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

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