Seen & Heard: Chalk Overload in Duane Park

••• Aptly named Eye Spies got a shot of the courtyard at 70 Vestry, complete with Lambo.

••• The Dig Inn opening at 412 Greenwich looks very close to being ready, but the official word is “it will open this summer but the opening date is not finalized at this time.”

••• The 1st Precinct’s emoji fetish continues…. Do they not know what “SOS” means? Anyway, sorry to hear that Il Mattone got robbed.

••• “NM 2018” shot in northwest Tribeca yesterday. Could it be the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog? Is that still a thing?

••• “The children at Washington Market School outdid themselves today,” emailed a reader yesterday. “There is a rainbow chalk dust bowl in Duane Park. It’s really awful. They usually just draw pictures but today it is beyond reasonable. Definitely don’t walk through in flip flops or light colored shoes! Of course I don’t blame the children. But I do question the administration.” (Also, if anyone at the school is reading, you might want to fix this.)



  1. I’m sorry but the reader is clearly a moron. Looking at the pictures, it’s clear that kids didnt do that. It’s completely blanketed, which requires tools and materials. Probably the work of construction crews hired by the city. Does he/she think that the school blows their entire budget on chalk lol?!?

    Side note, the same thing happened at Zucotti Park a week or so ago.

    • Sorry but they did. I saw the buckets before they were dumped all over the park. Not sure how we clean it up. Not sure what the school’s teaching experience was trying to demonstrate but clearly not cleaning up was a part of it.

  2. Instead of calling someone a moron, how about “the reader is clearly mistaken”?

    • Now why would they do that? The current trend seems to be to immediately devolve to ad hominem attacks.

  3. No mistake – several pails of chalk powder and two rounds of preschoolers makes quite a mess…

  4. No mistake. I saw the pails and children pre dumping. Not sure what the school was trying to teach these children…obviously not about cleaning up. I watched this morning as people tried to wade through the mess. Not sure how we are to clean it up.

  5. Added water from the sprinklers and a bigger mess!!!

  6. Whoever has time to write such an article should find a hobby instead of causing problems for other people.

  7. Children did this. With teachers leading and directing. The leaders of the school told me it was a children celebration of the day of colors. I stopped by and asked them to clean up their mess and to stop trashing the park the day after this event (which is a pretty regular mess this one was just worse). They told me they could not use the other children’s park a half block away that has areas for children to play, since the “wrong kind of Children go to that park”, to quote them exactly. I did receive a call back from the principal saying they were going to have it cleaned up that day.. but that was a couple days ago and it is still a mess. I went to the police station to see if there was anything they could do.. and they said it ok for children from schools to trash anything with chalk.. so there is nothing that can legally be done about this schools actions. I don’t think it is very ethical for this school to be teaching kids that it is ok to trash public parks.. It is very unhealthy for dogs and has made this park unusable. They are a menace and a danger to the neighborhood.

  8. I was there on Thursday evening with my black dog and light colored flip flops and found it totally charming. We sat for an hour enjoying the warm breeze, birds chirping and beautiful rainbow chalk while a series of excellent random pianists serenaded us on the black and white piano. Three ladies sat opposite us on a bench sipping glasses of rose. It was a perfect New York moment.

  9. Inhaling chalk dust, like any fine particulate, like talcum powder, can damage the respiratory system. Those of us who were here on 9/11 are already compromised. The stuff shown in the pictures is a hazard that children should not be playing with in the first place, and certainly should not be dumped in the environment.

  10. Washington Market School is a cancer on our neighborhood. We should immediately separate these children from their parents in order to reprogram the mushy brains of these chalk devils. If we can’t control the infiltration of chalk dust in our parks, then we don’t have a neighborhood.

    • it is possible you have missed my point. There is a big difference between drawing with chalk on the sidewalk and playing in bucketsful of chalk dust. Adults should not be giving children toxic substances to play with, be it asbestos, mercury, lead paint chips, or chalk dust. Lung disease is not a joke.

      • Who is joking, S.? Are you saying that Washington Park School has given toxic substances to our little angels without a signed parent permission slip?!! Has anyone contacted Help Me Howard (WPIX 11)?!!!!

  11. The future titans of Wall Street clearly learn while they are very young to not bother cleaning up after themselves. And I agree that the “moron” comment was a bit unhinged.