Volume 76, Number 2 | May 31 - June 6 2006

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Sebastian Miyao, 3, enjoyed his barbecue-grilled chicken at the La Plaza Springfest

Happy tunes and smiles beneath the weeping willows

Hundreds of East Villagers partied and feasted on Sat. May 20 at the inaugural La Plaza Springfest at La Plaza Cultural Armando Perez Community Park and Garden on E. Ninth Street and Avenue C.

People boogied to the Eighth Street Band and competed for raffle prizes donated by local restaurants and bars, including a $100 gift certificate from Zum Schneider. Other prizes included meals and drinks at Cafecito, Sunburnt Cow, Esperanto, Bite Me Best pizza, Life Cafe and the Telephone Bar. The event, which had a $15 admission, grossed more than $3,000, after expenses about $2,850 of which will go to help finance a new 50-foot retaining wall to replace the old one that’s falling down in the rear of the garden, and also to restart the children’s gardening program.

Known for its giant weeping willow trees, the garden was started 30 years ago by the same neighborhood activists who founded CHARAS/El Bohio, the cultural and community center that until a few years ago was located in the old P.S. 64 building down the block.

“We’re really grateful for all the support we got from the community. People were really generous, so we hope to make this an annual affair,” said Alan Ginsberg, a local teacher and garden member with the same name as the famous former East Village poet.

Sarah Ferguson

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