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Tiny Park With Colorful Waterfall Opens in Midtown East

By Marc Weinreich | September 17, 2014 8:50am
 Elected state and local officials as well as community leaders gathered for the opening of a 2,800-square-foot "pocket park" on 50th street between Park and Madison Avenues on Sept. 16, 2014. Dubbed "50th Street Commons," it's part of a larger overall East Side Access project to improve commutes on the Long Island and Metro North railroads that will be completed by 2022. 
Pocket Park Opening in Midtown East
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MIDTOWN EAST — A tiny park opened in Midtown East on Tuesday, with a tall glass waterfall that changes color several times a minute.

The 2,800-square-foot park, dubbed 50th Street Commons, is on the south side of 50th Street between Park and Madison avenues and offers seating for about 40 people.

The water feature, a glass surface set against the neighboring building at 48 E. 50th St., fades from blue to green, yellow and fuchsia, casting a glow over the park's gardens with 22 species of ornamental plants.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority opened the $2.6 million park as a community amenity that is part of the much larger construction of the MTA's East Side Access project, which will connect the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal in 2022.

"The significance of the opening of the park is that it will be a place of refuge for people in the neighborhood," Michael Horodniceanu, president of MTA Capital Construction, said at a ribbon cutting for the new park on Tuesday. "[The park] will tell people: We're coming.'"

The MTA built the park as a way of thanking the community for putting up with the lengthy construction of the East Side Access project, officials said.

"[This opening] represents the MTA listening to the community and responding to what is a park-starved neighborhood," said state Sen. Brad Hoylman.

"We credit the MTA for coming up with an imaginative way to help fix that problem," added Councilman Daniel Garodnick.

The park is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to sunset.