Monday, September 1, 2008

The importance of yard space

Screened from all but the envious eyes of aerial neighbors, New Yorkers with backyards awaken to birdsong and the occasional rabbit and entertain by the light of tiki torches. They swim in their own pools (even if they have to inflate them first), mow minuscule plots of Kentucky bluegrass, stage rock concerts, worship in revival tents, sun-dry the laundry on clotheslines, and barbecue jerk chicken in rusted oil-barrel smokers, or sirloin steak on Ultra Premium TruSear Viking grills.

The Backyard in New York City: An Urban Oasis

Those who have them prize them, whether they are grand or humble, soft and wild with plant life or hard and flat with concrete. Now, as the evening hours convey those first hints of autumn, the season of New York backyards is coming to a close, and with it a busier summer than most for these hidden urban rectangles, plenty of New Yorkers having forgone distant vacations because of high gas and travel costs, and simply opening the back door instead.

I thought maximizing your FAR and building out to the lot line was more important than having yard space. I guess only if you own it but don't actually live there.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

you want a backyard move to the suburbs

Anonymous said...

I thought maximizing your FAR and building out to the lot line was more important than having yard space. I guess only if you own it but don't actually live there.

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The people that run Astoria think that only if you have a summer place by the shore is a backyard important.

Remember, Astoria is a place that you go to milk the cow.

Besides, who lives in the barn??

Anonymous said...

you want a backyard move to the suburbs

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Taken from an application from to apply for a position on Community Board 1.

... and we all wonder how they select the people that get on that community board.

Anonymous said...

you want a backyard move to the suburbs

Why? So you can make more money Mr Developer?

You jerk.

Anonymous said...

I live in Dutch Kills and have one of those homes that now have a lovely 10 story hotel overlooking my back yard.

Thanks Gerry and George.

You have done a WONDERFUL job of running my community ... into the ground.

My mom bought our house in 1948. My house is now on the market.

Anonymous said...

Good go!

We don't need whiners in this brave new world of NYC2030.

We now have dozens of new opportunities to tweed.

Your friends APPOINTED to serve you,

CB1

Anonymous said...

I so want a back yard that I'm removing my driveway and putting in a beer garden - I won't have gras but I will have dozens of potted plants!

Frank Lloyd Crap said...

I'm sure Babs Corcoran is working on a rubuttal piece of her own about how everything should be paved over increase the value of the property. Right Babs?

Anonymous said...

My mom bought our house in 1948. My house is now on the market.

long past time to move out of Moms place me thinks.

georgetheatheist said...

Isn't there a law that says when you install fencing, particularly stockade fencing, that the GOOD side of the fence has to face OUT from your property? The guy mowing the lawn has the BAD side facing out towards his neighbors. The lot to the right of the tree at the top of the photo may have the bad side facing in. Or maybe that's the extreme right's fence's bad side facing out?

["Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above.
Don't fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love.
Don't fence me in.
Let me be by myself in the evenin' breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees.
Send me off forever but I ask you please, Don't fence me in." . . .et cetera, et cetera. R.I.P Bing Crosby]

faster340 said...

Isn't there a law that says when you install fencing, particularly stockade fencing, that the GOOD side of the fence has to face OUT from your property?
______________________

I think so. That's why I got nice white PVC fencing put in when I moved into my house. So now my neighbor who doesn't take care of his yard has increased property value as a result and the neighbor on the other side has a nicer view and has said thank you so very much. It's made a nicer relationship overall. Whoever says fences make better neighbors was right on.

italian girl said...

I got a pvc white 5' fence with a lattice pattern on top. My neighbor too, was SO happy that it made his crappy yard look better. But beware, that sometimes the posts come out of the ground and warp the fence. It's happening to my fence and others around the neighborhood. I had the fence company come over twice to fix two posts and they need to come back and fix a third.

Chris said...

An often-overlooked advantage of backyards is that the grass and soil absorbs rainwater from storms. This is a great advantage to our overburdened water drainage infrastructure. I would support some square footage of greenery on every parcel - especially that buildings utilizing the public plaza FAR bonus provide at least a portion of green space.
I know the value of green space from personal experience. My ex-landlord poured concrete over my building's once green backyard. Needless to say, next time it rained, the basement flooded.
/. Chris

Anonymous said...

The little backyards are what makes our neighborhoods nice, keeps us cooler and absorbs rain when not paved over.

The city should provide a tax incentive for those whom keep them green and un-cemented.

Anonymous said...

If you love concrete so much,
then move to a masonry yard idiot #1!

Anonymous said...

I feel for you and your house in Dutch Kills as I do for that entire neighborhood. Best of luck to you.