By Dean Moses
Lower Manhattanites are fuming over the potential loss of their neighborhood park.
Local residents and parents gathered at Rutgers Slip Park in joint outrage on Monday, one day before construction was scheduled to turn the playground and basketball court into a parking lot.
Organized by CAAAV, the protest saw residents ranging from children to the elderly gather between South Street and Cherry Street, where they denounced developer Joe Chetrit for attempting to transform the children’s play space into a patch of barren concrete. Joining the rally were members of Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side (TUFF-LES), Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), and TakeRoot Justice as well as representatives for Council Member Christopher Marte and Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou.
“After years of promises that this space would remain an open space, they’re saying oh you know what? We just realized we got to put the cars somewhere,” Paula Segal said, an attorney for CAAAV. “I’m still hopeful that we can have a better outcome that we can have, for this space, at least what was promised–a space that will serve the residents of Lands End II until the new buildings are built and then the space will be transformed into one that will serve them plus the new residents. Never a parking lot.”