Dear Neighbors,

I want to thank the staff and the members our Block Association for our little get together at The Wayfarer the other month. It was great to re-meet most of you, and make some new friends.

With the addition of new members and buildings, our boundaries now reach from 53rd Street to 59th Street, from the West side of 5th Avenue to the East side of 8th Avenue. Accordingly, to better reflect the whole of our district, we have changed our name to The West 50s Neighborhood Association.

The Mission Statement for the West 50s Neighborhood Association is quite simple…we want to improve the quality of life for our residents and businesses. To that end, we will work with everybody who can affect positive change. We welcome all!

The past few years have been challenging for us, but we have had our share of successes. The Association has landmarked over 8 buildings in our backyard, and we were instrumental in opening up 6 ½ Ave, a mid-block corridor between 6th and 7th Avenues. Problems we are confronting right now included inappropriately placed Wi-Fi kiosks, the ‘garbage mountains’ on the sidewalks and in the gutters, and the hazards presented by out-of-control bicycles.

Looking forward, we could use volunteers; people who are handy at social media, fund raising, applying for grants, writers and organizers. A real need is space. Since we are a non-profit, some well-connected person might be able to hook us up with some office space, maybe even some computers.

The West 50s Neighborhood Association now has a membership of about 400 and it would be great to double that in the upcoming year, as we have increased our boundaries by over twice our original size. Please make an effort to get people in your buildings to join up, and if they have special talents, suggest they join a committee. We are currently working on a plan for whole buildings to join as well.

We need to get businesses involved. We cannot better our district without their help, and as the NA grows, we plan on reaching out to them for sponsorship for events and publications. Working together, we can make the neighborhood better for both residents and businesses.

We are lucky to have several board members who serve on Community Board 5, and with CB5’s help, we will create solutions to problems plaguing not just our neighborhood, but also the whole city.

These are just a few ideas… I’m sure you all have your own lists, and I would love to read them. Let’s get together soon and celebrate our wonderful neighborhood!

Dave Achelis