Yesterday in Coney Island, a developer bulldozed a decades-old community garden in order to make way for Marty Markowitz's long-heralded amphitheater. According to the Post, construction workers entered the Boardwalk Community Garden at West 22nd Street at 4am and proceeded to dismantle the garden, uprooting plants, corralling chickens, and evicting a colony of feral cats.
The move has enraged community activists, as the 70,000-square-foot garden survived Hurricane Sandy and was popular among area residents, many of whom were elderly. One volunteer—a 60-year-old Russian immigrant—lamented the destruction of the garden, saying the city has "destroyed life" and that she "came to America to escape from the communist regime."
The 5,000-seat amphitheater that will replace the garden has been an ongoing subject of controversy for Borough President Marty Markowitz. As his pet project, the $53 million project was previously slated to replace the crumbling bandshell in Asser Levy Park, but activity stalled following a vociferous community outcry. The razing of the garden comes a week after the City Council approved the amphitheater plans.
· "City bulldozes community garden in dead of night" [NYP]
· All Coney Island Amphitheater coverage [Curbed]