow, a zoo, a reservoir, fishing, boating, turtles, a castle, a theater, and an English garden, so why not a farm? It would give Manhattanites a chance to see what growing real food is like.

    8. BLM ALM BLM ALM says:

      People don’t starve in NYC. I know there is hunger but this isn’t a good idea.

    9. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      there used to be a working farm in the Bronx Zoo back in the day. I seem to remember it was called “Farm in the Zoo”. and there still is a working farm museum in Queens:

      Until maybe 10 years ago, there was an actual working non-museum truck farm in Queens.

      speaking of odd things that used to exist at the Bronx Zoo, does anyone else remember the weird Monkey Island in the Bronx River?

      • Panisse Lettuce--Queens Farm says:

        I have to add my two (very positive) cents here. The Queens County Farm used to have a stand at Union Square on Fridays; they grew and sold the best panisse lettuce.

        Sadly, they are no longer quite so convenient. If you ever happen to see panisse lettuce–try it! But the one from Queens was awesome-between velvet and butter and yet quite hearty. Something about that Queens soil.

        Can you imagine dreaming about lettuce? It was the bomb!

    10. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      From her web site, Amber Tamm seems to be an expert at growing cannabis. Some of the UWS stick-in-the-muds might not like this, but i think it’s a big CV recommendation. Go Amber!

    11. soldier says:

      All those baseball fields – absolutely, turn them into a farm or anything else something that everyone needs. NOT the Great Lawn.

    12. C.T. Days says:

      I doubt 14 acres would be enough, long-term, for the sort of large-scale farming Tamm wants to see happen.

      There’s a lot of food waste in NYC, largely in the form of grocery stores throwing out packaged, edible food – sushi which wasn’t sold the day it was made, cut fruit, fresh pasta. Redirecting that discarded food would do more to feed the hungry of the city than starting a new farm in such an environmentally important green space. I understand the problem Tamm wants to solve; there are better ways to do it than their proposal.

    13. David says:


    14. David says:

      I hope this isn’t seriously being considered. The costs of creating and maintaining this farm would be exponentially greater than the savings it would create in food costs for a handful of families. Just put a fraction of those resources towards buying them groceries if you really actually care about the under served. This is just BS

      • Jim says:

        Have you ever grown anything in a garden? Starting a few seeds in the spring can result i. Hundreds of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, etc. I do it every year and it costs maybe $40. What are you so afraid of?

    15. David S says:

      It’s a lovely thought. But there’s a reason why small farms all over the country are failing, and most of those that survive do so only with government subsidies. At 3% of the average farm size in this country and without local access to all the supplies and services that farms need (Can you believe there’s not a single tractor repair shop in Manhattan!), I can’t see how this could possibly raise enough food to even pay for itself, much less provide food more affordably than purchasing in through normal channels.

    16. John says:

      “There is precedent “for converting Central Park to more essential uses”

      If this is true cut all the trees down and fill the Park up with solar panels to power the city

      • World Peacenik says:

        Or a golf course a la Golf Links Aberdeen. Got a property management firm in mind. Turn key.

    17. Christine E says:

      Humans will never enjoy park farm food. The park rats will devour it first.

    18. Marilyn says:

      Seriously? Even though Elizabeth Cady Stanton is well known as a racist by anyone who knows anything about her or the suffragist movement.

    19. Marilyn says:

      Good idea take away more needed green space during a pandemic. Why not also make a bike lane to get to it to reduce the space even more?

    20. EB says:

      There’s already an active farm on NYC parkland. It’s on Governor’s Island

      • SenioRita says:

        Best wishes to the waitress at Good Enough to Eat; I hope she is doing well. It’s hard enough and dangerous enough to be a server these days without worrying about branches falling on your head. It’s just one more reason that I’m not yet ready to join the Eat on the Street crowd. For you who are, please tip well.

    21. Christian says:

      The Dairy used to be a dairy and the Sheep Meadow used to be a meadow with sheep. The city changes.

      • History Buff says:

        Re: “the Sheep Meadow used to be a meadow with sheep.”
        YES! According to “Ephemeral New York”, from 1864 the Sheep Meadow had real sheep, plus a sheep fold, a shepherd and family, and Shep, a sheep dog.
        Until 1934, when Parks “Commish” Robert Moses had them evicted, because he “feared” that hungry residents of the park’s “Hooverville” would turn them into sheep burgers.
        The sheep fold would later become Tavern on the Green, which still offered lamb (baby sheep) as “Caramelized Rack of LAMB”… for $48. Bahhh!

    22. RJ says:

      Leave the great lawn to concerts.
      Much better.
      Relocate the farms to the burbs.