Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ribbon Cutting Celebrating Dog Run to take place this Saturday, Dec 1st at our Coffee Bark!


This Saturday, December 1st during our Coffee Bark (9-11am), the Commissioner of Parks will be on hand to cut a ribbon celebrating the 1st anniversary of St. Nick's Dog Run. Please spread the word and come enjoy free coffee, donuts and socialize with dog owners and our elected officials.

Even if you don't have a dog and would like to celebrate this great addition to our park and learn about the Friends organization, please come help us celebrate!

St. Nick's Dog Park is located between 136th/137th Streets in the middle of the park. Take the 137th Street staircase up and take aright to find our run! Or walk up the 135th street staircase to the top, take a right and walk around the bend to find the entrance!

Thanks and see you on Saturday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Coffee Bark Takes Place this Saturday, Dec 1st from 9-11am

Dear Friends,

This Saturday, December 1st from 9am-11am we'll be having our monthly Coffee Bark at St. Nick's Dog Park. This will be the last Coffee Bark until April! Be sure to try to make it and wish everyone a happy holiday.

Coffee Barks take place on the first Saturday of every month. This social event allows us to get to know one another as well as address dog park issues and discuss future endeavors in St. Nick's Dog Park and St. Nicholas Park. Free coffee, donuts and other refreshments will be served.


We'll be collecting donations to Friends of St. Nicholas Park at the Coffee Bark. Your donation helps the group maintain the dog park as well as host our yearly events for the community including the Fall Festival, Easter Festival and our Holiday Tree Lighting. Your donation is tax deductible. For all check donations of $250 or more, City Parks Foundation will mail you an acknowledgment letter as required by law.

We cannot accept cash. Please bring a check.

Step 1: Write a check made out to: City Parks Foundation. In the memo of the check be sure to write "Friends of St. Nicholas Park"

Step 2: Bring your check along with a cover letter describing your donation to St. Nicholas Park in an envelope. We'll take care of the rest!

Or donate online.

You can also donate by credit card by following the instruction below:

Step 1: Click here to go to the City Parks Foundation Donation home page

Step 2: Fill out the online form by follow the directions. This form is secure and from a trusted non-profit corporation.

Step 3: Make sure you fill in the 'Designation' field by typing in "Friends of St. Nicholas Park". If you don't, your contribution does not go to our park.

Hope you can make it and of course please bring your dog!

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer or bring donuts or coffee at The Coffee Bark please email us at


Friends of St. Nicholas Park

Monday, November 26, 2007

St. Nicholas Park Annual Holiday Tree Lighting to feature Tamara Tunie, star of TV’s Law & Order SVU

The Friends of St. Nicholas Park will be presenting its Annual Holiday Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 6th from 5:30-7pm in the St. Nicholas Park Plaza located at 135th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. This year’s event will feature Tamara Tunie, star of TV’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, reading the famed holiday poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Other festivities will include musical performances from Harlem School for the Arts and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church. Hot chocolate and hot apple cider will be served.

An accomplished actor and producer, Tamara Tunie is best known for her work as lawyer Jessica Griffin McKechnie Harris on the soap opera As the World Turns. She is best known to nighttime audiences for her roles on detective crime dramas. She played the recurring role of Lillian Fancy on NYPD Blue from 1994 to 1997, and has played Medical Examiner, Dr. Melinda Warner on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit since 2000. Tunie has also produced the Tony Award-winning Broadway production, Spring Awakening and August Wilson’s RADIO GOLF. Tamara and her husband, Jazz singer Gregory Generet, live in the historic Hamilton Heights district and are members of the Friends of St. Nicholas Park.

About St. Nicholas Park
Created in 1895, St. Nicholas Park was built on a rugged mass of rock, following the steep and irregular topography of northern Manhattan from 128th street to 141st street. The development of the park and the completion of the elevated rapid transit line made this area of Harlem a fashionable residential district at the turn of the century.

The name for the park was taken from the adjacent Harlem streets, St. Nicholas Terrace (to the west) and St. Nicholas Avenue (to the east). These streets honor New Amsterdam’s patron saint, whose image adorned the figurehead of the New Netherland that brought the first Dutch colonists to these shores. St. Nicholas of Myra is also known as the patron saint of children, sailors, bankers, pawnbrokers, travelers, and captives, as well as the inspiration for Father Christmas or Santa Claus.

Today, the 23 acre park has several basketball courts, handball courts, playgrounds, BBQ areas and a newly opened dog run. In the Spring of 2008, St. Nicholas Park will become the new home of the Hamilton Grange, Alexander Hamilton’s historic farmhouse.

About The Friends of St. Nicholas Park
The Friends of St. Nicholas Park is a coalition of residents and community-based organizations, working together to revitalize our neighborhood’s natural resource. We advocate an increase in programming, beautification projects, and safety in our 23 acre park. With the help of the New York City Parks Department and many neighborhood groups, including St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Community Board 9, the YMCA’S Jackie Robinson Youth Center, the Hamilton Heights Homeowners Association, and the Historic Harlem Parks Coalition (HHPC), we strive to achieve these goals. In addition to the Annual Tree Lighting, the Friends sponsor the Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival as well as a Fall Festival, Easter Festival and a monthly Coffee Bark at the St. Nick’s Dog Park.

More information about the group can be found at

Monday, November 19, 2007


Hey Everyone.

I was talking to my upstairs neighbor on Saturday afternoon and she told me that she was mugged at gunpoint on Friday near the park.

About 9:45 on Friday, she said she came out of the 137th street exit for the B/C and started walking towards Fred Doug when someone came up behind her and pushed her up against the wall of St. Marks Church and pointed a gun at her. He demanded money and than grabbed her purse and the took off across St. Nicholas into the park. She said the police were there within 2 minutes when she called and they began searching the park for the mugger. I am not sure if they found him because she couldn't really describe him that well, only that he looked really young, possibly no older than 15.

This time of year when it gets dark earlier it is very important to be aware of your surroundings in the park. For starters, I very rarely use the 137th street exit at night because it is not that well lit and there is less foot traffic there than at the 135th st exit which is always busy. Also if something like this ever happens to any of you, and I hope it doesn't, try and pick out some characteristic that will help the police, maybe a brand of jacket or shoes or if there is a weapon involved possibly the type. Anything descriptive will help.

If don't see you have a great Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Monthly Meeting Minutes from Tuesday, November 13th

Below are notes from our monthly meeting last week. The Friends of St. Nicholas Park hold their monthly membership meetings on the Second Tuesday of every month at the St. Mark's United Methodist Church at 55 Edgecombe Avenue. Please email us at if you have any questions or would like to volunteer for our events.

Monthly Meeting Tuesday, November 13th


Maxine Billingsley
Arlene Wilcox
Judy Williams
Laura Iorio
William Mullin
Risa Rottenberg
Ronald Guy
Sarah Fort
Jehanne Catalano

Tree Lighting

- Tree lighting is Thursday, December 6th from 5:30-7pm.
- Laura and Josh (who wasn't at the meeting) have offered to come to the church to prepare the hot chocolate and apple cider in the church's kitchen before the event. It was agree that they should meet around 4:30/5pm at the church.
- Info from Julia about donations from Make My Cake last year - cookies may be needed for event.
- Shawn's secret recipe for the hot chocolate. William to ask for this.
- William will ask Diva Goodfriend for use of her table at the event.
- Arlene and Maxine said they might be able to help out for the event. They will let the group know when we get closer to the event.
- Harv said he could bring a few of his kids to the event to help out.
- We discussed confirmation from HSA about student brass instrument performers for the tree lighting. Jehanne will follow-up on William's request.
- Risa mentioned the Afro-Cuban jazz band and the possibility of their playing at the event. Risa to follow-up with contact and let them know that it would be a 30 minute set.
- Ron Guy will try to engage some of the brass players in the church who have been featured in concerts at the church before.
- Sarah will check with parks about a microphone and amplifier for the event. She notes that this may need a special sound permit from the Police Precinct.
- Sarah will also check on a ceremonial switch so the lighting of the tree can be a special moment within the event.
- Sarah noted that event needs to take place in the plaza since the permit covers an event only in the park not on the sidewalks. Lighting has been difficult in previous years and group brainstormed on ideas to bring more light to the plaza during this time.
- Sarah to check on possible platform for the event where performers and speakers could stand.
- Since Josh has fancy new camera he will be our photographer for the event (hope this is okay with you Josh).
- Press for the event - we didn't speak a lot about this but was wondering if anyone had press contacts (Ron?) we can let know about the event. If needed William can draft a quick press release.
- Group agreed that another meeting may be needed before event to finalize plan.

Download link for PDF of flyer - please print and hang where you can!

Tree lighting fund raising initiative

- It was discussed that the tree lighting would be a great time to fund raise. Using Jackie Robinson model, the group do mailing to area zip codes for donations toward tree lighting and donor gets a personalized ornament.
- Sarah has said Partnership for Parks graphic designer is busy. William volunteered graphic layout of mailing.
- Risa brought examples of laminated round tags that are weather-proof. The group agreed on the round 3 inch diameter tag for ornament use. She will investigate whether we can order various colors.

Hamilton Grange Meeting

- Sarah let the group know that a representative from the National Parks Service will be presenting plans for the Hamilton Grange at the next operations meeting. She has asked the Friends to announce this to their group. [UPDATE] - Sarah has informed the group that perhaps there should be another venue for a larger presentation to the Friends group. Risa and William will determine after presentation at Operations meeting.

- Risa has stated that Steve Simon asked her to delay reaching out to come of the contractors involved. The group will be able to get info from the National Parks Service at their presentation at the operations meeting.

- Risa will be in charge of requesting materials and information about the move for the Friends. William will post on website in special section and keep group informed of meeting via e-mails, etc.

Other Notes

-Judy William said she was involved in a senior group who does outreach for the community and is active in trying to keep the area clean etc.Risa proposed having Harv's kids worked with this group as a mentoring pair where they can help out, etc.

- Friends to follow-up with Commissioner on meeting that Harv, Risa and Ron attended with Commissioner. Finding a solution to an area where Harv's kids can go that they can call their own.

Next Friends Meeting

- The next Friends meeting is scheduled for December 11th from 7pm-9pm. Ron confirmed that use of the church should not be a problem.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Monthly Meeting this Tuesday, November 13th 7-9pm

Dear Friends,

This Tuesday, November 13th, from 7pm-9pm, we will have a our Monthly Meeting at St. Mark's United Methodist Church located at 55 Edgecombe Ave. at the intersection of Edgecombe and St. Nicholas Ave. (Across from the park).

We will be discussing types of events we should host for 2008, grant writing for the group as well as finalizing our volunteers and to-do's for our Holiday Tree Lighting next month. If you have any ideas for our events in St. Nicholas Park, or questions about our organization and please feel free to bring a friend and spread the word.

Thanks and see you Tuesday evening at St. Mark's Church. If you have any questions please email us at

Friends of St. Nicholas Park

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Coffee helps warm the chills at November's Bark

Fall finally arrived and it was felt by everyone yesterday. Luckily the Coffee Bark had some warm coffee donated by Mike Tosi and Shawn Milligan and some donuts from the group as well. Jason - "Scooby's Daddy" - provided some nourishment to the group by bringing some homemade chocolate cake in the shape of doggy poo logs (hilarious!). Needless to say, we certainly cleaned them up! Some new dogs and their "parents" were also welcomed by the group yesterday.

Our next Coffee Bark is scheduled for Saturday, December 1st. Hope to see everyone there! Below are some more photos of the event. Good luck to Rosie (Mel's Mom) who is due to give birth any day now! And good luck to one of St. Nick Dog Run's founders Shawn Milligan, who leaves us in a few weeks for Seattle. We will greatly miss him and his dog Axel!

Rosie (Mel's Mommie) poses with Christine (left) and shows off her little baby belly. We all wish Rosie (and Palo) a healthy delivery and look forward to meeting the baby!

A long shot from the Run's picnic table.

Shawn Milligan (left) poses with William Mullin. Yesterday was Shawn's last Coffee Bark before moving to Seattle. Good luck Shawn!

Fall Fest 2007

Happy Fall Everyone!

Yesterday, the Friends of St. Nicholas Park held our annual Fall Festival and despite the chilly temperatures and the last minute change of location, we had a very enthusiastic turn out. The social hall at St. Marks United Methodist church was filled with members of the local community looking for an afternoon of Fall Fun despite the threat of rain. There was pumpkin decorating, face painting, performances by students from The Harlem School of the Arts, a visit from the Manhattan Parks Commissioner and plenty of cupcakes and cider for everyone. We even had an exciting raffle with a dinner at Dinosaur Barbecue as the prize.

The Friends would like to thank everyone that attended the Fall Fest and helped to make it a success but we would especially like to thank the following people:

For those of you who were not able to attend here is what you missed:

Commissioner Castro speaking

Face Painting


Yummy Cupcakes

Hot Cider

Our next event will be in December for our Holiday Tree Lighting on the Plaza. See you all there.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Because of the showers in the area, we will be moving our fall festival indoors. The festival will take place from 2-4 at St. Mark's United Methodist Church. The church is located at 55 Edgecombe Avenue at the intersection of Edgecombe and St. Nicholas Avenues. It is directly across from St. Nicholas Park.

We will have all our activities except of course, some of the games we had planned to play on the lawn. Hope to see you there!