Sunday, July 13, 2008

Father vs. son: The Benepe family feud

“Cafes enliven parks, and they give you a way to eat al fresco while you’re not choking on exhaust,” Adrian told the Times in January 2007.


In the wake of his son’s Times interview, Barry Benepe sat down to write an op-ed piece for the Times, the first he had ever attempted. He believed the success of the park depended less on his son’s vision and more on making each part of it work together—and restoring it to its once-regular role as a central meeting place for rallies, as it had been in the 19th century.

“The Parks Department has been diverted by a contentious proposal by the Business Improvement District to convert and enlarge the Palladian pavilion at the north end of the park to accommodate a private restaurant,” wrote Benepe, alluding to his son’s own plan.

But the op-ed piece was never published in the Times. The night before it was set to run, an editor called Barry to say he had learned of the father-son connection between Barry and the parks commissioner—and said the newspaper felt it was necessary to note that fact alongside his name.

“If you’re going to do that, I’m going to pull it,” Barry told the editor—and he did. The piece was eventually published in Westview, a community newspaper covering the West Village.

But Barry hasn’t stopped speaking out against his son’s plans for Union Square, even while trying to avoid the appearance of a family feud.


Anonymous said...

I can't think of an extended period when Union Square HASN'T been ripped up by one construction scheme or the other. For years the south end was unusable for construction. Enough, already, especially with Washington Square being redone (a plan many area residents opposed by the way)

Taxpayer said...

Commissar D&T and his boy toy Benepe cannot control their obsession with destruction.

Since Guiliani, what actual improvements has this pair made to any park?

The complete destruction of the Ridgewood Reservoir is on their agenda. A plan also totally opposed by the people who live nearby.

Adrian's father, Barry, isn't any gem, either. Just what the hell is an "Urban Planner", anyway?

Someone who looks at other people's private property as raw material for destruction by developers - using eminent domain if the property owners have the impudence to keep their own property and make their own plans.

The father cannot even remember the year his son was born, so is it any surprise that the son can't even remember his place among taxpaying voters?

Anonymous said...

The north end of Union Square park
has been already denuded.

The trees have been cut down.

How the hell does it benefit a park and its visitors who come there for peace and renewal by destroying nature?

Yet another example of the Bloomberg administration's perverse,twisted form of logic!

Anonymous said...

It's just a continuation of this discussion:

Scene - Benepe household. Summer 1982.

Benepe Jr: Get used to it, Dad! I'm here and I'm Queer! I'm a F-A-G-G-O-T!!!!

Benepe Sr: You little ingrate! You embarrass me and your mother! GET THE HELL OUT NOW!!!

Mom Benepe: WAAAAAHHHH!!!!!