Hua Mei Bird Garden in Sara D. Roosevelt Park [Video]

Posted on: July 8th, 2010 at 6:13 am by

Nestled behind the sunken court in Sara D. Roosevelt Park is a hidden gem of a bird sanctuary called Hua Mei Bird Garden. The tiny tree-lined real estate is definitely one of the unsung treasures of the 7-acre, 7-block park, and is a welcome taste of nature amidst a concrete jungle.

This image has been archived or removed.

During the warmer months, older Chinese gentlemen congregate at the small community garden in the early morning hours.  Most come armed with wonderfully ornate bamboo birdcages, each loaded with a different species of bird – Hua Mei, finches, sparrows, and such.  Cages are then hooked onto a series of ropes strung between strategically-placed metal piping.

Some men lean against the metal railing and hang out, while others pace back and forth.  The cardinal rule, however, seems to be silence; there is little to no talking.  Just the beautiful melody of birdsong.  And the view of Delancey traffic in the distance!

This image has been archived or removed.

The Hua Mei Bird Garden was spawned in 1993 when Sara D. Roosevelt Park was just an urban wasteland of trash, sex, and drugs.  Three Chinese men hung birdcages between two London Plane trees with the intention of creating a bird garden like those found all over China.  Their petitions to the Parks Department were successful, and in 1995, it was officially recognized by the city.  Shortly thereafter, the metal piping was hammered in place and new greenery planted (trees and shrubbery).

This image has been archived or removed.

Recent Stories

Crab du Jour Goes Down After a Year on Grand Street

Crab du Jour, the ubiquitous franchise selling Cajun-style seafood, closed its Lower East Side location earlier this month. The shutter comes exactly one year after the fast-food spot first opened at 384 Grand Street. Several readers alerted us to the closure, noting that the restaurant hasn’t been open the last several days. Moreover, customers can […]

Former Red Square Retail Demolished for New Development

Nearly six years ago, the Dermot Company purchased the former Red Square for $100 million from Michael Rosen. The residential complex was further upscaled in the interim, and whitewashed into submission. The $100 million deal included space in the adjacent one-story retail. What largely went unnoticed at the time, though, is that the Rosen family […]

Man Shot Dead After Opening Door to Gunman at Lillian Wald Houses

A man was shot dead inside his apartment in the Lillian Wald Houses Friday night after the suspected killer knocked on his door, police said. The perp entered 691 FDR Drive just before 10:00pm and went to the fourth floor apartment of thirty-year-old Davon Venable. Reports noted that Venable and his father heard a knock […]

Filmmaker to Get ‘High on Ludlow Street’ with New Documentary [INTERVIEW]

One filmmaker is on a quest exhume the history of Ludlow Street with a forthcoming documentary series called High on Ludlow Street. What follows is an interview with Charles Libin, who talks about the so-called “gift of Ludlow,” memories on the block, challenges of making the film, and the current state of his beloved street. […]

Mayor Adams Vetoes Bill to Fine Non-Artists Residents in Upzoned SoHo and NoHo

The SoHo/NoHo Rezoning saga took a new turn last Friday when Mayor Eric Adams vetoed the controversial bill (Intro 2443A). The last-minute legislation, introduced by former Councilmember Chin, would levy fines against residents occupying JLWQA units without official “artist certification.” The odd JLWQA acronym isn’t the call sign of some defunct NYC radio station; it […]