Sunset Park is showing its beauty!
The Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) is showing neighborhood pride with its “You are Beautiful” initiative – a plan designed to unite locals and express the beauty that each member of the diverse community possesses.
The BID and the Sunset Parker Facebook Page recently put up metal signs etched with the “You are Beautiful” slogan along Fifth Avenue in several languages – English, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese included.
Sunset residents are being encouraged to take selfies under the signs, says Renee Giordano, the BID’s executive director, as a way of displaying the unique beauty that everyone possesses.
“In a society that is always evaluating us, or categorizing us it is important for us to know how worthy and wonderful we each are,” she said, hoping that the branding of positivity and goodwill will spread throughout the new year. “We would like them to be surprised and interpret it on their own. Hopefully word will spread and it will become a Sunset Park thing.”
Come springtime, the BID and Sunset Parker will follow up with small signs in the windows of stores along Fifth Avenue.
According to Renee, the idea stemmed from Tony Giordano, founder of Sunset Parker, which has nearly 9,000 members.
For Tony, Sunset Parker is more than just providing the latest news in the neighborhood. It is also about coming together as a community. “Many years ago, I was at a conference,” he recalls. “The group was overwhelmingly white male professionals, in suits, in their late forties or older. A young Puerto Rican in jeans stood up and said, ‘It is important that you tell others who you are. If you don’t, others will define you according to their own assumptions.’ Those words have stayed with me all these years. They are so simple and so true. On my Sunset Parker page I try to build ‘community’ by having members share stories of the past.”
Delvis Valdes, former president of the BID and a current attorney with Village of Sunset Park, also finds the idea to be an important one. “When Renee came to the Board of Directors with the idea it seemed so simple, yet powerful and we quickly agreed to move forward with it,” he said. “It is an important message of universal significance and presenting it in four languages acts as ‘glue’ pulling us together as a community.”
According to Tony, there will be a prize for the first person who takes a selfie and a prize for the first person to find all three that are currently up.
“In this way, we let others know who we are and we learn who they are,” Tony added. “But at one point, I saw a common thread, through all of our differences, we want to be liked. We want to be appreciated and we want to help others. I thought it was important to advertise or state it in a simple, clear way – You Are Beautiful.”