Reader Report: Child Steps on Exposed Needle in the Nike Field Turf on Stanton Street

Posted on: May 15th, 2015 at 5:10 am by
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Rumors surfaced earlier this week that the Showdown in Chinatown (now, simply “Showdown”) is on shaky ground this year. The annual event – begun by the Steve Nash Foundation in 2008 – might be sidelined due to the disastrous condition of the field.

Yes, the well-worn nature of the pitch is a testament to the importance of open spaces on the Lower East Side. The over-usage of the field is proof positive that neighbors need more park space.

Safe park space.

The report on Tuesday highlighted the dangers, not just from the turf carpets, but the layers of history beneath. As in the discarded heroin needles from the park’s bygone days. We are told that a local instructor was giving soccer lessons to a child when a protruding hypodermic syringe reportedly pierced the player’s cleat and broke skin. The incident reportedly required a hospital visit for tetanus shot, but the unnamed child is apparently healthy.

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For its part, the Parks Department is actively seeking a replacement, claiming the Nike field is high on the priority list. “NYC Parks is talking to different parties interested in this field,” a Parks spokesman tells us. “No final decisions have been made.”

One of the donors rumored was NBA MVP Steve Nash, whose money was allegedly turned down for one reason or another. It would make sense that Nash would be so involved, though. He even told us last summer, “I think we need new turf. We’ve tried in the past, we’d like to work towards getting new turf for that park.”

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