Breaking: Brooklyn Park Goes Full-Time July 3rd
New York City's newest park - East River State Park - on the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border will emerge from its weekends-only beta test next Tuesday, July 3rd, according to a June 26th State Parks press release.
The memo describes the opening as marking "a first phase of park development," noting that "in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, [State Parks] has reclaimed the former Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal site for interim park use by celebrating natural succession of native meadow plantings among the historic Terminal remnants on site."
The upgrade of the park to seven-day access is a major milestone for the rapidly-evolving neighborhood, for which a landmark rezoning in 2005 has brought massive upheaval including large-scale demolitions to make way for thousands of new units of luxury housing, and a virtual wall of high-rise condominium towers now rising on the riverfront blocks immediately south of the new park. East River State Park represents the first major 'giveback' to many longtime residents whose prospects of owning property (even within the dubious allocation of 'affordable' units being built as a concession by developers seeking to maximize their sellable floor area).
Next up for the Williamsburg waterfront? Long-term proposals call for the City to acquire up to 10 additional blocks north of the park, annexing them as Bushwick Inlet Park. Also within the grand vision championed by the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (GWAPP) and the Trust is a waterfront promenade, connecting all of Brooklyn's waterfront from the Navy Yard to Newtown Creek (and ultimately linking all of Brooklyn's waterfront with walking and biking trails via the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative).
But for now, all Brooklynites - and especially those in Williamsburg and Greenpoint - can celebrate the first new waterfront access in decades. No word on whether extended hours will be in effect on July 4th - the park's panoramic view of East River fireworks is sure to cause a minor stampede...