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Howard Beach Forum
HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsBeautificationBeautificationPATHETIC CHARLES PARK!PATHETIC CHARLES PARK!
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7/12/2006 11:52 PM
 
I HAVE BEEN LIVING IN HOWARD BEACH FOR MY 25 YEARS OF EXISTENCE AND FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS PAST WEEKEND I STEPPED FOOT INTO CHARLES PARK (i know very hard to believe, sad but true.) I ATTEMPTED TO PLAY TENNIS WITH SOME GIRLFRIENDS AT AROUND 8 IN THE EVENING BUT WAS NOT SUCCESSFUL. WHY YOU ASK? BECAUSE THE COURT LIGHTS WERE NOT FACING INWARD TOWARDS THE COURTS... FOR SOME REASON THE LIGHTS WERE FACING THE WATER. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE LIGHTS IF THEY ARE NOT BEING UTILIZED PROPERLY. THE COURTS NEED TO BE UPDATED IN GENERAL, AS DOES THE REST OF THIS PATHETIC PARK. SECONDLY... BEING AN ANIMAL LOVER.. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A DOG RUN FOR MY DOG TO PLAY IN AND INTERACT WITH OTHER DOGS. WHERE ELSE BUT CHALRES PARK WOULD BE A PERFECT LOCATION?!? I HAVE BEEN TO A FEW DOG RUNS IN THE CITY, PARTICULARLY THE ONE IN BATTERY PARK AND I THINK ITS A WONDERFUL IDEA... ANYONE AGREE??
 
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7/13/2006 11:17 AM
 
I have been out of HB now for 35 years. I have visited maybe twice since then. After 1972, I heard from my family and friends that many people from outside of Howard Beach were coming into Charles on weekends and making a real mess of it. After that, the park was re-done and it looked like a real "city" park. Later I was told that there were a lot of drugs in the park. That sounds terrible to me because of the way I remember Howard Beach. People made it what it is today. That's no one's fault but the people who frequent the place. Casino Park used to be nice when it was only Howard and Hamilton Beacher's using the park. Most of these outsiders take no pride in the area because it's not their neighborhood. How can a park be kept up when there are always people who don't care, coming in and destroying everything? I feel, why bother to keep rebuilding something that only turns into a dump again and again because people don't care? It's just throwing good money after bad.
 
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7/17/2006 6:50 AM
 
Charles Park and Hamilton Beach Park are both part of the National Park Service, Gateway Recreation Area. They don't get city funding or services. Haven't since the 70's. The feds don't budget much for the two parks - seems like just enough to keep them afloat with little upkeep. At one time, you needed a permit to use the tennis courts. I was chased out once by federal Park Police for not having one. They really don't seem to want people to use the park. The lighting has been awful for years. I think they moved the lights to aim at the weedy areas so the cops can see if anyone's hanging out there at night when the park is supposed to be "closed." Supposedly, the two parks are in the process of a five-year, $1 million renovation. All I've seen is that the playground was rebuilt, the ball fields leveled off somewhat, and the walking path repaved. Maybe they'll do something about lighting later. Then, maybe not.
 
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7/17/2006 8:55 AM
 
Sounds like a lost cause.
 
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7/17/2006 11:45 PM
 
Well if everyone could have seen the park many years ago when it was Casino Park they would be quite happy it looks like it does today. The ballfields never had the high fences like now and where it is paved in between the fields where the seats are that was all dirt. Also that is where they had the swings and see saws. They also had a building at the beginning of the bridge to Hamilton Beach which isn't there anymore, of course. In there they had food where you could sit down and eat and also held running races for the kids on the fourth of July. Yes it has changed but I look forward to doing my walks around that part many days and think it is just fine.
 
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7/18/2006 7:15 AM
 
I saw the park many years ago. I have pictures of my sister and I on the swings, 1949. It was great then! It was fine when it was all sand near the swings and the see-saws. It was fun and it was safe then. In the 60's I was able to walk alone at night, on my way home from a friend's house on 98th street all the way down 165th Ave., over the bridge near the Bay View Rest and then on across Crossbay Blvd, to the new side of HB, straight down 165th Ave. to the 80 streets with no problem. Could anyone do that today? I wouldn't think so.
 
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7/19/2006 9:02 PM
 
I haven't been back to HB in many many years, but I have great memories of being in Casino Park roller skating and having such a great time. It makes me so sad to see posts saying how much things have changed. It's such a shame.
 
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7/20/2006 12:42 AM
 
It's still pretty safe to walk at night in H.B. Much safer here than in a lot of the rest of the city, and the rest of the city has gotten dramatically safer than it was in the 80's. A lot of neighborhood people use the park, but there are good amount who come from outside. I don't mind, as long as they leave the park tbe way they found it. I've walked the oval after dusk many times and never felt unsafe. There are the occasional youths drinking beer, smoking, and hanging out but kids have been doing that in the park for years. It would be nice, though, if the NPS would do a little more upkeep, like add more lights, fix the broken benches and water fountains. Then, again, it's people who've broken them in the first place.
 
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7/24/2006 12:51 PM
 
Wow, I can hear your anger from your words & caps...... There has to be someone who can be reached to fix these problems. If alot of HB'ers group together, make the complaints & follow up, I think the park would get some attention. This is an election year...call your local news station & have them report on it. Either way, nothing will get done if everyone sits & waits for someone else to do something.
 
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8/15/2006 10:48 AM
 
I was in HB in the beginning of August. I made a point to go to Charles (Casino) Park. The Park itself is in decent shape. The playground, & surrounding area was kept up. The sprinkler was on for the kids to enjoy. The tennis court lighting was pointed off into the weeds facing the water. It seems someone should face them back in the correct direction. The baseball fields are in poor shape. It seemed no one has used them in a long time. There was trash by the waters edge. Overall, it would not take alot of money to fix whats wrong. The residence of HB should start a collection or get on your local politicians asses to address the problems. I see the homeowners of HB take great pride in their homes...why not their park???
 
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8/16/2006 3:10 PM
 
Yes the homeowners in Howard Beach do take a lot of pride in their homes. However, when I was there last, I also noticed that they neglect to take pride in their park. My feeling is that the park has become a haven for undesirables and so people keep their kids away from there and just ignore and avoid the place as much as possible. It was once very safe to walk alone there at night, no more.
 
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8/16/2006 7:21 PM
 
Then the residence of HB should take the park back! If they organize certain times to walk & utilize the park, the scum who are ruining it would leave. Do this on a constant basis & they would not return to destroy the park.
 
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8/17/2006 3:37 PM
 
SMA, You know what? That sounds like a great plan!
 
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8/17/2006 4:24 PM
 
Thanks, I know it would work. The scum only want to hang out with scum & not be noticed. Gather 15 + adults (& lots of kids, the younger the better)& show up everyday,rain, snow, blazing sun. The scum would be gone.
 
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