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Our beloved carousel I

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Posted: Thursday, June 7, 2012 10:30 am

Dear Editor:

We now live in an impatient world that cries for immediate results and doesn’t acknowledge the bigger picture. An example of this mindset appeared in your Letters section last week when a resident of Woodhaven unloaded a list of complaints about the newly reopened Carousel at Forest Park (“Carousel of complaints,” May 31).

One complaint involved the lack of a large sign on Woodhaven Boulevard. For over a century, our carousel has operated in Forest Park without the benefit of a gaudy sign. With all the gates finally rolled up, there is simply no better advertisement to passersby than the lights and sounds of an active carousel.

Another pair of complaints involved a not-yet-opened concession stand and table and chairs that haven’t arrived yet. At our most recent Woodhaven Town Hall meeting, NY Carousel Entertainment explained that what we are seeing now is a work in progress, and that each of these items will be taken care of in short order. They have been quite communicative on this point and the media has reported this on multiple occasions. The alternative was to wait until everything was completed before letting the kids on the ride. If they had done that, you can be sure that someone would complain that they should just let the kids on the ride and worry about the finishing touches later.

In other words, you can’t please everyone.

The folks at NY Carousel have done a remarkable job considering how little time they had to get everything up and running for the holiday weekend. Keep in mind that the deal was struck a month ago (May 7). The fact that it was open at all was a small miracle. And after nearly four years of silent inactivity, the sight of “40 or 50 men, women and children” at our carousel — even hungry ones — was very welcome.

Looking at the big picture, we welcome NY Carousel to our long and continuing relationship with the Forest Park Carousel. We’re very happy with the progress they have made so far, particularly the removal of the “prison-style” bars, which kept anyone watching the carousel distant and apart from the action. In its place are waist-high gates that give you an unimpeded view at least 8 to 10 feet closer than before. This modification is also a nod to our history, as it recreates the viewing available at the original carousel. This kind of thinking has made us quite comfortable with the prospect of NY Carousel being the caretaker over the years ahead — and, we hope, for many more successful years beyond.

We welcome everyone who wishes to be better-informed of what’s going on in Woodhaven to become part of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. We can be reached at (718) 296-3735 or via email at info@woodhaven-nyc.org.

Edward K. Wendell
Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association

Welcome to the discussion.