4. Carmen Pabon Del Amanecer Jardin
Located on Avenue C between 7th and 8th Streets, this garden was founded by Carmen Pabon, a Puerto Rican artist, community figure, and poet, who established the garden as a “sanctuary for children, local artists, Nuyorican poets, and the elderly”, according to the garden plaque. Significantly, this little community haven has been the source of one of the neighborhood’s biggest battles. In 1999, a private developer bulldozed several lots where this garden was located to build a mixed income housing project. After 17 long years, the Carmen Pabon garden was reopened in 2016 by Donald Capoccia — the same controversial developer who demolished it.
Only time will tell whether the garden will continue its same legacy as back in the day, but in the meantime, the garden provides a special space to reflect on the importance of community and public space.