Garden guru wants to green Third Avenue

Third Avenue already attracts people from both inside andoutside the neighborhood, thanks to its delightfully diverse arrayof shops and restaurants.

But, a touch of nature could make it even more popular, says JimmyJohnson, the garden designer who cares for the Narrows BotanicalGardens and who would like to see the strip dressed to the nineswith flowers and greenery.

Johnson has filled a planter in front of Councilmember VincentGentile’s office, on Third Avenue near 87th Street, and plantersoutside The Home Reporter‘s 88th Street and Third Avenuecorner office. He also filled the planters across the street, infront of Cebu.

It warmed the whole thing up, he attested, noting that he wouldlike to use the block of Third Avenue between 87th and 88th Streetsas a template, an example of what Third Avenue could and shouldlook like.

There’s no reason we shouldn’t have pretty boxes, especially withthe holidays coming, Johnson said. It would make it a morepedestrian-friendly area.

Gentile said he was excited about the idea. I think it will be aboost to the atmosphere of the avenue, which in turn would be aboost to economic activity on the avenue. Hopefully, we can start atrend, he said.

Robert Howe, the president of the Merchants of Third Avenue, saidthe group was receptive to Johnson’s approach. We are supportiveof anything to beautify Third Avenue, he remarked. The greeningof Third Avenue is an idea we have had for a long time, though wehave never been able to implement it. Hopefully, in conjunctionwith Jimmy, we will.

The best news is that, though it may make a store look like amillion bucks to be decorated, It doesn’t cost a lot of money tobeautify a storefront, Johnson said. It’s a manageable investment,and would just change everything, he contended.

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