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.

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!

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).

Recent Stories

High Rents Force ‘Prema Hair’ from 101 Stanton Street After its $12.9M Sale

No sooner did 101 Stanton Street change hands than this enormous, eye-grabbing leasing banner appear above the corner store. It seems rather apparent that the new owners now want the Prema Hair salon gone from the ground-floor retail. You’ll recall that a small consortium of real estate firms – Penn South Capital, Conway Capital, and […]

LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is Happening this Weekend

The 6th Annual LUNGS Harvest Arts Festival is happening this weekend, and promises plenty of local entertainment and creative craftsmanship throughout more than 50 community gardens spread across Lower Manhattan. Just a few of the many highlights partaking in this year’s festival include fairy tale puppetry by the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, a thought provoking look […]

Cafe Grumpy Reclaims Adjacent Store at 13 Essex Street for ‘Training Lab’

With Factory Tamal now up and running on Ludlow Street, its former location is back in the hands of its maker, so to speak. Cafe Grumpy just reclaimed the other half of its Essex Street coffee shop. We are told that the south store of 13 Essex Street – formerly the cafe’s on-premise bakery – […]

In What was American Apparel, ‘Dr Smood’ Health Eatery Debuts on East Houston

The doctor is now seeing patients. Customers, rather. Dr Smood, the health eatery that offers “smart food for a good mood,” opened the doors to its Lower East Side location this week. As you might expect, the new “organic boutique cafe” at the corner of Orchard and East Houston Streets carries with it an antiseptic […]

Another Look at the 7-Story Rental to Destroy 200-Year-Old Federal Row Houses on Grand Street

A row of historically significant Grand Street buildings is one step closer to demolition. Applications were filed with the city last week to erect the seven-story residential structure at 282-286 Grand Street. We first broke news of this development back in April. The property owner – former oncologist-cum-art dealer Marc Straus – has major plans […]