CaVaLa Park in TriBeCa Evokes Manhattan's History of Acronyms

By Gabriela Resto-Montero on November 18, 2009 7:44am | Updated on November 18, 2009 10:23am

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter / Producer

TRIBECA — First there was SoHo. Then came TriBeCa and NoLita, and even WaHi and SpaHa. Now, Manhattanites have a new shorthand name to remember: CaVaLa.

The city officially opened a new $3.4 million park here last week that evokes the neighborhood and its history.  A 114-foot long fountain, for example, harkens back to when there was a canal at Canal Street. And its name — derived from the boundaries of Canal, Varick and Laight streets — reminds the park goer that they're in the Triangle Below Canal.

"It's a little kitschy for me but, whatever. The name is not important," said Judith, a TriBeCa resident who lives near the park. "It's if it serves the city and the people."

"If you look up you can see a huge amount of sky and that's a very rare place in the city," she said.

The pocket park brings a touch of green space to land that was once a parking lot.  The city allotted the plot for a park in 2005, and an infusion of cash from the Tribeca Film Festival in 2006 kept the project moving forward.

Now, instead of cars, there are trees, benches and a small landscaped lawn. But the main feature is the fountain, designed by SoHo artist Elyn Zimmerman. Water flows along it and down several tiers, meant to conjure images of a canal. 

For people taking advantage of the new space, the park is a welcome oasis amid the turmoil of city life.

"This one is very nice because it's made of the city," said Jean-Marc Lewis. "You can see all the view around."

 

 

 

CaVaLa Park, named by combining the names of its bordering streets, opened Nov. 12 and features a water fountain and green space in the middle of a busy intersection.
CaVaLa Park, named by combining the names of its bordering streets, opened Nov. 12 and features a water fountain and green space in the middle of a busy intersection.
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Gabriela Resto-Montero
The Water feature in the middle of the park runs the length of the space.
The Water feature in the middle of the park runs the length of the space.
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Gabriela Resto-Montero

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