Saturday, November 10, 2007

We Saved the Polo Court!

First off, let me offer thanks to everyone who helped out. Dave C, Brad @ Trackstar, Julie B, Turdy, the New York Hard Court (NY-HC) Polo crew, the Neighborhood kids and their parents, Gus the Deli owner, and most importantly the Horticulturists! I was sitting behind the main Horticulturist and she was awesome! So emphatic!

A summary: A petition was circulated before the local community board (CB3 in lower Manhattan) by a small group of people in favor of turning 'The Pit' (our much beloved Polo Court) into a dog run. We (NY-HC) found out about this maybe about two weeks or so ago when a new player mentioned (Rojo?) At any rate, we were understandably irate since some of the vocabulary used indicated that the court was never used (false, during the week we usually have to fight with the kids for it.) and that the inclusion of a Dog Run would help pacify and clean up the area (a dog run is evidently more powerful then the police when cleaning up the parks. Who knew?!)

With Dave C providing the central organization, we rallied and rallied hard. By the time of the meeting on Thursday, we had amassed at least 700 signatures on paper as well as
a bilingual petition in Chinese and English (big thanks to Trackstar for the sigs and Turdy for the translational). Per Dave's suggestion our argument focused on how used the space was and how it provided a safe area for the kids to play team sports (the street does not suffice) instead of what an awesome time Bike Polo is.

When the Board finally reached our topic, the Speaker made it clear that just from the sign-in sheet alone; there were 33 against the Dog Run and only 3 in favor of it. We had at least 10 of the kids there with us (they brought their footballs and baseballs, etc...) plus a good 15 or so NY-HC players/supporters and at least 6 people from the Horticulturists. In response the Dog Run people had ~200 signatures and their petition was in English only. They demonstrated that they were affluent and disconnected from the true nature of the community by ignoring the cultural implications of their request as well as the effect it would have on the children of the area.

In conclusion: Dave Rules! NY-HC lives on! Dogs can be walked!

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