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Lou Lodati Renovation to Begin Soon

July 16, 2012 By Christian Murray

The much-anticipated revamp of Tornsey/Lou Lodati Park is expected to begin within the next two months.

The park will be resurfaced as part of a $1.4 million rehabilitation that will feature a dog run and additional greenery. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer expects notices to go up within a month notifying residents of the park’s closure for the upgrade.

The revamp of the park, located on Skillman Ave (between 42nd and 43rd), might take up to a year to complete. The job is likely to be done all at once, as opposed to in phases, since the concrete is being lifted and a new hard surface is being put down.

Lines will be drawn on the new surface for a softball diamond, ecuavoli courts (similar to volleyball) and half basketball courts. There will be an area adjacent to the new dog run where there will be more greenery. Van Bramer said better lights will be installed.

Van Bramer and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall both allocated $700,000 each toward the project.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the $1.3 million overhaul of Thomas P. Noonan Jr. Playground is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2013, Van Bramer said. That too is expected to take a year to complete.

However, that project will only take place in the playground area—so the seating area (by 42nd Street) and the basketball courts will not be closed.

The Parks Department’s will increase the size of the playground, providing room for two sets of play areas instead of the one that is there now. There will be one play area for 2-to-5 year olds and another for 5-to-12 year olds.

To make room for the older-children’s play area, some of the seats/benches adjacent to it will be removed. There will be greenery, such as shrubs, separating the playground area from the seating area.

The rainbow sprinkler system will be upgraded and moved closer to the playground entrance at the corner of Greenpoint Ave. and 43rd Street. .A flagpole will be erected in honor of Thomas Noonan, who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after being killed in Vietnam, nearby.

After the revamp is complete, further upgrades are in the works for Noonan Playground. In the latest city budget, Van Bramer allocated $650,000 to redo the park house and bathroom, as well as upgrade the basketball courts.

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64 Comments

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Joe M.

I grew up in Sunnyside and played hockey in this park 1962-1965. Good times. No resemblance to todays park.

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Bliss & Skillman

It’s not “liable and slander” if it’s the truth.

Maybe mistakenly being called “married” was the part of the deleted comment that was found to be insulting?

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Mark

Be very careful what you say about people here. There is such a thing as liable and slander, which the Sunnyside Post , I’m sure wants no part of. That’s why your post gets edited.
Anyone who knows me, knows I’m not a racist. How you got that from my observations of illegals playing soccer in the park is beyond me but if that’s what you want to get out of it, so be it. If you think I’m wrong, by all means, prove me wrong. I’m just glad that we are finally getting our long awaited dog run. And if anyone who is in this country illegally or working illegally wants to use the dog run for their dogs, I’m fine with that as well. All are welcome!
Some people came here to spew hate and anger. I did not. I am an honest person. If you want to know about me all you need to do is ask me.

Peace!

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Orlando

the comments that were made by mark and Deb H are ridiculous….its sad that we still live around people like you…you people are quick to judge people like me becuase i have tattoos and talk a certain way with my friends….am i upset about the renovation NO i think its going to make the park alot better and hopefully safer…..but seeing your comments ticked me off….talking non sense about the hispanics playing volleyball in the park…those people are not doing anything wrong…all they doing is having fun…now do i agree with them drinking and trashing the park NO of course cops should be called and situations should be handled correctly with whatever they do thats wrong but getting racsit and calling us illegal is just wrong…theres a softball diamond in that park that is never being used… noone uses it….and when its used its the little kids playing softball on weekends….now on the sleeping on the benches situation its not only the ” Illegals ” its also white people to..so i dont know what the hell you guys talking about….why dont you guys try sitting in the park at aroud 130am so you can see the people im talking about and whats crazy is when they stand behind the tree and start pissin a storm and curseing and start mayhem my friends and i leave them alone we dont even call cops…im not even going to continue any more long story short im happy for the park renovaiton but make everything equal and set some regulations ok and resoect them i dont think no DOGS should be drinking water from the water fountain from the park but you guys dont respect ….some of you dog owners dont even clean up whatever and on that mark and Deb H ive seen you guys around all the time you guys will get comfronted !

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christy

this website is bogus you cant write and honest opinion w/ out it being edited. Its fine w/ someone calling someone and illegal which prob isnt true, but when you call out a known sex offender thats on the sex offenders list its wrong. its wrong to protect your family from the scum. everyone go on watchdog.com and check out who your living next to please

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christy

there hasn’t been light on at the park for the last 5 yrs or so. Meaning no night softball for guy/girls and not being able to take my child out on the weekends at night to the park. But yes you Yuppies get brand new lights and everything meanwhile half of you dog owners let your dog poop all over the trees and softball field. I seen it w/ my own eyes. Everyone has something nasty to say but meanwhile look at you dog owners little do ppl the park always had 2 entrances no we only have 1 and the kids section is gated. Lets learn to protect our future and care for kids! Especially you Debbie H and Mark. Your very racist! this neighborhood was very racist when we first moved in, in the 80s lets not make it happen again

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Deb H.

@ Krissi – in the meantime if you have a dog, there is a GREAT dog run on 65th Place and Queens Blvd. It’s called Sherry Park. It’s right next to the exit to the BQE. It’s huge, has water fountains for the dogs and a huge hill that the dogs can run up & down and chase each other.

@ LMK – you should check out that Sherry Park dog run too!

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King Of Queens

What a BUNCH of nasty old BIGOTS! and Animal Haters live in Sunnyside. Like I have said before the OLD BURNT OUT GUARD should just leave if they don’t like the changes. by the way Kids have plenty of places to play so spare me that nonsense.

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Deb H.

@ Krissi – look for Rick Duro’s comments – the older comments and e-mail Rick. Maybe he can give you tips / pointers on how to lobby for a dog run on the south side. Good Luck!

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Krissi

Does anyone know what is up with the Stephen Murphy Park on Greenpoint and 39th St? It’s completely grown over with weeds. Is it the schools park?

I’d love to get a Southside dog run there!

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Sunnysider

I used to frequent this park as a kid nearly ever day when I first moved to Sunnyside years ago. Rode my bike and played basketball and handball here several times a week for years. So many good (and some bad) memories. It’s going to be a little weird seeing it in a different light.

From what I remember there was much more drug and alcohol use back then at the park.

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Bliss & Skillman

SWS, me too, about the less pet friendly buildings. There’s an apt. in mine that faces 46th with two barkers who go ape-sh!t when the owners are out. Not yappers, real barkers. When the windows are left open, it even echoes in the canyon of brick out there. I’m sure some of you have heard this racket. Quite un-neighborly but I feel sorry for the dogs as well.

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LMK

Look, everyone has their own pet cause – kids, dogs, volleyball, soccer, organic, sustainable, farmers market wine, whatever. The key is to treat others the way you’d want to be treated. The small percentage of dog-owners who don’t pick up after their dogs makes us all look bad. The people that come down and monopolize the entire lower “field” all the time are selfish. I remember growing up (here) young boys skating down to practice hockey. Parents teaching their young children how to ride a bike in a safe environment. Those days are long gone. To the best of my knowledge, the softball games require permits to be played there. Why don’t the soccer and volleyball games? That would limit the amount of time they can monopolize the space. And they (not all) urinate and move their bowels in public. I’VE SEEN IT FIRST-HAND. And they didn’t pick up after themselves either.

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Rick Duro

The Sunnyside United Dog Society has pushed for a dog run in that park since 2004. We gained approval from both the Parks Dept and Queens Community Board #2, unanimously. The people making the hipster/dog connection really have no clue what they are talking about. The members of SUDS are cops, teachers, personal trainers, nurses, customer service reps, construction workers, plumbers, electricians, chefs, an 80yr old Orchestra Conductor, most well over the ‘hipster’ age. We are responsible adults that have found a way to improve the community.

We were instrumental in securing $1.4mm to not just build a dog run, but to improve the WHOLE park, which was our goal from the very beginning. We have been caretakers of that park for years, often cleaning up much of the mess @ night that is left behind by the volleyball players. I use that park on a daily basis, and walk by it several times a day. In reality, it’s currently not the soccer players that are the real problem, it’s the volleyball players.

Sometimes they set up their nets very early in the morning, go to work and leave them there all day to claim that space, unused…. On the weekends they are selling beer, food and urinating so much that there are HUGE piss lakes behind most of the trees…..the bathroom is open….why not use it? I am ALL for people playing ANY sport, exercising, socializing, but not @ the expense of the neighborhood. Show respect for the ‘hood by walking up the 100ft slope to the bathroom, not by urinating behind the trees. It goes on in broad daylight. For years SUDS has tried to get these folks to do the right thing and we are often met with aggressive attitudes. The park is trashed by Sunday night, but no where near as bad as it was before SUDS started using the park @ night in 2005. Then there were lines to pee behind every tree, people selling food out of vans on 43rd st, broken bottles, chicken bones, diapers and other refuse everywhere, with half empty garbage cans throughout the park.

As for irresponsible dog owners, I agree, they need to do the right thing. But, in reality, it’s just a small # of people making the mess. 10 people who don’t pick up, with just 1 dog each pooing 2X a day, means 140 piles of crap on our sidewalks every week. Dogs tend to go in the same 2-3 spots, notice how the piles are in the same spots….same dogs…same dog owners. SUDS members are not shy to call out people by offering them bags to do their job. Whats odd is that on my many walks each day I rarely ever see people not pick up, that tells me that the some offenders must do it @ odd times or pick up only when other people are around.

For more info on suds: http://www.sudsmutts.com

Cheers,

Rick Duro
SUDS

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park neighbor

I can assure you that nothing has been done about people urinating, we live right there and see it all the time. It was also amazing last night when someone decided to light fireworks off on the west side of the street by all the parked cars, it sounded like bullets. I don’t have anything against a dog run as long as the park doesn’t smell like poop everyday! I am so frustrated about what goes on in that park. I find that I only want to go there around 8am on weekends before anyone else gets there. The police aren nonexistant at the park.

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SuperWittySmitty

I wonder what percentage of Sunnysiders actually own a dog. I grew up in a suburban household, and we usually had two. We would let them out frequently and my brothers and I were responsible for periodic clean-ups. Now that I am back in Queens, I have little interest in having a dog. I don’t believe it’s right to keep one alone in an apartment all day, and I do not like picking up after one, but I can appreciate the companionship when gets from a dog, and taking frequent walks is always good for both pet and owner.

I am so disturbed by the puddles and piles left behind by the few (?) that are ruining it for the many that understand what the phrase “curb your dog” means. I wish my building was less “pet-friendly” and more “pet-tolerant.” It’s just a matter of time before people get fed up with the lack of consideration of so many dog owners and enact a “no-pets” policy.

Dogs deserve our respect, too. Let’s hope the privilege of having a dog run in our neighborhood is not lost on dog owners. Clean up after your pet, and keep pet waste off the sidewalk! Please!!

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Simon

Thought I’d ask this question since there are going to be “official” ecuavoli courts included in the new layout … does anyone know of a location in Sunnyside to play REAL volleyball (not ecuavoli)???

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Lucky Lu

Also, may I suggest a meetup to try out the new ecuavoli courts? Of course we should all be sure to bring our birth certificates and social security cards so that Deb and Mark can make random checks of our immigration status. Well, at least those in our group who have that illegal look (you know, brown skin) should do so. See you there for ecuavoli!

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Lucky Lu

Mark – I was born and raised in the USA, from parents who were also born and raised in the USA. I hate baseball, softball and American football. I love the idea of having a dog run and I love soccer. Your comments are embarassing, as are those of Deb H. I’m amazed that Deb H. knows the immigration status of “half of the soccer players.” I didn’t realize, Deb, that they were willingly providing you with this very personal information or that you were granted with some sort of authority by ICE to check the documents of random “illegal” soccer players in a Sunnyside park! Anyone with ANY knowledge of the law knows that the NYPD is not authorized to stop anyone based only on a “suspected” undocumented immigration status. That’s like me saying that your comments “look” dumb, therefore you “are” dumb and you and your dumb comments should be banned from posting on this forum. Make sense? No, probably not to you, Deb, or Mark.

And by the way, no matter where a person may come from, or where they may live, they absolutely have as much right as any Sunnyside resident to use any park in this neighborhood. It was not only out of your tax dollars, Deb and Mark, that these improvements are being made. My tax dollars, the tax dollars of people living in Woodside, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Brooklyn, Manhattan, etc. all contributed to the pool of money (aka government budget) from which this money is drawn. Walk your dogs in the dog run, be happy, and if you’re concerned about the trash in the parks, then concentrate your bile on people who litter (a practice I have observed that seems to span across cultures) rather than their national origin.

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Oppressed Masses

Can we refocus this discussion on a new name for the renovated park? I suggest Van B’s Dog Crap City.

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Holier-Than-Thou

Amendment to unappreciated list: Euros, bbqs, rats and mice, anchor babies, drunks, homeless people possibly drunk sleeping on benches, bad spellers.

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Deb H.

@ Bliss & Skillman – I just think it is funny for you to assume that I currently own four dogs. Be careful. You know the adage about people who assume things? I would say the majority of dog owners in Sunnyside have a dog walker, to avoid their dogs being ‘cooped up’. I am just surprised to see any negativity about the renovation of this park on this blog. Kids will be happy because they are getting new, extra jungle gyms; dogs will be happy be happy because they get to stretch their legs in a safe, enclosed environment; there will still be the basketball courts – they will just be moved; ecuavoli courts; and a softball diamond which can be used by the soccer “teams” when a softball game is not taking place which is the majority of the time. I see it as a Win-Win! I guess there are just a lot of negative, pessimistic people out there, unfortunately. I am just grateful that Jimmy Van Bramer & Helen Marshall raised the money that they did for this wonderful renovation! Please make sure you attend the ribbon cutting ceremony! 🙂

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you all make me laugh

Well the few times I have been there during daylight hours the bathrooms have been locked. I was informed by a park employee that due to both budget cuts that effect cleaning and maintenance and lawsuit/security concerns, many of the public bathrooms in city parks (as well as subway stations) have been closed to the public.

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Bliss & Skillman

Geez Deb H., you swing rapidly between being hostile, defensive and egocentrically superior. It’s quite funny, actually 🙂

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Blarney

It looks like people are going to play soccer over another softball diamond no one will ever use.

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Deb H.

@ Bliss & Skillman – don’t be so ignorant as to assume that the FOUR dogs are all mine. I said ‘family’ dogs, meaning I have 2 dogs…my Sister has 2 dogs, my cousin has 1 dog…GET IT? One of my dogs is 8 lbs. and we have a HUGE apartment and they are never ‘cooped up’. My fiance and I have different schedules, so somebody is always home with them. And if we both are out or working at the same time, we have many friends who are dog walkers in Sunnyside to care for our ‘babies’. We just got back from a week in the Poconos, are going for a 4-day week in the Poconos again this weekend and next for them is an extended weekend in the Hamptons. Our dogs are never ‘cooped up’, but thanks for the note! So much for the cruel & unusual punishment that you are referring to…

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Deb H.

@ Backslash – I would tell your girlfriend that if she is going to walk to the park at night to smoke, to be very careful. The North Side of Sunnyside / Queens Blvd. has always been statistically safer than the South side, but she should always have her guard up. Don’t get me wrong, I often walk our doggies very late if it’s a nice night out, but I am uber aware of my surroundings and even then I try to stay around 43rd Avenue where it is brightly lit. And having the 2 dogs with me help! 🙂 Thank You for the well wishes for my Mom! The guy was apprehended days after for attempting to mug somebody else.

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Deb H.

@ Celtic Parker – you should attend the next community board meeting and try to speak to the Captain of the 108 Precinct (or at least one of the commanding officers) about people sleeping on the benches. What does that say about a neighborhood when you have people sleeping on the benches, usually wreaking of alcohol?

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Mark

Hey Euro-Trash, You think up that inciteful and intelligent response all by yourself or did you get some help from a five year old?

And H-T-T, You forgot Anchor Babies on the list of those not appreciated.

In case some of you may have confused my observations with bigotry, let me clarify. I don’t care who you are, where you are from, whether or not you are here in this country legally or if your from another planet. For my money I’d rather look out my window and see a nicely decorated dog run with one or two soccer fields in the park rather than seventeen makeshift soccer fields cluttering every square inch of the park with drunken (non-English speaking) dummies, pissing and shitting behind the trees by the wall and sleeping off their buzz on our benches. And Debbie is right, most of them don’t even live around here. They pile into the Chevy, and drive here from Elmhurst and Woodside, then poor out like a clown car when they get here. Every weekend our park turns into a third-world village. the only thing missing is wild dogs and chickens running around unattended.
LOL!

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backslash

@Deb

I’m sorry to hear about that incident with your mother. Sadly this enforces my concerns with my girlfriend walking to the park benches to smoke after dark. She’s not from the city originally and refuses to believe me that any park at night is rape central.

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celticparker

Can I just express the modest hope that something be done to cut down on the phenomenon of drunk, passed out men sleeping part of their day(s) away on the benches around Noonan’s perimeter? I find it interesting that this particular local attraction never seems to come up in discussion.

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Roger_the_Shrubber

Whatever the cost of this park, the entertainment provided by debate over it is at least free.

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backslash

Apparently the cantankerous old residents of the neighborhood are not only assholes who hate anyone under 50 but also have no fucking clue how to spell. While the comments on this site tend to be less offensive than those on Yahoo News posts, I have a feeling that some of our brethren here would fit in just fine there or on YouTube. I guess the real question some of these curmudgeonly bigots need to be asked is this: Yuppies and hipsters who resembled you thirty years ago or soccer playing families who may or may not have immigrated here without proper paperwork. The horror.

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Bliss & Skillman

It amazes me that someone can have FOUR dogs cooped up in one home that doesn’t have a yard of it’s own?? Cruel and unusual punishment. Please don’t tell me you have cats and birds and frogs and ferrets too? 🙂

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Deb H.

@ Euro Chick – I do not believe Mark was saying all soccer players are illegal immigrants. At least half of the ones who come to Lou Lodati to play soccer are, hence when the police started to do more recent drive byes, there were fewer and fewer soccer players showing up to play because they were in fear they were going to get deported. Let me remind everybody that when the soccer “teams” started having BBQ’s and bringing their hibachis to the park, we were OVER-RUN with rats and mice. If you went to the park on a Monday morning, after the weekend festivities, the park was trashed. Let’s not forget that these people were too lazy to walk up the ramp to the bathrooms, they were taking a piss right at the trees by the wall, in broad daylight. For the most part, we put an end to that. FINAL reminder, can I point out that when my Mother was almost mugged one night walking by the park, it was the dog owners who came to her rescue. NOT the soccer players. They were warm in their beds in a neighborhood other than Sunnyside. So the dog owners provide an additional safe haven to people who are near or in the park. The dog run is beneficial on many levels!

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Holier-Than-Thou

People not appreciated on this message board: yuppies, hipsters, dog owners, non-dog owners, Hispanic soccer players-otherwise known as (possible) illegal immigrants from south of here, equavolli players, local cranks, new arrivals, people with expensive strollers, people who just want to say Noonan playground.

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Mark

It’s about dam time! We’ve been campaigning and waiting for nearly 10 years to get this dog run going. Our dogs are going to be so happy!
Don’t worry about the soccer players, the multitude of illegals who love to congest all our open spaces with soccer games will still have plenty of room to play soccer. In fact I believe there are even going to be real goals installed for them to play at.
As for us “Yuppie Dog Owners”, It is we who put the time and effort into this neighborhood to acquire a dog run. The soccer players are just standing on line and take, take, taking. Free medical, free food, free housing, free, free, free! God Bless America!

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Deb H.

Most of us dog owners are not yuppies, but working middle class people. The yuppies are either hanging out in Starbucks or pushing their baby in an $800 stroller. The majority of the funding is going toward union labor, physical assets for the kids playground, the dog run and the new pavement for the lower field. If you want a turf field, lights and bleachers, might I suggest Citi Field or Yankee Stadium…

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PG

No, a turf field, with lights, soccer nets and bleachers.

Can i suggest taking your dog to the places you just mentioned. It can run around for days over at those places.

Like you, i dont want to travel. I want to wake up, put on my cleats and play.

Sunnyside needs? Yeah thats really happening, more like every yuppie dog owners need. The main focus on revamping the park, is on the dogs.

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Born and raised here

I just don’t understand how much money. Is being spent. Torsney park. Yes
Torsney park the original layout was far more better then was renovated into. The kiddies section at 41 street. The adult seating area shuffle bord and kiddies sprinkers wadding pool from 41 street to 42 nd street. Then the big kids area behind park house then. The lower park ball park area as it is today the new plans for the lower park look nice but it seems like a lot of money to just add. a dog run move 2 basket ball hoops and paint some lines maybe astro turf or real grass would be nice.and what was spent to renovate. The children’s area as we see today seems like a lot and just the children’s. Area was named after Lou lodati. The park is named after George F Torsney ww2 vet and NY state assembly man and supporter of parks and playgrounds. In sunnyside area. K knew Lou well hew would never want his name to replace Mr Torsnry but would be honored to just share his name. St the children’s play area

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Deb H.

As today, soccer can be played at Lou Lodati Park on the softball field when there are no softball games currently taking place. For the times when a soccer game is taking place, can I suggest: Central Park, Forest Park, Juniper Valley Park, Riverside Park or Flushing Meadows Corona Park. There are plenty of spots for soccer enthusiasts. Also, just to mention, MOST – not all – of the soccer players come here in cars from other neighborhoods. Most are not even Sunnyside residents. For what my family is paying in mortgages and rental fees, the Sunnyside residents’ needs should come first!

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Oppressed Masses

Any casual observer of activities in Lodati Park knows that the major activity there are soccer games that go on for most of the day (except when it is very hot). It looks like there is no provision being made for soccer in the renovated park. What if anything will be done about the playing of soccer on the new field? Also, what will be done to address the significant refuse disposal problem in the park. Go by the park on any evening or especially on the weekend and take a look at the mountains of trash left behind, including pizza boxes and all kinds of junk on the grounds. A huge dumpster somewhere on the grounds should be provided. Finally, I don’t understand how having a dog park will alleviate the dog crap issue in Sunnyside unless the idea is to have dog crap relocated from the sidewalks of the Gardens over to 43rd Street?

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Deb H.

As a person who is born & raised in Sunnyside, we have always wanted a dog run, but it takes money and lots of politics to make that happen. This dog run is long overdue! I assure you, I am not a yuppie or a hipster. Most of those people annoy me. The kids have always had plenty of activities to keep them pre-occupied: swings, monkey bars, see saws and space to play in. I know. I WAS one of those children. Now they have those jungle gyms and soon they will have more jungle gyms. I agree that I wish all dog owners picked up after their dogs. The only time I saw a person not pick up, it was an old woman (late 70’s) and I didn’t feel like berating an elderly woman in public. I assumed she physically couldn’t pick up the poop, so I waited until she passed and I picked it up for her. Also, I am sure there will be time limits for the dog run. For our family dogs (Peppy, Sasha, Candy & Snowflake) that never got to see this dog run built while they were still alive, they can RIP knowing that the new generation of family dogs will get to see the dog run, thanks to Jimmy Van Bramer and Helen Marshall. Spike, Chico, Bonjo and Sailor can’t wait for their new dog run!

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Peggy G

It would be really nice if the park on 43rd Street and Greenpoint Ave was referred to by its full name. It is L/Cpl. Thomas P. Noonan Jr playground!

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When dogs takeover the City

I really hope theres a curfew on that dog run, i really dont want to hear barking when i try to knock out to bed… And equavolli -_- … Seriously..

I thought people wanted to get rid of the people playing this “sport”

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Chris Sal

Its a shame how they fix the park for the yuppies and there dogs and not for the,kids. Needs to be a better park keeper and more things for kids like in 80s early 90s

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Krissi

The lazy dog owners aren’t the ones who care enough to bring their dogs to a dog run.

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Mike Novak

Lets hope all the lazy dog owners who refuse to pick up their pooch’s poop take them over there instead of leaving landmines all over the sidewalks of Sunnyside. It only takes a few lazy bastards to ruin a neighborhood.

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Dave Mosher

It’s about time! I live in the Sunnyside area, and it stinks to have to walk to Long Island City or drive to Brooklyn to find a decent dog park.

The snag is that this project has been pending for years, or so I’ve hear — but no one ever broke ground when they said they would.

We’ll just have to see how things play out in two months, I suppose.

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