I help open and close the gates for Stuyvesant Park Dog Run, which is a section of the section of the park that's closed off for a few hours twice a day.
Volunteers built the gates with donated money. They're temporary gates of PVC pipe and plastic netting and were supposed to last a year or two till the Parks Department made permanent gates.
It's been seven years and counting. Meantime, it's people against entropy as the gates list, bend, and sink. Twice dogs have gotten through one gate and gotten killed in the street. I saw one of these dogs. The owner was tottering through the park with the dead dog in her arms, sobbing, looking for help finding the closest vet.
Since then, the permanent gates have been designed, sent to the landmarks commission, and approved. The money was set aside around 2004, thanks largely to a new city councilwoman elected with help from the dog run people. The neighborhood planning commission gave its approval after a public meeting with comments--the commentators being dog owners begging them to GET MOVING.
Says one of the dog owners: "I guess we're going to have to have two more dogs get killed before they do anything."
That was a couple of months ago. Now what? No one knows.
Two days ago, some crazy guy threw water on one of the park's volunteer gatekeepers because the gatekeeper was talking with some woman that Crazy Guy has a crush on.
Next day Crazy Guy came back to the park. He met one of the parks department planners. Parks department guy tells Crazy Guy: We expect to have these gates up by the beginning of August. Crazy Guy tells anybody who'll let him get close enough to talk to.
That was the story going around at the dog park this morning.
And everyone said "Wahoooo! Let's hope he's right!"