Battery Park City now has a neighborhood association

After rallying to save a corner of the Rockefeller Park lawn from demolition to make room for a monument to essential workers, Battery Park City residents have expanded the BPC Parents Association to create a new collective dedicated to quality of life issues in the neighborhood.

(Plus today there will be some sort of meeting among some residents and local elected officials and the Battery Park City Authority on the new location for the monument. And just as before that process is a mystery to me, but hopefully there are more eyes on it this time around.)

The BPCNA — Battery Park City Neighborhood Association — is a Facebook page (so far) and a non-profit (in formation) with the goal to “share information and ideas in a safe place among friends and neighbors who live in Battery Park City.”

Their first event was yesterday, when, after securing a promise from the authority’s chairman that the monument would be moved off the lawn, they gathered to celebrate and to thank everyone who helped save the park. And I mean *everyone* — they even thanked the local media! (Trust me, that’s a rare occasion.) Several elected officials spoke and the group decided to rebrand the parents association for a broader audience.

The message from residents — besides the gracious thanks — was to keep the activism that was born from the monument plans alive in the future and, as resident Kelly McGowan said, to keep “no daylight” between the various BPC constituencies: south and north, renters and owners, staff and residents.

“The Battery Park City Neighborhood Association launched today to a neighborhood craving more time together and connecting as neighbors,” said neighbor Ibtesam Khurshid.

The group — masterfully managed by MC Eric Gyasi — also gave several essential workers a chance to speak about their experience during the pandemic and how the park got them through. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a magician making balloon animals.

As for the BPCNA, it’s a work in progress  — after all it’s only been a week. But the hope is to take on other issues and make a big tent.

“At least to begin with our idea is it will be a social organization, an advocacy organization and a service organization,” said Pamit Surana, one of the many residents who’s helping get things organized. He and a few neighbors passed the hat to get it started to save the park as the initial effort all in the past seven days. “We will take a breath and then get to work on this.”


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  1. When you’re white, politicians listen to you. If BPC were a segregated, black ZIP code, the construction of the monument would be ongoing.

  2. Where can we make suggestions for the new location? Collect Pond Park is between Lafayette, Centre and Leonard, and is basically an abandoned park with some benches and an empty water feature. It would be wonderful to see some life brought into it.