Walking just got easier along Riverside Park’s upper promenade on Riverside Drive.
On Wednesday, it looked like this at 107th Street and Riverside Drive.
But yesterday, all that was left of the tree was sawdust and a pathetic bit of stump.
Gazing south to 105th Street, we spied the heroes of the scene toiling away on yet another downed tree.
The tree crew from East Greenwich Tree Service has been working in Manhattan since Sunday.
Yes, Sunday. The city hired them to cut down potentially hazardous trees before Sandy reached its peak.
This gentleman told me of working up in the bucket on Sunday in 50-mile an hour gusts.
He also showed me impressive photos on his iPhone of cars smashed by trees. He said he likes to take the photos before they clear the trees, and he remembers exactly where each car was located. The job now is to clear streets and sidewalks.
After that, they’ll move into the parks. And in fact, directly below the team inside Riverside Park, a large tree with a huge root ball was blocking the upper path. To get a sense of just how huge, look at the little pedestrian coming along the path on the left.
A man from the Parks Department conferred with the team.
I asked him how much damage Riverside Park had sustained. He said he didn’t know exactly, since his priority has been to clear the streets for emergency vehicles and to keep people safe.
I told him I had heard that Morningside Park had lost a lot of trees, which he confirmed. (Scroll down for information on volunteering tomorrow in Morningside Park or your local park.) We talked about the storms over the past couple of years that have caused our parks to lose a substantial number of trees in the parks, including last October’s freak snow storm that took down 1,000 trees in Central Park.
“You know how they talk about a once-in-a-hundred years storm, well, we’ve had four of them in the past few years,” said the man from Parks. “Well, they’re gonna have to think of a new way to describe these storms.”
And they – I mean, we – are going to have to face the facts about climate change, and come up with new ways of living and working to protect our city and our planet.
Meanwhile, thanks to the tree guys for their hard, necessary work.
Post Sandy Volunteer Cleanup in Morningside Park
- Saturday, Nov. 3rd from 10am – 12 pm
116th Street and Morningside Drive
- Dress for outdoor work. Equipment will be provided.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let the Friends know how many people you will be bringing.