17 years later, Carmen’s garden finally reopens

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Photos by Sarah Ferguson

BY SARAH FERGUSON | On Wed., Oct. 26, Carmen Pabon, left, held the scissors with City Councilmember Rosie Mendez at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the newly refurbished Carmen Pabon Del Amanecer community garden, at 119 Avenue C between Seventh and Eighth Sts. Pabon, now 95, created the garden in the late 1970s from a vacant, rubble-strewn lot. She held poetry readings and fed the homeless there for many years, before the space was closed in 2000 due to the construction of the Eastville Gardens apartment complex next door. For 17 years, what was left of the space — the garden used to be larger — languished behind locked gates, but now it has been redesigned and will be open to the public again.

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Although the Avenue C garden today looks very different than it did 20 years ago, its distinctive Loisaida mural, left, has been preserved intact.

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