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Turtle Bay Newsletter, Spring 2005

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New Neighborhood Street Name Debuts
It would have been a fine day for filming a movie – clear, crisp and sunny. And so it was fitting that friends, neighbors and family members gathered at 49th Street and Second Avenue to officially name the block on which Katharine Hepburn lived for more than 60 years, Katharine Hepburn Place.

Captain Wallace Returns to the 17th Precinct
Captain John J. Wallace, a 23-year veteran of the City Police Department, has been named commanding officer of the 17th Precinct, succeeding Deputy Inspector Michael McEnroy, who was transferred to the 13th Precinct.

How It Works: Turtle Bay Street Fair
Just as it has for the past 20 years, the TBA once again will usher in the summer season by sponsoring the Turtle Bay Fair along Second Avenue, this year scheduled for Sunday, May 22. As one of the City’s first street fairs of the season, Turtle Bay’s fair traditionally is among the best-attended.

Restaurant in the News
When TBA member-restaurant Pietro’s was featured prominently on the front page of the New York Times “Dining Out” section, it wasn’t its 73-year history nor fine reputation that got it there. No, it was Alva Barrezueta, Pietro’s coat-checker. Seems Mrs. Barrezueta never forgets a face, and so she hasn’t issued a tag or ticket to customers leaving their coat with her in all of the 35 years she’s been on the job. And – while she’s occasionally encountered some skeptical customers – she’s never missed a match!

Jennifer Appel says her first cupcakes were the result of a “whim” – a little left-over batter one day after baking layer cakes, and the next thing she knew, old-fashioned cupcakes were on their way to becoming Manhattan’s trendy new dessert.

Turtle Bay Happenings...
Art in the Park
Trygvie Lie Gallery
Sculpture at Cervantes
Otaku at Japan Society
German House Art
Luxembourg House
Photo Exhibit at U. N.

April Showers Bring May Flowers
– by Bill Huxley, manager of TBA’s Tree Program

The big yellow “Dutch Masters” daffodils – planted in cross-street tree beds last fall for flowering this spring – are starting to fade. But now Turtle Bay residents can look forward to a summer season of colorful new tree-bed plantings.

Detmold Park Updates
– by Marie-Louise Handal, chairman of the TBA Parks Committee

Some major sprucing up – painting, pruning, planting – is scheduled this summer at Peter Detmold Park.

Turtle Bay Neighbor Patrols ‘George’ with the Precinct
Turtle Bay neighbor and TBA Board member Pat McDougald recently spent an evening patrolling the neighborhood with officers from the 17th Precinct. This is the story of her adventure.

Turtle Bay Association Looks to the Future
In a move to assure the continued effectiveness of the Turtle Bay Association well into the 21st Century, the TBA has formed a committee to look into ways in which the association can attract younger adults to its membership and activities.

TBA Valentine Celebration Brings Out the Dancers
“Won’t you dance with me?” That seemed to be the question of the night at TBA’s annual Valentine Party. But whether they were on the dance floor or off, all in attendance had a grand time. This year’s party was held at La Maganette on East 50th Street.

MTA Plans ‘Nasty Little Building’
- by Bruce A. Silberblatt, chairman of TBA’s Zoning and Land Use Committee

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is planning an 11-story utility tower on 50th Street between Madison and Park Avenues to service the long-awaited $6.8 billion Long Island Railroad East Side Access project. And that will be, at least for its immediate neighbors – and Turtle Bay, which lies downwind – a nasty little building.

TBA Board at Work
The following is a summary of issues and activities addressed at recent TBA Board meetings, as reflected in the meeting minutes.

Of Note...
Greenmarket. With spring’s arrival, expect the Greenmarket at the west end of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza to be overflowing with farmers’ produce. Several more stalls have joined the four that remained open all winter. The Plaza’s Greenmarket is open each Wednesday from dawn until dusk.

30 Years. When schools close in June for summer vacation, The Family School – at 323 East 47th Street – will mark completion of its 30th year. The school, offering a Montessori learning environment, opened in the fall of 1974. Today it has 175 students, from toddlers to 12 years of age. It also runs a Summer Day Camp.

U.N. Park Update. United Nations officials say the Park, which is undergoing a massive project to improve security, will not be ready to reopen to the public in June, as originally planned. Completion is now scheduled for next fall.

Ready for Summer. The outdoor tables and chairs have returned for the summer season at the Patio Café in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. The Patio is open from 8 a.m. until after sundown.

Guidebook Mailing. Mailing to TBA members of the pocket guide and walking tour (reported in the last issue of the Newsletter) is planned within the next several weeks.

Roller Hockey. The East End Hockey Association, which plays roller hockey at Robert Moses Playground on weekends, holds registration and open play sessions on Saturdays at 12 noon. All age groups welcome. For information call Jack Collins at 212-753-0198 or visit

A Loss We Mourn. Long-time neighbor and TBA member Tony Bartolotta passed away in February. TBA extends heartfelt condolences to his wife Mary, a former TBA Board member.

The east side of the Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington Avenue, isn’t parallel to Manhattan’s north-south street grid. Instead, it follows a property line that runs northeasterly along the route of the old Eastern Post Road, which wended its way through what was once Turtle Bay Farm to eventually become the famous Boston Post Road. For the best view of this “crooked wall,” stand on 42nd Street looking north at the Chrysler Building.
— New York: A Guide to the Metropolis, by Gerard R. Wolfe

Mark Your Calendar
17th Precinct Community Council Open Meeting
Last Tuesday every month, 6 p.m.
Except July, August, December
Sutton Place Synagogue
225 East 51st Street

Community Board 6
Full Board Meeting
Second Wednesday every month, 7 p.m.
NYU Medical Center
550 First Avenue (between 30th and 31st Streets)

17th Precinct Community Council Street Fair
Sunday, May 8
Lexington Avenue from 42nd to 57th Street

‘It’s Your Park Day’ and Katharine Hepburn Celebration
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 14

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
212-969-8820; 212-751-5465
Turtle Bay Street Fair
(Sponsored by TBA)
Sunday, May 22
Second Avenue from 43rd to 53rd Street

Art Show School of Art & Design
Saturday, June 4
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Empire Autorama Antique Cars on Display
Saturday, June 25
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Send TBA Your E-mail Address
If you have not already done so, please send your e-mail address to the TBA at, so that you can receive periodic e-mail updates on TBA news and events.

Spring 2005 - Vol. 48, No. 2

Editor: Pamela Hanlon
Contributors: Marie-Louise Handal, Terri Heveran, Olga Hoffmann, Bill Huxley, Millie Margiotta, Patricia Q. McDougald, Bruce Silberblatt
Cartoonist: Walt McGovern
Photography: Vivian Gordon

Check the TBA Bulletin Board
On the east side of Second Avenue, 48-49th Streets,
on outside wall of the supermarket.


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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
(212) 751-5465
Fax (212) 751-4941



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