I Hope to Dance Again Some Day

Community gardens in all of New York City’s five boroughs, many begun in the late 60’s and early 70’s, were the product of grass-roots activism. Residents who were unwilling to wait for the city to clean up abandoned lots, moved in themselves and created cloistered, vernal retreats in the middle of some of New York’s worst neighborhoods.

However, under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the city finally decided to do something with these lots. The city began the process of bulldozing many gardens and auctioning off the land to developers. Giuliani argued that the city needed the lots for additional low-income housing, and that while the destruction of the gardens would be be distressing, in the long run area residents would benefit.

The residents didn’t want to wait for the long run, and pulled together to protest.

The city moved forward with plans to auction off 112 garden lots to developers on May 13, 1999.   On May 12, Bette Midler in cooperation with the Trust For Public Land, purchased all 112 of the lots from the city, for a combined total of $4.3 million.

Today I’m prouder than ever to be a New Yorker,’ said Midler, who moved to the East Coast after an earthquake in California. ‘We’re thrilled. This is a joyous occasion and means that these gardens will stay in perpetuity.” You can learn more about her work here.


With this in mind, please enjoy blasting the anthem “Thank You Bette Midler” by the great Max Wolf :   ThankYouBetteMidler.

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19 Responses to I Hope to Dance Again Some Day

  1. hammiesays says:

    oh how wonderful. I hope you visit those gardens and remember Max there. One by one like the stations of Bette. xx

  2. carla fox says:

    I blasted it, and I loved it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. liz says:

    (as a new yorker) this makes me so so happy.

  4. patni says:

    this is wonderful. XX

  5. Andra says:

    I didn’t know about this.
    What a wonderful thing for Ms Midler to do.
    Let’s make her Angel of the week.
    You WILL dance again, soon.
    Do not start to wallow or I will personally come there and slap you.
    Wallowing is OUT, do you hear?

  6. Dave C says:

    Wow, the Divine Miss M really is saintly! Loved the song; it put a big smile on my face this morning. xx

  7. Jessica says:

    What a wonderful story, and a great anthem indeed. Blessings to you on this anniversary, I am so sorry for your loss. Please, with a son who made such music, you have to dance again. Dance for Max, dance for you, it is truly healing to the soul. It is wonderful that your son made so much music, so that you can still hear him. Please let him make you dance again, even if you have to start with the tears streaming down your cheeks.

  8. Tricia says:

    She’s done great work in NYC, and is so fully committed to NYC green spaces. Parks are woefully underfunded in NYC, they need all the help they can get.

  9. Ann says:

    That song rocks! And this story is beautiful, I had no idea.

    I love you, Sister Wolf. I will dance with you anytime.

  10. Marky says:

    I love the song. Amazing post for this anniversary. I hope you’re as good as you can be.

    Here’s to more amazing antics from Sarah Palin– like her moving Paul Revere speech.

  11. dana says:

    You’ve been in my thoughts all day. What a lovely post and act of kindness. All best

  12. Deni says:

    Max, you are missed, you are remembered, you are loved, and you are honored.
    You are eternal.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  13. Kate says:

    I hope you dance and laugh and sing! Loved Max’s song – made me want to dance and thrash my head around like some teenage punk. Thinking of you both.

  14. Bette Midler & Max – you rock!

  15. thrift store lawyer says:

    what jessica said. and also: great song.

  16. dust says:

    ..and you will dance cos the music sounds so good…

  17. TexasArt says:

    Wow … Great post. Go Bette!!!

  18. annemarie says:

    Fantastic song!

  19. I’m not a New Yorker, but I know that when I eventually fulfill my dream of visiting the place, it’ll look a whole look nicer thanks to Bette. Hurrah for Bette and co!

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